Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday WOW and a FREEBIE

I'm joining my BBB Em @ Curious Firsties for her weekly linky party Wednesday WOW. It's easy to join, just link up and share something positive from your personal life and/or teaching life.

After having three snow days, we went back to school last Wednesday. Our principal called an emergency staff mtg after school to tell us our first formal evaluations of the year were due BEFORE we left school for winter break on Tuesday (12/17)! What???? No I need more time. Is what I was thinking but I signed up for her to come to my room on Monday. I thought it was the perfect solution because I have an assistant on Mondays. She takes the kinders to the computer lab for 50 minutes and then takes the firsties for 50 minutes so I have a little time with each group. So I quickly signed up during one of the computer times. Every thing was going good, I was trying to decide what lesson to WOW my principal with. lol Then I remembered that the assistant had some comp days that she had told me she was going to guessed it Monday. She definitely deserved the comp days, but my heart sunk.

What kind of lesson could I possibly teach to 15 kinders and 17 firsties that they could all stay on task? Most of the things I could teach, the firsties already knew the basics and then once I got to their level, it might be too hard for the kinders. I was lamenting my problem during lunch last Friday and WOW one of our new young 3rd grade teachers offered to take the kinders to the library for a buddy reading session. She totally saved the day for me.

I don't know how you have felt about the new evaluation systems. I went to a lot of Marzano training last year and lots of teachers feel like they are just trying to get rid of teachers. Of course that is not the intention, but I was much more nervous about this evaluation than I have been in years. 

I ended up teaching a lesson on Base 10 Blocks. I used this idea from Pinterest:

After working with the number grid, we switched to a Place Value Chart. Instead of using the Base 10 blocks, I gave each student a ziplock with saltine crackers (100s "flat"). pretzel sticks (10s "long") and Reeses Pieces (1s "cubes"). I started with giving them a number for them to make and then I let them constrct their own number that they had to write and break it down into hundreds, ten s and ones. Overall the lesson went well. I had a couple of students that needed some one on one help, but they did OK. Of course they got to eat their Base 10 blocks when they were finished.

My last day of regular class was Tuesday (I'm teaching intersession Wednesday-Friday). So that was the day of our party. I was very happy that I had four parents come to help me out. It was great they stayed right through to the clean-up. Earlier in the morning we finished our "Box for Little Books" I got the idea several years ago, but I don't know where. I googled and googled searching for the site, but never could find it. Basically it is a decorated shoebox for the kids to keep little books that they make in class. The teacher had written a little poem to put on the box, since I couldn't find it I had to write my own (which my daughter informed me didn't rhyme). Anyway the kids were all excited to take theirs home. I had been saving some of their books so they wouldn't be going home empty. If you are interested in it and don't mind a poem that doesn't rhyme, you can get it HERE.

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  1. I'm glad your evaluation went so well! I think that's brilliant using the crackers etc. for base ten blocks. I think I'll try that for a little fun:)

    1. Thanks Barb! I did it last year, but made the mistake of using chocolate chips...bad idea, they were getting all melty OOPS! ;D

  2. Oh my! Good thing you get a nice break now :) I like the food idea! I will have to pass that on to Natalie. Thanks for linking up. I love reading, friend.

    1. You know firsties, well any kids always love it when you involve learning with food! lol

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Christina, I definitely did a sigh of relief. ;)