The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Getting Started with Curriculum Materials

Today was a getting-started kind of day. After spending a week of community building, expectation setting, rule making, and procedure practicing, it was time to get started with our material. We will continue to do all of the things listed above throughout the year, of course, but while doing so we also need to move on to the next major challenge, which is establishing routines of academic success.

After our time in the gym for P.E. where we played four-corner dodgeball, we returned to our classroom where the students took a brief “brain break” while I passed out our Houghton-Mifflin Reading books. The first story from the basal reader for the year is Akiak, which is a story about a lead-dog for an Iditarod race team. As the students read on their own, I played a recording of the story (and confirmed that I am able to control my iTunes library on my computer via my iPad, which I thought was pretty cool). After reading, we talked about making inferences and then the students had their first written response assignment. I reminded the students to restate the question as a sentence, provide supporting evidence, and give a conclusion. Everyone was working, which was rather wonderful!

Later in the day, we broke out our Houghton-Mifflin Math books for the first time. I am taking this second week of school to review some fundamentals, such as addition and subtraction of greater numbers. I have a weekly meeting each Monday afternoon, so the sub who will also be one of my regular “go-to” subs introduced the afternoon’s assignment and got my class started. After returning from my meeting, I monitored the students as they finished. As soon as everyone was done and had handed in their work, we did two more benchmark assessments for math, known as the M-COMP (math computation) and M-CAP (math concepts and applications). And then the day was done!

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