Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Deconstructing the MATH BOOK

I  LOVE my kids!
We had a great week so have been on task and really working to understand the strategies for 3-digit addition with regrouping.
So today we C-U-T apart our math text book...yep they ripped out a page and cut out the strategy of how to regroup the ones! Then they cut out three example problems too!

Here you can see, she has cut out the strategy page (Hasn't glued it on yet) but is already working on the example problems.
In this activity, I told them that they had to do the example problem using the "adult" strategy, the old fashioned way! (Carrying). Then NEXT to it they had to show the  "Kid Work" (with Math Tools)  and prove that they know how to do the math!
Deconstructing the MATH BOOK
In this picture you can see another one of my Worker Bees, drawing out the problem to make sure the "Adult" way was right.
Deconstucting the MATH BOOK
I love the look on her face, you can just get a glimpse of her thinking in this photo....she really understood the concept of why we regroup!

In fact, I had them tell me why we regroup the ones  in a class this is what they came up with:
"You regroup the ones in  an addition problem when the sum of the ones column is a 2-digit number."
I was so in shock of the Math vocabulary and how well they collaborated to get this definition...can't wait for tomorrow's lesson on how to regroup the tens in a 3-digit addition problem!
Deconstructing the MATH BOOKDeconstructing the MATH BOOK
Here you can see how I modeled the set up on the top! (Using a child's Math Journal, he was absent) and on the bottom is another child's journal...oh do you see that quick assessment on there?
On Monday we were discussing problem solving strategies...and I found this cute quick assessment/ helper for key words ( I call them 'code' words , as in 'how many more' is code for subtraction.).....I had them divide a piece of  paper in their Math Journals and label one side "Addition" the other side "Subtraction"...then I gave them a half sheet of paper with 'code' words for addition and subtraction...they had to  "sort, sort sort" then "choose, choose, choose" and finally "glue, glue, glue" (you should be singing it now)
...we checked it before we glued it....
I modeled a few choices first.......
Here you can see she is choosing where the "code" words go.
Deconstructing the MATH BOOK
"Glue, glue, glue"
Deconstructing the MATH BOOK
I have really been trying to acclimate myself and my kids to the new Common Core State Standards this year, a year ahead of the switch in our grade level. I want my kids to be ready for next year...for the NEW way of writing down your strategy and be able to debate your thinking! I know the more I do this year, will make the transition next year so much easier!!
Oh did I tell you, the kids now say to me ..."Ms. Dyer, don't forget to take pictures for your blog!"
They are so precious!
Stay tuned, I think I am going to start really blabbing about what I'm doing to get CCSS ready!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Science MATTERS and a HELLO Blogging Buddy!

I <3 Science!

I really do....and I was very excited to start something new this year for "Matter". I always feel like I'm doing the same old thing, year after year, so this year I went shopping for a new twist or activity that seemed to jump start my "Matter" unit!

I found a "Science Pack: Properties and States of Matter" from Chrissy over at "Buzzing with Ms. B"
Buzzing with Ms. B Button
So far we are having some fun with the games (I have...who has.../ name the states...4 center stations)
and today we got into the molecules of matter.....
Matter in the science log
Friend help friends in our room.....
Matter in the science log
We use our "Science Logs" to glue everything inside!

Matter in the science log
They made their own definitions after they experimented with matter!

Matter in the science log

Matter in the science log
I think they love SCIENCE too!
One of my goals this year was to blog at least once a week with far I've been 'better' than last year...
Did I mention I went to a Common Core workshop on Tuesday?
Fun Times! I met up with a blogging buddy "The Resourceful Apple", that was special!
Now it is up to the 4 of us from our little school (900+ students) to help implement the CCSS into 2nd grade while fine tuning it in K-1st....this should be an easy sale...right?
I am afraid that we might receive a bit of resistance from the "You can't make me" crowd! Any ideas how to reassure the naysayers that with a little teamwork, we CAN do it????
I hope we do it right!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Workday on Friday...oh how I love Teacher Workdays....this time I taped  a sign to my door that said...
"I'm on a self-imposed lock down...see you at 11:30" I even put paper over the big window on my door, so I wouldn't let my ADD kick in! (It's  bad case too!) From 8:00 to 11:30 I:
* Rearranged ALL the furniture...yep I moved my desk, the fiction section of my library..20 kid desks..the small group table, the Favorite Author sections of my Library...all my Math Tools, my mail boxes and the rocking chair! ( I moved EVERYTHING)



Math Tools were moved and desk room was created!

I moved the picture books to hide the computers,

Here's a better picture of the Cafe corner and new tool area!

The front of the room got a new look too!

*Took down two bulletin boards and made two new ones.
*Took MORE things off the wall and rearranged a few things on the walls.(Thank you Mr. Fire Marshall, Sir!)
*Set the room up for Tuesday's Guest Teacher, as I am going to a Common Core Workshop and can't even be there to see my kids reaction to the NEW Bee Hive!
*Used an Idea from Farley and wrote on their desks with dry erase pens...things like "I'm counting on you....Happy birthday, be good!...Listen up and be a leader....finish all your work today!...I miss you...(Love notes to all 20 kids)
*Only talked to 5 people all day!

Then from 11:30........

*Went to the office, the principal bent my ear a bit...discussed ideas of how to implement the Common Core....ate lunch at my desk and caught up on e-mail....dusted...talked to my neighbor, as she too will have a sub on Tuesday....realized it was 1:30, remembered I needed to make SUB plans then...
* Stayed until 5 pm, because I could not find my Jump drive...went crazy from 2 to 5 looking for it at school. (I went home at 1 to search there.) I had to RE-write sub plans and almost had a melt down. BUT I had to get it all done so I marched on.
*Got home at 5:03 and voila, there is was on the bottom of my 'Birthday bag' near the front door....relief , and texts went out to all those I freaked out on!

All in all it was the MOST productive work day ever! Once I got home I just finished up my lesson plans for the following week, I even made a new template to go with my new ideas to incorporate more time for small groups (in math, reading, WRITING(I found 20 minutes) and Science/Social Studies) trying to get that 25% in as often as I can!

The weekend was just as busy as the work day! My son had his last Cub Scout Camp Out...he is now officially a Boy Scout! He:
*climbed a 60 foot tower

*scaled a 50 foot rock wall

* learned to  rope, ride, pan for gold, 'shoot' at a target, slide a root beer mug down a 5 foot counter top and...

* pitch a tent all by himself!
I am a proud Mom!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I am not sure how I would classify my first few days back...stressed, overwhelmed, playing catch up???  All in the meantime so happy to see my kids! I really missed those little worker bees of mine!
In fact, I even got invited to a party.......

Wednesday was an especially FUN day...the Fire Marshall showed up...I'm a little sad, he scolded me about my bee bunting on my there goes that cute summer creation...and we now are not allowed to  have anything on our classroom no more door decorating fun for us!!! I had to rearrange my walls and take down my falling sad....but since I DID spray my curtains with 'approved' fire retardant they get to STAY!!!

These are now 'contraban'

This door is 'off limits' now too!

This area is naked now!

So here I am thinking of going back to SQUARE ONE (but with curtains)

The good thing is in Math, we had a regrouping break through! I used a great little trick I learned on Pinterest...

I used my white boards and base ten blocks instead..but the message was the same!

Oh did I mention I bought at great Matter  (click on Matter to see it) resource off of  Teachers pay Teachers...LOVE it...My kids are loving the stations the best! (Thanks Chrissy Beltran-click on her name to see her cute blog)

Lots of  C H A N G E S coming my way at my school, stay tuned for my next post...I think you have the same things happening at your school, if not I NEED YOUR HELP!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Currently in January!

I love Love LOve LOVe LOVE   CURRENTLY!!!
Farley is one of my favorite Bloggers! Make sure you visit the "mother ship" before you start reading everybody's Currently!

It should always be the first post of the month! I like how it gets me thinking and writing, which leads to more blogging!

One of my 'resolutions' this year is to blog with PICTURES at least once a will be hard to keep, but I am going to include it on my permanent to do list that I keep under glass (in  a frame) on my desk..Thank you Krisitin for that little bit of love!!!

So here we go..............

Is it me or is it the "times" son's BFF calls and they get on the computer to virtual this a normal activity or is my kid really as weird as I think he is?

I am so grateful that I don't go back to school until Monday. This gives me a lot of time to actually finish planning and implementing some changes to the routine. I know I want them to have a new morning routine, the one we have now allows a bit too much freedom first thing! It will also give me that extra time I need to relax from my vacation. Little man and I went to Las Vegas to visit my Dad. I know VEGAS BABY!! Truthfully it's not like that for me when I go. We hang out at my Dad's (aka the base of operations) then we visit all the really cool rocks. I know you are impressed! ROCKS!!! I do live in flat Florida, so going out and visiting places like Ash meadows, Death Valley, Mt. Charleston and Valley of Fire is always appealing. The last time we were here (this summer) we visited Zion and the time before that the Grand Canyon...lots of Rocks! Oh and the time before THAT we saw Red Rock Canyon and the Hoover Dam, even took the Dam tour! (had to go there) Who knew the Dam would be so much fun, got a lot of good Dam pictures too!
As you can see we love the desert, we love Las Vegas!

My Dad and I ...Mt. Charleston Christmas Morning!

I want to change a few things in my room, besides the seating chart. I want to implement the Covey habits, and some more Brain Breaks. I want them to be more accountable during the Daily 5, some are taking advantage f the freedom. I really want them to feel like they have entered a new classroom when they get back! Hmmm I have some major restructuring to do!

While I was a my Dad's, I discovered that I actually may be the last person to still have a "regular" coffee maker. My Dad has a new one cup wonder! Really!
So I made a list of people I know and love who have them:
My brother, my dad, my boyfriend's brother, my dear friend and neighbor, my sweet teacher friend and friend on Facebook posted about hers....ok , ok, ok so I have a little "Keeping up with the Jones" thing going on I see...anyway...

I really don't NEED a new coffee maker, but I do need to find an extra $130 a month....could someone give the single mom teacher a break!!!!????
I could really use a raise, a REAL raise....but since we all know that is not an option, I signed up to do some pre-FCAT tutoring at school, that should help a girl out for a bit!

OLW...My One Little Word is TRY....
I like the word TRY, it doesn't sound too forceful, it sounds just about right...
try your best
try to figure it out
I'm trying
go ahead and try to make me smile!