Friday, July 25, 2014

Setting up for Success~Math Stations

Hi, Friends! How are ya!

Have your summer days been flying by at the speed of light, like mine?! I mean…really….next Friday’s post will be written on the first Friday in August! YIKES!!!! It’s time to get busy! Sooooo, in the spirit of all things prep and get ready, I’m linking up with my pal Kacey from Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday. No better way to get back in the swing of things!


With preparing for the new year in mind, I thought I’d share with you the tentative plan for implementing guided math. Did I just say that? Small groups…IN MATH?! Big changes are coming, but the more I think about it, the more excited I’m getting! I think its gonna benefit my firsties and help us both to grow as better mathematicians as we fully walk through new changes to our state standards.

Remember those freebies I posted not too long ago?

Well, this is how they’ll be put into play in a few short weeks….3 to be exact. I have to be back at work in 3 weeks!!! Did I say that already?


Math journals and interactive notebooks will be housed in the top two bins. On each label are reminders of behavior expectations that we’ll implement together. Math journals will be used daily as an independent learning choice for math writing. Interactive notebooks will be used in small group and to complete whole group review, as needed. 

You can read a quick blurb by clicking HERE that gives a little further explanation. You can also grab the labels if you like ‘em in that post too! I printed the math journal and interactive notebook labels at 80% in order for them to fit the size of my bins. The remaining slides were printed at 100%.

Bins 1-4 will house independent “Math with Someone” {work station} activities. Two will be review. Two will be games or station activities on our current unit of study. Students will check into Math Daily 3 in the same way that we check in for Literacy Daily 5. 

We’ll talk about that a little more in a sec….


Inside each bin, students will have everything they need to complete the activity. The metal bins will hold small game pieces, crayons or pencils….whatever the activity requires to be completed. Under each bin, will be an ‘I Can….’ statement that outlines the standard students are practicing (in kid friendly terms), then….the activity itself. The number on each bin will designate the area of the room, students will take the bin to work…

Here’s  a closer look….


How will we manage all of this…..? Each day, just as we do in Daily 5 for literacy….students will use the interactive whiteboard to choose where they will work for each of 3 rounds. We will begin our math workshop by completing a mini-lesson, check in for small group….and repeat twice.

Mini-Lesson 1: Introduce, model and think aloud for the concept of the day. I do…students observe and follow along.
Mini-Lesson 2:  A short continuation of the 1st lesson, with students participating.
Mini-Lesson 3:  Students will practice the concept on their own or with a partner.

Following this pattern daily will allow for a gradual release of responsibility and will make sure our lesson length coincides with current brain research. In the Second Edition of The Daily 5, the two sisters indicate current research  suggests…..The average number of years our children are in age parallels the average number of minutes they are capable  of maintaining their attention on direct instruction.


So my friends, we’ve got to make every minute count and fast!


Up next on the list….can you guess what I’m wrapping up? Stay tuned….if you’re not following on FB yet, you may want to! There will be some give-away fun going on as soon as I put a bow on this baby! Then, on to morning work for September….after all, in just 3 short weeks, it’ll be time to put it all in place for a brand new batch of firsties! It’s gonna be a great year!

Like the Math Daily 3 Check-In? Click the pic to grab it! It is saved as an image because I don’t have access to Mimio software at home. To put it to use in the classroom, copy and paste the picture to your interactive whiteboard software program, add text boxes for student numbers (over the gray squares) and save for use. Students will choose the area of math they will work in for each round by moving their number to a box under the designated area. If they are moving to small group, their number will be moved to the "teacher table". There are 4 rounds saved in this file because one of my co-workers is planning for 4 rounds and requested an additional slide. My firsties and I will only be doing 3 each day. The last slide is blank without graphics for you to edit to your taste of graphics and fonts. I will also be adding an interactive timer to the bottom right corner, once I have access to my school laptop.

Enjoy these last few weeks of freedom!
Freebie Fridays

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Math Daily 3 {FREEbie}

Hi, Friends! How are ya? It’s been a long, fun vacay day…….BUT, I wanted to be sure to keep my promise to share the labels I’ll be using this year to organize math stations. I’ve been working to wrap my mind around changing the way I teach math and I think I’ve finally got it! Thinking of following a format of guided groups for math is a big change for me, but one I think will benefit my firsties well. The magic happens outside of your comfort zone, right? Well, stay tuned folks because this year…… friends and I are headed waaaaaay out of my comfort zone! And it’s gonna be UH-mazing!


Click here to read a great post from my friend Katie about how she uses daily math journals in her classroom. She was the one that helped it all to finally “click” for me!


If the explanations for the labels are a little fuzzy…no worries! I’ll be posting lots of pics of them again “in action” ASAP.


If you’re anything like me, you’ve already been printing, laminating and planning away for the new school year. Thanks to my friends that stopped by and grabbed the labels for literacy stations. Click HERE to grab the labels for math.  They were each created to coordinate with the Classroom Couture {Black and White Décor} that I’ll also be using this year.


Click the pic to take a closer look OR you can visit my TPT shop to find this little packet of goodies already listed. Enjoy these last few weeks! Day 1 will be here before you know it! 

Laters, gators!
Freebie Fridays

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Setting up for Success…{FREEBIE}

...starts with getting our classroom ready for learning! After coming out of a Netflix coma….and noticing the calendar has flipped to July, I’m feeling motivated to prep for the year ahead. For me, that always starts with planning for how we’ll use the classroom. Today……a little of it blew up in my living room!

I’ve done some sort of take on a rainbow FOR.EV.ER….this year, I decided to shake it up a bit! Simple. Back to basic. Black and white with POPS of bright colors…..Here’s a little sneak peek of what it will look like!


I love splashing labels everywhere to help create a print rich environment. These will also help to guide my planning for stations too!


Students will have two choices of areas to sit to complete word work. Each of the two metal bins will house crayons, a glue stick, pencils and highlighters to use in their poetry journals. The pink bin will hold the poem of the week. Student numbers are added to the top right corner of poems. This ensures each student only takes ONE and also lets me know who is skipping adding new poems to their journal!

A tissue box will also be added to the top of each shelf in our classroom. No need to walk around the room. A tissue is always close at hand to cover sneezes and all things oozing! LOL!


Our station shelves and bins are all from Target. I found these bins today! I absolutely LOVE them for stations! They are just the right size to house papers laying flat, have sturdy handles for little hands to carry and fit PERFECTLY onto the wire baking racks that I use for shelving. Everything that students need to complete a work station activity will be housed in the bin. Bin #2 will house poetry journals for the entire year.


This is our Borrow Box. It holds all the “little things” that little fingers may misplace, lose or drop on the floor around the room. When they’re found, they’re placed in the Borrow Box. Extras hang out there too, just in case there is a need for an extra glue stick, pencil….etc….. There are books hiding in the top drawer right now. They’ll find a new home once the time comes to unpack and actually put the room together.

Wanna see a little more?


Work on Writing….notice a trend yet? Everything AWESOME comes from Target! I think my car may actually be auto-programmed to go there when I’m looking for goodies for the classroom, the house, clothes….let’s just say, I spend way too much time there {and I like it}! Ha!


My stacking drawer organizer is safely packed up in my classroom waiting to be let out of its little box. There are two bins labeled identically because one stays at the writing station table while the other one goes to another table for students to work on writing. The label attached to the left and right side will indicate to students where to place the caddy back on the table. The little note on the floor in front of each caddy will be taped down to the writing station table.

Initially, I was a little worried about using black….I thought it might be too dark, BUT I am loving the way things are shaping up!

If you’re following on FB, I promised a little FREEBIE earlier today. Like the labels? You can grab them by clicking HERE and put them to use setting your kids up for success! These pieces will coordinate with the larger classroom décor set that I’m working on getting wrapped up. Let me know…what do ya think of it so far? I know that you may not use things in the exact same way that I do, so you can click HERE to grab an editable version of the labels. Just add text boxes, print and laminate!

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy these next few weeks!

Freebie Fridays


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