Whew! I’ve been so swamped with back to school, football, and life in general! I feel like my poor little blog is so neglected! For fun, I thought I’d do a quick sharing session of my first week of school–in anchor charts! These are in no particular order…and, of course, this is just a teeny piece of our week.
As we kicked off writer’s workshop, we brainstormed a list of what we thought would make our writing times productive…can’t lie–the “take risks” one was mine! #growthmindset
One thing we are really working on is a part of what Fisher and Frey refer to as the “helping curriculum’. With this, we explicitly teach how to offer help, politely decline help, accept help, and ask for help. We practiced by doing challenging word puzzles, jigsaws, and projects.
After getting a tour of our classroom library, we started working on a list of what makes a book “just right” and what makes a book “challenging”. We talked about how personal this is for a reader–and how good readers really understand their own reading habits, needs, and strengths. We compared getting into the reading “zone” to getting in the “video game zone”–where they can’t even hear people calling their name. If you have that feeling with a book–you know you picked a “just right” book for you! I had many students who said they have never felt that while reading…so my goal is to change that for them this year!
This is a big deal for me. Before we started a single project, I set the stage for work quality–something we will talk about ALL year. I really want my students to take pride in their work and internalize that feeling of pride. Stay tuned as we start passing around our new stuffed peacock to show work that proves we can be “proud as a peacock”!
Because we work so much in pairs and groups, I felt it was important to talk about the types of actions that can both help and hurt a group. We talked about previous experiences working in groups and how we can set the stage for a PRODUCTIVE year of group work.
Finally, to start building some math routines, I introduced “Number Talks” to my class. Very few had done this in third grade so we worked hard to understand WHY we do number talks as well as HOW we do number talks. Watch for more posts on this as the year unfolds! I cannot recommend this 10 minute math strategy enough to develop mental math fluency and mathematical discourse.
So…there you have a little taste of what we did our first week–through the anchor charts we made as we went!
(NOTE: Some of these are pictures of the anchor charts we made together and others are the “rewritten” ones for display…I really believe that the process of MAKING the content with the students is important–even if you have to add in your ideas like I did on the writing expectations one…if you need to rewrite it for clarity or neatness, that’s great–but make sure the students recognize that the content on the chart is the content you worked on together. Just my 2 cents!)
Another thing I do to help students understand classroom expectations is to explicitly teach the mathematical standards, one by one in “kid-friendly” terms. I use these checklists to teach and model the standards, and then as the year unfolds, I use them to help assess and for students to self-assess. See what you think! Just click the image below.
I’ve also had people ask where they can get the official “Number Talks” book by Sherry Parrish. Below you can find my Amazon Affiliate link if you are interested. It’s worth every penny.