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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The One With the Polygon Foldable

My foldable for area of polygons is one of my biggest sellers on TPT.

I love that.

This foldable is my baby.

A lot of sweat and tears went into it.

No seriously...

A lot of sweat and tears went into it.

My husband gets all the credit for this one.

He came to my rescue and made it work.

It may be my biggest seller, but it is also the item with the most asked questions.

Printing and folding it can be a little tricky.

I thought I would do a little tutorial to hopefully help you out if you are trying to fold that pesky thing.

It starts with printing.

You want to change the settings to landscape first.

You also want to print it on both sides, flipping on the short side.

Now I know every computer is different but here is a screen shot of my print screen and the changes I make before hitting print.

Once you get it printed, cut each page in half, cutting along the dotted line.

Stack the papers on top of one another.  

The horizontal dotted lines should line up.

Then you want to fold the pages over on top of themselves.

And viola!  

There is your foldable.

Of course I like to print mine on bright paper.  After all bright paper makes everything better.

I also use one of those huge book staplers to staple them along the top.  It helps keep them together.

I also like to fold these for my students.  Yes that is time consuming, but it is so much easier than letting my sixth graders attempt folding them.

At a minimum I staple them so that I can simply tell my students to fold at the staple. :)

I hope that helps.

And if you have purchased this foldable I hope you and your students find it helpful.  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The One with the Scavenger Hunt

Sometime last year I stumbled across a scavenger hunt on TPT.

It sounded fun so I decided to give it a try.

I loved it!

My students loved it!

It's a great way to help students review a concept.  They can check their work as they go.  If they can't find their answer then they know they made a mistake.

It gets students up and moving.

I am a fan of up and moving.  I heard in a workshop once that when we sit too long all of our blood puddles in our booty.  I LOVE that!  And my students always get a kick out of hearing it.

I always let my students work with a partner when we do a scavenger hunt.  I do this for two reasons.  One, it helps keep crowding at one card down to a minimum.  Two, it gives them that little bit of social interaction.

The day after or before a break is my favorite time to do scavenger hunts.  The kids are a little antsy and just aren't capable of sitting still in their desk.

You better believe we did one the first day back after Christmas break.  My students were so excited when they saw the cards hanging up around the room.  It was the perfect way to review those last few concepts we studied before the break.

There are lots of great scavenger hunts on TPT and I have bought a few since finding that first one.  I have even found a few that do a wonderful job of differentiating.  There are different colored cards for different levels.

I have also made a few for myself that cater more toward what I need.  

My students began studying integers before the Christmas break.  We use the Engage NY curriculum (anyone else?) and I wasn't able to find anything that was close to what I was looking for.

So I created my own Scavenger Hunt.

I chose to keep this one short and simple since it was our first day back after the break.  I wanted students to have plenty of time to finish the activity even if they had to spend several minutes with their IMN refreshing their memory.

I assign students a problem to start with it so that not everyone is at the same card.  If a group was going to start with card # one (pictured above) they would answer the question on that card, in this case "What is the opposite of 7?" .  Once they had their answer they would walk around the room looking for the card that has the answer (-7) on the bottom.  That would be the next problem they solve.

This year my students are bad about coming to me and asking  if their answer is correct.  My answer is always go look around the room again.  If you cannot find that answer then check your work.

Sometimes when my students are searching for the wrong answer which isn't in the room they will see the right answer and immediately know what mistake they made.  I LOVE that!  I believe they are more likely to remember if they discover and correct their mistakes without my pointing them out.

This scavenger hunt is now listed in my TPT store along with a few others I've made.

I'm looking to add more to my store.

What concepts would you like to see in a Scavenger Hunt?  Leave me a comment letting me know.  If I use your idea to make a Scavenger Hunt I will send you a free copy.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The One in January 2016

I'm back....

and hopefully in a more consistent manner.

It's a new semester and I'm looking to grow as a teacher.

One of the ways I do that is this blogging world.  I love sharing ideas with you.

I'm four days late to currently but I thought it would be a fun way to jump back into the swing of things.

So here we go...

Listening... to the Rose Parade.  (I clearly started this post three days ago.  I tried to be on time.)  I don't think I have ever watched the Rose Parade before.  I'm loved it.  I'm a band geek at heart so the marching bands were my favorite.

Loving... Christmas Break.  You know sleeping in, eating junk food, staying in my PJs all day, tons of time to read.  It is a sweet time.

Thinking...My husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary yesterday.  I cannot believe it has been 12 years already.  Time flies when you are having fun.

Wanting...More blogging.  I am determined to blog more this year on this blog.  I also want to read more of your blogs.  What blogs should I read?  I'm just in need of revitalization in my teaching.  I want new ideas.  I want to dive into this amazing community of teachers.

Needing...To create the Scavenger Hunt my students will do on our first day back.  They love Scavenger Hunts and I figured it was a great way to review those concepts we were studying right before break.  Plus it gets us up and moving around.

(Got that done last night...just in time)

One Little Word...  TRUST.  I have never chosen a word for the year before, but this year I could deny that God was giving me a word.  He gave me the word trust.  Here is the short husband and I have struggled with unexplained infertility for almost five years now.  We experienced a failed adoption this past August.  This year I simply (though it really isn't simple) want to trust God's plan for our future.  I want to give him my own plans and dreams and trust that He knows what is best for me.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

The One Where I Make Things

I am so excited to finally be linking up with Tara for a Monday Made It.  I have a love/hate relationship with this link up.  I LOVE all the wonderful ideas that are shared, but I hate all the time I spend looking at all the ideas and then feeling the need to add to my to do list.  

I'm sure you can relate.

This summer and school year I'm keeping things pretty low key.  My husband and I are in the process of adopting and the children will be moving in soon.  My focus and time has been on the children and preparing to bring them home.

But I still like to relax and do some creating for my classroom.

One of the first things I made this summer was a binder cover for my teacher binder.  You can read about what inside my binder here.

I normally keep my PD records in this binder, but this summer I have enough good information from workshops that I needed a separated binder.  

So I made another binder cover. :)

I decided this year to buy a new toolbox and start over instead of spray painting mine again.  I also decided to laminate the labels and put them on the outside.  I'm not sure how I feel about this yet.  I'll use it awhile and see how it goes before changing it.

I used Disney paint chips from Wal-Mart to make a calendar.  This was not as easy as I had planned.  I had a hard time getting the squares lined up perfectly.  I finally called it good and moved on.

I used 5 different patterns for the month cards.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The One in July 2015

Dear Summer,
You seem to be in such a hurry to leave.  Please don't rush out the door.  I'm enjoying our time together.  

The Classy Teacher

Seriously though...why does time move faster during the summer?  It's just not fair.

On a more positive note, it is time to link up with Farley for the July edition of Currently.  This is easily one of my favorite link ups.

Listening: Summer vacation means Netflix binge.  I'm currently watching Gilmore Girls.  I've seen all of the episodes a thousand times, but I love this show.  Next up is Heartland, a new to me show.

Loving: Date nights have looked a little different lately.  My husband and I are in the process of adopting eight beautiful children.  We have been picking two or three of them up at a time for little date nights.  It is a fun way to get to know them.

Thinking: When I'm not with them I'm always thinking about our eight beautiful children.  I miss them.  It gets harder and harder to say goodbye at the end of the visit.

Wanting: I have accepted a position in a new school district.  I will be teaching 6th grade Math and Science and I'm thrilled to be teaching science again.  Due to administration being gone on vacation, I have not had a chance to get into my new room.  I am so ready to get in there and start decorating and settling in.

Needing:  With the adoption of eight kids we are going to be purchasing a new vehicle soon.  We have decided on what we want, now we just have to find the best deal.

All Star: I love all things organization.  Organization makes me giddy.  Unfortunately I'm not as organized as I would like to be.  However, I am an expert at appearing to be organized.  Take one look and I'm sure to trick you into thinking I'm the most organized person ever.

I hope you will go over to Farley's blog and check out all the other Currently post.