Friday, August 31, 2012

#myfavfriday - My Department

Ok, so I know it might sound kind of cheesy but I LOVE my department. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with or to spend most of my days with.

It makes it really nice to go into work when you have a group of people that you can count on to make your day enjoyable. We aren't just colleagues, we're friends too and how much better can work get than being able to work with your FRIENDS?!

I also know that I can go to any one of the members of my department for anything. I might be struggling with a student or maybe having trouble helping the kids understand a topic and I can always count on my department members to be there to help, offer suggestions and guidance.

So for #myfavfriday I am shouting out my department members!!! YOU GUYS ROCK :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1st Days of School

My first year teaching was a big shocker to me in terms of classroom management. I figured I had student taught so I could handle my own classroom no problem. What I didn't realize was how much work my cooperating teacher put into developing routines, procedures and expectations at the beginning of the year before I was there. I mean, I knew a well managed classroom doesn't just materialize, but I guess I just never quite grasped what goes into creating one.

After experiencing year one I knew what I DIDN'T want, but I still wasn't quite sure how to get what I DID want. One of my friends lent me The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong during the summer between my first and second years and it helped me a lot. I finally understood that routines and procedures need to be taught, and that expectations need to be clear.

The book also made me realize that I didn't even have a clear understanding of my expectations. If I didn't know what I expected of my students how on Earth are they supposed to know?? I knew my mathematics/academic expectations of my students, but I needed to figure out exactly what I expected of them socially and reinforce those expectations.

I'm happy to report that year two went MUCH better than my first year (and I even had more difficult students!!) Not everyone agrees with Harry Wong and I don't even agree with the entire book myself, but I do wish it was something that had been part of my training as a teacher.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Made 4 Math - Whiteboards

I had been seeing a lot of talk and postings about making individual and/or group whiteboards and decided it was something I could use in my classroom. I went to Home Depot looking for the large sheets of whiteboard I had read about, but nobody there knew what I was talking about. Twitter to the rescue - I just tweeted a quick question about whether I should be looking at Home Depot or Lowe's and within minutes I had my answer (thanks to @approx_normal and @aanthonya) - and off to Lowe's I went.

Once I found the large sheets of whiteboard (32" x 48") the nice guy working there cut them into six 16" x 16" boards. I now had whiteboards my students could use for group work and it only cost me like $10!!

The edges of the boards were a little rough and @aanthonya suggested I cover them with duct tape. We had a discussion about how to do this since I had trouble with duct tape and corners on the last project I attempted (I do NOT like when things aren't perfect). 

I started with a piece of duct tape the same length as one of the sides and I wrapped it around the edge - half sticking to the front and half sticking to the back

Then I just repeated this for the other three sides.

Here is a close up of the corner where the duct tape is overlapping. So much better than trying to wrap a single piece around the corner - I tried this with a clipboard and it was just a horrible mess. 

Yay class set of groupwork whiteboards!!! :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An Organized Classroom

Being organized is probably one of the things I am best at. I'm not sure when I became super organized, but basically life doesn't make sense to me if it's not organized. Like right now I'm sitting here looking at our DVD case and the DVDs are OBVIOUSLY in alphabetical me that just makes sense, why wouldn't you put your DVDs in alphabetical order?? I know plenty of people that don't, but I wonder how they find the DVD they're looking for without having to look throughout the entire case. Which basically leads me to why I am organized and why I enjoy (need?) to be organized...I like to know where things are because in the end it saves me time and effort. It's that simple.

Being a super (obsessive?) organized person transfers into my classroom as well. My students ALWAYS comment about how organized I am and my hope is that a little bit of that rubs off on them. The way I keep organized in my classroom basically comes down to three things: 1. EVERYTHING needs/has a home (which is also labeled), 2. color coding and 3. making lists.

In my classroom there isn't anything that doesn't have a permanent "home" and I make the effort to make sure everything gets put back where it belongs. By doing so I never have to wonder where something is and I hardly ever misplace things because I know where it belongs and it's there. A lot of my organization has developed based on a need for a "home" for something. Before I started teaching I don't think I could have imagined most of the things I would need to have a place for, but as the need arises I create it or I give it a home. For example, I have two vinyl (vinyl because they are more durable and they take a beating throughout the school year) folders for work that needs to be corrected and work that needs to be entered into the grade book. I made those folders because those papers needed a home and I didn't want to lose papers.

I LOVE to use color to help keep me organized as well. Each year I assign each of my preps a color and then each of my classes for that prep an associated color. For example this year Geometry is green, Honors PreCalc is purple and Algebra 2 is orange. For my one Geometry class I use green, for one Honors PreCalc class I use purple and for the other I use blue, and for one Algebra 2 class I use yellow and for the other I use orange. Each of these classes has a colored folder (this year I made 4 pocket folders!) that I use for attendance, homework, seating charts, etc.. I also obsessively use colored paper clips for everything. Again, anything associated with a certain class gets "their color" paper clip. I use them in my "to get corrected" folder to keep different classes and assignments separated. I also use them in a folder that I keep for work that needs to be made up.

Lists also play an important part in keeping me organized. I like keeping a running "to do" list so that I don't forget something. It also helps to keep my mind freed up, prioritize tasks and have a big picture looks at what needs to be done. There is also no better feeling than crossing things off of my to do list :)

I wish I had pictures to help show some of the ways that I organize, but my classroom is still a huge mess and in the process of getting ready for day one. I might update later with pictures once I am more settled in.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

#myfavfriday (on Saturday) - TI Connect and TI SmartView

So I'm a day late (my best friend had her first baby yesterday..welcome to the world Maddison!!!), but I still wanted to post. First day back for teachers is Monday and first day back with the kiddos is Wednesday, but I definitely can't complain because I know so many people have already been teaching for weeks. 

I went into my classroom yesterday to try to get a little more prepared for the start of school. I got a couple bulletin boards all set and I think I FINALLY have figured out my first day activities. I still have quite a bit of work to do, but we are getting some time in our rooms during one of the PD days and I can always stay late to get everything else finished. 

So for #myfavfriday this week I wanted to post about one of my favorite pieces of technology we use at school. We have TI-SmartView and TI-Connect on our computers and they are both awesome! 

SmartView is large interactive calculator that is projected on the screen. On the other side of the screen you can show the keystrokes as you push the buttons on the calculator or you can show a bigger version of the screen of the calculator. It also simultaneously shows three different screens in the middle, which can be changed to a few different options. I keep them set at the defaults which are the "y=", the table and the graph screens.

I know that before I had TI-SmartView whenever I was doing anything on the calculator with the kids I would have to walk around with my calculator in hand trying to show the kids what buttons to push and what my screen looked like. Not very efficient and usually frustrating (for both me and the kids). 

My favorite part of this technology is how the kids can see the connection between the equation, table and graph all at the same time and can see how different changes affect the other pieces. 

TI-Connect is a linking software. You can download and upload to and from your calculator, backup data, and even take screen shots. I use the "screen capture" feature a lot for creating graphs/images for assignments, tests, quizzes, etc... I also have the students use the TI-Connect for different assignments where they can "hand in" their work, graphs, data (so many options!!) from their calculators. I also like having the screen shots because students can then refer back to something they did on their calculator and printed out, which would otherwise be lost forever (or would need to be re-done). 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Start - Stop - Continue

So here I am part of the new blogger initiation that @samjshah proposed a couple weeks ago. I feel like I couldn't have started blogging or have found the mathtwitterblogosphere at a better time...funny how things work out like that.

There were quite a few prompts for our week 1 initiation, but I decided to go with a goal oriented one since school will be starting up again very very soon. Taking a page out of some of the other bloggers books I am  sharing my "Start - Stop - Continue" for this school year.


Earlier this summer I came across Amy Gruen's green pen idea and I loved it. I like the idea of students who finish early being able to check the work of their peers and I'm thinking that students are going to enjoy being the "green work checker" person. I also really like this because it frees me up a little and another one of my goals for this year is to stop doing so much work!

This green pen idea also works well with something else I want to "start" (aka do more of) this year and that is student collaboration. To be honest I get scared to let students work together because a noisy classroom makes me anxious (my first year teaching one of my colleagues made quite a few comments to me about how loud my classroom was and I think it has given me a complex since then...way to help out the first year teacher!) and I also don't want the time to be a waste where a lot of students are off task. I am learning that I kind of have to just let it go and that sometimes my classroom will be loud, but that it's ok because that noise could be GOOD noise and could be awesome collaboration between students.

At my school we have a modified block schedule (Mondays, Thursdays and Friday are 8 period days and Tuesdays and Wednesdays are block period days) and I always try to give my students a break at some point during the block periods. Again with all of my pinning, researching and blog reading over the summer (this should count as PD right?!?) I found another great idea that I want to incorporate - BRAIN BREAKS!! I used to just let the kids relax and talk for like 5 minutes, but I think this sounds like a lot more fun and I think the kids will have fun with these different activities.


So, I've already talked a little bit about some of the things I am going to stop doing...doing so much work myself and relaxing more often in the classroom (this is REALLY hard when you're as OCD as I am). By the end of the day I am usually sooooo exhausted and I really need to work on letting the kids do more and take more ownership of their learning. I think I have had a problem doing this because I like order, I like things a certain way and change brings me great anxiety (no joke, my usual grocery store was rearranging aisles yesterday and I felt like I was on the verge of an anxiety attack...don't they know that I have the aisles memorized and I know exactly where the things I usually buy are located and therefore I write up my list in order of aisles???).

You're probably wondering how on EARTH I can be a teacher since we have to be so flexible so much of the time. It's crazy, but I am ok with being flexible in the classroom and having to change plans on a whim and fixing a lesson that is going terribly wrong on the fly, etc. My problem is usually things like not having a special bell schedule ahead of time or getting a new student without warning or something like that...I guess I just like to be able to be prepared. I need to have certain information in order to plan ahead of time, but if plans need to be changed without notice I can handle it...weird I know.


I like the way my absent student and homework systems work so those are both things I am going to continue doing. Jennifer (@4mulafun) from liveteachcreate gave me a great suggestion about managing late homework that I think I am going to try this year as well.

My "do now" (aka warm-up/starter problems) have also been a part of class that I think is working well and that I like. I like that my students know that they are expected to get right to work as soon as they get to class and that they start getting their math brains working right away. I also really love this as a formative assessment so that I can see what students retained from the last class or gauge how much they already know about a new topic.

And finally I want to continue blogging and interacting with this awesome group of people!! It is really impressive to see so many people that love math, love teaching and are just trying to become the best they can for their students. Out of all of my "starts" and "continues" I think this will probably be the hardest. I can see how easy it would be to kind of "fall off" once school starts and I end up crazy busy during the school year planning and correcting and teaching (also, did I mention planning a wedding?!?). Sometimes I don't know how I'm going to do it all this year...BUT I do feel like the more I have to do the more I get accomplished, soooo I'm definitely going to try. I think Made 4 Math Mondays and My Favorite Fridays will  at least help keeping me blogging on a weekly basis and keep me accountable. Feel free to call me out if you see me slipping!! :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Made 4 Math - Teacher Survival Kits

At the beginning of the summer I saw these super duper cute "teacher survival kits" on pinterest and I knew I wanted to make them as back to school gifts for my department members.

At the beginning of each school year I buy all sorts of random supplies that I need or that kids always ask for (lint rollers, hand lotion, tide to-go, etc...) so I thought I would also incorporate some of those ideas into my teacher survival kits as well.

I got pencil cases at staples for only 50 cents each and then have been picking up the stuff for inside all summer long.

Included in the kits:
  • a bag of popcorn - one of my favorite snacks
  • toothbrush, travel toothpaste and floss - I brought one to work before a dentist appointment and have actually used it fairly often
  • a pack of gum
  • lint roller - this is one of the things that the kids ask for fairly often and are usually surprised that I have one
  • a packet of energy drink mix (like the kind you mix into a bottle of water) - when they need a little pick me up
  • tissues
  • ibuprofen
  • defense halls - need that vitamin c to keep from getting sick from the kiddos!
  • hand sanitizer - again to keep away the germs
  • chapstick - am I the only one obsessed with chapstick? I found at least 6 different ones in  my desk the other day when I was cleaning it out...
  • nail file - only for the female members of the department...Is that being sexist?
  • clif bar -  not pictured, but I will be adding tomorrow after to my trip to costco
Can't wait to give them!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Homework Policies

I have tried so many different things in my classes regarding homework and I have finally found strategies and policies that I am currently comfortable with. I am a strong believer in homework. I was always a good student myself when I was in high school, but I really only did my homework because it was expected of me and I didn't want to disappoint. It wasn't until I got to college, where homework was optional, that I finally understood how important it was to my understanding to get some practice with different concepts, mostly because at first I wasn't doing the assigned homework and therefore wasn't doing as well on tests :(

In my classroom I grade homework based solely on completion because I want it to be based on effort. Students can earn a check plus(100), check(80), check minus(60), or zero on each homework assignment. In order to earn a check plus students must have attempted every problem they were assigned. At the beginning of the year, I usually get a lot of flack about this because if a student doesn't do even one problem, they earn a check instead of a check plus and they don't agree with losing 20 points because of one problem. My answer to this is to ask them if they deserve a 100 if they didn't do the entire assignment and they usually agree that they don't. They usually still whine (which is when I just point to my "Be a winner, not a whiner" poster!! haha), but quickly learn that they must put effort into each problem.

My faaaaaaaaaavorite part of my homework policy is how I handle students that don't quite understand the assignment, but are still trying and therefore deserve a check plus (to me it really is all about the effort!). I explain to my students at the beginning of the year that their homework assignments are meant to help them learn and that I still want it to be of value even if they were struggling. If they don't understand a part or parts of their homework assignment I ask them to write a meaningful question  for each problem they struggled with (none of this "I didn't get it" or "I don't know" stuff is allowed...1) because those aren't questions and 2) because in order to help them "get it" I need to know what about "it" they don't get). This year I am going to use an idea I saw for smart questions on pinterest this summer.

I really really love this because it gets them thinking about what parts of the concept/topic they aren't understanding and serves as a reminder for them in class when we're going over the assignment what they were struggling with. Now during class, I (or one of their peers) can help to answer their questions as if I (or they) had been sitting next to them while they were doing their homework and doesn't make the assignment a complete waste for them. This also allows me to differentiate the true "I didn't get the homework" and the "I didn't get the homework" that really means "I didn't do my homework".

Other key pieces to my homework policy:
1) I do not allow homework to be handed in late. Immediately after checking their homework we go over it as a class. I explain to the kids that I'm not going to accept an assignment after they have just been given all of the answers during homework review. Sometimes this makes me feel bad for the students that would truly complete the assignment late, but I have yet to come up with a way to be able to tell who completes their assignment during homework review and who does it at a different time.

2) Once a student has missed three homework assignments in a quarter (consecutive or not) I contact home. I think this is so important because many times a parent isn't even aware that their child isn't completing their homework so I like to keep them in the loop and they are usually very grateful. I keep track of missing assignments by highlighting each missed assignment with a different color. The first zero is yellow, the second is orange, and the third is pink (my department members make fun of me because I'm so crazy about color coding things).

Friday, August 17, 2012

#myfavfriday - Homework Calendars

Sooooooo for this edition of #myfavfriday I'm kind of following up from my most recent Made 4 Math post and focusing again on my strategies for managing absent students and make-up work. I like to have a go-to place for students to find out what homework they may have missed while they were absent. I keep three (three because I have three different preps) monthly calendars posted in the front of the room (again RIGHT near the door, so the students have noooooo excuse for missing it!!) where each day I write down what the homework assignment was for each class. I also write whether there was some sort of assessment as well.

I have totally stolen this idea from my very own Geometry teacher from when I was in high school. I liked the idea so much back then, that I knew I would incorporate it into my own classroom once I had one. (Did I mention that I have known since I was 15 years old that I wanted to be a math teacher? I feel so lucky to have known at such a young age and with such certainty what I wanted as a career!).

I totally love, love, love this because when a student comes back from an absence (whether it is one day or a prolonged period of time) they already know where to look for the answer to their question "What did I miss?" or if they ask me what they missed while they were out all I have to do is direct them to the calendar. I also like it because the students have access to an entire month's worth of past assignments, again which is helpful for those students that are absent for prolonged periods of time.

I wish I had some pictures of this board to post, but I haven't been able to go into my classroom since last week. This week I have been working in a curriculum consortium to help districts align to CCSS. Fun fun fun!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Made 4 Math - Absent Students

When you have over 100 students it can be difficult to keep track of who was absent when and what they missed while they were out. To help me keep my sanity, I put most of the responsibility on the students to find out what they missed and how they will catch up.

I have a cork board set up RIGHT next to the door to help manage the system (totally stolen from a former colleague...thanks Forger!) that I use for absent students.

On my end of this system, if a student misses a test, quiz or any other sort of major assessment I immediately write their name on the assessment, put it in a folder (specifically for make up work, color coded by class obviously!), and then write their name (along with the date they were absent) on the small dry erase board near the door. 

The reason I keep this board right next to the door is because the students must walk by it before leaving class and my hope is that they notice their name. Obviously I'm actually hoping they already realized they missed something when they were absent, but some students seem to (intentionally?) forget. Again, I also do this so that the students are responsible for coming to me about missing something and I don't have to chase them around trying to get them to make up their work. 

Once a student comes to me about their missing work, we work out a time together for them to make up their assignment and they sign up on the calendar below the "You missed something!" board. 

This calendar is also placed right near the door as a reminder to those students that have scheduled a time to come see me. On the calendar I also include times/periods that I am not available due to meetings or other personal obligations so that students know not to sign up for those times. This calendar is VERY helpful to me as well because I occasionally forget that a student has scheduled a time with me and it serves as a reminder.

Once a student has completed their assignment their name is erased from the board. This system definitely isn't perfect. Sometimes a student's name can be on the board for days without them approaching me about their assignment. At this point I do have to remind the student that they missed something and get a time scheduled for them to make it up. 

When a student does come to make up their assignment (or comes for the extra help they scheduled) I cross off their name and if a student doesn't show up I highlight their name on the calendar. If a student's name gets highlighted I remind them that they were supposed to come see me and reschedule a time. These calendars are really multi-functional because I also keep them after the month is complete and I have documentation of when students have come to see me and haven't come. 

Does your school have a policy about the length of time students have to make up work? Is it strictly enforced? How long do you give you students to make something up?

Friday, August 10, 2012

#myfavfriday - Whiteboard Tips

For this week's #myfavfriday I wanted to share two of my favorite tips that have made using my white board oh so much better!

Tip # 1. Keep your dry erase markers in a container with the tip down. Seriously. I used to keep my dry erase markers on the ledge of the board and would have to throw out markers constantly because they would run out of ink. A few years ago I noticed that a colleague of mine kept his in a separate container and always kept the tip of the marker pointing down. When I asked him why he did that he told me that it made the markers last longer. Now instead of going through about a pack of markers a month I can usually make it through the year with only two packs (packs of 12) TOTAL!!!

I'm also super OCD about keeping the markers tip down and my students always question my sanity when I'm all "YOU PUT THE MARKER AWAY WRONGGGGG!!!!!" They have even taken my craziness about the markers to another level and have made other teachers start keeping their markers with the tip down!

Tip # 2. Use a car washing cloth as an eraser. There is nothing worse than the smudgy leftover disgustingness (I don't care if that's not a word) after using those erasers meant for dry erase boards...they shouldn't even be allowed to call them erasers! Instead, I use a terrycloth car washing rag as my eraser. By using these cloths I never have to wash my board and it's always super white!!

Now, I'm not talking about anything fancy here, not those microfiber towels or anything like that, I'm talking about the cheapest, white, terrycloth rags that come in like packs of 12. I bought a pack of them for maybe 5 bucks about 4 or 5 years ago and I still haven't had to buy new ones. They do end up looking a little gross after a while, but they still work just as well and the marker stays on the cloth.
Image courtesy of
I hope these tips come in handy :) Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Classroom Posters

The other day @druinok@4mulafun, and @MsKLaster were talking about their favorite fonts on, which I had never heard of. Soooo I went to see what it was all about and I literally spent hours yesterday looking through fonts and downloading some. I like making my own classroom posters, but the traditional fonts in Windows aren't great for the cute posters I want!

Here are 2 posters that I worked on last night/this morning:

One of my goals this year is to help my students get better at persevering while working on problems that are difficult for them, so I saw this quote (somewhere on Pinterest I think) and I knew I wanted to make a poster for my room.

It's Ok to Not Know but It's Not Ok to Not Try

Another goal this year is to make the students less dependent on me. I first learned of "three before me" last spring and my entire department decided to embrace that thinking. Instead of students constantly asking me questions (especially the questions I have ALREADY answered "What is the date?"...It's written on the board, "What is our homework again?"...also posted on the board, "What page did you say?" "When is this due?" "...inside my head "ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!") they will have to ask three other students before asking me. It will definitely help with the little questions (like the examples above), but I think it will also help with student collaboration and will get students talking more math with each other.

Ask Three Before Me

In a little while I'm heading to school to get started on getting my room ready. School doesn't start for another 3 weeks for me, but I had a "back to school" nightmare last night, so I want to get in and work on some stuff to hopefully control some of that anxiety!

I am almost always super duper over prepared, but for some reason my recurring back to school nightmares always include me completely forgetting to copy important documents for the first day or just completely not being prepared for my students to show up.

I'm excited to get in and start getting things ready!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Made 4 Math - 4 Pocket Folders

Look at all of the awesome stuff I scored at Staples for less than 7 bucks!! The spiral notebook is for my "to-do list" that I keep on my desk (if it's not on a list and not RIGHT in front of my face I always seem to forget to do things), the tissues are for some "teacher survival kits" I'm working on (more on that later), the index card holders don't have a definite use yet, but I'm sure I'll figure out something to do or someway to organize with them, aaaaaaaaand the folders are for my #made4math project!!!

Every year I keep a folder for each of my 5 classes where I usually keep track of their homework, attendance, seating charts and any quizzes or tests they have returned to me (If they fail a test or a quiz they have to bring it home and have it signed by a parent and then I make a copy for myself). I usually used the folders with fasteners in the middle so that I could use the folders for more than just two things (in the two pockets). My seating chart (printed from PowerSchool) went inside a page protector and that got put in between the fasteners along with the weekly attendance. If I'm being honest here half the time (ok ok...more than half the time) the attendance sheets never made it between the fasteners because it was such a pain to unfasten them, insert the sheet of paper, and then refasten them each week. This made for messy folders with papers just shoved in the middle and messy doesn't make for a happy and calm Ms. Mac. 

So when I saw a pin of 4 pocket folders on Pinterest from Ms. M's blog I just KNEW it was something I would incorporate into my classroom this year. 

Obviously for this project you need a couple sets of two pocket folders. I got five sets of two since I have five classes. I also used a single hole punch instead of a three-hole punch because I wanted a little more control over where the holes were on the folder. I also recommend using a pencil to make your life a little easier. 

I started with two folders - one with fasteners and one without. On Ms. M's tutorial she used different colored folders, but my two folders are the same color because it would drive me nuts if they weren't!!

I took the folder without fasteners and folded it inside-out...

Now I have to decide how I wanted to put the two folders I want the fold facing in? 

Or facing out? I picked out. Side bar - Does anyone else like to do their projects on the floor? For some reason I would rather be on the floor than at a table. 

To make it easier for myself and to make sure my punched holes matched up to the holes on the "outside" folder, I used a pencil to trace where the holes should get punched. At this point I learned by trial and error that you should trace the holes from the back of the fasteners and not the front because you want the holes to be in line with where the metal piece needs to go through. I ended up having to re-punch the yellow one, but at least it was possible to re-punch and I didn't have to scrap it altogether!

This is Loki. He decided to help me in the middle of my project by laying on top of all of my newly created 4 pocket folders. I guess that's what I get for working on the floor! ha

Final product!! :)

I can't wait to see how well these work out this year!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

#myfavfriday In a Million Words or Less...

With the beginning of the new school year (quickly..eeek!!) approaching I wanted to share one of my favorite "first day of school" activities. A few years ago (my second or third year teaching) I was trying to find some fun activities that would help my students get to know each other, but also help me get to know some things about them. I had created a "get-to-know-you" bingo game, which was good at getting the kids talking and learning some interesting things about each other, buuuuuut I wanted more.

That was when I found this activity for parents called "In a Million Words or Less..." Basically, I write a letter asking my students' parents to complete a "homework" assignment about their child (or children because I have had siblings before!). The title of the activity is pretty self explanatory...parents can write as much or as little as they want about their child and I give them no restrictions about what to tell me. I want to know what THEY think is important for me to know, not what I might think is important to know about their child (plus, I get that information from my "Who Are You?" student surveys).

In a Million Words or Less...

This is one of #myfavfriday activities because I LOVE getting the responses back from parents!!!! I enjoy reading what they have to say about their children because it gives me a different perspective and I usually find out some little tidbit that I may not have ever learned otherwise. I also love this activity because it starts a positive parent-teacher relationship which is helpful throughout the rest of the school year.

Soooooo, have you guys heard of this before? Has anyone else done it before? What do you think about it?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Exciting New Things

So, in the past couple of days I have stumbled upon an entire online math community (mathtwitterblogosphere) and I couldn't be more excited!! My Google Reader is officially FULL of blogs that I want to keep current with and I have created a new twitter account (@MsMac622) so I can start following and interacting within this community.

I am also going to start trying to participate in "Made 4 Math" Mondays and "My Favorite" Fridays (from which I have already gotten some AWESOME ideas!!!) and I'm already brainstorming what my first of each can be.

Exciting stuff :)