Last Friday, was working on updating some of my math tubs, and my mind began thinking of all sorts of different things. I started jotting things down I didn't want to forget.
Laminating for days.
Apparently, the lamination brings about the various thoughts floating around in my head.
The first of which is my classroom arrangement - which I have a love/hate relationship with. I love the desk arrangement, but really dislike almost everything along the perimeter.This is my fourth year teaching, and my fourth year in a new classroom. (Yes, I'm exhausted). That being said though, I've come to realize that it takes me about half of the year to get that "lived in" feeling. I'm at that point now, and my mind is already thinking of what I want to do differently next year (fingers crossed that I won't be changing rooms/schools!). Certainly not to scale, and not very good, but here's a sketch of what I'm thinking for next year.
Still a work in process. But it's one option.
I have many parents who are spend time helping out in our classroom. Usually it consists of making copies for the week, laminating, cutting, changing out hallway decor, etc... However, many of my parents are unable to actually come in to our classroom, but are more than willing to volunteer their time. Which, brought me to the idea of a "Take-Home" volunteer system. Something that parents could sign-up for, and in which I might send some of the laminating home in a folder or ziploc bag, and that parents would then send back by a prearranged date. The details are a little rough, but I'm hoping to have them figured out, so that at next year's sneak-a-peek, parents would be able to actually sign up.
I'm not going to lie, I really enjoy quality professional development. My first three years teaching were spent at Title I schools, where professional development was almost to the point of ridiculous because for some reason, the districts were under the impression that because our students were, in most cases, very low, the teachers must have been "low" too. Clearly not the case. Many of the teachers I worked with were outstanding, and were not in need to every last planning time and spare second we had filled with meetings and new ideas about student achievement. Ok, so that might have been a little soap boxy.
Anyway, this year, I'm not at a Title I school, and professional development is almost non-existent. I still work with some outstanding teachers, but I wish there was slightly more effort put into being constant, and reflective learners of our profession. It's just such a difference from what I was used to. My school doesn't have access to academic coaches (reserved only for Title I schools), or really any kind of professional development. My conclusion? In many instances, it's coming down to money. But at truly what cost? Isn't there some kind of a happy medium?
Last but not least, I introduced fractions to my kiddos on Monday (Oh my - was that just yesterday?). We talked about what they already knew, watched a BrainPOP, Jr. video, and learned that fractions are pieces of a whole, but must be equal pieces.
The kiddos practiced by deciding if circles and rectangles had been partitioned equally or not. I LOVE our interactive notebooks. Seriously, ah-mazing! These pages are part of my Fraction Mini-Unit.
My sample pages.
Kiddos hard at work sorting, and color-coding (which was their idea).
Since you've made it through to the end of this post you deserve a reward! You can grab these two pages for FREE! I just set up my fan freebies on Facebook (which took like hours - don't even get me started). I should have just uploaded them here using Google Docs like I normally do. Oh well, I definitely learned something new! ENJOY! Don't forget, if you like these FREE pages, you might want to check out the rest of the mini-unit here or by clicking the picture below!