Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A few of my favorite things...part 1

Just like our students, no two teachers are alike.  Because of that, I LOVE to talk to my teacher friends about their classrooms, their students, what they are reading, what they are doing, all of it.  Most of all, I love to hear about their favorite things because I usually walk away excited and ready to try something new.  So in the spirit of sharing, here are just three (of 392,948,002) of my favorite classroom things.     

1.  Math.
It took me a LONG time to get to this point, but I can now say that I love all things math.  Teaching math, designing math tasks for my kiddos, math PD, math trinkets, talking math...everything! A wise friend once said that math is the great equalizer, and that really resonated with me.  Students who do not fear math are also not afraid to pursue higher education and job opportunities that are math-intensive.  Because of this, I surround my students with math, and make every effort to help them connect math to the world around them. 
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Geometry Toms.  I may or may not also have red Calculus Toms.

2. Organization
What can I say?  I love to see things in their place.  I wish I could say that my home was as organized as my classroom, but if I said that, I would be a liar!  But I have invested lots of time into organizing my classroom, which has been time well spent.  My classroom library is organized by series or author, which cuts down on the amount of time students spend browsing so they can get to reading.  This also makes for putting books back where they belong super simple.  Supply tubs have similar labels so students have easy access to resources so they can use them as needed.  However, I should also note that I live in the real world of teaching kids, which means that sometimes, the only thing organized in my classroom is the chaos!          

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3. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume, and Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker
 These are two of my absolute favorite books to read aloud to my students.  Both of these books have characters and situations that most (if not all) of my students can relate to, a good balance of humor and seriousness, and always manage to spark an interest in even my most picky readers.  Both are the first book in a series, so once I've managed to hook them in with the read aloud, they have options for independent reading.  Plus, they are highly entertaining for me, no matter how many times I've read them!

What are some of your favorite things?  I'd love to hear all about them in the comments below!

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