Friday, September 23, 2016

My Classroom...Perfection Not Required

Did you ever wonder why teaching is the only profession where you have to take down and set up your "office" every year? How in the world do other buildings get cleaned without taking everything off the walls, boxing up all the materials, and stacking the furniture against a wall? Hmmm.

Mind-boggling, huh?

Now that school has started and the annual tradition of moving in and redecorating my classroom is complete, I thought I'd share a few pictures to show how it turned out. Keep in mind that my classroom is never "finished," nor is it Pinterest-perfect. The walls look very bare right now, but that's on purpose. My students and I will be adding purposeful decorations such as Anchor Charts and student work throughout the year. Until it's time to take it all down and pack it away again, that is. :)

***Note: I confess to shelving this blog post for awhile. Despite wanting to send a message that our rooms don't have to be "Pinterest-perfect", seeing all the gorgeous classroom pictures all over IG and FB left me feeling a little intimidated. I do like my classroom, though, so I wanted you all to see it. Besides, it's still September -- that qualifies as the beginning of the year, doesn't it? lol

My Math Center

 My Classroom Library and Reading Center

My Social Studies Center

My Word Wall

My Mailboxes and Cubbies

My Classroom

The bare walls are on purpose - My students and I create the anchor charts and produce the work that covers them the rest of the year.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Five for Fraturday...Week 1 is Done!

I made it through the first week of school and I'm exhausted! So, so, so grateful for the three day weekend! 

I'm getting ready to root on my Florida Gators against the UMass Minutemen tonight. Go GATORS!!!

I love my class!  They are such a great group of kids. I introduced buddy reading and it was so fun walking around the room listening to them read and discuss books. I almost felt like it was November and routines had been established for weeks. Our first-grade teachers did such a wonderful job with them!

I'm getting my Math Workshop/Guided Math started by giving my students time to explore various Math Tools. They had a fabulous time and we were able to establish guidelines for using the tools during Math Workshop.

I introduced "Give 1, Get 1" this week. It's a great game that works a little like musical chairs.  This game can be used with any subject. I tend to use it as a math warm-up.

To start, students write what they know about a concept in their journals. I used Today's Number to get this started. I asked students to write the number 12 in their journals and then draw or write 3 ways to show (represent) that number. I modeled an example of a picture, an equation, and words on the whiteboard. 

After giving students time to show what they know, I asked students to stand, hug their math journals and pencils to their chests and push in their chairs. When I start the music, students walk around the room with their journals. When the music stops, they freeze and find the person who is closest to them. 

Once all students are partnered up, one student gives his/her partner one way to show 12. Then that student gets an idea from his/her partner. Both partners record one new way to show 12 in the journal. 

When partners are finished, they hug the journals to their chests again. I start the music once everyone is ready. Then they repeat the process. I usually do three rounds. After the third round, the next time the music plays, students come to the carpet ready to share what they got

Here are some of the ways that students showed the number 12. 

The first week for me is all about establishing our classroom community. We worked on Our Class Promise throughout the week. Here's the rough draft. I'll share the finished product in next week's Five for Friday. You can read more about creating a class promise in this blog post.

That's it for this week. Thanks, Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting the linky. I hope everyone enjoys their three day weekend!