Sunday, April 29, 2012

Math Strategies and Anchor Charts

Here are some anchor charts that I post in my room.  There are not fancy, but serve as practical tools or places for children to use as an anchor for learning important math facts and strategies.  We focus on combinations of 5, 10, and double facts.  
How many ways can we make 5?  
Our Math Strategies Anchor Chart
Combinations of 5 Anchor Chart
Combinations of 10 Anchor Chart
Large Double Facts
Doubles Facts
We use our combinations of 5, combinations of 10, and double facts chart to play "Math Performance."  When we have an extra few minutes or transition time, I call on one of my students to come up to the front of group time and tell a math fact.  Sometimes I say which anchor chart or skill we are working on, and sometimes I let them choose.  It is always open ended.  They can use the anchor charts or create their own combinations.  For example:  If I say choose a combination of 10, the student can use the ones posted on the chart (10+0=10, 5+5=10, etc.) or one of their own (100-90 = 10, 5 X 2 =10).  It has really increased my students math facts memorization this year along with giving them more strategies. 

Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ocean Inquiry - Nonfiction Study & Common Core

My class is devouring all of the nonfiction books that we have in our media center on oceans as we continue our inquiry study.  Many brought in books from home that they had on oceans along with shells they have collected from visits to the beach. They each have a science journal (composition notebook & post-it-notes) to record their Wows (!) New Learning (NL) W ( I Wonder?) as they read about the different life under the ocean. I divided the books among tables and had them jot their findings on post-it-notes.  This was a way to front load our inquiry unit.  Next, the students wrote their top 3 animals on "official" note cards.  I had them choose 3 because 1/2 the class wanted to choose sharks and I am keeping the groups to 4 each (one will have 5).  These are pictures of their science journals on their first browsing through our books on ocean habitats.

The next job was to place the children into groups.  Wow - that was the tough part!  My desk looked like a post-it-note mess.  I place the children by interest and made each group heterogenously mixed in ability. After putting the groups together, I gave each child a post-it-note with their animal on it.  Then we played a four corners game (which would be 6 corners, since we had 6 animals), and they met the members of their team.  There were cheers coming from all corners and the excitement of their research began.


Next, I just let them "hang out" together discussing their animal, talking about what they hoped to find out, and just getting to know their group.  There was laughter, discussion, and questions about how they were going to begin their project. We learned about the different sources to find information, including our media center, books, magazines, the Internet, databases, and websites.  


Our favorites technology tools were:
Our school subscribe to Pebble Go this year.  Love, love, love it!  Click HERE to check it out.
It has a question of the day, but you can type in your topic in the search bar.
To view how Searchasaurus works click HERE to see a "How to Use Video from EBSCO."
Click HERE to go to EBSCO's Elementary School Website.
Check with your school to see if you have access to EBSCO's Searchasaurus.
So are you wondering how to "Fit it All In" during the day?  We have computer lab once a week (no computer teacher - just me) and we used that 45 minute period to take our science notebooks to record our information.  I also have 2 computers in my classroom that the students access during Reader's Workshop.  They have the option of continuing their research during this time.  Here are pictures of the dolphin group's science journals as they record their information.  Notice the exclamation points as a representation of "Wow's" along with NL (New Learning) and W (I Wonder).


 



As we continued our topic of Nonfiction Text Features, the students took it upon themselves to add diagrams to their artwork.  I love that they did it without me even suggesting it.  They are taking their research very seriously and were preparing for their art project on their ocean animal.


Another way to "FIT IT ALL IN" is to use your Guided Reading group time and work with the different research groups.  Since they were heterogeneously mixed by ability, they were able to scaffold their learning, and I was able to guide them through the research process.  I used a mini-chart tablet to write down their thoughts as a springboard to continue our research.  I met with 2 groups each day and was able to finish this part in 3 days which was very manageable.  I incorporated phonics and reading strategies with these students as we came to unknown words in our books, and we also continued our study on Nonfiction Text Features as we found them in our texts.
Guided Reading Group Time - Charting our Learning and Referencing Our Sources


 

Guided Reading Group Time - Charting our Learning and Referencing Our Sources
Charting our WOW's during Guided Reading Groups



Guided Reading Group Time - Charting our Learning and Referencing Our Sources




 
Guided Reading Group Time - Charting our Learning - I wrote in larger print with the first group and realized I was going to go through paper way too fast.  Plus the added benefit of small group learning is that the text can be smaller.



Guided Reading Group Time - Charting our Learning and Referencing Our Sources
Each group had to plan what colors they would need for their art project, make a list, and turn it into me. This was another way to give them ownership and promote cooperative learning.



And we are not finished yet.  I will post my seal group soon along with their finished projects soon.  We are in the planning phases of how to present our information to the class along with how we will share our information with the school.  And the learning continues as many are now continuing their new learning by researching an individual topic of their choice during their "Read to Self,"  "Read to Someone,"  "Listen to a Book," and "Write Something" time during Reader's Workshop.  

Do you want to Know More about the Common Core Standards Used During Our "Ocean Inquiry Study?"  Read below to see specific standards covered from K-2nd grade.

Kindergarten English Language Arts - Reading Informational Text
Key Ideas and Details
RI.K.1. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
RI.K.2. With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
RI.K.3. With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
Craft and Structure
RI.K.4. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RI.K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
RI.K.8. With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
RI.K.9. With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RI.K.10. Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

1st Grade English Language Arts - Reading Informational Text
Key Ideas and Details
RI.1.1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
RI.1.2. Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
RI.1.3. Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
Craft and Structure
RI.1.4. Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
RI.1.5. Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.
RI.1.6. Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RI.1.7. Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
RI.1.8. Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
RI.1.9. Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
Range of Reading Level and Level of Text Complexity
RI.1.10. With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.

2nd Grade English Language Arts - Reading Informational Text
Key Ideas and Details
RI.2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
RI.2.2. Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
RI.2.3. Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
Craft and Structure
RI.2.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
RI.2.5. Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
RI.2.6. Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RI.2.7. Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
RI.2.8. Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
RI.2.9. Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.
Range of Reading Level and Level of Text Complexity
RI.2.10. By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2–3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.


Common Core Writing - Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Kindergarten
W.K.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).
W.K.8. With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Common Core Writing - Research to Build and Present Knowledge
1st Grade
W.1.8. With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
Types of Texts and Purposes
W.1.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

Common Core Writing - Research to Build and Present Knowledge 
2nd Grade
W.2.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
W.2.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.