Friday, August 29, 2014

TGIF...We are MERRILY rolling along!

It's been a great week!  I KNOW this is going to be an awesome year and I am SO excited for our journey to continue!!

We began our day by sharing the rest of the "All About Me" bags.  Afterwards, we launched into our first official day of math rotations and small group instruction.

Based on last year's teacher input and the results of the pre-assessment from earlier this week, I have created 3 math groups.  Please note, these groups are FLEXIBLE!  They will change as needed with no warning.  As I see individual needs change, I will regroup according to commonalities.

During the teacher lesson the students worked on identifying odd and even numbers and patterns in an addition table.  (An aside, I will describe the primary focus of the teacher lesson each day but understand that the actual lesson in each group will vary based on the needs of the group.  The lesson will never be the same for all three groups but the measurement topic and objective will.)

Guided practice had the students cut apart digit tiles that we will use for many activities during the year.  These need to stay in their pencil pouch and brought to school daily.  Then the students created 2 and 3 digit numbers, using these tiles, wrote the numbers in their math journals and identified if each number was odd or even.

Finally, during the technology rotation the students logged in to Sumdog and selected their topic as numbers and the skill as odd/even.  Then they chose from the many games that popped up to practice this skill.

It was a very productive math block!

After enjoying lunch and recess we continued with adopting the Daily 5 procedures during our literacy block.  Today we began by adding a new comprehension strategy, "back up and reread".  I modeled how to use this when your understanding of the text breaks down as I read the story, How I Became a Pirate, by David Shannon.  Next we reviewed the 3 ways to read a book and the behavior expectations during "Read to Self".  The we practiced "read to self" and worked towards our stamina goal of 20 minutes.  Unfortunately, being Friday afternoon , of the first week of school, we fell short.  :-(

After two attempts at "read to Self" we moved on to "Work on Writing".  First we identified the reason for doing so, to become better writers.  Then we created a chart stated the expected behaviors during this time...start right away, work the whole time, stay in one spot, etc.  Finally, I explained and modeled a writing strategy; underline words you're not sure how to spell.  While introducing this I also modeled how to brainstorm a list of times you helped someone...two birds, one stone!  LOL!

Next, we took a much needed Go Noodle brain break.

Then we revisited the My Job, Your Job, Our Job chart we began a few days ago.  Before resuming our group work the students learned how to access both the Internet and their Google Drive.  They also learned how to navigate their Google drive to find documents they created or were shared with the.

After working in their groups we shared ideas and created a class My Job, Your Job, Our Job chart.  Then I shared our class chart with the students through Google Drive.  They were awestruck when they all received copies of the exact same document.

We ended the day with our first formal class meeting...well, kind of...I shared the structure, reasons behind it and ground rules but we ran out of time to have an actual meeting.  We will have class meetings each Friday afternoon.  They will begin with a group share.  Each child will have a chance to share their thoughts related to an idea I provide, such as, what do you like best about school?  After the group share we will exchange thank yous and compliments.  Finally, we will share challenges within our class community and brainstorm ways to improve these issues.  We will finish our class meeting on Tuesday!  I truly value these meetings as they help build trust and respect within our class community...making us a team!  :-)

We are in need of recess game donations.  If anyone would like to help us out, I would love games such as Apples to Apples Jr., Boggle, Scrabble and Headbandz.

One last item--THANK YOU for the feedback you have shared in the BTSN survey.  BTSN is Wednesday, September 10 from 6:30-8:30 pm.  There will be two sessions.  PLEASE keep in mind this is a time to hear about third grade, class routines, homework, etc.  This is not the time to discuss individual students.  We will have parent conferences in 8 weeks.  :-)

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