Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday- Weekends

TWO Days
FIVE games 
Game times: 
Saturday: 11:45 am, 1:05 pm 
Sunday:  1:00 pm, 6:20 pm, 8:00 pm 
Yes, we are EXHAUSTED!! 

What does your weekend life look like? 

Be sure to link up for the fun with Sugar and Spice

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Motivation-"Art Work" in Middle School Math

Because of testing this week, my room looked like this: 

YUCK!!! I CANNOT deal with this environment. 

So immediately after testing, I enlisted my students to spruce up our walls. 

First, we completed the egg activity from Runde's Room. This was PERFECT for right before and after testing.

Now they are working on graphing Angry Birds on a coordinate grid. This is more challenging than first glance. 

As they worked on these, I played music on Pandora. I do NOT do this often. 
So, when I do, they LOVE it. 

We started our week stressed to the max. By Friday, we were all relaxed and just H-A-P-P-Y! 

Be sure to link up with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching and get motivated

Be sure to check out the awesome Spring Survival going on too! 

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

We Texans are proud of our wildflower, the bluebonnet. 
Seriously, they are a beautiful sight! (I couldn't do them justice with ONE photo!!!)
This is my drive to baseball two to three times a week.

Do you know your state flower? 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Was I Thinking?

Today is the day. Today, our students take the Math State Test. I am NOT allowed to have my computer on until after testing. I am a rule follower on this day. 
This test may cost you your job. Please sign here, in blood, that you will follow all one million rules while giving the test. We will be watching. Hope they pass! | Workplace Ecard |

We need our 6th and 7th graders to do really well. We received our 8th graders scores back last week. 8th graders take their early because they have to pass to be promoted to 9th grade. They actually have three chances to pass. Our scores were quite a bit lower than last year. We have some serious work to do with those 8th graders who failed. We need our other grades to do well to help our overall scores. 

I am nervous. In all honesty, I am sick to my stomach. All I can do now is active monitor! I am not actually testing my own students. I am giving oral administration to a group of kids. Today is going to be a long day. 

For Tried it Tuesday with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper, I am sharing how my last few days of review went last week. 

My co-workers went to a math workshop a while back and loved it. They came back with tons of hands on activities and I was thrilled when they shared them. 

They shared a hands on review foldable that was really cool. The presenter called it a fractal vortex. Think, cootie catcher on steroids. 

I thought to myself, how the heck are we going to do this with so many students? 

I made one on my own following the directions. It was kind of tricky, but I thought, if I do this step by step, we can do it. 

Each student was required to bring a white poster board. They would only need 1/3 of it, but it was good to have extras! 

We planned two days for this, the two days before a holiday. 

Students measured their boards and drew diagonals. There was so much math going on with this project. They were measuring fools. 

See how they were even helping each other! It was measurement heaven! 

Step 1 and 2
They measured six 3 inch segments and 1/2 inch "tab"
They measured 3 inches up on lines 1(edge), 3, 5, and 7

 Step 3
They measured 1 1/2 inch up, 4 1/2, and 7 1/2 inches up on lines 2, 4, and 6. 
At this point it helped me to tell them to begin imagining diagonals. 

Step 4
Connect the diagonals one way. 

Step 5
Connect the diagonals the opposite way. 
This proved challenging for many. 

Step 6
Cut the top portion off. 

Step 7
Fold every line! I mean, EVERY LINE! 

Step 8
Fold into the shape and tuck  the tab in and tape. 
It should look like this after its decorated with Math concepts.

It should do this: 

This video was taken in my first period. 

We also had to throw two away and start over. 

We had a few that we made into snakes. We thought it was a lot of work to throw them away just because we couldn't put it together so we improvised. 
This is "Jeff the Math Snake". See the eyes? Like, I said, we had to have some fun with it. 

This was our PEMDAS snake. This student was pretty disappointed his didn't work, until I said, "Go get my phone so I can take a picture, I think its cool" 

It may be hard to tell, but they put a lot of good math info on their project. 

This was all in just first and second period. I had four more to go. 

My motto that whole day was "just go with it." 
I couldn't get upset. It wasn't worth it. I also couldn't just throw the whole idea and concept away. The kids had brought posters and measured and worked hard. Unfortunately, some of them aren't good at using a ruler or drawing a straight line. 

My 7th period was a bust. I am not sure they even used rulers. 
Thankfully my 8th period was much more successful. 

It was the day before Easter break and no one was going to let it ruin a three day weekend.   

We have extra poster board and some of the students have asked to try again. After our tests this week, they can have it! 

Would I try this again? Yes. 
Our art teacher is doing the same thing, except she made templates for her students. 
It's not mathematical and since I am a Math teacher, I think I still want them to measure, but trust me, I am not ruling out templates! 

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Function Machines

It's Monday! The day before our state testing!!! I am trying not to stress my kids out with too much. They are either ready or not. They just have to do their best and all will be okay. 

For Mathematical Monday, I have a Monday Made it as well. 

My boys have gotten into Pringles. 

And because I am a teacher and think, "I can't throw this away, I could use it for something", I save lots of things that normal people just throw away. So, I have this collection. (this is about 2 months worth) 

They are starting to be an eye sore in my kitchen. But, I am so busy with school and baseball, I just can't "make" anything right now. 

 Last summer, I made these with Pringles cans. 
They are pretty and I really like them. 

Confession time:  It's April and they have not been used. I love the idea and concept, but I need to adapt them to meet my students needs. 

As we planned for our STAAR Camps, we decided to use Function Machines. 
I saw some on Math = Love. It was my job to make them for the camp. 

Over the weekend, I starting researching how to make them. I looked over at my sink, and viola, those Pringles cans were just staring back at me. 

So, I played around and this is what I came up with. 

Students put in a card with the "x =" side up. When it comes out, it tells them what "y" would be. Students complete this for all the like colored cards. 

They complete their table and then decide what the process was inside the "function machine". 

Students were doing this independently so we made it multiple choice. It's also a review for our state test which is all multiple choice, so we made it this way on purpose as well. 

This is how I made them: 
I cut a section out from the bottom. 

I cut a "ramp" for the inside of the machine to fit. 
The "ramp" had to come out of the can to work. 

Then, I duct taped it down. 

This is the view of the inside. See the small slots that the poster board doesn't cover? Well, believe it or not students got cards stuck in  there. How? I don't know. 
So, I had to take it apart and adjust it. Now the inside looks like this. 

Then I duct taped the whole thing. E-A-S-Y!!! 

I cut the lid. This is where the card goes into.

So, here is how I feel about this function machine:
It works. Its what I had available when I needed it. 
Will I use it again? Absolutely. 
Will I make a different type of function machine during the summer? Maybe. 

Were my students able to figure out algebraic expressions using tables? Yep! 

This means, S-U-C-C-E-S-S


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