Sunday, June 5, 2011

Book Study - Chapters 1 and 2

Sorry, I am just posting my answers to the first two chapters today. I've been under the weather the past two days. I must've been really wiped out this year because I spent the first week and a half after school got out hardly getting out of my pajamas, and just when I started feeling like I had some energy to do ANYTHING (other than watch the Casey Anthony murder trial on TV every single doggone day...For what? Morbid curiosity? The fact that this happened 40 minutes away from where I live?), I get sick.

But I did read the first two chapters and found them very informative, easy to read, and full of good suggestions.

1. Materials used by the teacher first, then placed in the station: This happened about 50 percent of the time. But first, I must say that I have always had math centers, not stations. So stations are going to be new for me this year. If I read the chapter correctly, Debbie Diller says you should never do a lesson and then put it in a station the same day. (Did I read that correctly?!) I am afraid I often did this. Oops!

2. Materials do not change weekly, rather changed to reflect the students' learning objectives: With our new math program, the learning objectives didn't change in a nice, orderly, weekly fashion, so the math materials in my centers changed as the objective changed, whatever day that happened to fall on.

3. All students go to stations daily: No, some days we just had whole group instruction and didn't make it to the centers at all.

4. Materials are differentiated: Sometimes, but more often "not" than "yes".

5. The teacher observes work or meets with differentiated math groups: There were many days that all I did was have the children work in small groups at centers , all doing the same thing while I did individualized testing. As a matter of fact, the whole kindergarten team said we feel we had very little time this year to teach because we spent all our time testing - tests that had to be done 1:1. The kids didn't mind it because it meant uninterrupted time with me. But of course they didn't realize how much teaching time they were being robbed of because I was testing. I will say that most of my differentiation seemed to come from the computer programs I had the children working on when they went to that "center". The programs individualized.

Something I realized in reading the first two chapters is how many manipulatives I NEED to get for next year. I also loved Debbie's suggestions for starting with Exploration Stations, one material at first, then slowly adding as you notice the children have started tiring of them.

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