Entry 1 – My Sixth First Day

Entry 1 – My Sixth First Day

I've begun my sixth year in teaching.  The plan is to reflect at the end of each week again this year.  I've invited some of my colleagues to join me and am excited to read through their reflections :) This week was our first week back with students.  Being that many of my students from 6th grade math are now in my 7th grade math class, it felt more like coming back from a long weekend than it did a brand new year.  This week has felt a bit long with having to stay after school for some back-to-school nights &…
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Week 36 – Last Week, $3k Candy, and My 100th Post!

Week 36 – Last Week, $3k Candy, and My 100th Post!

Last week was the last week of actual instruction.  I opted to take it easy.  Life will go on even if I don't try to cram the teaching of volume of 3d figures into two days.  Also, this is my 100th post on this blog! LAST WEEK ACTIVITIES Last week, I shared all of our previous quizzes, tests, and reassessments with answer keys with the students.  This week, I decided to make a more proper review sheet in the form of a Quizlet.  I've never used Quizlet but students kept suggesting it.  It's virtual flashcards.  On one side I put the…
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Week 35 – My Teacher Self Evaluation & End of Year Review Idea

Week 35 – My Teacher Self Evaluation & End of Year Review Idea

I thought for this week's reflection I would share my teacher self-evaluation that's due next week.  Quick recap of how things were going in class though: END OF YEAR REVIEW IDEA To help my students study for the final, I didn't really want to create a review sheet so instead I gave them access to all of the quizzes, tests, and reassessments I've made this semester.  I made a folder for each unit and put all the assessments (with answer keys) in those folders and then shared those folders with students and parents on our class website.  Got some positive…
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Week 29 – Proportions Tests, Percent Introductions, and Tax Day

Week 29 – Proportions Tests, Percent Introductions, and Tax Day

This week we finished up proportions in Pre-Algebra and got introduced to percents in Math Skills.  Also had several teacher visitors who are applying for the open math position at our school (our other math teacher is moving to Brazil to teach).  Oh, and it was tax day in our classroom economy, PRE-ALGEBRA We finished up proportions this week with discussing similar figures and how we use proportions to solve them.  As a review activity, I gave them a quiz that I used last year.  They worked on it together and we went over it.  The following was probably the…
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Week 23 – Math Magic To Solve 2-Step Equations

Week 23 – Math Magic To Solve 2-Step Equations

This week I've been really been getting a bit of filming done.  Below you'll find a short film I did for my Pre-Algebra classes on a lesson for 2-Step Equations.  I found the lesson on Julie Reulbach's blog, who modified her lesson from Sadie Estrella's idea.  Check both of those links for some in-depth write-ups. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiWvrU81Czo Here is THE SLIDE SHOW I used to guide our game and discussion.  Also, here are the DISCUSSION PROBLEMS they worked on after our lesson. I got most of my ideas for the classroom economy from MYCLASSROOMECONOMY.ORG. They have everything you need to get started.…
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Week 22 – “But Solving 1-Step Equations Is So Much Easier Without Modeling It!”

Week 22 – “But Solving 1-Step Equations Is So Much Easier Without Modeling It!”

Dan Meyer has a collection of blog posts called "If (insert math concept) is the asprin, how do we create the headache."  I felt I was shoving asprin down my Pre-Algebra students throats as they were saying 'I don't have a headache but I do now!' during our lesson on modeling one-step equations.  Additionally, in 6th grade math, I feel I've got a wider gap between students with a lot of background knowledge on the current concept and students with no background knowledge.  It's challenging.  But we had fun auctions in class this week! PRE-ALGEBRA One-step equations can be intuitive…
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Week 17 : Student Feedback For The Semester

Week 17 : Student Feedback For The Semester

So last week wasn't as in-depth of a reflection; I had made two vlogs and posted them up.  Definitely a reflection of the week (and much more engaging- it's more fun to re-watch a video than to re-read a blog), but I hadn't gone into the details of the week of what had worked and what hadn't.  This week was mid-terms, got some feedback from students about the semester, and I got some gifts from students; probably the best haul to date :) Mid-Terms Student's didn't do as awesomely as I had hoped.  I still had quite a few A's but…
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Week 7 – $600 Bouncy Balls, Building Robots, and Decimal Division

Week 7 – $600 Bouncy Balls, Building Robots, and Decimal Division

It's been a fairly good lucky number week 7.  Had our first auction and started to build robots.  Content has been going well for the most part, with exception to some pretty dull 6th grade math lessons. AUCTION We had our first auction in our classroom economy. Each class has an auctioneer who goes around to businesses to fundraise items for the auction.  Didn't have a ton of amazing items on this first one but last year I had students who got the entire Hunger Games hardback trilogy donated, iTunes gift cards, $50 toy robots, and a few dining gift cards.…
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Week 6 – Student Banking Chaos, Tests Without Grades, and Cheez-Its

Week 6 – Student Banking Chaos, Tests Without Grades, and Cheez-Its

Week 6 is coming to a close.  I've gone home this week a few more times a bit more flustered than usual, mainly because of the chaos of getting students familiar with our classroom economy online banking system.  But at least I had Cheez-It's to comfort me.  Oh, and I'm not writing grades on tests anymore either. TEST WITHOUT GRADES I saw a video recently about a math teacher who will highlight where students made mistakes on their tests and doesn't put the actual grade on the top of the test.  She posts grades online the day after they get…
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Week 5 – Mind Blowing Math, Class Fines, and Chatty Cathy’s

Week 5 – Mind Blowing Math, Class Fines, and Chatty Cathy’s

We've come to the end of week 5.  It's actually Friday morning but it's a staff development day.  I really enjoy staff development days.  You don't have to be 'on.'  You just show up and try to engage yourself in the discussion.  It's coming at the end of a fairly good week. MIND BLOWING MATH In Pre-Algebra, we started exploring exponents.  We delved into powers of 1, 0, and negative exponents.  Power of 1 was easy enough; 31 = 3.  Seems just like multiplication.  30 though...is actualy 1.  3-1 is...1/3...whaaaaat?  Without going too much into it, HERE'S a video of…
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