Here's what I've been up to!
I'm really on this kick of motivating and leading my students to create a more welcoming space. With that, I started to think about what I wanted to use for hopes and dreams this year. I've used the same structure for the last 4 years, but since I'm moving up to 4th and my heart is pulling me in a slightly different way, I came up with this! I used the idea that instead of asking kids what they want to be when they grow up, ask them what problems they want to solve. I stopped into summer school 2 weeks ago when I was at school working in my room and saw some of my kiddos from last year and some of which I would get again this year. They did hopes and dreams for summer school. One of the kiddos I had last year simply wrote, "I hope to protect my family and keep them safe." My heart sank, as I don't think a 9 year old should have that weight on his shoulders, but I'm also so proud that he realizes that he can make an impact. And so this agent of change flipbook was made.
It wasn't going to be a flipbook. I simply started making some brainstorming pages for our work.
But then I thought how important each of these questions was and wanted a way to display it all at once for each student. So a flip book was my way to go. The brainstorming pages will still be used to start our conversation and ideas. The flipbook then is a place to finalize it all.
I also go inspired by this post from Ladybug's Teaching Files. Seriously- she is one of those bloggers who does NOT produce an awful idea. I dont' know how she does it, but her design and organization just speaks to my heart. When she blogged about her math rotations, I knew this was my solution I'd been looking for to challenge my more advanced students. You MUST check out her post!
And because I'm a color coordinating crazy lady, I made my own signs and changed some of the rotations to fit my needs. I won't be doing it exactly like her, because I know me and I need to start small, but her thorough post helped me to picture and map out our math block by using this as a model.
I'll have two groups: triangle is on level and square is advanced. That's not to say I won't have students below level, however, I feel like over the years, I've gotten better at accommodating my students who are below grade level and can incorporate that into my instruction and work with my on level kids. I need to push myself to challenge my more advanced students. Luckily, our curriculum does provide some activities for differentiation for each lesson, but I'm also enjoying making my own activities and tasks cards that I can tailor to our work.
I've mapped out how to split my time and as soon as I can access my math curriculum again on line- as for some reason, I only have access to the spanish versions- I can start planning out my first couple weeks and start pulling specific resources.
As I get closer to implementing flexible seating, I continue to think how I'm going to roll it out to my students and families, starting even at our open house night before the school year. I plan to have this flexible seating "pre-exploration" flow chart at their spaces at open house. This will allow them to see the different types of seating and how they can be used, while I also get a vibe to see what students think. Once the year gets underway, I have an actual exploration chart to let students try out the seats, name the subject, rate their focus and write any notes. A spot that might work for reading may not work for them for writing. These spots are really just for independent work and group work, as our whole group instruction takes place at our carpet. I'm not getting all the tables I was hoping for (too much shuffling of our custodial staff) so I'll have a few more desks than planned, but I bet it will all work out just fine! Side note- I tried to make my own little clip art for our seating options... that dang regular chair took me way too long to admit to make!
Before I skip out, many of you have asked for some of my past Monday Made Its. Check them out in my TpT store now! I even added a tropical brights color option for the calendar to fit other classroom color themes!
After a super busy week last week, I look forward to enjoying all the posts and catching up!