Friday, January 19, 2018

#MyFavFriday - Time is Fleeting

How in the world is it Friday again??

Do you ever find that time is just really weird?  I mean, this week *flew* by - which makes sense due to the "short week" status from the holiday weekend, but it seems like Winter Break was AGES ago, when we've really only been in school for 2.5 weeks.

Why is time so crazy and inconsistent?  Or does it have something to do with my age and that every year goes by faster and faster?  These are the things I think about on a Friday night... :)

Anyway, now that Friday is here, it's time to reflect back on this week's favorites!

My Favorite MTBoS Resource of the Week:
If you are a Geometry/Algebra teacher and don't read Katrina Newell's blog, you are missing out!  I have stolen so many ideas from her this year and this week was no exception.

On Tuesday/Wednesday, we had a jam packed day in Geometry with a short quiz over Proofs (Yeah, I'm that teacher that gives a quiz on the day back from a long weekend!), then jumped into proportions and the idea of similar polygons.  So on Wednesday during my planning block, I started looking for resources for similar triangles and found Katrina's foldable and card sort, which were PERFECT for my lesson!  I did modify her card sort slightly, making it into a worksheet where my students colored the AA~ in yellow, SAS~ in blue, SSS~ in pink, and Not Similar in green.  I love that simple modification for those days when I just don't have it in me to deal with cutting a ton of cards :)

My Favorite Classroom Change of the Semester:
With a new semester means some changes had to occur as I reflected on what worked and what didn't work for the Fall.  Some suggestions came from the students, such as minimizing activities like scavenger hunts with lengthy problems, but the suggestion that has made a huge impact already came from @pamjwilson - which really should not be a surprise since many of the ideas I implement come from her :)

During Winter Break, Pam and I were chatting one day about Embedding Formative Assessment and the discussion came up about individual whiteboards.  I have had a classroom set of whiteboards for many years and would pull them out occasionally for review days or for graphing as the flip side of the board is a coordinate plane.  On those occasional days, I would pull out my crate of whiteboards, pass them out at the beginning of the activity, then put them back at the end of the hour / day.  Pam's suggestion was so simple, yet so brilliant - why not leave them out on the tables full time?  OMG - why didn't I think of that?  For the past two weeks, the whiteboards have been stacked under their table bucket, ready at a moment's notice for students to use and let me tell you, it has worked!  This simple little change has made such a difference to my classroom!

My New Favorite Corner of the Room:
During Winter Break, I posted about wanting to try a puzzle table in my classroom.  I still haven't found the perfect spot and the place that I'm currently using is on a file cabinet in a little-used alcove, but at least I did get it pulled together!

The puzzle that you see is one that I bought years ago at a teacher garage sale and the goal is to match numbers on each puzzle piece.  I finally got the "Puzzle Place" set up last week and I had a few people notice it this week.  The mini-chalkboard came from Target's Dollar Spot and thankfully I have an Advisory student that was willing to make the sign.  As she was working on the sign, it did spark some conversation about the Puzzle Place and I told them I planned to put out a new puzzle every week.  Today, my student aide finally solved the puzzle, which was perfect timing!  Interesting tidbit was that I found myself gravitating toward the Puzzle Place during down times, so now I'm even more excited about this addition to my classroom!

Until next time - Happy Friday to YOU! :) *High Five*

P.S. - Feel free to join in with your own #MyFavFriday post - I've really enjoyed looking back over my week and thinking about the bright spots!  Post the link in the comments or on Twitter with the hashtag!