Monday, September 10, 2012

Magnificent Monday

This week is off to a fabulous start thanks to the Redskins!!!  It is so much easier to come to work after my Skins put up a W!

The students' day began with one more informal reading assessment.  This one is called the MAP-R, Measures in Academic Progress-Reading.  This assessment is taken by students in grades 3-5 three times per year.  The purpose is to monitor that the children are indeed learning from our lessons and to help us plan for our instruction.

Personally, I LOVE this assessment.  It is a computerized test with 42 questions.  Each child sits in front of a computer monitor and reads through an assortment of text...anywhere from fictional passages to recipes to dictionary entries...  The cool thing is that this assessment self adjusts.  As students answer questions correctly, it becomes more challenging.  So, the assessment is individualized to meet each student's ability.  Then we get a print out of the child's strengths and weaknesses to help us plan our instruction.

When we returned to class we read the story Ooka and the Honest Thief and examined how the main character's actions influenced the events in the story.  After that I showed the students the peer conferencing sheet they would be using this afternoon and we identified how to use it to work with partners and improve their writing pieces.

Due to MAP-R there was no time for small group instruction after our whole group reading and writing lessons.

Next up was math!  We began with a warm up and then I gave the class an "exit card".  An exit card is a quick way for me to assess what has been instructed.  It is typically one or two problems.  The students complete this independently and then I sort them, based on the responses, to make small groups.  These are referred to as "exit cards" because many teachers use them as students exit out of the classroom to go from one subject to another. 

After the students completed the exit cards, I called them to the carpet and we used rounding to help us identify the sum of three digit addition problems using a strategy called the compensation strategy.  You can click here to view the lesson.  Following the lesson, students worked on a worksheet solving 3 digit problems.  Now only did they need to identify the correct sum but they also had to show one of the strategies taught in class to solve the problem.  They could either use the base ten block or compensation was their choice! 

While the students worked independently, Mrs Head worked with a small group on rounding numbers to the nearest 100 and I worked with a small group rounding 3 digit numbers to the nearest 10.  For homework the students must finish the worksheet from class and SHOW one strategy they used to solve each problem.

After enjoying lunch and recess I explained the independent work to the class.   First they needed to work with partners in their reading group to reread the story Ooka and the Honest Thief and mark portions of the text where Ooka's actions were fair (F) and unfair (U).  We will share these in whole group tomorrow.  After that the children conferenced with peers to revise their writing pieces.

Meanwhile, I met with reading groups:
Sharks:  We finished reading the book in group.  We talked about what it means to read fluently and discussed the use of punctuation in order to do so.  Tonight they need to reread their book, working on fluency, and use the post it notes I gave them to mare the problem and the solution in the story.

Unfortunately, we had a rocky afternoon and shortly after meeting with my first reading group we had to stop and hold our first class meeting.  :-(

The purpose of class meeting is to build a community within our class.   IT gives students a "say" in the classroom and builds trust and respect.

There are three parts to my class meetings;
1.  Group share
Each person completes a sentence starter or prompt.  For example, today we went around the circle and everyone finished the sentence starter, One thing I like about our classroom is..."
2.  Compliments
We share specific compliments such as, "  Thank you for helping me catch up with my independent work." or "Thanks for playing with me during recess because then I didn't feel lonely."
3.  Issues/Challenges
This section is where we address problems within the classroom.  These can be brought up by me, the teacher, or the students.  Today, I was the one who shared issues!  We discussed the importance of being responsible.  I talked about following directions during independent work time.  I also reminded the students where they should go for help, when I am with a small group, if they are confused or don't know what to do.  Hopefully, this will help during small group/independent work time tomorrow!

ALL reading groups are expected to reread their group book working on fluency.

As always, feel free to contact me with question or concerns.

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