What We've Been Up To In 5th Grade & Give Away @ The Resource(ful) Room!

Whew. I can't believe we've been in school for over a month now. Crazy! Getting the hang of things at school and in my graduate courses has zapped most of my time, and I haven't been creating things for my classroom as much as finding so many WONDERFUL resources in blogland. So I thought I'd let you see just what we've been doing.

I co-teach in a 5th grade math class so far we have:
  • Reviewed multiplication and division
    • One "trick" to help students remember division is Dad, Mother, Sister, Brother (DMSB) which stands for Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring Down.) Just putting DMSB seems to help most students. 
  • We've tried to get divisibility rules sink in. Some have, others not so much, but they are a bit abstract.
    • Here is a great foldable that we made, click the picture to be taken to the blogpost the idea came from. The kiddos used it as a resource throughout the week quite often. 
    •  I also found this poem, from What the Teacher Wants that I love for divisibility as well! To view it click here!
    • Right now we are covering square roots and square numbers. Fun stuff. 
I also co-teach in a 5th grade reading class.
  •  The first month or so, we did a novel study for the book, Because of Winn Dixie. Although, I owned this book, I had never read it nor had I seen the movie... it was a good a read. Throughout the novel we incorporated many activities from this TPT packet from Dots-N-Spots.
    • One activity in the packet is to create your own candy. I really need to take a picture of one of my student's candy creations. He is on the spectrum and so creative. On his own, without prompting he did an advertisement for "Greatful Gobblers" that tastes like Thanksgiving dinner down to the pumpkin pie. I was so proud!
  • Now that Winn Dixie is over, we've decided to switch things up. This group is full of struggling readers so we are trying something new this year. The general education teacher is starting a new novel study on Dear Mr. Henshaw while I am doing the Read Naturally program. I'm not sure if anyone out there is using it or not, but several classes in our school do, and it works well. Each student is in a leveled reading group, they start the week with a cold read, end the week with a hot read, doing various activities throughout the week. What I like about this program so far, is the repetition of reading the same passage, the use of informational texts, the ability to cover strategies (such as finding the main idea) that these kids so desperately need. 
In my 4th/5th math pullout class, we've tried to cover a few major topics.
  • We started with place value. If you have not checked out Math Coach's Corner, please do so now. Donna is a math coach who hits the nail on the head: moving from concrete examples, to representational, to abstract. Love, love, love her activities. 
    • This was a great freebie that really helped my kiddos with learning how to read large numbers and think about the value of different digits. The choice board can be altered (I with held a couple of cards) to differentiate more. 
    • This blog post talks about common misconceptions with 8 place value challenges for free. 
    •  Love her idea for cupping your hands to read large numbers. Reading large numbers really boils down to reading three numbers and the commas correct name. So simple, and worked wonders!! She also had a couple of great, FREE, resources to show students the patterns within numbers, and shows how the commas are read. See the blog post here.
    •  We also played one of her FREE games with 4 great recording/worksheets, called Go Catch. Similar to Go Fish, students were trying to get all 4 cards that show their number as seen below. Click the picture to be taken to her blog post. 
  •  We also reviewed time. One student requests this game on a weekly basis, and we covered time right off the bat. This game, called "Time Flies" was created by What the Teacher Wants. What I liked best, was that they didn't have the hands of the clock drawn on, so I could differentiate the times for the various groups working. Great freebie! Click the picture to see for yourself. 
  •  We've reviewed addition and subtraction with regrouping/borrowing. Now we are starting to get into multiplication and measurement. 
    • With multiplication, my mentor teacher suggested using songs. Not sure where she found them, but we are currently learning our multiples of 3 from 3 to 36 to the tune of Dashing through the Snow.  We also did a foldable with various strategies as seen here
    • Today's lesson with perimeter included an activity in the hallway that really solidified the concept without having to just do a bunch of worksheets. I even remembered to take a picture before taking away all of the tape! We also sang a song about perimeter found here.

My final co-teaching class of the day is writing...we've covered several skills and I'm tired of typing/super hungry so I won't post as many of my finds for this category.
  • This Non-Fiction writing project turned into a two-day project, but worked out great. Rather than using a file-folder as shown in this blog post, we created a foldable with 8 sections for students to work with.
  • We've also explored, nouns (common vs. proper, singular and plural), what makes a sentence a sentence, conjunctions, just to name a few. As well as a couple of writing project.
Hope this post helps to inspire some lesson ideas. I love incorporating the wonderful ideas I find on blog posts as well as those found via Pinterest!

Happy Planning!

-Mrs. Whitehair

Oh, just saw this! Amy at the Resource(ful) room is having her 1,000 followers giveaway! If you've never been to her blog, you should check it out! She has so many wonderful ideas (and a pretty awesome give away right now!)

 Best of luck and have fun exploring! 


Story of my life right now, haha

Just keep swimming right?

Sorry for the delay in posting! I'll attempt to be better... but no promises for now :)

Whew. It's been a busy week. I've started a new documentation method to try and keep track of all of my kiddos (both schools) progress. This is a work in progress, but I seem to have the support of the other staff... this is great! 

Spelling. Ugh. I do not like spelling goals, at all. A month into school and every week there are different adaptations being made. Trying to keep track of those kiddos that are doing well and need bumped up, those that aren't doing so well and finding spelling lists that work for where the students are at, and trying to figure out if any of this will matter in two weeks when MTSS times will begin. {MTSS = Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. Kansas has a thing for naming things differently than the rest of the country, most would know this as RTI, Response to Intervention.} Part of the MTSS time will be during when spelling is currently, and no one is 100% how this will look in a couple of weeks.

*Speaking of spelling, does anyone have a wonderful idea to help a child who has Apraxia with spelling?  If so, I would welcome any ideas!

I keep finding out more details about students, finding out more idiosyncrasies and areas of need...which is great at times and not so great at the other. It's wonderful when I know a way to connect with students, get them engaged, or more ready to learn. It's not so wonderful when professionals who have been in the field much longer than I are asking for suggestion of things to try with a student, and the best I can come up with is "Let me get back with you." Lots of question asking on my part to my mentor and to others I know that have been in special education to find ways to give students the help and support that they need.

So, things are going well. Evaluations start up in a week. {EEEEK!!!} Overall, things are going well. I love the kids, like what I'm doing (I think that will change to love as the overwhelmed feelings begin to subside more), love my school and staff I work with... overwhelmed at times yes, but things are getting better. 

Here's hoping your having a great start of the school year and that maybe all of our days of trying to keep up and keep from being too overwhelmed are almost over. 

Mrs. Whitehair

First IEP

I survived my first IEP meeting! I was super nervous, had everyone showed up there would have been 12 "adults" in the room--as it was there were 9 including my boss... I was just a wee bit nervous. In the end, things went really well. I had heard from the past they may not, but there weren't any conflicts or problems. Yay!

This IEP was done in the school that I can only be at once a week. After last week, this meeting, actually strengthened some relationships between myself and other staff in that building. Which was very encouraging after being frustrated with the whole situation before that. 

Well, that's enough for now... I still have those lesson plans and report to do.

Hope your having a wonderful weekend!

Mrs. Whitehair