Monday, September 24, 2012

ClassDojo, Math Rotations, Organization Galore!

I have wanted to blog about things for so long but every time I get home I am exhausted.  The first couple weeks are overwhelming!  I guess by week 7, I should probably have my act together! Let me tell you we are finally getting there. 

I started using ClassDojo and my students love it.  The reason for impletmenting this along with my clip chart is simply for negative things and whole class rewards.  I feel silly saying the entire class gets to clip up.  I also have had problems with students not doing homework and not having a way to record it or students being late from recess with no record of how long.  Plus those are not reasons to clip down…. Right?  Thus the introduction of classdojo.  Since my kids love it so much I am going to run with it.  They all get excited when they hear the ding.  Yes, I keep the sound on because I do not have a smart board only a projector.  The projector is not always on so they know when someone gets/loses a point when they hear the sounds.  

The other thing I am quite excited about is my math and spelling groups.  We are using Words Their Way for the first time this year and I LOVE it.  I will explain more on that later though.  I have been doing math groups for the last week and a half.  The students have finally gotten the routine and it has been wonderful.  I do think that it will only work for certain chapters where there is a wide variety of levels but for this chapter it is perfect.  We are discussing addition and subtraction and my students are all over the board.  You can read more about how I implement my groups here.  Each day I project the At Desk and Math Facts information on the board.  This way the students always know what is expected. I would like to make a board to remind them of where to rotate and what they are doing, but for now projecting it works.  Plus, I keep the same movements each day so the students know where they are supposed to go now.  Some days when I know the lesson requires more teaching time I take more time to whole group instruct.  Other days I say very little about the instruction because half of them understand already.  It makes my heart very happy to see the way the students know the routine and move accordingly.  I can also tell that it is stretching my above students and allowing for more time for my lower students. 

The one thing I do know I need to get better on is concluding the math time.  Once our last group is done we move on to silent reading or lunch/special. I think a simple question time of “what was our lesson about?” or “any questions” or something like this will work.  Do you have any suggestions for me? What type of math wrap-up do you do?

By this time are you in routine yet or are things still getting settled? Some days I feel like our class has been together forever and other days I feel like it is the first week all over again! 


  1. Hi, glad to hear that you are really hitting your stride with regard to routines and expectations. I'm glad to see you're working on differentiating instruction for your math and spelling groups. Maybe as you're closing the group, you could ask something about how students can connect the given concept to their own lives, for example, when they might use such a process outside of the classroom. With addition and subtraction, they might think about how many points they win or lose in a sports game, etc. Keep up the great work!

    The Learning Metamorphosis


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