Using “I Can” games with game boards

I LOVE to have math stations in the afternoon.  They are made up of 4 rotations:

  1. Teacher
  2. Independent (Worksheet/Game)
  3. iPad (iXLmath)
  4. Computer (iReady)

We complete 2 rotations each day and have math stations about 3 to 4 times a week.  The latest games that I have put in my independent math station are “I Can” 3rd Grade math games from One Stop Teacher Shop.

I printed the games on bright colored paper by standard.  For example, I printed all the NBT games in bright orange.ican01I cut the task cards and put them in a baggie as shown.  These task cards are then organized in my math game bins (see picture below).

ican02These containers were purchased from Amazon and are the BEST for helping me keep my math stations organized.

ican03What I did is took one of my own board games (found here) and added the “I Can” cards to it!  Like magic I had a brand new game!  This is a super easy way to keep a math center interesting. :)

ican04These are my students playing with the task cards and board game.  They used pattern squares as their markers.

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There you have it!  A quick and simply way to keep your math stations interesting :)  My favorite part of the “I Can” games is that they cover ALL 3rd grade math standards, so I can quickly ‘change’ the board game to cover what my students need to review.  Keeping them organized in the bins by color code makes it easy to keep them organized :)

Spring Cleaning Giveaway and Sale!

Guess what?! The girls and I over at Upper Elementary Snapshots are getting together to throw a ‘Spring Cleaning’ Giveaway and Sale!  Click on the picture to visit the blog post on our blog :)

Spring Cleaning

We are giving away 6 $20 TpT gift certificates.  Use the Rafflecopter below for a chance to enter on March 25th and March 26th.

Then, on March 27th and March 28th, our individual TpT stores will be on sale.  This is the perfect time to grab some fantastic resources to finish up this school year!

Here is a list of our stores – get up to 20% off all of our resources for 2 days ONLY! (Friday/Saturday) Happy shopping!!

Our TPT Stores:

 

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Measure to the Nearest inch and half inch

I made the following sheets for a friend to use in her observation. She is going to introduce measuring and have the students use the data to aline plot. From that, students will create questions (and find the answers) to go along with their line plot.

It includes a learning goal, scale, and exit ticket!. =) Click the images to view the PDF file.  Enjoy!

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Test Prep – Math Rotations

 

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I usually complete a short whole group lesson and then 3 math rotations where I meet with each student each day.  HOWEVER – I am adjusting my math block to include test prep for the big state test.  I am now going to complete a whole group lesson for the full math time in the morning (45 min).  In the afternoon – I will dedicated about 40 minutes to test prep rotations THREE times a week.

Below is  a screen capture of the sheet students from group 1 have in their math folders.  It tells them exactly where to go and what to do.

Click here for the full word file.

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I split my students into 4 groups.  Groups 1 and 4 are the students that are struggling.  I organized them so I could meet with my struggling students twice.  The picture above shows where students keep their math notebooks.  This notebook holds a sheet that tells them what group they are in and where they go.  You also see where I store the math packet for that week (to be completed during independent practice).

I have organized my my rotations into Day A, Day B, and Day C.  I made a very simple sign that I put on the board to keep track of what day we are on (see the top picture of the post.)

There are a total of 4 rotations

1. Independent Practice – Math packet

2. iPAD – QR code task cards or iXL math

3. Teacher – Topic students are struggling in

4. Computer – iXL math

—–> We only complete 2 rotations per day.

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The picture above shows a look inside the student folder.  This is where they keep the math packet they work on during independent practice.

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Another rotation is to play a math game (during Day C).  This can be task cards or a board game.  This week I had students complete this time task card center.

 

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When students come to Teacher we complete a math tri-fold that focuses on a skill they are weak on.  This week we worked on fractions on a number line.  Notice how I also keep a master list of where students are supposed to be in my math binder.

Why do I love the new rotations?  Because I get to meet with 3 to 4 students at a time instead of 4 or 5.  It makes a HUGE difference.  My favorite thing is the sheet that student keep inside their folder – they know exactly where to go and there is very little time spent switching.

:)

Fraction Freebie & New Math Stations

We are finishing chapter 8 in math (1st chapter on fractions) and I typed the following extra practice problems for my students. It’s a free PDF download (just click the image). I also am starting new math rotations this week – I’ll have to share my schedule and pictures by the end of the week! More to come later :)

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If you are looking for more fraction practice sheets, check out my newest product on TPT :) Click image to view.

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Circle clipart from Made With Pyreflies.

Working With Wonders

After receiving many questions on how I run my reading block, I’ve finally sat down and typed up a summary for you to read! Please keep in mind that what I do in my reading block changes from week to week – I am sharing with you a quick summary.

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  • My reading block starts right after specials/snack/bathroom. 10:25

We have uninterrupted time up until 11:55 – This is when my students who require extra remediation time outside the 90 minute reading block leave for small group reading instruction (Title 1 Reading Teacher).  During this block (when some of my students are at Title 1 Reading) we finish up our reading stations.

Let me get into detail…

A SUMMARY OF MY READING BLOCK – WEEKLY VIEW

  • 10:25GRAMMAR/WRITING – I follow our reading series and students complete the practice pages from the grammar book.  Our team is also great about sharing – Mrs. Baty, Mrs. O’dell and Mrs. Mauriell will often create/share grammar practice sheets/quizzes.
  • 10:45-11:00 - SPELLING/VOCABULARY – There are 2 main worksheets that I use for vocabulary.  Mrs. Wiggins makes wonderful practice sheets each week :)  The second one I use in the worksheet located in the student reading practice book.  We also spend this time writing in our writing notebooks (writing a sentence and drawing a picture, sorting spelling words by pattern).  We don’t do this all in one day.
  • 11:00-11:30 – STORY OF THE WEEK – During this time we will work from our workshop book, anthology, reading practice book, or complete a close read practice sheet.
  • 11:30-12:30 – READING STATIONS - During this time I will work with students for guided reading instruction.  My other students are at a reading station (independent or computers).

It took me several weeks to get a schedule that works for me.  I have to work around several things – First, I have students who get pulled out for extra reading instruction (outside my 90 minute block) – Second, We have a very different Wednesday schedule due to our Mentor reading program.  Below is a look at my crazy schedule.  I call it crazy because there is no way I’d remember it all if I didn’t write it down.

reading stations schedule

As you can see – I only complete 3 rotations on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday – is just…different.  Thursday and Friday I complete only 2 rotations due to testing.

A CLOSER LOOK AT MONDAY

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After grammar, vocabulary, and spelling, we start our WORKSHOP book story.  I read the story aloud to my students. We stop, discuss, and record our thinking on my close reading worksheets.  After this, it is reading stations time.

11:35-11:55 – ROTATION 1 :

  • SMALL GROUP:  On Monday we complete the SMALL COMPREHENSION worksheet inside the reading practice book.  I don’t have a picture, but its usually only half a page long.  It’s short and sweet and focuses on skills we need to cover for the week.
  • INDEPENDENT: This varies – I usually extend what was practiced during grammar or vocabulary.  Sometimes students simply use this time as silent reading time.
  • COMPUTER: This varies – I usually have students go on iStation (a reading program).  Sometimes they will go on a keyboarding practice site.  Sometimes they will type sentences using their spelling words.

11:55 –  It is during this time that I have students leave the room for extra reading instruction.  I make sure these students are in the group I meet with first.  This way they don’t miss out on small group instruction in my classroom.

12:00-12:20 – ROTATION 2 : Students use the chart paper to help them keep track of where to go.

12:20-12:40 – ROTATION 3 : Students use the chart paper to help them keep track of where to go.

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A CLOSER LOOK AT TUESDAY

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After grammar, vocabulary, and spelling, we continue our WORKSHOP book story.  I allow my students to partner read the story and if needed finish the close reading sheet that we started yesterday.

We then gather back together and read the longer story inside the student reading practice book.  See picture below.  We simply read, stop, and discuss. We will complete the comprehension questions in small group.

11:35-11:55 – ROTATION 1 :

  • SMALL GROUP:  On Tuesday we complete the LONG COMPREHENSION worksheet inside the reading practice book (see above picture).  Some groups finish this very quickly, so we have time to complete a writing activity.  This usually involves creating a thinking map that reinforces the reading skills for the week. (compare/contrast, cause/effect, sequence, etc).  Students keep these inside a reading response journal.
  • INDEPENDENT: This varies – I usually extend what was practiced during grammar or vocabulary.  Sometimes students simply use this time as silent reading time.
  • COMPUTER: This varies – I usually have students go on iStation (a reading program).  Sometimes they will go on a keyboarding practice site.  Sometimes they will type sentences using their spelling words.

11:55 –  It is during this time that I have students leave the room for extra reading instruction.  I make sure these students are in the group I meet with first.  This way they don’t miss out on small group instruction in my classroom.

12:00-12:20 – ROTATION 2 : Students use the chart paper to help them keep track of where to go.

12:20-12:40 – ROTATION 3 : Students use the chart paper to help them keep track of where to go.

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A CLOSER LOOK AT WEDNESDAY

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Wednesday is very different – If I didn’t have the schedule change (due to our Mentor reading program), I would follow the Monday/Tuesday Schedule.

I complete stations first (only two rotations).  During small group, the students simply read the leveled reader that follows the story of the week.  We do not finish it today.

Around 10:50 – when my whole class in back,  we complete grammar, vocabulary, and spelling.  We then start our ANTHOLOGY book story.  I read aloud this story and we stop, discuss, and write our thoughts down using the close reading tri-folds I’ve typed up.

After this, We take a little break and I do a read aloud from a chapter book at the carpet.

When we return to our desks, we complete a reading/writing activity.

 

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A CLOSER LOOK AT  THURSDAY

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After grammar, vocabulary, and spelling, we continue with our ANTHOLOGY book.  Students will partner read the story of the week and finish the comprehension tri-fold as needed.

After this, it is time for our weekly reading assessment. I usually type a written response and attach it to the the short comprehension test.  When students are done – they may silent read.  We begin our first rotation around 11:55.

12:00-12:20 – ROTATION 1:

  • SMALL GROUP:  On Thursday we continue reading our leveled reader.  Today we will stop and pick one page to focus on.  We will create a thinking map to reinforce the reading skill of the week.
  • COMPUTER: This varies – I usually have students go on iStation (a reading program).  Sometimes they will go on a keyboarding practice site.  Sometimes they will type sentences using their spelling words.

12:20-12:40 – ROTATION 2 : Students use the chart paper to help them keep track of where to go.

 

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A CLOSER LOOK AT  FRIDAY...

After grammar – I give our weekly spelling test.  We then review the strategies to follow during our reading test and complete the long cold read.   When students are done – they may silent read.  We begin our first rotation around 11:55.

12:00-12:20 – ROTATION 1:

  • SMALL GROUP:  On Friday we complete a close reading on the main article of Scholastic News.
  • COMPUTER: This varies – I usually have students go on iStation (a reading program).  Sometimes they will go on a keyboarding practice site.  Sometimes they will type sentences using their spelling words.

12:20-12:40 – ROTATION 2 : Students use the chart paper to help them keep track of where to go.

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There is a ton that I have not included on here…You all know that no schedule is perfect, but I try my best and stick to it as best as I can.  I hope this has given you a little idea on how I complete my reading block.  Below are a few more pictures from my classroom.  Thank you for reading!!

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New Collaborative Blog & a Giveaway!

I personally love to visit collaborative blogs.  I get to meet great teachers and see what exciting things they’re doing in their classrooms.  I love to bring back what I’ve learned and use what works with my own students.  There has always been one little problem…most collaborative groups that I’ve seen were for the lower grades.  Guess what??!! Problem fixed!

I’ve teamed up with 11 wonderful girls to bring you Upper Elementary Snapshots!  It is a blog focused on 3-5 curriculum/classroom management/and anything else a 3-5 teacher will find helpful for their classroom.  To OFFICIALLY launch our blog – we are having a giveaway :)

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After entering the giveaway, check out the following pages!

I hope you will join us and leave feedback/comments on our new Upper Elementary Snapshots blog/facebook!  It’s wonderful how technology can bring teachers together from all over the country!

Getting Math Stations Started!

Teaching reading in a small group setting has always made sense to me. I’ve been doing ‘centers/guided reading’ back since my 2nd year of teaching (in 1st grade). Well – I think it was my first year of third grade that I started looking into teaching math in the same method – small group. I have never turned back! I LOVE how I can give immediate feedback to each student. I LOVE how even the shy, quiet students will open up and participate. I LOVE how the focus is on quality and not quantity. The groups may only last 15-20 minutes, but I feel like I reach each student. Now – they don’t always ‘get it’, but after the small group – I know who doesn’t ‘get it’ and can help them in other ways.

Anyways, we just got done with the 4th week of school, and I now feel comfortable in making a post on how I organize my math stations. I have to say that they are not 100% ready, but we are almost there! I would like to share with you some things…

HOW OFTEN DO I DO MATH STATION?

This changes – weekly – and it’s only been 4 weeks ;)  We did not do math stations the 1st or 2nd week.  We just started learning about the rotations on the 3rd week of school.  So, we’ve only had 2 weeks of practice.  I have math stations planned for THREE times a week: MONDAY, TUESDAY, and THURSDAY.  I complete a whole group lesson in the morning – followed by one center/small group rotation.  I then finish my 2 other rotations in the afternoon after recess.

A LOOK AT MY MATH SCHEDULE

8:50-9:10 – Whole group instruction

9:10-9:30 – 1st rotation (centers and small group)

— We then have: specials, snack, reading block with writing integrated, lunch, recess.

1:40-2:00 – 2nd rotation

2:00-2:20- 3rd rotation

WHAT DO YOU USE FOR WHOLE GROUP LESSONS?

This also changes :)  I’ve been using 3 sources for my whole group lessons

1 – Engage New York Math Lessons (40%)

2 – Math Tri-folds – Organized by Common Core standard (40%)

3 – Our GO Math Textbook (not very much of this (20%)

…We were told what standards to teach and can pretty much teach it anyway way we want :)  We just need to make sure we cover all of the standards.  We are given a map for the entire year that suggests which standards to teach at what time and for how long.  I use that to map out my lessons plans.  I say I – but REALLY it is our AMAZING third grade team that works together to help put our lesson plans together.  I then go in and add the resources that I am comfortable using in my lessons.

A CLOSER LOOK AT ENGAGE NEW YORK MATH MODULES

How do I use these???? Let’s look at 3rd grade Math Module 2 – Topic A – Lesson 2   – –  If you click on the link, you will see that they have the file in PDF or WORD format :)  I always print the PDF just because it’s smaller in size, but having the word document gives you the ability to print only what you need.   When you open up the file you see the following image:

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The lessons are AWESOME! They break everything down for you and even give you math talk examples and student work examples :) LOVE

I don’t do every lesson – For example, I only taught lessons 2 and 3 from this module (Telling time to the minute).

I read over the fluency practice and concept development to get ideas of ‘what to say’ and ‘what to focus on’.

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I use the Problem Set in my whole group lesson. =)

 

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I then pull out the Lesson 2 Problem Set page and Lesson 2 Homework page and complete these two in small group.

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I place the Exit Ticket at my INDEPENDENT math station for students to complete BEFORE they move on to the math center.

And that’s how I usually use the resources for Engage New York :)  I say usually, because I don’t always use the lessons – or just part of them.  My second resource for math stations is…My Math Tri-Folds :)  This idea came to be after getting advice from my friends (Mrs. Blevins and Mrs. Sheppard) – both fellow 3rd grade teachers :)

HOW DO I USE MY MATH TRI-FOLDS???

Again, it’s not the same each unit.  When we were on rounding NBT.1 – there was no way I could use these whole group.  I tried and failed and used one in small group. They were that challenging – which is good, but they needed full teaching assistance.

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My Math Tri-Folds are organized to teach the Common Core standards.

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I completed this tri-fold in SMALL GROUP during our math rotations.

Let’s look at a tri-fold I used during whole group instruction…. Since I only used 2 lessons from Engage NY for time, I supplemented with my own time tri-folds :)

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I completed Section 1, 2, and Section 3 whole group.   I then moved on to small group and completed the rest of the tri-fold in small group.  The focus was on drawing a number line to show time.

HOW DO I USE THE TEXTBOOK???

In this particular unit I did use the textbook.  I think I might have used a total of 2 pages from the math book.  I pick and choose which questions follow the standards.  I like doing this so I don’t overwhelm the students with too many topics.   I can this way focus on telling time to the minute – which some students are still struggling with.  I plan to place those students on IXL time during their computer station.

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This is getting to be a LOOOONG post, but I’m not done so I’ll keep going…

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HOW DO I ORGANIZE MY GROUPS??

I had a pretty math rotations display on my wall last year, but it required me to move the students and I didn’t like that.  So, I went old school.  I used 3 small pocket charts and used index cards to label my groups.  See picture below.

math stations

When I made my three groups I looked at

  • Who do I need to meet with 1st thing in the morning?  These are my struggling students.
  • I need at least 1 person that I think is a very good team player in each teach.  Someone who can help during independent work or computer station.
  • Are there any students who can’t be in the same group?

I first worked out my plan on paper and then took out index cards and Mr. Sketch markers to make my groups :)

WHAT DOES INDEPENDENT PRACTICE LOOK LIKE???

You can kind of see where independent practice in stationed on the picture above.  There are three student desks put together by the math rotation display.  There are 2 bins where students know what is expected of them.  Below is a closer look.

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I use these two bins to hold the sheets the students are to complete independently.

  • The first sheet has an independent practice sheet that will tell me if the students understood what we went over in whole group instruction.  This can be an Exit Ticket from Engage New York or a practice sheet related to the topic.   They complete this FIRST – independently (they are allowed to ask a partner for help to get them started, but not the entire sheet) and place in a plastic pocket by the bulletin board labeled ‘DONE’.  I check these and students fix any errors if needed during snack time.  These are short, so they are easy to check.

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    I got the plastic (magnetic) packets from Lakeshore Learning

  • AFTER the exit ticket, they complete a Math Vocabulary FoldableStudent math interactive notebooks are stored in black bins organized by group.
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    I used a sticky note to write ‘Group 1, 2, 3′ and student names. Nothing fancy ;)

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WHAT ABOUT COMPUTER STATION??

My school has purchased a subscription to IXL Math.  I have made tracking sheets that the students use to record their scores inside their math notebooks.  I have them glue it at the back of their notebook.   I also LOVE the website MangaHigh, but I have not let the students know about this site just yet.  I want them to become familiar with IXL first.

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A SUMMARY

Basically – I do 3 rotations a day.  They last about 20 minutes each.  The three rotations include: Teacher, Independent, and Computer.  I teach via this model 3 times a week.  Wednesday is a short day, so it’s whole group lesson and partner work that day.  Friday is usually some sort of assessment – or we are catching up because we went to the computer lab that morning.

It will never be perfect, but nothing is.  I still feel that this model lets me reach each and every student at their level.  I know who ‘gets it’ and who needs more help =)  I will continue to add to this model and share with you all here….

Did anyone notice I haven’t used ANY games yet????? I want them to figure out the routine first.  We will deal with adding task cards, math games, and other activities later on.  I will be sure to keep you posted!  Thank you for reading :)