I don't count the days of summer, but I am beginning to think I need to start putting some of the pieces of my puzzle together. I always feel like the first piece of the puzzle starts with my classroom especially after being in the same room for 15 years. I need a change something that stands out for the students. This year I was struggling but through blogs (Franki @ A Year of Reading) and some pictures once again I have a new set up. My first priority is community space and next some nooks for students. I created a large open area with the smart board and teaching chart along with 2 table (round and rectangle) and a reading corner. Moving to puzzle piece 2: math. I will be teaching 80 mins of math daily. I have been searching for a morning math warm up and have found some links to help me. Here is one I found through #5thchat Mrs. White's Teaching Resources. When the students come in, I want them to be actively involved thinking about math so I am considering some math games, websites and focus # work This is one piece I need to continue to focus on and build some more strategies. Puzzle #3: increasing the wonder! For the past 2 years I have used Wonderopolis in every subject typically as a hook for a new subject, a follow up article for HW, and end the year with students choosing their own wonder research project. But this year, I want to build wonder- have students think about the why? One idea I am floating around is changing the focus of the summer pictures my students bring into share. I am going to ask them about what they wondered over their vacation? I think this might be challenging but if they have a picture of Niagara Falls from vacation, perhaps they wondered about how much water flows or how the falls developed? If they visited a beach, perhaps they wondered about sharks, jellyfish or sand castles? I will model this with my pictures from our summer vacation. I just get excited by starting the year off with wonder/inquiry/questions. Finally the last piece of the puzzle #4: stretching NF writing. I have been reading Jeff Anderson book 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know and Kelly Gallagher's book Write Like This. I want to go beyond our weekly Scholastic New articles although very good for conversations, but I need to have my students think deeper. I am working on using my #cyber PD to help me with forming higher level questions. I have learned the value of the word "yet." I also am working on the idea of choosing relevant articles from local newspaper and having students write from those (point of view, main idea/details, 5 Ws, opinions of article etc.)
As you can see my puzzle is all over the floor right now or I should say floating in my brain, I am working on having all the pieces fit together nicely. Any suggestions I would love to have some comments to help my thinking.