I can tell that many of you are gearing up for back to school and/or your teacher workdays. It's a little different for me this year because now that I am in Oregon we don't go back for teacher workdays until the end of August and the first official day of school is September 4th! It's a little strange that I'm now one of the lasts ones to be going back to school.
I can also tell many are getting back in the swing of things because I'm getting a few more requests for shared documents as well as some great questions about previous posts.
The most questions are coming from my interactive math notebook. This was something new I did last year (previous post can be found here) I don't know why I thought I explained them in the previous post, I just sort of posted pictures!
Basically what I did and will do this year is give myself a new spiral notebook, along with all the other students. I project the notebook using my document camera and as I go through the mini lesson I write the notes in my notebook, sounds pretty simple when I type it out! I usually lead with the header, most of the time in the form of a question, and see what kind of prior knowledge they have on the subject. I then follow with the "formal definition" of the term and/or subject we are discussing. Most of the time they copy things down as I am writing them. But if I really really need their attention I tell them NOT to copy this down, pay attention, I will give you time to copy it when I am done explaining.
I usually add little drawings that may help them remember something, they can copy those down or make up their own. I try to always give them tips and hints and usually write/draw those in different colored marker/pen. The other thing I found that really helped my students last year was if anything we were doing had steps...to write out each step and show each step! One time I didn't write it out because I thought it was pretty simple and they flipped on me! I literally write step 1: divide the ones column by the outside number...then I would SHOW it.
If a lesson required printables (100's charts and so on) I always had those copied, trimmed and ready for that class so that all they needed to do was glue it in and get to work. You will see a few of these things in my pictures from the Interactively Math post. Finally what you don't see is the student work that I would assign after each lesson. Usually after each lesson they would have to go to the next clean sheet in their notebook (we did use front and back!!!), I would give them five or so problems for them to work out on their own. As I would walk around an monitor checking them as the finished them I could easily identify those that were struggling. Then I would pull those students to small group that day or the next to work with them. If the whole class struggled then I knew I needed to teach it again or find a different approach.
I hope this helps some of you as you are working on those lesson plans and I hope to add to the pictures and such that I have already posted.
Finally another question I have gotten a lot lately is about my buckets/caddies. For the newbies out there I do have a second "job"....I decorate the caddies and buckets. The caddies, this year, are on back order and I really don't know when they will come in, but I have started offering the labels and ribbons as sets. They come to the customer as stickers and ready to be used. If you want to see more of the products and cute stuff we offer just visit our FB page: Quite A Pear.
Keep those comments and questions coming! Thanks for sticking with me through this move!!!