Friday, December 19, 2014

The One With the Christmas Gifts

I found these glitter ornaments on Pinterest.  I thought they would make the perfect gifts for my students this year so I decided to give them a try.

They were so easy to make.

I started with clear ornaments that I bought at Hobby Lobby.



I also purchased some Glitter It glue.  This worked perfectly and a little bit goes a long ways.  I have seen several tutorials that say you can use floor wax instead of this glue.





I bought three different colors of extra fine glitter.  I wanted to do more colors, but glitter isn't exactly cheap. 




My other supplies were 4 plastic cups and two funnels.  I used the funnel to pour the glue into an ornaments.  Swish the glue around so that the entire inside is covered and then pour the excess into one of your plastic cups.

I then used another funnel to pour in the glitter.  Swish it around until the entire inside is covered.  Pour the excess into another plastic cup.  I had a plastic cup for each color of glitter so that I could reuse that glitter.



They dried quickly, as in almost instantly.  You can't let the glue sit around very long before adding the glitter.  You can't pour glue in all of them and then go back and add glitter.  It dries too quick.

I then cut out my students' names in vinyl with my inspiration, which is like a cricut.



I have to say I absolutely LOVE how these turned out.  I thought it was a sweet and personal gift for my students.  And it didn't cost me a lot of money.

They all seemed to really like them.

Who doesn't love something with their name on it?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The One in December

I'm linking up with Farley for this month's Currently.  I hope you won't mind that I'm a day late.  I was violently ill last night and it just didn't happen.  I'm taking advantage of being home sick to get it posted today. Being sick just isn't any fun.



Listening...I'm watching last night's episode of The Voice.  I love this show and I'm not ashamed to admit that Adam Levine has a lot to do that.  :)  I'm not sure who I want to win this season.  I really like several of the artist.  Do you have a favorite?

Loving...My brother and his wife are expecting their first baby.  I could not be more excited about being an aunt again.  I'm going to love on and spoil that baby so much!  June cannot get here fast enough.

Thinking...My husband is so hard to buy for.  This year I have the perfect gift in mind  I cannot wait to give it to him.  I just need to get it ordered so it will arrive in time.

Wanting...The husband and I are in the very early stages of adopting from foster care.  I'm praying this journey will go quickly and smoothly.  I'm ready to meet our children.

Needing...Christmas cards are so stinkin' expensive.  Can I get an amen?  That's why I design our every year and just print them at Wal-Mart.  I'm really struggling with a design this year.  I have no idea what I want but I need to get on top of it and get them done.

Giving...Project Zero is a non-profit organization that helps connect waiting families with waiting children.  I'm donating money and gifts to them this year for Christmas.  I feel like it is a small thing I can do for my children.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The One with Equivalent Fractions

We started by talking about the multiplicative identity and how we could use it to find equivalent fractions.




I placed 5 posters, each with a different fraction, around the room.  Students rotated through the posters writing an equivalent fraction on each poster.  


Students then rotated through the posters again, this time with a group. This time they were to write down any fractions that they didn't believe were equivalent.  

I absolutely love the conversations that happened during this time.  Students were pointing our errors and justifying their thinking to their peers.  







Students who aren't necessarily my strongest math students were leading conversations.  I was all giddy as I just sat back and listened.


 We then discussed their findings as a class and then it was time for students to test their knowledge individually.

They had five different fractions and were required to find three different equivalent fractions for each one.  This went on the right side of their notebook along with an "I can" statement.

Somehow I only managed to snap one picture of this part so I hope you get the idea.  Their equivalent fractions are on the inside of each triangle.

This student had finished finding the equivalent fractions and had started to decorate his triangles.

My students seem to really enjoy this lesson and I think it helped solidify the idea of the multiplicative identity and equivalent fractions for them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The One with Rewards

There are still a few things left on my to do list from this summer.  

Yes  I said summer.

I fall into this trap every year.  As the beginning of school approaches things get shoved to the bottom of my priority list and never seem to come to fruition before the first day of school.  

And then they never come to be.

One of those things this year was some sort of reward system for homework.  I wanted to change the way I do homework with my sixth graders.  I had them last year as 5th graders and their homework habits... well they weren't the best.

I did make an immediate change.

Instead of sporadic homework here and there, I decided to do weekly homework.  They have quickly learned the system and there have been very few occasions this year where someone doesn't have their homework.  Every Monday they receive their weekly homework.  

It looks something like this without the answers of course.  :)



It is due on Friday.  If they happen to finish before the end of the week they can turn it in early.

Every Wednesday I take the last 10-15 minutes of class and answer any questions they have about their homework.  This motivates the majority of them to at least look at it before they come to class on Wednesday.  This is some of my favorite time with them.  We have good conversation and I feel like understanding occurs during those few minutes.  

The students seem to appreciate this consistency.  There is no question about when they have math homework or when it is due.  Several parents commented during parent teacher conferences how much they like it for the same reason.

Last week's assignment was a little heavy.  

It was time to finally come up with some type of reward system.  I felt like students who completed this assignment deserved something for their effort and perseverance.  

I mentioned in my last post about my love for task cards.  A love that is almost as big is my love for QR codes.  My students love them almost as much as I do.

All that to say I created some reward cards using QR codes and they are a HIT with my students.

I have them all in a basket.  Students reach in and grab one, scan it, and then it goes back in the basket.


My students have asked every day since when they could scan again.  I actually rewarded a student today for raising her hand when the rest of the class was shouting out.  They were all very jealous and were suddenly all raising their hands.

Prizes include a new pencil, a fun eraser, a piece of candy, pick your seat for a day, free homework pass, and sit at the the teacher's desk for a day.

Simple things that don't cost me a lot of money.

I might add some other rewards as the year goes on.

If you would like to grab a copy of the QR Code Rewards, check out my TPT store.

Hope you are having a good week.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The One with Donors Choose & Math Centers

A couple of weeks ago we received our two ipods from my Donors Choose project.  My students could not have been more excited.

(Can you tell they are identical twins?)

I knew I wanted to use them as I planned stations for last week. 

 I created some task cards to review prime factorization with my students. Because the concept of prime factorization was still fairly new to my students, I tried to create a variety of task cards - some easy and some more challenging.  This allowed students extra practice but the students who caught on right away were not bored.



Students were able to use the ipods to self check with the QR codes.  

I seriously love QR codes - maybe even more than my students.

This set of 16 task cards is now available in my TPT store.

I have been making task cards like crazy lately.  I love task cards that are self check especially as a review for an upcoming assessment.

I also created some self check task cards to help my students practice GCF and LCM.




How fun are these?  My students seem to enjoy these almost as much as using the new ipods.

These are also available in my TPT store.

We do Centers every Wednesday because I have several students out for G/T.  This allows my students to get some extra practice and my G/T students aren't missing out on new content.  This means lots of creativity on my part to come up with new centers.  I'm sure it will get old eventually but right now I'm loving.

I just created these fall themed multiplication task cards.



As you can see I still need to cut them out.  We will be using these this week.  These are also available in my TPT store.

My students also LOVED our center with Factor Football.  




This game is a FREEBIE from Dots-N-Spots.  I am so glad I found this game.  It really is a great review for students.  I can't believe it is a FREEBIE because it is such a great resource.  Jump on over there are download it for yourself.  You won't regret it.





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The One With Data

My sixth grade classes are learning to collect data and to determine the best way to display that data.

We first looked at dot plots and bar graphs.  Students created their question to survey the sixth grade class.

They collected their data and then created a pop up bar graph.


Thank you Runde's Room for such a great product.  My students loved that their bar graphs were 3-D.

Today we we collected some more data.  We wanted to determine how accurately we could estimate 60 seconds without the use of a clock or watch.


It was the best sixty seconds of my day.  HA!

Tomorrow we will discuss stem and leaf plots as a way to organize that data.


In other news my morning math class has a hard time getting motivated to talk about math.  I often feel like I'm teaching myself because they are just staring at me.

Lumps on logs.

My math coach and I have been discussing strategies to get them awake and motivated to discuss their thinking.  One of the things we are implementing is appointment cards.


It is the same idea as clock partners, but my students like that they have this card.  It has a way of making them feel a little more grown up.

Instead of having them talk to their team (tablemates) about an idea I have them get up and go stand somewhere and talk to one of their appointments.

It seems to be working for right now.

I haven't tried gonoodle with them yet out of fear that it will give them the wrong kind of energy.

What do you do to get your students talking about the subject at hand?