Thursday, March 28, 2013

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 your purchases.  TPT has been a great resource for me, giving me ideas, and introducing me to some great educators that have some pretty awesome blogs.

Here area  few of those awesome blogs:

Lessons from the middle is an awe inspiring blog giving out great resources, ideas, and this educator also has some great stuff to purchase on TPT.  My newest resource from her is Educational Menus.  I'm making Math Menus to help in differentiating my instruction, offering choice to my students, and put the discovery in their hands as well.  There are lots of giveaways and great advice and it isn't just math related content either.  Check it out!
Yes, I think everyone has figured out I'm a math dork, but this is the original "Miss Math Dork".  I began following this blog when I read about it on Lessons from the Middle.  Needless to say I also had to follow on Facebook and I love all the cute nerdy math ecards posted throughout the day.  This is where I also find out about great deals in TPT and free resources.  This blog is very easy going and I like the personal stuff added in with the professional.  It's definitely a go to blog.
I met THE "Mathy Kathy" at the NCTM conference in Dallas, TX this past year.  We were both browsing books in the NCTM store and we struck up friendly conversation about what books we thought we'd might like to get.  In our conversation we discovered that we both teach on campus' that have a 1:1 iPad ratio.  I knew right then I'd have to get this educators opinions and she generously gave me her card.  She said she was working on starting a "little blog" and was trying to get her information out there.  IMAGINE my surprise when I found so much awesome stuff to read about.  GREAT resources and technology to boot!  And for those that are creatively stifled like me, Mathy Cathy also sells great resources on TPT.

Technology for the Week:

I'm getting together some really cool resources and I can't help but share that my students always get a kick out of what Crazy Mrs. Ryan has come up with for the week.  In my classroom this upcoming week we will be doing:

Math Menus (Idea courtesy of Lessons From The Middle)

QR codes withing my Math Menus (Courtesy of my IT tech)

Glogs filled with information (Courtesy of our History Teacher)

Prezi's to break up the power point monotony ( Courtesy of an awesome professor while getting my Master's degree)

Do you like how I'm siting my sources?  Like I said from the beginning "I ain't too proud to beg"... for great ideas and incorporate them into my lessons.... of course :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

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 wet though and teaching those fundamentals... over and over and hammering those things in... but I digress...

2.  We are going to change the dynamics of the room this 9 weeks from textbook and workbook to discovery activities and multimedia work.


And thus I do pledge to teach them during the 4th 9 weeks, not just count the days until spring break, Testing week, field day, volleyball day, grandparents day, and all the cool field trips coming up.

This week we are starting out with QR codes that will lead them to their notes, or to a really cool Glog about something we are learning.  This will enable them to flip through the media and resources to learn about the topic instead of listening to Mrs. Ryan go "WAAA WAA WAA WA WA WA"  (I secretly think that is what they really hear half the time)  Then we are going to take that information and pair it with things from the Bible (PS... I love teaching at a school where we can talk about God!

Oh, and if you want to see what we did on Pi Day, check out my glog!

Have a great day!  And Happy 4th 9 Weeks!