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.