Sunday, August 5, 2012

Math Organization

Sometimes my ideas snowball.

I wanted to know about differentiating math instruction.

That led me to an online book study on the book Guided Math by Laney Sammons.

Which led me to Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller.

And that led to organizing the math manipulatives in my "new" classroom.

Yesterday it was me, my iPod and time in the room. I followed Diller's idea about pulling everything out, sorting it (my categories were: numbers and computation, geometry, symmetry, fractions, time, money, measurement, and data/probability), purging, containerizing (with labels), and finding a home for it all.

It took about 4 hours. The mess (or was it organized chaos?) was huge before it got better. And when I was finished I was so excited, because now I really know what all I have (which is absolutely one "I have, who has" game for the entire unit of fractions) and what I need to get more of before I can effectively teach it (get something for fractions--anything).

I have one cabinet with doors that has three shelves for math, and one bookcase that I loaded with all things numbers and computation (I am definitely set on counters, flashcards, and base 10 blocks).

This organization makes me so happy, I am still smiling. This year my goal is to work smarter, not harder. In order to get to the smarter place I had to put in a lot of hard work.

My Mountain Math kit came in and I got that put up on Thursday. I can't decide if I should take the questions down and put them back up when we start. But I needed to use the questions to help me center the question numbers.

Last week (while I was on vacation), my sister gave me a present for my classroom. She crocheted an owl for my reading corner. It is wonderful.

The owl sits next to the sock monkey my mom made for me out of real socks. Love that too. And rounding it out is my Shubert puppet. Shubert is the main character for the books that Dr. Becky Bailey wrote to help teach skills that are included in her Conscious Discipline book and website.

There is still work to be done. I need to put up the calendar area. Hook up the computer and printer. Finish a Daily 5 board. And find a place for all of my books that I brought with me. Perhaps I can work on lesson plans by the middle of the week. 

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  1. you might be interested in two free resources, funded by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, HRSDC. Both have fraction stuff:
    Family Math Fun
    and Changing the Way We Teach Math

  2. I love the owl. How thoughtful of your sister to make something for your classroom!


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