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

Monday, August 5, 2013

Currently August - 15 days left

I am linking up with Farley for her August Currently better late than never I always say =)

It seems like yesterday it was June and I was working on planning the summer camp, which seemed like worlds away.  Now the camp is over and we are 15 days away from the beginning teacher workshops, but the official end of summer "vacation".  I put it in quotes because although I got TONS done this summer as far as my personal life, I do not feel like I had a vacation.  However, I digress.

Listening - I listen to the radio constantly, and when I first heard this song it was a cover on youtube done by 5 people on one guitar, quite the feat.  If it were not for music I do not know what I would do with myself. I enjoyed this song, it is not so overplayed anymore.

Loving - my fiance (I still like saying that) and I are going away for 5 whole days which is the longest we have been away since we starting dating (shocker!).  I am excited to just get away and relax before wedding plans, school and just life will start to get in the way. Also, today was the perfect day.  There is nothing else on that, I wish it will be that way everyday on my vacation, but we all know that is wishful thinking.

Thinking - I am excited because despite the norm, I still live at home and only see my husband to be once a week, if I am lucky twice a week.  It has been that way for 7 years through our dating.  We took mini vacations, a weekend here and there but nothing extensive.  So without gushing too much I am so grateful to have some time.  Also, have to pack and find some cute clothing for 5 days!

Wanting - Those of you who have been following this blog know the situation I walked into last year, moving schools and spending critical time just clearing through everything left.  This year I have to bring all the supplies that were used for the camp back to my school (which is a lot, any volunteers.... hello...?) So, I would love to just come back and my room be set up exactly how I envision it.  (Wishful thinking)

Needing - The waiting every year to see if I get a job is not fun.  This year is no different, as a Title One teacher I am federally funded, which means I still am waiting to hear yes or no on budget.  Very frustrating, but I love this job.  This just makes me very anxious.

Back to School Must Haves - 1) Binders - I am going to be using the idea of Youngteacherlove - Data Binder to an extent.  Even though I have to test to the common core, I am going to use a slightly different graph, but same idea as to organization.

2) New lunch box - my old one is just too small.  Since I am trying to eat better I figure if I pack for after school when I get my hungriest I can get away from snacking when I get home.  But I need a bigger one.

3) More great apps - I am fortunate in my job to have a class set of 20 Ipads and I have shared some of those apps.  I need to load some more for the start of this school year.  However, I recently received a district assigned Ipad and downloaded Teacherkit which acts as a gradebook, attendance, and behavior manager.  This is a great tool I can carry with me and make notes on.  Cannot wait to set up my class! Oh, did I forget to mention, it is free? Teacher Kit App Enjoy!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Keene Conference, iPads, and updates oh my

I cannot believe we are less than a month away from me setting up my room.  Be prepared for room updates I am thinking of setting up differently this year, because we do the same thing all the time? Gets boring! So more on that later in August. 

This past week I went to a teacher conference at Keene State University which was filled with some old and new colleagues. It was like worlds were colliding when a former employer comes up to you with your new employer. 

Day 1 was more of a lecture day, where there were several breakout sessions and you pick one to go to and learn.  The first one I went to was about teaching math in a Digital world. The presenter was awesome, I guess my hopes were to get some other great apps especially for assessment I can use in my classroom, but he was just plugging his product.  We might buy it, but I would have to do some research to see if it was best.  The app is called Dreambox which is a digital world where students are in charge of their own learning, the program is heavily differentiated and keeps data, a lot of data on each student.  However it is not cheap (nor should it be) but we might pilot it.

The next session I went to talked about student centered learning.  This was interesting and packed!  One of the examples was one day the presenter put a number on the board, the number was how much the district paid on electricity.   So the students had to research and develop ways to run the school in a more cost effective way.  Then it was our turn to confront a problem and develop solutions. 

The last session was about the website:
Yes it is still in beta, but I predict it being a useful resource, imagine using Minecraft, yes Minecraft in your classroom
And the students are engaged, learning, and interested.  I foresee this as being great social studies or science 

Day 2 was sitting in our school groups, coming up with a problem, creating solutions, and then a prototype 
for the solution. My school did well, we talked about RTI and how it needs to be consistent and organized grade
level per grade level.  Time flew by.

Lastly I got a district assigned iPad so beware :) 

Countdown 26 days until teachers summer is over.  I am excited!
Also, last week of camp this week! I cannot believe it is here, but last week updates to come!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Camp: Week 2

This was the hottest week EVER, in the hottest rooms of the entire school.  One of our lovely teachers had a spray bottle attached to a fan, it was our saving grace.  It was hotter in the building than it was outside.  We spent a lot of time in the shade in the mornings.  Also luckily we were welcomed into a couple kindergarten classrooms which had air conditioning after 12:30.  Other than the heat, we had fun.

This week's theme was: Number and Operations - Fractions paired with Operations and Algebraic thinking.

Activities this week:

Fruit Kabob
  Materials - pieces of fruit: grapes, strawberries, oranges, and red and green apples, and wooden skewers.
  Directions - The students were told to make two: one patterned and one for fractional.  The students then had to tell someone what their pattern was using letters A,B, A, B... and then describe their fractions.

Materials: Sidewalk chalk and a pair of dice
Directions: One student rolls the dice, the other uses the two numbers to create an array.  The partner then uses multiplication or repeated addition to solve.  Partner checks answer and then they switch roles.  We loved this game in the shade!
Materials: Hershey's bar, granola bar, marshmallow
Directions: Student use smores to say a fraction. 

The student have been having a blast with using codes to break messages.

PICTURES from last time:
First step of water balloon multiplication.

Math twister
Next week: Getting a district assigned Ipad! Attending a conference in Keene to get some ideas on how to assess, use ipad for classroom.  Any of you already have any tips?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Camp week 1

So students actually showed up for camp!!😀 A bunch of my students showed up which is great to see that my efforts did not go ignored. We are in the hottest rooms of the school but it was fine!  Pictures to come!!

This weeks theme was Numbers and Operations in Base Ten. I was working with second grade this week. We did a lot of work with the ten frame. We made teen numbers, adding and subtracting two digit numbers. 

Activities this week:
   Materials - 10 bowling pins numbers 1-10, a ball and a white board or paper to track scores. 
   Directions - roll ball three times, add the pins with numbers standing at the end of the round, the person with the smallest score wins. For example: if you knock down all the pins you get 0 points. As far as scoring, it is similar to golf. 
   Differentiating - if that is too hard then play as a subtracting game from 10, great way to practice 10s buddies. If too easy then have the students multiply the numbers. 

Water balloons -
  Materials - water balloons, side walk chalk
  Directions - have students pick a multiple and write all of the multiples they can think of on a wall. The. The student takes a water balloon, selects any number and says a multiplication fact. 
 Differentiation - addition/ subtraction/ division facts can also be said depending on student level. 

Math twister - 
  Materials - math twister game from lakeshore or paper plates with numbers, dice numbers 0-6 and 7-12 operation dice + and - 
  Directions - students roll the dice and do the operation they rolled. Then teacher selects a hand/leg to place on mat. 
  Differentiation - you could also do this with multiplication and division. Also a variation of the game we did was a relay race, split into two teams and had them race between two mats for the answers.

Math for all seasons by Greg Tang
  Materials - Math for All Seasons by Greg Tang
  Directions - show students a picture in the book ask them to figure out a way to count all items without counting one-by-one. Share strategies, not answers, read suggested solution discuss if it was easier/harder and answer. 
One week down three to go! 
Next week fractions with third grade. Any good project ideas? Suggestions? Leave some in the comments!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Math Camp: Insanity

I am so sorry blog! I've been neglectful, in the past seven months I got engaged, my grandfather died, my great aunt died, I was in a musical, and issues with coordinating life into two jobs. 

This week we are starting math camp and my goal is to update this with all the fun projects and intervention strategies we are using. 

Everything has to align to the new common core which is a pain, but that's what we need to do. I get to work with some of my students this summer and hopefully have some fun :). Open house today, wish me luck!

Anyone else doing a summer camp? What are your big plans?