Friday, January 24, 2014

A Peek at My Differentiated Week


Another Snow Day . . . Last year we ended up with a total of 11 days before it was all said and done.  This year, we are at a mere 4.  I actually think the rest of the country has faired far worse than those of us in Northern Michigan.  We’ve been fortunate, but today was a no-brainer.  The winds are crazy with whiteout conditions, and it’s bitterly cold.  So the boys and I are hunkered down in our PJs for a day of forts, picnics, cake for them (I’m on a dreaded, although necessary, “30 Days to Fit” challenge so none for me), hot wheel races, a stuff animal circus and lots and lots of snuggles and books.  While they steal a nap, I decided to break out my camera to see what I actually took pictures of this week and give you a peek.  It seems like a lot of math for some reason, but that must have been when I had a quick moment to grab a photo.  I have to admit, with all the Dibel assessing, Comprehensive Needs Analysis reports, MLPPs (my Michigan friends know what those are) and report cards, the week was kind of a blur. It doesn't help that I was out of my room for a day and a half, but at least it will give you some glimpses.


Each week we focus on a different poem in class, and this week's is The Three Little Kittens.  I love this poem, because it reminds me of my own three little kittens at home who continually are losing their 'mittens' and other items.  I always always always have a dramatic play station with three kittens, mittens, a clothes line and a wash board (you can kind of see them in the background).  Any administrator that believes that Dramatic Play does not have a place in a kindergarten classroom needs to come see how my kinders retell this poem over and over at this station.  (Hmmm retell?  Isn't that one of our Common Core Standards?  Why yes it is!) We, as teachers, HAVE to offer these opportunities for our students who are linguistic and musical learners.  Differentiating means meeting the needs of your students by responding to their interests, their level of readiness and their learning profile.  



Cold weather math stations were in high gear this week with some high-intensity bump games going on.   


You never know when you're opponent will BUMP you off your number.  This game allowed me to give my students practice in ten frames, numerals or tally marks depending of their level of readiness.

My kinesthetic learners always know that I have a write the room going during math and word work stations.  Kinders need to move and this gives them a reason to do it.  This picture is a prime example of how one write the room activity is tiered.  The blue bordered cards are for students still trying to master number recognition, one-to-one counting and before and after numbers.  The purple bordered cards are for beginning addition students and the green cards are for students who are working on addition to ten.  

Students know which card they are working on because their response sheet matches.  For 90% of my math stations, I use laminate and dry erase markers for recording answers if necessary.  I don't like any more paper work than I have to give, and I can quickly assess what they are doing and see if they are 'getting it.'  (Most of my math stations do offer black/white response sheets for those of you that are required to have some form of evidence of mastery other than observation. I totally get that there are those of you that need it, so I included it.)  


I LOVE stations that are independent and self-correcting, and here is one for addition. There are actually cards for 0-5 addition and another set for subtraction and 0-10 for addition and a set for subtraction.  It gives me a ton of options for differentiating based on where they are at in mastering these skills.


We also played some Spin It to Win It Cold Weather style.  These are differentiated and include tally mark cards, ten frames and numerals.  Students work on determining bigger and smaller numbers (or you can challenge them with even/odd number recognition).  

If you want any additional information on any of the activities above, you know you can just click on a picture to get more information.  If you would like to see my blog post that outlines all the activities from my Cold Weather Math Stations including a planning sheet.  Just click on the picture below.  It has all the was you can differentiate along with hyper links to the activities.


Keep warm friends and enjoy these days of cold weather any way you can.  I'm off to build another fort with the boys.


12 comments :

  1. LOVE this post Marsha! LOVE those pictures and LOVE your new blog!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the idea of incorporating the nursery rhyme into your dramatic play center. Here in northern Ohio we have used 6 calamity days with today's closure so at this point, one day to make up. Beginning of next week doesn't look any better as far as the cold goes. I can't remember the last time we used so many days. Sounds like you had a fund day at home! Enjoy those times because they grow up fast. My youngest turned 16 yesterday. I have a question for you concerning your assessments-what do your students do when you are assessing? Also, when they work in centers, how do you hold them accountable for doing the work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I Dibel I do the whole school with a team so I have a sub. I also use the 20 minute 'rest' time we have each day to assess, but much of it is done in small groups as well. Just depends on the type of assessment. Regarding centers, my students work in teams of of 3 or 4 so when they are at stations they are accountable to their team for activities that do not require a 'hand in.' Also, I walk around during math stations so I know what they are doing. For Daily 6, again they work in teams of 2. So they have to get their partner's ok that they have done their work correctly. It's a long teaching process but it works if you start out at the beginning of the year and set the expectations. Hope this helps.
      Marsha

      Delete
  3. Hi Marsha,

    Even when I don't have a heap of time to catch up on my blog-stalking, I always always always make sure to read your posts! Your ideas are so inspiring and I never leave your page without a new idea.

    So excited by your dramatic play area linked to a poem/story. What a simple idea, but a brilliant one. I am stealing this for sure. Do you have a list of poems that you use in your classroom?

    I wish I was close enough to pop in and visit your classroom, but I don't think my Principal would approve a networking visit from Queensland, Australia to Michigan. :)

    Lauren
    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lauren, it's so cold here. Why don't I come drop in on you in Australia instead? I need a break from the cold! Thanks for all your kind support.
      Marsha

      Delete
  4. Love the math stations! What a cute idea to do dramatic play with The Three Little Kittens.

    Lindsey
    Lovin’ Kindergarten

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lindsey. You always have something kind to say. I certainly appreciate your support.
      Marsha

      Delete
  5. You are so creative! I love the idea of changing border colors to differentiate.
    Kelly
    MyFabulousClass

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kelly. It's really so simple but took forever for me to come up with it.
      Marsha

      Delete
  6. I bought this unit and love it! Mine does not have the write the room. Will you be adding this to the unit?

    ReplyDelete
  7. That unit is already up. I actually forgot to link it. If you go back to the picture of write the room, it's there now. Thanks Carrie.
    Marsha

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...