Saturday, August 31, 2013

First 2 Weeks of School

It has taken me 3 weeks to consider writing another blog post.  I guess I've gotten into a rut of only writing about my projects and posting pictures.  As I try to think what I could post about, it hit me.  This is a blog.  I can write about anything (school related).

Well, let me start back in the beginning of August.  My principal asked me if I was still interested in coaching the varsity cheerleaders!  I had shown interest in May, but they had hired a friend of mine.  Actually, I was relieved!  So you can imagine my stress at being asked when she took the Elementary Asst. Principal's job and gave it coaching!  Of course, I said yes.  We started practice on August 12th and have had 2 games so far.  The girls have asked on a few occasions if they could cross a cheer off the list but I allowed them to take some creative freedom (with my suggestions and approval) and change them.  We have had several compliments on the new and improved versions!  I want them to feel like they have a say (within reason).

This year, I also made the decision to continue being the PBS Coach.  We haven't had administrative support for the last couple of years, so I wasn't sure if I still wanted to do it.  Since I said yes, we have scheduled our PBS Team meetings for every other month, scheduled mentoring for the months with no PBS meeting, sketched out mentoring ideas for the first couple meetings and rewarded our students for their FCAT scores from last year.  We took 48 students to the theater for their scores of 3.5 or higher on the writing portion of the FCAT this past Friday.  On Thursday, we walked 130 or so (197 deserved it, but chose not to go) to the nearby park and grilled hot dogs.  Those students received 3s, 4s or 5s on Reading and Math FCAT as well as the EOCs.  We had asked for donations last year for prizes for a raffle for those who received 4s and 5s.  We gave our over 20 prizes including 2 ipod shuffles and 2 Kindles.

Since I am officially a coach, I need to attend the Booster Club meetings each month.  It gives me the opportunity to help as well as work for funds for the cheerleaders' travel expenses, including concession stand duty.

As well as being a Varsity Cheerleader, my youngest daughter is a senior this year!  The parents of the senior class had a meeting on August 27th to discuss/start planning Project Graduation, and I left that meeting as the Secretary!  Sure, I have plenty of time...LOL!  We have so many things planned...selling Krispy Kreme donuts, creating/selling cookbooks (I'm on that committee), multiple BBQ dinner sales, raffling a rifle or shotgun (we are a small rural community where everyone has a hunting rifle!), etc.  We are going to try to participate in all our local festivals throughout the year too, selling food and our cookbooks.  Please send me a comment if you have any fundraising ideas to share!

The day after the Project Graduation meeting, I became a member (not an officer) of the SAC (School Advisory Committee).  I am there as the PBS Coach, because we have reward ideas that need funding. 

WHEW!!!  Considering all my new undertakings and the fact that our whole school is contained in one side of our campus (we are under construction for a new school), I am having a terrific year!  My classes are well-behaved, smart, eager!!!  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Angle Types Foldable & Transparent Protractors for INB

As I was working on Geometry unit plans today, I came up with an activity.  This activity was designed as a vocabulary printable/foldable to be cut out and glued into an Interactive Notebook.  It features mini file folders with vocabulary words printed on the front.

There are 6 pages in the file.  There is a page for each of the 5 angles (acute, right, obtuse, straight and reflex), as well as a page of blank ones.  On each page, there are 6 labeled file folders with 2 extra blank ones at the bottom (didn't want to waste space!). The last page can be printed and used for any lesson in any subject.

I printed mine on different colors of paper, so each student would get one of each color.

You can download the file on my TpT site.

Here are some pics...

I have also been tossing around the idea to print protractors onto transparencies for each student.  Well, I stuck one of the transparencies for copiers in my laser printer and printed out 10 business card-sized protractors. I made a pocket foldable, typed "Protractor" on the front and "glue into INB" on the back, put 4 on a page and printed them out on colored paper.

You can download the file on my TpT site.

Here are some pics...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Standards for Mathematical Practices Bulletin Board

Everyone had his/her own version of a Standards for Mathematical Practices bulletin board/display. Sarah at EverybodyIsAGenius posted her kid-friendly version of the MPs.  I took her idea and made it into a bulletin board.

A month or so back, I made 5 multi-colored owls on my Cameo and wanted to use them in some way to decorate my room.  I modeled them after an owl border I bought at Dollar Tree.  Sunday, I made 3 more and decided they would go on a MP bulletin board.

I used Sarah's version, chose a cute font (HelloQueenie) and printed them out on colored scrapbook paper that matched the bellies of my owls. I decided to use the purple background owl duct tape as my border.

While at school on Sunday, I completed one bulletin board and started three more.  I have been waiting for our laminating film to come in to laminate all my decorations, but it's not looking like we will have if before our first week back.  So, I went ahead and started on my boards.

Once I get my room ideas done, I can get back on the reorganization/planning of my classes.  After attending a Common Core training last week, I need to get busy before I forget what I learned.  Watch for a post on my progress...

Here's the bulletin board...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Trip to Target Dollar Deals Section & Dollar Tree

Today, my daughter and I went to Target.  Of course, I couldn't resist stopping by the Dollar Deals Section!  Here's what I found...

* red and yellow dry erase pockets for $1
* turquoise and yellow pocket charts
* yellow bulletin board border storage/pocket chart

Here is a close-up of the bulletin board border storage/pocket chart.  (Border not included)

This is what it looks like closed with its velcro straps.

A few days ago, I stopped by to check out all the new teacher stuff at Dollar Tree and look what I found...their teacher stuff wasn't in yet...
The paw print kraft paper is for a bulletin board background.

The tissue paper will be used for bulletin board borders.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A to Z Rules & Expectations

I found this document at School of Fisher and printed it out to post in my classroom.

A few weeks later I came across it and had an inspiration.  I modified some of the expectations and typed them into a business card template I created in Excel.  On the first day of school, I will hand each student a card as they walk into my room (more than one if it's a small class).

As a break in my "first day speech", I will ask the students to read their card, starting with A.  This will help the students take ownership of the class expectations.  If we have extra time, I can have them read them again and again, trying to read them faster each time!

This is what they look like... You can download the Excel file here, but you will need to download the font RowdyFunky for it to look the same.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Student INB Calendar

In my quest to design an awesome interactive notebook for my Geometry students, I thought it wouldn't be complete without a calendar that students can use to write down assignments and due dates.  I created 16 pages which will be copied 2 to a page and front/back.  On each of these 4 pages, there is a page that has "glue to your INB" and 3 calendar months...see below...

Pages will be copied upside down from each other so that when you fold and flip August up, you will see September and October inside facing the correct direction.

I have taped them onto notebook paper and put them in a 3-ring binder.  Since I'm still designing the INB, I want to have the flexibility to move pages around and add them as needed.  My calendar pages will be at the back of the INB.

The calendar is Monday thru Friday, August to June.  I made it only weekdays to allow more space for each day.  You can get a zip file from my TpT site.  The file contains an Excel version (so that you can customize your events prior to printing), a pdf version (to print and allow students to write in all events) and a Word doc (explaining the printing, photocopying and gluing).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Word Wall Pocket Chart

A couple of years ago, I found these online and asked my school to buy a couple for my classroom.  Well, apparently, they liked my idea of using them as a word wall so much that they bought several and gave them out to anyone that wanted them for their classroom.

At the beginning of last school year, I bought a pocket chart stand to hang it since the Command hooks wouldn't hold it on my freshly painted walls.  I used butterfly duct tape to divide it into 3 subjects.  That summer, I had bought a lot of word strips from Dollar Tree, so an idea was born.  I put them in "rainbow order" because that's what I do...I know, OCD!  (I passed it on to my girls, too!  They always put their crayons, colored pencils or markers in rainbow order before they could start coloring!!  Hope they pass it on to my grandchildren, too!)

On the right in the pic, is a lime green shoe organizer from Walmart.

Close-up of shoe organizer with trays of word strips.  The letter sticker on the end is for the subject.
Close-up of tray of word strips organized by subject and section.
Close-up of words on the word strips for the first section of Geometry.
Here are 9 more handled trays for other miscellaneous items.  Three fit perfectly into each plastic magazine holder.
 Another angle...
I got these from Big Lots with no particular plan in mind for (I think) $1.80 each.  I found them on the same aisle as the hotdog containers, cracker containers, etc.

There are even 2 of them in my medicine cabinet at home.  I look for more every time I go into Big Lots, but haven't found any lately.

Small Pocket Chart Idea

Before I had a chance to start this post, I saw this on Pinterest using a small pocket chart to hold journal prompts.  Last year, I bought 4 small pocket charts from either the Target Dollar Deals or Dollar Tree.  I shop at both frequently and many times my purchases become a blur!

The ones I bought are purple, blue, green and red (wish they had yellow because my subject colors are purple, yellow and green).  You can see 2 of them below hanging on awesomely strong magnet hooks from Lakeshore Learning in Tampa.

My plan is to create challenge problems (or take some from here) and print them on business cards (numbered).  The problems can be used as a station or whole-class.  The charts will hold 3 business cards on each row.  I will definitely use the purple (Geometry), but not sure about other colors yet.

Composition Books

Last summer, I found a pin on Pinterest that said teachers can get composition books cut in half at Home Depot or Lowe's for cheap to no cost.

Well, while shopping at Walmart today, I had to peruse the school supplies (daughter rolls eyes and smiles knowingly) as they were being freshly stocked.  Then, I found this and had to take a picture... Cute, huh?  They come in lime, black, purple, pink and aqua.

Now in the next pic, you will notice the price!

Halfway down and across that aisle are regular sized composition books, both wide and college ruled.  They cost either $0.50 for plain marble ones or $0.97 for a little fancier ones.  The ones cut in half, which are the same number of pages, are $1.97!!!  Unbelievable!!  This is one of those instances that I would use to teach my students real-world lessons...are you getting the most bang for your buck, or buck ninety seven?!?!?!  I think NOT!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Trigonometry Formulas Video

I made this video with my Pre-Calc class at a former school, under a former name probably 6 or 7 years ago.  As I was read misscalcul8's blog (again!), I was reminded of it.  They had so much fun designing the posters and doing the "stunts".  One student was on crutches and one was hoarse!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pre-Cut Paper Circles...WCYDWT?

Oh the possibilities of these pre-cut circles... I found these last week at Michaels Arts & Crafts for $5.99.  Middle School OCD said she found a pack of 100 at Lakeshore Learning for around $4 a few years back.  I looked in their store in Tampa last week and couldn't find them.  They also don't carry it on their website.

This year (and two years ago), I used paper plates (the cheap, unwaxed ones) and had my students demonstrate their new vocab and labeling of a circle.  Here's the activity and the picture of them hanging on 2 clotheslines the width of my room (60+ students/plates).  The 9 backwards plates on the left are waiting for absent students...

I think this coming year I will use these circles and display them temporarily before having students place them into the INB.  If they put them in their INB, I won't be able to have them use the back...just a thought...

Middle School OCD uses them as a hands-on activity to show diameter, radius, circumference and area on one circle.  On another circle, she demonstrates complementary, supplementary and vertical angles.

My ideas:
GEOM - central angles and their intercepted arcs, inscribed angles and their intercepted arcs, area of sector and circle, arc length and circumference, right triangles inscribed in a semicircle, cyclic quadrilaterals, discovering pi using circumference and diameter,

TRIG - unit circle - radians, degrees and coordinates

I'm probably going to have to make a trip back to Michaels because I have more ideas than circles!!
I will keep thinking... Leave me a comment if you have any suggestions!

Discrete vs. Continuous Poster

I just found a blog that I haven't read yet through a Pinterest link.  The title of the post was Marshmallow Minute.  John Berray uses examples of a Lite Brite and an Etch-a-Sketch to differentiate between discrete and continuous.

Even though I'm not currently teaching Algebra, I could use it to clear up misconceptions in my Pre-Calc class.  Here is the poster I made from his inspiration.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Got Transparencies?

At the end of the year, when everyone was cleaning out and moving, I was offered lots of old stuff that others didn't need.  I hate to throw stuff away if there is ANY way I could repurpose it!  Well, when they offered me transparencies (write-on, copy and ink/laser jet), I couldn't resist.  My first thought was to cut something out using my Cameo.

A couple of years ago, I used them as dividers in my mini 3-ring binder.  So, I thought I would share pics of the mini 3-ring binder as well as a daytimer and a regular 3-ring binder.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me!  I would love to hear comments and suggestions!

Daytimer - I cut the transparencies in half, then hole-punched using the Franklin Covey hole punch.

Mini 3-Ring Binder - cut transparencies to 6" x 9.5". To hole punch I readjusted my regular hole punch but you can use a single punch.

 Regular 3-Ring binder - used the whole transparencies and hole-punched as usual.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bulletin Board Ideas

When I moved out of my old room, I took my three 4' x 4' bulletin boards with me (they would've been demolished with the room otherwise!).  There is only one 4' x 6' bulletin board in my new room, but the room has a lot of empty wall space.  Over the summer, I am gonna talk my hubby into hanging them for me!  (He won't mind because he gives me so much support, even offering crafty suggestions!)  Hopefully before that half of the school is demo'ed, I can find one more 4' x 4' board.

So, I have written about my Silhouette Cameo in previous blogs...well, this one's not any different.  I have created 4 bulletin boards and 1 wall decoration using it.

College BB 4' x 6' - I made these pennants using my Cameo and as time goes on, I will be adding other colleges/universities.  FAU and UF were my first designs seen here, hubby took one of the UF Gator ones for his office.  The other 2 are local and many of our students go there.

Keys to Success 4' x 4' - the background for this one is actually cream colored duck fabric from Walmart with black skeleton keys on it.  The border will be scrunched black tulle.

Data Wall 4' x 4' - on top of the 11" x 17" colored-coded sheets, I display a bar graph showing letter grades by test.  Thru the holes on the banner pieces, I am going to put 1" lime green ribbon and tie it at the ends to make it look like its hanging.  My old version can be seen here.

Facts & Quotes 4' x 4' - to display fun facts and famous quotes...facts/quotes printed on colored paper will be displayed over each of the thought bubbles. That's me at the bottom with the pi shirt...LOL!

Myths about Math - this design will go on the wall over my front whiteboard.  I want them to be able to see it without having to turn around.  Perhaps, if they read it enough, it will sink in!

For the other 4' x 4' BB that I am hunting for, I'm going to either make into a station board, a challenge board or change it with my geometry lessons...  

Ticket out the Door Poster

Next year, instead of using index cards for exit tickets, I am going to use post-it notes. You can get them for less money (think Dollar Tree and Big Lots) and they don't really have to stick well or for a long time.

I found a generic brand of hot pink "thumbs up" stickies at Walmart and had a great idea!  I would apply the stickies to a poster board, apply numbers and a title, then laminate. When students leave the room they will stick the post-it to their number on the poster.

I created my vinyl numbers and title on the Silhouette Cameo my hubby bought me for my birthday last year! After an expensive trip to Michaels, I had the perfect pinks for the title!