Tech-less Tuesday: Resource Roundup!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hello everyone!

Happy Tech-less Tuesday! Today, I am sharing with you Resource Roundup, an activity that I spoke about briefly in a previous post. I created this to help students become aware of all the tools and resources around the room to help them become successful independent learners!

If you’re like me, you’re prepping your back to school lessons, decorations, and organizing everything to get ready for September! Seriously – we don’t get all summer off, we take at least all of August to plan, right? I’m going to share with you this Resource Roundup activity to help students recognize the scaffolds around the room to support them.

Resource Roundup will allow students to explore the room, manipulatives, and any tools you may have to help them be independently successful throughout the year. This is a great way to discuss the various topics that will be covered and will give you an insight as to what the students already know of the resources.

This is a Jig-Saw activity that I will use within the first few days of school. Students will have a “Home” group and an “Master” group. In their master groups, they will explore the resource they are assigned. They will discuss and take notes on the graphic organizer I created answering a few questions about the resource. When they return to their home group, they will share their findings.

The activity can be altered to fit your students of course! The worksheet can be a center time activity, a whole class activity, or an independent activity. Just be sure to give students 15-20 minutes to browse the room and see what they can find to help them be successful. Again, the way you use this activity is up to you!

Some of the resources I am having students examine are fraction manipulatives, base ten blocks, the rubrics we use and success criteria, math dictionaries and word wall, measurement tools, unit cubes, and counters. I will also allow them to walk around and look at the posters and anchor charts that may help them understand more.

An extension for this activity I am planning to do is to have each home group create a poster or advertisement of the resources. You can have them all choose one, you can assign each group a different resource, or you can have them advertise for all five resources – the possibilities are endless!

When I do this activity, I will have each group advertise one resource (assigned by me) on a poster and hang them around the room for the year so students can be reminded that they have plenty of resources to utilize before me. This is a great way to have student work up and to remind you to use the manipulatives in your lessons!

In my TpT store, you’ll find Resource Roundup, which comes with the following:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Resource Roundup Graphic Organizer
  • Assignment Checklist
  • Teacher Assessment Checklist
  • Extension Activity

How do you introduce the resources of your classroom to your students? Drop a comment below & let me know! 🙂

☆Alexandra☆

Digital Small Group Solutions

Hello Techie Teachers!

As we enter August, I have been in full on planning mode for September! One area that I struggled with the most last year was planning small group work and center time. This year, that is going to be one of my main focuses! I’ve been trying to research efficient ways to create my groups and plan which center each group will get, but I found nothing that will suite me, so I decided to make something!

In my school, we begin our day with Center Time for about twenty minutes. During this time, I have four things happening in the room – I am working with one small group, another group is on technology, a third group is doing a collaborative problem solving activity, and a fourth group is working on fluency. This can get crazy because center time isn’t necessarily for what I’m teaching the whole class that day, it’s to bridge the gaps of previously taught standards. I try to keep it to a standard a week and rotate the same groups throughout each of the different centers.

The Problem: Grouping

The issue I was having last year was that when I created my groups for each week, I was looking at a list and crossing out names as I put them in a group. This posed as an issue for me because I would STILL leave students out! The day would come for them to be in a group and I wouldn’t have anywhere for them to go. I wanted to create a digital way of grouping for this year where the students are pre-populated and I can just rearrange them.

The Solution

I created a Google Sheet with my students names on a class list and on the side are the four groups, color coded. I can cut and past the students names in each group, and when their name is cut I know they’re already in a group! I also plan to color code the students names for my high-medium-low groups when I meet them and get a chance to review the EOY data from fourth grade. This will help me to ensure all students have a group each day in the week. I also plan to keep students in the same group all week because, let’s be honest, changing them daily is way too time consuming and the standard to work on is the same all week anyway!

The Problem: Planning Activities

Last year when I was planning activities for centers, I would have my bin separated by skill/standard and just give them to the kids if we were working on the standard. This became an issue because I wasn’t entirely organized about giving out the center and some students got stuck doing the same center more than once, which isn’t exactly meaningful work. I mean, some centers can be repeated throughout the year, but not in the same week. This was where I was really struggling last year, so again, I did some research for ways to plan and was inspired by a few blogs, but nothing worked directly for me. We do center time, but it isn’t exactly Guided Math or Math Workshop, because we still have a whole group mini lesson, independent practice, and math journal every day after centers.

The Solution

The solution to this was to add another sheet to my workbook on Google Sheets. The second sheet was to plan my activities and which group will be doing them and what day of the week. I can copy my groups right into the boxes on this sheet to know which kids are doing what and when. This will help me to see what centers I need for the week and I will keep making copies each week. I may even add a yearly plan to this, but I haven’t thought about that yet.

What do you think? How can you use this for your classroom?

☆Alexandra☆

Purchase this Small Group Planning Solution at my TpT store by clicking here!