Sunday, January 29, 2017 No comments
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nonfiction comes to life...

Saturday, January 14, 2017 No comments

I have been racking my brain lately to make sure that I do things that are engaging. I have really wanted to make sure this year is engaging especially because there are four tested areas in fifth grade in Florida. FOUR. How the heck do you do it all? I want to say you do and you can and here's all the tricks but yeah right. I don't have the tricks BUT I do have ideas and hopefully they're going to be just as strong as the year goes on. 

One of my first ideas this year was to follow Hope King and set the stage to engage or on Instagram known as #setthestagetoengage. If you don't follow should. I wanted my kids to review text features so I brought it to life. Figuratively speaking of course. I used anchor chart paper to draw a person. I used 1 for about every 3 people. Then we used nonfiction articles and we found all of these amazing text features within the article. They had to use the article pieces to "save" the persons life. It was a super simple lesson and it showed me that the students most definitely understood text features. 
*Supplies- * Please know that the following links contain affiliate links. this means that I earn some money if you purchase through the links provided on my website.
- Face masks for doctors
- Gloves
Hair Net
- nonfiction articles
- a person drawn on anchor chart paper


Guided Math- Part 3 How to implement Guided Math Successfully

Monday, July 18, 2016 No comments
Guided Math- Part 3 How to Implement Guided Math Successfully

I told y'all that there are four parts and we are finally at part 3. The baby and I got super sick so we were both out of commission for almost a week. Let me tell you...a baby and the mom sick is pretty bad! I digress. 

I've got quite a bit of questions about how I implemented in the beginning of the year or even in the middle of the year. I will tell you right now that I tried so many things before I got to how I implement. There's a few things that I want to start off with.
1- it does not happen over night
2- your first implementing will drive you crazy but the second day you're going to be like oh my gosh my class is amazing and followed directions and they were so quiet!!!!(okay maybe by day 4 this happens)
3- Relax. We as teachers are all OCD and trust me...things will go wrong. Just do a minor correct and move on in your life.

Where do we start? We are going to call it the ABC's of getting ready. 
A. Always have your copies ready
B. Block your math block out. Plan out your time for your math block, when will you rotate? When will you see your groups? 
C. Centers are huge in Guided Math. Get the centers every week planned out. Remember that you won't want to things in the centers that are not taught yet. That will just get everyone frustrated.
D. Divide out your math groups based on levels
E. Expectations are key. Write your expectations down so you can remember when you are telling the students. 
F. Flat out say no. Remember it is your classroom and when your students try to be clever and go "can we..." you can say no. A lot of Some times, I will say hmm..let me think about it. I usually give them a time frame like give me until Friday or Monday etc. Sometimes they forget and I won't have to deal with it and sometimes I will make changes accordingly.
G. Giving up is super easy because in the beginning it is a lot of works. Don't give up. It's hard in the beginning but once you get the hang of it- you'll be fine!
H. Have a plan. Have a plan for all things you think you will come across, questions, rotations, how to move, the noise levels- ANYTHING that could "pop" up. 
I. Interruptions kill your time. Really they kill your time. Have students be your in the meantime teacher. If they need help with something they go to that student instead of you. I always include the rules of the hands on activities or how to "play the game."
J. Jumping in head first is how I do everything but if you don't like doing that then slowly implement portions. This will help you especially if you are in the middle of the year.
K. Killing time? No. Don't do this if you are one of those teachers who are just using Guided Math to kill time. Let me tell you-your little teacher heart is going to break. I knew a teacher once who did not teach. Merely she taught for 3 minutes on the skill and then gave the kids work. This is not to just kill time. This is a life changing model that will impact your classroom. 
L. Loud noises will distract me. If they can distract me then you know they can distract your students at your table or any other students around the room. I usually put the hands on activities in the farthest spot from me. Try really does work.
M. Materials are extremely important! Have your center materials ready, your independent work ready, the passwords for computers ready (soooooo important), and anything else you need.
N. Notes. Take notes during your small group. I will be the first to tell you that I need work on this. Next year, I will have a binder for my notes(hopefully) but I always took notes on what the students needed but it ended up being always on sticky notes. That is no problem (for me) because I just had hundreds of sticky notes around until I was able to reteach or fix any mistakes that happened. One thing I did that popped out right which I feel like is a best practice was I knew that student B struggled on her shapes so I made flash cards and in order for her to ask a question, she had to tell me what the shape was. I did this quite often and often had success. 
O. Overzealous teachers will get burnt out quick. Don't go insane because you will 
P. Pinterest. I know you know what it is but pin everything you think would be good. I usually make several boards for each subject. For example one board for Operations, one for Numbers & Base Ten, one for Geometry & Measurement. Once we get to those standards I bounce over to Pinterest and voila half the work is already foreign for me. 
Q. Quiet is out the window. Seriously. I feel bad for those teachers who MUST have a quiet classroom. I'm not that. In fact, I love the conversations. I love that the students can interact with each other and use math language to talk. Do they have side conversations? Absolutely but I won't discourage it because then how will the kids be able to have conversations with others as they get older?
R. Relax- let your kids make the mistakes. They will figure it out. You could try to do everything for them but then they will ALWAYS need you for every...single...thing. By the 3rd or 4th day it should be good.
S. Setting up the areas is just as important as everything else. You need to make sure you provide everything for that group so that you don't have to be interrupted during your small groups.
T. Transitions are key. You need to make sure that you teach the students how to transition to each center. If you don't teach them how to transition, you will have LOUD chaos. 
U. Understand all the parts because if you don't understand then you will implement and be looking around like what's going on. 
W. Wait. Patience is key. Trust me your hard work will pay off. You are going to have success but not in 5 minutes. Usually for me it took a solid 5 days for the kids (they were 1st grade) to pick up on it. I am eager to see how the 5th graders do in the fall. 
X.Y.Z.- I don't have something here hahaha. If you do- let me know!

So listen- you may struggle. It's fine. Just pick yourself up and dust off your shoulder and try something else. You are going to do great and I'm here if you need me. If you have questions you can leave a comment here and I'll respond as quickly as I can!

Hopefully I have given you plenty of ideas for you to use in your classroom! 
xoxo Ronnie

What are the components of Guided Math?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 No comments
Hey everyone! Last week I posted about what Guided Math is. If you want to read it then check out (here). This is a four week post about Guided Math. This is week 2. 

What are the components of Guided Math?
Y'all let me tell you... There are a lot of ways to do Guided Math. No really...there's a lot. I may have one way that is effective for me and another way that may be effective for you. There is so much that goes into Guided Math but once you get into the rhythm you'll be set. This will be a long(er) post so hopefully you can bare with me through it!
What does my math block look like?
If you have a different amount of time, then I would definitely recommend manipulating the times. I personally like to make sure that I get to all my groups daily but sometimes I do run out of time and will need to pull the last group later. 
How do I make the groups?
I break them up by levels. I have a low level, the middle level (which is usually two groups) and then the high group. I know a lot of people say to see your low group first but I don't do that. Wait! Before you freak out- hear me out. My math block in first grade was first thing in the morning. If I pulled my low kids first, I would have to make sure the rest of my kids are settled (which usually only happens in the first group) and then that first group lost out on time that honestly...they really needed. I pulled my second highest group because they are the ones that will move (or gain levels.) 
What are the other students doing while I'm in small group?
Interactive Notebooks, Math Journals, Hands on Activities, Independent Work, Xtra Math and Ten Marks. I don't have a rotation however I know there are many people out there that do have boards. One of my favorites is Sweet Tooth Teaching. I really like her work-it's nice and clean!

How do I implement?
Come back next week so you can read all about how to implement Guided Math!!!

Leave your comments below so I can hear different ideas about how you run Guided Math in your classroom. 

Guided Math

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 No comments
Hey everyone! This is 4 posts that will be extended over 4 weeks.  Be sure to come back each week to check it all out.
Week 1- What is Guided Math?
Week 2- What are the parts or components of Guided Math?
Week 3- How to implement successfully
Week 4- Where to get resources?

Let's start off with What is Guided Math?
Guided Math is a structure for teaching where a teacher supports each child's development within a small group setting. Guided Math also allows the teacher to increase the level of difficulty based on the students needs.
Why do I do Guided Math?
Honestly, I really do enjoy Guided Math. I was always shocked as to why teachers would change their entire teaching methods to try this program. Then I jumped on the bandwagon. I am not saying that you need to but I will tell you some of the amazing benefits that I have noticed. 
1. When a student struggled, I immediately saw the mistake that the student was making. I was able to correct the mistakes and lead the students to go back to check their work.
2. Which leads us to number two! They learn how to check their work. They also may realize...oh hey- the kid next to me got a different answer. What did I do wrong or what did they do wrong?
3. I always ask that my kids support one another (especially in guided math). If they did notice that they have a different answer then their partner they were to go back and check along with their partner.
4. I could see who understood the material or who would need remediation that day or later in the day.
5. Each student was provided a hands on activity daily to help them play with new knowledge during small group. A way to interact with the information on paper (still have to take state tests ya-know?), are able to work on a hands on activity from last unit to practice those skills as well, and work with technology to strengthen skills.
What do your other students do while you are working with one group?
My other students are working on skills that are structured just for them. For example, hands on activity, technology, math facts, math journals, task cards, word problems etc. 

I included parts of my Unit 1 Guided Math program here so that you can see what it looks like at a fifth grade level. There are 11 units, 2 pages of classwork, an exit slip, 2 pages of homework and a hands on activity for small group that you could use later during review time.

If you are looking for Fifth Grade Unit 1-Place Value click --->_-*HERE!*-_

Part two is all about the parts of guided math and we will see you next week!