Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Daily Math Tasks Rotation Chart


This year I'm going to try out a rotation chart I designed and made.  I'm really proud of it, but time will tell how well it works!

Last year my fourth graders had a hard time with doing their Every Day Counts tasks consistently.  I tried putting cards on their desks to let them know it was their turn to complete a task, but they'd tell me they:



1.  Lost the card
2.  Forgot
3.  Didn't know they were supposed to do it because they thought someone else put it on their desk

Mmhmm.  So I decided to post them.  The trouble is, I dreaded the idea of moving every kids' clothespin every single day after school.  I know this works for some teachers; I just wasn't feeling it.  No, I wanted something that I could just slide and everyone's name would move down.  Hence the Daily Math Tasks Rotation Chart was born!  Here's how I did it:

1.  To create this chart, I started with standard 8 1/2 by 11 aqua paper, but turned it to landscape. 

2.  I stuck the title at the top, of course.

3.  Then, all still in landscape, I created a table with 2 columns.  On the right I typed up the tasks I wanted.  I'm not sure if you can see that I left between a quarter and a half inch of space between each row.  Then on the left I typed up the kid's names (I changed half of them for this post for student privacy) with the same amount of space. I left some blank spaces for when (not if, it's always when) I get new students.  I made an extra column of blank rows for tasks so that I can add tasks as the year progresses.  I also made a second column of kids' names (not shown) because I'm guessing I'll need them in order to "loop" the names.  Otherwise if I move the strip down, when the kid on top is doing the second task, there will be no one above him to do the multiples task!

4.  I cut out each column separately.  The tasks got glued to the right and then I laminated it.  I laminated the kids' names separately.

5.  Next I cut the slits.  I used a ruler and a box cutter to make sure I was following the guidelines on the task list.  I was careful to leave those vertical borders while still making the slits wide enough for the names strip to fit through.   

I'm really happy with the look and construction of this chart. There are just 2 things that I need to think about:

1.  What happens when a kid is absent?  My plan will be to take the first name that appears below the blue, write them on a post it, and stick it over the absentee kids' name.  Or I could have an early finisher volunteer to do it (Update:  One of my students suggested that I create another job called "Substitute" and that person fills in if anyone is out that day.  Apparently another teacher in the building uses that job for her job chart.  Love it!  Thanks Mrs. L...I'm guessing that was all you, haha). 

2.  Is it going to be possible to loop the names back behind the chart while it's hanging up?  That was actually my plan all along, but now I'm wondering how it will lay flat.  Oops.  I might need to reconsider that plan and just hang a poster under the chart to hide the names.  That would probably be the most sensible solution and let me focus on other things!  (Update:  I having it hanging in a corner so that the names section has space and it's even closer to the calendar itself.  Like it was meant to be!)

I think it's got some potential for this year.  Plus it looks nice with the rest of my Every Day Counts wall!  I did update this wall (it was one of my Summer Projects).  Some of my other upgrades include:

  1. I'm hoping the Depositor is easier to see but still reach now that it's above the calendar.
  2. The containers for money lay flat and coordinate so nicely with my colors!
  3. Fractions labels are typed and ready (but hard to see when laminated, grrr).
  4. There is a spot and organization system in place for the monthly geometry words!  That polka dot poster board (made from wrapping paper mounted on poster board and laminated) will house all the words as we generate and discuss our list.  At the end of the month the September poster will be hung above the closets for the remainder of the year. 
  5. The only thing I have left to add (now that we're halfway through September) is I realized we sort of need to create a "pattern" section as well.  After the kids noticed alternating colors for September we don't really need to talk about it every. single. day.  Maybe once the pattern is posted they'll get the idea that they don't need to bring it up every time, haha. 

Any thoughts?  Has anyone tried a rotation poster that they can link in the comments below?



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