#SOL18 Day 10- Visions of Math Centers Danced in My Head

5 am

I don't need to get up this early today. But here I am, awake, with an idea on how to better organize my classroom and put together math centers. For the last 4 years, each student in the class has been assigned a math toolkit by number. If your class number was 6, you would take the clear plastic shoebox labeled 6 and all your math tools would be in there: base ten blocks, tiles, plastic clock, etc. So I have 24 or more of these in the front of the classroom.

But here's the thing- we really don't use them. If we need a tool, it's mostly in small group and I just grab them from any bin and then try to remember where to put them back. I'm thinking it would make more sense to have the baggies of all the base ten blocks in one large bin, the baggies of all the tiles in another large bin, etc. Students can still find the tool they need when they need it (they never seem to take tools to solve problems) but it wouldn't be all individualized. This would free up all those bins for me to better organize our math flash cards and math games I have scattered in different places in the classroom. 

Other things I want to do: create poetry centers for our poetry unit based on different concepts we have to teach: imagery, alliteration, personification, metaphor, etc.  I also want to start giving my students spelling lists based on the spelling stage they are currently in and have them sort the words as a way to learn the patterns. 

There are many more things I want to do. Of course, timing for this is awful. It's report card time which means a lot of assessing and then completing 24 report cards and comments. It's my daughter's birthday weekend (friend's baking party today, family party tomorrow) followed up by her real birthday next Thursday. It's Slice of Life time. 

There are math unit tests still to grade. There are the spelling inventories still to check so I can see everyone's current spelling level for the sorting to come. There are reading assessments to score and use to plan next week's instruction. 

There is never enough time. I don't know how to make this work better- how to implement all my ideas that I think will make school more effective and fun for students, and still assess them and keep up with all that being a teacher entails. There is a time where I have to hang up my work bag and be a mom and make a 5th birthday a special event. 

Not to mention laundry. 

And cleaning.

Who wants to read another "I am overwhelmed" blog post? It's probably just stressing you out too, making you think of all there is to do. But i honestly don't know how to get it all done and get it all done well. 

If you know the answer, dear reader, please tell me! 


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