Monday, October 29, 2012

Tens and Ones in the Fall

Hi All!
With all of the pressures of meeting the Common Core Standards and meeting state and district goals, it seems like sometimes we forget to celebrate the holidays with our little monkeys.  So whenever I can, I like to integrate fun craft activities into our Essential Learning Targets (ELTs).  
These are two different activities that I did with the Number Sense Standard.  Above are my Tens and Ones Trees.  The branches represent the "tens" and the leaves are the "ones".  When my students made the trees, they glued ten leaves on each branch to show that ten ones make up one ten.  The ones were then the leaves that fell off the tree.
Below are my Tens and Ones Monsters made from rolled construction paper.  The appendages are the tens and the spots (either colored dot stickers or stars) are the ones.  The same concept as the tree branches and leaves applied here. Not only did we practice basic place value, but we decorated the room for the holidays. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Today I Learned...

As part of the new Colorado Teacher Evaluation tool, I have set a goal for myself to have my students be more accountable for their learning.  This can be a challenge since my class if full of six and seven year old kids who still struggle with keeping their shoes tied.  So in order to keep it simplified, I have made forms that my little monkeys can fill out at the end of the day to let me know what they have learned. The forms are laminated and reusable.  They write what they learned with Vis-a-vis markers.  When they complete a form, they attach it with a magnetic clip to the side of my file cabinet.  My little guys are so excited about it that they want to fill out several forms in a day.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences are coming up. In order to get ready, I have created binders for each student.  The binders will hopefully have everything I need to discuss with the parents.  They have a checklist that will help keep me on target with my limited time with each parent.  Since I know I have a tendency to "gab", I need something to keep me focused.  The binder will also have our district report card.  I will be sure to have all of their assessments included as well.  

During conferences I always remember that the parents are their child's first teachers.  For this reason I ask them to initiate the conference by telling me how they think their child is progressing.  If the student comes to the conference, I ask for their input.  I teach first graders so their input is fairly limited to words like "good" or "okay".  From there I go to my binders.

I always try to keep things positive.  For every negative I try to say two positive things.  I encourage all parents to read and write with their children, even if it is in a language other than English. 

Parent Teacher Conferences are often stressful for teachers. I used to be nervous about conferences but now I look at it as a time for me to get to know the families a little better.  I look forward to it.