Friday, December 27, 2013

So this is the new year...

Not quite, but I love Death Cab for Cutie and always think of this song around New Years. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! This Christmas break has been a very restful one. In fact, this is the first time I haven't worked on school work in forever. This shall change as it gets closer to school time.

Anywho, I wanted to post a couple things. One thing I wanted to mention were new years resolutions. The past couple years, I didn't make any but I decided to this year. To name a few...

  • Cut back on working on school work at home.
  • Work out more (I definitely have to stick to this since our school is going to start the biggest loser competition)
  • Eat better.
  • Blog more.
  • Post more products on my TPT store.
  • Get a better handle on Math I, Math II, and Science in terms of grading, planning, finding resources, etc...
  • Be more organized!
I figured if I had a handful of resolutions, I'm more likely to accomplish at least one, right? I guess we shall see!

Speaking of new products, I recently posted a new product in my TPT store on inequalities. Included in the download are interactive notebook foldables for both one and two step inequalities, word problem templates, examples, and pictures. Here are some pics of my notebook:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Possible Christmas gift?

I've been thinking about purchasing a color laser printer for myself for Christmas. I've been researching online, but there are so many to choose from! Anyone reading this have or have used a color laser printer? If so, what do you recommend? Thanks and HAPPY HOLIDAYS! :-)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Math + M&M's = Happy Students

At the beginning of the school year, (after school had already started AND my team teacher and I had already planned for Geometry), we were informed that our county was going to make the switch from Geometry to Math II effective immediately. Imagine my face when they break this news to us. I spent all. summer. long. prepping for Geometry. WHOMP WHOMP. Needless to say, my team teacher and I have been scrambling to gather as many resources and lesson plan as much as we can just to keep up.

Anywho, fast forward to today and even though it's still tough to get ahead, I think we're in a better place. Right now, we're on exponentials. I found this awesome math lab that models growth and decay and involves CANDY. My students really loved this lab so I thought I'd share some pictures and a link to the lab. Of course, I'm sure they loved the lab because they got the eat the M&M's afterwards, but despite this, they were so engaged and loved seeing them get so excited about math! Is there anyone out there teaching Math II? If so, I'd love some input as to where you get your resources from! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NCCTM Conference

This past Thursday and Friday, I was given the opportunity to attend the NCCTM Conference in Greensboro. It was such a great experience! I learned so much within the two days by attending classes that I was interested in.

The most beneficial classes that I attended were the common assessment and analyzing data, how to common core-ize materials, and how to incorporate tasks in classrooms. I also attended two classes on interactive notebooking and stations, but I pretty much knew what was presented. Still great presentations though.

With EVAAS scores (last year's EOG scores) coming in last week and they being as low as they've ever been statewide, it pretty much lit a fire under me. I've experienced so many emotions within a couple days from being upset, to pissed off, to motivated. So having the opportunity to attend the common assessment and analyzing data class really came at a good time. We've always been told to do a common assessment with your team teacher and look at the problems to see what the common missed question was. But we were really not shown how to do it. The ladies at the conference really helped me understand what to do, especially with the data aspect of it.

I loved the common core-rize session because my county does not have the funds to purchase anything! Everything we find, it's from somewhere online or samples we find on the internet. So being taught how to 1) turn textbook questions into common core questions, 2) how to make questions more rigorous and 3) how to incorporate the 8 mathematical practices was a WIN WIN! It is definitely going to take some time for me to get into the hang of changes a lot of things (there is NOT enough time in the day!), but I know it has to get down for the benefit of my kids.

I'm hoping to implement everything that I've learned from this experience and hope to report back good things that are going on in my classroom. And hopefully with this year's test data, my kids can blow that growth out of the water!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Button!

After googling and researching, I've finally learned how to make my own blog button! Whoo hoo!!

Now I just have to figure out how to link my website back to it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

My View Tonight

My view tonight...creating quadratic matching cards for my Math II block. Whooo!! (Will be on TPT as soon as I find time to put it up there!!)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sorry Poor Blog...

My poor blog...I knew once school started that I wasn't going to have a lot of time to blog but geeeeez. I never thought I would be THIS swamped - especially since it's just the beginning of the school year! A few thoughts:

  • This school year - I've had a great start so far. If you've read my previous posts, I moved to the eighth grade and followed my students. I was a little sad when I received my roster and saw that the majority of the students I taught last year weren't on my roster. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love the students I have now, but I also miss my kiddos from last year. At least I have the pleasure of teaching my new students and a handful of mine from last year.

  • Back to school activities - This year, I reserved more days for ice breakers and get to know you activities than before. Best decision everrr. This allowed me to teach all of my rules and procedures, our new PBIS slogan (PROWL), and allowed me to get to know all of my kids and them get to know me. A few things I did - Math Survey, Spaghetti challenge, all about me banner, time capsules, and a T/F game about the teacher. The kids loved the T/F game...mainly because they learned things about me that they had no clue about and I made a powerpoint with answers to each question with a funny picture of me. I love doing the math survey. I'll definitely have to add it to my store when I have time. It allowed me to get to know them from a math aspect. They listed some things that they were comfortable with math wise and things that they struggled with. They also let me know of things I can do for them as an effective math teacher. Some of the things they were telling me were great ideas. They seemed to have struggled last year in math and were really scared about taking algebra and how their learning experience will be. My Algebra (Math 1) class has the most kids that I taught last year and they assured the other students that I was everything they listed for an effective math teacher and that they shouldn't worry. That definitely made my day!

  • ISN's - I will need to get pictures up ASAP on my notebook so far. I've been coming up with new templates and foldables that I need to put in my store, I just haven't had time! Yikesss. But the interactive notebooks are going very well and the kids love them. The only fail I had with these is trying to implement them in science. It is just not working, but I think that is just me not spending the same amount of time on science ISN than I am on math ISN. I will find a balance eventually.

  • Time, Time, Time - This I do not have enough of. This is my 5th year teaching. I have always had 3 preps, whether I have 3 math classes or  2 math classes and 1 science. I don't know what it is but I am having the hardest time keeping up with everything. Right now, I am teaching Math 1, Math II, and Science. Math 1, I'm okay with since I've taught that forever. Science, hopefully I will be okay with soon. My problem is that I'm starting out new in terms of resources. So I'm having to make all new powerpoints for 8th grade instead of reusing the once I had last year for 7th grade. That takes up a lot of time. I also have a lot of EC students and low level learners in my science classes with many accommodations and modifications.  I am having to readjust my plans and it takes a lot of time. The biggest headache would be  math II. I spent a lot of my summer refreshing myself on Geometry and studying the Geometry standards and making resources. A week into school starting and we find out that our county is switching from Geometry to Math II effective immediately. Just imagine my face when I find this out. So all of middle school Math II teachers received subs one day to meet and make a pacing guide for the county, decipher the Math II standards that we've never seen before, and find new resources. It is craziness! I am just glad that I know these teachers and that I know I'm working with awesome people. They know what to say to calm me down (if you've taken the color personality test at PD, I am a perfect score GOLD).
I think that is enough ramblings for the night. Kudos to you if you actually read through this entire post! Will post pictures soon! (hopefully!)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In need of a serious blog update

SOOOO much has happened since I last blogged. I can't believe it's almost been an entire month since I've been up here. Time flies when you're super busy! Will update this weekend - PROMISE!!!! :-)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacherspayteachers SALE

I am having a teacherspayteachers back to school SALE! Visit my store for some great deals!!! :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Last week of Summer...

This upcoming week will be my last week of summer. I'm kind of sad that summer will be ending, but always look forward to going back to school, especially since I'll be on a new hall this year. This past week has consisted of:

  • Going to school to set up my new classroom.
  • Making new TPT products
  • Working on my Master ISN
  • Shopping, shopping, shopping
Yesterday, my sister came with me to school to help put up my bulletin boards. I figured I'd put her to work before she leaves for college on Monday! :) My front board has a cute lime green chevron pattern. I think I've decided this will be my board for absent students/make up work.
I have no idea why the picture came out so bright! And the owls are totally there to cover up mistakes! Shhhh!

Here is my back board. This year, we are implementing PBIS at our middle school. Our motto at school is PROWL. Since I'm on the PBIS team, I figured I would dedicate my whole back board to how to PROWL in the classroom.

Andddd my classroom is still a mess. I'm hoping to go back to school one last time on Thursday to clean up and finish putting stuff away, and then I won't have to come back to school for a whopping 3 days before school starts.

I've been trying to work on TPT stuff because I know when school starts, I won't have a lot of time to dedicate to it. I've been making inserts for my ISN and posting them in my TPT store. Hopefully there are some teachers out there that need them! They range from $1.00 to $1.50, depending on how much is in the download. Hopefully I can get to the point where I can just sell bundles.

I've been working on my master copies of my ISN for Algebra and Geometry. I'm really trying to get as much done as I can so for once, I can be ahead! I'm only one chapter ahead in Algebra and only three sections in for Geometry. Here are some pictures of the first couple pages of my ISN that I will expect my kids to have as well.

Here is the table of contents that you can download for FREE in my TPT store. I like how clean it looks in the ISN compared to having students draw lines...cause you know how their lines can look!

Here is a copy of my ISN expectations and the rubric I will be grading them by. Last year, my kids had questions about why we were so particular about our markings in the notebook and even what an interactive notebook was. They've never heard of it before. So I created this to glue into their notebook for them to know why we use it, what to expect, and how they're going to be graded. This is also in my TPT store as a FREE download.

Here is a table that I made for students to keep up with their username and passwords for various apps and websites. Last year, my district moved to a 1:1 ipad classroom. My students ALWAYS forgot their logins and passwords, especially after their ipads were taken up to be synced. So, I'm hoping this will eliminate that! This is also in my TPT store for FREE.

And lastly, here is a copy our PBIS matrix for CLASSROOM. I'm on the PBIS team, so I felt that it was important for my students to have this in their notebook as a reference.

Whew! That was a lot!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tax Free Weekend and New Products!

This past weekend was tax free weekend in NC (and the last one we will have). I definitely took advantage of all of school supply sales and hit up the teacher stores in Raleigh. Staples had a great deal on 5 pack mechanical pencils for 25 cents, so I had to get up to the limit! I also went to Target where they had a good deal on glue sticks, colored pencils, and mechanical pencils. I have a huge stash of mechanical pencils from purchasing them when they are so cheap over summer. Of course I buy them for my kiddos, but then I never give them away because it's so hard for me to part with them!

I then went to the teach me store and stone's in raleigh where I bought border and other necessities. Does anyone ever feel the need to purchase border every year, even though you know you have enough and don't need it? Yeah, that's me! Every summer, I buy cute border that I know I don't need, and then I end up with packs that I haven't even used yet! There needs to be some kind of school supply addict meeting that I can go to!

Another thought - I noticed that I am all over the place with the theme in my room! Last year was easy - polka dots everywhere! This year, I'm torn between chevron, zebra print, and polka dots. And what's worse is that I've been buying all these decorations and border that are all these different prints and don't match at all! And because I am torn between all these patterns, I'm crazy enough to mix all of them and make it work! They are just so cute, I can't not use them!

Lastly, I've been working on my TPT store. I'm trying to get as much done as I can now because I know when school starts (in 2 weeks, yikes!) I know I won't have a lot of time to mess around with it. I posted a couple new products, including a foldable freebie that I promised a couple posts ago that I would load. Go to my store and check it out (and it would be super duper awesome if you left a comment!) And while you're there, you should totally "follow" me for updates on new products! And, I see a back to school sale in the near, near future....  :)

Foldable for Math Keywords for translating expressions. Comes with foldable, pictures of examples, and 2 practice sheets to all glue in your interactive notebook!

6th and 8th grade math common core posters. Just print, laminate, and hang around your room for you students to see! Also, if you're not a fan of the polka dots, but want the product, please let me know! I am willing to change the backgrounds to fit your needs!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Where did summer go?

Summer has FLOWN by! I can't believe it is August already. I've been reading up on my fave blogs, and  it seems like there are many teachers that have either started already or are starting school this upcoming week. Where I teach, we don't go back to school until the third week of August (I live in a small county in NC), so I still have a couple more weeks of rest would think...

As mentioned in my previous post, I received the call that I would be moved to a new hallway (technically, back to my old hallway). This past week has been spend cleaning, dusting (ick), and moving allllllll my crap. I mean, I accumulated A LOT since I started teaching. Took some pictures of my new home, and half of my junk.

Here is a shot from my door. I think my new room might be a tad bigger than my old one...but maybe it looks as so because the tables are pushed against the back wall.

View from the front of the classroom.

Half of my junk piled up on tables and my counter. I have even more hidden toward the back of the room. BTW, I'm totally excited about my purple wall. It's more my color compared to the pale blue wall I'm leaving behind.

My desk area...with more junk. I did add the chevron wrapping paper to the front of my desk, and I thought I was going to be sick because the pattern was messing with my eyes! I'm planing on adding thick ribbon as the border and then maybe put my name in the middle to try and break the eye games the pattern is playing!

I'm pretty sure my room looks worse than it did yesterday. But I guess it has to get worse before it gets better, right? I'm going back Monday and hopefully it won't take me too much longer to get everything together so I can enjoy the rest of my summer!

BTW, the next few days marks NC's last tax free weekend. My awesome team teacher and I are going out of town to hit up all the teacher stores for some great deals! I'm super excited! :) I'm sure next post will be on the goodies that I find!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New books!

Today, I received my Dinah Zike books that I ordered! I absolutely love them!

I'm super excited to sift through these and start generating some great ideas to use next year. Definitely worth the money spent and the notebook foldables book came with a CD so I have digital copies of the templates as well! Love love love anything digital! I also love the big book of math book. It has foldable suggestions by math concept. 

Today has been spent moving the rest of my classroom to my new home. I've completely moved out and it's definitely bittersweet. Tomorrow will be spent unpacking what I can and organizing my junk. The teacher that was in my current room hasn't moved out yet, since we just found out about our new assignments.

This weekend in North Carolina is tax free weekend. I am super excited because back to school time is my favorite time of year! I'm going shopping with a group of teachers I work with and hitting up all the teacher stores! And of course making stops at Target and Staples for great cheap deals on school supplies! Since this will be the last tax free weekend, I will definitely be taking advantage of this last one!

That's all for now. I'm exhausted!

This is what happens when you don't blog for a couple days...

Ahhh, where to begin? So much has happened since I last posted!

  • Last Friday, I received a phone call that I've been moved to 8th grade to teach Algebra 1, Geometry and Science. I'm okay with the move - I love the teachers on the hall and I actually started teaching 8th grade math before I was moved to 7th grade two years ago. It's kind of like going back home. But, I am extremely nervous about teaching Geometry. I haven't even had Geometry as a class since college. Not only do I have to prep for this class, I have to prep for a new science as well. Since I've taught Algebra the past four years, most of my focus will be on becoming proficient in teaching Geometry and 8th grade science well.  If anyone has any great websites or resources for Geometry, please let me know! I need all the help I can get!

  • My teacherspayteachers store is slowly taking off! I opened my store at the end of June and have slowly been adding things to my store. I read on the forums that it takes a while for a sale and that summer months are the slow months. But then I finally made my first sale the third week of July! Then I had a couple more this week! It definitely feels great when someone purchases or downloads something that I created. I'm extremely motivated to create more items for my store!

  • I've been working on prepping for my first 5k. For someone who is overweight and non-athletic, this is hard!! I've been using the couch to 5k app to keep me on track. So far it's been okay, switching between walking and running for a certain amount of time. I don't get too tired when I run anymore, but my legs hurt really bad! And in the middle of the workout, my leg starts to get numb (I think it's because of my shoes?) Right now, I'm starting week 3, which starts off with running for 3 minutes straight. Whhhhatt?! We'll see how this goes! The 5k is in September so I hope I can keep up until then.

  • Two words - Interactive Notebooks. I've been working to try and get as much done as I can with my Teacher ISN for Algebra 1. Making new templates from scratch and coming up with different ideas for my notebook take the longest time. I just ordered two of Dinah Zike's books, one being Foldables for notebooks and compositions, and I'm hoping I can get foldable ideas from it. I've also been making homework sheets and activities for each section before I move on to the next, so that is also slowing me down. And now that I know for sure that I'm teaching Geometry, I've started a Teacher ISN for that as well. That will take me the longest, as I am not as comfortable with the content. As long as it's taking me to put these ISN's together, I'm not sure if I want to have an ISN for science anymore!
That's all for now. Goodnight and a high five to those that actually read through this entire post!! :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My favorite time of the year

I have got to stop walking into stores before pay day! I love this time of year. I love seeing all of the school supply displays and super cheap deals at the dollar spot in Target. I have always had a secret obsession with school supplies, even when I was a student. Johnathan loves to make fun of me about it! But I get oh so excited when I see these supplies on sale!

I've been working on vocabulary for my word wall. My first set of vocabulary posters are for my first unit in Algebra. Love chevron!
Shout out to Bella for holding up my sign for the picture! :)

I also just finished adding a new product to my store. 7th grade common core standard posters. They're color coded and have a cute polka dotted background. Check them out at my TPT store!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ISN update and TOY shenanigans

Since I've come back from vacation, I've been spending most of my time working on my teacher of the year portfolio. I have to answer eight prompts and they are due on Thursday (whoops!) Of course my old college self kicked in and was able to knock out six of eight papers within the past two days. Tomorrow I'm going to finish the last two papers, drop by my school to pick up my principals' recommendation, then make seven copies of this thing and drop it off! Whooo!

When I needed a brain break from writing papers, I continue to work on my Algebra ISN for next year. I'm really excited about how I'm going to implement these next year. Last year was my trial run and received positive feedback from administrators, peers, and students. This year, I'm going to incorporate more foldables and more color! Speaking of color, I received a buy one get one coupon from staples for their colored paper. Since I plan on being more colorful, I went and bought 4 packs (500 in a pack I believe) for the price of 2, and an extra 15% off from using the staples back to school pass.

Here's a pic of what I worked on last night.

Last week I created the Matching Properties Activity sheet that is in my TPT store for FREE. Check it out! The top right pic shows an integer mat that I downloaded from the blog mathequalslove. She's awesome! Check out her blog when you get a chance! The oval below it are practice problems that I made so my students can practice modeling. Lastly, the foldable on the bottom is one that I made on how to add and subtract integers. I plan on posting this in my TPT store whenever I get a chance. UPDATE - The foldable at the bottom of the picture is now in my store for FREE. Go check it out! :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Back to School Thinking

I had a great time at Virginia Beach this past weekend...definitely need to make it a priority to visit the beach again before school starts!

Since I've been away, I haven't made anything new, but I didn't make a post on what I created last week. As I was reflecting on what I did last school year for back to school activities, I decided I wanted to take a different approach to what I do this year. I want to do more "get to know you" activities and learn more about what my students like at school and how they like to learn. So I created these cute little banners in a shape of a triangle, heart, and star that I am going to do this year. I've seen a couple floating around pinterest, but they were more for elementary school. Since I teach middle school, I wanted more questions about how my kids like to learn other than what their favorite number is or to draw a picture of themselves. Soooo, here is what it looks like completed.

You can find the templates for this one, the heart, and the star at my TPT store. They are only $1!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Will be absent from blogging the next couple days. I am vacationing at the beach for the weekend!! Whoooo!! Have a great weekend!! :-)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why didn't I think of this SOONER?!

Every year, parents usually ask me for my contact information even after I've passed out the usuals. This year, I created a template with all my contact information that I'm going to turn into MAGNETS!! I have multiple rolls of magnet tape that I can't use on my whiteboard, so they'll be perfect for my project. I'm super excited! Here's a peek!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Nerdy Teacher Things.

So for the past month or so, I've been obsessing over purchasing a laminator. We have one at school, but the teachers aren't allowed to use it - only the media coordinator can (and I'm too impatient to wait!). With everything that I've been downloading from TPT that I want to use next year, I want to laminate them before I bring them to school. Nothing too expensive...just something to get the job done. While walking around Target a couple days ago, the laminator that I've been eyeing had gone on sale! Whooo! So this is what I've been doing the past couple of days.

I stumbled upon a website that provides a flipbook for common core standards. Since I'll be referencing back to these constantly, I decided it will be the first to be laminated! And voila!
It ended up being wayyyyy thicker than I thought, so I need to buy a keyring big enough to hold everything, but at least I know I won't lose it!! Being the nerd I am, I got card stock happy and color coded each standard for easy finding.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


It's been a couple days since I've blogged. I'm experiencing a bit of a lazy streak right now! Summer has been great, but it enables my laziness! The past couple nights, I've been working on my ISN for next year. I did implement ISN's last year, but I didn't do them the way I should have. So forcing myself to get these done allows me to make templates ahead of time and really think about the layout process. Here is one lesson that I did. It's on variables and expressions.

Foldable to contain key words for expressions.

When you open the flaps, voila!

As soon as I can figure this out, I'll post this template up for you to grab and enjoy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

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Interactive Notebook

Last year was my first year in implementing the interactive notebooks. My only regret is that I did not discover these sooner!! I had never heard of these before until I was being a nerdy teacher last summer and came across a math blog. I was HOOKED! I only did interactive notebooks in my two math classes and not my science. This upcoming year, I want to implement them in all classes. I did struggle just a little when our district turned into a 1:1 iPad classroom in the middle of the school year. We were pushed to incorporate the iPads into our lessons every day, and I struggled to find a middle. But I gave it much though this summer, and I've finally decided how to incorporate the two.

If you have not done an interactive notebook in your classroom, you should definitely try it out!! My kids loved it (for the most part) and it was very handy at the end of the year when we had EOGs. My students didn't have to constantly ask me to remind them how to solve something we covered 5 months ago. They just took it upon themselves to look in their table of contents, then look up the notes from that lesson.

Being the nerd I am (hence the blog name, the math nerdette), I have started to create my Algebra 1 practice ISN to get ahead of the game. I haven't gotten too far, but I do still have about 2 months left of vacation. Check out the pics!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Beginning of Something Spectacular!

Just kidding. Hi all! After a year of drooling over all of these awesome teacher blogs that I've come across, I've decided to start one of my own. I'm hoping this blog will serve many purposes, such as:

  • Organizing my scattered thoughts
  • Coming up with teaching ideas
  • Sharing ideas with others
  • Vent session?
  • Lots of randomness
Just a quick intro...I'm Christine! I teach at a middle school in North Carolina. I'm entering my 5th year teaching middle school and I absolutely love it. I currently teach Pre Algebra, Algebra 1, and 7th grade Science. With the new common core standards and lack of resources, I've started to create a lot of my own material that I hope you all find useful as I post them here or on my TPT store. 

Hope you enjoy whatever shenanigans are posted up here! :-)