Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Reflections on Resolutions

In July I linked up with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness to share my new school year resolutions.  To help keep me on track, I'm going to share my progress each month.

Goal 1: Organization
I'm proud to say that my teaching table is usable most of the time!  I bought some storage carts and put a shelf behind it to hold all my small group supplies.  On Friday, I was actually able to pull a spur-of-the-moment math group and have all the supplies I needed right there!
However, now my desk has become my "hot spot."  I have the organizational tools I need- file pocket chart, supply organizer, paper organizer, etc. but I just haven't gotten into the habit of using them!  Instead, everything ends up piled on top of the desk.  I spent 30 minutes on Friday looking for a  form that needed to be turned in. :(
Filing is still a problem area, too!  I did set up storage carts for monthly activities so my teaching stuff is better organized, but I still have piles of student work and forms to file.  I need to get that straightened out this week before conferences start.

Goal 2:  Guided Math
Math stations are up and running and I have been able to pull a few groups.  I still need to establish a regular schedule for groups, but I feel good about what we are doing in math so far.

Goal 3:  Guided Reading
I've really only been pulling groups for about a week.  I needed to get at least some of the Daily 5 activities introduced and complete a benchmark assessment on each student.  Most of my reading manipulatives and games are now stored behind my teaching table for easy access during groups.  I use a binder to store lesson plans, anecdotal records and running records for my groups.  The binder also includes information that might be helpful during groups such as questioning guides, strategy charts, book level expectations, etc.  I made "thinking clouds" to help me remember to ask higher level questions.  We can pull a cloud and discuss the story using the prompt.

Goal 4: Technology
I do my calendar on my Smart Board.  The activities are very interactive, and I have included lots of songs which the kids love.  A lot of the songs I use are from Jack Hartmann's Math in Motion CD.  I love how many math skills we can practice during this time!
The kids have started to use Kid Pix to write and illustrate sentences.
We still need to learn how to login using their personal logins/passwords.  Right now we are using a generic student login which makes saving work more complicated.  My goal is to have them start using their own logins this week so they can save directly to a folder on the shared drive.  I have created a class blog on Kidblogs for the class to share their work.  All that is left is to get a few more students' work uploaded and then send the link to the parents.  I am very excited about using the blog as a digital portfolio of our work this year!  I have found Kathy Cassidy's website very helpful for blogging inspiration and tools.

Overall, I feel pretty good about my progress toward my goals.  If I could just get the organization thing down...a few more hours in a day would be helpful!

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