Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sparking Student Motivation- Smarty Pants Club

For this weeks sparking student motivation, I have taken something I received from our wonderful hostess, Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching,  and made it work for my kids. 

We had our first major test. I had several students make a 100!  I wanted to reward them. So with Joanne's "smarty pants" rewards, I created the "Smarty Pants Club". Students signed a card and received a Smarties candy! Then I posted this behind my desk, which is the only blank wall space I have in my room!!! 

My students informed me that they like Nerds candy a lot, so I need a "Nerdy Club" too. Silly kids! 
Good thing candy is everywhere right now so I can pick some up for them. 

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Five for Friday-Math Notebook Edition

Once again, it's Friday from a full and busy week. Time to link with Doodle Bugs for 5 for Friday.

I started this week with 2/3 of my work out buddies. 
We completed an 8k run. I like 5k runs more, but it was good afterward when we said, we finished. I was pleased with my time, there were lots of hills! Our "sergeant" as we call her, won 3rd place in her age group. She ran fast and was still upset with herself because she "could have one better!" We just roll our eyes at her. I was just glad I didn't pass out! 

Then math, math, math note booking fun. 

We started our Unit 2 this week, factors, factors and more factors! 

Prime factorization: Thanks to Runde's Room for this cute idea! 
 The left side is a warm up the next day. This way students can show what they know. 

This lead to Exponents
I have never taken notes on exponents, but I know this is going to make a huge difference next week we start order of operations. 

Greatest Common Factor:

This is FREE here.

Least Common Multiple 
Saw this on Pinterest this summer. It was easy and quick and the kiddos loved how big the M was. Next week, they will write on the left side about how to find the LCM or I might do the difference between factors and multiples since they seem to get those confused. 

It's Friday night, it's raining and we are off to our local Mexican restaurant with friends for yummy food and even yummiest drinks! Oh happy day! 

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

MS Sunday Funday- Something Good to Share

This week Julie from ispeakmath asked to share something positive from the beginning of school. 

I have been in school three weeks. It as been GREAT!! Seriously, I am finally enjoying work again. The past two years have been hard. I am so pleased with how things have started. 

My students are sweet and overall, well behaved. 

Incorporating Class Dojo in my class has helped with my talkers and helped me manages randomization. 

But, what I am choosing to share is more personal. 

During the second week of school, before the first bell, one of my students asked if she could talk to me. We went into my room and she started talking about Girl Scouts and that she is going for something called the Silver Award. Then, she asked if I would be her sponsor. 

I was so moved. I wasn't even exactly sure what it meant, but I was so honored that she thought of me and asked. 

I am thrilled to be building more personal type relationships with my students. I know it will translate success in their learning as well. Plus, honestly, it just feels good to be liked, even by 6th graders! 

Saw this on Pinterest and this fits my classes this year! 

Keep calm because 6th Grade Rocks!

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sparking Motivation- Interactive White Board Lesson

This week I planned a lesson without even knowing how motivating it could be. When it was over and my kids were asking to play again, I knew what I would share today. 

It's Saturday with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching

This week, we talked about integers. Our standards are weak in this area in my opinion. But, with my advance classes, they will use negative numbers this year and do all operations. 

I created an interactive Promethan board lesson. 

We played integer golf. 

First, we reviewed some vocabulary and facts about integers. We went over this the day before. We made a foldable, a vertical number line and practiced + and - integers with a little story. 

Then I explained how the game of golf works. They needed to know that negative or "under par" was actually good. 

They loved the golf courses as backgrounds. They don't have a lot of experience with golf, but this helped them visualize better. 

They created their own score card and we played together on the white board. They used a cube to keep track of the score with their vertical number line from their notebook. 

We used the awesome dice roller as our "stroke" counter. Some of them had never seen this,  they were very impressed. 
Just by clicking on one button, and they were instantly adding or subtracting the integer to see if we were + or -. 

I also incorporated the randomization tool from Class Dojo to call on students  for answers and to roll the dice. This way they knew it random and not favoritism. 
In several classes, they begged to play again. We couldn't because of time, but I told them we would play again a reward. 

They absolutely loved using the Promethean pen. It was a treat! 

These do take one time to create, but are worth it. 
But, no need to reinvent the wheel. There are tons created already, by teachers, and for FREE!!!!! 

Check out Promethean Planet. I used a divisibility interactive chart I found last year. 

I have figured out my students love it, so I am tapping into it for as long as it works! 

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Friday & a Freebie!

So, if I start this on Thursday night, maybe I will actually post it on Friday. (Fingers crossed) 

Click here for Doodle Bugs Teaching 
1. I am 3 weeks into this school year. I have woke up every day at 5am and worked out! I hate waking up early, but it actually been a great addition to my day! I am doing Jillian Michael's Revolution. Week 1&2 were okay. She kicks it up a notch in week 3&4! I curse her daily, but always glad when I am done.
2. I set up Class Dojo with my classes this week and it is awesome!!! 
I blogged about it here
3. My boys had their first baseball and Tball game last night! 
4. I did a fun interactive lesson on integers this week and my students begged me to "play again"
Seriously, that has not happened for me in middle school. I will be blogging about it tomorrow for Head Over Heels Motivation link party. Be sure to check it out! 
5. We have our first home football game tonight! Go Wildcats!!! 
Short, sweet and to the point, but I actually feel like I accomplished something on my to-do list! 
And as a Friday bonus, here's a vertical line freebie. 
click here for the link party
We did this for integers. I wish I had the dotted lines when I gave it to my kiddos! there are two per sheet and yes, I printed mine in color for my students, but it is not a must. 
click here for the freebie!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tried It Tuesday- Class Dojo

No way am I missing this link party two weeks in a row! 

Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper hosts Tried It Tuesday weekly. Mine I literally tried TODAY! 

I set up Class Dojo with my students. This is a behavior management plan for your classes. I know bloggers have shared about it before. I know I will not do it justice. 

I was weary because I have six classes and I was freaking out about the logistics.

One of my co workers is doing it in 8th grade and showed me how awesome it was working. So, I knew I had to try it. 

I signed up for FREE and did a little prep work to set my classes up. 

I signed up a day for ipads and students created their accounts. This is all explained very well on the site. It's very "teacher" friendly. 

My students love the little monster/alien avatars. They can change them as well. They will access to their accounts and so can their parents. 
cute little furry guys! 

You can set the behaviors you want to track and customize them for your class. It's not all just behavior, you can incorporate academics if you want. 

Students receive positive or negative points throughout the class. I literally walked around with my ipad and gave rewards. Students heard just the positive or negative awards sounds and knew what I was doing. 

You can get a report of behaviors, for your class or individuals! (I think a great tool for parent conferences!)

The best part of it for me and the one my kiddos LOVED, is the randomization. When the class list is open, you push a button and it randomly chooses a student. They answer the question and then I give them a participation reward. 

It is AWESOME!!! My students do not raise their hand and they all listen to the question because they don't know if their name is going to be called or not. One class was actually disappointed if their name wasn't chosen. 

I am hooked, at least for the randomization. I know I have lots more to learn, but it is definitely worth setting up and trying. I was skeptical, but now I know this will help manage my classes. 

Maybe you will give it a try and let me know what you think. I am sure I will learn more as I use it more and be sharing about it soon! 

The best part... 

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Motivating Students- One foldable at a time

It's Saturday, which means I actually have time to blog. This is what I miss most about summer, no blogging. I need to organize better and I can still do my favorite link ups, even during the week. I missed them this past week. 

We finished our second week of school. I am absolutely in love with my classes. I actually look forward to work again. It's not all roses and sweet dreams, but it is absolutely the opposite of what my previous two years in middle school have been. 

Since it is Saturday, I am also linking with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Motivation Saturdays. 

I do the same thing six times a day. I have one class that is slightly varied, but I pretty much repeat myself all day. It is taxing. I have to keep it fun. Plus, hello! I teach middle school math! 9 out of 10 people are afraid of math and probably 10 out of 10 people are afraid of middle school. Most people think I am crazy. (I am, but just a little) 

This past week we had Open House and when I met my students' parents, they said things like "They say it's fun" "They like your class" "They say you use a lot of glue". The first two have never been said since I moved to middle school. The last one is absolutely true. 

I honestly believe they feel this way because of our math notebooks. We have had 10 days of school and we are on page 17 of our math journal. 

We are foldable junkies! They love making these things! 

I shared pages 1-9 here. They were resource sheets, stick in the binder and move on. We have used them though. 

The next pages have been interactive

Here's what we have done so far: 
They made the match book divisibility cards in a station. The left side was their warm up the next day. 

 The foldable we made when introducing how to convert improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa.  The inside is below. (do not adjust your eyes, it is blurry. Sorry)
The top of the left side was their warm up the following day. 
The bottom of the left side was their warm up the day after. They had to write complete sentences to explain the process of converting fractions. These writing prompts came from Danielle at Live Love Math. She has a ton and they are sorted by strand. Awesome resource. 
Side note: I bought her entire store this summer. BEST PURCHASE EVER! She teaches what I teach, (well, she did last year), in the state I teach, P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

 One day we made the foldable and took notes on the left side for examples. 
They loved this just because of the colors. 
Seriously, colored paper is a motivator!!!! 

This is how I am doing vocabulary this year. I plan for each unit to be on a different color paper. This unit had 11 words, we used the front and the back and some used two sheets. I like the Frayer model, but I don't like the non example portion. (it's just me). So I adapted it when I was reading about ESL strategies. 
The four sections are picture, definition, word, and sentence. I made them write a complete sentence using the vocabulary word. This was a challenge, but they did pretty well for the first time. 

Get the template by clicking on the picture.
Another side note: I gave my students blank copies for the most part. But for some of my students with "note taking accommodations", I gave them what you see above. I had the word and the definition written for them and they were responsible for drawing a picture and writing a sentence. 

Linking up here too, a little late, but oh well. 

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