My latest "Pinter-ations!"

Monday, August 4, 2014

Let's FOCUS here!

Ha! Must tell myself that ALL.THE.TIME! I am what they call a piddler, wanderer, absent minded... okay-- maybe a little ADD. Staying focused is sometimes hard for me, especially, now that I am almost back to school. I do not want to enter my classroom and see it so empty of children and life and worse--cluttered. That's when I lose focus! But I am not here to talk about me being focused!

Let's talk about FOCUS BOARDS! We all have them in one form of another. Do you have a 

word wall
data wall
calendar wall 
writer's tips wall
what is science wall

etc... you get it, right?? 
**by wall I mean some area or space designated to learning!**

If you don't have wall space dedicated to this, no worries, there's always magnets, clips, charts that you could use! 


1. Easy to set up!
2. Easy to change
3. Are colorful and inviting
4. You can refer back to your learning target in a large, visible way
5. Children will flock to it like moths to a flame when needed

This is what I had to work with last year-- still do...

I put Reading Counts points and Star Student of the Week. Now are these useful? Yes, but I wanted my kids to interact with the wall and content!! You cannot see my calendar wall, which is just as sad because I moved to a digital one on my ActivBoard but that was sad, too (sorry, no picture as I am still on vacation!). It just had shapes, months of the year, a 100s chart... Not much-- it really didn't convey what we were focusing in class. 

This year, I got smart (it took me a while! LOL!) and I started creating math and writing focus boards in my classroom. Those were two areas I wanted to work on hard this year! I am working on student data notebooks and there is that reflective piece that comes along with it! 

I created a focus board for math that would help students FOCUS on the strategy we are working on. I plan on setting this up instead of a calendar wall and making it a math focus wall. That way, I can refer to the one strategy we are working on and focus on that! Again, this comes back to that reflective piece-- when working on your data notebooks with your students and looking at their test and data, you can ask them, which strategy they used, did it work, could you have used another strategy? Kids just need that visual!  

click on the pic to grab it! 

I plan on just pinning sheet protectors up on my board so that I can exchange the strategy of the week or put them in as I need them. 

I also created a key ring set of math strategies that the students could keep in their desk so that when they are working at their seats, they can refer back to that. 

I hope to have some pictures of my finished math focus board soon! Not allowed in my classroom, yet. :-( Really excited to work on this with my students this year! And hoping I stay focused enough to get my classroom de-cluttered and organized!! LOL! FOCUS!! 

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