Friday, September 20, 2019

#MyFavFriday - September is Zooming By!

Holy moly - how has another week gone by?  I was looking at my Lesson Plan book today and and it's only like 3 weeks until Fall Break! 

This was another great week overall.  It went super fast, probably because it was packed from top to bottom with meetings, Meet the Teacher night, and a to-do list a mile long! :)  This weekend is shaping up to be a weekend of grading, so if you have any favorite TV binges, please let me know! :)

Now, on to this week's favorites...

My Favorite Warm-Up Activity
This week in Geometry, we've been working on Angles and angle pairs.  One thing that I've noticed over the years is that students struggle with using a protractor and often don't take the time to make sure their answer makes sense.  I found this Angle Game at NRICH last year and decided to do it as a warm-up the day after we refreshed on measuring angles.  The energy in the room was electrifying!  A student insisted I capture the picture on the left when they nailed the angle exactly.  Best part of it all?  I caught one of my students playing this later on in the week because it's just that addictive! :)

My Favorite Downtime Moment
Typically, the Puzzle Table has a puzzle of some sort.  But this week, I put out the little hexagon things that someone from the #MTBoS shared about a few years ago and wow, what a response!  Every day, there were people crowded around the Puzzle Place just to build and play and explore.  My favorite was probably the little fidget spinner / top that a student made as seen on the right side of the photo.  This week, Aldi has some building toys that might show up in the Puzzle Place sometime in the near future - assuming I make it to Aldi this weekend! :)  (Note - I have no idea what these toys are called - I purchased some at the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago)

My Favorite New Technology
This summer, I blogged about a RocketBook hack but it was still theoretical at the time.  It is no longer theoretical and it has transformed my classroom! 

I printed a blank Rocketbook page, laminated it, then cut out the inside.  I then set up the RocketBook app to send files to a folder on my Google Drive that I shared with my students.  Each day, I put the homework and notes inside the frame, color in the correct circle, and the App does the rest!  It pretty much instantly sends the file to Drive and my students have access to the daily notes for when they are absent and complete homework solutions to check their daily work.  This frame just lives on my whiteboard with a magnetic clip and I use my desk as a background surface before taping the work into my notebook.  My kids have responded very well to this and have thanked me for making it so easy to get their notes / homework! :)

My Favorite Lab of the Week
This week in Forensic Science, we were talking about types of evidence - direct vs circumstanstial, physical vs biological, and class vs individual evidence.  We found a lab activity online and modified it for our class. Students had to go from station to station, reading the case file informtion and examining the evidence to classify by type.  In the station at the right, paint chips were taken from a "crime scene" and a paint can was recovered from the suspect's garage.  Students had to determine if the paint chips could be matched to the paint can or not and justify it.  The conversations were so awesome to listen to!  Other stations included footprints, tire tracks, a handwritten note, a torn t-shirt, etc.  Next year, we plan to add a couple more stations like a carpet sample / fibers, tool marks, and bite mark analysis. 

My Favorite Interactions this week

  • Last night was "Meet the Teacher" at our school and one of the best comments came at the end of the night, when a parent stayed after to tell me that her son had come home and told her, "Mom!  You have to follow my math teacher on Instagram!"  The mom is an Early Childhood Teacher and we had a wonderful chat about student engagement strategies and our mutual passion for teaching and learning.  
  • One of my students wrote me a note this week to thank me for emailing their dad a positive note home.  I have started emailing 5-6 parents each weekend with a Student Shout Out and the feedback I've received has been very positive.  :)
  • During a passing period today, a former student was walking by with a friend and got a "high five".  After they passed, I heard the friend say "I got my high five earlier today!"
  • A couple of first hour students were in my room early today.  One of them decided I needed some "pump you up" music and proceeded with a dance party in my room for 30 minutes before school.  It was an interesting mix of music as he tried to find school appropriate songs on his playlist which included "Staying Alive" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"! LOL

How was your week?

Until next time - Happy Friday!! :)

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