Sunday, March 29, 2015

We can't choose...

iBooks for Reviews

I love iBook Projects Students are able to create meaning reviews of topics and make it interactive with videos and online practice links.

Friday in class, we reviewed Systems of Equations. Students created an iBook that included an example for each method, the type of solutions, vocabulary, video tutorials, and practice problems.

The students were very engaged in the project. They could only use their notes and Interactive Notebook, so it gave me a great opportunity to see which students completed their note-taking requirements throughout the unit.

Some students had a few difficulties understanding the format of iBook author, so they decided to create their book in Microsoft Word and then create an ePub.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Health and Wellness in Math

You might be thinking what does Health and Wellness have to do with Math. Well, the two is perfectly linked together. Currently students are working on a Health and Wellness PBL in our Math 1 class.

The project required students to find the BMR and BMI and use this data to create a table, graphs, and equations to make future predictions. We didn't stop link this project to health and wellness students are required to create a 30 minute workout video, find 10 healthy snacks for teens, and 2 healthy recipes.

Students will use Discovery Education Boards to create a presentation for this project. Ester Marsh, our YMCA Health and Wellness Coordinator will come visit us on Wednesday to talk to the students about Health and Wellness.

The students are very excited this project and it is one that we will be visiting each week until the end of the semester. Has we continue throughout the semester we will look at ways to make healthier meals, using math to compare calories, carbs, fats, etc.

Stay tune for the final products and our speaker.....

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Math and Read Across America Day

So March 2nd is NEA's Read Across America Day. The 2015 theme is Oh the Places You'll Go! What a great theme to integrate math in the Math 1/Algebra 1 classroom.

We have just started our Linear Functions unit and what better way to integrate the book with a lesson on Distance and Midpoint!

Students will research 5 places they want to visit  and "pit stops" in North Carolina. Using Google Maps they will create a map and find the coordinates of their visits and "pit stops' to find the total distance and midpoint.

The project will be presented using iMovie.

Students will be given the assignment on Thursday to work on for a few days. On March 2nd, I will read the book, followed by a viewing of their presentations.

I am so excited and I know the students will be also.  I will definitely most pictures of videos of our Read Across America Day event.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day and Direct Variation

What could Valentine's Day and Direct Variation have in common? More than my students thought. My third block class was excited to see the direct connection direct variation had on recipes.

After learning and practicing direct variation, students chose a recipe that they wanted to increase or decrease. Students created direct variation equations to increase and decrease the ingredients and also made their dish.

This is another assignment I found online that I can not recall where. I have to do a better job at keeping documentation on these awesome projects to give the wonderful educators credit.

I love giving my students the opportunity to see the connection math has in their daily lives. So often they think math is that one topic they will never ever use outside of the four walls of my classroom. Their experience in Room 117 will definitely change that...after the Valentine's Day treat, we will embark on a Get Fit project to connect linear equations....

Stay tune for that one!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Writing in Math

I love using RAFTs in math to motivate and inspire students to write about what they are learning. In Unit 1 students completed RAFTS on Relations and Functions. I found a cute activity already created (and I don't know where I found it) that provided students to be creative with their knowledge on Unit 1. Here are a few examples.

For some of my students this assignment was a bit challenging since it is the very first time we did it. But I think integrating it more into our Units,  students will get the hang of it. For their first time, I thought they did a great job.

Background on RAFTs
The more often students write, the more proficient they become as writers.  RAFT is a writing strategy that helps students understand their role as a writer and how to effectively communicate their ideas and mission clearly so that the reader can easily understand everything written.  Additionally, RAFT helps students focus on the audience they will address, the varied formats for writing, and the topic they'll be writing about. By using this strategy, teachers encourage students to write creatively, to consider a topic from multiple perspectives, and to gain the ability to write for different audiences. In the book, Strategic Writing, Deborah Dean explains that writing for differing purposes and audiences may require using different genres, different information, and different strategies. Developing a sense of audience and purpose in writing, in all communication, is an important part of growth as a writer.
RAFT assignments encourage students to uncover their own voices and formats for presenting their ideas about content information they are studying.  Students learn to respond to writing prompts that require them to think about various perspectives:
  • Role of the Writer: Who are you as the writer? A movie star? The President? A plant?
  • Audience: To whom are you writing? A senator?  Yourself? A company?
  • Format: In what format are you writing? A diary entry? A newspaper?  A love letter?
  • Topic: What are you writing about?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Classroom Management

Classroom management is not classroom discipline. Classroom management is the procedures, routines, and expectations that you have in place to keep students organized, orderly, and on task to be successful in your class.

Effective teachers use classroom management strategies to help maintain an educational environment conducive to learning. When teachers implement these classroom strategies in their classroom, classroom behaviors that impede learning are decreased.

“High expectations are the key to everything.” ~ Sam Walton

All classrooms are different, but I have had much success when I provide my students with clear expectations and solid procedures for students to follow. You must day one being firm and consistent. Explain, teach, and model all classroom procedures and routines.  The success of your school year will all depend on how well you provide clear expectations for your students.

Room Setup

I always begin my new semester of teaching with a blueprint of how I want to setup my room. The flow of the room arrangements is very important in keeping order. As students walk into my classroom I have my Student Center set up. My Student Center is where students turn in their assignments (Inbox), pick up absent work (Absentee Folder), Weekly Notes Notebook (where all notes for the week is kept for students who are absent to copy), and sign-in if they are tardy. On the board behind the Student Center, students will find the daily agenda, objectives, important information, homework, etc. This gives students an opportunity to know is expected each day in class. It definitely eliminates the questions such as: What’s the date? What’s for homework? What are we doing next?

Clear expectations are provided to students for turning in assignments and collecting missing work when they are absent. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so I make sure to say and correct mistakes in these procedures for at least the first month of school. Most students get it after the second week, but I give them a month before they are penalized for not following my expectations.

At the back of my classroom I have my Supply Center, which includes a paper, a pencil sharpener, calculators, math manipulatives, scissors, markers, etc. This has worked great for me because it eliminates classroom interruptions while students are learning. Students are free to borrow any supplies to assist them in being successful in my class.

I am always rearranging my student’s seating arrangements base on the assignments we are doing in class. From single rows to grouping, I believe seating arrangements should be an important part of your lesson plans. Seating students base on ability and behavior is key to a successful lesson. To help with the constant change, I create a seating chart using a file folder and post-it notes. This allows me to rearrange the seating arrangements daily, weekly, or whenever. At the beginning of the year, students completes a getting to know you card that is used as name plates for new seating arrangements.

Procedures and Expectations

Teaching and modeling procedures and expectations for students is essential to an effective classroom management system. I define procedures as a list of expectations students should follow to make the classroom conducive to learning. Procedures include, but not limited to, how to enter the class, turning in work, sharpening your pencil, using the restroom. The key to students correctly doing exactly what you need for them to do is modeling, and correcting, until it becomes second nature to them. 

Expectations are a set of rules that creates a safe and orderly environment for students to thrive successfully in. Expectations should be stated as positive statements and be limited to no more 5. In my class I have a class motto, mission, and vision instead of rules. My students are scholars in my classroom and we use the motto, mission, and vision to make wise decisions. When students are not choosing to make good decisions, a quick reminder that the behavior is not what a scholar would do redirects them. I have found this method to be very effective.

Of course their will always be a student who decides not to demonstrate the best behavior or make the best decisions, in this case use a combination of redirecting and refocusing techniques to remind them what scholars do. If you have started the year by developing a relationship with your students, this redirecting and refocusing will be effective. They key is how well you have developed that relationship at the beginning. Base on your class, other consequences (removal from the class, detention, etc.) might be needed. A great guide is using the RESPECT model (page )for defusing classroom behaviors. Just remember to be firm and consistent from day one.

My Classroom Management Resource Pack will be available February 1st. In this pack I have shared will help your create an effective classroom management system that will allow your students to be successful. Get your copy via PayPal or check my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for your copy for $6.99
Now available...only $5.00 for a limited time only

Get our students understanding on topics. You can easily assess students on each topic.

The resource pack has forms, documents, and advice on ways to manage your classroom effectively.

Educational Products

Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Staff -