Thursday, May 29, 2014

The One With Guided Math Book Study - Chapter 1

Like many other teachers out in blog world, I am currently reading Guided Math by Laney Sammons.

I started reading it this week in between my busy schedule of watching Orange is the New Black and Revolution, cleaning, grocery shopping, and making stuff for my classroom.  Oh! and Facebook stalking.  I noticed that on The Primary Gal Facebook page, she was doing a Guided Math book study with about 10 other bloggers.  Is this a sign?? I think so!

If you would like to follow along with the book study, click on the picture below.

I'm not part of the book study per se, but I'm jumping in anyway!

Chapter 1 of the book goes over mostly what you are to see throughout the rest of the book.  The author talks about how the way we all learned math was not helpful to make us lifelong mathematicians.  Many adults can't even mentally figure out the tip on a restaurant check.  That's pretty scary!

At the end of the chapter Laney Sammons asked the reader 2 important questions:

1) What aspects of it are successful?
   I think back about the year of teaching I just completed and see that there wasn't much that was successful.  The students were not engaged majority of the time and I spent so much time keeping them on task.  However, not all my years have been the same.  Some things in previous years that were successful were the ability to do hands-on activities with the entire class.  It saved me time and we were able to use the Promethean Board together.

2) What aspects of it trouble you? why?

   My district requires 90 minutes of math instructions.  Our curriculum was out of date (it was adopted in 2007) and just wasn't good.  I found it hard to keep the students engaged for a full 90 minutes.  Some students got it easily and others still needed the help.  I found it hard to keep the kids that got it to stick with me while I continued helping the ones that needed it.  Looking back I can clearly see that my teaching wasn't helping the entire class.  It hindered the highs and I couldn't always get to help the lows.  

If you are reading Guided Math, or are thinking about it, start at The Primary Gal's blog to get started in the book study.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The One With Blue Raspberry Nerds Slush

I just went to Sonic to try their new blue raspberry slush with Nerds candy and it is YUMMY!

Go try it!

Well, today I spent some time doing some things for my classroom.  I made owls that I am going to use for my center grouping.

I used to scrapbook and I have a ton of scrapbook paper left over.  I am constantly trying to use it.  I downloaded an owl template from Classroom Compulsion.  I printed it on cardstock and cut it out.  I used it to trace and cut out all the pieces for my owls.

 I made an owl for each group color (yellow, green, blue, orange and brown).  After I had all the pieces cut out I glued them all together and laminated them.  I will use permanent marker to write the students' names on them.
So cute!!!

I also took some time out to update my owl themed teacher binder for the 2014-2015 school year.  If you have downloaded last year's you will get the updated one for FREE!

Go check it out, pin it, and tell your friends!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The One with the End of the Year Wrap-up

Let's just pretend that months haven't past since I posted last.  I really thought I would do better at keeping up on this... FAIL!  Epic fail!

School is finally out.  This was a very trying year.  The class started out great but as the year progressed they became argumentative and disrespectful.  Not just we me but with each other. 

This year also brought on my state's new evaluation system.  I am not a fan!  It is a horrible system and I hope they get it fixed before the next year.

Looking back now though, I can also see many good times I had this year.  I thought I would share with you somethings that helped wrap-up my year (this will be a long post).

First off... I GOT MARRIED! #WHA-WHAT!!
It was great.  It was bit on the windy side, though.  The rest went off without a hitch.

I also got to tour our new school and see my new classroom almost completed.  I love it! 

We also did a closing ceremony to say goodbye to the old school.  It was a bitter sweet day.  The old school needed to be replaced but I started my teaching career at that school.  So sad!  During the ceremony we all let balloons go.
We went to the zoo as our end of the year field trip.  It was a lot of fun.  We saw lots of animals, played at the playground, rode the train and carousal, and ate snow cones.  Here are some photos of it all:

We had a "fun day" during the last week of school.  We normally have a field day but we no longer have a playground (that's where the new school is being built).  There is a park two blocks over from the school.  We walked over and did some activities for our fun day.  We did a ball tossing contest, sack races, tug-o-war, and a hula hoop competition-just to name a few.  The teachers also joined in on some of the fun. (Sorry there is no picture of my doing the sack races.)
We did a lot of GoNoodle.  My kids love it!  If you have never done GoNoodle in your class... you need to!  Some of my kids favorites are singing Let It Go from Frozen and doing Dinosaur Stomp by Koo Koo Kanga Roo.

During all this time, I had to pack up my entire classroom.  It was a lot of work but thank goodness I have a part-time associate to help me out (probably not next year and I will miss her).  She did most of my packing. 
Then my classroom was basically empty and my summer began.  I almost cried (but I didn't) looking at my room all empty.  I'm going to miss that old, rundown classroom.

Now to the end off this very long post.  My sister has started a blog.  It's not a teaching blog.  She will be blogging about life as a mother and wife. Go check it out: Creative Life In Kansas