Friday, October 31, 2014

Waking Up Late

Ever had one of those days, when you hit snooze one too many times

Thankfully, mine happened on Halloween! 

Happy Halloween! 

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Monday, October 27, 2014

iTunes University

We are a 1:1 iPad school. Our students have been given a iPad to use at all times. They take it home daily and are responsible to have it for school everyday. 

We attended training this summer to create iTunes courses. It is all done through iTunes University. I know they have tons of resources available on the site that I haven't even had time to check out. 

This is the app we use. (this is the front of my iPad, but the apps are all the same) 

Here is what I have done so far: 

1st I created a class. I created an Advanced Math class and decided my entire year will be in that class. If it gets too much I can do a first semester/second semester. Time will tell. 

After the class is created, I had to invite my students to join my class. They download the FREE app and then I give them the access code. It's that simple. 
I am able to tell if everyone signed up. It was pretty simple from that point. 
(These are only my advanced students. I do not have separate class for my strategies class) 

After creating my class, I created an outline. I made my outline based on my scope and sequence and wrote everything in that order. 

In each unit of study I add notes, assignments and materials for my students. 
This has been awesome once I got it going. 

On this page I can enter assignments and add materials.  I love adding everything we do in our interactive notebooks. Now, my students have access to everything they use in the classroom when they are at home working on homework.

I am very possessive and don't let my students take their notebooks home, this has been a lifesaver. 

I take pictures of their notes and include them in the materials and/or assignments. 

I have also added my anchor charts in the materials section. 

I can give them an assignment and I just add it here. 

When students are absent, they still have access to my class and they can get their make up work. It is WONDERFUL!!!!

I may not be using it exactly the way it is intended, but it is working and I am so glad I tried it. 

My students can not use the excuse that they don't know "how" to do something. The notes they took in class are available for them!!! It has been wonderful!!! 

The only downside is that parents do not have access to my class. But, they are aware that there is a class. We are actually having a Technology showcase next week for our parents so they can learn how ipads are being used here at school. 

I would love to know if you use iTunes U and how you implement it. Please leave comments!!! 

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Manipulatives in Middle School

Have you ever had one of those days where you actually want your administrator to come in and do a walk through? I had one of those days today. We had a hands on lesson for adding and subtracting integers and it went really well. 

First, with our new textbook, we have some amazing resources available to us. We need time to explore them and use them to their full potential. For now, baby steps...

They have a feature for hands on labs. We can "launch the lesson" and a completed PowerPoint is ready for us to use.

This one is about 9 slides long.

Students used the counters to follow along with the lesson. 
We made a card to go along with it because I have not taught them the "rules". 
This is an introduction 

We made an envelope and small cards to show what we had done with the counters. You know, I was going to include a foldable for our math notebooks.

I didn't have a foldable ready for the vocabulary, but we just took some quick notes. 
I will fix that for next time! 

Students were making the connections about zero pairs, and adding when you subtract integers, and all that great stuff that we want them to do when we teach. The visual was so awesome. I just wish I had more time in my class so we didn't have to wait until Monday to make the connections to the equations. 

I am keeping my fingers crossed that Monday when we return and start looking at "rules" and stuff, they will remember. I plan to keep the manipulatives out so they can practice. Our standard actually is for students to use concrete models, so I plan to keep them out as much as possible. I want them to internalize so they can have a deeper understanding when they go to 7th and 8th.

I am linking up with Joanne for Sparking Motivation, because seriously, give 11 year olds any manipulative and you have them motivated, even if its to do things with them we don't them to! 

And with Jennifer for interactivty because this was definitely a lesson with some interaction going on!!! Check out her new site!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

8 weeks of Interactive Notebooks- TONS OF PICTURES!!!!

I cannot take it one more minute. I have to write a post, a good quality post!!! 

I have a huge list of other things that need to get done, and we have baseball games tonight, but I miss blogging. I miss sharing what my students are doing. 

So, I am putting my foot down and I am writing this post!!!! 

Plus, for those of you who I let down with not getting my post about left sided stuff, you can see what I have done. (I am so sorry for that BTW) 

We have been in school for 8 weeks and our interactive notebooks are in full force. I LOVE THEM!!! 

I will let the pictures do the talking! 
 I hate blank pages, but we are revamping our "Brain Dump" since our standards have changed this year. This will NOT remain blank. 
 These are students resources given to us by our State. We practice using them so they use them on the state test. 
  Divisibility Rules on right side
 I shared about my students writing in their journals this year as well here
All of that was review. 
Then we started our first unit. 

 Left side: their classwork!!! 

 After each assessment our students complete a "data dig" and keep their info in a pocket so we can compare how they did on future assessments. (I know, I need to blog about those data digs, they are so effective!!!) 

 The left side here are their warm ups. I create a page for each unit because I don't want them thinking warm ups are not important. 

 Page 30 and 32 were homework assignments. We are trying to do some flipped classroom assignments. This was my first. It wasn't hugely successful, but it did work. (For those who did the homework) This is a work in progress still. 

Left side: more class work after meeting with me at the "teacher table" for a new standard we are now teaching; fraction notation. 
 This is now a 5th grade skill for us here in Texas. But, my students didn't receive it, so I had to squeeze it in. 

This is where we are right now: Operations with Integers. 

We have only talked about multiplying and dividing so far. 
We start adding and subtracting tomorrow! 

My students are actually going to come in tomorrow and work on these word problems. 

What I love: 
I love the unit table of contents. It keeps us up to date. 

I love the colors. I have been fortunate to get my hands on some fun colors. 

I love the foldables. If you know me, there is no explanation needed. 

I love the use of the left side for student work. It's hard sometimes, but it gets done. And when it gets put on the right side, who cares? It's student work people!!!! 

What I dislike:
I am on day 38 of school and I am in Unit FOUR!!!!
But, that's another post and I don't have time for that soap box! 

The foldables seen above can be found at my TpT store

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