Looking back . . . And forward

With the first two weeks of school under our belts it's time to look back for a moment. I realized as I went into the second week that I had yet to take any pictures!! I scurried around on Friday and tried to get a snapshot of the classroom to share.

This is the view from the door. You can see my ginormous desk! Whoever decided years ago to put these huge desks in the classroom must have not been teaching for awhile :) They are beautiful, but they take up so much space that could be better used, in my opinion. That accordion door is normally pulled closed. We have a common area out there, with two bathrooms for students, shared by four classrooms.


My white boards are magnetic, so I use that wonderful magnet tape to put everything up. First is my Math It Up! board -- boggle for math class! Right now it is set up for practicing math facts. Next is my proficiency scales board (after the picture was taken students put their numbers on the board to show what level they had achieved). The third picture is my math focus board at the front of the room. This has our current essential questions, CCSS, Standards for Mathematical Practice, and learning goals.

 My small group table. I love having a kidney table! Last year I put out an appeal to anyone who wanted to get rid of one; one of our kindergarten teachers didn't like having such a large table taking up space and I was the lucky recipient. I can comfortably work with 6 students (1/3 of my class) at a time. This past week we continued to practice our math rotations so it got a workout.

Four of my seven student computers. In a pinch, I also use the laptop that is attached to the smart board. This is very helpful right now because our computer labs are being monopolized by beginning of the year testing. We successfully completed our science quiz Friday by rotating through the computers in the classroom. I don't like to do this for math tests -- preferring to have everyone in the lab -- but it's wonderful for those 5 question quizzes.

Coming up this week, my two classes hit the labs for their beginning of the year math assessment. We are using Star Reading and Star Math this year for the first time. I'm curious what any of you think about these. I looked at my students reading scores this week, and my retained third grader, who was a level one in reading last year, is in the green. Apparently he is in no need of intervention!! Our math coach told me she is seeing similar results in math. I'm not feeling good about the validity of these tests :( Pretty sure I'll be giving the BOY test that matches our curriculum to hopefully get an accurate picture.

In math we will finish chapter one. I'm excited about some lessons based on math literature that I have coming up. Don't forget to check out my blog on Thursdays; I have a math lit series going.

Some of you are starting school this week. I hope it goes great for you (love the four day week)!


  1. I have really been enjoying your math literature series and love the way you have set up your classroom. Thanks for sharing!

    The Math Maniac

  2. Sorry to tell you that our school got rid of Star Math and Reading... Not very valid tests!!!!


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