Monday, August 18, 2014

Math Monday - Where are your math manipulatives?

Welcome and thanks for stopping by for Math Monday!

We spend hours organizing our classrooms in hopes of creating a warm, inviting, and functional space for students to learn, grow, and live in.  We make hundreds of decisions about where to place furniture, books, technology, resources, and what to display on the walls.  However, how much time do you spend making decisions about your math manipulatives?  Do your math manipulatives have equal weight with your classroom library?  I want math manipulatives to look like my classroom library!  You might be asking, how does one achieve that?

- Math manipulatives are stored together in one general area.

- Math manipulatives are carefully selected to match the curriculum.

- Each math manipulative has it's own clear tub container, for easy viewing.

- The lid is off the tub for students to see what is inside, making it an invitation to use the math manipulative. 

- Tubs are clearly labeled with a picture and label.

- Sometimes the shelves are labeled with a matching tub so they can go back to the same spot.

- Manipulatives are organized by math content sometimes.  For example, geometry manipulatives would all be on the same shelf or two.

I have found organizing my math manipulatives in a similar fashion as my classroom library creates an invitation asking students to come work with them and provides choices for problem solving.   This also fosters independence for selecting and using the different math manipulatives in our classroom.  You do have to get creative with finding the space.  Lucky for me, I have built in shelves below our windows and my "resources/textbooks" all fit in a small closet.  I want my students to think of math as a bright and cheery, hands on experience, and I have found this organization to work quite well.


Leave your link within a comment and 
don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!

To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
it would be nice for you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Math Monday post, don't forget to use #MathMon!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Celebrate This Week - Second Grade!

Today I am celebrating second grade!

I have 20 new friends.  7 friends are new to me.  13 friends and I spent kindergarten together and seeing them now two years later is really fun.  Second graders are independent.  Second graders know how to "do" school.  Second graders can work quietly.  Second graders can verbalize higher level thinking.  Second graders can read independently and write lots of sentences.  Second graders are eager to learn multiplication and read books.  I'm eager to spend the year with them.

On a side note, I am less tired mentally and physically with just one class of students who come every day all day long.  Every day is new and different and continues from the day before.  Life is good, after just one week.  I might just keep singing, "celebrate good times, come on!"

Thanks Ruth for reminding me to stop and capture the positive from the week with your Celebrate This Week community.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Familiar Authors, Different Story - Mostly Monty

I've been excited to find authors I know from a series and discover they have other titles and stories to share with readers.  Mostly Monty is by Johanna Hurwitz.  I picked this book up thinking about needing more boy/guy characters in my classroom.  I fell in love with Monty right from the start.  I love how Johanna introduces Monty in the first chapter.  Within the first two pages the reader learns about Montgomery; his nickname, his birthdate, asthma, inhaler, and a few things he doesn't have.  Monty is an only child at home and sometimes in the classroom.  Monty does get recognized for being a good lost and found friend at school.  Monty appreciates helping others and receiving praise.  When his good fortune for finding things dries up, he turns in his own lunch box which creates twists in his daily plans.  Monty is a thinker.  He writes a pet report on a dinosaur because he can't have any.  He is satisfied with a pet caterpillar.  He doesn't have a hobby so he studies kangaroos and creates a kangaroo club.  This book would be a great first grade first read aloud and could also work in second grade.

Here are three lines I love from this story and hope you find, if you pick this book up.

"Reading was one thing he could do without worrying about his breathing."

"If hair gives me an asthma attach, how come I'm not allergic to you or Dad?" asked Monty.

"He could go days without anyone noticing him.  It wasn't often that someone at school praised him."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Math Monday - Math Library

Welcome and thanks for stopping by for our first Math Monday!

I've been drowning, buried, and swamped with creating a second grade classroom library.  As I unpacked boxes of books from my basement I discovered so many great picture book math titles and got a bit giddy for how and where I would put these in my classroom.  As I worked through my classroom design, I wanted them right near my math manipulatives.  I had run out of shelving space and learned from some smart colleagues for extra shelving in the classroom I could remove closet doors.  Isn't that brilliant?!  To create a math library I began by looking at my math standards and sorting my picture books into categories.  I discovered I had a few books that were math puzzles or just overall math thinking which became a tub titled Math is Fun!  What an important message for our students to learn.  My other tubs are Fractions, Geometry, Measurement, Numbers, More than 100, Patterns and Sorting, Time and Money.  

I hope your classroom library expands to your math manipulative area or finds a space within your classroom.  To help make this project a bit easier for you, here are my Math Literature Labels.

Leave your link within a comment and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
it would be nice for you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Math Monday post, don't forget to use #MathMon!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Picture Book 10 for 10 Day!

I feel like it's New Year's Eve and the excitement is building for new beginnings but in the world of teaching the excitement is building for discovering new books from friends, colleagues, and strangers.  Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and I know three things about your list today without even looking at it.  One, it's hard to only share ten books.  Two, the books you are sharing today make your teaching life better.  And three, you love fostering readers!

Today is our 5th annual picture book event:  #pb10for10.  You can join by linking your blog post here or at  Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community.  Cathy and I will then add your post to our 2014 picture book jog.

It is often a little challenging to link all of the posts to the Jog from both of our blogs without duplicating information.  For this reason, we have a few requests if you're joining the event to make it easier for us to collect picture book lists:

  • If you'd like to have your blog linked to the conversation, just comment with the link (cut and paste your post address in the comments) for your picture book list here OR at Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community.  
  • You are welcome to comment on both blogs (comments are always appreciated), but to simplify our work in creating this year's jog as a resource, please ONLY LEAVE YOUR LINK ON ONE OF OUR BLOGS.  This will help us to keep from duplicating posts in the jog. 
  • You can also mention us in a link on Twitter using the event hashtag #pb10for10.  However, we cannot guarantee that tweeted links will be added to the jog.  (It gets a little crazy out there!) 
  • If you don't have a blog, but would like to join, there are lots of ways to participate
  • If this is your 5th year, please mention this when you leave your link.

Today I am sharing a list of 10 books I've put together about schools with a focus on global literature.  I took a class this past spring and it expanded my thinking about picture books and showing our students the world is more than what they see and live day to day.  Authors Barbara A. Lehman, Evelyn B. Freeman and Patricia L. Scharer define global literature in Reading Globally K-8, “In sum, our definition of global literature focuses on books that are international either by topic or origin of publication or author.”  The authors honor and recognize it is closely related to multicultural literature, where the literature is comparing cultural groups within the United States.

This book highlights the various ways students get to school in different countries.  It really makes readers process the idea of everyone doesn’t ride a yellow school bus.

Salma and Lilly are best friends at school until one day they are honest with each other and admit they think their sandwiches are weird and gross.  They solve their differences by trying each others food and plan a special lunch event for the whole school.

Sarie doesn’t mind the hot sun in the South Africa but worries about being at school and learning how to read.  The reader follows Sarie’s journey and how she does learn to read.

This book takes readers to schools around the world celebrating similarities and differences.

A photo essay about bread found all over the world.  A great companion book to go with The Sandwich Swap.

A collection of stories about unusual schools all around the world that focus on schools set in an unusual environmental setting, traveling schools, and resourceful ways to make a school.  Touching stories to cause empathy and perspective thinking.

Based on a true story, a immigrant farm worker shares the journey his family takes to farm for money and how he learned to read by spending time with the library lady.  In return, he taught her about Spanish and gained the gift of becoming a reader.

Libraries are not always in a room lined with bookshelves.  This book is a collection of stories about libraries all over the world.  They are in traveling trucks, libraries deliver books through the mail, and some libraries are on boats.

A collection of stories told with beautiful photography to show readers schools are different.  Sometimes students go to school on a boat, in a tree house built in a forest, or via a webcam from another country.

This story is based on true events from Basra, Iraq when their city was invaded during the war.  Alia Muhammad Baker was the head librarian and had the foresight to remove books from the library before it was eventually burned.  She moved the library to her house to keep them safe.

We are so glad you have stopped by and joined our conversation and sharing today.  Please try to comment on several blogs today to grow and foster our community.  There are a couple of quick ways to discover blogs sharing picture books today;  google picture book 10 for 10 or use the hashtag #pb10for10.  By sharing the link to your post today here or with Cathy, it will be added to our Jog the Web summary for Picture Book 10 for 10 Day, 2014!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Authors to Me - Judy Cox

There are so many books and I am discovering new authors on my reading journey I would like to share with you.  Judy Cox, wrote The Secret Chicken Society.  The title of this book caught my attention.   I had to pick up this book because I wanted to know what creates a secret chicken society. I have hatched chicken eggs a few times in my classroom over the years so I had a lot of background schema for this story.  My background knowledge made the first half of this book feel like a snapshot of my teaching life.  I kept thinking this is truly realistic, all the way.  This might not be the best book to read while you are hatching chick eggs or prior to hatching chick eggs.  It really covers a lot of life cycle content.  However, if you can't or don't want to hatch eggs but share the experience with students this would be the perfect book!

The chickens need to leave the classroom and in a turn of events, Daniel is able to bring all five chickens home.  He is convinced he has five hens until a rooster crows from the backyard.  This is not good news.  Hens are allowed for backyard farming in his neighborhood but crows are not.  Now, I bet you can figure out the need for a secret society.  I love the relationships between young and old.  I love how animals can help mend.  I love how you have to let something you love go.

Here are three lines I love from this story and hope you find, if you pick this book up.

"People take dogs. Therapy dogs. It's good for the patients.  Why not  therapy chicken?"

"Besides," added Dad, "weeds are just wildflowers.  Good for the birds!  Good for the bees!"