Thursday, March 7, 2013

Class Size, SIOP & Synonym FREEBIE

It amazes me how much class size affects my teaching and my students. I started the year with 31 students. I just lost my second one at the beginning of this week, so I'm down to 29. I've had 2 kids out all week on long vacations and 2 more out sick. So I've had a class of 25 ALL week!! It's been a big difference. Even though the ones gone are little angels and I still have all the hard ones, it really makes a BIG difference!! Our district and researchers keep telling us that class size doesn't make a difference but I have to beg to differ with them. It makes a HUGE difference in first grade. With a smaller class I can spread myself out more- work with more kids, more often, for longer periods of time. We can get more done- 25 kids take less time to finish an assignment than 31. With all the activities we do in first grade through out the day it can really add up. With less kids, fighting for my attention, I can give more attention to those that really need it. During class discussions, there is more participation by more kids. The shyer kids start to open up. It just feels more like a close knit community rather than a big city. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to teach less than 20. What a dream!!

Back to reality. Our school has been doing training in SIOP this year. It stands for Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol. You can find out more HERE. It actually is training in teaching English Language Learner but our school does not have a very high percentage of ELLs. We actually have only 3 out of 180 in our grade level. But the SIOP model is really best practices and a great review in how to teach better. With the new common core our principal thought is would be a great help. We've had to do lesson studies and just finished one yesterday. Our team did ours on Synonyms. It's great to collaborate and work together as a team developing and analyzing a lesson.
Here's a practice page we used and a cute song we found. I don't know who to give credit for the song but our kiddos really liked it.
Click HERE if you'd like to grab a copy.

Hey, believe it or not but it's FRIDAY tomorrow- again! Gotta love FRIDAY!
I hope you all have a GREAT one.


10 comments:

Mrs. Griffith said...

Bless your heart. I can't even imagine having 31 firsties!!! I have 21 and it stresses me sometimes. You go girl! Thanks for the freebies. Definitely will be using them next 6 weeks : )

Lindsay
For the Love of First Grade

Anjanette said...

I wanted to share with you this informtative article that I found earlier this year on class size reduction and what research really shows. http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2011/05/11-class-size-whitehurst-chingos

Leslie said...

You've GOT to be kidding me! 31 first graders is just shy of insane!

Our classes currently range from 16 to 20 although I've had as many as 26 one year long ago.

How on EARTH do you do it?

Leslie

Teaching Little Miracles said...

Oh wow! I can't even imagine! You are so right - I have had from 13-20. I think 31 would be crazy - especially when you are trying to teach them to read.

Thanks for the freebie. I'm going to grab it. We're doing synonyms after spring break.

Crystal
Teaching Little Miracles

Learning with Mrs. Brinn said...

Sounds like a co-teaching number to me!! I had 32 kinderkids last year... but I was co-teaching!! I cannot imagine having that many in a room! I love SIOP- I had a 2 day training a couple summers ago. It was fun! Thanks for sharing the song- it is cute!
Gwen

Shelley said...

I feel your pain! I have 27 kindergarteners and NO extended day schedule. Let me tell you how fun it is to do guided reading and centers with all those kids in the room. I have had to have the best management this year.

Ms. B./Sra. B. said...

My first grade mainstream partner has 33. They are all very sweet, but she is TIRED!!! I'm in dual immersion and I have 23. I have different challenges than her in trying to teach 2 different languages, but next year I will have 33 myself and can't even imagine how I'm going to get it done! I'm going to use a LOT of parent volunteers!

Ashley Reed said...

Thanks for these awesome freebies. We have been studying synonyms this week, so this will make a great assessment. God bless you!

Miss Foote said...

I so know what you mean! I have 36 2nd and 3rd graders. For 40 minutes a day, 14 leave the room for ELD....it is a whole different environment during that part of the day! Keep up the inspiration!

Laurie
Chickadee Jubilee

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