Saturday, December 6, 2014

Interactive Focus Wall

Once again, I find myself being absent from this blog! I sure do know how to post on Facebook and IG, but forget to actually blog!

The school year is flying by! I can't believe we are approaching winter break. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some time off. This past week, I have been battling a sinus infection and ready for some down time. With the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holidays and traveling, it will be nice to take a minute and breathe! In fact, I did this last night. Here was my view...

One of the things I have been thinking about is how this has been my BEST year of teaching. You know what's really cool about that? It's my 10th year! I still have such passion and drive for this profession, and find myself loving the supportive community of blogging, IG, and Facebook. I really feel as though since I entered that world, my passion has grown deeper. Anyone else agree? So, upon lots of reflection, I wanted to share with you something new I have been trying this year: an interactive focus board.

In years past, I always put the targets/objectives up on the board. However, I noticed a lot of pictures or posts from other teachers about focus walls. I loved the idea and wanted to jump on board. I started it right away and then realized, what does this mean to a first grader? Do they really care about "I can..." statements? Do they even look at this board? That's when I had the idea to make the focus wall interactive. We refer back to it all the time and during independent work time, they have the opportunity to add things about the skills we are learning. I feel as though now that they have a part in this wall, they understand and appreciate the meaning behind it.

Check it out...

The top part of this is our focus on families. This isn't interactive, but some fun poems to remind them about our topic. On the bottom (science) each table had a circle map to fill in about insects. They added to these to show how their schema was growing and changing. 

This is the math section of our board. (more was added to it later, but you get the idea!) I always have the "I can..." statements up that align to Common Core. Then, I incorporated thinking maps. During center time, the students came to the board to add words that they would know identified addition or subtraction in story problems. 

I LOVED the spider unit created by Amy Lemons. I decided to include this in our interactive focus wall. As we learned about spiders, the students could add questions or statements to the KWL chart. For grammar, again, I used the thinking map we were studying and the students wrote collective nouns! 

This is what is up currently! To the far left is our schema about space! The students created a bubble map that showed the things they know about space. This was a random topic that I chose. We were simply learning about schema. For grammar, we are learning about adjectives and adverbs. I chose 4 nouns and put them in flow maps. The students are now going up to the board to add the adjectives to describe them. (I decided to add me and see what they came up with! Ha!) Then for math, it's not really interactive, but more posters from Amy! We are loving them as we learn more about story problems! 

If you have any questions about this, please let me know! I absolutely love it and the kids do too! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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