Treading Water

Yup! That’s me! Just trying to hold my head above water right now. Teaching all subjects in 6th grade, my tendency to procrastinate, along with my desire to have fun in the classroom=treading water and praying to stay afloat. πŸ™‚

So with that being said in this EXTRA long blog post, I give you this image:

That’s me right now. I know it LOOKS like I’m performing water ballet. πŸ™‚

But I’m not. I’m performing “I will not drown, I will not drown.”

Hey-I’m still good for my blogging challenge though. 17/17 so far!

Let’s not talk about quality posts…..

Letting students know you care

I want my students to know that I care about them. Even outside of the classroom.

So my coworker and I went to their Pee Wee football game today. At 12:00. In the 91 degree weather here in Alabama. πŸ™‚

We were able to see lots of our 6th grade boys play their hearts out doing something they love to do and love to talk about. We also saw a few of our sweet girls cheer like there was no tomorrow!

We waved. We yelled. We cheered. We talked to them.

We hope they know we care. πŸ™‚

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Mountain Math

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This is my mountain math bulletin board. Doesn’t it look pretty? Love those bright colors.

But let me tell you a few things. Boy, was it HARD to align with my curriculum. And when I say curriculum I mean align with the math common core standards AND the math textbook that my district adopted.

4 hours people. That’s how long it took me to work it all out. That’s not counting PUTTING THE BULLETIN BOARD UP. πŸ™‚

I’ll give you a rundown of the positive things about mountain math:

1. Spirals so that no skill is ever forgotten. In my opinion this is the way to go with math. Well, really with everything.

2. Cards are done for you. Sure you could make up your own kit (which I was tempted to do about each hour!), but who wants to do that?

3. Colorful. Yes, I’m ashamed to admit that color draws me in. Love it. Can’t help it.

4. Friendly customer service.

Now for the negative things. And I really do hate putting this out here, but it’s got to be told so that if YOU buy a kit, you’ll know what you’re getting. And they may not bother you. πŸ™‚

1. The 6th grade kit was not common core aligned so you could buy extensions that MADE it common core aligned. Well, um, no not really!!!!!!!!!! Out of the 6 extensions (8.00 each) only 3 are 6th grade common core. Right. Not happy. And not ALL common core standards are in the kit. No inequalities. No other stuff-I can’t remember what else. So it’s STILL not common core aligned completely!!Β 

2. No answer keys are provided. Ok, maybe I’m being unrealistic here. Am I?Β 

With that being said, I am glad I bought the kit because I’m thinking it’s going to benefit my students so much. Hopefully. I’m sure they will be delighted to have more “math practice”. πŸ™‚

Now this is what I have left to do.

1. Retype the question sheet that will be given to the students in my order.(Before school)

2. Number the cards easiest to hardest for each problem set.(After school starts)

3. Make answer keys. (After school starts)

Here’s the Mountain Math website.

Have you ever used the spiraling concept in your classroom?

What I’m Going to Do Differently Next Year

Yes, go ahead and call the bloggy police. I’m posting twice in one day. πŸ™‚

I’m linking up with the fantastic Kim at Finding Joy in 6th Grade for her 1st linky party-What I’m Going to Do Differently Next Year.

And since supper is on the stove, this is going to be FAST! πŸ™‚

1. Well, for starters I will be teaching 6th grade ALL SUBJECTS next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIKES!!! So lots of new stuff for me, and I couldn’t be more excited. Earth Science will be new, Math will be new, AND I am going to TRY the reading workshop model AND the Reading Olympians Word Study in place of Spelling AND Jeff Anderson’s Invitation to Notice for Grammar.

Whew! Maybe I should have put all that under different numbers!!!

2. I “hope” to be more organized with my planning-in other words get a lot of the rough sketching done this summer!!

3. I want to REALLY focus on writing. I start the National Writing Project on Monday, June 3rd and hope to learn A LOT!!

So-what are you going to do next year????????????

Roll and Read Fun

28 days left in school. Spring fever. 6th grade. Need I say more?

With the ants in the pants syndrome that I the kids have right now, I decided to spice things up a bit for me them.

We are studying WWII right now with the next lesson being on how the war affected the people back home. Since this lesson isn’t one of the “sequence” lessons where it has to go in order to make sense I made a “ROLL and READ” activity to put some spark into it for them. πŸ™‚

They will roll a die and read a certain section depending on what number they rolled. Pretty cool, huh?

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Here’s a copy of the Roll and Read sheet in PDF format:

Roll and ReadWWII

If you want a template that you can edit here you go:

Roll and ReadWWII2

I grabbed the text that they will read from History On The Net.

On the PDF version I got the cute little clips fromΒ Krista’s Borders.

The cute little hamster clipart came from Melonheadz.

Do you have any ideas to spice things up these last few weeks of school????

Math, Anyone???

I went to a math sharing session after school today. You know-in case I actually teach math next year. πŸ™‚ Currently, I only teach history/english. Being at a small school has its advantages and disadvantages. One minor disadvantage is that you frequently have to change what you are teaching including grade levels. Next year will be one of those changes.

I’m hoping I land in 6th grade. HOPING. PRAYING. πŸ™‚

If I do then Mr. Brady and I have talked about going self-contained so we can collaborate with each other-especially with reading and math. So, I’m planning ahead. Which is why I went to this math session!

Other schools in our district are spending about 1 1/2 hours each day with math. WOW! The lower grade levels have implemented small group math whereas the upper elementary grade levels do remediation in math and are leaning toward small groups in the future.

With the small groups the key is doing a formative assessment (a quick one) each day after the whole group lesson. This is how they determine who will be in what small group. So the groups are FLEXIBLE!

Before I left I asked one of the 4th grade teachers what she would recommend for me next year if I teach 6th grade. What is one thing I should use?

She said definitely ROCKET MATH. Have you ever heard of it? You can read about it here at Rocket Math.

It’s a method of math facts practice that partners can complete with each other with the teacher as the facilitator.

It’s a daily thing.

I’ll be checking this out if I end up in the number world next year. I’ve NEVER taught math except in Kindergarten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Biting nails. πŸ™‚

Do you have any suggestions for me?