Math Stations & Guided Math

So...this is pretty much my obsession right now. I am *dying* to incorporate these into my day!

I know as a First Grade teacher, I have a *very* strong focus on reading and writing. But, I am not an ELA-driven person (sadly...). I am a math-and-science kind of person. If I taught upper grades, that would be my forte, for sure.

But, since teaching departmentalized doesn't really bode well for First Grade (heh...can you imagine?!), I am making due and figuring it out.

We do Reading and Writing workshops every day. We started Guided Reading groups last week...and I am still trying to figure out the best way to make that work. I'm even ready to integrate the Daily 3 (we aren't "allowed" to do the entire 5...we don't "subscribe" to the official program...anyway...). We are ready to "Read to Someone", and now that we finally have our laptops we can do "Listen to Reading".

But, I'd really like to integrate Math Stations and possibly even some Guided Math time into my Math day. We don't have long...about 50 minutes. But I think that if I could at *least* get it in two or three times a week, my kiddos would really benefit from (and LOVE!) it.

So, I've been stalking around checking some ideas out, and think I have at least found some good starting points:

Jennifer at Rowdy in First Grade had shared her adaptation to Guided Math a while back. And, since I am working in basically the same time-frame, I really think that I can find a way to make it work for me.
Kelli at Castles and Crayons recently shared how she organizes and uses her math work stations based on Debbie Diller's system. I really like her system for organizing her cute! (I just hope my Walmart has tubs like those!) I also like her choices. I guess that makes me a fan of Debbie Diller, and I should perhaps pick up that book! hehe But I really like her set up.
I have also been downloading a *ton* of games and activities to get me started from quite a few of your TpT stores. =) We use Investigations right now at my school, but I still have the old enVisions adoption as I think I'm going to try to find a way to use that to fluff my tubs and stations, too!

I'm, like, stupid-excited about this. (Dorky, much??) All I need now is a weekend when I'm not doing anything else, so that I can dedicate two or three days to nothing but setting up math stations and guided groups.

Yeah, because that's going to happen! =) haha

If you have anything that you L.O.V.E., something that you'd like to share, would you mind? =)
(Hmmm...if only I knew how to set up a Linky or something? ... heh ... One thing at a time...)



Six weeks in...

and this is how I'm feeling...

Just keeping my head above water...

Of course, that is always better than this option...

I think I'm drowning
Can someone lend a hand?
Can someone save me?
Cause I don't think I can

Though, some days, it feels like that a bit too. 

Don't get me's not *all* bad...but it is tough when you have NO structures, NO "go-to's", NO "last year" to fall back on. Being a new at anything is difficult for's just a personality flaw. I like to know what I'm doing, I like to have a plan, and I like to know what's coming next. I don't feel like that at all right now. I can't even get organized, because I'm not sure WHAT I'm organizing. 


I keep hearing: "Wait until mid-October." Things supposedly balance out and will get better. Man, I hope so. I am really struggling with my self-esteem as a new teacher. 

Of course, there are some extenuating circumstances at my school this year, outside of typical "hardships" of teaching at a Title I campus... Even my team is having days when they not only feel "new" again, but days when they question their own abilities...and there is over 50 years of teaching on my team! So, at times I think: Hey, if they feel overwhelmed too, then maybe it's not as bad as I think. And, other times, I think: Oh my God! If *they* are overwhelmed...imagine how *I* am feeling!

I know it will come. I know it will smooth out. I know I will get it. I know it because...I think I can, I think I can, I think I can... (Thanks, Classic Children's Literature.)

But, I'd be lying if I didn't say that a part of me is looking forward to NEXT year already...and being able to say YES! I'm doing that again! and NO WAY! That didn't even come close to working! or even I can't WAIT to give that a try now!

Okay...end of my "woe is me" first-year blues post. I promise that the next one won't be so "pity-party". =)

I hope that all of you are having VERY successful quarters! I can't believe the first one is almost over already! Guess it may be *next year* before I know it! heh =)