Taking Time to Reflect and a FREEBIE

As teachers, we constantly evaluate ourselves and reflect on our practices.  That's how we grow and improve.  Well, this year my state is implementing Common Core Standards and boy am I reflecting like crazy on what I'm doing and how I need to change!

One thing I really struggle with is being more of a facilitator in math and allowing my students to discover how to solve problems.  I love being the star of the show (no surprise as our class is called the Celebrities, lol) and having my traditional teacher input time where I teach my kiddos what I know.  I many times revert to teaching algorithms or little tips and tricks to help students solve problems.  Common Core really wants students to focus on the why and being able to explain what they are doing.  In our professional development at school this week, we talked all about how students need to really truly understand the concepts and not just procedures.  With all that being said, I'm trying to improve how I teach math and am really trying to move to a model that my county suggests where students start the math lesson by grappling with a math problem first, then complete a math talk, and later in the lesson, I provide clarification or hit on important teaching points.  So as I was planning tonight, I created a few problems working with arrays (3.OA.1) and wanted to share them in case anyone else could benefit from them.  Just click on the pic to go to them:
I also wanted to mention that I've loaded a new Questioning Resource Pack to TPT that focuses on using Question Answer Relationships (QAR), the strategy monitor/clarify, and Bloom's Taxonomy question stems.  Please check it out if you're interested:

Oh, and leave a comment below (with your email) telling me a teaching practice that you've been reflecting upon lately.  I'll use a random number generator in a few days to pick two people to give my Questioning Resource Pack!!!


  1. I have been reflecting A LOT about my grammar and writing instruction and how it aligns to the common core. The performance tasks for writing do not have a direct correlation to grammar and the direct response questions have yet to be released. Therefore, we are continually discussing among our team - do we drill grammar or do we focus on writing to the purposes outlined in the common core and mention grammar along the way. Lots to think about!!!

    1. I have been thinking a lot about these areas too. There seems to be a lot to cover in the language and writing areas! I'm trying to integrate a lot and touch on the grammar skills when writing.

  2. Thank you so much! I love that you are willing to share this- my kids are working on arrays RIGHT now! :)

    I've been reflecting on my math instruction lately. I'm doing mostly whole group teaching, still, but I'm thinking that guided math is probably the better fit for my students. I need to figure out how to organize more small group time into my math minutes... I'm thinking of some kind of rotation, maybe Math Journal (problem solving), Calendar Math (spiral review), Lesson with me, and Fact Practice?

    My To Do List might actually shorten if I ever stopped adding to it :)

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad
    luckeyfrogslilypad @ gmail . com

    1. You're welcome! We are focusing on arrays too and I want to make a few more sheets like these. Hopefully, I can get them up in the next few days.

      I also am struggling to get small group into math time. I'm tossing around the ideas of some centers or something but I haven't gotten there yet...

  3. I've been reflecting on our district's recent launch of Reader's Workshop and how much assessment is appropriate.


    1. I changed my literacy this year and have been tweaking it as I go! Good luck with the changes your facing in your district!


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