I stayed late... I mean late on Friday so I could get my classroom moved around. I needed to change my kids' seats, BADLY. They were getting under each other's skin and every minute was spent saying "he touched me" or "move your stuff off my name", etc. I just knew we needed a change. I made sure to tell the students that when they came in on Monday that they would have new seats and even some friends would have to sit by themselves. I don't think they quite understood what I was really going to do but I think they will soon. I will make sure to post about their reactions.:)
I also needed to change their station groups. With our reading program my kids are at 3 different stations throughout the morning. And I only had 3 groups with 6 kids in each. Last year it worked okay to have that many but this year, my younger bunch, it does not work out. So I have added a station, word work, and added on another group. I added on word work because I am definitely fascinated by Daily 5 and I wish I could incorporate that into our reading instead of our current reading program. So I've been "stalking" several blogs to get some ideas for my word work station. I am excited to try my kids out on the sentence read-trace-cut-glue that Mrs. Wills created. They are wonderful back-to-school sentences that the students read then cut and try to glue the sentence to match the one they read. My kids did pretty good with this on Friday. It was my first time trying it and I felt that it would be good to have it as my 4th station as I work with my students on cutting out their word sorts for the week. I know I can't put word sorts into the station without showing them what to do, so that is my mission this week.
After figuring out my station and all its contents, then I tried to tackle the task of forming groups. Making sure those students who couldn't get along with each other were not in a group together. I also decided to tackle the task of figuring out how to get my kids on the computers. Last week, I think my kids used the computers one time and not everyone got to use them. So I stayed up late Friday evening into Saturday (4am) to figure it out. See once I start something I have a hard time putting it down just so I could do those basic things like eat or sleep. My mind gets so focused on getting it done and figured out that I can't concentrate until I have mastered it. But I did it! I figured out how all my students were coming to me at teaching station, how to leave enough students working together at stations AND how to make sure everyone gets a chance on the computers TWICE a week. Fridays are for free or makeup times. My hope is that as my students are able to get on the computer more that they will know what to do when they get there and especially what to do when they get to the computer lab. And of course since I made this all so super complicated that no one will understand my code, I had to make a schedule for myself just in case I forgot the method to my madness.
I am glad that I decided to make these changes because this week my kids sort of have a "short" week of stations. I only say a "short" week of stations because 2 days out of this week we will be going on 2 field trips. So my kids will have some experience with this new setup but for a short time period, just to get them used to everything. Well I better get some sleep since I have A LOT to do in the morning before my kids come in..