Friday, September 27, 2013

Math Stations for Intermediate Grades Anyone?

I am begging for help from my bloggy friends.  I desperately want to start math stations but I am extremely visual and I cannot find any videos of math stations in actions in a 4th or 5th grade classroom.  I have read a few blogs on math stations and there is a ton for the primary grades who have an hour or more for math but we are partially departmentalized so I have 40 / 50 minutes tops per day.  There is a few bog posts for older students such as Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics but I need more.   I wish I knew someone who used math stations that I could go observe.  Seeing math stations in action.  Plus we just got a new math series, Go Math which is not working for me but I have to use it and I added Simple Solutions for math review because my standardized scores dropped last year due to Go Math's lack of enough review.

Here is my break down idea.

M - Math Facts Practice (iPad, computer game, flashcards......) - 10 minutes
A - Math Alone / Partner - Complete Go Math practice on other 2 pages of the lesson - 10 minutes
T - Teacher Time - Work with small group with first 2 pages of Go Math (Into lesson) - 10 minutes
H - Homework check (workbook pages & Simple Solutions lesson) & write down homework in planner - 10 minutes
S - Simple Solutions - Co-teacher goes over any questions from the night before homework and review on Thursday for Friday quiz - 10 minutes

I have 11 kids in fourth grade for math so I am thinking 3 groups of 3 - 4 students.  I do have a co-teacher so I was thinking he could monitor the "Math Alone / Partner" time to check for comprehension or reteach if they need it.  Or add 10 more minutes so he can answer Simple Solutions questions. The only big problem I see is questions from the Simple Solutions.  Many times the Simple Solutions topics do not go along with the textbook topics.  So I have to do a mini lesson to cover that new topic in Simple Solutions that has not been covered yet or they have forgotten from last year. 

My questions to my bloggy friends is will this work?  Do you do stations using your textbook series?  How do you do it all?  Should I use another 10 minutes of my science time (Leaving me 30 minutes for science.) to add another 10 minutes of time for Simple Solutions questions?  Ugh!!!!! Help please I am determined to start this next week. 

Happy Friday,


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sometimes I Wish..... I Had That Magic Wand

I just had to link up to this linky!  "Sometimes I Wish" linky over at E - Z Class. I just checked my Bloglovin feed and there was the ladies over at E-Z Classes' linky.  I was actually going to write a post on my own and poof this linky was perfecto.

 I wish I had that magic wand for those argumentative students. Those students that think they are smarter then the teacher and challenge everything.  Ugh!  It is just exhausting and takes so much teaching time away from the other students.  I have a fourth grader and a fifth grader that is going to kill me this year with all their questioning and challenging of everything. 

Today actually I had the entire class rewrite their lab sheet from yesterday to fix all capitalization, punctuation and the format that I insisted that all the students write their hypothesis in but for some reason they forgot or felt they really did not have to.  I went over that we ALL need to take pride in what we turn in and EVERYONE had to rewrite the lab sheet, even if they felt nothing was wrong.  This particular student raised their hand and said did he have to rewrite since he only had a few mistakes that he could erase?  OMG!  I lost it!  Now remember that I had this student last year and he constantly did the same thing.  I went off asking if he was the king of my class?  I also said that I am the queen of that classroom and no one is to argue with me.  That the only person who can is another adult pointing to my very big male co-teacher (By the way he is awesome but that is for another post.).  Then I repeated that everyone had to rewrite and he better get busy.  I am always amazed that some children think they can question, argue and think the rules do not pertain to them.  I was raised VERY differently and I barely said boo and that was only when I was forced to answer.  Any suggestions I am up for trying anything.  Please!

I have another student who always has to tell his way he did a math problem even if most of the time it is not correct.  Plus if I purposely do not call on him because of the confusion he instills with his classmates then he yells out.  Today I told him that he cannot put his opinion in on every answer that there is others in this class.  Of course I get huffing and puffing.  GRRRRRR! I do have something I might use with the entire class that may work.  Each child gets two Bingo chips.  For every question or comment they have to give me a chip and when they are done they cannot ask question or comment.  Then the only students that can ask a question is the students with chips left.  Hmmmmmmm I may try this next week.  Keep your fingers crossed.   Sorry this was a long ranting post.  If you have any suggestions please pass them on.  This is a short week for me since I had to take off tomorrow to take my daughter to a doctor's appointment. 

Happy Friday Everyone,


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tears, Paint, Questions and Compromise

Well gang I am really slow on this one but I thought I would give the conclusion of my classroom painting drama and a peek into my classroom this year.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that my room pictures are on this computer.  Murphy's Law they probably are not. 

As I wrote in a previous post about my classroom painting drama that you can read HERE I thought I would at last share the conclusion.  After many phone calls, getting my principal involved, hiding cans of paint, bringing the paint back, begging, tears and a compromise my room was finished about a week before school started.  The dark teal was covered with a medium teal / powder blue.  It is not my color preference for a classroom but at least my classroom is one color and I do not feel like I am drowning under a sea of dark teal water.

This is the view from my desk.

This is from the front door.

Sorry for the lack of tons of pictures.  It was such a rush to get my room together this year.  I snapped these on the way out before I had to come back to "Back to School / Meet Your Teacher"  night.  Hence the blurriness I seriously snapped and then ran home. 
Exit Slip Board
I put this board up again this year to have the kids use a sticky note and jot down an answer or question to a prompt.  I use this to do a quick assessment on the topic or concept being taught.  Last year I had a "What Stuck With You?" board but the kids would "forget" to write down their name so I wasn't sure whose was whose.  So this year I used their numbers and then when they are done they put their sticky note in their square.  So far it was been a success!

Hope your school year has been off to a successful start too!