Well I survived the first week back! On day one I used my revised, editable Essential Questions activity and it went really well. I love the new look of the speech bubbles! The students loved that they could get up and move around, read the prompts, give their honest reply and read what other students had to say. I had these chart papers spread out around the room for the first two days...and then on the third day I consolidated them on an empty bulletin board. I want students to be able to continue to read them until we have new work to go on the boards. If you would like to grab your own copy to use just click on the image below.
On the second day we completed our first Currently for the year. If you read my blog, you will know I sometimes complete the template as part of Oh Boy in 4th Grade's monthly linky. I purchased her templates several years ago and started using them with my students. Students complete the template each month and after I read them myself, I post them on clipboards in the hallway outside my classroom. It is a very popular board, students from all over come to read what my students write each month. We all get to learn more about each other!
On Thursday and Friday, we put together our Back to School three dimensional apples. It was a great way to start the discussion about growth mindset. Students wrote their responses, and decorated and put together their apples over the two days. I spent most of Friday creating a large wall sized tree. I had seen the idea of making one with brown butcher paper, so with the help of a colleague, we have created the tree and branches. Next week, we will need to add some leaves and hang the apples. I will be sure to come back and share some pictures of the finished product. In the meantime, here are the apples...
What's next week look like? I am going to introduce my Back to School math task cards to my class. You can get your own copy of these Ontario curriculum aligned task cards by clicking on the image below.
I started using task cards for math several years ago, and I find the students are much more motivated to complete the questions when they are allowed to get up and move around. I ask students to start at random cards around the room and move about completing the problems. Students are allowed to use calculators and manipulatives to help them solve the problems. They often grab a clipboard to help them record and off they go! Students stop and talk to each other, they discuss and debate their answers and when they have completed the problems, they come to me to have them marked. Using task cards allows students to work at their own pace, and allows me to review and discuss errors or misconceptions with individual students. It is a great way to differentiate instruction. Those who are strong in math are able to demonstrate mastery quickly. I have additional tasks for these students to complete. Students who need more time or assistance can receive both. It's a win-win situation. As a teacher, I get to see student strengths and where students struggle. I am able to adapt my instruction to address their needs individually, in a small group or even through whole group instruction.
How was your first week? I would love to hear about all the awesome things you are doing in your classrooms!