Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guided Math Chapter 1

Welcome to the Primary Gal’s Guided Math Book Study!

I am super excited to participate, since I am always working on math instruction.  I teach first grade in a very diverse suburban school in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area.  My classes typically include a mix of native English speakers and non-English speakers.  The students come from a variety of backgrounds; some having pre-school and others never having set foot inside a school prior to Kindergarten.  This provides a HUGE range of ability levels.

Our district uses Guided Reading in addition to a Shared reading (whole group) approach to reading instruction.   This gives each student reading instruction at their level, and instruction with the group that might be at a higher level.  The students benefit from both.  It only makes sense to investigate Guided Math as a way to supplement my whole class instruction with enVision. 

  I feel like my whole group instruction is very successful.  I have developed the daily routines and structures.  My students have a chance to explore using manipulatives.  They watch an interactive video clip prior to a guided practice session.  I have an ELL aide that is fabulous!  She takes students that need more practice with adult support.  I also am fortunate enough to have a para that works with another group of special friends. This allows me to float among the other students as they complete their independent practice.  Since I have taught a variety of grade levels I have materials to extend the lesson for my higher students. 

I also really like that we use the EnVision math curriculum.  It is easy to use, has a great lesson set up, and plenty of support materials.  I think the units are systematic and sequential.  I also like that they encourage you to incorporate math literature.

Another aspect of my math instruction that has been successful was implementing a rotation of Daily Math during my Daily 5 rotations.  I started in January when I realized that my students were not getting as much hands on practice as I thought they needed.  I have been making games for the students to practice their skills.  Here's one of their favorites!

One of the things that troubles me the most is the lack of individualization. Many students are developing at the same rate; however just like young readers, many are advanced mathematicians or struggling mathematicians.  With EnVision we are able to easily asses student strengths and deficiencies.  I have supplemental manipulatives, and even support personnel (Paras and ELL aides), but not everyone is as fortunate as me.  I really need more time with each individual student.  I need to work with my high students and my low students, not just my middle of the road kids that the math curriculum for which it was designed. 

Even though I have support materials, I don't feel like they are highly engaging.  I feel like they are worksheets upon worksheets, and I am NOT a worksheet kinda gal.  So that leaves me to create appropriate materials to differentiate.  I am sad that I do not have enough time to always create what I need, nor do I have enough money to buy all the awesome cool materials on TPT.  (I wish!!)

I also feel like we need more time in the day for re-teaching and reinforcing activities.  I have carved some time out of my Daily 5, but wish I had more TIME!!!  Who's with me?  Please give me more time!

Codes for 5/29 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summer Top TEN!!


1.            Paint the Girls’ Bathroom!
We bought this house last May, almost one year ago, and I meant to paint EVERYTHING last summer, but that didn't happen.  So, I really need to get on top of the updates this summer!  Good news, Kate and Emerson (my puppy) helped me knock out the girls' bathroom today!

2.        Paint the Dining Room.
Please note the awful peach color.  It is the color of choice, at least the previous owner's, favorite color!  Not mine!!  I am really more of a blue gal.  So, dining room must be painted!

3.         Paint the Living room.
Are you noticing a theme?  More peach!!  It's gotta go! 

4.         Rest and Relax!!!
I am the worst relaxer ever!  I have zero ability to just do nothing.  It actually hurts me to do nothing.  Might have something to do with my type A personality!  I plan to use my massage gift certificate, that should be a good start.

5.        Blog about Guided Math.
Check back on the 29th!

6.         Prep some Guided Math materials.
I am going to get things ready to coordinate with the EnVision curriculum that we use.  I need to make some more games.  My first graders loved all the games this year.

7.        Teach ELL Summer School.
I get to hang out with some of my super awesome kiddos!

8.        Hang out with my girls.
Ali, Kate, and Libby
I haven't seen Ali since March 2013!  She's in the Navy, and has been deployed.  She's asked for leave and I hoping to see her next month!

9.         ROADTRIP!!!
We are going to load up the teeny, tiny fuel saving vehicle and go on a road trip.  A real one, where you meander around and eventually arrive at your destination.  Hmmmmmm..... where might we end up??!!

10.      Vegas!!!
Going to the I teach 1st Conference! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the 4th be with You!

I have been crunching the numbers, and I had identified my top 4 sellers! 
Drum Roll Please......
This is my current number one seller!  I will be marking it down to half price -- $4.00, just for our special May the 4th sale.  Check out the Scholastic clearance section, too.  I found some amazing ocean books to make our end of year learning a Splash!
Announcing my next best seller....
My Journeys Differentiated Spelling Lists for first grade.  All you Journeys people this one is for you.  It has four differentiated lists, that are EASY to manage.  Get it marked down to $4.00!!
This one is always a favorite!  It is practically free at $1.00 everyday, BUT today is your LUCKY day. I'm marking this down one fourth off,  it's only $.75.  This is perfect for making words, guided reading, or even homework.  I print out sets for my kiddos to have at home.  I use them EVERY day.  You will too!
This one was a surprise to me!  I know people love the math games, and this on is an absolute favorite of mine!  Great practice activities, regrouping both addition and subtraction, counting by 10s starting at non-traditional numbers, one more & one less, ten more & ten less, bunny graphing,
 racing to 100 - adding 1, 5 or 10.  I'm marking it down to $4.00!!  Grab it while you can!