Monday, March 26, 2012

Great Review Pack!

Teacher Tam's Educational Adventures has a great summer review pack for kinders for sale. You should head over to her TpT store and check it out. I know my 1st grade teachers would love it if my class reviewed a little over the summer, plus the stuff looks fun!!!

Click the picture to check out her store!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I am not dead!

Wow, it has been crazy the last three week. I went from having walking pneumonia to Lil' Man having a double ear infection, to Sissy being rushed to the ER having trouble breathing, to my husband spending 3 days in the hospital with chest pains. Then after all that things were getting back to normal, and I got my new small group table! Yay! That meant some furniture rearranging in my room. Then my iPad died. Died! Except it really didn't die. I could still hear it ding when I would get an email. And Lil' Man was trying to play his game on it and touched the screen, caused another game to start, we could hear the music for it. So the iPad worked you just can't see it!! So it will be away for two weeks getting fixed. :( I could have taken it to the apple store but then they wouldn't redo my engraving. My iPad was a Mother's Day gift and my husband has "Mommy's Apple" put on the back of it. I can't give that up. So I am back to using my husband's laptop!

Anyway, this past week my table came and I got evaluated. I am really liking my small group area now, and I used the small table I was using for small group to put my computers on. Before they were on a massive table and the kids had to use big huge chairs to use them, their feet didn't even touch the ground! My evaluation went well. She watched my reading, whole group and small group. I have my meeting on it next week, but she commented on my organization and differentiation. So that brings me to my question for today.

Do you differentiate for every group every day? I do, but I was asked that question a couple of times this week, by some who do and some who don't. So blog land what's your take on it!!!!

I will leave you with before and after small group pictures!!

Before of computer table. Notice how tall it is and the
big chairs they had to use!

This is from an old post but you can see my small group area before in the middle picture and top right corner!

New computer table. Fits my three working computers perfectly and uses little chairs!!

My new small group table and area!! I love it!!

One last thing. Don't forget the TN blogger meet up. I am so excited for the trip!! Hope to see you there.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bad Two Weeks

This post is entirely personal, we all need those every once in awhile don't we! I am exhausted, like can't keep my eyes open in the middle of the day kind of exhausted. At first I was thinking, why am I so tired I am falling asleep during recess. Then I thought about my last two weeks and I guess it makes sense.
My basic life involves waking up several times a night since I have a 4 month old that still eats every 3 hours and a 2 year old that just moved to a toddler bed. Then two Mondays ago I woke up with a sore throat and congestion. Tuesday I woke up and it moved into my chest. I have lovely respiratory problems anyway so I took the day off and went to the doctor. I had walking pneumonia. Yay for me! I take Tuesday and Wednesday off to rest, which means wonderful babysitter still comes to work! Thursday I take my still coughing self back to work. I 10:00 babysitter calls. Little man has a fever of 102. I take 1/2 day from work and take him to the doctor. Doctor says ears are clear, did you hear that EARS ARE CLEAR! It must be viral. So I take him home and rotate ibuprofen and Tylenol all day Thursday and Friday. Friday night he still has a fever over 100. Saturday I take him into the weekend clinic and our pediatrician is on duty (thank goodness because she isn't who we saw on Thursday). She looks in his ears and says Oh My! These are AWFUL. He has DOUBLE ear infections!!!!! This time we get antibiotic and continue rotating ibuprofen and Tylenol. Sunday he wakes up from his nap SCREAMING. I try everything I know to soothe him, for an hour. I call the nurse on call who tells me I haven't given the antibiotic enough time to work. I politely inform her I don't think he should be better I just don't think he should be in this much pain and they should do something better. 4 hours later, after a lot of angry talking and some crying, little man still screaming I manage to get them to call in numbing drops for him. 30 seconds after getting them he is FINE! Through all of this with little man I am still coughing! We have a couple more sleepless nights related to ears but things were finally looking better.

Then on Thursday night I lay sissy down for a diaper change and she can't breathe. My heart stopped. I screamed for my husband and grabbed her up to me and she was breathing fine. We call the nurse on call (they just love me you know!) and they tell me take her to the childrens hospital but to remain calm and drive slow it is raining and she will be sitting up in her car seat (I wonder if they have my picture up with hysterical momma under it!). So little man goes for a sleep over at my in laws and we drive 30 minutes to the children's hospital. There sissy is agreeable and does it for the doctors. Turns out she is breathing its just really shallow. It is all because she is congested and when she lays down it drains and cause little blocks in her airway. She is fine, we can go home, we just need to use that bulb syringe on her before bed and meals. So 30 minutes back home and it's 1:00. Not to mention I was going to lay awake all night and stare at her chest! So I wonder why I am exhausted.

Today I think we will just lay around and rest, of course little man and sissy were both up at 6:30!

I am so ready for spring break. On an upside I have joined a C25K group with some friends and I have completed one full week and have lost 2 pounds!!!

Sooty for such a long ranting post, but I just had to get it out!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Math Work Stations Chapter 2

Continuing on with my book study...

Chapter 2
1. Create a plan for organizing you math materials. Where will you begin? What's you goal? Who might help you?
 I will start by moving ALL my math materials to one area of the room so I can see what I have and need. My goal is to combine manpulatives from several past math series and select the best materials for our class. It is nice doing the book study with someone from my school and grade level (Jana P.). We will be able to work together through this process of setting up and using math stations.

2. Make plans for a classroom math corner. Do you have an unused corner or one you could clear out? A bookshelf and clear plastic containers. Work with a colleague and help one another set up your math corners. Have teachers share their procedures with you.
 I can create a corner using a cabinet and a bookshelf. Above the bookshelf is a bulletin board, which provides a place for anchor charts. One of the previous math adoptions came with clear tubs for manipulatives which will work nicely for storing materials in the corner. I also have a 10 drawer container that would be a good way to organize smaller materials for the students to use. The shelf used to make the corner is long I could use one end for my math corner and the other end for the math station containers.
Notes I took:
1. I loved the steps to sorting (I just am not good at sticking to them)
Step 1 Sort your stuff. Stay put! (That is where I go wrong!!!)
Step 2 Purge (my favorite)
Step 3 Containers
Step 4 Maintain!

2. Sort objects based on strands in math
A. Numbers and operations
B. Geometry
C. Fractions
D. Money
E. Time
F. Data and Probability
G. Symmetry
H. Measurement
I. Calendar

3. When purging ask yourself:
A.Does this belong to me or the school?
B. Is it something I need help knowing how to teach with?
C. Is this something that might improve my teaching?
D. Is it taking up too much space?
E. Do I have something better now?
F. Do I already have enough copies of this?

4. Have a math corner where manipulatives are available and organized for the students to use. Should be extra stuff related to math station tubs, should be close to tubs and would be a good place for anchor charts.

5. Use a 9x12 foam sheet for students to use manipulatives on. This helps keep materials together and reduces noise.

Questions I have now:
1. How ofter should the math corner change?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I love doing the currently linky party. It is so fun just to see a little more about all my blog friends. So here is mine for March!

You should link up over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade. I can't wait to read what everyone is doing this month. Especially those 3 little words!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Math Work Stations Book Study

I am participating in a book study for the boo Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller. I thought I would post my answers, thoughts, and questions here and see what kind of feedback I get back throughout the book.
So this is the beginning. Chapter 1

1. If you are already using literacy work stations, what parallels did you see between literacy and math work stations?
            I do something similar to literacy stations. I think the parallels are the elements of choice and independence. The students have multiple activities to choose from, they make those choices on their own and complete their activity on their own. Also a good amount of time is needed at the beginning to model each station for the students. Behavior problems will occur with out proper time learning the process.

2. How will what you teach in whole group impact the work stations? Share some examples of what you might move from whole-group math instruction to math stations.
           During a unit on measurement you might have a whole group activity measuring items with cubes, then in a math station you could have cubes and a measure the room paper (similar to write the room). Another idea could be using red/yellow counters to make up number stories about each other in whole group, the counters could then be added to a station for them to make up their own number stories.

Notes I took while reading:
I loved the taping index cards to a clipboard for assessment. I made one of these the very next day!
Math talk is very important. I like the idea of including cards for "math talk" sentences on it to help them remember what to say with out you there.

Questions I have after reading:
1. Do you correct students in stations or remain a silent observer, write down what they did, and cover in small group?
2. Do you have stations everyday?
3. What would the entire math block look like?

Stay tune chapters 2 and 3 will come later this week, since I have read them already. Then it will probably slow down to once a week. Share with me your thoughts on Math work stations.