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Friday, June 27, 2014

Five For Friday - June 27th

It's that time of the week again, TGIF!  It's an extra special week for me since it is finally SUMMER VACATION!!  I have been reading so many of your blogs and been so jealous since many of you have been on vacation for a few weeks already.  I've been sooo jealous! Many NY school finished yesterday - YAY! :)

My son is leaving for camp tomorrow so my celebration is a little bitter sweet.  He is so excited to leave and see his summer friends.  He has been counting the days for months.  I am lucky to get 1-2 letters while he is away "I am so busy, Mom, I have noooo time to sit down and write!  Sorry!!!"  I guess that's a good thing.  As long as he's happy, right? :)  Visiting day is in a few weeks, I'll start counting the days, as well...
My summer plans involve reading, reading, and more reading.  Books on my list are: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling), The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and We are Water by Wally Lamb.  Have you read any of these books?  Please let me know if you have any more suggestions.  

Books that I recently read and are worth checking out are Me Before You, The Husband's Secret, The Storyteller, and Where'd you go Bernadette.  Enjoy!!
My poor doggie.  He is a Jack Russell so he has anxiety to begin with but he seems to be getting worse with age.  He is almost 10 and is not as carefree as he used to be.  If he had his way he would hide under the bed all day.  He doesn't even like to come out for walks!  Living in a city with lots of noises (construction and sirens) seem to scare him.  Poor fella.  He needs so much TLC.  I think he will like spending the summer in the country.  He likes summer vacation, too!
Where's Rufus?
Sad Rufus :(
Blast from the past!!  I grew up in the 80's (I am aging myself a bit) so OF COURSE one of my favorite movies is St. Elmo's Fire.  I got so excited when it was on TV last night.  AMAZING!  Brought me right back to the 80's with the crazy outfits and big hair.
Look at them - Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, think they had enough hair spray?  1985 was a great year for movies.  Can you remember what else came out that year?  ...Give up??  The Breakfast Club, Goonies, Better off Dead, and Back to the Future.  I never would have guessed that they were all in the same year!

Now that school is officially over I have the time to devote to TV.  I am all set to start watching season 2 of Orange is the New Black.  Do you watch?  Do you give it a thumbs up or down? Either way, I would love to hear what you think.  I watched season 1 and enjoyed it...still not sold.  Hopefully season 2 will convince me.

That's all for now.  Thank you Doodle Bugs Teaching! Have a great weekend :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five For Friday First Timer

It's Friday!! Woo hoo!  I am a new blogger and am excited to be joining up with so many amazing people.  It's only been a few weeks and I have learned so much from all of your blogs.  Thank you!

Today was my son's middle school graduation.  It is hard to believe that my one and only (baby) is getting ready for high school.  He has worked so hard and I am very proud of his hard work.  He is finally taller than me and I have to share a picture to show how cute he is.  Like many proud parents, we take the same picture every year on the first day of school.  The one below is Jack on his first day of kindergarten.  Same face, right?!

I have been procrastinating a bit this week so my weekend plan is to complete my students' progress reports.  Since I am an intervention teacher I have 50+ students.  I better get started!
My dear friend Sheryl is finished for the year.  She teaches in Florida so our schedules are a little different.  Once a NYer always a NYer so she spends the summer up here visiting family & enjoying the country air.  She finally arrived yesterday and will be here through August.  I can't wait to spend our summer break lounging by the pool, catching up on movies & tv, playing with the doggies, and reading.  Welcome home Sheryl!
Our little guys, Rufus & Holly
I had a great week with my students.  My 2nd graders really enjoyed "spending a dollar" at the penny store.  Even my most reluctant students were motivated when I brought out all the objects for them to "buy".  They were disappointed when class was over so I had to promise that we would shop again next week.  I will have them spend $2 and change the prices of the objects.  The goal is to have them count by 5s and 10s to 200.  2.NBT.2

Parker at http://pjsdesignlaboratory.blogspot.com/p/hire-me.html is working on my new blog design as we speak.  I am so excited!!  I have been watching videos and reading posts and have become pretty good at navigating Blogger.  However, with Parker's help I have a feeling things will start looking a LOT better.  Please stay tuned :)  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer countdown....wait, not yet!!

As the weather starts to change, flowers start to bloom, and the days get longer we all start to feel the early days of summer inching up.  Teachers, students, and even parents feel the excitement in the air and secretly count down the days until summer vacation.  But wait, don’t count too quickly!  This is an opportune time of year for reflection and planning.  Even though we do this throughout the year, it's even more important to stop and think about how much you and your students have accomplished, how much they learned, what you would have done differently, and set goals for September. 

Physical space
Look around your classroom.  Step back and ask yourself some important questions.
What I asked myself: Was the space conducive to learning?  Was it comfortable and welcoming?  Were materials accessible and organized?  Were my charts helpful?  Did my students use the charts?  Did I have too many charts?
What I realized:  As an intervention teacher, I work with 4-6 students at a time.  Maybe I should have taught more lessons on the rug, rather than at the table.  The little ones tend to lose focus and having them close seems to help.  Also, I teach grades 2-5 therefore have charts for many grades, ranging from combinations of 10 to fractions and multiplication strategies.  This can be overpowering for some students.  I will have to think of a new way to organize my charts for next year.  Add that to my summer to-do list!
math charts, manipulatives, classroom setup
3-5 anchor charts

math class, materials and anchor charts
2-3 anchor charts

Learning goals
Conferring with readers, writers, and mathematicians is quite similar in my opinion.  As Carl Anderson taught me, start by simply asking, “How’s it going?”  This open ended question is a pressure-free way to start a conference.  Talking about math can be quite difficult for children (and adults) so I like to keep it simple.  I have my students start the year by setting goals for themselves and thinking about what they want to learn.  At the end of the year I ask them to think about what they have learned, what they have accomplished, what they still are struggling with, and I help each student set goals for next year.  After our conferences I have them record everything in their math journals.  This year I will take this one step further.  I will have them write a letter to their new teacher(s).  What a great way to introduce themselves- as a reflective learner, writer, and mathematician!    
Like my students, I will need to spend plenty of time reflecting about the past year.  I will need to think about my lessons, strategies, and activities and decide how it went.  We all have room to grow and I never wanted to be the type of person that does the same thing day after day.  Luckily, I have the type of job that doesn’t allow me to do that.  With new students comes new discoveries, challenges, learning goals, learning styles, joys and lessons to plan.  I have a feeling my summer to do list has gotten pretty long already!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Welcome to Teaching Math K-5!

Welcome to the first post at Math K-5!  As a teacher and lover of mathematics, I am always thinking of new ideas and ways to reach my students and help them make meaning.  I work with children in grades K through 5 and with teachers with various expertise and experiences. My goal is to share everything I learn and create and share all the wonderful things I discover along the way.  I hope you enjoy what you see, find a few things helpful, and possibly return the favor.
Always remember – happiness is in teaching others!
Enjoy, Tammy

**** New blog location - http://www.teaching-with-tammy.blogspot.com

see you there :)