Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 1 of Math Workshop

Well, not too bad!  All but two students say they like it better than large group!  I did notice several things:  the group that did the Daily Skill Review were not working as a group as I wanted.  Also, the fluency group worked together more than I wanted.  Several groups were done before the 20 mintues was up and didn't know what to do. 
I think tomorrow I'll go over my expectations again.  Groups that finish early can get out flash cards and practice multiplication or division.

Here it is in action:

Here I am working with a small group.  They have dry erase makers and boards.  They also brought a pencil, because I had a worksheet to work on together.

Click the link to read more!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Math Groups...Oh My!

Well, it's done.  I've created my math groups, activities, and centers.  Best laid plans...  We'll see how it goes! Thanks to my partners-in-crime Alisan Clayton and Katie DeBoy - we worked together to get this up and going!

Here's what we've done:

Totally stole this from my colleague - Alisan Clayton.  At the top are my four stations:  "Mrs. Lawson," "SuccessMaker,"  "Fact Fluency & Games," and "Daily Skill Review."  The students are placed in four groups.  Keep your fingers crossed that these groups get along!

Click to see more of what Math Workshop looks like!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I want to do CAFE - now what?

My biggest struggle when I decided to do CAFE two years ago was where to start!  I do a great job teaching the framework of Daily 5, but  how do I start CAFE?
I spend over a week teaching and practicing Daily 5. When I felt they could go 15-20 minutes so I could conference with students - I started pulling students.

Here is what I've done this year and I've been very pleased:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Introducing CAFE and Daily 5

This will be my second year implementing CAFE and my fourth using the D5 Framework.  Here are some of my key tips to get you going:
  • Sign up for the sisters "Tip of the Week."  Click here to sign up.  It's on the right hand side.
  • Start small and make it managable. 
    • Introduce "Read to Self" the first week, and practice Stamina
    • Introduce "Read to Someone" if you want and again practice it
      • The Sisters maintain that "Read to Someone" is not as important in upper grades as it is in primary.  If it's not something you want to implement, then don't!
    • Introduce "Work on Writing" and practice it
  • Do these seperate weeks to get comfortable and confident
  • Even now, I still use "The Daily 5" book when I'm teaching the procedures.  I use it as a resource and explain to my students that it's part of my tool kit to teach. Plus, I think it's important that students know that I use books and that I don't have answers to everything.
I don't do "Working With Words" or "Listen to Reading" in Fifth Grade.  I do lots of read alouds, and that's what I use as my "Listen to Reading."

If you're comfortable with your management, and want to start implementing CAFE, I suggest following the sisters plan in the appendix of the book.  It starts with 10 strategies.  It gives you a guide on how/when to implement the strategies.  Guess what?  Last year, I only did the first 10!  I didn't really start hitting CAFE under second semester.  Do what's right for you!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Reading Log

After Reading Donalyn Miller's book  The Book Whisperer I decided to do a Reading Log for students to record the books they've read.  Their goal is to read 30 books - in Miller's book her sixth graders are asked to read 40.  I have two copies on a page, and I print them on a full page "Shipping Label."  The students then stick them inside their notebook.

My Reading Pledge
3 poetry anthologies
3 traditional literature
4 realistic fiction
2 historical fiction
2 fantasy
1 science fiction
2 mystery
2 informational
2 biography/autobiography/memoir
9 chapter books (Free choice)

I created a PowerPoint document that explains the genres as "My Reading Pledge."  Then, under it I wrote an example citation:
How to record your books

Title, Author, Genre, Pages, Rating

1.The Last Olympian, By Rick Riordan, Fantasy,  381 pages, 10/10
2.The Billionaire’s Curse, By Richard Newsome, Fantasy, 344 pages, 2/10
Finally, I made a tally chart that is printer on a shipping label that fits four to a page.  It looks like this:
3 Poetry Anthologies

3 Traditional Literature

4 Realistic Fiction

2 Historical Fiction

2 Fantasy

1 Science Fantasy

2 Mystery

2 Informational

2 Biography/
Autobiography/ Memoir

9 Chapter Books
 (Free Choice)

Beginning of Year Activities

If you are looking for a beginning of year idea, I found this one of Proteacher called Fifth Day of Fifth Grade.  Students have lots of activities to do with the number five.

Speaking of Proteacher, I found Summer Writing Narrative under this discussion.  Scroll down to find the download.


Hello!  Welcome to my blog.  I hope to post often with ideas and things I've found that work great in a fifth grade classroom.  Stay tuned!