I recently posted a picture on Instagram (@notsowimpyteacher) of my math centers organized and ready to use. I received dozens of questions and requests for a blog post about my math center rotations. I have blogged MANY times about math centers, but it is a topic that I am passionate about, so I am happy to share! Specifically, this post is going to focus on what my third graders do during centers and how I manage and organize these tasks. I have four math groups in my classroom. They are grouped by ability level. The groups are fluid and always changing based on the skill we are working on. I give an exit ticket every week or two and use the results from the exit ticket to plan my groups for the following week. Since the groups are always changing, I needed a simple way to show students which group they were in. I just laminated paper and hung them on a cabinet door. I use dry erase marker to write student names on the posters each week. (I don't have names written yet b...
I love reading to my class and I get started on day one! I love the books First Day Jitters and The Juice Box Bully , but by the third grade, all of my students have heard these books several times. So I try to mix in some different books to keep it interesting. The following books are my very favorite read alouds for the first week of school. I have included an Amazon affiliate link for each book so that you can easily find the book if you want to add it to your classroom library. I absolutely love Peanut Butter & Cupcake ! It is an adorable story about friendship. Peanut Butter is trying to find someone to play ball with him, but everyone already has a best friend. I know that lots of our kiddos feel that way! The illustrations in this book are really cute and none of my students had ever read the book before. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is a fabulous story about being different. It is a cute story that makes the kids laugh. More importantly, it hits on the theme tha...
I wrote this post for the iTeach Third blog ! Make sure you are following! Let's be honest, pencils are a constant battle in the classroom! I decided early on that students would not be permitted to sharpen pencils in my classroom. I did this for several reasons: I find the sound to be a HUGE distraction to myself and my students. Certain students seem to NEED to sharpen their pencil all the time and I don't have time to police it. And, pencil sharpeners can be expensive and I have had at least one break every year. I also decided that I didn't want to allow the small hand-held sharpeners in my students' desks. Let's be real- they ALWAYS make a mess, no matter how much we talk about sharpening over the trash can! Instead of students sharpening pencils, I decided that I would sharpen the pencils. So I set out two cans: sharp and not sharp. I filled the can with new pencils and felt like I had solved the pencil problem. Then, halfway through the day, I hear &q...
Chapter five of Learn Like a Pirate is all about responsibility in the classroom. Solarz writes about the importance of students being able to identify what needs to be done and figure out the best way to get it done without the help of the teacher.  The teacher will offer feedback when necessary but won't be upset when students make mistakes. Instead he will praise them for taking a risk. Isn't that the type of the student we all want? A student who can recognize a problem and find ways to remedy the problem? They will have to do this ALL the time as an adult so now is the time to show them how it is done while we are right there offering gentle feedback. When we entrust students with great responsibilities, they will almost always surpass our expectations! And the best way to teach responsibility is to design a classroom where students have lots of opportunities to be responsible and lead. Although I have many challenges as a teacher, because we all do, I have alwa...