Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Warmups and Closures

I totally fail at this blogging thing.  Every week, I want to blog, I know I should blog, but time gets away from me...

But, better late than never, right? :)

This past week's theme was Warm-ups and Closures - you can go read the rest of the submissions over on Julie's blog, just click HERE

Next week's theme is classroom tour - I hope to get that one done BEFORE the deadline! :)

The first few and last few minutes are the most important time of class, in my opinion.  I do a pretty good job of warm-up activities and I am trying desperately to get better at closure!

In Stat, each day has a theme:
Monday - Multiple Choice Monday - quick 5 question MC reviews over any previous material
Tuesday/Wednesday - Analysis & Reflection of MC Monday
Thursday - Throwback Thursday - short answer review questions over previous material
Friday - FRAPPY Friday - a released AP Free Response question

In Geometry, I'm not quite as organized, but they do have:
Monday - Mental Math Monday
Tuesday/Wednesday - Throwback Tuesday or Wayback Wednesday over previous material
Thursday - Think About It Thursday with a problem solving / critical thinking question
Friday - No theme yet :)

Closure is one of those areas where I feel I can always improve.  Over the years, I've tried various things, now I tend to do a combination of exit ticket prompts:

The first one on the left is a summary prompt with an area for questions and teacher response.  This template came about after a discussion on Twitter years ago!  The middle one is the one I use most often, which is a generic Exit Ticket quarter sheet.  The one on the right is based on an AVID Reflection page.

Summary Page
Generic Exit Ticket
Reflecting on Today
Weekly Exit Tickets

For my actual prompts, I tend to use my "Ring of Prompts"  or other prompts that I've blogged about before.

I'm always looking for new strategies for closure, so please blog yours and share them! :)

#Made4Math - Conditional Statements

I know... it's not Monday... :)

This year is kicking me in the tush, BUT, I'm having a *blast* teaching Geometry.  I have some really awesome kids and I love the hands-on aspect of Geometry.  Last time I taught Geometry was about 10 years ago, which was well before I found the MTBoS and started using Interactive Notebooks :)

Anyway, on Sunday, I spent 5 hours on lesson plans for Monday only.... oh my goodness! :)  I tweeted out a comment that I could get a LOT more done if I didn't care how things looked or if I was willing to have a boring lesson. :)  Of course, having a new prep means lots of new foldables and creations and they have to look just right with a fun font! :)

Each Monday, my Geometry kids have a Mental Math Monday where I project a game card from the game 24 and instead of just coming up an expression to equal 24, they try to come up with all of the values from 1 to 24.  I decided to have them start doing it on their whiteboard sleeves and one group even made all of the values within the warm-up time (~5-7 minutes)

If you would like the Mental Math Monday file for your dry erase sleeves, click HERE

After we were done with our warmup time, it was on to conditional statements in Geometry!  I had scoured pinterest and the MTBoS Search Engine looking for some fun stuff to help my kids practice, but nothing was really catching my eye for their notes.  I ended up making a super simple foldable in a Word table that created a "flashcard" like foldable that was blank inside to allow us to take notes and write down the definitions.

If you would like the Word Document, click HERE

To follow it up, we practiced with the statement sort that I found on MissCalcul8's blog - See her post HERE

Then, we practiced some more using a free speed dating file from TPT, but I did it more as a Quiz Quiz Trade activity - See the activity HERE

And finally wrapped it up with a Kahoot!

All it all, it was a good day :)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

#MyFavFriday - One Month!

Oh my goodness - we've now been in school for a *month*!!  I swear, every year, time goes by faster and faster!

It's been a long week, full of very tired moments, but overall, I am having a great year.  I have another group of fabulous kids, I'm teaching subjects I love, and I just feel at peace with a heart of joy this year.  That doesn't mean that every day is sunshine and roses, but I am so excited to see what this year brings!  My only regret so far is that I've been really bad at blogging.  :( :(  Maybe as the year progresses, I'll get better! :)

This morning, while browsing Instagram, I ran across a post from @bybmg that referenced her "High Five Friday" of the week, where she celebrates 5 favorite moments.  I'm totally stealing that idea this week! :)

I also love that this ties in to the "High Five Friday" theme of my classroom.  I even had a kid yesterday say "This is my favorite part of the week!" as they walked by and received their High Five! :)

(P.S. - Yes, I know that I have yet to post a "My Favorite Friday" post on an actual Friday... But by Friday night, I'm totally worn out! :) )

High Five Friday #1 - Back to School Night
Tuesday night, after a VERY long block day with no planning period, we had our Back to School night.  When I say it was a long day - it was a day that I made it to 10K steps and I didn't even exercise that day!  But the best part was visiting with some amazing parents - one parent came up to me with tears in her eyes and said "I just want to thank you.  You were our child's math teacher last year and I'm so glad our child has you again this year.  Our child actually *likes* math again!  Thank you for all you do!"  Then, between "classes", the young lady that last year came by every Friday to get a High Five comes by with her parents and says, "Mom!  This is the teacher that gives High Fives every Friday!!"  Remember, I've never even had this student in class, I don't know her name at all, but every Friday, like clockwork, she is there for her High Five and it was important enough that she had even told her parents about it.  As teachers, we often don't know the impact we make on our students and parents.  Every day, I am grateful that I am blessed to love what I do and to be able to share that love with my students.  What an uplifting night, even though I was *exhausted* the next day! :)

High Five Friday #2 - Dry Erase Sleeves
I purchased my dry erase sleeves several years ago when I found them at the Target Dollar Spot for $1 each.  Since then, many people in the MTBoS have posted about them.  I have used them pretty much every day in Geometry and even have kids that ask for them if I forget.  In Geometry this week, we were working on the distance and midpoint formulas.  I had found this template on Pinterest and quickly made one for my students.  I have some students that definitely struggle with integer operations, so the template was very useful for keeping everything in order.  In fact, this student found it so useful that they borrowed one to take home to finish up their homework problems.  Even better - when I glanced at this student's quiz on Friday, they had everyone of the distance formula problems correct!  WIN!! :)

High Five Friday #3 - First Lab is Done!
In Forensic Science, we've got our hands full with 48 students and 2 teachers.  This is the largest class we've ever had and my co-teacher has been fabulous, even though she had to hit the ground running with only 2 days notice that her entire schedule had changed.  We tackled our first lab this week with kids going out with a clean, new sock and exploring Locard's Exchange Principle, which leads us into the analysis of trace evidence, both macro and microscopically.

High Five Friday #4 - Coffee?  #YesPlease
Friday morning, one of my students comes up to me in the hallway with a cup carrier and says "I didn't know what kind of coffee you liked, but here's a coffee and a chocolate doughnut to start your day!"  Oh child, you are a true blessing!  After a long week, I knew I would need some extra caffeine to get through the day and some added sugar didn't hurt either! :)

(For anyone that isn't local - QT is QuikTrip, which is a convenience store / gas station chain that is simply amazing.  This was a French Vanilla Cappucino, but their hot cocoa is quite yummy as well! :)

High Five Friday #5 - #teach180
This year, I'm trying to do a better job with #Teach180 and I've finally found the platform that works for me!  I tried several years ago to do a #180blog, then I tried Twitter, but I really struggled to keep up with it and the character limitation on Twitter was difficult plus it was hard to monitor my own progress over the year.  This year, I am trying out Instagram and I *LOVE* it.  I shared it with my principal earlier in the week as a way he could virtually visit our classroom and I shared it with the parents at Back to School night, encouraging them to follow as well.  I've received some really positive comments from the parents and administration team.

What were the highlights of your week? :)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Made4Math - Geometry Fun!!

It's been a while since I've written a Made4Math post, but I have a feeling this year will be a year FULL of new files and fun stuff :)

I am having a BLAST teaching Geometry this year.  The last time I taught it was about 10 years ago - before the #MTBoS entered my life and before I knew Interactive Notebooks even existed!!

This weekend has been kind of crazy.  I left school on Friday thinking I would get *so much* accomplished... HA! :)  By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, I thought I might get an hour of work in while waiting on my mom to come down to go shopping.... I tinkered with it before she came down, then again after she left.  Before I knew it, I had spent close to 3 hours making a single flipping foldable!!! :)

Of course, I had to tweet it out last night... I am pretty darn proud of this thing! :)

I swear I printed it about 20 times before I got it to line up correctly and figure out how to "flip" it correctly on my printer!  Here's what the actual file looks like:

Once I had it figured out, I had to make a blank template for next time.  Here it is in Word format. :)

Today, I got on another kick of creativity and started working on this week's lesson plans.  We have a modified block schedule that has a traditional 6 period day on Monday, Thursday, and Friday and a block schedule that meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.  That means that tomorrow we head back to a block day with 100 minute periods.  

On block days, I try to do a lot of activities and I like to have the kids up and out of their seats at least once during the period to restart their brains.

For Geometry, one of the activities we will be doing tomorrow is a "Find Someone Who".  This is an activity that is often used as an ice-breaker, but I like to throw in a concept-twist.  The idea is to help my students remember all of the symbols and vocabulary we've worked on for the past week :)

Here is the PDF file if you want it! :)

Hope you've all had a wonderful and productive weekend!