Friday, July 27, 2012

Working in Room...

Well, I bit the bullet and started working in my classroom this week.  I only meant to go in on Monday, and take hubs to move the big furniture, but we have decided to go out of town for part of the week next week, and I have a school improvement workshop the last 2 days of the week, then the next week my family will be in town.  So that leaves a week before teachers have to report back to get my room ready.  Not possible!!!!

I ended up going back on Wednesday AND Thursday.  I got my desks arranged, started to change out border on the bulletin boards (I ran out, so I couldn't finish the last sad), my math center put together, and my desk and small group area! But what I am most proud of is Organizing not one, but TWO filing cabinets :)  I had needed to do that for a while now, so I am excited I actually made myself sit down and do it!

Here are the before pictures of my room...I will post after when I am completely finished :)

While I was at school on Wednesday, the Curriculum Specialist and Principal ran an idea by me.  Four of the teachers on the 3rd grade team (out of 6) grouped their students by ability, and then rotated the kids.  One teacher taught Reading, one taught Math, one taught SS/Writing, and one taught Science.  They had some kinks in the system, but enjoyed it by the end of the year.  Their only complaint was, the Math teacher didn't feel like she had enough time to get thru a lesson.  I think they ended up having an hour in each rotation.  So this year, they have 5 teachers, and two will teach Reading/SS, two teach math, and one teach all of the science.  Fifth grade is also going to go this route.  But they suggested the four teacher rotation for 4th would teach Reading, one math, one science, and one SS.  Last year, we had 2 groups of team-teaching, and one self-contained.  If we went to this method, 4 of us would team, and 1 be self-contained.  I have 2 problems with this:  a- two teachers will be responsible for all testing content, and b- it leaves one person out on their own.  Some of us talked, and told the principal, we either wanted to have the same set-up as 3rd and 5th grade, or keep it like it was last year.  I feel that is only fair.  I would just like to know what we are doing, and what exactly I will be teaching...considering school starts a month from today.

How do you guys work as a grade-level at your school? 

PS-  I posted the winner for my give-away last Sunday, and contacted them by email to get their address to mail the bag, and haven't heard back from them.  I emailed again tonight, and asked to please contact me.  If I don't hear anything soon, I guess I will pick another winner.  Is that rude?


  1. We have 3 sections of 4th grade. We each teach our own math, spelling, and English. We ability group for reading. Our Title 1 teacher teaches a section, so for reading we have 4 section. For social studies, science, and what we call c&p(concepts and problem solving-a lot of geometry, fractions, etc.), each grade level teacher teaches a subject and we rotate classes. On day 1 I would have my class, day 2 one of the other classes, and day 3 the last class. We are on a 6 day cycle and see each of the classes twice during that time.

  2. Hey Sara,
    Our school wants us to do more co-teaching. This year some teachers are switching for Math and Reading. You should come link up to my giveaway and linky patty for before and after classroom pictures.

  3. Last year, I was in a departmentalized 3rd grade with another teacher. I taught math, science and social studies. My partner taught ELA. We switched about half way through the day.

    Our 5th-6th grade is departmentalized with 4 classes, so they go between 4 teachers each day. Reading/Math/English-Spelling/Science-Social Studies is how they are split. Their schedule was a little more difficult to sort out, but it worked really well.

    Julie aka Southern Teacher

  4. Hi,

    This is my first time visiting your blog. I teach 4th grade at a small elementary school. There are only 2 fourth grade classes, and I team with the other teacher. I teach Reading, Language, Spelling and Narrative writing. She teaches Math, Science, Social Studies, and Content writing. We did this last year for the first time, and our EOG scores were the highest they have ever been. I love teaching this way. Language Arts is my forte and Math is hers. It works for us.

  5. I teach at a small rural school and there are only two teachers per grade level. We chose not to switch classes so we teach every subject to our own class. However, our 5th grade is differnet. One teaches Math and Science while the other teaches ELA and Social Studies.

  6. Usually we are self-contained. But this year we are going to departmentalize. We have 3 sections of 4th grade. We will each teach Reading/Language Arts and Math, then we will departmentalize for Science, Social Studies, and Writing Workshop. I'm not sure how it's going to all work out, so we'll see! Good Luck!

  7. Is that a hubby helping you in there?? What a great guy!! Can't wait to see the finished product! Our team gets two hours each week to plan together. We don't always need that time, it depends on the time of year. Although we all have different styles, we do a good job of keeping a lot of things the same across the team. It's sometimes a challenge b/c there are seven of us! For this year, we planned by mapping out standards and concepts. We do a lot of impromptu sharing, too!

  8. I agree--you should have it the same set up as 3rd and 5th. Growing up, we had an awesome math teacher--so she taught math to all the high 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. We came out of school with really strong skills--and no time tests either! In 6th grade we switched for science and social studies, and math, but stayed in our class for everything else. My son's 1st grade switched reading--they did it by ability, but then rotated through the teachers??? I thought that was very strange because it takes a lot of time to get to know a student and their strengths and weaknesses especially when they are learning how to read. Luckily, we read 20 minutes at home every night, and he had a teacher for a mom--but I didn't like how the same teacher didn't teach them reading the entire year--but I didn't really like that reading program-- he read more at home than he did during his 120 minute reading block at school.