|Working in small groups|
My grade level was departmentalized and I loved it. I felt that I could
really concentrate on what I was doing and not trying to plan it all.
The best part? I was able to do each lesson 2 times; therefore, the
second time was usually better than the first one. When it was time to
grade…well…not so much. I would usually have to read TONS of pieces
and assessing students on reading levels was not fun either.
could live with it. I truly felt that I got to practice and get better
at teaching both reading and writing.
Then…two years ago I moved to third grade and the entire story changed. I was now required to teach ALL subjects (honestly I did not know what I was getting into and boy…I sweat it!). It was not only at a new grade level, but on top of that I was now responsible for science and mathematics. In a way, teaching reading and writing using the workshop method really helps you differentiate – it is build that way (differentiated as each child reads at their independent level). Now, when it came to math I knew I had to do something. The typical lesson of “Open your book to page 5, read and then solve problems 1-20” was not cutting it. I was getting frustrated and my students felt the same way. Teaching math in this ‘traditional’ form was boring. The worst part? 1/3 of my students got it, 1/3 was lost, and the other 1/3 was bored to tears because they could do what I was ‘trying’ to teach without my help.
|A sample of how stations are organized (this was a chart at my old school)|
|A student working on Xtramath|
|Partners working together|
|The curriculum we use is VERY hands on (I love it!)|
|Students rarely just work at their desks. They move ALL the time (couch, floor, rug, etc)|