Saturday, September 14, 2013

Organization Crisis

We've made it through week 3 here in North Carolina! It's been an interesting few weeks that is for sure!

As all teachers do, I found myself at school this summer setting my room up so that it was just the way I wanted! Well, what I thought was the way I wanted. 

On Thursday, I found myself in the middle of a classroom organization crisis! I couldn't handle anything anymore! I had gotten rid of my teacher desk because it was HUGE and was missing the storage. I have started using Math Workshop to teach math and felt like my room just wasn't set up for it! I was OVER IT!

Here is a glimpse at my classroom at the beginning of the week:

Walking in the door.

My front table - students turn in papers here!

My back corner, 2 bookshelves overflowing with books! The blank board is filled with pushpins for students to hang up their own work.

Let's be real here, this is ridiculous!

 Enter crisis here:

I went to Walmart and The Dollar Tree to stock up on all types of plastic.
It was meant to be! On sale for $6!

I'm not quite through the chaos of reorganizing, but here are some pictures of what is going on right now. 
The new front! Look how much more room we have to line up! I need to redo my bulletin boards, but that will be Monday morning's task. 

Back corner - much better!
And those fabulous purple drawers? One for each table!
Each is labeled with their table numbers - look at the clear table tops!
Here's what they are filled with:
Top Drawer: 

Middle Drawer: 
We do Spiral Review at the beginning of each math class. They get torn to pieces if the children keep them, so here they are safe and sound!
Each class' books get kept together.
Next week, drawer 3 will have rulers, calculators, and anything else I can think of. 

I'll keep you updated on my progress. What tips do you have for me?! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Math Workshop!

I am super excited to use math workshop this year! I've read so many blog posts on it and heard you all talk about it, so now I'm putting it into action. I wanted a little extra guidance as I was thinking about my year, so I bought the book:

This was great! I could finally get a picture of what I was planning on doing. Now, we all know that plans almost never work out exactly as we wanted. So here is my flexible plan of what I am going to do:

My groups will be created based on pretests and Moby Max (which is fantastic). 
1. High
2. Medium
3. Low


1. With me: Working in small group with me either on enrichment, intervention, or grade level.

2. Independent/Partner Work: On the topic of the day - we've purchased some fantastic tasks from TPT!

3. Choice: Okay, here's were it seems a little tricky. Students have 3-5 tasks that they MUST DO by Friday. Once those tasks are complete, they have tasks that they MAY DO.
For example: 
MUST DO: Journal Entry, Moby Math for 20 minutes, Task Cards, Vocabulary work.
MAY DO: Multiplication War, Flashcards, Extra time on Moby (once the whole group has been on), and other math games. 


We are so incredibly lucky this year to have 80 minutes for our math blocks! I don't even know what to do with all of that time! 

10 minutes - check homework (~ 5 problems), mini-lesson
20 minutes - Rotation 1
20 minutes - Rotation 2
20 minutes - Rotation 3
10 minutes - whole group discussion/check over independent work


Last week, for the 1st week of school, we practiced with different games. We went through expectations of playing games and working independently. This week, we will go over each station's expectations and then start rotating hopefully!

What suggestions do you have for me?! I'm DYING to hear how it works in other classrooms, especially the upper grades. Any hints you have are welcomed!!