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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Classroom Expectations

Like everyone else I know, I am TOTALLY obsessed with Pinterest.  Since I finished my research paper for my research course (I do not know why I continue to go back to school for various degrees), I decided to reward myself with a little bit of Pinterest, blog button creating, and classroom decor.  I pinned a great image of a teacher's classroom expectations a few days (weeks?) ago.  Today after I created my fantastic blog button I decided to Stacify these classroom expectations for my classroom.  (Stacify is my coworker's term for when I take something and make it super crazy organized and/or creative.)

First I downloaded a template from Microsoft that had elements I could pull apart and use - two backgrounds and the flowers.  Then I created six pages, alternating between the green polka dots and the green stripes.  (My school colors are green and white so I do a LOT with green and pink.)  Next I typed the expectations above in black Ravie font (a free download from FOREVER ago) on each of the pages.  Last I went through and added the pink flowers in different sizes and positions.

The plan is to have them framed and then sweet talk a janitor to help me hang them above my side board where I keep my daily objectives and procedures.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Math Word Walls

Image taken from http://www.rundesroom.com/2012/

I am an elementary teacher at heart!  Therefore, I adore Word Walls!  In my math classroom I have a Word Wall that I swap out and add to as the students move through the different units.  All of the terms are from the PSSA and we practice using them in our explanations both orally and written.  Unfortunately, that is about it for my Word Wall.  I do not have a lot of interaction or activities built in for my students.  This is about to change!  I LOVE Mrs. Runde's Bog (Runde's Room).  Recently she posted her own Word Wall and how she uses Cootie Catcher activities with the students to encourage them to interact with the vocabulary.  You can buy her package on TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers - Jen Runde) or adapt her ideas for your own classroom.  She has inspired me to begin investigating new ways to integrate my Word Wall into my daily or weekly instruction.  What do you guys do with your Word Walls?  Thoughts for a middle school math teacher...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

More Math Centers!

As the school year quickly comes to a close and classes wind down, I have been SUPER busy making math center and whole class games.  I posted pictures of Laura Candler's Island Conquer turned colorful learning centers (by yours truly) at the end of May.  Now I have a few more gems to share...

Fraction Spinners

Laura Candler's Fraction Spinners can be used a number of ways.  I glued both of them inside a file folder and clipped a paper clip to the folder to use as a spinner.  On another blog (I am so sorry for not remembering which one of the many I follow) I saw different variations for games that reinforce fraction skills using Laura's spinners.  I typed up the variations and glued them to the back of the folder. 


Switchboard is a game I found while teaching 4th grade.  Each student has to have their own game board, so I made a class set of 30.  For this game the teacher selects a target number and the students must circle as many equations as possible that have a product, quotient, sum, or difference of that target number.  Just like the Fraction Spinners, I glued the directions (and a variation to play in partners/small groups) on the back for students to refer to.

Pick, Place, Win

This is another game that I stole from another teacher while teaching 4th grade.  I have not used it with my students yet, but it was a hit in 4th grade.  Students place one of their colored toothpicks on three hexagons, multiply, and add it to their score.  This is great multiplication practice - especially for students struggling with multi-digit multiplication.  I may pass out one calculator per pair for the opposing player to use to double-check.  Again, I glued the directions to the back of the game board.

Math Area Matching

As I have mentioned previously, I LOVE Teachers Pay Teachers.  This fantastic activity was uploaded by the Enlightened Elephant...AND IT'S FREE!  I had the cover page printed in color and everything laminated.  As you can see I still need to cut out all of the cards.  The laminated construction paper will be included in the bag as an erasable workspace for students to use to help them solve for the area of quadrilaterals and triangles.  Gotta save those trees!