Classroom Must Haves: Things I Can’t “Picture” Myself Teaching Without

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must have classroom resources and freebies for upper elementary teachers

I am getting together with my friends over at Upper Elementary Snapshots to blog about Classroom Must Haves!  Below are 4 things that I can’t ‘picture’ myself teaching without 🙂 *This post contains affiliate links*

classroom must have supplies

I have always used a bell as a signal that students need to stop what they are doing and listen.  I loved my bell (part because it was in the shape of an apple) because I didn’t have to say anything.  Students knew they needed to ‘Give me Five’ when they heard it.  I then decided to updated my bell and bought these chimes. Let me tell you – I LOVE them!  It’s a much prettier sound than the bell 🙂 I even feel a little extra special using them 😉

classroom must have supplies

I remember reading this book when I was in elementary school.  I just loved it! I try my very best to always read a chapter book for about 15 minutes at the end of each day.  This is a time when I can model not only fluent reading but also the love of reading.  Mini-lessons do come out of these read-alouds, but only naturally.  This is not a time to teach a formal lesson – It’s a time to sit and enjoy a good book before dismissal.  🙂  Matilda is always a hit!

classroom must have supplies

guided math resources for elementary - math workshop resources

These math tri-folds are a MUST HAVE resource for your guided math groups.  They are standard specific, so you can easily group students according to what skills they need extra coaching in.  I currently have this resource for first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grade. Make planning easy and download free lesson plan templates here.

classroom must have supplies

create a notebook to house all you student observations for reading, math, and behavior - free download

It’s hard to keep organized when you have different notebooks for math, reading, and behavior.  I created a document that keeps all student observations and notes on one page!  I printed several for each student and bound them myself. I then bought sticky tabs and numbered them.  This will make checking in on students and recording information a breeze!

 

After you’ve downloaded my freebie be sure to visit each of the blogs below to add 12 more FREE RESOURCES to your own collection of things you can’t picture yourself teaching without. Afterwards swing by our collaborative blog, Upper Elementary Snapshots for lots of great content and ideas you can put into practice in your own classrooms as well as a chance to win gift cards to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Teachers Pay Teachers so you can stock up on your own Classroom Must Haves.

Goals for the First 5 Days of Math Workshop

BLOG, Freebies, Math Workshop
goals for the first five days of math workshop - setting up math workshop

It’s Friday and school starts next week!  This means I have 3 ‘work days’ to get ready before my students come in all excited and ready to learn! 🙂

I’ve been thinking about my math block A LOT.  I am SO thankful that I wrote this detailed blog post of how I ran my math work block.  I just reread it and printed the sheets to get myself started in organizing my temporary groups. The main focus of these temporary math groups is to teach the rules, expectations, and procedures of math workshop.  Below is a quick list of goals I am going to have for the first week of math station.

Day 1:

  • Have students share how they feel about math (what do they like/dislike about math, what’s they favorite math topic, what are they excited to learn)
  • List why math is important in life
  • Share with them my rotations board and give an overview of how they will be working hard to become problem solvers
  • Go over the self-evaluation cards students will be expected to use

Day 2:

  • Make an anchor chart of what each part of math workshop should look like.  What is the teacher doing?  What are the students doing? (whole group, small groups, independent)
  • Complete a mini-math workshop session.
    • Mini-Lesson (Think Aloud) – My goal is to start math workshop block this year with TWO math word problems.  I will use the first problem to model what thinking process (vocabulary/strategies) I am using in order to solve the problem.  So – this is my ‘think aloud’ time as we do during reading mini-lessons.
    • Group Problem (Discussion)  – After I have modeled how to solve this problem, I will go over the expectations of working in a small groups (everyone has an important job and will participate, model how to have meaningful math dialogue).  I will them give the students a similar problem.  Students will be given a couple of minutes to read the problem independently and start the thinking process BEFORE they get together with their group (This is when they will use their self-evaluation cards).  As students solve this problem I will walk around and listen.  I will of course continue to go back to reviewing expectations, but for he first few days getting students accustomed to showing their work, explaining their work, critiquing student work – all in a respectful way in the main focus.
  • We will most likely gather together again at the carpet and discuss how the first part of math workshop went.  Students can share what they thought worked and what we need to improve.  I will then introduce one math center: math sorts.  Math sorts is the perfect center to start with because it’s something that can be taught whole group and then reviewed independently.
    • I will explain what a sort it, how to cut it, where to store the cards.
    • I will also explain the importance of keeping up with their math sorts notebook and how it will keep them and myself organized
    • We will mostly likely complete an addition math sort.  I will start and complete a few whole group and let them finish the rest.  If some students finish early, they can come up with other cards that fit under each category.  We will not glue the cards today.  They will store them and we will move on.
  • Students will compete a simple exit ticket where they share one thing they learned and any questions they may have.

Day 3

  • We will refer to the anchor charts that we made and review what math workshop should look/sound like.
  • I will complete a mini-lesson where I think-aloud as I solve a problem
  • We will again review expectations for each group member.
  • They will be given a similar problem and begin organizing their thoughts independently before they start working in their groups. They will use their self-evaluation cards at this point
  • We will model and practice sharing/critiquing
  • We will go back to the math sort, re-sort and glue
  • I will introduce a new math station: interactive notebooks.  We will review expectation for that (how to cut, where to throw trash, how to glue, when to color, etc.)
  • Complete and exit ticket/reflect and discuss what worked and what we need to improve

Day 4

  • We will refer to the anchor charts that we made and review what math workshop should look/sound like.
  • I will complete a mini-lesson where I think-aloud as I solve a problem
  • We will again review expectations for each group member.
  • They will be given a similar problem and begin organizing their thoughts independently before they start working in their groups.  Again, they will practice using their self-evalatuion cards.
  • We will model and practice sharing/critiquing

Now time to practice stations and groups! Yes, it’s only been 3 days and we will begin practicing going to groups 🙂 Again, the focus is on procedures and expectations.  I will model how to use the math board to find what group they are in and what station they are expected to complete.  We will practice with one group at a time.  For example, group one will stand up and walk to computer center.  They will model where to find log-in information, how to turn-on computer, go to the internet or program they are required to use, how to put on headphones, how to exit the program, how to put away log-in folders, how to put away headphones, how to push in their chairs… and more).  The group will go to their desks and another group will model going to independent practice, math station, and teacher time.

If there is time, we will do 2 mini-rotations for about 5-10 minutes each.  These are so students practice the routines of each station.

Day 5

  • We will refer to the anchor charts that we made and review what math workshop should look/sound like.
  • I will complete a mini-lesson where I think-aloud as I solve a problem
  • We will again review expectations for each group member.
  • They will be given a similar problem and begin organizing their thoughts independently before they start working in their groups (self-evaualtion cards)
  • We will model and practice sharing/critiquing
  • Students will complete 2 math workshop rotations. There are four stations (computer, independent, math station, teacher time) and below is listed what they will complete at each station.
    • Computer (IXL – If they don’t have their log-in, they will work on their ‘All About Me’ Dodecahedron project)
    • Independent – Math fluency booklet (addition/subtraction word problems) or practice sheet from today’s math lesson.
    • Math Station – Interactive notebook activity
    • Teacher Time – Students will work on their ‘All About Me’ Dodecahedron project.  This will free me up to walk around as needed to assist students as they continue to learn the procedures.  Typically, we will work on our math tri-folds during this time.
  • Gather together and either complete an exit or have a closing discussion.

Day 6 and beyond

Now that the basic structure of the math workshop has been introduced, we will continue to refer to the rules and expectations.  Now the focus will shift from procedures to the content that needs to be taught.  During the next week I will use observations/assessments to guide my instruction.  I know that I will be able to reach each and every student at their level and beyond using this framework.

Resources

Click the pictures below to view the resources mentioned in this blog post.

math rotations board display - student accountability sheets for math workshop check for understanding student cards - self assessment freebie math sorts grade 5

Organizing All Your Notes in One Place

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Organizing Anecdotal Notes

Today I’m going to share with you a notebook that I created to help keep all my notes together. This notebook is going to combine 3 notebooks into one. First, It will serve as a spot for me to check the status of my class (what book they are reading). Second, it will store anecdotal notes that I take (reading/math). Third, it will help me keep track of behavior notes that I send home.

Those 3 things are BIG. To have them in one notebook will keep me organized and save me time! Below are detailed pictures of how I put my Notes & Observations notebook together. Affiliate links to the products (or similar products) that I used are included.

Organizing Anecdotal Notes

1 – I bought a clipboard with storage @ Target. The clip holds the labels (academic & behavior) and the inside holds my Notes & Observations Notebook.

2 – The labels are 2 x 4 shipping labels. Editable Word Documents are provided for you. There are 2 kinds.  The first is for reading & math.  These labels make it quick for you to jot down notes on what you notice students are struggling with.  The second labels are for behavior (positive or negative).  These labels will be put inside student agendas for parents to read & sign.

3 -I printed and bound my Notes & Observations Notebook. (more details below)

 

Organizing Anecdotal Notes

1 – I used sticky tabs to separate the notebook.  They are numbered for each student to make it quick to find their pages.

2 – Make sure to laminate the cover for durability.

3 – Black coil binding was used to create the notebook.

 

Organizing Anecdotal Notes

Here is a close look at the page that combines 3 notebooks into one!

1 – On the left side you will find a spot to write down what book each student it reading.  There is a spot for the title, book level, book genre, spots to write down what page they are on, when they complete the book, and a spot for other notes.

2 – On the right side you will find 4 spots for the anecdotal notes (on the 2×4 shipping labels).  When these 4 are full, I plan to place the rest of the notes on the back.

3 – The bottom corner has a spot for me to record when I send home a behavior note (on the 2×4 shipping label that was placed inside student agenda).

There you have it! The finished product looks so sharp!  I know having everything in one spot will help me stay organized 🙂  If you are interested in downloading the pages and creating your own, click HERE to download.

Thanks for reading!

Save Paper, Turn Your Resources into Books!

BLOG, Freebies, Math Workshop
Create math book for use during one on one math conferences, math centers, or homework

There are so many wonderful products out there, but printing a set of every product for each student means using LOTS and LOTS of paper and ink. Yesterday I played with the idea of turning one of my math products into a laminated book. Today, I’m going to share with you how I turned my math tri-folds into a reusable math book.

I decided to buy 3 different colorful papers. My math tri-folds are made up of 3 books for each math standard, so each book or tri-fold is a different color. It was a little bit tricky printing this out, but I basically alternated the printer paper (2 green, 2 orange, 2 yellow).

After printing, I laminated the pages, cut the pages, hole punched, and spiral bound the pages. That was A LOT of work! But, now I have a set of math books that can be used again and again! The set that I made is of my own daughter who is entering first grade. I plan to ‘play school’ with her and her cousin this summer 🙂 Plus – during the school she can grab any book and work on it while we are in the car.

Ways to use 1 set of math books in the classroom

  1. One-on-One conferences – remediation or enrichment
  2. Early Finishers
  3. Homework – This is perfect for homework since you can assign the exact skill students need practice on
  4. Math Centers

Create Your Own

Use these free samples to create your own math books.

 

Resources Used

Below are links to products that I used to create my math books.  They are amazon affiliate links.

Create math book for use during one on one math conferences, math centers, or homework

Teaching Measurement & Data with Interactive Notebooks

BLOG, Math Workshop
Measurement and Data Interactive Notebook with Math Menus

Using interactive notebooks is a great way to review concepts during math workshop.  Finding a way to keep everything organized can sometimes be a challenge.

Using MATH MENUS is the answer!  Each math menu lists 6 activities that the students can complete.  Students keep track of the activities as they complete them.  There is a short rubric that you can use to give an assignment grade. You can easily add this to a math workshop rotation station.

 

organize activities

You place the current 6 choices in the the 3-drawer plastic organizers.

organize interactive notebooks with math menus

Let’s take a look at the measurement and data activities.

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 1 is a booklet that reviews time to the nearest minute.  Students will write time to the hour, half hour, and minute.  There are also word problems where students will show their knowledge of elapsed time.  The last page has students solve time word problems using a number line.

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 2 is a fun sort that has students practice AM and PM.  Students will write the time the clock shows.  They will then circle AM or PM based on the activity.  Last, they sort the clocks in the correct pocket.  This is sure to be a hit in your classroom!

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 3 consists of 6 tabs that review elapsed time.  In the first three, students read time to the minute and then complete the elapsed time problem.  The last three tabs encourage students to show their work using a number line.

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 4 is made up of 2 spinners!  These were great fun to make.  They review grams and kilograms.  Students have to first cut and sort pictures depending on what unit they would use to measure each item.  They then have to circle how much they think each item weighs.  This is another activity that students will love 🙂

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 5 consists of 6 tabs that review one-step word problems involving mass and volume.  Students will need to add/subtract/multiply/divide to solve.

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 6 is a sort that has students decide what is the best unit to measure volume/distance.
measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 7 was pretty fun to make as well.  Students use a table to create a pictograph.  They then answer 6 questions using the pictograph.

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 8 is has students use a data able to create a bar graph.  They then complete the 6 questions.

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 9 will bring lots of discussion.  Students have to create their own bar graph and pictograph using data they collected.  They also have to write their own questions and answer them.

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 10 is a booklet (I love these!) that is a great study guide.  Students review measuring to the half inch and quarter inch.  We don’t have rulers that break apart the inch into fourths, so this is nice practice.  On the last page, students use data to create a line plot.

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 11 has students use their rulers to measure rectangles to the nearest half inch.  They then use their data to create a line plot.  Last, they answer 3 questions using the line plot.

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 12 has students measure rectangles to the nearest quarter inch.  This is great practice since we don’t have rulers where the inches are broken into fourths.  They use the data collected and create a line plot.  There are 3 questions they answer using their line plot.

 

 

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 14 has students practice counting square units.  They write their answers under each flap.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 13 is another fun pocket sort.  Students practice counting square units to find the area of a rectangle.  They write the area and sort in the correct pocket.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 15 is great fun.  Students are to shade squares to show the same area two different ways.

.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 16 –  Students use what they know about area to answer word problems.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 17 is a booklet that reviews using multiplication to find the area of rectangles, using the distributive property to break apart a large array, and drawing different rectangles with the same area.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 18 is a cut and paste matching activity.  Students match the equation to the correct array and solve to find the area.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 19 has students multiply side lengths to find the area of rectangles.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 20 is one of my favorites!  Students need lots of practice with the distributive property of multiplication.  In this activity, students break apart an equation, model it, and then solve to find the area.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 21 – Student break apart the rectilinear figure into rectangles, find the areas of each small rectangle, then add the areas to find the area of the rectilinear figure.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 22 is a great study guide for perimeter.  It reviews finding the perimeter of a rectangle.  Students draw 2 rectangles with the same perimeter but different areas.  They also draw 2 rectangles with the same area but different perimeter.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 23 is a fun pocket sort.  Students find the perimeter of different figures and sort into the correct pocket.

measurement and data interactive activities with math menus

Activity 24 uses word problems to review perimeter.  Students are given the perimeter and one side of the rectangle.  They then have to find the missing side.

You can purchase the above 24 interactive activities plus editable MATH MENUS at my TPT store by clicking here or the picture below.

third grade measurement and data interactive activities with math menus