Sunday, July 31, 2011

The One With the iPad2

For the past three years I have been participating in a grant workshop. Our co-op received a grant to study data in middle school science classes. This will be my third and final year. Through this grant program, I have received some really nice things for my classroom.

However, this year has topped the other two years combined. We learned last week that we will all be receiving an iPad2. To say that I'm a bit excited would be a huge understatement.

Now I have the technology I just need to learn some great ways to use it in the classroom. I've been told about the splashtop app which apparently allows me to use my computer via my iPad. I'm loving this. I do not like to be confined to my computer to show things on the projector or with my mimio.

What educational app can you not live without? Any suggestions? Do you have one? How do you use it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The One With Power Teaching

Have you heard of power teaching aka whole brain teaching? I'm a fan and quickly becoming a bigger fan.

It makes for a high energy classroom as well as a highly engaged classroom. I'm in favor of both of these things.

I used bits and pieces of it a few years ago. The students and I both really loved it. I was a bit surprised at how well it went over with my 7th and 8th grade classes.

This year, I plan to use power teaching as my main source of teaching and classroom management.

Never heard of power teaching? Check out this video from youtube of a 6th grade math teacher using it to teach the order of operations.

You can search you tube and watch videos of it being used in Kindergarten all the way to college classes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The One Where The Teacher Reads

The middle school where I work is a struggling to raise literacy scores. All teachers are being told to bring literacy into the classroom, regardless of what they teach.

As a math teacher, I'm encouraged to bring literacy into my lessons, but my focus is still on math. We don't want our math scores to drop. However, as a science teacher, I'm looking for every way possible to bring literacy into the classroom. I want to teach science through literacy.

One of the things I'm looking forward to as a reader is that my science classes will spend 20 minutes every Friday reading their AR books. I will of course be modeling this and reading with them. I love to read so I'm excited about this.

I created a whiteboard to hang in my room that will display what I'm currently reading as well as what I just finished reading and what I plan to read next. My hope is to get my students interested in reading and encourage them to pick up a book.

I bought the whiteboard at Wal-Mart. It is 14 X 14. My name is done scrapboook letters. They are made of felt and have an adhesive backing. However, I couldn't get the adhesive to stick to the white board so I ended up hot gluing them on. The black letters are also scrapbook letters. I bought them at Wal-Mart. They are more of a foam material. I didn't have any problem with them sticking to the whiteboard.

I have a little nook with a window in my classroom. I plan to create a little reading area there with a fun rug, chairs, and poms hanging from the ceiling. My reading board will go there. I also plan to create a place for students to write suggestions/summaries of books they believe I should read.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The One With the Background Knowledge

I decided to start a blog to share ideas and reflect on what's going on in Room 228. Let's start with a little background. The 2011/2012 school year will be my sixth year teaching. I spent my first year teaching in a small Christian school. I taught a combination class of 7th and 8th grade. I taught all subjects to seven students. My other four years have all been at my current school. I taught 7th and 8th grade Science for two years, 7th grade Science and History for one year, and now teach 7th grade Science and Math.

Math is not my strongest subject. In fact it is my weakest. It isn't something I ever planned on teaching. But now I've got a year under my belt and am looking forward to doing it again this year.

I love the school I work at. God knew exactly what He was doing when he placed me there. It seems to be a perfect match for me. I see about 90 students a day, though I see half of them twice a day. It's funny that that is a small school to me. I graduated in a class of 38 back in 2001. We were a large class. But where I live now, 90 students per grade level is small.

I believe in hands on teaching that involves today's technology.

That about sums it up. I hope you find something you can use throughout this journey of sharing and reflecting.