Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back to School Fun

Yesterday was a work day for my school district. That means--work on your report cards. Or chat with your friends. Or clean out your file cabinets. Or rearrange your room.

I did all of that. Except the report card part. Looks like my weekend will have it's own agenda. Oh well.

Today I got to see my sweet firsties again. I do think one got taller!

To ease us back into the swing of things, I found TONS of free snow/winter math and ELA review activities on blogs (thanks friends).

One of the best freebies that I found was a Whole Brain Teaching lesson plan. Stephanie at 3rd Grade Thoughts posted the lesson plan, and then explained how to use it. During my first days of break I filled it out for "what is addition." It is very scripted, I felt like I was in college again, but so worth it. Stephanie has  described everything so perfectly and completely. Go to this post to read about the lesson.

Today I taught this addition lesson. The kids were not sure about the gesturing part, but eventually came around to do it the way that was rewarded. Over break I created partners for the kids. Their "Whole Brain Partners". The kids sat on the floor near the front (next to their Whole Brain Partner) and we went through it. 

Whenever I try something new it almost always goes twice as long as I think (and not nearly very smooth). Today was no different. But one thing I've learned over the years is this: if I know something is good (WBT or Conscious Discipline) keep at it. The lesson may be going long, but it is probably not the lesson's problem, it is in the deliverer (me). I must SMILE and pretend this is exactly how I expected it. And give it a go again and again and again, until I do it with grace and ease (will that ever happen?).

So, we completed the lesson and then I sent them off to play a dice game. Roll 2 dice, and record on the sheet. They played in partners. Different partners. Math partners. 

It was a day for learning new strategies, room arrangements, and who is my partner.

Some partner groups finished faster than others. So they could read to self or read to someone. I put out some books we created early in the year. This pair decided to not just look at it, but to read it as well! That is huge, because these kids are becoming READERS! Can I get an "Oh Yeah"?

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