Saturday, September 6, 2014

First 2 days!

Well, the year has officially begun since my students started this past Thursday.  I will say that my group is a really good one, full of really sweet kids!  I am super relieved because the group I had last year was a really, really tough mix which made for a VERY long year.  I can already tell, even after only 2 days, that this is going to be a good year!  I'm also excited that my co-teacher is wonderful!  This is her first year teaching but she really knows her stuff and isn't afraid to jump in and do what is needed.  That is a big relief, especially when teaching in an inclusion setting.  Both teachers need to be strong in order for it to truly be beneficial for the students.  

I thought I'd share a few pictures from our second day of school.  I didn't have a chance to take any pictures from the first day since it was a busy one!  You always forget just how busy that first day is and just how little you feel like you accomplish...or am I the only one who feels that way?! 

One procedure I feel is a must at the beginning of the year is teaching the students how to handle the math manipulatives.  We use these A LOT for learning and often the students feel like they are math toys instead of learning tools.  We spoke about the correct way to use them and then let the students explore the different things they could do with them... 

This group enjoyed making shapes with the base ten blocks! 

This group loved just connecting the cubes together and then taking them apart!

And this group was so excited to showcase all the pictures they were able to make using pattern blocks.

I forgot to take a picture of it, but after we finished exploring the math manipulatives, we made an anchor chart about Mathematical Practice #5 about using appropriate tools strategically.  We had the students think about what they could use the math manipulatives for and they wrote their idea on a post it note and then placed it on our anchor chart. Doing quick post it note activities (you can call them stop-n-jot) are a good assessment for multiple reasons.  One thing I could see was how the students were able to write independently, and how their spelling was.  Another was just to see if they even understood what they had to do once they got back to their seats.  We have a wide range of learners in this class so this stop-n-jot was a great informal assessment.  Most of them said to help them count, make patterns or learn more about math.  Those are all great answers!

Well, I'll share some other activities that we did tomorrow.

Until next time!

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