Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What I've Been Pinning

Like everyone else I LOVE Pinterest.

I often wonder what we teachers ever did before Pinterest and other forms of social media.

Connecting with other teachers and sharing ideas with one another is amazing.

Of course it can also be overwhelming at times.  There are sooo many great ideas out there.

Today I thought I'd share a few things I've pinned recently.

If you see something you like, just click on the picture to go to the original site.


ONE.

These tokens are designed to help with those students who always seem to be blurting out in class. You know the ones I'm talking about it.

However when I saw them I immediately thought of another use for them.  I encourage a lot of small group discussion in my classroom.  Just like wevhave those students who love to talk and share their knowledge we also have those students who cringe at the thought of talking aloud.  I want to use these tokens during small group discussions as way to make sure every student participates and no students hog the conversation.  


TWO.

I love everything about this photo.  I love the three "rules" at the top.  I love the colors and the fonts.  I plan to do something similar to this in my classroom next year.  Shoutout to @teachcreatemotivate for such cuteness in her classroom.


THREE.

Next year for the first time ever I will have a chrome cart in my classroom.  A whole cart just for my students every single day.  

Cue happy dance!

I plan to step up my Google game next year and I'm loving the idea of having students record their answers to task cards or any station activity on a google form.  


FOUR.

This is one of my favorite sayings for a classroom.  This is and "throw kindness around like confetti".
Again I love the bright colors.  This may very well be my bulletin board next year.


FIVE.

For the past two years I have been allowed to wear jeans whenever I wanted.  Let me tell you it has been glorious.  Next year I will be in a new district and will have to say goodbye to jeans.  It's sad but I'm excited by the excuse to spruce up my wardrobe a little.  I've been pinning lots of outfit ideas.



What's the best pin you've found recently?  Leave me a comment letting me know.  I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A New Adventure

I will be starting in a new grade level at a new district next year.

And I could not be more excited.

I will be teaching 7th grade Math.  Y'all 7th grade is my favorite!  I am thrilled to be returning to a middle school setting.

I don't think I'm cut out for elementary.

Today I attended New Employee Onboarding.  



We basically took care of paperwork and the business side of things.  We set up our school email and online gradebook accounts.  We had pictures taken for our photo IDs and we received a new MacBook Air.  We signed our contracts and received insurance information.

After we attended those stations they walked us through the district website and lots of "how to"s.  It was  a lot of information.

I felt like I was back at freshman orientation in college.

I liked doing it this way.  It gave me the opportunity to meet other newbies.  It feels like a safer environment, at least to me, when you aren't the only new person in a sea of people who know each other.

I happened to sit down at a table with the woman teaching 7th grade Science.  She will be my neighbor.  I also sat down with a woman who used to hang out with my younger brother.

This afternoon I met with four other new teachers and our principal.  We toured the school and got to see our classrooms.  I'm in love with the big windows in my classroom.   I have tables instead of desks which I'm happy about.  Lots of awesome technology including a  smart board and a chrome cart just for my classroom.

We also had the opportunity to fire any and all questions at our principal.  I learned my schedule for  next year...

I will be teaching 3 sections of Math to students who are below grade level.  The 3 sections are double blocked so I have 98 minutes with them.  During these classes I will have a coteacher with me.  I think I'm excited about that.  I've been praying that she will be someone that I get a long with and work well with.  Today I learned that she is someone who has worked for the district before.  She has worked her way to be a principal and is now coming back to the district and will be coteaching with me.  



If you have any experience or advice on coteaching I'd love to hear it.

I also have one class of students who are signed up for Pre AP English but not Pre AP Math.  That class is not double blocked so I will have them 49 minutes.

Overall I feel excited and overwhelmed at all the new information.

It's a new adventure for sure.




Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What I'm Loving Wednesday

This year our administration has been doing weekly walk throughs in our classrooms.  It was a bit stressful in the beginning simply because I was not accustomed to having an audience so often.  Now that it has become art of my normal, I appreciate having the feedback on a regular basis.

During one of my observations it was brought to my attention that I tend to save all my higher level questions for the end of my lesson.  We had a good long discussion about it afterward and I was reminded to not ever take the thinking away the students.  I'll admit this threw me for a loop with math.  Didn't I need to spoon feed them just a little bit in the beginning?

I began to really plan for higher level questioning throughout my lessons.  When it came time to teach distributive property, I started the lesson by having my students work in small groups to complete a Sort.  In this sort students were to match the two equivalent expressions that represented the distributive property.

(Click on the picture to find these on TPT)


At first the only directions I gave them were to find the matches.

They struggled.  Oh how they struggled.

After some time of letting them struggle and talk through it I gave them a little hint.

"Matches will include one card with parentheses and one card without parentheses."

They still struggled with it but they began to figure it out.  My teacher heart nearly exploded with happiness at the math conversations that were taking place in my classroom.

My students discovered the distributive property on their own.  They were able to share their discoveries with one another and lead the lesson.  They did all the work.

It was one off those beautiful moments that you wish happened every day.

I instantly fell in love with using Sorts as a way to introduce new concepts.  They are no longer used  just as a station activity.  Sorts put all the thinking on the students.


Monday, April 24, 2017

My New Obsession...Podcasts

I love connecting with other teachers through social media.  I've learned so much from you guys.

One of my new obsessions...Podcasts!

I usually prefer music while I'm driving but lately I've been listening to Podcasts to and from work.  I've gotten some pretty awesome ideas from them.

Right now the "teacher" Podcasts I listen to are...










Do you have any Podcasts recommendations?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Favorites

I feel like every blog post I write lately starts the same way...

I am determined to get back into blogging here.

In an attempt to do that I'm working on creating a regular blog schedule.

Today I am sharing some of my favorite moments from the week.

Last Friday we got a bit of snow and I was able to enjoy a snow day.


There was enough left around Monday morning to give us a one hour delay.  That extra time in the morning was definitely a favorite moment of the week.


We have a little AR competition going on between homeroom classes in each grade.

At the end of the week the class with the most AR points wins the trophy.

At the end of the nine weeks the class who held the trophy the most weeks wins a pizza party.

The trophy is a big stuffed teddy bear.

Since we were out last Friday because of the snow we had to wait until Monday morning to learn that we won last week.

My class was STOKED!

We learned today that we won again this week.

Meet Ted.


We decided he needed an AR book to read as well.

I love how this little competition is turning my students into readers.  They beg to read all day every day.  They are reading more challenging books because they want books worth lots of points.

Watching my students get excited over reading and discussing books with them will always be one of my favorite moments.


We have been studying different forms of energy in Science.  This week my students worked their way through 4 stations where they were able to "play" with different forms of energy.  They loved this!    One of our favorite moments of the stations was rubbing a balloon on our head and then holding it above gelatin.  And of course the great hair styles we created were also fun.