Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Mish-Mash {after a looooong break from blogging thanks to reports!}

Have I mentioned yet how much I love Math centres? I love them. I love finding great activities and seeing the finished products in my classroom. I love the independent learning. I love the chance to focus on differentiation. I love the chance to work with small groups. I try to do Math rotation three times a week {when my 6-day rotation schedule allows for double Math periods}, and I am happy to say that my students are all getting the hang of it. Most of them.

I have a few little friends that are not keen on following instructions or participating in their group's activity, and so I
kick them out have them work in another classroom. I know, I probably shouldn't be doing this. And I'm sure my team teachers don't love having the extra student in their room. BUT, let me explain. We have been working in Math centres for over two months now. I have discussed with the students over and over how we need to act/learn/talk/participate during centres and why. I even have a centre time rubric that I use with them! They all know what it means to get a level four and how to actually get there. I reward great behaviour constantly - I'm big on positive reinforcement. I have taken the few students that {on occasion} refuse to participate and discussed with (there it is again!) them why they are in school, why they should participate, how their behaviour affects others, yada yada yada, blah blah blah. It's the same few students and it's the same conversation. I've even spoken to some parents about this! So, they get a simple worksheet, one I know they can complete independently {like a 100 chart fill-in} and I march them to the next grade two room where they will sit to complete the work.

Fair or a cop out? I'm interested to hear some opinions. {I should add that I ALWAYS tell the misbehavers that I really really really WANT them in my class - that I think they have a lot to learn independently, that they have a lot they can teach their group, and that I KNOW mistakes happen. I stress the second chance factor.}

Anyway. I grabbed an idea from Erica Bohrer's blog to practice word problem solving that works along with my mini-unit on penguins. My group seems to struggle with deciding when to add and when to subtract, so I'm trying to make the skill a little more hands-on. {This despite the fact that we do a simple word problem Every Single Day as bell work AND that I have addition and subtraction key word posters hanging up!} Here is how their super-cute addition problems turned out. Love them!

I will be adapting another idea I found on Kinder Hoppenings to create a subtraction Valentine's craft for the next round of centers. We are going to use cut-out decorated heart "cookies" on a doily on a bright red paper plate.

Click HERE for the word problem PDF I made to match, three per page.

{Watch out, there's another blog coming up  in about.... fifteen minutes!}

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