Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The One With the Bingo

A great bingo game is one of my favorite ways to review with my students. Teaching 7th grade, I have found that some years my students are all about it and some years they are too cool for Bingo.

This year's group enjoys playing it as long as we don't play too often. We played vocabulary bingo this week in Science as a way to review for the benchmark that is approaching all too quickly.

Right now they have a deal on bingo sets on one of my favorite websites They have several different themes including science, weather, Texas, dinosaurs, nature, USA, dogs, ocean, wildflower, music, and several others.

They are pretty generic and could work for several grade levels. They are 9.99 plus shipping and come with 6 cards. I purchased the science kit. I think they could be used for a center or small group activity.

You have to be a member of zulily, but that's not a big deal. It's free. All you have to do is sign up. They have new inventory every day. It is primarily children's clothing, but they do have educational things pretty often. I have found that the educational things are geared toward younger kids, but you never know what you'll find.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Break

I am on Spring Break this week and loving every minute of it. I stayed at school until 5:00 Friday so that I could leave with all papers graded. I do still have a small stack of quizzes to grade, but they won't take very long.

I didn't want a huge to do list hanging over my head. I have a couple of projects that I want to start working on. I have some time there though because we won't do them until after Benchmark.

I can't believe we only have 9 school days left until testing. We will definitely be doing some major reviewing and cramming in those 9 days. How do you prepare students for benchmark? What are some things you do?

A friend/coworker and I are taking a group of 7th and 8th graders to D.C. the week after benchmark for 4 days. To say we are all excited would be a huge understatement. We are counting down the days. We are traveling with Smithsonian Student Travel. Have you ever travelled with them? They have been fabulous to work with. If you ever decide you want to take a big trip like this, I recommend them.

Back to those projects.... A little sneak peak.

Science --> Picture a Wax Museum filled with Scientist who come to life. :) This will be the first year of doing this.

Math --> Major Budgeting project. Students learn how to calculate taxes and keep a monthly budget. I did this for the first time last year and it was a big hit!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The One With The Saved Email

I had a little situation today that I thought might benefit some of you. I learned in my first year of teaching that you should save emails. Unfortunately I learned the hard way.

I returned an email to a parent, but didn't save that email in my sent folder. Apparently the email got lost in cyberspace and never made it to the parent. That parent got very upset and went to my principal complaining that I was not communicating with her.

Thankfully I have a wonderful principal who believed me about sending the email. From that day on I started saving every email I sent.

It's also important to save emails people send you, especially those that are about an agreement.

I had a situation this week where I did not receive payment that I earned. A saved email was my rescue. It kept me from losing $100.

If you don't already, be sure to save all important emails. You never know when you might need them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The One With The Pi Day Celebration

My friend, Miranda, who designed my blog for me posted on my fb page the other day to let me know this blog had been pinned. Ya'll my chin hit the floor. I was beyond touched that someone found this little site worth pinning. I never would have guessed it. I also never would have imagined I'd have so many people who wanted to read about what goes on in my classroom. It is very humbling. I just had to take a moment and say thank you!

Now on to Pi Day. I'm sure you know that Pi Day is celebrated on 3.14, meaning next Wednesday. I had never heard of celebrting Pi Day until I was doing my internship in college. The school where I was student teaching celebrated. Unfortunately the only thing I remember them doing is having a contest among the students to see who could memorize the most digits of pi. The winner got to throw a pie in the principal's face.

This is my 2nd year teaching Math. Now that I'm a teeny tiny bit more comfortable in the content area, I thought it would be fun to celebrate Pi Day with my students this year. And what perfect timing. One last fun day before we start cramming for the Benchmark tests in April.

I began doing some research for ideas a couple of months ago. I reached out to the other 7th grade teachers and asked if they'd be willing to do something related to Pi in their classes that day.

I'm still not 100% sure what we are going to do in Math. How sad is that? My general idea is that I will gather some real life circular objects....ritz crackers, buttons, etc and have students measure the objects and then calculate the circumference and area. I'm open to suggestions for some interesting objects.

I also teach Science along side a co-worker. We are going to make Pi Bracelets. Each number will be represented by a color. For example 3 will be blue, 1 will be red, and so forth. We'll probably have them do 10-15 numbers. I still need to make a sample to get an idea of the number of beads we'll need to use.

Ed Helper currently as a reading passage about the history of Pi with some multiple choice questions. It's perfect for history class.

In English class they are writing a story or poem based on Pi. For a story the first word is three letters, the second one letter, the third four letters and so on. For a poem the first line is three words, second line is one word, and so on.

I think they are going to enjoy the day. At least I hope they do.

There are some other things I'm doing to livin' up the day. My principal has agreed to let us go outside during the last class of the day. This is when the winner of our competition will get to throw a pie in her face. She has also been so nice as to let me buy mini individual pies for all the students to eat and enjoy outside.

To spruce up the classroom a bit, I made a banner to hang across my white board.

If you want your own sign, I'd be happy to customize one for you. They are $15 and can be purchased in my etsy store. I can do any colors, shape, or saying that you'd like. My computer isn't cooperating tonight. I can't seem to upload a listing for the banner. If you want one, email me and I'll go ahead and get started making it. Hopefully I'll be able to list them soon.

Speaking of etsy, I found the cutest earrings on there for our celebration. If you want a pair of earrings I bought them from this store.

I'm making a special shirt for the day as well, but it isn't quite ready to share yet. I promise to share soon though. :)

Hopefully my students will enjoy the day. They seem to be getting excited about it.

I'll let you know how it all goes.
What are you doing for Pi Day?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The One With the Outdoor Classroom

Well fellow teachers, I really did not mean to let an entire month pass us by without blogging. Things have just been crazy busy lately. I'm sure you know what that's like.

I often feel like I have to have some wonderful activity to share with you in order to post. I hope that is not the case as today I come to you with no real activity to share.

The weather where I live was absolutely gorgeous today. Though it is not officially spring for another twenty days, it could not have been more "spring like" outside today.

Most days I stay cooped up in my room working away. I go to the classroom next door to each lunch, but that's really the only time I leave my room. Today I had to go outside to help a coteacher for just a minute. As soon as I stepped outside I felt a strong desire to be outdoors instead of surrounded by the four walls of my room.

My last class of the day reaped the benefit of that desire. I gave instructions for the day as soon as they walked in and then we all headed outside to do our work. They loved it! Of course now they want to have class outside every day. :)