Sunday, November 3, 2013

Currently November and a leaf project

Every month I say how I cannot believe it is the next month.  But taking down the halloween decorations in my house, time truly flies by.

Listening: I love "The Voice" and watching all of the stories and talent that is in the package is truly inspiring.

Loving: My students did a great job on their leaf projects (more to come on that after).  But it was cool to see them excited about a project.

Thinking: Having the extra hour today was so therapeutic in my sleeping hours/day ratio as well as getting work done.  However it is already getting dark and it's 3:30 pm

Wanting: I am getting married in 7 months and some change. So I am looking for some more time in the gym but man I cannot get up earlier than 5:00 am and by the end of the day I am so exhausted.  Someone help!

Needing: It is amazing that even though my team sends home emails daily as to the news and updates of the day.  I have yet to receive tissues, clorox wipes, and I want to add expo markers.  I cannot afford to be buying these things.  Any advise?

A yummy pin:

Now onto the leaf projects.  The students selected a leaf from their backyard.  Placed it in the middle of a coordinate plane the students made.  Then the students plotted 20+ coordinates around the leaf.  Here is one final project.

The rest of them are hanging in the hallway I will link another photo because they all came out so great!  This was also a great way to spend some class time before the craziness of Halloween and I got some common core standards in there.

What are your go to activities for students when they are too hyper to concentrate?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

This is Halloween!

I love this time of year.  It certainly has been a busy few weeks.  In class we have been busy learning about integers and the coordinate plane.

1) One of the first things I did was create a numberline on my floor from -10 to 10 and had various students stand on the numbers I asked questions like:
                      ~ (Name) is standing on -4 how far away from 0 is that?
                      ~ (Name) is standing on -5 (Name) is standing on 6 which is bigger
2) I then had the students graph and plot on a worksheet given in their math program

3) Then we played a game:
This is where I got the idea: Integer War

The game was called Integer War. The black cards were negative numbers, the red cards were positive numbers and then they had to compare them.  This was played like normal war where the person who ends up with the whole deck at the end wins.  My students loved this!  Recording sheet to follow:

You can download the recording sheet free from my Teacherspayteachers account:
After a few days of this we moved into the coordinate plane.
Open letter to fifth grade teachers: thank you for doing a great job on teaching this because I did not have to spend too much time reteaching.  I created a project (final going to be posted by the end of the week).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Currently October

Linking up again with Farley for currently October.  Another update on my life in 6th grade.

So I figured being my first year I am working with a math coach. She observed my brilliant idea which was millionaire review for a test I need to give this week. Well one thing I need work on is differentiation. She had lots of good things to say but things I need to change immediately:

1) the amount if time I talk. I am losing half the class if I go on. 
2) mad minutes are no more even though I see pros and cons, the students who are good will continue to be god and those who don't I'm going to take for intervention. 
3) I'm going to try centers two times a week. 
4) More peer interaction. 
5) More of me modeling behavior. My student love to talk. A lot. So a suggestion was to model a lot. 
6) become stricter with whiteboard use- no I drawing or writing when someone is presenting also nothing written that stays. 

So I have work to do but I am always learning. Here's to success!

Any helpful hints?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fractions, Fractions, Fractions and Freebies

During the past few weeks we have been spending a lot of time on fractions. First I did the butterfly method of adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. So the butterfly method is when you cross-multiply then add and/or subtract the products you get.  And you have to love pinterest because I found a great poster, however I included some examples in my interactive notes:

My only regret on teaching this method is that the student thought this method was the end all, be all for all fraction operations. Such as multiplication. I had to fight the butterfly through some quizzes... Yes this method is great for those students who DO not get the least common multiple concept, however I felt as though they were getting caught up in it when we transitioned to multiplying. Even though I do not know how often we talked about "You just multiply across, look how that works!"

 So then that brings me to multiplication. We started with some concept work building the model then moved into how it worked with the formula. For that I used Teaching with a mountain View for inspiration.  Here is my version of her poster:

She has some great task cards which are inexpensive and visual.  I purchased the multiplying and dividing fractions task cards.  I usually use the task cards as a scavenger hunt and then the students do all of them for extra practice and it gets them out of my hair and out of their seats.  Demonstration:

I then needed a foldable, I learned from last time they needed much of the "notes" done for them so I scaffolded the notes and created this masterpiece you can grab for free off teacherspayteachers:

Note: I purposefully left that last step blank so students can fill in Simplify so they do not forget.

With multiplication we talked about multiplying mixed numbers and for whatever reason this was the biggest hangup.  The three steps were getting lost in translation.  So we broke it down step by step with a game with three dice.  The students rolled three dice for the mixed number and rolled again and multiplied the two mixed numbers together.  I used this directly with my class.  My only suggestion is to do a couple with them.  Even though I did, and left an example on the board there were still a lot of dividing mishaps and converting issues.  Instructions and template you can grab for free off teacherspayteachers:

This week we are talking about division so more to come.

Do you have any fraction go-to activities?

NECAP coming soon.... UGH...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

First Day Activities

The first few weeks have seriously flown by.  I have five classes Purple, Blue, Red, Green, and Yellow of 6th grade math everyday for 45 minutes each.  Let me tell you how hard it is to get ANYTHING done in 45 minutes.  Started doing some center activities, will share some of those. 

On the first day I was inspired by 7th Grade Math teacher Extraordinaire and took her prompts as they were right to my classroom.

Math is important because...

What will Miss Kay need to do to help you this year?

My goal for math this year is...

Our classroom should be ___ everyday
This activity was really eye-opening in a moment I knew where my class was before I taught anything.  My favorite response to "What will Miss Kay do to help you in math this year" was "Teach math" from one of my lovely students to which I had to laugh and respond that the school hired me to do that.  Another majority vote was Our classroom should be ___ every day was fun and clean. 
This week we start NWEA.  I have to prep them for this test and HOW to take the test. 
These stickies were bought from a friend who worked at walgreens and at the time they were a deep discount at a whooping 15 cents a pack. 
You are also probably wondering what that 6 is on my board.  We played a number game where I posted the numbers 1-12 around the room.  I asked questions such as:
What month of the year were you born?
How old are you?
On a scale of 1-12 1 being you hate it and 12 being I love it and somewhere in the middle, how much do you like math?
That one sparked some conversation.
How many pets do you have (one student needed more than 12)
How many family members do you have?
What are some of your favorite first day activity.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Currently September

So how is it September?  Linking up with Farley for this months currently.  I have so much to update on, keep an eye out.  My classroom is getting to where I want it to be, getting better.  

I get to write morning messages every day, two things my students look forward to; daily celebrations for example this week is waffle week so I wished everyone a "Happy Waffle Wednesday".  Also I feature a different app every week this week was Mathmateer which is a free app where students can practice their math facts while creating their own rockets. 

Pinterest is where the heart is currently, I love the common core for ONLY the reason that many teachers are doing identical projects and topics so finding something is so easy.  I will have to share what I found that I used in my class (with pictures of course).  

The next few weeks we are going to be working on multiplying and dividing fractions so I am in the market for good ideas for math centers.  Any quality ideas?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Crazy week

So this past week has been interesting. I am glad I did not start planning because on Tuesday I got offered a full time teaching position. 6th grade math! I am still in my district. It has been a whirl wind. I am the special education class so lots of IEPS to look over. Look out for pictures, lesson ideas, shared items, etc. The students came Friday. Yes I was hired Tuesday and the students came Friday. 
As I wrap my head around what I am doing this week it was great to see some familiar faces from my work around the district. 
For now I will leave you with what I walked into Wednesday. 
Pretty much an empty room. It's come a long way since hopefully more to share soon!  
I hope this blog will be a place I can look back and get my best ideas and worst ideas. 
Miss Kay