Friday, July 18, 2014

Let the sleepless nights begin!

Hello blogger buddies! So before I get to school talk, let me just tell you about this little place called Lancaster, Pennsylvania and my love for this place. This is my second trip here and I have officially decided that it will now be an annual trip for sure! I have been enjoying a little get away with my honey visiting with family for the last 9 days! We only have 2 days left and I can't won't even think about it. I absolutely love it here an never want to leave....NEVER! We went to an Amish farm for dinner last night and I had a chance to get a few shots of the farm before it was time to chow down.
 To say this state is gorgeous would be a gross understatement. 

Check out a few of my favorite pics...

Photo: #amish #beautiful  Photo: Sunset pic! #nofilter #amish  Photo: Corn for days! Photo: #sheep #amish #sunset  Photo: Welcome to Lancaster County! This is the norm around here and I love it! #amish #simplelife #socool  Photo: Charlie and I had a caricature made today at Saturday Market! Love it!  #lovebirds
   Photo: This is my "I'm excited to eat Amish cookin' for dinner tonight" face! #nomakeup #Amish #dinner 
This would be my "I'm excited to eat Amish cookin' for dinner tonight because it's the bombdigity" face! 

Ok.  So. Now on to school stuff and the title of my post.

Here it is almost 4 a.m and I am up thinking about the upcoming school year. What? It's already time for school...AGAIN? Grad school has kept me busy this summer and it has obviously flown by! I "officially" report back to school July 30th....yep that's right....JULY. 

Anywho. Since I can't sleep...why not be productive...right? I created these center checklists that I wanted to share with you all in case you could use them. I follow my own version of the Daily 5 for reading and am planning to follow the Daily 3 in Math. 

Here's a run down of what my reading and math block looks like...

I will have 120 minutes to complete my reading/ELA block. 

* Work on Writing: 25 minutes*
I will begin with a short mini lesson on the writing process and then assign an activity for my students to complete for their checklist. Towards the end of the year I will just quickly review as needed. One once the little nuggets start getting comfortable with their writing, I will give them the chance to choose the topic they will write about.
*Whole Group Instruction: 25 minutes*
During this time I will use my smart board and interactive lesson flip charts to teach the spelling, reading, and comprehension skill of the week.
*Read w/Teacher, Word Work, Read to Self, Read w/Someone: 60 minutes*
This is my absolute favorite part of the reading block! I will complete my small group guided reading rotations while the students complete the other items on their checklist. I have 5 word work groups that usually has 3-4 students in each group. This group stays the same during our math block to avoid confusion. Each day they will be required to complete one assigned word work activity with their group. In addition to word work, they must also just a buddy to complete read to self time and read with someone time. I will also have an early finishers board where they can work on spelling activities, etc.

This is what works for me and is probably pretty standard for each teacher. I chose to only do one word work activity a day to ensure my students have enough time to complete their work at their best abilities. I also change my word work activities each week to reinforce the skills we are learning. 

My math block will be very similar, except only 90 minutes.
Here's what my math block will look like:

Calendar-Number of the day/Problem of the Day: 20 minutes
I use Cara Caroll's Calendar Companion pack for my calendar time. Let me just say that in the two years I have been using this resource, I have seen my students math skills SOAR! This helps me to touch on all the important math topics EVERY DAY and by the end of the year my kiddos are pros and don't even need me anymore! During this time I do many mini lessons on time, money, skip counting, etc. that I feel are important and that our math curriculum doesn't cover. 
For my problem of the day time I use Anna Brantley's Math Journal Prompts. My kiddos spit their page in four sections. In the first section- they write the important info, second section-they draw a picture to represent the problem, third section-they write a number sentence(s) to represent the problem, and in the fourth section- they answer the word problem with a complete sentence. 

Math w/Teacher, Math w/Someone, Math w/Self: 60 minutes
As I mentioned earlier this time is ran very similar to my reading block. I will complete my small group guided math rotations while the students complete the other items on their checklist. Each day they will be required to complete one assigned  math center activity with their group. They will then have the choice to complete a math journal activity, AMSTI game, facts practice, etc.

I created this little check list to help me my students keep track of their work. I also created a rubric to use when giving a daily grade for their activities. Make one copy per student, cut in half, and your done! Once the school year starts, I will include some pics of these little babies in use!

Thanks for reading!

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