Monday, June 17, 2019

Classroom Window Makeover

This is pretty much what my classroom has looked like for the past, oh 6 to 7 years.  I have this beautiful wall of windows and we receive a great deal of natural light, but, that makes seeing any type of digital presentation challenging.  So, I started to make curtains to cut down on the glare....7 years ago.  I would purchase a flat twin sheet and sew it into a curtain.  You can see that I made four of them and then quit.  I quit mostly because I was lazy....and my sewing machine wasn't working correctly, and each window was costing about $10 just for the flat sheet.  With 10 windows that's a lot of money.  

Then I got to brainstorming and realized that plastic tablecloths would work great.  They're cheap, I could staple instead of sew, and they come in a variety of colors.  Our school mascot is an olympian (we are named after Jim Thorpe) and our colors are red, white, and blue.  Since the 4th of July is coming up I knew our dollar store would have a nice selection of those colors.  They did not disappoint.  

Although this picture looks nice, I felt that it wasn't quite there yet.  Then my friend across the hall (from I Teach Math) came over and suggested I tie each one individually and here is the result.    Perfect!  

Now for some fairy lights!!  :)

Monday, April 8, 2019

Pull Up Project: Month 7 Update

The lesson to learn here is that if you don't work on something, you're not going to get better at it.  Ugh.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Pull Up Project: Month 6 Update

I'll be honest.  I was thinking that this lofty goal was never going to happen.  Being able to do 10 pull ups by the end of the school year?! What was I thinking?  But after this latest video, I'm feeling hopeful again.  Maybe I can do this.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Digital Activities: Slope Given Two Ordered Pairs

One of my goals as a teacher is to show students that there are many sources of support out there other than me.  It's silly to think that one person can be the sole support system to about 100 students a day.  When I create an activity, I keep in mind how I can encourage the students to rely on each other for help.  One of my favorite activities for practice is my Sum of 3 (or 4) activity. 

Sum of 3 (or 4) Activity:
All classes over the size of 5 can be broken down into groups of either 3 or 4.  I create a unique worksheet for each student in the group.  When each student finishes their first problem, they add their solutions together and check the sum sheet.  If their sum is correct, they move on to the next problem.  If their sum is incorrect, they trade papers and look for errors.  If they are unable to find an error, that's when I finally step in. 
For the most part this activity runs smoothly.  I make it known that I'm not worried about completion of the questions, but rather that they are working together and helping each other, all while staying on task. 
Once in a while I will have a student who is more advanced than his group members, and isn't willing to help out.  He will work through all the problems on his worksheet and ignore the struggles of the others.  Usually these students are not friends, and will work in silence within their group.  Obviously as the teacher I approach this group, encourage them to help each other, blah, blah, blah.  But as soon as I walk away, they still don't speak to each other.  *SIGH* 
I was thinking about how I could 'force' the students to stay on the same problem until their found the correct sum, a way to force them to help each other.  That's where digital activities come in. 

I created a sum of 3 (or 4) activity on google forms.  Each problem set gives the students their 3 (or 4) problems and they type in the correct sum in order to receive the next set of problems.  Problem solved (pun intended). 

Check out one of these activities with the link below.  The topic is finding slope given two ordered pairs. 


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Pull Up Project: Month 4 Update

If you want to learn more about my Pull Up Project, you can read about that here.  CLICK HERE.

If I hadn't started this project, or at least told people about it, I would have quit a long time ago.  Sometimes I think to myself, "Why did I ever tell the students about this?".  It would have been so easy for me to quit if I just would have kept my mouth shut.  So here are my options: quit and be a quitter to my students, or just keep on working towards my goal.  I'll keep working towards my goal.  Overall, I am so glad that I told others about my's forcing me out of my comfort zone and I'm getting better at pull ups.

Spoiler alert:  I can complete 5 pull ups with a band!!

Classroom Window Makeover

This is pretty much what my classroom has looked like for the past, oh 6 to 7 years.  I have this beautiful wall of windows and we receive ...