Post 03 – Programming Drones & Mathematical Properties

We're entering week 4 of school.  This will be the first full, normal week so far.  First day of week 1 was the odd first day schedule with assemblies and such, 2nd week had a 2-hr delay on Monday due to hurricane weather, and last week was labor day on Monday.  Glad to start getting into a normal routine.  But onto the reflection of last week. ROBOTICS & DRONING I spent most of my time last week reflecting on robotics.  I was trying out doing some drone lessons where students program the drone to do stuff.  Our first mission was…
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Entry 11 – My Most Unique Lessons

Entry 11 – My Most Unique Lessons

The week's reflection is a few days late but better to reflect later than not at all :)  Our prompt was the following: What do you do as a teacher that feels unique to you and your class? Share one of your unique lesson plans or activities. Share one of your unique forms of assessment. I think the most unique thing to my class is the classroom economy.  I've spoken about at it length in my blog but what I'm most excited about is that this year, not only am I introducing budgeting and giving to charity, I'm also documenting…
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Entry 07 – Teaching Budgeting In Middle School

Entry 07 – Teaching Budgeting In Middle School

I haven't mentioned it here yet but a handful of teachers and I have been participating in a weekly writing group.  Often, those reflections have revolved around a particular prompt, which I've been including in my reflections.  Many of those teachers have been posting their reflections to a community Tumblr.  Feel free to see those reflections HERE.  It's been so awesome to get to have these 'conversations' that we don't normally get to have, and sometimes these digital conversations continue in person. This week will just be a general best lesson / worst lesson reflection. BEST LESSON I think of 'best'…
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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 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 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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