For my observation today, I used math center activities from my Thanksgiving Art, Literacy, and Math Activities Packet. I was observed with our school's math specialist. She had a guided math group of her A.I.S. students at Turkey and Cornucopia Ways to Make Ten, I had a guided group of students of mixed ability at Turkey Feather Find the Missing Addend, my classroom aide had a guided group of students of mixed ability at Our Favorite Thanksgiving Foods: Tallying, Graphing, and Analyzing Data, and the last group was an independent center of students of mixed ability at Turkey Domino Fact Families. I decided to add essential questions to the centers. I thought this was a good way for my students to see and know the objectives. It also worked as a good reminder for me to review the objectives before the start of the centers. Essential questions are something new to me, I first heard about them from my sweet friend, Anna Brantley. She has an awesome packet of essential questions for first grade. My fabulous friend, Deanna Jump, has an essential questions packet for K. The essential questions are Common Core Aligned, making everything tie nicely together.
Here are the questions I created and added to my packet (re-download if you already purchased):
I think these questions helped my students understand WHY I was making them do these math centers. I go for my post observation on Monday. I hope my principal thinks our observations went well. I thought it went well, but I really hope with this new system, I am still on the right track! I know my math centers really lend themselves to authentic and engaging learning.
Please, note that I am able to provide my students with more challenging activities and create guided groups because of the number of adults in the room at the time of math centers. I have also included less challenging centers in my Thanksgiving Packet. These centers work well as guided centers for K or independent centers for first.
Here is Anna's packet. Click below to check it out.
Here is Deanna's packet. Click the image to check it out:
Here is my Thanksgiving Packet:
So what do you think of Essential Questions? Are they something you would like to see in more of my packets? I appreciate your feedback. I plan on updating my Have Yourself a Very Common Core Christmas Packet this week.