Saturday, March 17, 2012

Math Vocab

I have come to realize that despite my constant use of math vocabulary, math word wall, etc. my students are still shaky on their math vocabulary :( So to address this, I have decided to make math vocabulary memory as a math station or an activity to do when they have finished their independent work. They go to the vocab bin, pick a baggie of vocab words, place the cards face down and try to find a matching word with definition. I also include an answer key in case they are not familiar enough with the words to know if they have the right match.

I pasted the cards onto construction paper, cut them out, and then laminated them. The kids who are fast finishers have been a big help with all of my lamination projects lately! For a copy of the cards I use, click on the link: Vocab Cards- Place Value Chapter.

Upper Elementary Linky Party

 I am just learning about linky parties, but of course I am thrilled that there is an upper elementary one for teachers to share great ideas!

Visit the Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies to link up!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thinking about math

So I know I cannot be the only one who starts thinking about next year half way through the current school year. I'm always trying to come up with new ideas to improve lessons, organization, and management and trying them out with a clean slate of students is always exciting. Some ideas, however, are wort starting ASAP! For instance, I am trying to find a way to better my math block. I have noticed that my students need some work on their math vocal. I'm trying to create a memory game with the words and their definitions (I will tqry to remember to post pictures when I finish making the cards). My problem is finding a way and the time to include these into my daily routine. I teach fifth grade and I always want to do more center like activities (or stations) but I find the management of them difficult. Plus I wish their were more of me so that I could be sure that students are doing them correctly. Any ideas and suggestions would be appreciated!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Well I was right....

When I got to school today the Internet and the server we use to enter grades were down. I wasn't too worried, because I still had to finish averaging some grades. Well, eventually the everything was back up and running and everyone else seemed to make some real progress....everyone except me. I was planning on working late to finish my averages and what not. Everyone had gone home and I was finally ready to upload my grades....and wouldn't you know it the server was back down again ****pffft****

Oh well, that's what I get for not workin on grades this past weekend! Procrastination at it's best! And there is always tomorrow.....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Report Cards

It's that time of year again where my only existence will be to average grades, begin filling out report cards, and deciding on meaningful comments. When I first started teaching (okay, who am I kidding...even now), report cards were a major source of anxiety. My motto: expect the unexpected.

At the district I work at now, we have to enter our grades online. Don't get me wrong--I LOVE using technology, but I sometimes I  feel that using technology just for the sake of using technology doesn't always work. Our system is very finicky so it takes a lot of extra time and frustration to enter grades. I also don't like that it doesn't allow me to reflect on the whole report card as I am entering grades. Before I write comments or enter a grade, I want to make sure one last time that report card reflects how well the student is doing across the board. We team teach, so I only enter the math and science grades. The other fifth grade teacher enters the reading, writing, and social studies grades. Being able to look at the report card as one big picture is something that I miss!

The good news is that next year we will be self-contained (well, that's the plan anyway). I think a lot of these kinks I experience in management, grading, etc. will be worked out better when I keep my homeroom all day. I LOVE my teaching partner, so I definitely will miss the team approach (especially when conferences roll around!).

What are some tricks that you use to make report card time more manageable?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

With the BIG test approaching...

One thing I struggle with is the constant battle of trying to do things the "state's" way and doing them the way that I know children learn best. In a perfect world, I know that these two ways can be combined to make an ideal learning environment, but unfortunately I live in the world that has 180 teaching days that are 6 hours long. Time is always a big factor, so I always feel pressure to move forward. It is my hope that with the adaption of the core standards, things will be better as far as lesson planning and student mastery of each concept. Until then, I push on trying to find and use lessons that fun, meaningful and valuable.

Does anyone else feel this same push and pull?

Friday, March 2, 2012

New in Town

This past February vacation I found myself browsing online for inspirational ideas for my classroom (which isn't unusual). I somehow stumbled across some really wonderful blogs that were made by teachers (like Ladybug's Teacher Files) that were filled with fantastic ideas. I soon found myself jotting all these ideas down to try in my own classroom. I can only hope that someday I, too, will be able to offer some of my own ideas for other teachers to enjoy. Until then, I will continue to be a dedicated scavenger!