About this blog

Daily photos and short posts from my 8th grade math classroom. I teach 8th grade math, Algebra I CC (called Advanced Algebra), and French 1.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 36- A long day

Here's a sort of day in the life on my really long day today! 

5:30- alarm clock
5:39- stumble out of bed
6:40- leave home
6:45- enter classroom and begin grading the paper I should have done before leaving yesterday as well as print papers to be copied and make an answer key for next week's warm up
7:25- inquire with secretary re: sub for tomorrow
7:28- realize breakfast hasn't been delivered to my classroom; find out it will be late
7:30- children arrive and begin working in Math 8
7:45- collect and count donations for our grade's donation to the March of Dimes while kids are working on integer boot camp
8:00- lay out procedures for tomorrow's walkathon since I'll be absent and poor sub has 5 pages of plans to read over. 
8:10- go over homework with students
8:25- continue stacking cups investigation
9:00- planning period begins; start counting up donations and filling out paperwork to turn money in to the office; roll coins
9:20- turn in money
9:25- check mailbox
9:30- furiously grade more papers before a meeting
9:50- meeting with math team to plan upcoming unit
10:20- first group of Algebra students arrive
10:30- escort Algebra students to lunch; eat lunch
10:55- last bathroom break of the day, check mailbox again
11:00- pick up kids from lunch; teach Algebra.  Today we did a warm up, checked homework (lots of questions on these literal equations), and worked in our teams to solve literal equations using task cards.
12:15- classes switch; repeat Algebra.
1:40- classes switch; French students arrive.  Today we did a warm up, took a short quiz on pronouns, and used our classroom object vocabulary to ask and answer questions on paper and then with a inside-outside circle type structure.
2:25- school day is over, dismissal process begins
2:40- all students are finally dismissed
2:45- staff picture
2:55- school wide department meetings (as opposed to the grade level department meeting in the AM)
3:30- meeting ends, discussion ensues about tomorrow's conference
4:10- return to classroom to grade papers, lay out materials for sub, write up my plans on the front whiteboard (I always leave VERY specific instructions for my students so they can't tell me, "But the sub didn't tell us..."), clean off my desk, track boot camp data, prepare materials for the walkathon, etc
7:20- leave school

That was a killer day.  I hope this NCTM conference is worth it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 35- Observation

I was observed by my principal this morning doing my take on the stacking cups lesson I saw here.  We just finished data collection today and started graphing, so I'm eager to see how the analysis piece goes tomorrow and what feedback my principal has. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 34- New Statistics

I just have to capture an unusual conversation I had today.  My students completed a "Numbers About Me" project in August as a cover to their ISNs.  One of my students told me today, "You know, I'm going to have to update this in January.  One of my statistics will be outdated then."  When I asked which one, she pointed to the drawing of her siblings.  "There's going to be a new baby."  That's the kind of precious thing I expect to hear in elementary school, but not in middle school.  I told her to keep her cover as it was a snapshot of her life in August. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 33- First MIR

This year, my school started a new paperwork procedure for discipline.  Now, we have forms called "Minor Incident Reports" or MIRs that we fill out in triplicate for any offenses.  Each form also requires a parent contact.  The idea is to keep parents better informed as to any discipline issues so that they can be supportive.  I had to write my first MIR today for a student who I don't teach who was acting up in the hallway.  Isn't that just the way? 

Here's hoping the rest of the year continues to go as smoothly as the first 7 weeks have! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 32- Can we keep working on this?

Mountain Climber, an activity I posted about earlier this week, is seriously a gold mine for me.  Yesterday, my kids were disappointed when I told them we'd already spent two days on it and we wouldn't be working on it for a third day in a row.  Their faces looked like I'd cancelled Christmas.  Who am I to tell kids they can't do challenging math problems?  "On Thursday," I promised, "we can finish.  We just need to do something slightly different today."  So, the kids got back with their groups and labored their way through the final tiers of Linear Programming Mountain Climber.  Rarely discouraged, they worked tirelessly to get correct answers.  Some of them worked on problems over and over to find and correct mistakes.  That mountain kept them working.  I didn't have groups give up; they kept going and going until we ran out of time.

Moral of the story: sketch a crude mountain, find some playing pieces, and come up with a series of problems that increase in difficulty.  Watch in amazement.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 31- Subjects and verbs, oh my!

This week, we've started learning grammar in French class.  It started off so simply, I didn't anticipate the number of problems my students would have.  So far, they just need to be able to identify a subject and a verb.  They're having some trouble doing that in English, so the French is interesting!  

I guess they don't mind learning grammar! 

While the kids were waiting for dismissal, they asked me if I liked the color green.  They pointed out that all of my dry erase markers on the ledge were green and there were lots of other green things in my room.  Then, one of the girls pointed out how everything in my room is color coded (the one organizational thing I have going for me), and someone else said my room looks like a rainbow.  What a polite way to point out that I am not an owner of a "pinnable" classroom!  :)  My kids are gems, and I wouldn't trade them for anything! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 30- Discovering slope-intercept form

Students in Math 8 graphed some functions last week by using function tables to evaluate the function for several x values and plotting the points.  Today, we discovered slope is the coefficient of x and the y-intercept is represented by the constant.  Tomorrow, we'll summarize these findings with a foldable.