Thursday, August 29, 2013

The One with Accelerated Math

After tomorrow I will have officially completed the first two weeks of school.

I must admit it has not been the easiest two weeks.  

New school.

New grade levels.

New content.

Needless to say I have been feeling completely overwhelmed.  I had a major melt down last night and told my husband I just felt like I was drowning.

Today has been a better day.  I dare say it was the best day yet, despite its rocky start.  

I'm looking forward to next week.  Next week I plan to start my first unit in both 5th grade and 6th grade.  I feel like I will finally be able to really get into a routine.  

There are still some things I need to make a decision about.

Yesterday we spent the morning doing STAR test in both reading and math.  I will get the results of the test next week.  Then I will be able to start Accelerated Math.

Do any of you use this program?  I would love to hear how you incorporate it in the classroom?

I've used Accelerated Math before and thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  But now that it is all online - which is great - it changes my game plan.  

Do you have students complete assignments inside or outside of class?

How often?  

I would appreciate any thoughts.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The One on the First Day

Today was the first day of school for students.

I have never felt so indifferent about the first day of school in my life.

To be honest I was dreading it.  I may have been a little whiny yesterday about the whole ordeal.

I didn't even have my outfit planned until it was time to get dressed this morning.    So unlike me!

 I still had a few copies to make when I arrived at school this morning.  What a headache.  Our school has the weirdest paper.  It is slightly longer than 8.5 x 11 so you have to select a special thing on the computer before you print.  You also have to select where you want it printed EVERY time.  It only took me around ten attempts to get my papers printed.  

Not how I wanted to start the year.

After that though, things went smoothly.

My homeroom is full of sweethearts.  I have never received so many compliments in one day.

I think I will like teaching 5th and 6th grade.

Biggest highlight of the day?  I get a 40 minute lunch!!  I don't even know what to do with that.  It is twice as long as what I'm accustomed too.


All in all it was a great first day.

I'm ready to start problem solving tomorrow.

Have you had your first day yet?  How did it go?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The One With Social Media

Are your students a part of the social media community?

Having taught 7th grade for the past seven years, I've had very few students who were not a part of social media.  They all seem to have instagram, facebook, twitter, or some other form of social media.

What about you?  Do you participate in the social media community?  I do.

Every year one of the first things I tell my students is that yes I have an instagram account and yes I have a facebook account.  But no I will not be "friends" with you or allow you to follow me.

My students have always understood this.  They still try to friend me or request to follow me. But they understand that for me it is part of being a professional.

My accounts are set to private.  If  students try to look up my pages the only things they will be able to see are my name and my profile picture.

There is nothing on any of my accounts that I wouldn't share with my students.  I'm not posting inappropriate pictures or badmouthing my school.

However, for me I feel like I need a line between being me and being Mrs. Weaver.  I need some separation.

I've also watched multiple teachers be fired for inappropriate conduct with students.  Though I know I would never do anything like that, I don't want to risk anything being misinterpreted.

Though I have worked with other teachers who are friends with their students on facebook, I've never been in the minority.  Those teachers who allow it have been few and far between.

However, at my new school I believe I will be in the minority.  It is a very small and close knit community.  I have already received and declined requests from students and their parents and I haven't even met them yet.

My coworkers accept these requests.  That's fine for them.  I do not judge them.  But it is something I'm not comfortable with.

I've thought about creating an instagram or facebook as Mrs. Weaver just for my students but I don't think I would ever keep up with it.

What is your take on social media?  Are you friends with your students?  Why or why not?  Is this even allowed by your administration?

I'm not looking to start a debate.  I believe we all need to decide for ourselves.  I'm simply curious as to what your take is on the issue.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The One With the Attendance Tracker

It's official.

Summer is over.  I returned to work today.  

Students will return on Monday.

It is really starting to sink in that I'm at a new school this year.   Everyone has been so incredibly nice and welcoming.  It makes the change a little easier.  

All that to say that this will probably be my last Monday Made It.  Tear!

I'm going to miss sitting around all day Monday checking out all the amazing things you all have created.

Today I have two projects to share with you.


I've been eyeing all the cute attendance trackers that you all have been making with cookie sheets.  A few weeks ago I bought my cookie sheet and all my supplies.

I came home and got to work.  I spray painted the cookie sheet and made all my cute little marble numbers.

When I got ready to make the labels, it just wasn't working for me.  The cookie sheet was too small.  I wanted something larger.

I have a huge black cabinet in my room that needed some sprucing.  I decided it was the perfect place for this project.  I bought yellow wrapping paper and spray adhesive and went to work.

I added the wrapping paper, smoothed out the wrinkles, and went to a meeting.  Only to return to the paper coming off and lots of air bubbles.

Plan Fail.

When I tried to remove the paper some of it refused to come off.

I decided to cover it in duct tape since I had such success with the filing cabinet.

I didn't want to do a bright color because I felt like that would be too much.

So I covered a black cabinet with black duct tape!

I added my labels and numbers.

I'm super happy with the way it turned out.


This project isn't quite finished yet, but I thought I would go ahead and share.  It's my hallway decor.

I've had this idea in my head for a while now.  It didn't quite come together as easily as I would have liked.  It took me forever to figure how to get the trunk to stick to the wall.

I almost had a meltdown trying to figure it out.  But at last I figured it out.  The poms were easy.  I follow this tutorial.

All that is left is to add my saying out to the right.  It will say "Sixth Grade is a Hoot!"

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The One with the Eight Standards

With just a little more than a week left before the first day of school, I have been working to finish everything.  

I'll admit that I'm starting to feel a little stressed about everything that is left to do.  I'm having to really look at my to do list and prioritize. 

I think I have everything created and printed that I need.  Now I just need to get to school to laminate it and hang it up.

One of the things I created is a set of posters with the eight standards for mathematical practice.  

These standards are HUGE with common core and something I really want to focus on with my students.  My goal is for my students to understand and apply these eight standards.  I want them to recognize when they are using them and their importance.

Here are two of the eight.

These will hang above my whiteboard so that we can refer to them often.

I also made a smaller student friendly version of each poster.  I turned them into I can statements to help students understand what each standard looks like.

I plan to laminate these, hole punch them in the top left, and put them on a key ring.  I'm making one for each desk.  

To be honest I'm not 100% sure how I plan to use these.  I just know that I want my students to have easy access to them.

In the beginning we will focus on one standard a day - talking about what it means and what it looks like.

I'm open to any suggestions on how to use these.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The One in August

I cannot believe it is already time to link up with Farley for another Currently.

The One With the Birthday Sale

August is here!  I LOVE August!  It's my birthday month!  

I'm a big fan of birthdays!  Though this particular birthday is proving to be a little more difficult for me to take.

Either way they should be celebrated and celebrated big.

My birthday isn't until the end of the month, but I like to celebrate the WHOLE month!

To celebrate I'm throwing a sale in my TPT store.

Everything is 10% off.