In my class we use Math and Reading rotation boards to manage independent work while I am working with small groups. It is an incredibly effective system, once you have got all your resources up and running etc. Writing is a little different. At the moment I have four writing groups. We start with a whole class lesson/ explicit teaching, then go back to our tables to write. My teacher aide (I get a small period of time 3 times a week) works with the 'slow starters', helping them get their ideas on paper. I work with another group on a teaching point. I then conference with the third group, and mark the last group overnight. Then it all changes the next day, enabling me to see as many students as possible. But there are always some fast finishers in our class who complete their tasks... and then what? First they are expected to edit their writing with a green pen, correcting capital letters and full stops. Some groups are beginning to use the dictionary or classroom resources to make corrections to spelling. Once that is complete, they may CHOOSE a task from the 'Writing Jobs' board. There are only four activities in our 'Writing Jobs' board, four independent activities that the students may choose from. Today I would like to share with you our "Creative Writing" task. Quite simply, this is an opportunity for the students to write an imaginary story. They could use our Story Stones (mentioned here http://destituteteacher.blogspot.co.nz/2011/10/story-stones.html), or the Scholastic Story Starters (a digital resource at http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/) or a Roll and Write activity board. I have laminated a series of "Roll and Write" pages and the students absolutely love them! All three options are a great way to get the children writing. I provide a choice of writing materials (scrap paper, their draft books, whiteboards) and they are loving writing away! The boards I printed are from: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Roll-a-Story-The-Superhero-FREEBIE-Edition-1518615 http://thewildthingslearn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/famous-friday-freebies-and-five-random.html http://msjordanreads.com/2012/08/11/roll-a-dice-literacy-fun/ This is a relatively easy to set up and easy to maintain independent activity. The children are engaged and are actively practising their writing skills. Happy writing everybody!
I find Math to be an absolute headache in terms of resource management. There is never enough resources, occasionally too many, and they are often in bad repair. This is why my next few posts are about Math resources. Enjoy! As I teach in NZ and follow the Numeracy Projects, place value houses are a common material to work with. I printed mine off A4 size from http://www.nzmaths.co.nz/sites/default/files/Numeracy/2007matmas/Bk4/MM%204_11.pdf . Each 'house' was copied onto a different coloured paper, and then cut out and laminated. I didn't cut them out again after laminating, as it made it easier to punch a hole in the corner and thread a ring through (are they 'magazine' rings?). My awesome set can now hang from the wall if there is space. No more scrunching up in the bottom of a drawer! They are also really quick and easy to unclip and use, then pack up again. I started off using a whiteboard pen to write the digits directly onto the laminated charts