When writing this post I had the following adages in my brain: "Many hands make light work" or "It takes a village to raise a child" I wanted to make sure to discuss the importance of utilizing the professionals you may have available to you during your math time.
I am fortunate enough to co-teach with Christi during my math block. We are able to use one another for feedback on students, lesson reflection, planning, implementing, as well as working with small groups and conferencing withing the classroom.
I also recently signed up for the opportunity to have a student teacher in my classroom this semester. She began last Monday and we began to use her the first week she was in my classroom. She created storage and cut laminated pieces for Play with Someone games. She also was given a small group of students to teach. Christi and I created the lesson and she implemented it along with us to her own small group.
I also utilize our district math coach. I invite her to our planning sessions and she helps us to create ZONES activities to meet specific needs of our students (right now it is Explore and Notebook activities about Number Sense)
Here are some ways to use an extra pair of hands for ZONES
* Sharing lesson plans, fun activities, and common vocabulary
* Checking papers for formal or informal assessment
* Running copies, laminating, creating Play with Someone games
* Checking for on-task behavior while students are in ZONES (management)
* Taking a small group
* Conferencing with students one-on-one
* Implementing a whole group lesson
* Planning small group work based on student specific needs (Special Education, ELs, a specific concept)
* Planning ZONES work based on student specific needs
Some people who might be able to help you!
* Special Education staff, ELL staff - teacher or paraprofessional (lesson plan, push-in or pull-out - students are all present for whole group and resource staff does small group work with their assigned staff) Staff only need to be present for ZONES rotations so we are talking 15-20 minute blocks of time!!!
* Parents - can come in and run small groups or make copies - we have very limited parental involvement within the classroom. However, I have found great success with parent volunteers at home. I send home laminating to be cut out and it comes back done! Voila!
* Math coaches - help with lesson planning, can run whole group or small group lessons, can plan ZONES rotations or create assessments.
* College Students - I take whoever I can get! Our local colleges have a teacher assisting, aiding, and student teacher program which vary in the amount of classroom time. However they are of great help in the classroom!!! Even the not so strong teaching candidates can be well utilized during our math time! Students can be great resources for planning a "mini unit", a new technology resource, managing student behavior, creating games, or taking small groups.
* Volunteers/Mentors - we have a local church that mentors our students. The mentors are typically working one-on-one with their assigned student. I often give the mentor math work to complete based on a skill the student needs. But I sometimes sneak in and extra student to play a Game (two more students receiving one-on-one attention!)
Do you have any extra staff or personnel in your building who you utilize for ZONES in a unique way? If so, please comment below I would love to hear your great idea!
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