Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guided Math in Action Book Study- Chapter 5

 I am linking up with Sarah and Courtney from in Adventures in Guided Math to discuss chapter 5 of the Guided Math in Action Book Study.

Chapter 5 focuses on assessments. In this chapter Dr. Nicki Newton discusses how to balance assessments in guided math and the reasons why you should use a variety of different assessments. The type of assessments she mentioned were:
Math interviews
Math conferences
Entrance and exit slips
Math running records
Math surveys and questionnaires
Math profiles
Question 1: I give pre-assessments at the beginning of each unit, this helps to determine which groups the students need to be in for that unit. It also helps me understand what parts of the unit the students have mastered and need help on. The ongoing assessments that are used in my classroom are journal reflection entries, tickets out of the door, quizzes, observations, and conferences. One of the major ongoing assessments that I use in my class is student portfolios. The portfolios are composed of beginning, middle, and end of the year assessments that we do county wide throughout the year, with a few weekly assessments. We confer about the assessments, results, and graph the data. The students use the data to make goals throughout the year. The portfolios are also used to conduct student led conferences in the classroom during the second round of parent teacher conferences. As far as summative assessments they are done grade level wide and are the pencil and paper formats. They are generally conducted at the end of each unit. We also give benchmarks throughout the year.
Question 2: I gained a few new ideas from this chapter. I plan to implement math interviews and student profiles in classroom.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Guided Math in Action Book Study- Chapters 3 & 4

I am linking with Sarah and Courtney today from Adventures in Guided Math for the Guided Math in Action Book Study. Today we will be discussing chapters 3 and 4.

Chapter 3 focuses on managing the math workshop. The first thing Dr. Nicki Newton mentioned in the chapter is to start with clear rules and expectations. She also suggest that you start immediately. Every year I start introducing my workshops the first week of school. Usually I introduce them using a mentor text and having a discussion about what the workshop should look like. 

Question 1: My teacher toolkit in the past was housed in a bath caddy from WalmartSterilite Ultra Caddy, Large because it was portable and convenient. I kept my whiteboards, markers, and materials in it. Last year I started organizing my small groups materials in this book and binder holder system from Really Good Stuff .Store More® Durable Book And Binder Holders With Stabilizer Wing Storage Rack – Primary I really like organizing my small group materials in this system because it allows me to differentiate for each group. In addition to using this book and binder holder system I plan to have a small drawer system to house all the manipulatives and games that I will be using with the small groups so that everything is together in one central location next to my small group area. 
Question 2: My students toolkits were a math journal, dry erase marker, and eraser. After attending math institute this year for my county I will be developing math folders that will become part of the students toolkits. 
Question 3: Routines and expectations are established in my classroom from day one . They are established through modeling, practice, mentor texts, and anchor charts. I launch math workshop similarly to the Daily 5 reading model. I only focus on one aspect of the workshop a day. I use the acronym M.A.T.H for my workshop, which I found on Pinterest. M-math facts, A-at your seat, T-time with teacher, and H-hands on. 

Chapter 4 focuses on forming guided math groups. This chapter discusses using data to help you form groups. Dr. Nicki Newton suggests that flexible grouping is utilized to help with fluid movement and that you uses a record keeping system. I really like she mentioned that the students were group using the four main levels:
1. Novice - I don't understand the concept.
2. Apprentice - I understand the concept but need some help.
3. Practitioner - I am working on grade level and could work on the concept independently.
4. Expert- I am working above grade level and could be challenged.
This is how I group my students. This year I would like to make an anchor chart like this one that I found on Pinterest.Assess Yourself! chart  I'm making this tomorrow! :)

Question 1: I meet with small groups everyday. Usually I only meet with one group a day. 
Question 2: The groups are very fluid. I use the flexible grouping style that Dr. Nicki Newton mentioned in the book. A pre-test is given to my students at the beginning of each unit. I use the data to put the students into groups. The groups usually stay the same throughout that unit and change every new unit. I also use the data to see what strands each student needs to focus on and sometimes pull remediation groups based on the strands. For example, I noticed that 5 students did not understand expanded form from the place value unit. Then I would pull the 5 students even if they were in different groups for the unit to work on that strand.
Question 3: Last year I started using this record keeping template from Terri Thornton from The Creative Apple. If you click on the image you can grab your own copy.
I like this template because I allows me to keep track of what each student needs to work on individually as well as in small groups. I tried the sticky note method of record keeping but had a hard time keeping up with all the sticky notes. I keep this on a clipboard and it is much easier for me to manage. I use the same template for a whole unit as opposed to weekly, that way I can track the notes for an entire unit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Guided Math in Action Book Study- Chapters 1 & 2

I am linking up with Sarah and Courtney today from Adventures in Guided Math to discuss chapters 1 and 2 of the book Guided Math in Action by Dr. Nicki Newton. This book is a great read, if you can I would encourage you to read it. It is already opened my eyes to new ideas regarding guided math.

My thoughts on stretching your own pedagogy fall in line with Dr. Nicki Newton's from the book.In the book she says that " This really means that teachers reflect on their usual practice, take notes about what is working and what is not working, and then stretch out of their own zones of comfort in order to devise new and engaging ways to help everyone learn." I am a firm believer in reteaching and finding different ways to teach until the students get it. There is a nothing more rewarding for me than to see when students reach that aha moment.

Perseverance in my classroom is promoted through number talks, encouragement, and positive reinforcement. Last year was the first year that I implemented number talks on a daily basis. Through the number talks the students were able to persevere through using different strategies and being able to explain how they solved the problem using that strategy. It also promoted positive communication among the students by the end of the year they were able to correct and defend each other.

Chapter 2 begins with a scenario of a little girl giving an answer to a math question but is unable to prove why her answer was right. At the beginning of the year last year I noticed that my students could not prove  their answers either. Explaining your thinking is hard! Sometimes I struggle justifying my thinking as an adult. One way we overcame this in the classroom was by using math thinking stems as mentioned in the text. 

I create a numerate environment in my classroom through the use of:
*anchor charts
*math vocabulary
*math journals/interactive notebooks
*number talks
*math mentor texts
*number of the day

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Guided Math In Action Book Study Kick Off!

Good Afternoon!
I am so excited! Today is the kick-off of the Guided Math in Action Book study with Sarah and Courtney from Adventures in Guided Math.  I am joining this book study and can't wait to use this gained knowledge in the classroom. I have been utilizing the guided math model my whole teaching career so far but am always looking for new ideas and strategies. If you would like to read along you can get a copy of the book from Amazon or the kindle copy. Please feel free to comment and leave your thoughts as you follow along. I would love to hear your feedback!

You can find the schedule below. Come back Wednesday July 16th to check out the posts on chapters 1 and 2. 
Please be sure to stop by the pages of the other bloggers in the book study.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday

Book Talk Tuesday I am linking up with Mrs. Jump's Class for:

Before school ended this year we read Armadillo Rodeo for the first time By: Jan Brett.  The students loved it! It is a cute read and would be good for questioning strategies. We used it in our countdown to third grade unit for rodeo day.

Techy Tuesday: Tagxedo

I'm linking up with  Taking on Second Grade to bring you Techy Tuesday: Tagxedo

Tagxedo is a word cloud website that we used in my classroom this year. After studying a unit the students could use Tagxedo to summarize a topic. If you have used a word cloud program in your room before it is probably similar to that. If not, they are pretty easy for the students to use. They go into the program and click start now. Then, after the the template comes up, the students click the load button and enter text. I had my students put their name at least five times so that it could be bigger and easier to find in the word cloud. After, they type the subject or topic's name at least three times. Finally, they add their summarized words. I had a ten word minimum for my students. Once I checked their work they were able to click submit and change their fonts, color schemes, and shapes. We used them for all subject areas, below are some of the examples made:

The pictures above were used to summarize characteristics of Fairy Tales. We also used them to summarize space and the people that we studied such as Jimmy Carter and Jackie Robinson. The students also had to pick a shape that went along with the topic or theme. Do you use Tagxedo in your classroom? Please comment below, I would love to hear how you use it in your room.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Guided Math Book Study Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction
Chapter one was an overview of what is to come in the book. It went through the components of the model and how they will be explained. I reflected on how my workshop model is in comparison to the components explained in the book. The book states that the model consists of the following seven components:
1. A Classroom Environment of Numeracy
2. Morning Math Warm-ups and Calender Board Activities
3. Whole-Class Instruction
4. Guided Math Instruction with Small Groups of Students
5. Math Workshop
6. Individual Conferences
7. An Ongoing System of Assessment

I do all these components to some extent except for focusing on individual conferences. I never thought to confer one on one with the students like in Reader's or Writer's Workshop. How often do you confer with your students in mathematics and document it? I usually confer with the students during small groups for math but after reading the introduction, I am considering conferring with them daily like in the Reader's and Writer's Workshop Models. Another Aha moment for me was when the the author's sample schedule included whole group only on Monday and Friday's. I do not do whole group that way. I have whole group everyday with a mini-lesson and then go into the workshop rotations daily. How often do you do whole group lessons?

 At the end of the chapter there is a Review and Reflect Section. Question one asks what aspects of your current mathematics workshop are you successful? Question two asks what aspects of your current mathematics workshop are you having trouble with and why? Question three asks does your math instruction lead your students to a deep conceptual understanding of the math standards that they are learning? If so, what are you doing that contributes to that? If not, how do you think you would like to change your teaching? Please feel free to comment on these below.

 My review and reflect: 1. I am successful at utilizing all the components listed in this book except individual conferences. I think implementing Number Talks into my math block this year has helped the with the environment of numeracy. 2. I am struggling with the individual conferences component and differentiating the math workshop component. 3. I do feel that Number Talks has increased the students understanding of what they are learning and why. It has helped them to become better mathematical thinkers, introduce them to mathematical thinking stems, and allowed them to use the stems to explain their mathematical thinking.

This is a great read and I recommend it to anyone in the educational field.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

My Summer 10

I am linking up with Mrs. Jump's Class to bring you:
1. Spend time with my family and friends. 
2. Organize- I need to organize my house and school materials.
3. Get my blog really going. I started this blog last summer but have yet to add many posts.
4. Catch up on TV! I love Mistresses, Devious Maids, and I need to catch up on Agents of Shield.
5. Read professional  and recreational books. I am going to read some books on guided math and reading to find more strategies to add to my current workshops.
6. Get to the Beach!!!!! One of my favorite things to do in the summer besides shopping.
7. Move my classroom. I am transferring to a new school next year, which is 5 mins from my house. This is exciting because I have two boys and I feel that I was missing quality time with them because of my 40 min commute everyday.
8. Exercise! I need to get in-shape and tone up.
9. Make Pins!!!! I love Pinterest and I am addicted!
10. Learn how to Jamberry my nails. I have been introduced to Jamberry Nails recently. Now I want to explore and play with them!
(picture taken from Google)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guided Math Book Study

I am currently doing a book study on Guided Math. The book that I am reading is Guided Math A Framework for Mathematics Instruction by Laney Sammons.
 Guided Math A Framework for Mathematics Instruction
I have a whole basis of what guided math is and have been utilizing it in the classroom for a few years now, but I feel that I need it to flow a little better. I will start chapter one tonight and post back soon!