Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Last Minute Halloween FREEBIE!

I know you probably have your Halloween plans for tomorrow complete, but I finally finished what I am doing and thought I would share it as a freebie. 

We are in the middle of a measurement unit. We are deep into using formulas. This activity has students finding the area of various shapes from a floor plan. And it's FREE!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tried It Tuesday- Homework Calendar

Time to link up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday. 

This is perfect to share because I got this idea from Holly this summer. I saw this on one of her posts. 

It inspired me to make my own Homework Board. 

This is what it looked like after the first month of school. 

What is working? 
My students know what is due and when. 
I use a "No Homework Binder"  system for returning homework. (I have blogged about this a lot)  This chart has been helpful because students don't ask me "What's it called?" when they are filling in their sheet. 

I also teach "regular math" and I have a separate calendar for those students. It is labeled clearly and a different color. This too, has been helpful. 

What would I do differently?
 I would make it a six weeks calendar. This would enable the entire six weeks expectations to be posted. For this year though, I will keep it monthly. 

I had these posters made at Office Max this summer when they were having a super special for teachers. They are sturdy and BIG. I will have them made again there for those two reasons, but I only do that when it's on sale!  

Can't wait to see what you have tried! 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Interactive Notebooks- Managing New Students

It's October 28th? wow! October has flown by for me. I knew it would, we had a five day vacation in the middle due to my husband's youngest sister getting married. I knew that would make this month fly by. 

And it has, I am still trying not to drown in everything we have going on and keeping up at work. 

It's time for 4mula Fun's Interactive Notebook Linky party. 

Since it's Monday and my life revolves around Math, I am linking up with I Heart Recess for her new linky party as well. 

Interactive Notebooks: This is the one thing I am still keeping up with. We use our notebooks daily. I couldn't teach with out them. 

I have noticed that Jennifer, from 4mula Fun has talked about a few things this past month, that I deal with regularly. 

First, she talked about what to do when new kids come in and secondly, she talked about foldables vs. taking notes. 

This past week, we moved 7 students from regular math classes to my AP classes. The other teachers use math notebooks, but not like I do. So, they have come in and their notebooks are not in the same order as everyone. Last year, this would have driven me crazy. This year, I am trying to breathe and I am letting it go. 
We created a page this week and we labeled it "page 37". I told the new students, "do the same, no matter what your notebook says". It just made it easier. 

I also got a new student this week from a local private school. I did the same with her. Just start where we are and go from there. 

I have the "guts" from the beginning set aside for new students. Things like, the table of content pages, the title page, etc.. New students come in and I give them the packet to put in their notebook. 

The other thing that helps is creating extra foldables throughout the day and saving them. 

I teach 6 classes. I only need one example for my notebook. if students are absent, I am making theirs while giving instructions. But, when students aren't absent, I just have extras. This year I created a folder where I store them. I can give them to new students as they come in. 

This week, we made this page: 

There was one students absent so I have 4 extras. I put them in the folder and will have them ready if needed. 

Jennifer also wrote a really great post about note taking. I feel the same way as she does. These ARE my notes. I try creating "note taking" in ways that they will remember it. For the rest of the year, we will refer to this paper plate so students can remember diameter and radius. It works and its way more fun that boring vocabulary words and sentences. As a side note, my students have a vocabulary section and these words are included. 

Hope this is helpful! Go link up and share what you do!  

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Friday, October 25, 2013

5 for Friday- Purple Pride Week

Time for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs. I honestly don't feel as happy as this post will sound, but there have been some fun things going on around here, and I should share. 

It's FRIDAY of our Homecoming week!  It has been "dress up" week here. It has been CRAZY! (but fun) 

1. On Twin day
These are our two 6th grade Social Studies teachers. They don't have many discipline issues as you can imagine.  

2. Our 80's day 
I had to teach with these two jokers in my class! They were a riot. 80's rock stars!!! 

3. Today is Purple Pride Day 

Pretty much everything in my closet is purple, but today specifically we are all in purple. 

How cute are these? 
 I love how the students get into it as well! 
 I just giggled when I saw this co teacher! 
 And, hello? I saw this and thought, "Oh, I need one of those!" 

4. And since its homecoming, we have lots of these around too. So far, the bells aren't driving me nuts, but it's early, so we will see. 

5. Of course the football game is tonight. Our team is UNDEFEATED and ranked high in the State of Texas. It's a BIG deal! and yes, we will definitely be at that game tonight! 


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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Tried It- Sharing Some Good Finds

For Tried it Tuesday with Holly, I want to share some of the lessons I have used from other bloggers and TpT stores that I have enjoyed. 

We are finishing a unit of adding and subtracting fractions and decimals. 

My advanced kids are also multiplying and dividing decimals. 

This summer I purchased the entire store from Live Love Math. She lives in Texas like me, and last year she taught exactly what I teach now. (She is teaching 8th grade now, I think) 

Anyway, I hit the freaking jack pot!!! I love searching through her store and planning my lessons. 

This week my students did a looping activity for operations involving decimals. Due to scheduling, students actually ended up completing  this as homework, but it worked! 

What I love about this type of activity is the answers were available for the students.  Most of them have finally figured out they HAVE to show their work, so having the answers just makes them prove their work. 
As I was doing this myself, I didn't read one of the problems closely and couldn't find the right answer. Of course, I reread the problem and saw my error. If the answer cards had not been there, I would have thought I was correct and moved on. 

We also did a rotation for adding and subtracting fractions from Lisa Blagus. My teaching partner found this on Pinterest and it was FREE!! I couldn't believe it! It is really well done and has a great Halloween theme. The students LOVED it. Check it out here

See how engaged they are, even through the blurriness! They loved the Halloween theme part of it! 

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Made It- Task Card Mania

I feel like it has been forever since I have linked up for a Monday Made It. I miss summer. (duh!) 

I wish I had a cute home made it. It's October, my favorite month. I love fall and I love Halloween, 

But, my life is consumed with school and baseball. 

For school, I stay crazy busy like everyone else. 
This past month, I made a LOT of task cards. 

My students used them, lost a few and then found them. I was so glad for sturdy card stock and laminating film. Plus, we had a mini lesson (or two) about organizing, sharing and cleaning up after ourselves. 

Our second go round with task cards was more successful. 
So, it appears what was taught, stuck in their heads. 

Our biggest unit this past month was factors and order of operations. 
These are the task cards I made for this unit. 

Exponent Task Cards 

GCF Task Cards 

LCM Task Cards 

Order of Operations with Exponents

Order Of Operations Set 1 

Order of Operations Set 2 

Prime Factorization Task Cards

Yes, I know I went a little overboard. Trust me, I paid the price at home and at school. I do love that my students had some good practice and now I have them ready and can grab them anytime I need them!

I finally got them in my store this weekend. In time for the sale going on. 
TpT sale ends today, (be sure to include FB100K) my personal sale ends tomorrow!  

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

TpT Sale Going on!

TpT is celebrating a milestone on Facebook! 

And of course, the best way is to have a SALE!  

I'm joining in! Since I got in late, I am actually keeping the sale through the 15th! 

Head on over to my store and get an extra 10% off and at checkout, 
type in FB100K for another 10% discount!!! 

I finally loaded my latest task cards from my factors and order of operations unit. 


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Friday, October 11, 2013

Five for Friday- GIFTS and a FREEBIE!

Friday!!! A 3 day weekend for our students! 

We have staff development on Monday. I LOVE staff development!!! I know, some think I am weird, but I do love it. 

I started my week this week attending a staff development in downtown Austin. I live two miles from my school. I drive about six miles a day including day care for my three year old. Needless to say driving Monday sucked!!! There was so much construction and traffic. I needed a drink before 9am!! 

I attended the Texas Association of Secondary Principals Conference. It was all about The Fundamental 5 by Sean Cain and Mike Laird. 
Have you heard of it? It's based on 5 principles and how doing all five improve schools. We read the book last year as a campus. Easy read, and I believe easy to implement in your classroom. I highly recommend it. 

I loved it! It was geared toward administrators, which I am not. But, I still found it very useful. I am a teacher leader, that is why I was selected to go. I can't wait to share with my department. 

They ended the day with motivation speaker Arik Bostick. He was ca-raaaaaaa-zeee! It was great though. 
Check him out. Seriously, if you need some motivation, he will inspire you! 

Fired Up! Success

Back to work on Tuesday where I learned I had a pitiful sub!!! I was so disheartened. I spent so much time preparing. I had to reteach and pretty much clean up the wasted day my students had. They were troopers though. (I love these kids) They begged me never to leave again. See, they learned, things could be worse. 
I actually ended up making a complaint and this particular sub is not welcome back at our school. I will be out three days next week so I am a bit freaked, but I have already gone to principal and asked for a good sub or one of our co-teachers, since its an extended time. 

I received a box of goodies from Reddigifts. It was like Christmas. It was so nice to get these donated by a person I have no affiliation with. I have a serious thank you note to write this weekend. I had some students who brought pitiful binders to school, now they have brand new ones! Their faces lit up when I gave them the new one. So thankful for people who give so willingly. 

Yesterday, I finally checked my mailbox at home and my SLANT box came. I was thrilled. I branched out and switched internationally. I love my sweet gifts and her cool note! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! 
I will be honest though, as much as I love the SLANT exchange, my crazy, busy life doesn't work for it. I am forgetful. I don't even have a Wal-Mart in my town so I forget to go get things. I suck as a giver. I don't want to though, I just know, I have to get a handle on the important things in my life before I can venture out and sign up for "extra stuff". 

I shared about my order of operations project on Tuesday. I had a great response and people were interested in the project. Well, it's Freebie Friday, so here you go! 

WARNING: I posted that as a Word document so you could change it up. The dates and directions are for my class. Be sure to read through it and adjust as necessary. I think the most important part of it is the rubric.  Click here to get the freebie. 

I have more to share, but no more time. So, wrapping it up and getting to work! Ha! I am such a procrastinator!!! 

Happy Friday all!

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