Thursday, June 21, 2012

Math Centers

It is official... I need to go to pinterest rehab!  I have been stuck to pinterest for the past two days finding too many cute things to do next year in my classroom.  The only problem is I don't know where to start!  My to do list keeps growing with great ideas, in addition to trying to prep a nursery for our sweet baby boy.

Next year our school is doing a reading block and a math block.  I am excited about this and being able to integrate the other subjects into our reading and math times.  I have always blended my curriculum and cannot wait to do more with thematic units.  However in the past we were told to stay away from too many thematic units.   It's funny to watch how the pendulum swings back and forth.  When I started 6 years ago we used themes.  Then after one or two years, we had to follow the basal with fidelity.  Now we are back to using themes and only the "meaty" parts of the basal while using the common core standards.  Our school went ahead and implemented the CCS this past year in Kindergarten, so I feel comfortable with the standards and am focusing on planning my new theme-filled year.  We can finally bring the fun back to Kindergarten!   Has this ever happened to anyone else?!?!  

So, back to the original tangent of being addicted to pinterest... I was looking up math ideas and want to implement daily math centers next year.  I have always done math centers in my classroom, but only once or twice a week.  It was difficult to fit them in with the SS, Science, and Writing blocks built into my schedule.  Now that we are "allowed" to integrate these subjects, I want to do centers daily.  I bought Debbie Diller's book Math Work Stations.  I saw many pinterest ideas that referred back to this book.  Has anyone read it?  Was it as inspirational as everyone says?  

Math Work Stations

I also found a few blogs that had some good ideas.  

Now my brain is spinning on what to do and how to organize them.  I hope the book will help me sort out my ideas.  I am very lucky to have many different Lakeshore Math centers from grants I wrote on Donors Choose (if you haven't checked out that website, you must.  It is a great way to get classroom supplies for free from kind strangers!).  We must follow the order of our basal (Go Math) because of our report card requirements, so I'm tied down to what must be taught each nine weeks. I am more concerned with logistics.  How to group the kids, how long to stay at the centers, keep the same center types all year or do random centers, etc.  Has anyone implemented math centers daily in their classroom?  If so, I'd love some pointers or even a link to a blog/website that has ideas.  Thanks in advance for the help or suggestions!  I love learning things from other teachers!  

Friday, June 8, 2012

I've been MIA for a Good Reason

I have been a terrible blogger for the last couple of months.  I really do have a good reason...  In March, over my Spring Break, my husband and I found out that we were expecting our first baby!  Baby White is due November 8th.  That news explained the exhaustion I had been feeling.  Luckily, I was not sick, but I was so tired, especially after teaching Kindergarten all day.  Every day I wanted to come home and sleep, but life does not stop for tiredness.  However the blog had to stop for a while.  Now that I am in my second trimester, I finally have some energy back and am excited to come back to the blogging world.  Too bad it is summer and I won't have a lot of things I have done with my kids to post.  However, I have a ton of summer projects (school and baby) that I can't wait to share.  Here is a picture of our little bundle of joy!  This was at 11 weeks.

We go next Friday to find out if it is a boy or a girl.  I am betting it is a boy.  We will see next week!

I have one more day of post-planning Monday and then I am out for the summer.  I can't wait to get started on planning next year and making cute things I have pinned on pinterest.  I have felt like a crazy person running copies for next year.  Since I will be out November and December, I have copied so many holiday themes and center activities.  My mom works at my school and handles the print shop, so at least she understood why I was turning in Fall and winter themed items in May and June.  I even had one of my favorite volunteers cut out all of my October-December craft items.  She was more than happy to do it when she heard the news.  I have never been so far ahead of the game.  Now this summer I can sit down and map out as many things as possible.

Enjoy your weekend!  It's good to be back!