I think that one of my biggest struggles is my crazy fast pace of social studies and science. I've been agonizing over my social studies and science yearly map, because I needed to extend my geography, Paul Revere and ancient Greece units an extra week, but I can't find three extra weeks anywhere. In a perfect world, I'd teach both subjects everyday, and I could slow down. Until then, I'll welcome your advice:)
Even though I'm feeling the time crunch more than ever, I am loving our social studies interactive notebooks. They have been such a useful tool for me already, and my students love them. This week, students compared and contrasted the United States and ancient Greece.
I have been able to make constructed response problems a part of our weekly routine. I'm using the constructed response problems I created for our weekly practice. I went back and forth all summer thinking about how to best approach these word problems, because I knew they were going to be difficult for my students. I finally decided to use a gradual release model where I begin by modeling 100% of the work and then slowly give my students more and more responsibility until they are working independently. The constructed response problems that I wrote are organized into six sections, that do not have to be taught in any particular oder.
We are on the first set of questions, and last week was our third practice, so my students worked in groups. I honestly didn't expect my students to enjoy these lessons, so I've been pleasantly surprised to see how much my students like these problems. It's the beginning of the year, so we have a lot of work to do, but I'm pleased with our progress so far. This is an average paper, and it helps me see what direction we need to go as we move forward.
I finally got to start math work stations this week. I haven't started my RTI groups yet, because I'm trying to focus on behavior and the management aspect of math work stations. I'm so ready to get started, though!