Saturday, June 28, 2014

1,000 TpT Fans Celebration!

1,000 fans on Tpt- absolutely amazing. This calls for a major celebration! 

I've teamed up with the best of the best TpT sellers for what I'm sure will be an amazing giveaway! 10 winners will each win one of the prize packages listed below. Each package contains a $10 shopping spree to 10 different stores- that's 
a $100 shopping spree and a total of $1000 in products in all!

You can enter right from my page. Best of luck! 

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Guided Math Book Study-Chapter 5

" We want to have time to work with our struggling students and to scaffold their learning.  We want to challenge those students who demonstrate their understanding quickly and are ready to move on. We want each and every student to feel challenged, and yet supported, in their mathematical learning."

That just about sums it up, doesn't it? :) 
That's exactly what we strive to do in our classrooms. Small groups can help that dream become a reality. Chapter 5 was filled with a LOT of good information, so I've picked a few pieces of information to highlight with you today.

Just like with whole group, there's pros and cons to small groups as well.  Personally, I think the the advantages far outweigh the negatives!

Advantages of Small Group Instruction:
1. Small groups allows for flexibility
2. Teachers are better able to address specific needs
3. Increased communication between peers
4. Teachers can monitor behavior more successfully
5. Teachers can identify and address misconceptions more quickly
6. Teacher are better able to assess conceptual understanding

Disadvantages of Small Group Instruction:
1. More Intensive planning
2. More Independent student work
3. Increased need for an established routine

What types of activities work well in small groups?
1. Differentiating lessons
2. Teaching the "hot spots" of the grade ( a grade's focus standards)
3. Using manipulatives
4. Using formative assessments to "fill in the gaps" or misconceptions
5. Activities that are engaging, thought-provoking, and encourage work on the Mathematical Practices

There are many different kinds of data that guide me into creating my small groups:
- Teacher observation and notes
- Pretests
- District benchmark tests
- Exit and Entrance Tickets ( Formative Assessments)

I want my small groups to be purposefully organized-to accomplish this, I must use data to form my instructions.  
One of my favorite ways to gather data is by incorporating entrance and exit slips into daily lessons. 

Want to "Try before you buy"? I've got you covered! Download a few to see what you think! 

That's it for chapter 5. I'll see you next week where we'll discuss math workshops!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

6 Months 'Til Christmas Sale! June 24-25

Santa checked his list (and checked it twice!)-- here's a sale for all those who've been nice!

We're teaming up to give you a fantastic giveaway and sale to celebrate the date- 
we're 6 months away from Christmas! 

The Giveaway:

The Sale:
All stores listed below are on sale 
June 24-25. 
Are you a TPT seller? Start a sale, link up, and join the party!

An InLinkz Link-up

Sale and Giveaway hosted by Totally Sweet Math Centers by Tabitha. Connect with me!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Stock Up with Interactive Notebooks

Summer is finally here and I hope you're taking some time to relax and enjoy life a bit! 

If you're like me, you're probably have school on the brain--reflecting on what went well last year as well as looking for new ideas to try.

Today I'd like to introduce you to one product in my math Interactive Notebook Series on TPT- Graphing!

This product focuses  all activities on bar graphs, picture graphs, line plots, and charts. 

Graphs, Graphs, and More Graphs!

The first section was made with Guided Math in mind! Section 1 has 12 foldables- 3 for each type of graph listed above.  

 Complete one foldable for whole group. Make sure students understand where to cut (solid lines) and where to fold (dotted lines).

Next, place another foldable in a math station for students to complete in small groups. The activity is the same, but the graphs and questions are different. 

Use the last foldable as an individual activity. You can use the last one as a formative assessment! 

Repeat the above the other graphs as well!

Generating Questions about Graphs

The second section in this product focuses on generating questions about all four types of graphs.

My friend Jolene over at The Candy Class created a NEW interactive notebook template for me that I'd like to debut today- it's called the double mini-file book!

The double mini-file book gives students twice as much writing space as a typical file book but is created with only two sheets of paper! 

Here, students will select a graph ( a variety of graphs are provided), glue it into the double mini-file book, and generate questions about the graph.

Can you believe this little gem holds SEVEN different graphs and questions?

Create Your Own Data!

No study of graphs would be complete without generating your own data! 

Step 1: Students choose a question they'd like to know more about.

Step 2: Ask the class your question and tally the responses.

Step 3: Turn your tally data into a chart!

Step 4: Turn your chart into other types of graphs!

Step 5: Last but not least, generate questions about your data.

Other Fun Stuff

As with all my INB sets, I try to include a few foldable graphic organizers that are intended to be FUN! This set includes a graphic organizer about other types of graphs people use ( but not studied in this packet) and a vocabulary puzzle!

Interested in owning a copy? Please click the image below!

Thanks for visiting! You can connect with me on Facebook by clicking here.

Please be sure to enter my giveaway- someone will win $10 credit to my TPT store!
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Guided Math Book Study- Chapter 4

Chapter 4 was an easy read and is something that all of us are familiar with- Whole class instruction. What I've come to love about this book is that it isn't focusing JUST on small groups- it's really addressing the whole math class, from top to bottom.

There is a place and time for everything--including whole group instruction-- and this chapter focuses on activities that are most appropriate for whole group.

When should I use whole group?
- presenting mini lessons
-involving students in activating strategies
- reading aloud math-related literature
- setting the state for math workshop
- conducting a Math Huddle ( math debriefing, discussing new ideas or misconceptions)
- providing practice and review
- format testing or assessments

Much of the chapter pages are spent reviewing each of these topics in detail. Whole group instruction doesn't necessarily need to happen daily, but it could in small chunks. Before dismissing children into math workshops (student lead- small group, partner, or individual activities), for example, you'd probably want to do a bit of review with students on big ideas and concepts, rules, activity previews, etc. Other school days may need more time in whole group- like when you're reading a math-related book, playing a whole-class review game,  or conducting an assessment.

There are also a few drawbacks to whole group instruction.
- difficult to differentiate and meet the needs of all learners
- less opportunities for children to discuss mathematica ideas with peers
- difficult to give quality feedback with each individual student

Here are a few samples of some of my favorite activities for whole group instruction:

-Splat games are great for whole group or small group! As a whole group activity, students are divided into teams, each with one fly swatter. The caller calls out one clue. Students with the fly swatter must be the first to swat the matching card!

Want to test SPLAT out for yourself? Grab a sample by clicking here!

Want to see all the variations? 

Another favorite game of mine is one I just recently created- Noggin' Bandz!

Noggin' Bandz is a fun whole-group game where students give their peers clues about a math vocabulary word. A selected student will come to the front of the class and wear the "Noggin' Bandz" headband. Without the child looking, the teacher will place a vocabulary card on the headband.  Other students will give clues using mathematical vocabulary or real world examples!

There are currently 9 different editions of the 
Noggin' Bandz game! 

 I prefer a math week that looks like the following:
You'll notice that I've specifically designated Mondays and Fridays as my whole group instruction days. That isn't to say that I don't spend time whole group on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday-- I do, but it's in the form of a mini lesson, daily number sense routine, setting the stage for successful math stations, or reviewing a bell ringer or exit ticket.

Math tasks are an important part of EVERY math class, and I think setting time aside to do them is important. For Fridays, I like a schedule like this:
I've left the times off, as those times vary depending on the task that day. I do, however, try to stick to the 5 minutes of struggle time, as any more than that could be come overwhelming for young students. While the entire task isn't completed  using whole group instruction, I think it's an important component of the process. Students find it interesting and helpful to hear what their peers have to say about the task at hand! 

That's it for this week! I'll see you next week, where we'll discuss small groups!