Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Made It - Organization

Well I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed with everything that is still left on my to do list.

I am quickly running out of weeks.

I need to get myself organized and prioritized.

Speaking of being Monday Made-It Projects this week are all about helping me stay organized throughout the school year.

I have two projects to share this week but one of them was probably the biggest thing on my to do list for the summer.

I am so excited to have (almost) all my task cards organized.  I still have a few that are too large for my current container.  I plan to buy a container for those the next time I'm in town.  

But here are my task cards...all organized.

Y'all this seriously makes my heart go pitter patter.

This past year they were all just thrown onto the bottom of a bookshelf.  They were constantly falling off and I could never find what I wanted.

I'm going to need another one of these containers because I have a few more categories left.

The containers are from Michaels by the way.  And be sure to them you are a teacher.  You get a discount.  (Happy Happy!)

To be honest I'm not sure how much this next project will get used next year but it has been in my classroom and has been a huge help for several years now so I couldn't not do it.

My daily paper drawers got a make over to match my new theme.

I had originally planned to replace the labels but I decided I liked the way they looked with the new color.

The reason I'm thinking they might not get used too much is because I'm going to attempt a Math Workshop style classroom and I'm just not sure these will be big enough for all my papers and stuff each day.  

But I'll give it a try. ;)

So those are my two projects for the week.

Jump on over to Tara's blog to see lots more great project ideas.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Plickers - An Online Assessment

I would consider myself to be a fairly tech savvy person.

Yet when it comes to my classroom, I don't incorporate as much technology as I would like.

I plan to change that next year and have been to a few technology workshop this summer looking for new ideas.

I have gotten so many great ideas that I spent the month of June with my brain on major overload.

One of the ideas that I'm excited to use is Plickers.

Have you heard of it?

So What Is It?

Back when I was in college I had to purchase a very expensive clicker for my biology class.  Every day we had a quiz at the beginning of class.  I would use my clicker to select my answer.  My individual clicker number would appear on the screen when I had answered.

Plickers is a lot like that.  

Only it's free.

How Does It Work?

Students use a Plicker (paper clicker) to answer the question.

You can see a picture of a Plicker up above.  It reminds me of a QR Code, which I love using in my classroom.

As the teacher you will need to install the free app on your phone or ipad so that you can scan the Plickers.

I was a little skeptical about this at first.  How much valuable time would I waste trying to scan all the plickers in my classroom.

Y'all it only took a couple of seconds to scan them all.

Getting Started

To get started you will need to download the app as I mentioned before as well as set up an account on their webbsite

Print the Plickers for your students to use.

Because I have three different Math classes I created three different classes on the website.  However, I can use the same set of cards for all three groups.  Students from different classes can share the same card.

Once you have created your account and set up your classes you are ready to start creating questions.

Here are a few I have created about ratios.

Putting It To Use

Once you have everything set up, you are ready to use it with your students.  Spruce up your exit tickets or have fun reviewing for an upcoming test.  There are so many ways to use Plickers.

You choose a question to display for students.

They hold their card with their answer on top.

Use your app to scan the room.

Immediate feedback.


I love that every card is different.  Students can't  decide how to turn their card based on their classmates' cards.

Keeping Up With the Cards

I do not plan to have my students keep up with their Plickers for a couple of reasons.

One..I want to use the same set for all three classes.

Two...They would lose them the first week.


I have found several good ideas on Pinterest (What did we do before Pinterest?) for ways to store Plickers.

One teacher had students glue them in your notebook.  This would be great if you were only using one set.  She told students it didn't matter where the A was when they glued them in.  This ensured that their notebooks were all turned differently when they answered...again preventing them from copying from a friend.

Several teachers punch a hole in the corner of the card to hang them on a wall or bulletin board.

I love this idea of printing them a little smaller and using a pocket chart.

So yeah...

I'm absolutely giddy about using Plickers in my classroom next year.  

I think my students are really going to enjoy it.

If you are new to Plickers you can check out Pinterest for a ton of great ideas.

And if you have used Plickers in the past, I would love to hear from you.  Did your students love it?  How often did you do it?  How did you use it?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Monday Made It - Posters and Sub Binders

I'm pretty sure that if it weren't for the Monday Made It link up, my blog would still be sitting here completely untouched.  

Every week I say I'm going to blog more than just this one post.

Then before I know it the week is gone and I haven't blogged.

I've said it a million times but I really do want to get back into blogging on this blog.

Maybe this will be the week.

But in the mean time let's have some fun with my favorite link up...

I didn't get as many projects completed this week as I had hoped.

Hopefully this next week will be more productive.  I can finally get in my classroom and I know it's early but I'm so ready to get in there and start putting things together.

Life was crazy last year and I didn't get to decorate like I normally do so I'm excited to decorate this year.

First up this week is my 8 Mathematical Practices posters.  These were a pain in my side to make this year.  I went through several different designs before settling on one.  Here are three of the eight.

I even got these added to my TPT store if you are interested.  

This next two things were completely inspired by the Peppy Zesty Teacherista.

You can read Teacherista's post about the HW documentation here and the restroom pass here.

But basically...when students don't have their homework or need to leave your room to go the restroom, they scan the QR code which takes them to a Google Form.  The Google Form is very short and to the point - like it will only take them a couple of seconds to complete.

Then you have great documentation!!

My last project for the week isn't quite finished yet, but until I get my class list and other info I've done all I can do.

This design was inspired by Adrienne Wiggins on TPT.

I have been trying for years to find or put together a Sub Binder that is perfect for my needs.  I haven't to accomplish this.  I'm really liking where this one is headed though.

What's in your sub binder?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Made It - Arc Punch

Did you notice that title?

It didn't start with The One...

I don't know if anyone pays attention to that or even cares, but for me making the decision to no longer continue that was a big one.  

But I feel like it is hard to come up with good catchy titles that aren't extremely wordy.

So I'm letting it go.

I guess making that decision could be my first Monday Made It item.  Ha!

Monday Made it is easily my favorite teacher link up.

I love it for two reasons.

1. It motivates me to get stuff done.
2. I get so many awesome ideas from others.

Here we go...

Last Thursday I bought myself a new toy.

The arc system desktop punch.

For the past several years my teacher notebook has been housed in a big 3-ring binder, which I have loved.  

But a few years ago I started noticing that teachers were taking their pages to office stores and having them spiral bound.

While I loved that idea, I didn't like that I couldn't add pages to my notebook.

I even had my notebook bound and then didn't use it.  I threw it in the trash and went back to my binder.

I feel like the binder is so bulky and when opened to my calendar it takes up too much desk space.

So I decided to invest in the arc punch.

And I must say I am LOVING it!!!

My notebook is now arc bound.  I love that is smaller than the binder and I can fold it back on itself so it doesn't take up as much desk space.

I can add or remove pages with no problem.

I have been making all the things to add to my notebook.

I made section covers - which I still need to add tabs to those, but my washi tape is at school.

I found this pin awhile back and decided to recreate it to go with my travel theme.

I made my calendar awhile back.

I like to add things with washi tape.  We all know assemblies get canceled or rescheduled.  Washi tape allows me to move it with no trouble.

In fact I had originally hole punched my calendar for my binder.  I reprinted it to add to my new notebook and just moved the washi tape from the old calendar to the new one.

And the last item I have finished for my notebook - there are several things still in the works - was inspired by MiddleSchoolMotivation.

I follow him on instagram and have loved seeing all his middle school motivation quotes.

I want to do this in my classroom next year, but I know that if I have to find a new quote each week I will quit as soon as I start.

So I decided to be proactive.

I gathered my quotes and made a schedule.

This will ensure I always have a quote and I won't duplicate.

My notebook is definitely my new favorite teaching item.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The One with Homework, a Toolbox, and Clips.

Summer Break is in full swing.

I'm not sure that it's fair to call it a break.

I've already attended three workshops and did 2.5 hours of PD online.

Of course I've also done plenty of this...

Sorry...this post has quickly gone away from the topic at hand.

Homework Bingo.

I was working on my new Bingo board for next year when I realized I have never shared it on the blog or on Instagram.

That needs to be remedied so let's get started.

Let me start with the homework part.

My students receive their math homework every Monday.

It looks like this...

Homework is due every Friday.

The homework is divided into days...the only real reason for this is to help students pace themselves throughout the week.

Any student who turns their homework in on time gets to write their name on the Bingo board.

The letters & numbers are road maps to go with my travel theme.

On Friday I draw a winning square.  Any one with their name in that square gets to scan a QR code for a prize.  If there are multiple names in the winning square, they all win.  If there are no names in the winning square, no one wins that week.  I do not draw until I have a winner.

My students loved this last year and it was a big motivator from some of those kids who wouldn't normally do their homework.

This was my teacher toolbox.

It got a little makeover this past week.

Stay may get another makeover before school starts.  I'm not totally loving how it turned out.

I also added some spray paint and washi tape to a few binder clips.

So much cuter than the plain black.