Friday, August 31, 2012

First Week of School :)

Well, I survived the first week of school! We spent the week setting up rules and procedures as well as launching R-time, Daily 5 and math stations. I am so proud of my little ones for doing so much so fast. We even got in a little science and social studies! :)

R-time: This is a new program that our school is launching this year to work on respect and using manners. It takes about 15 minutes and the kids love it. It involves randomly pairing students and giving them questions or activities for them to do together. It helps them to take turns, use manners and become a more close knit community of learners. We are still working out the kinks but it is nice to see the kids becoming more aware of manners and the importance of working together.

Launching Daily 5: Week 1

I started by teaching the good fit book "shoe" lesson from The Daily Five book by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. It is so engaging because you use shoes to represent the different components of picking good fit books. Good fit books are books that the students get to choose, that have a purpose such as just for fun or research, and are based on interest. I brought a tennis shoe, a rain boot, and a high heel to ask students about the purpose for each shoe. Then I pulled out tap and ballet shoes to show interest. Then the next part of the good fit lesson is about comprehension and knowing the words. I used the suggestion from the book and had two students try to switch shoes. I love how this leads to "a good fit for one person may not be a good fit for someone else." This reminds students that they don't have to pick a book just because someone else is reading it. It also allows for students to feel more comfortable with their reading level. I created an "I PICK" chart with the kids and posted it above my library.

I - I choose the book

P- Purpose: Why am I reading this book? (for fun, daily 5, research)
I - Interest: Does this book interest me?
C - Comprehension: Do I understand what I'm reading?
K - Know: Do I know almost all of the words? ( Use 5 finger rule)

Then I allowed the students to "shop" for books in my classroom library and put them in their individual book boxes.

Then I went over the first part of Daily Five: Read to Self. The book is great about including photos of the independence chart or I-Chart. We make one for each part of Daily 5.

The purple poster is my independence chart. It sets the procedures for Read to Self. This leads into the idea that the students need to be able to read for a sustained amount of time. Students need to build stamina to the point of at least 20 minutes per day. Once they build stamina, they will able to eventually do all of the parts of Daily 5 for at least 20 to 30 minutes, allowing the teacher to meet with more small groups.

The thermometer poster is what I am using to track my students' progress. They have to be able to read for a certain number of minutes consistently (3 times) before I fill it in on the chart. They have mastered 5 minutes and we're starting to work on 7-9 minutes.

We are hitting the ground running with our math curriculum. We set up math stations and gave them a pre-assessment to see what they already know about place value to 1,000. I thought it would be way over their heads on the second day of school but they are already working on showing 3 digit numbers in standard, picture, expanded and written form. I placed some tiered activities in my stations that were pretty simple to put together. I placed place value charts, playing cards, and dice in each station. The students were expected to roll or draw 3 numbers/cards and then read the 3 digit number. I had students either building the numbers with base ten blocks, or writing the numbers in expanded and/or written form.

All in all, it was a successful week. I had more than enough stuff to keep the kids busy and I am exhausted.

At least I got a little present for surviving my first week all thanks to my room moms from last year. They knew just what to get me. TOMS! :) I finally used my gift card!

Now to enjoy the three day weekend... :)

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