Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Made It- August 17th

I am officially back to work. I started Friday, then went on a mini vacation this weekend and now back for a full week of PD and kids next week! 

Yes,  you read that right. My husband decided we needed to leave down this weekend. Inside I was panicking. Seriously, I have so much to do. 

Family does come first though. We had this weekend planned for a long time. 
And of course, it was super fun! 

So, my Monday Made It's will be few this week. It's not that I didn't do a lot, I just don't have it ready for blogging. Much of it is my classroom anyway, which I am revealing in a different linky party coming up. 

But, here's what I do have to share with you. 

Last week, my buddy Alison from Rockin' and Lovin' and Learnin' shared her Scientific Method plates. 
Done and hanging my room already! 

I have decided to use brag  tags in my classroom this year. Obviously I am not finished, but I am working on my box holder. It's not bad, I just need more time! (don't we all?) 

Making labels for my book bins that I don't have. Nor do I have books for them yet. 
Time people, I need T-I-M-E!
 These are from The Brown Bag Teacher. 

 My school is a Leader in Me school and I am embracing it. 
I am using Hope King's Desire to Inspire quotes in my room. These are for Meet the Teacher Night this Thursday. It is our first quote we will study and focus on. I plan to wrote a note on the back of each for my students as a welcome. 

I am really excited about these quotes. It's a huge part of my classroom decor. I also can't wait to share how it looks in my classroom. That will have to wait for another day though.  

It's late and I am presenting tomorrow for our district PD. I have to get some sleep! 
Happy Monday everyone and hope you are enjoying either the last few weeks of your summer or the first few weeks of your new school year! 

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Back to Basics- First Week of Middle School

When I started teaching middle school and had 7 to 8 classes a day, I learned very quickly that academics start right away. Our pacing calendars didn't give a lot of leeway for community building and expectations. Everything just felt like it moved so quickly. 

I wanted to teach routines though and figured I would do with content. I also wanted to get students back into mathematical thinking immediately. I was very curious what they remembered from the previous school year. My first year I gave a test. B-O-R-I-N-G! I regretted it right away. 

Solution: Create stations for my students with content they learned previously and need to just be reminded that they know.  I love math stations, even with middle school kids. I have done them in a rotation format and also using Daily 3 this past year. You can read about that here. This also gave me an opportunity to allow students to work together in a stress free environment from the very beginning. 

Enter:  Back to School Basics 

To use with your new 6th graders

I was shocked that this concept seemed like a second language to my sixth graders. 
Two options to use, with our without QR codes. 
 Another skill I felt really helped my students was to discuss divisibility rules. 
This is a fun game I used along with a flippable and another center game
 This game is available separately

Lastly, adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators was moved to 5th grade in Texas last year, so I really needed my new students to practice these skills. 
To use with your new 7th graders 

Sixth graders have spent a lot of the year working on fractions, decimals and percents. This is a great review using word problems. 

Most middle school teachers will tell you that ALL grade levels need practice with integer operations! I love this activity with a secret message because it is self checking! 
 Another new concept for our sixth graders in Texas was one step equations. 
This is a great matching activity to refresh your students. 

To use with your new 8th graders

Another integer practice, yep, ALL students need refreshers with this concept. 
This is a fun scavenger hunt activity. 
Students solve the equation on the bottom and search for the answer on the top of one of the other cards. Another self checking activity. 

Practicing two step equations now.
At first glance, you may be wondering why I choose this next skill for new 8th graders. 
Well, I had some pretty in depth conversations with my 8th grade teachers and this was a major pet peeve of theirs. They struggled with the fact that eighth graders couldn't plot points on a coordinate grid. Of course, slope is HUGE in 8th grade, so therefore, lets plot some points! 

And of course, I know that many middle school teachers teach all grade levels. 
At my school our resource teachers taught all three grades and our math labs (remedial math) could include all grade levels. 
So, here's a great way to save:

Another reason to bundle? At the end of the 6th grade, wouldn't the 7th grade Back to Basics be great review? And the 8th grade great for the end of 7th grade? There a lots of options. 
I hope you can find them useful. 

I know your students will enjoy NOT taking a 'back to school test" to show you what they do or do not remember. Take the pressure off by making it fun, interactive and teaching those expectations from the very beginning. Build your classroom communities by having students work cooperatively in small groups. 

It's a win-win! 

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday Made It - August 10th

It's my last Monday off. I am making the most of it. My family and I are at Six Flags over Texas in Dallas. It is hot and we are all cranky. (this is just a prediction because I am writing this on Friday night before we leave for our mini vacation) 

Have to share my Monday Made Its, I have been B-U-S-Y! 

I spent a few hours everyday in my classroom. It is a wreck still, but all in due time. I am not revealing everything but I do want to share my helpers board. I decided to do team jobs and I love how this turned out. I got the idea for the tissue paper here

Next, I made a place to display student work. 

First I spray painted some clothes pins

Then I glued them to 12x12 paper. Know anything about E6000? 
Those bad boys are NOT coming off! 

These are the front of my room. There are enough for every student. This is where their work will be hung inside the classroom. I love how they turned out. 

The next 2 are things I have seen on MMI. 

Tara and my bloggy buddy, Alison from Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin' both made these. 
Book Buzz from 
I snatched it up during the BTS sale and put it together. SUPER EASY! 

And Farley shared these. I got wood letters for each of my new team members. 
Painted them and hung pretty ribbon from the top. 
I bought gold pens so we could have our students write their names on them. 
They will hang in our classrooms or outside ours doors. 
Super easy as well! 

I made these number labels from Tara too. Love the colors. 

And I have begun making brag tags. I lots to print, laminate and cut this next week. 
I made my own for Meet the Teacher. 
The template is from Fifth in the Middle

I received my box from Amazon Friday and can't wait to fill it up! 
Super excited to try this form of classroom management. 

We had an off to college party for my son this past Saturday at my parents house.  
He leaves in 6 days!!!! 
We couldn't have a graduation party so I decided to do this before he left. 
It was simple, just sandwiches, chips and cupcakes. 

I made cups for the future Aggies. (My 2 youngest and my 4 nephews) My 9 year old already told me he wasn't going there. No worries, there is plenty of time for brainwashing. 

I made former student cups for my sisters and their husbands. I am the only one who didn't marry an Aggie. I always take the harder road traveled. 

My son's cup is the Class of 2019 cup! 

My husband made cupcakes. (Yep, he bakes. He's forgiven for not being an Aggie) 
I made these cupcake toppers since I live near Austin and finding something here was not going to happen. I love how they turned out.

Instead of presents for my son. (he received graduation gifts earlier in the summer), we gave my parents AGGIE GRANDMA AND GRANDPA shirts. 

They were over the moon. (again, I am predicting their reaction here, I am sure they loved them) 
They put four kids through A&M, DEBT FREE. 
They deserve this and they are super proud of their grandson. 

Thanks for making it to the end, I know it was long. I told you I was busy. 
Tis the season  though, right? 

I know this week will be no different. It just gets worse from here! 

Be sure to check out all the MMI's over at Tara's blog. 
And stay cool for me, it's over 100 degrees here in Dallas. 
(at least that was the prediction as of Friday!) 

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Our Teaching Tribe August Challenge

Super excited to participate in this blog hop with another tribe I recently joined. 

This month we were challenged to trade a product with another blogger. We were asked to make it and decide how we would use it in our classrooms this year. 

I was partnered with Lessons with Coffee.
 I have already worked with Jameson in the past, so it was comfortable.
 I feel like she's a good buddy of mine. 

 I made her show what you know board for exit tickets.
She was super sweet and actually made this bright version for me because she knew that was my theme. 

I can't wait to hang it in my classroom. It just needs to be laminated and stapled to the wall.
I already have the exact place in my room ready and waiting. 

Exit slips are great ways to find out what misconceptions and errors your students might still have after a lesson. I have used them in the past to plan my warm up for the next day. 

This chart is perfect size for students to take a post note and "Show What They Know".

Be sure to check out her other versions as well. 
She's done all the hard work for you! 
And her latest one too

Now check out Jameson at the next stop by clicking on the picture.  

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