Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I’m Goin’ To Chicago…Who’s Comin’ With Me?! {& Some Math Tub Fun}

I got a little email from SDE back in December asking if I’d be interested in presenting at The Extraordinary Educators Conference this summer.  Ummm.  Let’s see.  My first thought was, “ohmiword…bless their hearts.  They emailed the wrong person.”  Second thought…after realizing it was, indeed, addressed to me…was “ohmiword.  Why would they POSSIBLY think I have anything to offer?!?!?”  I had a range of other thoughts as well, but for brevity’s sake, I won’t share those with you ;) HA! 
Seriously though.  Oh.MY.WORD.  For real?!?!  To be sitting in the same ballpark as some of these extraordinarily awesome educators is such a GIANT honor!!!  Just look who else will be presenting!!!! 
EE
I am freakin’ out like nobody’s business, but super excited at the same time!  My presentation will be 75 minutes chocked full of math fun and I hope to see you there!!!  So mark your calendars…July 21-24…Chicago {what?! what?!} and check out all the deets on the SDE website!
Speaking of math, one of my most frequently asked questions is “how do you manage your math tubs and rotations?!”  Here’s the condensed version…incase you’re interested :) 
First of all, let me just say that I LOVE math tubs.  I honestly can’t imagine doing math a different way.  Not to say that I think this is the “best” way by any stretch of the means, it’s just what works for me the best :) 
For us, we start our math block with a whole group activity.  The activity might be introducing a new concept, reinforcing something previously taught, hands-on games to reinforce various skills, review activities, or surveys & graphing!  I always start with the end in mind.  If you don’t have a set curriculum to follow, that’s the best advice I can give!  Always start with the end in mind!  Honestly, my love of teaching math didn’t really set in ‘til I started teaching 1st grade.  I.fell.in.love.  BIG love.  Now math in Kindergarten makes SO much more sense to me…or at least, I feel like I have a better understanding of what I need to do to get them where they need to be. 
Moving on…
After our whole group math activity…which could last anywhere from 15-30 minutes…depending on the activity…we start our math tubs.  Here’s our rotation board…
1aa
As you can see…SUPER simple.  We don’t need anything crazy confusing these sweet babies!  HA!  I’m in the frog pod on my campus, so I went with a little frog icon for my tub labels.  The labels also coordinate with my table numbers.  5 days, 5 tables, 5 tubs.  My math tubs are housed in my math shelf and stay there until I take them out right before it’s tub time...then I move them to their matching table. The numbered circles are the “dessert” tub activities that each group can do when they’re finished with their “main course” ;)  I found that this was easier for my sweeties this year than just opening up a smorgasbord of activities from which they can choose!  We’ll talk more about desserts in just a sec. 
Each math tub contains a different activity that reinforces a previously taught concept.  I don’t ever put in something they’ve never seen!!  My math tubs spiral key concepts and skills throughout the year so the kids are constantly getting opportunities for independent practice and reinforcement.  Here’s a little sample of what they look like on the inside…
mathtubs1 copy
I got the tubs at the $1 spot at Target {they were really $2.50 though ;)}  I absolutely LOVE this particular size container.  They’re pretty durable and sturdy, too.  The tiny little tubs inside are from the Dollar Tree.  I like to include a small tub inside each big tub to hold all my manipulatives and activity pieces {so they don’t get lost in the shuffle}.  As I said previously, all of my math tub activities reinforce previously taught concepts and skills. By this point in the year, they (should) know EXACTLY what to do when they’re working independently!  My kids are grouped heterogeneously, so we have all different skill levels working together.  It’s really neat to hear them “teach” each other when they’re working solo!! 
I like to include enough “pieces” in each tub for each kiddo to use.  Yes…this means a bit of preparation on your part, but trust me when I say that the juice is worth the squeeze!  The kids only visit ONE tub a day.  I *personally* feel like this gives the kids a chance to really focus on the skill/concept at hand and allows them to spend time practicing and completing the activity without feeling rushed.  By Friday, each kiddo has visited each tub. 
What I love about having all of my kids working in tubs at one time is the flexibility it gives me to make observations, assess, and work with kiddos one-on-one who need to be challenged or who are experiencing trouble mastering skills. 
Since I can’t be with each group at once, I typically include an assessment sheet with each activity.  I look over all of their work each day, so if I see that one of my friends had a tough time with a particular activity, I can pull him/her aside the next day and work on that activity with them alone. 
Math tubs last anywhere from 20-30 minutes.  Some of my friends might finish their activity earlier than that, so they know to visit their assigned dessert {number} tub when they’re finished with their main course.  I found these little tubs at Ikea several years ago and LOVE them. 
mathtubs4
I change out the activities in my dessert tubs every week…just like I do with my math tubs.  This particular week pictured above contained lots of dice games from Deedee Wills math packets and these PRECIOUS Roll & Cover activities from Andrea Mason.  Y’all…my kids are OBSESSED with these dice games!  Seriously…they’re requested ALL the time!!!  When I replace these dice games with something different, my kids are *slightly* disappointed!  HA!!!  I include all sorts of activities…sorting, patterning, sequencing, addition, etc…this week just happened to be lots of dice games!!!  Hey…as long as they’re doing quality work that reinforces skills they need to master, then I’m all for it!!! 
Whew!  That was a mouthful!  And I’m sure there’s SOMETHING I’m forgetting!  If you’re more of a visual learner like me, I hope to see you in Chicago in July!  I hope this kind of explains how we roll in math.  If you want to read how I did math tubs in first grade, check it out HERE.
Have a great night, friends!!!  In the meantime, I have a date with Uncle Si.  Time for the new season of DUCK DYNASTY!!! 
Happy, happy, happy!!!!!!!

48 comments:

  1. Working on math tubs myself.Thanks for the detailed post. I'll be rereading it

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  2. Ha!!! Love your math tubs and am totally in love with Uncle Si, lol!!! Well, maybe not in love...but he's definitely my favorite! Congrats on presenting too! =)

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  3. I love how you organize your tubs! I think mine are way too complicated! {and I LOVE Si and Duck Dynasty!}
    Cheryl
    Crayons and Curls

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  4. Love this post! We, unfortunately, are tied to a specific math curriculum :/Have fun in Chi Town!!

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  5. Congrats on presenting in Chicago! That is super exciting. The way you do math tubs is SO much more simple than I was thinking. I definitely think I could handle this! I am going to go read your old post about Math Tubs in first grade. Thank for sharing!
    ~Danielle
    My First Love

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  6. WOW! Sounds like an awesome opportunity! I wish I could go!

    Gotta run....commercial is over. Will Willie get in that sport coat????

    Diane
    Teaching With Moxie

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  7. I love your Math Tubs! That Educator's Conference looks AMAZING!! I will have to check it out. What a neat experience to be a part of. You totally deserve it! :)

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  8. I was actually wondering how you completed your math tubs. We do the Everyday Math Series at my school and I like to implement activities {like your math tubs} into my lessons... just had not figured out how to fit them in. This helps so much!

    Congrats on Chicago!

    Jessica!!
    Fluttering In First

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  9. Your math tub bins are amazing!!! And I love the idea of a main course and a dessert! That would be great for some of my fast finishers during our math rotations!

    Molly
    Lessons with Laughter

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  10. DD is a fave!! Love your math tubs! Adorable as always!!!
    :) Michelle

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  11. Congrats Cara! That is so exciting! You are truly one of my favourite bloggers! I even blogged about you in my New Year's post!!! I know you will do an amazing job!

    Liann

    A Grade One Nut and Her Squirrelly Crew

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  12. Cara you are going to "blow" that conference away in the windy city! Very cool! Congratulations!

    Math tubs rule. I keep all my both literacy and math centers in tubs for my 3rd graders. Thanks for the great information!

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  13. Okay, where to begin?! First of all, I am just dying over the fact that you will be presenting. I never travel but you have just made it so tempting to take a little trip to Chicago. I am no where near Chicago but I so want to go to this conference now! Hearing one of my favorite bloggers talk about math would be amazing. Not to mention the fact that there would be a chance I would get to meet you! You are going to be fabulous. It's about time you were asked to be a presenter! :)

    By the way, I love your math tubs. Thanks for explaining how you do it. I need all the help I can get with math centers! :)


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  14. Hey Lady... nice looking tubs! I love your term "deserts." Your posts always make me laugh, but more importantly...think!

    Thank you for the shout out!!

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  15. I am so excited for you!! I am almost positive that I will be making the roadtrip to Chicago this summer :) I'm so excited!!

    Jodi

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  16. Golly! I want to go to Chi-town so bad now! You and Abby in the same place?! I'm not sure that much awesomeness is allowed in one city? :) quick question: when do you take the time to explain math tubs? Or do you not since they are skills the kids should already understand? Thanks! I'd love to start Math Tubs in my room!

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  17. Thanks so much for sharing our math "system"... it's so organized and makes so much sense!

    Cindy
    Granny Goes to School

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  18. First off...I love you.....kidding...kinda...you are my girl crush not going to lie. Also, I would love to see how you organize all your center games when they aren't in use. I have tried different ways and I am still not exactly thrilled with them. A post in the near future on cabinet organization of these type of materials would be awesome! :)

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  19. You are a fab teacher!! Come to Austin and do a training!!!! Or blog meet up!!! FUN!

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  20. Thank you so much for posting this! I have purchased so many of your awesome math and literacy packs but I couldn't quite picture how to set this up so that it was organized! I love all of your ideas! Thank you for sharing!

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  21. Eeek! Congrats on your upcoming presentation. So nervous and excited for you!

    Maria
    Kinder-Craze

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  22. Thank you so much for this post! I am planning on giving my math time a total makeover next year, and this definitely gave some great ideas! I am so hoping that I can find out a way to come to Chicago--I would love it!

    Ms. Cranfill's Class

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  23. Congratulations on being chosen, what a great honor!

    Love to Learn

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  24. Can we have a blogger meet up?!! I live in Chicago, and I am soo excited to hear that you'll be here this summer! What a treat. I would love to meet some other bloggers in this area!

    Lora
    teaching the littles

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  25. First, congratulations on your Chicago opportunity! What an amazing honor :) About the math tubs, I'm looking to implement this next year with my firsties. My question is, how do you differentiate for abilities with the tubs? It seems like I always have such a range of avilities every year and what I really need is the differentiation factor. Any advice?

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  26. I want to go!!! I am so excited for you!! What an amazing opportunity for you and for everyone listening to you speak!!

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  27. I WILL be in Chicago!!! So funny, because I check the SDE trainings all the time, and last month when they posted the Chicago training with you and Abby listed as presenters...I FrEaKeD out! Woo-Hoo! I gotta admit I have been like, "Hmmm... aren't those crazy girls even going to comment about the EE workshop???" Let's start an on-line count down!!! I went to the Chicago conference last year and enjoyed it....CAN'T WAIT to see how spectacular this year is!!! Reserve a "smile" for me...I gotta have a bloggy-fan pic when we meet! Holly

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  28. I would LOVE to hear you present! Never been to Chicago!
    I need a major overhaul in my first grade MATH block and this sound fabulous!
    So excited for you CARA! What an honor!
    Julie
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

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  29. Math tubs are the best! Love your idea for Dessert! Speaking of, it looks like the Valentine Roll-and-Cover in Dessert #2 came from my Valentine Centers packet... I feel special! :)

    Andrea M.
    i-heart-kindergarten.blogspot.com

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  30. First, I love ALL of your ideas you blog about! You made my student teacher experience so much easier/fun! My co-operating teacher and I used a lot of your downloads and ideas. They are AWESOME!! This is my first year teaching..I'm doing a lot of subbing and got a long term sub in a Pre-K classroom. I would LOVEE to come to Chicago and hear you and others present. Can anyone go?? Is there a website to learn more info about it?

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  31. Your math tubs make me happy, happy, happy!! :) Just wondering how you keep them all organized when you aren't using them so they are easy to locate and set up the following year?

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  32. I love these math tub ideas! I'm thinking about revamping mine now!!

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  33. How exciting! I so wish I could make it to Chicago to hear you speak in person! When I checked my mailbox at school this week, there you were! That same flyer and your wonderful smile! Best of luck to you in your newest endeavor! =)

    ~Tanya
    A+ Firsties

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  34. Just registered for Chicago! When I stumbled upon your blog last year, it completely changed my teaching. I never knew there were so many good resources out there. You have been my go to person for everything. I always go, what would Cara Carroll do for this?? My kids have been far more engaged and challenged since I started using resources from the blogging world! Now I am ADDICTED and knew that I had to come hear you speak in Chicago! SOOOO excited!

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  35. ahhh! How exciting to present in Chicago!!! You will be amazing I know!! Love your Math tubs!!
    Nicole
    Rowdy in Room 300

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  36. That's so exciting! Congratulations! Wish we could ALL attend!
    Cute cute math tubs!

    Rowdy in First Grade

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  37. Congrats! I am not quite sure why you were surprised! You've been inspiring teachers for years! You deserve it!!!

    http://frugalinfirst.blogspot.com

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  38. I love how you organized your math tubs. I was wondering does you district have a math workbook and if so when do you fit them into your math lesson?
    Thank you,
    Kori

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  39. You are awesome! Give yourself some credit you totally deserve to be at that conference. Your passion, love of teaching, and creative ideas have inspired me and many other teachers. I'm proud that early elementary teachers were chosen for the conference.

    You math tubs are great! I have a math curriculum so I do math centers a different way. I love it and my kids learn so much from meeting with me in small groups and playing games!
    Rambling About Reading

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  40. Hi Cara! My best teacher friend and I LOVE your blog and we are so excited to come see you in Chicago!!! Can't wait to learn about math tubs from the expert herself. :) We CAN'T wait! The day you posted it we both knew we were going for sure!

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  41. I always enjoy stalking your blog. You are truly a born teacher with a very creative brain. I love seeing what new ideas you come up with. I am a sped para for K-2. I wish that I could come to Chicago and meet you and all of the other greats out there. Can I ask what program you use to create most of your work? It takes me hours to make things that are adapted to our students needs. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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  42. I always enjoy stalking your blog. You are truly a born teacher with a very creative brain. I love seeing what new ideas you come up with. I am a sped para for K-2. I wish that I could come to Chicago and meet you and all of the other greats out there. Can I ask what program you use to create most of your work? It takes me hours to make things that are adapted to our students needs. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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  43. I absolutely love reading your blog. I'm from Brisbane Australia and have only been teaching for 2 years. Being a new teacher can be overwhelming and your blog gives me so many ideas. I'm inspired to start my own blog about being a new teacher. BTW Duck Commander/Dynasty is new here to pay TV in Australia and hubby and I love it too!!!

    Danielle

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