Sunday, July 31, 2016

#MTBoSBlaugust Participating Blogs 2016

Can you believe that tomorrow is August 1???  Where, oh where, did summer go?  I swear that the older I get, the faster and faster that July runs away!

So far, 60 people have signed up to join me in the #MTBoSBlaugust challenge!  Here is a list of the participants - please go and cheer them on during this challenge either through a Twitter shout-out or by posting a comment on their blogs!

2016 #MTBoSBlaugust Participants:
@mathequalslove - Math = Love
Katrina Newell (@MrsNewellsMath) - Mrs. Newell's Math
@gwaddellnvhs - Success
@BusyMissBeebe - Busy Miss Beebe
@pamjwilson - Radical rational
@anyaostapczuka - Teaching In Special Education
@misscalcul8 - misscalcul8
Tara Daas (@chatelet0211) - Hazeleyedmathnut
@MathByTheMt - Math by the Mountain
@algebrasfriend - Algebra's Friend
@mlfosh73 - Math-termind
Danielle Reycer (@0mod3) - Math Teacher Nerds
Parkermathed - Countably Infinite
Jacqueline (@jacrichardson) - High Heels and No. 2 Pencils
@RoxyGirlTeacher - Rockstar Math Teacher
@fractionfanatic - Fractionfanatic
@merryfwilliams - Dividing by Zero
CherylLeung (@MathEasyAsPi) - MathEasyAsPi
@caitlyn_gironda - Give Me a Sine
Ali Grace (@AGEiland) - GRAPHS & GLASSES
@zimmerdiamonds - Ms. Z. Teaches in Mathland
Sarah Martin - Mathisajourney
David Griswold - Approximating Normality
@cheesemonkeysf - cheesemonkey wonders
Emily Swenson (@Em_Swenson) - The Fab Explor-A-Lab
Meg Craig (@mathymeg07) - Insert Clever Pun Here
Casey (@cmmteach) - (Mis)Adventures in Mathland
SqRtOfTeaching - The Square Root of Teaching
Anna Vance (@TypeAMathLand) - TypeAMathLand
@solvingforx - Orangamallows
@lisakmcleod - McLeod's Crowd: Algebra for All
@yelena585 - Blended Learning in my math classroom
@Mim_IL - Mim's Reflections
Marissa (@viemath) - La Vie Mathematique
@abel_jennifer - Mathsational
Bonnie Davis (@MrsDavisAlg2) - Teaching on the East Side
@ms_braga - Ms. Braga Teaches
@matheologian - Matheologian
@CGFlim - The Pizza Pi Girl
Denis Sheeran (@MathDenisNJ) - Unanswerable Questions
swedenese - e^m
@anne_mayre - La Vie en Violet
Jessica (@algebrainiac1) - Algebrainiac
@sarahkm3 - T-cubed: Tumbling Through Teaching
@MrKitMath - Those who teach, do more
@BridgetDunbar - Reflections in the Plane
@hschuchhardt - Slightly Skewed
@markchubb3 - Thinking Mathematically
Jennifer Wilson (@jwilson828) - The Slow Math Movement
Sarah (@sedulaney) - Go to Sleep. Study. Mathinate.
@MNmMath - mnmmath
DawneenZabinske - Ms. Z's Mathematical Mess
@MichelleDRD - dr dalrymple
Sarah DiMaria (@MsDiMaria) - Ms. DiMaria Blogs
Tori Roberts (@MathByTori) - Math by Tori
@jkindred13 - jkindred13: Teaching with a Servant's Heart
@lorrisapp - Dr. Sapp's Blog
Jasmine (@jaz_math) - Jaz_math
@ChrissieFicken - Room 206
@showwrk - Show me your work (thinking)
@mrssheilaorr - F(Lessons Taught) = Lessons Learned
@SharonSoule - Math Dame
@sergtpeppa - Big Honkin' WordPress
@vaughn_trapped - vlogakavaughnlog or Vaughnville
Jonathan Newman (@newmanmath) - Hilbert's Hotel
Allison_krasnow - PiCrust
@margambrel - Middle School Math in 138
Kerri S. - Math Differently
Joanne Crooks (@jomrosa) - Learning Math Everyday
Corina Srygley (@ccsrygle) - Sryg's Jigs
lizmathnerd - Fabuliz Math Nerd
@MrHansuvadha - Worst Teacher Ever
Kristin Manna (@kmanna15) - Manna Math
luvbcd - Middle School Math Rules
David Walker - Geometry, Common Core Style
@mathplusmusic - Math Plus Music
@frankmcgowa - Finding the Process

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#MTBoSBlaugust is BACK!

Last year, I hosted the #MTBoSBlaugust event, hoping to get myself motivated to blog more and because misery loves company, I asked the MTBoS community to join in!  Today, I realized that August is NEXT WEEK (OMG OMG OMG) and so I tweeted out asking if people would be interested in the return of #MTBoSBlaugust and there was an extremely positive response!

So here we are...

Rules of Blaugust
The rules are pretty simple... all you need to do is blog!  :)

Seriously though, my goal will be to blog daily in August, but I know that's not always possible, so set your own goal!  Maybe it's a goal to blog every other day or to write at least 10 posts this month... whatever it is, you can do it!  This will be my 4th attempt to blog every day for a month and I have YET to achieve that goal, but it's okay - blogging once a week is better than not blogging at all!

Please take a minute to sign-up so I can link to your site as a #MTBoSBlaugust participant and cheer you on!

The Prompts
I know some people really like the prompts and you'll see a list down below.  However, do NOT feel like you have to stick to this list!  This list of prompts is only to help you when you are stuck with the "What in the world do I write about today?!?!?" moment.  For me, this year, I have committed to recording blog ideas using Google Keep on my phone and on paper via my planner.  I'm hoping that those quick little moments of "oh, that went well, I should blog that!" will actually help me remember what I wanted to blog about on a daily basis. :)  

On to the prompts:
  1. What do you hope to get out of Blaugust this year?
  2. Show us your classroom
  3. Top 5 Tips for New  (or Veteran) Teachers
  4. What are your Back to School Must-Haves?
  5. What Back To School supplies have you purchased this year?
  6. What have you made for your classroom this summer?  (#Made4Math)
  7. What is your favorite icebreaker or first day of school activity?
  8. How do you develop a positive classroom culture?
  9. What would you like to Start doing this school year?  What would you like to Stop doing?  What would you like to Continue doing?
  10. One time in math class... (as a teacher)
  11. One time in math class…(when I was a student…)
  12. Something I read/learned this summer that intrigued me…
  13. Pinned It, Did It and/or Pinned it, Did it, It flopped.
  14. Recipe Swap for Busy Teachers (Quick & easy lunches anyone?? Breakfast on the go?)
  15. Something that makes your classroom unique
  16. A  mentor/colleague who impacted your classroom/teaching…
  17. The best teacher I ever had was …. because ...
  18. How do you tame the paper tiger?
  19. What are your best organizational tips?
  20. Brain breaks for students.
  21. Favorite take 5 for yourself?
  22. Be the Change.. what will you do this year to impact the culture of your school and/or classroom?
  23. Using your school mascot, create an acrostic of character traits you wish to instill in your students
  24. What is your focus/theme/mantra for the year and why?  Create and share a notecard for your desk as a reminder.
  25. What are your go to quotes?
  26. Reblog an old post - reflect how you see/use it now?
  27. What are your favorite formative assessment strategies?
  28. Professional Growth Goal
  29. What are your best organizational tips?
  30. Theme song for the year? like your personal fight song?
  31. What is something in your classroom that you cannot live without?
  32. What’s a positive change you would like to make in your life - could be at school/home/health
  33. List of gratitude.
  34. Describe a typical day (or hour) in your classroom.
  35. What is your biggest classroom pet-peeve?
  36. Link to 3 blog posts that impacted you and share why.
  37. Read 3 posts from blogs you’ve never visited, give a quick take-away from each.
  38. What is your greatest joy in teaching?  What is your greatest fear?
  39. Tell us about you!  Post 20 facts about yourself.
  40. What are your New School Year Goals or Resolutions?
  41. What’s in (and on) your teacher desk?
  42. What’s the 10th song on your device playlist?  What memory does it conjure?
  43. What’s your “One Good Thing” for today?
  44. What do you do on parent night / open house?  
  45. What’s the toughest challenge you face as a teacher today?
  46. A favorite activity that is fun and leads to learning…
  47. An activity or something else in your classroom you wish to modify and improve.
  48. What's left on your Summer Bucket List?
  49. What are your favorite apps to use in your classroom?
  50. What is your fitness routine and how to stick to it during a busy school year?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

My 2016-17 Teacher Binder

So today I went to Staples to have my binder printed and totally made a rookie mistake... I had forgotten to save it as a PDF and they didn't have my font installed, so it was a wasted trip and I have to go back tomorrow.  *sigh*

Oh well... At least I did get my binder rings and a new cover so that I'm ready to go once I get it printed! :)

So here it is... My 16-17 Binder :)

The cover hasn't changed for the past few years :)  I like chevron, what can I say? :)

Open the page and you'll find a notes section and the cover page for my Agenda & Lesson Plans.  I never used the notes section last year, which has boxes to fit a 3x3 post-it note, but I still like the idea.  Maybe this year will go better :)

The first 6 pages of the Agenda are for Pacing Calendars, one for each of my 3 preps.  This was also a new addition last year that I did not use at all.  I'm going to try again...

Now let's get into some of the changes...  My monthly spread has undergone a transformation on the right side.  Hedge (@approx_normal) has been tinkering with a Bullet Journal this year, which made me do some research.  One feature that I really liked in the Bullet Journal is a Habit Tracker, so I decided to incorporate that into my monthly spread.  Add in some goals and a spot for a to-do list and hopefully I'll use this page more effectively!

For the weekly spreads, I decided to go with 2 different layouts.  First off, for 'non-school' weeks, such as July, I wanted a place to keep track of my to-do lists and look back to see what I've accomplished each day.  This layout was influenced by a weekly to-do list mousepad that I found at Target Dollar Spot. :)

For weeks that school is in session, I need a spot for lesson plans for 3 preps, my personal calendar for keeping track of meetings, tutoring, etc, and to-do lists.  Last year, I just had a blank column but I knew I wanted to be more intentional with regard to a place to reflect and a place to record blog post ideas, etc.  For me, I need everything to be in one place for my personal and professional agenda, so here's the final design:

There are a few more pages as well, such as a cover page for a Gradebook and Meetings.  I really like for my agenda to be a one stop shop, so it has my lesson plans and gradebook all in one.  This is one of the nice features of the Arc system as well - I can easily add to it!

Thanks to all of my twitter friends that gave me feedback the past few days! :)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Making Thinking Visible - Chapter 4A

Starting with Chapter 4, we start getting into the details of the thinking routines.  For more information on the thinking routines, see the Project Zero website or Think from the Middle.  I've linked the specific routines below.

Here are my notes and random thoughts for the first four thinking routines from Chapter 4

General Thoughts:

  • I liked the examples for each routine, but I personally would have liked more detail, especially in how the dialogue progressed through the class.
  • I say that I value thinking, but in reflecting on my class, I really do a lot more "telling" than I should.  I don't let the students ponder enough.  In all of these routines, a key element was just to sit back and look and ponder what was happening.  I need to do that more.  

See Think Wonder

  • This routine reminds me a lot of "I notice... I wonder..." from The Math Forum.
  • Thoughts on using this in my classroom - graphs, diagrams, visual patterns, charts and data displays from the news
  • Tip from the author:  Look at the image yourself - can you look at it for several minutes and notice new things?  Does it spark your curiosity?
  • If I gave 2 comparative graphs (like boxplots, dotplots, etc), could maybe use this as an intro to comparing and/or inference?
  • In a class, how do you keep 1-2 kids from dominating?  Do you have each group generate a list and then go from table to table?
  • Kids need practice at just stating their observations without judgement

Zoom In

  • Thoughts on using this in my classroom - nonlinear functions like cubic/quartic, scatterplots like the 2016 Q#6, scatterplot and then add regression line
  • Tip from the author: Ask yourself "Are there separate areas of the image that tell a different story?"
  • I wish the author had shown the artwork segments they used at each stage to fully understand how they introduced this routine.
  • On each stage/zoom, spend enough time for students to develop their ideas but not too long for kids to get bored... that seems like a tricky line :(

Think Puzzle Explore

  • This routine is like a KWL.  I know what KWL is, but I've never seen it used effectively in math.  Even when I googled it, there are very few examples of math KWL.  
  • I do really like the subtle change in verbiage though... instead of "What do you know?", it's "What do you think you know?" That difference opens up for kids to be more tentative and exploratory.  They don't have to know for certain, but everyone can contribute something that they think they know about a topic.
  • The "want" or "puzzle" area still concerns me.  What if nothing about the topic does really spark a kid's curiosity?
  • This routine is very versatile.  I could see using it as a previous knowledge check, like with boxplots, or even as an end of chapter/unit check to see what misconceptions there are about the topic. 
  • Thoughts on how to use it in my classroom:  pre or post assessment for a chapter, exploring an open-ended data set
  • The "explore" part could definitely be used in a more open-ended inquiry manner
  • Tip from the author:  You don't have to use the entire routine (TPE) together, you can use just one or two parts.  This is huge for me because I see some amazing uses of the Think (and lesser but still useful) for Puzzle.  I don't see as much for my classes for the entire routine.
  • Right now, I have a 'Parking Lot' hanging up in my room, but I could see using that for students to write their puzzles and wonderings  

Chalk Talk

  • I've used this routine several times and LOVED it. However, when I've used it, it's been mostly for more "verbal" parts of my course.  Not sure how to modify for the more "mathy" parts.
  • Thoughts on how to use it in my classroom:  single word/phrase for test/quiz review
  • I wonder if using questions (AP prompts?) would generate richer discussion?
  • Tip from the author: Use reflection questions like "What have you been most surprised by in this unit?" "What has been most difficult for you in this unit?"
  • Debriefing the Chalk Talk is really important - need to develop a better way to do that.
  • I would love to hang these around my room to come back to them later, but with 8 tables and 4 math classes, it's impractical to hang up 32 posters.  Need to figure out how to handle this best
  • Chart paper is really cheap and I need to order some more from our warehouse :)