Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's all about the Ears!

My son is hearing impaired. Ears are a big deal in our household. I know more about the ear and how it works and doesn't work than most people. 

In kindergarten he started wearing an external Baha from Cochlear. His is not surgically implanted. He wears it externally.  In first grade we tried a microphone but it never really worked. I didn't push the subject because he was hearing with the use of his Baha, and academically he was doing fine. 

His hearing is worsening. He is now completely deaf in his left ear. His doctor suggested we get an FM in place at his school. 

The process started in February, he just received the system a few days ago. Yes, the process is long and ridiculous, but it is what it is. 

Last week, I went to see how it is working. That little silver piece is placed into his Baha and it transmits from the microphone his teacher wears. 

Right now he can't tell us if he hears her better or not. He had surgery on that ear in March and still has packing in there, so it is hard to tell. (that's why he still has cotton in his ear) Plus, I know his Baha needs as adjustment. But, I am so pleased that this is in place for him. 

Our district is too small to have a hearing impaired teacher. We contract services from our Region Center. They have been great. They offer a lot to us as parents and provide a lot for my son. So far, we are pleased. I am glad we have a few days to practice with it before the school year ends. When school resumes in August, he will have it available to him from day one.

Does your district have hearing impaired students? Do you know what services are available for those students? 

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tried it Tuesday-

Hopefully I am not the last person to know about this GREAT site!! is a FREE site full of interactive games students can use independently or you can use as a class. 

They have games for ALL levels, K-12!!!

Just an example of various types of games available. 

My students and I played a pirate game for adding and subtracting integers. It was loads of fun and it made them think!!! 

I liked that they gave my students subtracting integer problems. Those are the ones that trip them up. 
All the pirates have an answer choice, students solved the problem and selected the corrected pirate.

The object of this game was to have the teacher walk the plank and fall into the water. Of course, my students loved that part! 
This is only one of the gazillion games they have. I have played more and loved each of them. 
I am sure with the wide range available, everyone can find a game to enjoy. 

Be sure to link up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper to see other great "tried -its". 

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

The results are in!!!!!

We received our state scores this week. 

As a sixth grade teacher, I am THRILLED with the scores. 

Our grade level went up 19% from last year!! 
We had the highest scores in our Math department. 

We had a 79% passing rate. 
We have 273 students, 56 failed, many of those failed by one or two questions. We feel this is manageable.  

Personally, my passing rate was 90%. 

 I won't lie, it feels good. 
I went back and read my post from this time last year. It was sad. It was literally called, "Emotionally Drained". Having to tell kids they passed is so much more fun than telling them they failed.  (duh!) 

We had 14% commended rating. As the advanced Math teacher, it is expected. Last year there was only 6% commended. I am very pleased with this increase. 

It is just such a relief to have the scores back. 
We still have to wait for final numbers and our eighth grade retakes, but for now, 
we are enjoying the good news! 

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday- State Scores

Our state scores are in!!!!
bing images

This is how my team feels. 
(More on our scores to come soon)

Do you get your scores before school is out? 

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Teacher Appreciation

Our leadership teacher had her students describe their favorite teachers. Then they took our picture and made these with the words they described us with. 

It was a nice surprise to see them on the wall last week. 

I love being appreciated by my administration, but when my students show me appreciation, it really makes me feel good! 

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

What was your favorite Mother's Day or Teacher Appreciation gift? 

This of course, was mine! 

Be sure to link up! 

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tried It Tuesday- Scoot

I have read about Scoot before, I just haven't done it. I wish I had sooner. It is AWESOME!!! 

I used the task cards from Amy Alvis for Integers. I have used these cards before. They are so useful. 
Integer Task Cards Bundle - 144 task cards - SCOOT

I set my desk up in a square. 

My students are finally getting used to me changing things up and not freaking out when the room looks different. Today though, they had to keep their backpacks at the front of the room. This through some of them for a loop. 

I placed a card on each desk, set a timer and students worked their problem. When the timer went off, they just stood up and moved to the right. I wasn't even able to say "scoot".  

We are practicing operations with integers. Today they just multiplied. For some it was good practice for their multiplication facts. Sixth graders still struggle with those. 

I will definitely use this activity again with task cards and I think it will also be a good way to review basic skills at the beginning of the school year. 

Be sure to link up with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper for more Tried It Tuesday activities. 

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Mathematical Monday-Footloose

Joining I Heart Recess for Mathematical Monday. 

I have not been asked to evaluate this product or share this by the owner. I just have to share something that works and works really well!

Middle School Math Moments has a whole collection of Footloose activities for so many skills. I own all of the ones below. I love them. Better than that, my students love them

There are 30 cards, students are up and active and practicing the selected skill. 

Some of the activities come with problem solving sheets or just extra practice. They have been great as well. I have used them as homework to reinforce even more. 

This is how I make it work. 
I print the cards on colored card stock and laminate. (there are sets with colorful borders too) 

I place the cards on my white board tray. 

Students are allowed to get one card at a time. 

They go back and forth to their seat to work each problem. This keeps them moving.

I love how my students will "talk math" during this activity. 

Then, when they are finished, they grade their work.

I definitely love that, since I have so many students. 
I can even get the grades in the grade book by the end of class. It's awesome! 

I can literally place a chair in the center of my room and be there to facilitate. They are doing all the learning and most of the time all the teaching as well. 

It's FABULOUS!!!! 
I own the ones listed. I have used them all. They are wonderful! 

Footloose Math! 6th & 7th Grade Bundle

Fraction Operations Footloose and Problem Solving

Ratios and Proportions Footloose and Problem Solving

Algebraic Expressions Footloose (and extra practice!)

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday Motivation- Stickers

Middle School students LOVE stickers. Do not let anyone tell you differently, especially the middle school students! 

This week, I used stickers to teach number lines and absolute value. Students had to be warned not to steal my stickers. They wanted them just for fun. They begged me for stickers just to put on them or their clothes

I had to explain how I bought all the stickers with my own money and needed them for six classes. It wasn't much money, but still, they couldn't have my stickers. 

Back to the lesson: 
Students were given two different colored stickers for positive and negative numbers. 
They were given a different colored dot for zero.
They were then given a star for zero to signify that it is a "special" number. 

The happy face stickers were to explain absolute value. Students picked this up really easily. 

On Monday, students will complete Footloose about absolute value from Middle School Math Moments. I use all her footloose activities, my students love them!

At the end of the day, I had two students ask me to more lessons with stickers. 
They said, "stickers are cool." 
Now I know. 

Be sure to link up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching and share how you are motivating your kiddos as the school year ends. 

I am also linking Fourth Grade Studio for a new linky called "Loved that Lesson". I did love it, it was simple and easy and a great visual for my students. 

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