Sunday, August 9, 2015

Back-to-School Blog Hop

We are so excited to join The Owl Teacher and several other bloggers to share some Back-to-School tips and resources to start your year off right! 

Mollie and I are always encouraging our kiddos to be in charge of their own learning, to take risks, and to celebrate the growth more than the outcome. We have found that having routines that support this thinking is extremely important so that it is not only on the forefront of our minds but also our students' minds. 

One way that we encourage our kiddos to do these things is to have them take time to self-reflect. At various points throughout the day, lesson, unit, etc. we ask students to share where they feel they are on a scale from 1-4. These numbers come directly from our report card and are posted in our classrooms to help our students become familiar and comfortable with using them. 

One of our goals is to encourage students to focus on their growth rather than their outcome. The idea is that to start out a new math unit at a 4 is perfectly okay! It is where many of us start when we are learning something new. Through time, practice and further instruction we ask students to monitor whether or not they are moving up the scale. We celebrate when someone starts a lesson as a 4 and ends it as a 3. In previous years students would walk away from a lesson feeling frustrated that they had not mastered it, now our goal of making small movement is much more attainable and encouraging. My students have even started saying "I started as a weak 3 and now I am a strong 3!" This attitude does so much for my little guys and gals to feel accomplished and motivated to keep going. 

Here are some close up shots of each of the levels of understanding in case you want to create similar posters to hang in your room! 

We also include this rating scale on things like homework. Here is a math resource we created that allows students to complete a couple of problems (rather than 30 or 40!) as homework as well as share their level of understanding with us and parents. 

It communicates with parents where their kiddo is in any particular unit and it gives us some formative assessment to know where to go next in our instruction. You can check out the entire preview by clicking the pic below!

Enter the Rafflecopter to win some amazing resources!!

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Hop around to the amazing blogs below to collect more Back-to-School tips and resources!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August Currently

Amy here! I can't believe it is August! Let the countdown to meeting my new kiddos begin!

We are linking up with Farely at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for her August Currently. Here is what I am up to right now!

Listening: I am a soundtrack junkie! A movie could be terrible but if the soundtrack is good, you got me!

Loving: I am a Michigander through and through and I LOVE all of the four seasons we experience here in the Mitten. This summer started out a bit slow in June but July did not disappoint and I have high hopes for some gorgeous weather this August.

Thinking: Speaking of gorgeous weather... I am TERRIBLY behind on my summer to-do list. UGH! With school right around the corner I need to kick it into high gear!

Wanting: I already have the bedding and I am in the process of picking out a new color for the walls. A little overwhelming but SOOOOO exciting to make a change!

Needing: Oh ice cream! We have such a love/hate relationship! Sooner or later I am going to have to say goodbye!

B2S RAK: We have several new staff members starting this year and I am looking for just the right little something to welcome them home!

Check out what some awesome bloggers are up to this month by visiting Oh Boy Fourth Grade and following the links!