So far this activity is going great! I am amazed at some of the things that the first graders come up with. We were able to refer back to yesterday's quote throughout the day. It is no surprise that 1st graders always have someone who is bothering them or messing with them...and they were able to interpret the quote and use it how they understood it. I love teaching life lessons, and helping students think deeply while doing it is a plus!
I am going to try something new since I am in full responsibility. I have created these posters with different quotes on them, and I blew this one up and put it on the smart board. There is always an awkward ten minutes between recess and lunch that is hard to fill with quality learning time, so I am going to have students come in to the quote on the board and either talk with their table or write about what they think it means and/or how they can use this quote in their lives. I think this will be great for students to think deeply and foster meaning from something that they read or hear. I thought it was fitting that this quote is from our first president, since we are celebrating President's Day and America this week
This is fantastic! We will be celebrating America all week in first grade with these activities and literacy stations!
There is one little boy in my class who ALWAYS finishes way before everyone else. I usually send him to read or have him "help" his classmates, but I wanted something more to offer.... so I created this "Bright Minds" math unit. The activities require deep thinking and hopefully will provide a beneficial challenge for those students who race through the work offered to the whole class. We all have those students who need more of a challenge, and I had fun creating these activities to help. There are 6 activities, each with three levels, so the student can work his/her way through the levels. I am working on a language arts unit as well and have some pretty good ideas!
We played this wonderful game last Friday and the kids keep asking to play it again...THEY LOVED IT! Each student had a job, and their group worked together to re-create a shape that was pre-made by me :). This game was designed to increase students awareness of different shapes and how they can be put together to make a new shape. In order to play this game students must have an understanding of what each shape is and how to draw and arrange the shapes using the directions from their classmates. I did not even expect the game to run so smoothly and it proved to be a great skill-building and cooperative learning activity as students relied on each other to reach an overall goal. Teamwork was definitely a guiding factor of this activity, and my first graders showed that they can work together quite effectively!
Here it is. The edited version of the activity I showed to Debbie DIller. I took her suggestions and created this full activity, complete with math talk cards and differentiated greater than/equal to/less than mats.
BIG day today in the life of a student teacher! Ok, let's take it back to college for a minute...Imagine going to classes everyday-learning about using stations in your classroom, reading books where you are learning strategies from faceless people. Well today I got to put a face with those strategies in a BIG way. THE Debbie Diller- Math Stations guru- made her way into my classroom today. Now, to all of you normal people that doesn't really mean anything, but to us educators, Debbie is kind of a big deal. In first grade, we had been preparing for her visit ever since my mentor teacher and I visited her workshop in January. We had been working to perfect our math stations, which I believe I posted about previously, and today we got to show off! The amazing moment for me came when Debbie Diller walked into the classroom. I was with a small group of students, engaged in a greater than/less than sorting activity, as the other students worked in their math stations. Debbie perused the room, asking random students what they were doing, and offering suggestions of things to do differently- then finally - she came to my table. My heart began pounding as she pulled out her video camera to record what we were doing. Imagine my thinking as I am this little student teacher who has no idea what I am doing compared to this expert. She began making suggestions for how I could make my activity more beneficial for students, and I thought to myself; this is incredible. I have heard about this lady in school and now here she is in front of me; teaching me directly. I could NOT have asked for a better opportunity if I tried. I feel like I am being continuously sculpted into what I believe will be a great educator one day. There are too many AMAZING things happening, and AMAZING people that I get to learn from to think any differently. I immediately took what Debbie suggested and tweaked the activity, and I could not be more proud of the finished product! I posted it on my TPT site so that we could all share this Debbie Diller approved math station activity!
We had fun today in first grade making mouse masks to go with our author study on Kevin Henkes. The kids looked SO CUTE in their masks and they had fun writing descriptive sentences about themselves to go with the masks. This activity set up our day with success and got the students excited to learn! Get the whole unit by clicking on the picture :) Let me know what you think, and send in a picture of your own class in their mousey masks!
Today began the official "full responsibility" portion of my student teaching experience. I wasn't too worried due to the fact that I had had many opportunities to teach the kids before now. The day went smoothly with only one small hiccup- math stations. I DID NOT realize how much planning and coordinating it took to create a beneficial system to follow for math station rotations. After many, many brainstorms, my mentor teacher and I finally came up with a system that worked for us. The stations made perfect sense to me... but explaining them to the kiddos proved to be a little more difficult. The class had a pretty good grasp on how stations worked, but certain small things kept the stations from being perfect learning opportunities. I learned today that even a well thought out activity may not run how I plan for it to, and when that happens, I will have to think on my toes! I do believe that this is why we - as student teachers- intern the way that we do, because these lessons cannot be taught...they must be experienced! My question to everyone is... how do you set up your math stations? I know there must be TONS of different ways to organize materials, activities, rotation schedules , etc. and I want to know them ALL!! That way I will be ready when it comes time to set up my own :). As always, I welcome your responses!
I'm just an Elementary Nerd sharing my excitement for the classroom!
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