Monday, August 19, 2013

Made4Math - First Day of School!

Ready or not, it is Monday... that means that kiddos come today! I spent all day on Sunday working on last minute details to prepare for today! I just pray that it goes as well in real life as it does in my head. :) I am also trying to remember to capture a photo every day to document my year, so make sure you visit my #180blog linked above in the header bar.

Anyway, while I worked on a LOT of projects today, several of them were "borrowed" projects, such as the course information guide from @msrubinteach. I'm also borrowing heavily from her first day plans, so if you don't already read her blog, go do it now! She rocks!

So, on to today's projects...

Project #1 - Name Cards

One of the things that I am REALLy bad at is keeping track of student names! It takes me several weeks to learn everyone's names, so this year, I decided to do Name Cards. When they walk in, each group of desks will have 4 pieces of white cardstock and a set of markers. These instructions will be on the board:

I'm really hoping this will help me keep track of kids, plus it's built in formative assessment/exit tickets for the first week! WIN! :)

Project #2 - Seating Chart Cards

It was originally my intention to actually go through my rosters and assign kids to seats. Then time kept slipping away, so that idea got nixed. In the past, I have used a deck of cards for assigning seats, but that requires me to do some explanation. So I created a set of cards that is (hopefully) self explanatory!

Project #3 - Evidence Envelopes

If you have ever talked stats with me, you probably know that my favorite first day of school activity is the story of Kristen Gilbert. I first learned about Ms. Gilbert from the book "The Numbers behind Numb3rs". As soon as I read it, I knew I would be using it in my stat class. Graphs, contingency tables, probability, inference... it had it all! However, after talking to @approx_normal, I liked how she did the 'Evidence Folders' to present the data, so this year my students will have a similar setup as we go through the case.

So what did you make this week? Head on over to the Made4Math blog to see the rest of this week's goodies! Don't forget to submit your post HERE

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Classroom... 2013-14

This has been a weird year so far. Due to some scheduling issues, we had 4 teacher days this week and then kids start on Monday. I have never started school on a Monday in my entire life. Typically, teachers start on Monday and kids on Thursday, until this year. I really hope this isn't a trend that continues in future years because it has been the most stressful start of the year ever! Even with an extra official day, I don't feel ready for kids on Monday and that really freaks me out!

Either way, I took a couple of pictures of my room to share with you guys :)

Walking into my room, here's my door, inspired by @rachelrosales...

From the front of the room, here is the view from my podium...

And finally, the view from my desk...

You may notice that my room looks a lot like it did last year. That's because all of the math classrooms in my building are identical to each other. The only difference is that the math rooms at the end of the hallway have doors that open up into a science classroom for collaboration. I'm sure I'll post pictures of that collaboration during the school year.

I just wish I felt as ready on the inside as my classroom looks! :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Made4Math - Exit Tickets

Holy moly, where did summer go? Today is my last day of summer and it has been a crazy, busy day! I've done laundry, some cleaning, a lot of last minute school things, and just in general feel very stressed and overwhelmed! I had hoped to get a lot of this done over the past week, but one of my good friends and long-time neighbors has decided to get married.... in two weeks! So I spent my weekend shopping for wedding dresses and bridal party dresses... I'm so NOT a dress person and I thanked my hubby via text many, many times for us eloping! :)

Anyway... on to today's projects!

Project #1 - Exit Tickets
First off, a shout out to @pamjwilson. If you don't follow her, go do it now! Pam blogs at The Radical Rational and almost everytime I read her blog, I find something to pin! Earlier this summer, she blogged about the 2 minute Assessment Grid and mentioned that she was making different posters for each class in their class color so she would have their exit tickets handy at the end of the day. I loved her idea, but was worried about storage of 5 poster boards, so I decided to make my exit slips as quarter sized pieces of paper.

The idea behind the "Type" option is for students to choose one to write about..
Pushpin = an idea they want to remember from the day
Lightbulb = something that "clicked" for them today... a lightbulb moment
Question Mark = a question they still have

Want the file? Get it HERE

Project #2 - The W's Foldable
I like foldables... I like the way they look, the way the kids respond, the cutting and folding that goes into them...

Next week, one of our first lessons is on the "Ws" of the data, the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and by Whom that give context to a set of data. Here's the foldable they will be using to take notes :)

Some unrelated notes
A few weeks ago, I posted that server that hosted my blog files had gone belly up. I finally had the time to go through every post and restore most of the links in the older posts. I may have missed one or two, so if that happens, please drop me a line to let me know! Sorry for all of you that have followed links from pinterest and Made4Math hoping to download files, only to find the links were broken.

Also, last week, the rules to Made4Math did change. The original idea to Made4Math was the group accountability of getting things ready for school and to share ideas among the MTBoS. If you look back at my contributions to Made4Math, sometimes I have shared a file, sometimes it's just a photo of my classroom, and that variety is a great thing! I love that we are a community of sharing, because often a comment or a photo sparks an idea. In order to perserve that community of sharing, I did implement a new rule on Made4Math, inspired by one of the rules for the Manic Monday linky at Classroom Freebies. I am asking that if you choose to offer a file to your readers, that you post the actual link on your blog (scribd, box, g-docs, etc) rather than link to a store (such as Teachers Pay Teachers or Teacher's Notebook), even if the file is free in your store. I appreciate all of the support and amazing ideas I have received from the Made4Math/MTBoS community and I want to do all I can to continue that cycle of sharing!

So what did you make this week? Head on over to the Made4Math blog to see the rest of this week's goodies! Don't forget to submit your post HERE

Monday, August 5, 2013

Made4Math - More Classroom Pretties!

Welcome to another wonderful Monday! I can't believe it's August!!! Where the heck did summer go??? And to make it worse, today is the 8th anniversary of my 29-and-holding-on-with-dear-life birthday. As the old country song says... I'm much too young to feel this damn old! :) Anyway, let's move on to happier topics, because I just have to say that my room makes me smile everytime I walk into it! :)

Project #1 - The Hall Pass
While browsing Pinterest one day, I ran across THIS PIN, which linked to the cutest hall pass from The Brown Bag Teacher. She was very awesome and had the hall pass in downloadable format on her blog, but I really wanted to add my name/classroom and the instructions for the students to sign out on the hall pass log. That meant a few changes were in order and I needed to do some searching. I used Colour Lovers for the background and found the awesome frame at MyCuteGraphics. After printing it out and putting it on some purple paper for a color pop, here's my new hallpass:

I'm so pleased with how it turned out! I had some leftover badge holders from #TMC12, so I used those to hold the girls and boys passes, then used ID clips, so the students can clip it onto their shirt and I don't have to worry about where they are laying the pass down when they use the restroom. (EWWW) To make it easy to grab, I used rubber bands (hey, it was all I had available... don't judge!) and they are hanging on black push-pins on my bulletin board. I'm eager to see how this works this year :)

Project #2 - The Table Buckets
If you read the past from last week, I had some helpers on Tuesday that really knocked a lot of things out for me. My students are seated in groups of 4, and last year I used pencil boxes for each group to hold various supplies. I really wasn't a fan of that, so I purchased some buckets at Dollar Tree and got to work on making Table labels...

Again, Colour Lovers for the background and Digs My Hart as the font... Gosh, I really love that font! :)

Of course, the inside of the bucket is pretty special too...

Here you can see the 4 sets of scissors, a set of Green/Yellow/Red cups for group work, and Project #3...

Project #3 - Formative Assessment FlipCards
I have really loved reading Embedded Formative Assessment this summer (twice so far!) and I've always wanted to use clickers in my class, but it just didn't work out. I hated the transition time, the management, etc. So here are my low-tech clickers...

I made them colorful so that I could ask questions based on color (Red if you are stuck, etc), multiple choice (A-E), or on the back, true/false, agree/disagree, or a "?" if kids had questions or no clue where to go from there. Again, this is in Digs My Hart font and I really appreciate my helpers last week laminating, cutting, hole punching, and binder-ringing them together for me!

So what did you make this week? Head on over to the Made4Math blog to see the rest of this week's goodies! Don't forget to submit your post HERE