Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our Book Study Begins Today! Woohoo!

Today is the first of many opportunitioes to link up and share your thinking about Debbie Diller's new book entitled Math Work Stations. If you have not read it yet or received your copy in the mail you can still join in the fun and share some of your ideas or thinking. Everyone is invited! We are opening up today with Deedee Wills and you will enjoy some of the important, guided questions she has posed based on Chapters 1 and 2. I think many people struggle with the question of how to differentiate their stations and what this actually looks like in the classroom. One point Debbie seems to really emphasize is the need to have taught the skill and modeled it over time. This is crucial in kindergarten and can not be talked about enough. If you don't spend the time going over your expectations, model the activity (my partner role plays this with me), and show them how to clean it up you will become frustrated. Ithink kindergarten children need an opportuity for Free Exploration at the beginning of the year since many of our kids have never had experiences with these kinds of materials. You can learn so much about their mathematical understandings! What do you think kinder teachers? What is your favorite container for math materials? I need it to hold my recording sheets which I store in large ziplock baggies. Ideas?

Some of my thoughts:
1. Label the tubs with  large numbers and dots.
2. Introduce the tubs slowly over time and model expectations.
3. Demonstate how materials need to be put away- quietly, it's not a toss and throw game!
4. Review tub activity and over time show them other ways to use the materials (need to work on this)
5. Allow students to pick the tub- free choice and work with partner (more accountability)
6. Provide recording sheets to differentiate skills.
My goal is to buy new tubs that all match (woohoo) and reorganize my math during the summer.
Thanks Debbie for encouraging me to stretch my thinking and redo this area of my room. This book has given me the energy to have rich conversations with my team and my teaching partner!

Go read about this at Deedee's site. She has done an excellent job and there might even be a freebie to grab!
I will come back tonight for more but I am off to a curriculum meeting at my district! Thanks Deedee for inviting me to your party!


Mrs. Saoud said...

Do you offer a free choice center or the kids have free choice to a particular center?

I really like your tubs. They are large enough to hold bulky papers or manipulatives.

Primary Graffiti

Fran Kramer said...

I have a variety of centers and my students select the one they want to do. They all reflect concepts that I am working on.

Erlyne said...

I LOVE your storage containers! Where did you find them?


Erlyne K/CA

Anita, IL said...

I ordered my book...still waiting for it to come. Thanks for all of the ideas. What do you have in your tubs? Just curious....I have lots of manipulatives ...trying to find a way to organize so kids can get maximum benefit from them!

P2P Tale of Two Cities said...

Hi Fran! I hope you are enjoying the conference. I shall get there some day! I just ordered my book and look forward to the book study.