Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just keep swimming...just keep swimming...& Freebie!

Anyone else feeling like this?  I cannot believe that it's the middle of October already.  I feel so bad that I've been neglecting my little blog, but between school all day, family, and keeping up it's been nuts!  I have to say that I am really enjoying my class this year.  They are a really sweet bunch, and they make me laugh every day. Our math workshop has been going very well, I'm very pleased.  I've set it up so that I present my mini lesson to the whole class.  Most days I'm doing our mini lesson right after a number talk.  After the lesson they are headed to the first of their three workstations for the day.  The stations I am using are math facts, at your seat, teacher's choice (small group), and hands-on math games.  They are in leveled groups so that I can better meet individual needs during our small group time together.  I am really loving the small group aspect of math workshop, and I am so glad that I decided to give it a try this year.  I've been able to learn so much more about my students as mathematicians that I wouldn't have been able to other wise.  This week and next one of the new activities I've added to our workstations are my Spooky Sums Addition Task Cards.

There are two different sets of task cards, one set without regrouping, and one with regrouping.  Each set has twenty-four task cards, and there is also a recording sheet and answer key.  They're having a blast working on our common core standard of adding/subtracting within 1,000 with these!
 There are some students who have already come so far, in math and in reading, and I am proud of them for working so hard!  One of my little girls is an ell student.  She reading well below grade level, yet is trying to convince me to let her read Diary of a Wimpy Kid books for her just right reading level book.  Um, no dear!  It always breaks my heart a little bit when they want to read something that they are not ready for and are disappointed.  I was conferring with her and I told her "It's not a just right reading book for you just yet...but we'll work really hard this year to get it so it's a just right book for you in the future."  She smiled and said "Deal!"  This child has such a desire to learn, and I know that she's going to come so far this year.  If anyone has any strategies or things that have worked exceptionally well in the past, please share!  I'm obviously focusing heavily on vocabulary development and sight words.  We will definitely keep plugging away at it, or swimming away at is as Dory would say!  I'd love to send a FREE set to the first two people who leave a comment.  Be sure to include your email address! =)  Have a great rest of the week!

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