Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I have a bunch of other posts that I really should be writing but I just couldn't resist this one . . . and it's short. :)

I just found out after school that I will be getting a Smartboard installed before the end of the year!  WooHoo!  I know, some of you who work in tech-laden schools are probably wondering what the big deal is??? . . .  but in my school I will be one of the first teachers to have a Smartboard in the classroom!! 

Am sooo excited, and must DEFINITELY add "researching Smartboard resources" to my Summer Bucket List.

Friday, May 18, 2012

First Award!

Miss Sara at Miss Elementary has bestowed upon me the One Lovely Blog Award.  I am very honored to receive this award. . . thank you Miss Sara! Now, my job is to find 15 new blogs to give the award to . . . a difficult task, as there are so many deserving blogs.  BUT . . . it is the long weekend and I am always up for a challenge!

Check back soon to see which 'new' blogs I have given the award to. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer Bucket List Linky Party

I love bucket lists. . . in fact, I had a bucket list before bucket lists became popular.  Of course, back then, I called it the "Things to Do Before I Die" list . . . Bucket List sounds much better.  Anyhoo!, back to the purpose of THIS post.  :)  Although here in BC, we still have 33 days of school (but who's counting!? ha, ha) I definitely was making a list of things I wanted to do/accomplish this summer.  So here it is . . . my summer bucket list:

  1. OK . . . visit Paris . . . it's already been planned for August! WooHoo!  4 days in Paris and then off to Germany, Austria, and who knows where else?, for 3 glorious weeks.  Can't wait!
  2. My niece's wedding ... in August and the day before we leave for Europe.
  3. Organize my classroom . . . I've been planning this for the first week in July ever since I discovered the Clutter Free Classroom blog! Not sure if I should hug her or smack her! LOL
  4. Read the CAFE book and Daily 5 book in more detail and use it to plan next year's Language Arts program
  5. Create more math games
  6. Plan what I'm teaching in SS and SC.  I've got a split grade next year, so I have to decide which units from which grade I want to use.  Usually I try to balance the units out so I'm teaching an even number for each grade.
  7. Enjoy the summer sunshine . . . which can sometimes be hit or miss around here!
 Well, that's it!  Hope I manage to cross off everything on the list!? Hope everyone else manages to do the same too!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Math as a Teachable Moment: Assessment Binder

I decided to organize my math assessment binder the same way I organized my reading assessment binder which is modeled after Beth Newingham's. . . if you haven't been over to her website you need to check it out . . .amazing! 

 At the front of the binder I keep a class record for All the Facts - one sheet for each operation.  When a student has mastered each operation, I highlight that students scores . . its a nice visual to see where everyone is, at a glance. 

I also keep a class record for Problem Solving -
there is one score for Problems Solved and one for Problems Posed.  We use Performance Standards in our district so the rubric I use is based on a 4 point scale 1= not yet meeting, 2=minimally meeting, 3= fully meeting, and 4= exceeding expectations.

 Each student has their own pocket divider which holds all their assessments.  Friday is assessment day, so I collect samples of their Problem Solving/Problem Posing, How Many Ways, and an All the Facts sheet.  I also include any other concept tests we have done.

Behind the pocket divider I keep a number of checklists.  This is the first year I've tried this program and I haven't used all the checklists, which I'm a little mad at myself for doing because there is one that I think would be very helpful when reporting to parents and I'm kicking myself for not having used it from the beginning.  In my defense, I will say that I was away for most of the second term AND I WILL be using it for the final term . . . I think?!  Anyways, here it is. . . .I know . . . I should be using it! <ack!>

Sadly, I also included a sheet to record the different problem solving strategies students use.  However, that kind of went by the wayside this year, too.  Sigh . . . next year . . .:)

I do, however use the How Many Ways criteria sheet to keep track of the types of things students are including in their equations.  This part of the program is amazing . . . I have students using square root, Pi, and powers . . in grade 3! But I'll go over that in more detail in a separate post.  The score is based on the same 4 point scale as the Problem Solving.

Next year I would also like to include a comment/observation sheet to record things I have observed or things I have discussed with the student about math.  The program is set up so that there is time during Games/Projects to meet with individual/small groups.   I think this would be a very useful addition to the binder, especially when it comes to reporting.

Overall, I am quite happy with the way my assessment binder is organized.  But, as with a lot of things, there is definitely room for tweaking!  I would love to get some feedback, or examples of what other people are doing to keep track of their assessments.