Our shared teaching model at fifth grade continues to grow.
Today it dawned on me that another great aspect of this model is that I no longer have to switch materials and room set up throughout the day. Instead because I'm teaching three sections of math, I can have all my math tools set up at the start of the day and leave it that way all day. Before when I taught all the subjects I was constantly rushing to take down and set up materials as we switched from one study topic to another. That was frustrating and actually sometimes resulted in using less tools since there simply wasn't the time for set-up.
The classroom is continuing to morph into a better and better math lab and STEAM space. It's not there yet, but we're getting closer. Today students worked with colored pencils, big paper, rulers, and scissors. Tomorrow we'll work with more of the same. I hope to include clay, grid boards, and many more tools in the days to come.
The fact that my classroom is now a math/STEAM lab allows me to teach better, and the fact that I'm sharing the teaching and learning discussion, focus, and work with two other wonderful educators has lessened the isolation and grown my ability to teach well.
As we move the model forward, we'll be looking more deeply at scheduling, feedback, theme days, and community building. Truly this is a more rewarding and positive way to teach and learn than the old one-teacher-one-classroom model.