Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Organization & Math Boxes

I switched rooms, so when I walked in my classroom looked like this.

After a three and a half hours.

And then three hours later.

I'll share again when it is done.

I am not the most organized person (except for my grocery shopping lists). I've had student teachers set up my desk for the past two years so I didn't have to think about it. My library has been slowly getting organized over the past three years, and Booksource's Classroom Organizer is helping. I've switched grades up and down, and have purchased and made centers for each grade:)
So basically, I've got a mess of stuff that needed to be sorted and organized to be functional. I've got centers for everything, but if I can't find what I need, what good is it if I am trying to be prescriptive?
So far, I've brought home about half of my language arts centers, sorted them by type (using resources, writing, phonics, comprehension, grammar, and fluency), and put them in a spreadsheet tha tlists title, skill, level, location, and resources like how many prompts, answer key, recording sheet.I hated getting started last night but this morning was much easier and I feel like I've accomplished something useful. I then labeled each activity with a coded sticker, W4 for the fourth writing activity and P17 for the seventeenth phonics activity. When I file them, they now have a place to go. My math centers are somewhat organized, so I'll be able to sticker them and add them to a spreadsheet as well.

My math manipulatives take up space and they were in all sots of containers, unattractive, and not always where they needed to be when the kids needed them. Especially now with Common Core and students selecting and applying their own way to concretely solve problems, I knew I needed something that would give them an opportunity to have access to multiple types of manipulatives without forcing them to use my manipulatives. Third grade is a big year for multiplication and fractions, so they needed an adequate supply of maipulatives to show problems. My first vision involved a box with a few smaller compartments and two or three larger compartments. I walked into the craft store on the right week. I purchased 12 bead organizer boxes while they were half price. My boxes have 2 fixed partitions that run the length of the box and the rest of the partitions are removable.
20 tens rods, 40 some ones units, about 20 toothpicks, digits and symbols, two-color 1 inch disks, 12 each of two colors of 1 inch squares, 2 standard dice, 2 0-9 dice, 1 1-20 die, pennies, nickels, dimes, jumbo popsicle sticks with tiny hair rubberbands

fractions on a number line, equivalent fractions, division models

fractions of a set turned into number lines

7 x 4=(5 x 4)+ (2 x 4)

 17 x 4=(10 x 4) +(5 x 4)+ (2 x 4)

perimeter and area

I plan on numbering the sides of the boxes so math partners will be able to find their math box. Calculators and rulers are near the math boxes. Geometry manipulatives are bagged and on the shelf, but I don't think we'll need them as frequently.

Hope this was helpful!

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