Saturday, July 27, 2013

getting ready....

It is almost time to start to set up my room. I love setting my room up, but I can't believe how fast summer is going. I have to say I am not sure that I am ready for school to start back up. I have been looking at some idea for bulletin boards this last week. There are so many amazing ideas out there... lots of them more suited for primary though.

I have some favorites from the last few years that I'll use again for sure this year, but I am working on a few more, including and incentive board for our math club. Here are some pictures of boards I have used in the past.

My favorite is the playlist board with the iPods. It replaced the "here's how our year will shape up" I am working on making a few new iPods for math this year to replace the social studies ones. I use the "eat the rainbow" board during our nutrition unit. I love how bright they both are.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Grad school class is over for the summer, but I am working on using a great article we read to help with intervention time. It was an article about peer assisted learning strategies (P.A.L.S.). You can read the article here for yourself, but basically you level your kids high to low and split the class in half. Then, you take the top student from the top half and the top student from the bottom half and they are partners. So in a class of 22 kids #1 and #11 would be partners, #2 and #12 and on down. I love this idea because your highs aren't with your lowest, and you lowest are not grouped together either. The system would also not easily be figured out by the kids, so you would not have a lot of dumb group, smart group comments. In the student partners there is a coach and student. The coach reads a script provided by the teacher that steps the student through a process to solve a specific type of problem (for example converting fractions to decimals). They read the script for each question on the paper, and the student follows the step to solve each problem. Students switch roles and the coach becomes the student and the student the coach. Ideally, you would have your lower student be the coach first. This way they are reading the process and seeing a set of problems worked out by the higher student before they solve a set of problems. Intervention time is about 30 minutes in my school and very challenging at the 6th grade level. On our team of 4 teachers we switch kids for team time every week. I am hoping that I can impliment this in the classroom and it will give students some additional one on one practice in a smaller setting. It makes each student actively participate in the lesson as well, which can be hard when there are 30 kids in the room.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Teacher Binders

I finished up my binders today... I made one for my teaching partner as well. The owls were a bit girly for him so he has math monsters instead. I couldn't get all the pages to fit in the picture, but between the two I think I got everything.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I have spent a lot of time this summer rethinking my classroom for this coming fall. (I am going to be teaching math and science again this year.) I didn't teach a tested subject last year and I feel a bit rusty. With the new teacher evaluation system in Ohio I have a lot of data to keep track of this year on top of the spring test. I don't enjoy all the tracking and record keeping and I am working on finding a way to streamline it. I have always had a teacher binder, but this year my binder is on steroids. I am hoping it helps with all the tracking and reporting. At least it will all be in one spot. There are lots of teacher binder ideas on TpT, but I decided to customize my own. I'll add a picture when it is all finished.