A Year of Awesome - Week 24

I love this blog series. It forces me to find something good in every day. It hasn't been easy this week... we have all been cooped up inside for far too long because of the cold temperatures. The kids are struggling to get along, and I'm working harder at staying patient. Here's hoping that March brings some more reasonable weather conditions!
Today I just knew we were going to need to be moving to keep the kiddos engaged. With the bitter cold temperatures and the fact that it is a Monday (which is never easy in itself). So since Swiper has been challenging us to find the difference between two 2-digit numbers I thought we could spend the math block working on my Be A Subtraction Star SCOOT game, and it was the perfect choice!! It gave the kids plenty of time to move around - no sitting for us today! - and it gave me the time to work one-on-one with a few of my struggling students. That's awesome!

Our second day in a row (this week alone) of being stuck inside because of the extreme cold - not awesome at all. It is really hard - 20 kids and an adult stuck in one room together for the ENTIRE day. Luckily, we at least had phys. ed. to look forward to in the afternoon!

Today, in anticipation of tomorrow's Pink Shirt Day here in Canada, I read the book If Kids Ran The World to the class.
I've been saving this one for a while. Well, you can imagine when I asked the kids to think about what it would be like if kids ruled the world what sort of answers I got. Everything from free money to no parents to candy for dinner. Of course this was BEFORE I read the book to them. I wanted them to get the silly answers out of the way before we settled down to some more serious discussion. Once they did, I read the first few pages and then asked them to think about how they would change the world. The students first worked alone, then partnered up to share ideas, then partners joined up to create small groups.
I think most of the kiddos had some awesome ideas in front of them by the time this activity was done. We're going back to this next week - there were too many other things going on this week to spend the right sort of time on it. I look forward to what they come up with!

Today is the 8th annual Pink Shirt Day in Canada! Celebrated on February 25th each year, Pink Shirt Day is all about solidarity against bullying. It has its roots in a story out of our east coast where a male student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to his high school. A pair of Grade 12 students organized the first Pink Shirt day in support of this student. You can read more about the origins of this date {HERE}. My students and I participated in this, complete with a pink bow tie! (I wish I had a photo!!) Awesome!
Today I introduced two-part problem solving to my kiddos. I wanted to see what they could do on their own before we delve too deep into instruction, so I partnered them up, spent some time with them at the T.A.C.K. Board, and let them get to work. I love observing kids when they are puzzling through problems - what they do, what they miss, how they tackle problems - it gives me such insight into how I can help them and where we need to go next.
Today was a partial release day for me to participate in a collaborative inquiry. I spent the morning with some colleagues investigating strategies and resources for developing mental math and number sense in the primary grades. We watched some interesting videos about the use of number lines and number strings, and were reminded of some valuable resources we have in our building - John Van de Walle's Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics, Number Talks, and Number Sense Routines: Building Numerical Literacy Every Day in Grades K-3. (Click any resource title for more information.)
I'm looking forward to a full-day of release time next week to dig right into these resources and get some planning done for after the March Break!

Do you have an AWESOME story to share from your week in the classroom? Link up or leave a comment below! 

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