Monday, May 26, 2014

The One Near The End

We are winding down at QES.  We will have our end of the year awards assembly Wednesday.  I'm told there won't be very many students return after that.  Our official last day is June 3 followed by two days of PD.

The past few weeks have been filled with field trips.  It's been crazy.  We've gone to Magic Springs (an amusement park), to see Rio 2, and to a track and field event.  

Between all those trips and the fact that our math coach has been working with my students on a data project, I feel like I haven't taught in a month.  It's amazing how much more exhausting it is for me to be here and not teach than to be here and teach.

The data project that we've been working on in 6th grade has been really good.  It would be even better if we could work on it consistently.  Our work keeps getting interrupted by those field trips and assemblies.

It's that time of year.

We are planning on doing it in January next year.  I had originally planned to share it with you, but now I'm thinking I will wait until we do it next year.  I don't feel like I have a good idea of what it could really be because of all the interruptions.

How many days do you have left of school?  How are you filling the time?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The One With the Calendar

I'm a planner.

Few things make me happier than a fresh new planner just waiting to be filled with my day to day activities.

The great thing about being a teacher is I need a new fresh planner two times a year.  I get a new personal planner at the beginning of each calendar year and a new school calendar at the beginning of each new school year.

Since I'm starting to plan my PD for the summer I have made my calendar for the upcoming school year.

It goes with my new theme - chalkboard and bright colors.  

I have to say I love the way it turned out.

If you like what you can see, you can purchase the calendar in my TPT store.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The One with Instagram

I am so excited to share a new branch of my blog with you all.

I started an instagram just for this blog and to share what is going on in my classroom.

I would love for you to follow me.

My user name is theclassyteacher

I would love to follow you as well.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The One with the Class List

I don't know about you but I'm constantly learning little tricks to help my classroom run smoother.  Some of the tricks I learn are pretty simple.  So simple in fact that I ask myself how I am just now learning them.  Ha!

Now that I'm teaching in an elementary setting, it seems there are a thousand things to keep up with.  Who is missing homework?  Who brought back their fundraiser form?  Who brought back this?  Who brought back that?

There were things I had to keep up with when teaching 7th grade, but nothing like this.  

I keep a clipboard on my desk.

I have a class list for each of my five classes.  I actually try to keep 5 copies for each class.  

Today when my students were turning in their signed progress reports, I grabbed a list and marked off names as students handed me their reports.  It makes it so much easier to keep track with who still owes me things.

See.  Simple.  But it has definitely made my life a little easier this year.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

The One With Polygons (Made It Monday)

Geometry has never been my favorite thing as a student or as a teacher, but I must say I have really enjoyed helping my students study polygons for the past week.  I dare say that this little series of activities has been my favorite of the year.  

We started the unit with discussion about what we knew about polygons.  We talked about the different types of polygons and their characteristics.  Students worked in small groups to create posters and we did a lot of comparing and contrasting of polygons especially quadrilaterals.  

Students were then asked to complete this dissecting shapes task on their own.  

I'm not going to lie this was a challenging tasks.  A few students got frustrated with me because I would not help that at all.  I knew that it was important for them to discover the answers on their own.

The task ask them to cut a parallelogram into pieces and rearrange them to form a rectangle.  Then it has them describe how they did that in several different ways - in pictures and in words.  

They were then given a second parallelogram and asked if their strategy would still work for it.

The most challenging part of this task was when they were asked to turn a rectangle into one right triangle.  They all wanted to cut the rectangle in half diagonally and make two right triangles.  They become very frustrated when I reminded them it wanted them to make one triangle not two.  

Those students who persevered eventually figured it out and they were incredibly proud of themselves.

We also spent a day working through three stations.  One of the stations asked students to create different polygons using tangrams.

Next came time to discuss how to find the area of different polygons.  I have done a few foldables with my students this year but not nearly as many as I would have liked.  Because I want to do interactive notebooks next year I'm trying to start thinking with that mindset now.

I made my foldable with paper and pencil and then decided that I wanted to type it up and put it together so that students only had to work examples in them.  I didn't want to waste precious class time showing them how to put together a foldable.  This also ensured me that the polygons were accurately represented.

I couldn't figure out how to correctly size everything so that it came together when I printed it out.  I was going crazy!  Thankfully my computer genius of a husband came to my rescue and helped me out.

I printed them out on neon paper and assembled them.  I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to get this done.  It was well worth the time I spent not to have to have students assemble them in class.

My students oohed and awwed over these when I passed them out in class.  It melted my teacher's heart because I was so stinkin' excited over these.  I was glad to see that they were equally as excited. 

We would discuss how to find the area of a square, work a few examples on the board as a class and then they would do the two examples in the foldable.  We repeated this process until could find the area of all six polygons.  We split them up and did three on the first day and the other three the following day.  

Because of the dissecting shapes and tangram activities students were able to come up with the formula for each polygon on their own.  I was incredibly proud of them.  While we were discussing how to find the area there were a lot of "OH.  So this is why we did that activity."  

In that moment they understood why I would not help them.  

Score one for the teacher.

Today they had some independent practice with our Match Up: Area of Polygons.  They were given three problems for each type of polygon and asked to calculate the area.  To liven things up a bit, they were asked to cut out their answer and glue it in the appropriate space.

The foldable and the Match Up activity can be found in my TPT store.

And the best part?  My ENTIRE store is on sale starting tomorrow.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The One in May

Can you believe it is May?  We are ending the near of the school year which is exciting and overwhelming to me all at the same time.

A new month means a new currently.  Hop on over to Farley's blog and check it out.