Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Busy 5th grade Schedule!

Finally, I am blogging again!! I am currently on Spring Break and I am getting to do all of the things that I have been wanting to do for months now. I have updated some of my products in my store, planned a few lessons ahead, and now blogging!

Thanks to Ashley from Schroeder's Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners, I am linking up to share my crazy schedule that keeps me busy throughout the day!



As you know I teach 5th grade Math. This is my 3rd year teaching 5th grade math and it is definitely my THING! In previous years I have taught other subjects along with Math. As I say often, my principal knows me better than I know myself and told me this year I would be teaching Math to all of 5th grade meaning 70+ kiddies and 3 separate classes! Oh and did I mention that these kids had AMAZING test scores last year and I am now responsible for keeping those scores high and pushing them to be even higher! No big deal right?? Thankfully, these kids are SO intrinsically motivated to work hard and do better. The first few months were a little rough as we were learning the new curriculum and new expectations. I pushed them very very hard! They were now required to write multiple sentences on their math assessments explaining their thought process which they had not done a lot of before. They rose to the occasion. I have seen students leave the explanation section blank and grow to giving me explanations that were better than my answer key! As we were taking our PARCC practice tests a few weeks ago one of my students stated, "Mrs. DeRoche, it doesn't say to write a sentence, but I feel like I should write a sentence because I mean we always write sentences." (it was a multiple choice question but had a lot of space to work out the problem on the side) I just smiled and said "Do whatever you think is best!" I was so proud that they were even thinking this way! Even though if that practice test were being scored by whoever scores these crazy tests did not even read that sentence, she wanted to justify her answer and explain how she got it. Isn't that what these new standards are all about??? Having them learn and explain what they know! At that point I realized that scores may be high or may be low... but they have learned more than what this test may show! They DO listen! They DO hear me! They DO read the little comments I write on their tests!! My principal was right to trust me with this responsibility and I am so proud to be THEIR teacher!

Anyways! Below is my schedule that makes my day and my heart full. Like I stated before, I have three different classes. My students have an ELA teacher, a Science teacher, and a Social Studies teacher along with me being their Math teacher. I know what you're thinking... if I have 3 classes, how do my students have 4 teachers. WELL let me explain this crazy organized chaos! We can use my homeroom students as an example... they stay with me for my 1st class which is about 90 minutes, then they go to science for 45 and then social studies for 45. Those two 45 minutes rotations go on while the ELA and Math (me) teachers have their 2nd class. THEN after Social Studies they go to ELA for their 90 minutes ELA block! Confused?? It was huge transition this year but I believe overall it is better for us educators and for the kids. I think they will be ready for middle school!

Within my math instruction I use a variety of different resources to teach the standards. Our district uses EnVision Math series.

I follow the curriculum map that my district sets out which follows the lessons in this book. Often I tweak a few things by taking out some of the boring guided practice that the book gives. I replace it with some of Blair Turner's interactive notebook. If you do not know who Blair Turner is or have not used any of her products you are missing out! I seriously want to be just like her! HA! She has so many amazing things but her interactive notebooks are my favorite!


Click here to visit Blair Turner's Store and check out her AWESOME bundles!
Click here to read her blog post on interactive notebooks! Seriously, she is just an inspiration to me. She inspires me to push my students to do something better than boring textbook work. She inspires me to let go and allow my kiddies to make a mess by cutting and gluing all of these things into their notebooks. So if by some crazy way you are reading this Blair Turner... THANK YOU! Thank you for giving me the tools to be a better teacher and educator!!

When I create my assessments I also use a variety of sources. I pull questions from my Math series, from test released items that our state gives us and then I also pull from Kristine Nannini's standard based teaching series. She has REALLY opened my eyes to looking at the standard in depth. Through this I realized that my series was missing a few things. DO NOT GET ME WRONG... I do like the series and it is a HUGE step up from what we were working with previously. I just feel that in order to have my students master the ENTIRE standard I need additional resources. I began exploring her standards based teaching and I have purchased her standards based assessments and teaching notes. It really helps when I am creating assessments and lessons. Sometimes the way the series introduces a skill is not an ideal introduction for my students. With a combination of Kristine Nannini's teaching notes and Blair Turner's interactive notebooks, I have many options to use without reinventing the wheel. 


Click here to check out Kristine Nannini's standards based assessments and teaching notes!
Click here to read her blog post about standard based grading!

And last but not least, I pull resources from Mary at  Teaching with a Mountain View! Her Math projects are AMAZING!!!! They are awesome time fillers, extra grades, and high order thinking projects to get your kiddies excited about Math! I Love to use her project when I had a week that is almost pointless to begin a new lesson due to holidays, early dismissal schedules, or other wonky things that happen during the school year. 
This one is my recent favorite! 
My kiddo will be completing this one soon!
I love to give them her projects and let them go on their own with their groups!! They get so much done! I often discourage them from doing it at home because many parents try to take over and make them finish it for homework. I express to my students that this is not the purpose of this project! It is to work together in class and share your knowledge. We all know that when you can teach someone, it when you really know a skill!

Click here to check out all of Mary's projects!


Well, I think I've given you a pretty BIG overview of how my schedule plays out, how my lesson and assessments are made, and possibly why I've been so absent from the blog world! With summer coming up I am hoping to jump right back into making more products and blogging more!

Until next time!