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.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Day 5- Inside Outside Circle

I love Kagan structures.  Today I introduced my classes to inside-outside circle.  They made the cards with point-slope form equations on one side and the given slope and point on the other.  This kept things moving and got the students discussing math.  Score! 

I wish I had taken a picture of whiteboards in my period 7/8 class.  I challenged them to write point-slope from two points and also give slope-intercept form.  I wouldn't tell them if they were right (which they hated), but they spent a good 15 minutes discussing strategy.  There were some great moments, like when one group thought they had found the y-intercept and graphed the equations to find they had parallel lines.  "Oh, that means our y-intercept is wrong," one of them commented.  Back to the drawing board they went.  The discussions were so rich that I didn't cut them off until the very last minute to get things wrapped up at the end of class, but I made time to point out the SOMP I'd witnessed: "Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them," "Look for and make use of structure," "Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others," etc.  We didn't discuss the right answer.  I'm not sure if that was a brilliant idea or evidence of poor timing.  I like the idea that they left my room having had a rich discussion and no one left with the idea that they did all that work just to be wrong.  I don't like that there wasn't a clear conclusion to the problem I'd posed.  We'll follow up with more examples on Tuesday.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 4- Foldables!

Overheard in my classroom today: "I love doing notes on foldables!"  We'll see if the enthusiasm lasts.  For now, I enjoy it and am having a good time.  I cannot, cannot, cannot wait for Tuesday when I get to set up the composition books with the kids for their ISNs and really get into things!  I gave them a week to get their materials and now I wish I had required them sooner!  For now, we're just tucking these in a folder and saying a prayer we don't lose them before Tuesday! 

Don't you just love Kimberly Geswein fonts?  They're adorable! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 3: Attention-grabbing chant

This is our attention-grabbing chant.  I introduced it today with pleasing results.  I'm going to keep using it this week and I suspect they'll have their part memorized by early next week. :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day 2

Back for more action today!  We worked on our Multiple Intelligences, Learning Styles, and True Color Personality today.  Thanks to Sarah at Everybody is a Genius and Sarah at Math Equals Love for sharing their ideas and links on the topic.  I took the surveys and summaries and condensed them into a little booklet (three front and back pages folded in half).  We worked through it today and I was fascinated to learn a couple of things:

1. My Math 8 class (on grade level) is composed of exactly half auditory learners.  Before I did the survey I suspected that more of my advanced students would be auditory learners since that's what teachers fall back on when they're being lazy.  Wrong!  Fully 1/2 and 2/3 of my two advanced classes are kinesthetic learners. 

2. 20/28 and 19/29 students in my advanced groups are orange when it comes to the true colors personality.  Yikes!  Teachers are generally gold (very organized and planned).  I'm green (scientific) but gold is a very close second.  Oranges tend to be spontaneous, risk takers who enjoy a lot of action.  I'll be busy keeping these classes engaged and out of trouble this year!

Here's a picture of my booklet.  :)


Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 1

Ah, the first day of school!  It was busy and exciting but yet oddly calm.  The group we had in 8th grade last year was very difficult and already I can see this year's group may be a much-needed breath of fresh air. 

This year, we've become a PBIS school.  Our slogan is "We show wildcat PRIDE!"  The kids are getting a lesson last period each day this week on one of the 5 words.  They really got into the lesson on being prepared and had some great ideas to share.  "Miss B," one of them asked, "does taking a shower count as being prepared?"  Oh my goodness, yes!  My class is adorable! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 0

I can't believe I spent 8-3 at school on a Saturday, but I did.  I've spent more time getting ready this year than any other year and I still felt unprepared until today.  Now that I have copies of everything I need for the first day, I can relax somewhat! 

My class is now starting to show two sides- math and French!  I'm thrilled to start teaching French one period a day this year!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Day -1

Today was the last day of prep before school opens on Monday!

Homework incentive board.  :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day -2

Today was the BEST day of my teaching career thus far.  That's strange, because kids are my favorite part of my job and there were no kids around.  What happened?  Well, I get to teach French I during our school's intervention/enrichment period this year.  Huzzah!  I've been asking for this opportunity since I started 5 years ago.  The position's been open, but there's always been a great need for math.  With our transition to common core I'm actually freed up to not teach a math intervention. 

My picture, therefore, is not of my classroom, but rather of some of the books I collected when I lived in France with the idea I'd one day get to teach French.  This is my dream come true!

Other great things: My computer is fixed and my hard drive was in tact so I didn't lose any files.  I was really sweating that!  Plus, my math team did an hour plus of awesome planning for our function unit today and I'm excited to get that started! 

Mathematically (and linguistically) yours,
Miss B

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day -3

Three days until the kiddos arrive!  Today we spent the morning in meetings learning about evaluations, instructional technology, PBIS, and Common Core.  Thankfully, the afternoon was ours to spend as we chose, following our traditional potluck luncheon.

Here's a new area in my room this year, all set up to welcome students' messages about their upcoming events in the school and community.  I want to attend one rec sport or performance per month this year.  I tend to do the events that happen at school, but find that I'm not all that well informed about the ones held elsewhere.  I'm hoping the kids will let me know and I can support them when my schedule allows.   (I saw this idea on another blog, someone who teaches high school stats, I think, but I can't find the link.  It was Ms. ApproxNormal!  Check out hers here.)

The collection of flyswatters isn't an indication of a pest problem, but rather awaiting rounds of the flyswatter game this year.  If you're unfamiliar, you put vocabulary on the board, give 2 students flyswatters, give a description of the vocabulary, and the first person to smack the right term earns a point for the team.  Best with small groups!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day -4

Today was my first (paid) day back at work, so I thought it would also be a good time to start posting my daily photos.

Ready for ISNs

Mathematically yours, 
Miss B

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

180 Days of Math Classes

I just saw a fun idea over on Twitter and I'm going to (try to) jump on the bandwagon this year, along with everything else I'll be doing in 13-14.

Much like the 365 bloggers or Project Life scrapbookers, I'll be posting once a day for the 180 days of school.  You can expect lots of these to be just photos with minimal captions.  I'll try to keep up with semi-regular posts of interesting ideas and thoughts as well.  To see all of my 180 posts, just use the tab at the top of my blog. My first day of teaching is August 26th, but I might start with a few sneak peeks of my classroom the week prior. 

Several other tweeps are going to do this as well and I'll add links to their 180s below.  If you're joining in, leave me a comment with a link so I can add to this list.  Also note what subject/grade you teach if it's not clear from your title.  Thanks!

170ish Days of Math (Out of the Zone)
180 Days of Math Post-its (Teacher Leaders)
180 Days of Geometry (Crazy Math Teacher Lady)
180 Days (Restructuring Algebra) 
Peek Inside my Classrooom (druinok)
Window of Opportunity (Shlager)