Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Blogging Hiatus

Wow.... It has been a long time since I have had time to blog and I have really missed it.  A lot has happened in the last year, and unfortunately I just never had the time to make it to my blog.  I tried to at least keep up with sharing on Twitter, but I even had trouble keeping up with that after a while... :o(

I usually blog a lot over the summer, reflecting on the previous year and sharing my ideas for the next year.  Last summer was the exception....  After 15 years, I decided that it was time for a change, and I bought a new house in another town....  I spent all summer, going through the moving process...  My new house closed the same week that school started.  I started moving little by little, but I was not able to fully move until a month after school started.... After I finally moved,  I then had to spend the next two months fixing up my old house and get it ready to put on the market.... This again consumed school nights and weekends.... So when I wasn't planning for the next week, I was either unpacking at my new house, or at my old house fixing it up.  I finally got my old house on the market and sold it in November....  And then in January, my father ended up in the hospital and it took me 3 months to get him back home....

This year, I also started a new position at school....  Our district started a new "Coaching Model" and instead of having full time instructional coaches, they have teachers/instructional coaches. Teachers teach half the day, and instructional coach the other half of the day....  All teachers/instructional coaches are also department leads.  (I had experienced instructional coaching the year before, but only one period a day... Our school still had a full time math coach, so I was still able to maintain teaching as my focus.)  I never envisioned how overwhelming it would be to take on the position as teacher/7th and 8th Grade Math Instructional Coach.... I had 7 teachers in my department, 3 which were brand new teachers, never been in the classroom.  I had a lot of responsibility as a coach, including the curriculum.  I learned that I have more success with the teachers who are open to coaching and did not resist.  :o(

All in all, this was by far the most exhausting year I have ever had.... I had a lot on my plate, and tried to remember to maintain a focus on my teaching and my students. This was easier said than done.  I would teach my two blocks of students in the morning, 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th periods.  I was technically an instructional math coach 5th period and 6th period because I had prep 7th period.  I rarely used my prep period and if I wasn't subbing during 7th period, I was in the classrooms coaching, because this was the toughest period of the day for most teachers.... Every day, 1st lunch and 2nd lunch fell during 5th period.  I never took a lunch and usually had a working lunch because during 5th period I would either have students coming in for help, to make up work, or other teachers asking for help during their prep or lunch.... After school was the toughest because I had to figure out which hat to wear and that was very exhausting. Was I in "Coach Mode", "Lead Mode", or "Teacher Mode"?... I had so many meetings to attend regularly.... Coaches Meetings, Leadership Meetings, Curriculum and Instruction Meetings, IEP meetings, and 504 meetings. I had to have department planning meetings for 7th grade math and 8th grade math every week  and I needed to do intervention with my students on a regular basis.... And after school I still had to also do my regular teacher duties such as homework, grades, get my room ready for the next day, supply orders, phone calls home, yard duty, answer more teacher questions, and regular visits from past students. 

Even though this year was overwhelming and exhausting, I am very thankful that I was able to persevere and keep my focus on my students and my teaching.  I am so proud of my students this year and the success they had on the CAASPP Summative Assessment.  My students rocked it more than ever this year.  Hard work does pay off... :o)

Next year, I will be teaching less and coaching more.... I am hoping that next year will be less exhausting and that I will be able to maintain my blogging more....  Until then, this summer I plan to update my free resources on my blog and catch up on some blogging about my lessons, and ideas for next year.... :o)

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog.... :o)

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Socrative Math Land Amusement Park Team Task

I know it's been a while since I have blogged and shared my classroom ideas, but I have been super busy with my new part time TOSA role as an Instructional Coach, as well as my normal duties as an 8th Grade Math Teacher.  :o)

I did some really great things with my Pythagorean Unit this year. Since I don't always have time to blog, follow me on Twitter and you will see everything I do.

Today I wanted to blog about my Math Land Amusement Park Team Task.  This has always been one of my favorite Team Tasks.  Originally, this Team Task was created as a paper task.  A couple of years ago, I made this Team Task into "Digital Task Cards".

My Socrative Math Land Amusement Park Team Task

Changes to the Team Task This Year
This year instead of having the students plot the points, I created the Math Land Amusement Park Coordinate Graph for the students.
My Math Land Amusement Park Coordinate Graph File. Feel free to download and use.

Team Task Structure
In this Team Task, the students took turns being Team Mathematician.

The Team Mathematician would:
- Facilitate the problem.
- Read the situation card to the "Team".
- Use the Amusement Park Key to find the points needed.
All Team Members would discuss and complete the problem as a Team.  Each Team Member would do the work on their own graph, and their own whiteboard.
The Team Mathematician would:
- Ask all of the Team Members if they agree before the "Team" enters an answer.

Math Land Amusement Park Attraction Key:
Math Land Amusement Park Attraction Key File. Feel free to download and use.

My Socrative Math Land Amusement Park Team Task Digital Task Card Examples

Math Land Amusement Park Team Task:  Feel free to use. :o)
Socrative Code: SOC-26989390
Socrative Link: Math Land Amusement Park Team Task Digital Task Cards

A Blast From the Past
If you would like the students to plot the points for Math Land Amusement Park, feel free to use this file from last year with the coordinates for each attraction.
Math Land Amusement Park (Part 1) Graphing the Points File. Feel free to download and use.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog... Feel free to leave feedback... :o)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Interactive Math Poster Activities

My students love doing My Poster Activities in my math classes.  I like the poster activities to be self paced, so I usually create the My Poster Activities in Showbie or Socrative. This allows my students to work through the activity at their own pace and allows me to help answer questions and clear up misconceptions throughout the activity.

Here are a few of the "Poster Activities" that we have done this year in my 8th Grade Math Classes.

Linear Relationships: Proportional and Non-proportional Relationships 

My students were struggling with determining when Linear Relationships were Proportional Relationships and when they were Non-proportional Relationships, so I created this poster activity to help the students see the similarities and differences between the two Linear Relationships. The key to this activity is the color-coding.

Students cut out the situations, tables and graphs and followed the task directions to create the poster. As the students completed each step, they answered questions in Socrative.  They used the color-coded "Sticky Notes" to explain how to determine Proportional and Non-proportional Relationships in situations, tables and graphs.

My Download:

My Socrative Code:
My Proportional/Non-Proportional Relationships Poster Activity: SOC-25465286

My coordinating color-coded wall charts for Linear Relationships.

Function Figures Poster

We had a very limited time to focus on nonlinear functions, so I wanted to create an activity that would help the students remember the various types of nonlinear functions. I got this idea from @Radical4Math's Function Girl Posters at radical4math.blogspot.com.

When I saw her Function Girl Posters, I knew I had to make her posters into Socrative "Digital Task Cards".

After the students completed my Socrative "Digital Task Cards" on Function Girl, they made their own Function Figures Posters in my Showbie Function Figures Poster Activity.

My Socrative Code:
Function Girl "Digital Task Cards"- SOC-24563972

My Download:
Function Figures {Student Copy} Download

My Download:
My Function Figures Poster Activity Showbie Download

Elimination Word Problems Poster

This is just simple poster activity for the students to show what they know about elimination and word problems.  Students set up and solved introduction elimination word problems and then used "Sticky Notes" to explain the solution in the context of the real world situation.

My Socrative Code:
Elimination Word Problems "Digital Task Cards" - SOC-25184104

Thank you for stopping by. I hope I have inspired ideas for your classroom.
Feel free to leave feedback... :o)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

My Google Forms Formative Assessment on Slope

This year I am trying to follow through with my idea from last year on using Google Forms to "Check For Understanding" with Formative Assessments.  I have created my second Google Forms Formative Assessment on Slope and the Rate of Change.

My goal with these Formative Assessments are to use the data to help prepare them for the more rigorous types of Common Core questions.

Here are my students taking my Google Forms Formative Assessment on Slope and the Rate of Change.

Here are the five questions that are on my Google Forms Formative Assessment.

Here is the Google Forms link for this Formative Assessment.
Feel free to copy and use.

Formative Assessment  -Slope and the Rate of Change

Here is a paper version if you don't have access to technology, but would like to use my Formative Assessment on Slope and the Rate of Change. :o)

Formative Assessment - Slope and the Rate of Change PDF

Thanks for stopping by my blog... Feel free to leave feedback... :o)