Guided Math in a Resource Room

My building has been slowly, slowly taking on guided math. As a building we are moving towards pulling small groups after whole group instruction. My question is how do you maintain rigor of what students are doing while you are meeting in small groups.

Before going to Spring Break, it was decided that I would be providing replacement core of three of my sixth graders and about half way through my time with them I provide support to a small group of fifth graders that come as well.

I have decided to use interactive notes for both groups for the rest of the year. I came across this from Rundes Room on Pinterest, where students are responsible for the learning goal and the proof. This is perfect for my students because it aligns with how I write my daily learning targets.


My students have to provided proof that they have mastered the learning target every day. Even in reading, when the target and outcomes are the same all week. This will mean that I will have daily evidence of what my sixth graders are doing while working on their own. It will be interesting to see how this idea works with both Investigations and Do the Math. More to come as I play. Have you used interactive notebooks, I'd love to hear how they turned out. Have a great week.


Math and a Freebie

I have eight weeks for school left. Of which only 6 with students. In my building we tend to end services a couple of weeks before the end of the year to do all that FUN end of the year paperwork and inventory that needs to done.

I made a couple of big schedule changes right before I left for Spring Break. One change was how math was going to be provided for the last part of the year. In some way a grand experiment with Do the Math and in other ways letting me have more control on the amount of time a couple of students spend truly (I mean truly) spend accessing core.

These guys are moving on to middle school and the data shows it was time for a change. My building uses Do the Math as an intervention. It has not been used in my building as a core replacement. I understand that others in my district do and have had moderate results. I guess we'll see.  More to come on using Do the Math as core replacement. The classroom teachers are on board with this change. Which is odd--they have not let been very open to changes this year. I think they, like I'm hoping to send them off stronger than when they walked in.

The freebie, is something that I plan on using with this group to strength the basics. Enjoy!

Happy Spring Break!




Sight Words and Fluency


A couple of years ago my school created a kindergarten through four grade benchmarking norms for reading sight words. We have a list of five hundred words that we think that all our students should know by the spring of their four grade year.

What we don't have in writing is what does sight word fluency sound like. In the Wilson Reading System, fluent is a no more than 2 seconds a word with the first thing that comes out of your month counting. So, in talking with my special education team, we decided that if a student could read this list of 500 sight words correctly with the first thing out of their month counting taking no more than 5 seconds a word that we would consider that fluent.

To do this, I created a Google presentation that flashes the word for 5 seconds and then moves no to the next one. I did this 1) so I wouldn't have to time the student and 2) so it could be used with fidelity with the same idea being used with all our identified students or students needing their sight word fluency check. We also created benchmark scores for grades Kindergarten through Fourth grade with recommendations for Fifth and Sixth as to where to take students sight word knowledge. Have a great week!

         

Daily 5 + Tech = Accountability

My school district uses The Daily Five, by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser as the structure for our Reading Workshop.“The Daily Five is a series of literacy tasks (read to self, read with someone, writing, word work, and listening to reading) which students complete daily while the teacher meets with small groups or confers with individuals.” The book “explains the philosophy behind the structure,” and it shows teachers how to train “students to participate in each of the five components.” Each grade level creates what their reading block looks likes-some do all fives while others only do three.

This year has brought up questions of accountability within Daily 5 and what that looks like. Everyone in my building has different way that they make students accountable to what they do during each rotation but could it be tighter and help teachers with documentation that doesn't create more work for teachers.

I was asked by a teacher who has a couple of my more impacted students with learning disabilities to help her increase the accountability for not just these two students but her whole class during her Reading Workshop. She wants to use an iPad or two but also the computers in her room. After collaborating with her, we decided that setting something up that could go a week before making any changes would be best for her class.

After looking at our options, we decided that using MentorMob would be better than writing each on its own direction page like I do for math. Each rotation has its own step. The directions tell students what other materials they need to be "on task." This will be the first full week-so we'll see how it goes.

I think this is a good first step to help teachers create accountability that doesn't create more work for them. Adding any form of tech to their students day-where they are not using it to play games is a HUGE step in their thinking. Students do all their work in their writing journal or on a computer. For me its about showing teachers that computers and iDevices can be used to make life easier.





Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!

Daily 5

This week Colorado stated CTAP (state assessment), so my iPads have been spending time in a second grade classroom. (They are getting lots of lovin'.) The classroom teacher and I have taught together in the past and I have brought them in to done some math work with her students using the iPads.  She said her class had a great time with them.

She asked me about how she should go about adding more technology to her Daily 5--either with an iPad to two or with the laptops she has in her room. Though she teaches second grade, she has a number of students this year who need help with mastering sounds and letters. One idea I had for her to try was with this Symbaloo mix. Its the grouping of songs that can be used to reinforce the alphabet  It also allows students to access the videos on their own; so she can keep teaching.


I'll send this to her, so she can try it next week. Depending on her feedback I may create a couple of others for students to use. I can see a number of other ideas to use with Symbaloo. If you use technology during Daily 5, what do you do and how have you set it up? Have a great weekend!




Summaries and More Summaries

Sometimes I think summary writing will be my undoing this year. My students do summaries with just about everything they read. And yet they still struggle writing them when it counts. I encourage students to use their resource (the book) to help them. As I have been thinking through what students will do during State assessments (Yes, its before Spring Break.) I think I'm going to use two different apps to make it fun.

The first is free, Story Spine.

I have my students either do their summary as they are reading or after they have read. This app allows them to type it in to write in complete sentences and then generate it. This app does not have any export options, so students will need to rewrite their summary. I think this app because it will force them to think deep about what they read. Examples to come.

The other app is Comic Life ($): The idea for this app came from the need to find something that targets a variety of learning styles. Comic Life helps students to develop their writing skills and it has options of adding pictures. Its a tool for students who need practice at writing and are ready to connect images with text. It will help students to show how they analyze information included in the written book. I'm hoping that this tool with help my students (they are reading at different levels) create summaries with pictures to support the text to give others enough of a clue of what happened to understand what is going on in the story. And for other just the organization alone would be helpful to help them and be more interested in writing.

I'm hoping for this app will support my students need to draw through visual representation of knowledge. Its easier for them to recall visual information, engaging them through thinking, creating, and writing. Motivate them to write more and provide a means for them to organize their thinking.  Check out this site for lesson plan ideas and examples using Comic Life.  Examples to come. Do you have any great ideas to help students with writing summaries?  Have a great week.







About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I'm Ms. Whiteley. I teach in the beautiful Mile High state--Colorado. This is my 13th year teaching in an rural K-6 Elementary school as a Exceptional Needs Teachers. As Exceptional Needs National Board Certified Teacher, I believe that ALL students can learn and be successful. When I'm not in school, I love to take my two Italian Greyhounds hiking 14ers and reaching for the stars. Thanks for Hopping By.
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