Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tried it Tuesday: Graphing Strengths and Weaknesses

Ever since I started blogging this summer I wanted to link up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried It Tuesday. Now that I am back in the classroom and trying all sorts of things, I feel that I finally have something worth posting.

This activity comes Hunter over at Hunter's Tales from Teaching. When I read about this idea I knew I had to try it with all my math classes. This is a great activity to discuss differentiating in the classroom. It also helps build community while celebrating our differences.

To begin this activity each student was given a piece of graph paper to create their own bar graph. They graphed math, science, social studies and ELA along with art, music, and P.E. They could also add up to three other categories. Based on a scale from 0-10, the students rated themselves in each of these categories. Before the students began graphing, I modeled the activity. As I graphed each category I explained why I chose that particular rating. It's important for the students to realize that even teachers have weaknesses. I also let them know that I was not going to be offended if they labeled math lower than the other subjects. Honesty is what is important.

Later the students shared some of their results. This led to a great discussion about how we all have different strengths and weaknesses. 

You can see that this student's strengths are in math, science, art, music, video games and vacation! ELA and social studies are areas of weakness.

This student doesn't see himself as particularly strong in any of the major subject areas. His strengths lie in art, music, P.E. and playing. Look at the last category - homework. He scores that a 1. Got to love the honesty here.

At this point we are only a few days into the school year and already I have a great view into the students' feelings about math, as well as school in general. This activity is definitely a keeper.

How do you have the students evaluate their strengths and weaknesses? 


Monday, September 2, 2013

Back to School and September Currently!

Tomorrow is my first official day back at school. The morning will be spent in a staff meeting and in the afternoon we will try to finalize our schedules. There are three 5th grade classes this year so we will need to figure out how to work in a three way switch. Each teacher will teach her focus subject to all three of the classes and then each of us is responsible for teaching ELA to our homeroom. In between I will try to put the finishing touches on my classroom and get ready for the students on Wednesday.

In the meantime I am once again participating in Farley's Currently.

Leave it at school - this is a big one for me. I really need to work on this. At least one day a week I need to leave it at school. By leave it I mean EVERYTHING - my school bag, the stress, parent/student concerns - and give my family the undivided attention they deserve!

Hugs everyday - My kids are growing up so fast I need to hug them while they will still let me.

Anyone else starting back tomorrow?

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