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Showing posts from 2013

Vacation Bliss...

I think we can all relate to that time when we finally can have some much needed rest to recharge our creative batteries.  Let's face it, teaching can drain you!  Beyond the politics, the standards, the classroom diversions, there is this need to be the most innovative teacher you can be.  I know I'm always looking for more creative ways to teach the same old boring lessons. 

This week my goal is to post some of the cool things that happened in my class prior to Christmas break.  I'm going to review an app I used as a teaching aid, post some pictures about a project we did, take a walk through NearPod (which I'd like to use permanently in my classroom), and revisit Mathletics.  I'd also like to get some feedback on a project I'm working out in my head.  I want to do a project with Legos, statistics, data gathering, functions and modeling... an all in one project.  I have a couple of classes that I'd like to experiment with, just to see how they do. 


Week 4 Already!

It amazes me to know  we are rolling into our 4th week of school and already so much has been done!  I promise I will not complain about a school year flying by!  The first part of the year in math is always spent reviewing concepts from the previous year and adding a level of complexity to that.  For instance, my students who are reviewing decimal operations now have to work with those same operations, but they will need to round, deal with repeating numbers, or positive and negative signs with their work.

One thing I've incorporated into my lessons this year is the use of Interactive Notebooks.  There are TONS of free resources on the web for doing this thanks to so many awesome educators.   I research all types of graphic organizers and foldables and incorporate them into my units so that my students are essentially creating their own study guides for quizzes and tests.  One of my new favorite finds is used to solve equations whether they are one step, two step, or multi-step. …

The night before school and all through the house....

Everyone in my house is going about their normal business and I am preparing for the first day of school.  Don't be alarmed!  I've actually been preparing for this day all summer, now I'm running over everything in my head.  Things I hope I don't forget, things that I want to add, and things that I'm hoping will help my day be easier.

This year I am incorporating new apps in my room.  First up for classroom management is Class Dojo:

You can click on the Dojo icon to take you to their webpage, but in a nutshell it is a way for you to document student behavior that the students can view daily as well as the parents.  Students are rewarded with points for good behavior and negative behavior takes away points.  Students who reach a particular amount of points each nine weeks will have the chance to earn homework passes.

Next up is Doceri:

Doceri is an app for my iPad that will allow me to link to my classroom computer, therefore linking me to my Smart Board.  Last yea…

Back to School... OH SO SOON!

I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer as much as I have.  Well aside from that silly surgery I had!  Right now I'm getting prepared to go back to work.  I only have a week and a half before teacher in-service begins and two and a half weeks before I'll be standing in my classroom in front of my students. Every teacher knows what this means; the classroom must be prepared, and the lesson plans must be ready to go!  This year I have added a new class to teach, so I can't rely on what worked great last year to supplement my new stuff, I am starting from scratch for this class.  I will be teaching 6th and 7th grade math, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra I.  I'm really excited about adding Algebra to my line up.  It was my FAVORITE class in high school. 

     This summer I have been revamping my lesson plans to include more activities and more student involvement.  I want them to discover and learn more and I want there to be less of my lectures up in front of them. …

Adobe Creative Cloud

Summer is in full gear and I am in slow motion here lately.  I had surgery earlier this month and am still doing recovery so I'm spending a lot of time in the house.  One of the things I wanted to do was make my lessons more discovery based this year, find creative uses for our technology, and get out of the textbook.  I've been scouring blogs, websites, twitter, and everywhere for inspiration and I've found some pretty cool things that I'm going to incorporate into class this year. 

One thing I want to do is make my own pdf's that I can download into my Good Reader account for students to use in class so that they can email me work instead of the LOADS of paper I ended up with last year.  But they can't just be normal Word documents converted to pdf because that would be too easy, and I want something with a bit of pizazz.  So I started scouring more websites, viewing YouTube tutorials to create the elements of things I've seen that I like and during this …

Ah, Summer Time!

I'm a bit late posting this since I've been out of school since the 24th of May, but what can I say, I've been enjoying myself!  I have officially survived my first year teaching middle school and have come away with a wealth of information.

Here is a shortlist of what is needed:

1) Great classroom management skills.

2) A sense of humor

3) the ability to adapt to LOTS of changes

4) Organization!

5) Lots of Pre-Planning

Changes for next year:

1) Start with my end of the year classroom management at the beginning of the year.

2) Units instead of textbook utilization

3) Biblical emphasis within the curriculum

4) More hands on projects and activities

5) Standards Based Tracking and Dare I say grading?!

6) Common Core Implementation

7) Writing

For Now:

I'm revamping my lessons this summer.  I'm implementing more hands on projects and discovery based lessons and I'm even looking at working a flipped classroom.  I noticed one thing I did this year was get in a comfort…

iPad in the classroom

There are a lot of resources out there for teachers using iPads in the classroom whether the teacher is the only one with the iPad or if you are like me and teach in a school that is on a one to one iPad ratio.  I'm always scouring the Internet and of course Pinterest looking for fresh new ideas for my kids.  I've noticed that no matter how awesome something is I have to keep it mixed up because my students are always eager for something new and different.

This week I have focused on learning about "flipped" classrooms and what I could do in my classes to integrate this method.  In my searches I ran across a great info-graphic for iPad users that gives great app resources for teachers and how those apps can be used.  It is important to note that some apps are free while others may have a cost.  Just click on the graphic below,  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

iPad as the Teacher's Pet [Infographic] infographic

Spring Break... Explorations!

It is that wonderful time of the year when teachers and students alike get to take a HUGE break from school and relax.  For us, its time to sweep out the cobwebs, shove in some creativity, and of course get some much deserved R&R.

I look all over for inspiration because lets face it... sometimes my brain is fried!  All the classroom management, grading, test making, lesson planning, I get excited when I'm on target and look all over the internet to find great ideas for making it even better.  There is no shame in this!  Ok... I have no shame about doing this! HA!

Today, I'm going to share my awesome resources :)

Teachers Pay Teachers is a great resource for finding all types of lesson plans, activities, power points, tests, Common Core Resources, and so much more.  The cool thing is this stuff is MADE BY TEACHERS, and tested out in their classrooms.  Prices for your favorite selections range from FREE on up.  You can earn credits for free products by leaving feedback of yo…

Happy 4th 9 Weeks!

Yes, I'm talking about the beginning of the 4th 9 weeks.  A time that every teacher and student treasure!  They aren't quite done, but they know it is coming faster than ever.  My first teaching position for a solid year, and it's almost done.  What I wanted to touch on today is something I'm hearing from a lot of the veteran teachers... "Get as much done as you can by the end of the 3rd 9 weeks, they won't learn much the 4th 9 weeks because of all the activities that go on."

WHAT!?  You mean I have to basically babysit for 9 weeks?  I think NOT!

I happen to have a really awesome tech teacher on campus that is always giving me really cool ideas to try and a faculty who always shares cool new things that they find, so I'm hitting this up with a plan in mind!

1.  I'm going to throw in so many cool projects and tech activities that everyday will be an adventure in math.  Yes... I know.. I should have been doing this ALL year.. I was getting my feet w…

Hitting Roadblocks

Well I knew it was bound to happen at some point.  I know that every teacher experiences it.  How to overcome it, will be the biggest victory I've had so far in my career as a teacher.  The roadblock I'm talking about is when you teach a concept, reteach that concept, and teach it again.. and the students still don't get it.

What then?

Right now, my roadblock is equations.  Equations!  My FAVORITE part of math.  I love all the cute jokes about finding x.  But for real.. I LOVE finding x.  My students.... not so much.  But we are getting there!

I tried teaching about equations "the old fashioned way".  I followed the textbook, I taught them how to solve using concrete manipulatives.. (and they looked at me like I was crazy).  On the last quiz we took, I had 1 student pass, and 2 that didn't get a single problem right.  We went through EVERY problem together, and then I had them correct their work, and write about their mistakes.  I had them look at the correct…