Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School Bonanza!

Ah yes, it's BACK TO SCHOOL time!  I am so happy to be participating in 2 Peas and a Dog's fabulous Back To School Bonanza Blog Hop & Giveaway!  I have joined up with all the awesome middle school bloggers below to provide some tips (and freebies!) to cheer up your back to school blues.  After reading through the participating blogs, make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

It was difficult to come up with just one back to school tip, so typical me decided to put together a bulleted list of some tricks and tips I have used that have helped me stay organized. 
  • Create a "Back to School" file to hold all those papers that seem to flood your mailbox during those first two weeks.  It's so nice to have schedules, locker combos, attendance procedures, textbook and calculator inventories, and all that other super important back to school stuff at your finger tips so you can grab it quickly when you need it!  I created a "teacher binder" for this stuff last year but just abandoned it after a few weeks.  I may give it a go again this year.

  • Print your seating charts on a bright colored paper!  I can't tell you how many times I have set it down, and walked circles around my room sifting through papers trying to find it so I knew who was who.  If it's on bright colored paper, it's so much easier to spot!

  • Send home a parent info sheet the very first day.  Most importantly, ask for email addresses!  It's difficult to find time to make phone calls, and unless it's a super major discipline issue, I tend to send emails with concerns or kudos.  I also create a parent group email (I BCC so they cant see each other's emails), so I can send announcements of review sessions, upcoming exams, etc.  I get A LOT of kids that come to my review sessions because "my mom made me."  Heck, I'll take it! :)

  • For my last tip, it's FREEBIE TIME! I believe that students need to have some sort of warm-up everyday, even the first day of school.  I needed something that was mathy (of course!) and not too complicated so all students could work on the activity while I stood at the doorway to greet students during the first five minutes.  I created this Number Challenge where students use the digits 0-9 once only to make each number sentence true.  Here's a picture of what it looks like:
 I placed them on each desk inside a pocket transparency with a marker and small cloth.  It worked PERFECT for a first day warm-up, and I will be using them again this year.  Click here to download the Number Challenge Freebie!

Want More Back to School Goodies?

Enter our AMAZING back to school giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Sweet Giveaway!

Yay for a Back to School Giveaway!! :)

I am so happy to be a part of a fantastic giveaway that Krystal, at Lessons From The Middle, is hosting to celebrate Back to School. There are over $400 worth of prizes to be won, including:

~ Multiple TPT shopping sprees in sellers' stores to help you get all stocked up for a new school year
~ $10 Starbucks gift certificate to get the year started on the right foot
~ $75 gift certificate at WiseDecor to make your classroom even more inviting for your students with beautiful wall decals
~$25 gift certificate at Black Rafter Soap Works to pamper yourself a little bit after the first big week back
~Cool Duo Binders to get you organized easily
~An awesome tote from Thirty-One - who doesn't love a new bag?

There are FOUR Prize Packages to be won! Make sure to enter to win each of the prize packages - they're all fantastic and you don't want to miss out! This giveaway runs August 10th-14th.
Prize Package #1 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Package #2 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Package #3 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Package #4 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!!! :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Math is Real Life! Just ask my husband!

When are we EVER going to use THIS?!”  This statement… this one little statement has caused fear and panic to run through MANY a math teacher’s veins!  It’s not like you won’t use math in the real world… but sometimes as soon as that question is uttered we have a mind-melting-moment and cannot come up with just the right words to say.  Many times, I have thought of something perfect to respond with, but hours after the class has left the room.
So to help give you some real world, possibly out of the box thinking type ideas, I am thrilled to join this amazing link-up hosted by Miss Math Dork, 4mulafun, Fourth Grade Studio, and Teaching to Inspire in 5th!
We (I mean my husband) is currently building a new shed in our backyard.  I turned to him for this post because I knew he has used math extensively in this process.  We are on a beach vacation right now, so his reply was fairly short, but thankfully I have pictures to share!
He told me that the process required a lot of measurement.  He needed to determine how much material he needed, making sure he stayed within the 200-foot city square footage requirement, using the Pythagorean Theorem to ensure perfect right angles, and measuring and cutting accurately to ensure minimal waste.  Here are pictures he sent to me to update me of the shed status:

Almost done!  He just needs to finish up with trim and paint.

I'm sure he's thrilled that I included this one of him! :)