Holy cow! I've been back to school for 4 weeks now - 3 with kiddos, and one without.... where has that month gone?! I'm so glad that we are back into a routine, but I'll be honest....
With that being said, my 'creative' juices have not been flowing as much the last month as they were all summer, but I do have 3 things to share with you today! None of them are stellar, but I really like how 2 of them are working out so far, and the 3rd one was just super enjoyable while it lasted!!
Sooo..... here we go!
Monday Made It #1
Last year in resource class, I had a file folder for each of my kiddos. They were constantly having paper fall out, and you know that they never wrote their name on anything.... it was always a mess. So this year, I invested in binders for each student. AND, I found crates at Walmart to put each class' books in (color coded of course!) and made 1 inch binder strips with their names on them so they could easily grab their book when they first came into class.
Each kiddo was given their binder and 5 dividers. The dividers says "teacher time", "independent time", "group time", "game time" and "software time", which (once I get m 3 computers and get all routines in place) will correspond to our 5 days of stations each week.
We spent the first 3 weeks of school doing lots of group and individual work. At the end of each day, we talk about where our papers should go. Kiddos are starting to put stuff away correctly without asking which tab things go under.
We put each activity from every day in the book to keep a running portfolio for the kiddos.
We've worked on our multiplication facts (check tomorrow's post to hear about the awesomeness that was the John Hughes' multiplication dodecahedron!)
We've written about ourselves as mathematicians using 4mulaFun's Math About Me (above and below!)
We also used out Math About Me posters as our front covers. I bought the binders with the clear slide area to put these posters in.
We've worked on place value and used FACEing Math to help make our assessment a bit more fun
We've stacked OREOS to help us with mean, median, and mode (check back soon for a blog post on this!)
We've "Saved Fred!" (check out ATUE on Wednesday for a blog post about this!)
And we created a section specifically for out new math dictionaries that we are makign with the help of Jennifer Runde's Math Posters
Each word has a section for the students to "explain in words", "explain in pictures", and "explain in numbers". They also need to create their own word problem, come up with a real life example and write a way to help them remember the word.
We used our OREO date to work through Mean, Median, Mode and Range with 6th, 7th ,8th and I'll do that later in the year with 5th
Later in the year, we'll make our own words up to use on individual posters! The kiddos really enjoy these :)
Using the binders has really helped organize each of the kiddos and keep my room in better shape between classes. The kiddos now come in each day, grab their binder, and are ready to begin. At the end of class, they put everything away in the proper section, put their binder in the color bin, and head out. The whole system has been working really well.
Monday Made It #2
MMI #2 was made out of necessity. Let me explain. Last year was my first year in resource class, it was almost my first year teaching 5th graders. My 5th graders were a handful - let's just say of my 14 there were about 9 personalities that just didn't get a long.... This class was a personal challenge on a daily basis. One particular student made it very challenging. There may have even been a time where she called the school pretending to be her grandmother to get out of serving a lunch with me.... yes, that really happened.... and yes, I laughed A LOT after I got off the phone listening to her voice mail.
Anyhoo, my little lovely is in my class again this year - without any of the other personalities, but still she loves to be center of attention. The first 3 days of school were rough, I could tell I was letting her get to me and I decided that this year was NOT going to go that way. So, on the 4th day of school, when I could tell that she was starting to annoy not only me, but the other kiddos as well, I handed her three wooden chips. I told her every time she blurted out and it had nothing to do with what we were doing she would lose a chip. If she lost all 3 chips, we would move to the next phase of our school's policies. She can always raise her hand to talk, and ask questions, just cannot blurt out. The first day she lost all 3. The second day she lost 2. She's now gone an entire 6 days without losing any. Class is much more enjoyable for both of us. She is learning to control her need for attention better and it's making the whole class have a completely different tone.
Monday Made It #3
On a completely non-school related note, last weekend our family through an engagement party for our cousin, Stephanie. It ended up begin a 2-day even at my sister-in-law's camp. There was a zip line, a ropes course, a giant swing, lots of family and friends, food, fun, not to mention a bonfire and camping.
One thing that Stephanie had requested was some sort of 'popcorn bar'. My sister-in-law put me in charge of setting it up the morning of the party. I used the air-popper and made about 20 batches of popcorn and separated them into 4 different bags.
Each bag was a different flavor: sea salt and butter, cheese and garlic, curry, and caramel pecan.
We had individual popcorn bags for people, as well as scoops, and other goodies to drop into their popcorn.
The whole idea turned out super cute and everyone enjoyed the snack being available all weekend.
And.... I almost forgot! A HUGE thank-you to 4th Grade Frolics for the link-up! Hopefully, my creative juices will start back up before next month!! Until then, happy creating and thanks for reading!