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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tried It Tuesday {Math Workshop Board} and Teachers Help Teachers!!

Happy Tuesday! Before I get to Tried It Tuesday, I would like to tell you about my BBB, Nick, from Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason. Nick and his wife have begun one of the best, most exciting journeys of their lives...a journey to adopt a child. It is their dream to be parents and they have put so much heart into making this dream a reality. Unfortunately, the cost associated with adoption is so high that a teacher's salary alone is not enough. That's where teacher bloggy friends come in! Many bloggers have put together a fall bundle of products geared for grades 3-5 where the profits will help Nick and his wife make their dream of becoming parents a reality! Check out this fall bundle here!
Many of these items were created new for this bundle and are not yet available in teacher's stores! Check them out...

So, that comes to about $1.30 per product in this bundle! What a steal!! AND you will be supporting a fellow teacher and his dream of becoming a dad! Win, Win!!

Now It's Time for Tried It Tuesday! 
What have you tried at school or home?
If you've never linked up with Tried It Tuesday, just link up any idea school or home related and what worked or didn't work. Simple! 
My Tried It:
Math Workshop Board
Knowing that I was making the switch to teaching 4th grade math departmentalized this year (three 80 minute blocks), I spent a good amount of time this summer reading about math workshop. I loved using Daily 5 for ELA in my classroom and knew that I wanted to use something similar for math.

I found some wonderful, inspiring posts by my amazing bloggy friends Tara at 4th Grade Frolics and Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B. Elizabeth actually has a whole series of posts about math workshop in her room. It was overwhelming at first because their workshops seem to run so smoothly and I wasn't sure how it would work for me. I started about a month ago and could not be more thrilled!! I am loving it and so are the students! Two students just told me yesterday that math is their favorite subject and it used to be their least favorite!

One thing I thought might be overwhelming was changing the math workshop rotation board everyday with three different blocks of 80 minute math classes.
Here is my workshop rotation board:
Aren't they cute? This set is from 4th Grade Frolics TpT store and she has different colored sets available too. The groups are written for three different sections. I laminated all the pieces and write on them with dry erase markers so I can change groups if needed. I put the rotation cards on the board with push pins so that I could move them easily. However, I have found that I can just leave them as is and tell the students that today we are doing centers 1 & 2 (or whatever) and the next day do centers 3 & 4!  

I only have time for two centers a day. We start class with math meeting and then do a mini lesson usually or review something whole class. I will write more about that later. The students are great at the routine now and get to their centers quickly. Below the "Hands On", "Math Facts", and "At Your Seat", I just laminated white pieces of paper and write in dry erase marker what they will be working on. I blogged last time about how I am using Adapted Mind this year sometimes for "At Your Seat". I just added a calendar to the open space at the top. As much as I would like to keep all three math classes on the same centers each day, it's just not happening with assemblies or things in one class taking more time. So, I am writing on the calendar each day what centers each block completed (so I don't have to ask the class each day...I can never remember day to day!).
Time for you to link up! Have a great Halloween this week! Aren't you happy it is on a Friday? We carved these pumpkins last night (using the pre made designs) but I was pretty proud. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tried It Tuesday {Adapted Mind}

Happy Tuesday! I am leaving this Tried It Tuesday link up open for two weeks.
Hope you have a great week!
It's Time for Tried It Tuesday! 
What have you tried at school or home?
If you've never linked up with Tried It Tuesday, just link up any idea school or home related and what worked or didn't work. Simple! 
My Tried It:
Adapted Mind
My district purchased a subscription to Adapted Mind this year.
There is a free 30 day trial subscription to check out and test the website.

Here is a YouTube introduction clip:

My students started out by taking a pretest. Then, Adapted Mind automatically differentiates each student's lessons and practice based on their individual abilities. I have been using Adapted Mind the past two weeks during Math Workshop for "at your seat" work. The students love it because they are on the iPads or laptops for "at your seat!".
Each day I get emails for the student progress. I don't always open them, but it is a good feature. 
It is addressed to the parent so I think my email is set up as the parent on all students but that could be changed.
A sample email:
 When you click to see problems missed, a screen like this shows:
There are also free worksheets and problems offered on the site. Just scroll down on the home page.
 If I don't want my students to work on "smart practice" they can work on any 4th grade skills that I choose to have them work on. This is just one screen shot of some 4th grade skills.
One of the students favorite parts of the website is that they earn "badges" as they progress through their work. Students are always commenting on what badges they have earned.
Check out the website if you have a spare moment. Even if you don't get a membership, you might find something useful to use in the free section!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tried It Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! I am leaving the link-up open from last week if you would like to link-up any idea your have tried. I am loving trying math workshop and math meeting in my classroom and will be sharing more about that soon. I have a new website that I have tried that I will share with you next week. I just ran out of time to write up a post since we have had sickness running rampant in my house this past weekend and yesterday. Hope you have a great week!
It's Time for Tried It Tuesday! 
What have you tried at school or home?
If you've never linked up with Tried It Tuesday, just link up any idea school or home related and what worked or didn't work. Simple! 
My Tried It:
Organizing Nooks 
 Last year my system for organizing my book nooks was too much work on my part. I kept track of who had each nook each week and changed out my board. 
Last year:
This year, I decided to try a much simpler system and it is working beautifully so far!
I have four book nooks (blue butterfly chair, purple fuzzy floor pillow, and two blue husbands. Here are a couple pictures from my classroom last year (I forgot to take a picture yesterday).

I teach three blocks of math this year and instead of using the book nooks for reading, we now use this area for our math meeting everyday and students can sit here during math workshop rotations.
I use the same numbers for all three classes and just mark an A, B, or C on their book bins for math depending on what block they are in.
Here is a picture of my math bins for all three classes.
On Monday of each week, I draw four numbers and those students get to choose a nook to use for the week. There is a student in each class with that number, so the same numbers apply for all three classes. If there isn't a student with that number, then that class just has three students with nooks for the week. This week there is no #18 in block 2 since there are only 17 students in that section. I write the numbers on the board on Monday so everyone can see what numbers I drew in block one.
 I made these dual colored sticks three years ago and use them all the time. There are only two sticks left with the green side up. That means only two students have not had a nook yet this year and their sticks will be drawn next week. Then, all the sticks will go back to the green end.
How do I keep track of which nooks students have chosen? The blue chair is the most popular and it wouldn't be fair for students to get that nook two times in a row. I'm not keeping track this year! I have students record the date and nook or choice on the back inside cover of their math journals. When their name is drawn next time, they will have to choose a different nook until they have used all four! I am really loving this different system. Less busy work for me. :)