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Back to School 2014-2015

The first week of school is already behind us. What a week! Why does ever other week always seem to fly by, but the first week back from vacation always seems to last foreeeeeever??? Don’t get me wrong, that is not necessarily a bad thing. I mean I do not want to wish my days away, but getting back into the routine of things is always so difficult. In my life, it means packed school days, basketball practices, dance classes, “get togethers,” back to school dances, etc. This really takes a toll, and by Friday, I am beat!

Today before leaving school, I took a few pictures of my classroom to share with all of you. First off, is my entrance bulletin board. They are actually TWO boards side by side, but I cover them with ONE piece of fabric to give the illusion that it is one large bulletin board. On this bulletin board I placed the “Count on Me” Math activities that we worked on to get to know each other. (I will give you more information on that later. It was GREAT!)



I have my “Word Wall” on the cabinets on the back of the room. I used some pretty paper plates from Target that matched my classroom theme colors, and glued some punch out letters onto them. We will be adding our math and science vocabulary words here.



On the back cabinet tops, I have all my bins set up for work to be turned in. I have two different classes, so my materials for each class are color coded. Green is for my morning class, and blue is for my afternoon class. As I collect and organize the work, I move them over to the bins labeled “to grade,” “to input,” and “to file.” I also have an “extra papers” bin. I place all extra papers in here. Students who misplace their papers, or did not receive them know to look here for them. At the start of the new week, we take those papers to our school recycling bins.



Next to my desk, I have my personal bulletin board where I keep the monthly calendar, pictures of my family, telephone extensions, weekly schedules, etc. 





I created a Math Focus Wall for the 5th grade Go Math! series and published it on the bulletin board. This will help the students and myself keep track of what we are doing, as well as inform administrators and visitors what we are working on at the moment. The vocabulary words will be added to our word wall as we finish each unit. (This product can be found HERE.)



Our fifth grade classes are departmentalized, therefore I teach only two subjects (math and science this year) to two groups of students. My classroom library houses resources that students which relate to math and science. This bookshelf was put together by a coworker, and I absolutely LOVE the way it is set up. She placed mini easels to highlight books by showing their covers. There are science tools included in the shelves, which students can interact with as well. The book baskets are labeled, which make it easy for students can find books quickly. I just find it so engaging!





As far as the math activity that we worked on this week to get to know each other, well, it was a hit. We all learned so much from each other. I learned that one of my students has SEVEN siblings, another has TEN dogs, one has a birthday on Halloween, four of them are single children. It was so great, and we learned it all through the Count on Me Math activity. (You can find it HERE.)  The first day I gave them the planning sheet which has 8 math questions, like what month is your birthday? They filled the planner out with numbers, but then had to make a number sentence for each answer. I challenged them to use “Fifth Grade” problems. This one page really gave me an insight into who the stronger math students are, and who are the ones that need more guidance. After I checked them all (and sat with some students to revise their questions), I gave them back to the students. I then gave them the final draft sheet and had them complete it, as well as color it. 



 I asked them to bring in 2 X 3 in. pictures, which many of them did. Once I laminated the worksheets, I used them as task cards. I assigned a partner to them, and had them switch papers. Students had to work out the problems to find the information on their partner. Once they were all done, I had them each stand up and present their partner’s information.  




Everyone enjoyed seeing what they had in common with other students. I then posted them on the bulletin board as seen at the start of the blog entry. I LOVE the way they all look together.

I hope YOU had a successful first week back! Now for some R&R this weekend. 

Your Thrifty Co-Teacher,

~Cristy

6 comments

  1. Your room looks awesome ~ I love the colors!

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    1. Thank you. I find these colors to be so calming. =)

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  2. I love the yellow flower on your personal bulletin board. So sunshiny!

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    1. Aw. Thanks Melissa! I can't take full credit for that. I saw a similar bulletin board on another site last year called Schoolgirl Styles. She used paper poms as flowers, I just added the large leaf so that it would match my borders. =)

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  3. I would love to hear your opinion about fifth grade Go Math!

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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    Replies
    1. Tara, I have been in fifth grade for a few years now, but we are departmentalized and I have always taught reading, language arts, and social studies. This is my first year back in math with fifth grade, so as of right now it would be difficult to give an opinion. Have you had much experience with it? Here in Florida, we just got the new common core aligned book last year, but were still testing FCAT. I was told the teachers had to switch back and forth from the new textbook and the old textbook in order to make sure to cover all the concepts that would be tested. I will literally be starting lesson 1.1 on Monday.

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