Image Map

Thursday, July 15

3 Classroom Management Strategies for Your Guided Math Block

classroom-management-strategies


Guided math sounds amazing, but there is just no way on heaven or Earth that my students can handle task time. The classroom will completely fall apart while I teach my guided groups! Hey teacher friend, take a deep breath in and out. Better? Good, because I’m here to tell you, heck yes guided math is amazing and oh ya your students can totally handle it! Classroom management during guided math can seem like a mission that’s set for failure, but follow my tips below and your guided math classroom management is sure to be so rockin’ that you’ll wish your administrator would come to observe you all the time (ok maybe not all the time!)


Classroom Management Strategies for Your Guided Math Block- Tip #1


Have you ever heard the saying, “have a plan or your students will have a plan for you”? Let me tell you teacher friend, that phrase perfectly captures the image of the first year I dabbled in guided math. Well, what I thought was guided math. That year I had grown so fed up and discouraged with my math block and instruction and decided to find a better way. I hunted high and low and combed every blog post available at the time and guess what, I still fell face first and hard. I learned all about the guided math setup, but no one prepared me for the management shift and classroom management strategies that I would need. So let me say loud and clear, have a plan or your students will have a plan for you! Plan how you are going to teach them the ins and outs of your math block. Show them the components and centers. Finally, active model how each component should be done. You will be so glad that you did!

classroom-management-strategies



Classroom Management Strategies for Your Guided Math Block- Tip #2


The second tip I want to share in this Classroom Management Strategies for Your Guided Math Block blog post is to set your classroom up for success. When you are thinking about your guided math block this year, how do you want it to run? What components do you have time for in your block and thus stations/ centers you will need to set up? Once all that is laid out, stop and think about how you can physically organize your room for success. I remember my first year teaching guided math, I felt so stressed about letting my students freely use the math manipulatives because I didn’t have a clear system to keep them organized. How will your kiddos be able to navigate the classroom while you are leading guided groups if you don’t have any clear systems for them?


Want some help getting started? Grab my Math Manipulative labels for FREE! Just click HERE to grab them now!

math-manipulatives



Classroom Management Strategies for Your Guided Math Block- Tip #3


Teaching expectations and organizing the classroom sound pretty easy right? They absolutely are! Here’s the thing though teacher friend, you can have the best active modeling in the world, the clearest systems, and still find your math block is a hot mess express by Halloween. Why? This is because all classroom management needs a booster or two throughout the year. As my dance instructor used to say, “practice makes permanent.” So in order to have classroom management success during your math block, make sure you plan to reteach and practice those expectations after all major school breaks.


Are your engines fired up about this guided math thing? Then join me! I’m offering a totally FREE live training to teach all about guided math and the amazing goodness that it can bring into your classroom. Click THIS LINK now to learn about how you can grab a digital seat at my FREE live training, Transform Your Math Block!

classroom-management-strategies



Thursday, July 8

Math Warm Up Activities

Guided-Math


You wouldn’t go for a three-mile run without warming up your muscles first. The same idea applies to math class too. We push our students to expand their thinking in our math blocks, so it’s important that we let them warm up first. Read more to explore my four favorite math warm up activities.


#1

Games are a fun and engaging way to begin your math block. Since your time for math warm up is usually brief, so you will want to select a game that can be played in a short amount of time. A few favorites in my room have been math facts around the world (last student standing) or geometry Simon Says. The warm up time in your math block is a fantastic time to get your students out of their seats, so get creative and see what games you can accomplish this with.


#2

Our students love having opportunities to shine. That is why I often let my students take turns teaching a review skill they have mastered to the class. For time reasons, only one student can present a day during warm up time. My students love having the chance to sign up for a “teaching time” and share their knowledge with friends. By the way, you’ll be amazed at how attentive the rest of your class is when one of their peers takes charge and teaches. It is one warm up activity you definitely have to try in your classroom.

Guided-Math


#3

Math videos are a fantastic way to warm up your student's minds before math instruction. I love using math videos for warm ups in my room. I will either show a review skill or introduce the skill of the day using a math video. Using technology allows my students to access the information in an alternative way to our standard instruction. My favorite math video channels are NumberRock, Math Antics, and Jack Hartman (for math fact songs). Math videos are fabulous for warm up times that are on a snug time crunch. 

math-videos


#4

I love using warm up time to review already taught skills with my students. It is always a good idea to keep these skills fresh in their minds as the year continues. One way I do this is through the use of miniature white boards. I put a review problem on the board and have my students work independently to solve the problem. I will walk around and check a few boards quickly. Students can not show their boards until they hear me say, “1, 2, 3, show me”. Then students will raise their boards up high. Finally, students will lower their boards and listen as I think aloud and model how to solve the problem. 


Warm up activities are crucial to make sure your students are firing on all cylinders. Which warm up activities will you implement in your math block this year?


math-manipulatives


Want these math manipulative labels for your classroom? THEY’RE FREE! Just click HERE or the picture below to download your FREE math manipulative labels now!
math-manipulatives


Saturday, July 3

4th of July Activities for Kids

4th-of-july-activities-for-kids


Fireworks, freedom, and 4th of July activities! I love celebrating and teaching about the 4th of July! From writing activities to read alouds, there are so many exciting 4th of July to do with your kids. Read more to explore my three favorite 4th of July Activities for kids.


4th of July Activities For Kids #1- Read Alouds

The 4th of July is a fabulous time to break out the patriotic picture books! There are countless books you could read to help celebrate and teach about the 4th of July. I have compiled a list of my favorites. Click the images below to explore my favorite 4th of July Picture books.

4th-of-july-activities-for-kids


  


   





4th of July Activities For Kids #2- Writing Activities


4th-of-july-activities-for-kids
I love writing prompts, regardless of what time of year it is! Writing prompts can wear so many different hats, and their versatility is what makes them so amazing. I love writing prompts to practice specific writing skills in my classroom. But you can easily pair any writing prompt with a fun art project too! My kiddos love when I pair a writing prompt with a “directed drawing” activity. Check out THIS link to explore some 4th of July directed drawings you can pair with 4th of July PRINT & Digital writing prompts for a fantastic 4th of July activity.




If you want to explore even more writing prompts, for each month, and every holiday? Click this LINK to explore my year-long writing prompt bundle.


4th-of-july-activities-for-kids



4th of July Activities For Kids #3-Online Skills Practice

4th-of-july-activities-for-kids


Holiday themes make my teacher heart happy. I love making festive learning opportunities for my students to learn and grow. While practicing verb tense last year, I knew my students would love something visually engaging and fun, and I needed something that still brought the rigor. So I created a 4th of July digital interactive notebook for verb tense and it was an overwhelming hit! If you would like to have this FREEBIE for your kiddos too, just click the download link now!

4th-of-july-activities-for-kids




Thursday, July 1

3 Tips to Keep Your Math Manipulatives Organized All Year Long

math-manipulatives

“Do you see how those fraction pieces line up perfectly? That shows that they are equivalent.” This and countless similar conversations take place at my guided math table every year with the help of our math manipulatives. I adore math manipulatives! If we’re being honest, I am kind of obsessed with math manipulatives. If there's a teacher who is getting rid of old supplies, a yard sale on my block, or a rockin’ Amazon deal on math manipulatives then I am all over it! I love the way math manipulatives gift my students the opportunity to see, touch, and explore math concepts. As amazing as math manipulatives are, how do you keep them all organized? How do you teach your students to return your math manipulatives to a special space and keep your math block running smoothly? As I say to my students, don’t fret! Over the years I’ve come up with three messy-class-proof ways to organize and maintain your math manipulative station. Read more to learn my top three tips for keeping your math manipulatives organized all year long.


Tip #1 to Keep Your Math Manipulatives Organized All Year Long- Use Pictures


I used to store my math manipulatives in labeled bins. Clear enough for organizational ease right? Not exactly. Remember teacher friend, you are not the only one using your math manipulatives, your kiddos are too. Keep organization simple for them by adding pictures to your math manipulative labels! You would be amazed at how seamlessly math manipulatives are returned to their correct containers once a visual cue is involved! It’s not that students are unable to read math manipulative labels, but I have found the visual picture cues are all the nudge they need to keep our math manipulative station looking spick and span. No more picking unifix cubes out of the one's tub (can I get a woot woot!)


Want these math manipulative labels for your classroom? THEY’RE FREE! Just click HERE or the picture below to download your FREE math manipulative labels now!


math-manipulatives



Tip #2 to Keep Your Math Manipulatives Organized All Year Long- Keep it Easily Accessible 


Want your kiddos to explore, use, and return math manipulatives? Keep them easily available to access and put away. I have found that the more difficult/ inconveniently placed the math tools are, the more likely they will be shoved in someone's desk (insert teacher groan) and less likely to be returned to where they belong. In my classroom, I keep my math manipulatives on a low shelf that is easy for my students to access and reach. Easy to access and easy to return is the key here. Additionally, I store all my math manipulatives under my math bulletin board. This makes it easy for my students to find and remember where all the math tools are should they need to use them.

math-manipulatives



Tip #3 to Keep Your Math Manipulatives Organized All Year Long- Teach and Reteach Expectations


As teachers, we know that the key to any good classroom practice is clear expectations. I spend ample time at the beginning of the year teaching my math block expectations. I take time to model how each part of the math block should look and sound. Seems easy enough right? You can even take real photos of your kids doing an amazing job at each math station and post it on your math bulletin board as another visual cue (they love this!) It is easy, but no amount of active modeling will keep your math block running smoothly all year. If you want your math manipulatives to stay organized and not turn into a chaos corner, you will have to do expectation booster lessons at various points throughout the year. 

math-manipulatives



There you have it teacher friend, my top three tips for keeping your math manipulatives organized all year long. How will you implement these tips in your classroom? I would love to see your setup! Tag me in your math manipulative organization photos on Instagram at Instagram.com/TailsofTeaching


Wait you almost forgot! Remember to grab your FREE math manipulative labels! Click the download button below to get you FREE math manipulative labels now.


teacher-freebie


math-manipulatives