Our school has always been about using data to drive instruction, but this year is the first year they are really pushing data walls. So when my school admin approached me about coming up with ideas for our data wall, of course I got a little excited. I'm not sure if it's the math nerd in me that gets excited about data, but every time my kids are assessed, I get anxious because I'm ready to see their growth!
This year, I have been using my data folders for pre/post tests and to track growth within common core standards, which you can find here. For school wide purposes, we decided to use benchmark scores and goals that we set for each individual student at the beginning of the year based off of their EVAAS score and an EOG conversion chart to make our data wall. Based off of this, the kids were able to see whether they exceeded their goal, met their goal, or did not meet their goal. If a student did meet or exceed their goal, we give them a higher goal for the next assessment. If a student did not meet their goal, we usually keep it the same unless they were really close to meeting.
Since we are the Cougars, it was fitting for us to use paws to represent the students. We used the students ID numbers from powerschools to write on the paws instead of names.
Here's is the data wall for my hall! The kids were so excited when we first put this up. They were crowding around the board to find their paws and see whether they exceed, met, or did not meet. A lot of questions were posed about whether this could have a negative effect if kids were in the red, but I don't see it this way. In fact, based off of what I've actually witnessed, students who were in the red area saw that their friends were in the green/blue area and now they're working harder than ever to do better next time.
I wish I had a picture of each hallway just to show that even though all data walls have the same information, each hallway put their own spin on it. They look awesome! And I would have never thought that kids would be so excited about data!
Phew, I think that's enough school talk for now. My brain is still on thanksgiving break! PS, I am in LOVE with my new blog design! Thanks to Lindsey at L Paull Designs for my fabulous blog look! I think this motivates me to blog more - kind of like a teacher buying new checking pens to motivate themselves to check papers haha! :-)
It's been a whole month since I last blogged! I miss it! I definitely need to make it a priority to blog at least once a week. Why have I been missing?
School has been really hectic lately! With field trips and benchmarks and report cards and then not even to mention all of the committees I'm on, I come home and I am exhausted! Teaching and my kiddos aren't even the reason why I'm so tired when I get home! I need a balance in my life or I think I'm going to go insane!
And to top it all of, I've been sick for over a month now. Around the end of September, I had the flu. Ever since then, I've had this cough that will not go away! And it gets worse when I talk - which is what I do for a living! It's so irritating for me to not be able to teach as enthusiastically as I would like because I start coughing non-stop. And recently, to add to the cough, I became congested again and developed a sinus infection. *sigh* Hopefully the meds they put me on will make all of this go away. Ain't nobody got time for that!
Anywho - even though my life is hectic right now, things have been going well. We just recently took a benchmark for the district and I had 81.6% of my kids grow based off of their EVAAS projection data. Now that our school has finished with these benchmarks, we have to make data walls and send a letter home, recommending students to stay for tutoring if they did not meet growth or meet their given goal. Once we get the logistics of the data wall planned out, I will make a post with what we came up with!
And lastly, I will leave everyone with this picture!
We had twin day for spirit week and our 8th grade hall decided to dress up as quadruplets! We all dressed up as nerds and the kids thought it was hilarious! We even had a short photo shoot during our planning. :)
I'm excited to be a part of The Teaching 2 Step's Blog Hop giveaway! From October 10th - October 15th, you can enter for a chance to win some amazing prizes! There is something for everyone! Enter to win! :) Check out the following pics to see what's up for grabs!
I absolutely love this time of year...more specifically, the month of October! It's my birthday month (this upcoming Sunday) and I love the transition from summer to fall. I absolutely LOVE the cooler weather and boyfriend's favorite holiday is Halloween. Every year, we love staying in to watch movies and to hand out candy to the kiddos. Of course, we always end up sitting around and eating a lot of it. My favorite treat?
Twix! I am a sucker for a twix bar (or anything chocolate, let's be honest!) We are starting a biggest loser contest at my school next week, so it's bad that Halloween is just around the corner!
If you didn't get a chance, you should visit here to grab my FREEBIE and feel free to click the green star to follow my store! Included in the download are three bellringers that contain: comparing a graph and a table, analyzing two tables, and comparing and contrasting squares vs cubes. Before you go, be sure to follow me on bloglovin', FB, and Instagram for future math/secondary goodies and ideas!
Now follow below for the rest of our blog hop to enter to win these awesome goodies! :)
to J talk to our doggy, Kramer. He's so silly!
THIS WEATHER!! I love it when it starts to cool down. Even though the way I dress is SO conflicted! I'll sport a scarf with flip flops any day! :)
I don't want the weekend to end! It's been a good break...spent wayyy too much time at work last week.
a long break. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE my kiddos this year and I love the staff at my school. But this year has been more stressful than my other years combined. It's all about the behind the scenes stuff we have to get done for our admin. Plus the extra responsibilities I have as dept chair. We have to do walkthroughs, feedback, data, make common assessments, make sure our dept is doing all of the above (track them down when they don't turn stuff in), and provide feedback for our depts lesson plans, assessments, and data. I'm also the PBIS/school data person, so I have to keep up with the school's data and behavior data and I'm a mentor, so I have to observe my mentee during my planning and meet with him to talk about ideas and improvements AND I have a student intern this year. Oh, and there's my stuff too (grading, lesson planning, etc). My energy is running on empty reallll fast. If only there was a way to 1)add more time to the day or 2) clone myself, all would be good!
Because of everything mentioned in the wanting section, my blogging and tpt store have been neglected! I need to change this soon!
Trick or Treat:
I did, however, have time to make a little something for everyone. I have a freebie posted here. I am currently working on a bellringer packet that is common core aligned and I have a preview for you! Please download and enjoy and feel free to leave feedback! :)
My school is a 1:1 iPad school and we are all about tracking data. We give common assessments every 3 weeks and set goals for our kids based off of what they score on their assessments. We even have data spreadsheets that we have to update every three weeks to submit to our principal. For my classroom, I take data a step further and have my kids track their progress by standard. This is where My all time favorite app, TAPit, comes to play.
TAPit, or the answer pad, has two components to it - a live interactive portion and a data portion. I'm going to brag on the data portion for tonight since I have pictures to show. TAPit is like a digital bubble sheet for the kids to record their answers. The awesome thing about this is the teacher can go to www.theanswerpad.com and set up an answer sheet. It can be multiple choice, true/false, or open response.
Setting up an answer sheet.
How it looks like when you want to set up an answer sheet for multiple choice answers.
The best part - you can assign each question with a particular common core standard!
I love being able to assign each question with a standard because this is what I look at when I'm having my kids track their data. When students put their answers in, the data that it provides teachers is phenomenal! Take a look! My kids took an assessment yesterday!
You can look at the data three ways - look at the results (test grade), look at the analysis (item analysis, being able to see what questions students missed or got correct), and proficiency (gives you a cool looking graph to see which kids fall into needing intervention or which students are advanced).
This is the results page. For each students, it gives the percentage correct for the standards picked when you first set up the answer sheet. The last percentage is the students total score. Love being able to take a quick glance to see which standards I need to review back over.
This is the item analysis. I can see that I need to go back over #7 because the majority of my class missed this question.
This is pie chart to comes up when you look at the proficiency. If you click on the pie graph, it tells you specifically where students fall.
I can see from this that i need to work closely with the red, yellow, and orange students.
Using TAPit has seriously opened my eyes to a whole other side of data. It makes my life SO much easier, especially since I have my students track their data. Before I was having to sit down and figure percentages for each standard I tested on BY HAND! Now, I just set up an answer sheet and voila! It's super easy to use!
Good Morning! I'm linking up this morning with Teaching Trio for Sunday scoop!
3 Things I have to do-
1. Make my pre-test. I'm finally testing on my first unit this Tuesday! I play on giving my pre-test for my next unit on Wednesday, so I'm pushing it with not having it done! It's been crazy at school lately, so I haven't had much of a planning. And I've been sick the past couple of days, so I've done zero school work at home. But I'm starting to feel better now, so it'll get done!
2. Sub plans! My school is awesome - they allow each department to have one whole day off to meet as a department and get things done. They pay for subs to cover our class for the day and provide us lunch and snacks! This will be my first planning day session that I will facilitate since being asked to be department chair. I"m a little nervous, but I'm hoping it'll go well! I definitely have some things in mind that we need to work on during this day. We usually take half the day to work on common lesson planning and common assessments. I guess I need to add "Make an agenda" to this list!
3. Laundry. I've had a bad cold the past couple days so I've been laying around, letting laundry pile up. I'll definitely need to do laundry and disinfect the house so that boyfriend doesn't catch what I've had.
2 Things I hope to do-
1. Post stuff on TPT! I have so many products that I've made for my classroom, but I haven't had any time to post them on TPT! I really need to designate a day to do this. I don't want to get so behind that I forget!
2. I haven't left the house to go anywhere except school. I need fooooood!
1 Thing I'm happy to do-
1. Sims 4...My sims addiction usually comes in waves. I'll play for a while and then I'll go a couple months without playing. I've been a fan since I was in middle school and Sims 1 came out. I have every single Sims game, expansion pack, and stuff pack1 (I know, I'm crazy!) So of course, when Sims 4 came out, I HAD to have it. This is game is a big reason why I've been so unproductive! Ahhh! :)
Thanks for reading! I can't believe I actually posted two days in a row DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR! Whoo hoo! :)
Back to school sickies...it finally hit me! We've had a lot of kids out recently due to kids being sick. I knew it was a matter of time before I got it and it finally hit me Thursday. I probably shouldn't have gone to school Friday because I had a slight fever, but I didn't want to take off because our school already had 6 subs in for the day. Hopefully the weekend will be good to me and I can be back to almost 100% by Monday.
As for class, we're finally at the end of our first unit in my math classes. When I gave my kids math surveys the first week of school, they all shared with me that they like being able to learn out of their seats (what middle school child doesn't?). This is why I love task cards so much! I can hang them around the room and the kids go at it. They love being able to work with their partners to solve each problem and even more so because they get to walk around. This was my room last week (my class of 31!)
I love walking around and hearing the conversations that my kiddos have!
And my favorite pic of the day:
I just love how that picture turned out!
These task cards were focused on Area of a Square. I knew that if I asked my kids how to find the area of a square, they were going to tell me A = lw. It happens every year. So I always have to teach them and remind them that they need to use A = s^2. Of course, I always have one student that says, "well, it's the same thing isn't it? because you're multiply the length and the width.". It's not until we start solving word problems in which you have to find a missing side length given an area that they truly understand WHY we need to use the correct formula. I love clearing up misconceptions! You can find these task cards here.
Alright, I'm off to take some meds and rest. Until next time! :-)
I'm linking up with Teaching Trio for The Sunday Scoop! Thank goodness for fun linky parties like this - otherwise, my poor bloggy would be more neglected than ever!
3 Things I have to do:
1 - Boyfriend and I went to Raleigh/Durham yesterday just to get out of town and poke around. We had a blast! We went to Southpoint for the first time and it's so pretty over there! We will definitely be back! Saturday's are usually my planning days, so now I'm behind in finishing up this upcoming weeks plans. I will get them done after this post!
2. Friday, my principal asked me to be math department chair this year. Although I am happy to help, I need to prepare myself for the workload that comes with it. We found out Friday afternoon that the dept. chairs needs to give a presentation at the staff meeting on Wednesday about the school EVAAS data that came back last week. Just so happens that the rest of my hall are dept chairs as well, so we will be working together to put this presentation together. Thank goodness for my awesome hall! My hall works so well together and we have fun doing so! I love them!
3. Grading papers. Ick. I remember when I was student teaching, I LOVED grading papers. Actually becoming a teacher ruined that for me lol. I absolutely hate it. Because we've been doing teacher walkthroughs during planning, meeting, and all of the above, my grading has gotten WAYYYY behind and progress reports come out on Tuesday (whoops). *sigh* I'll get it together one day.
2 Things I hope to do:
1. I need to blog! So many fabulous things happened last week in class and I've been taking pictures. Now I just need to find time to blog about it!
2. And this is why I"m so behind on everything outside of school! I have been a fan of the Sims franchise since I was in middle school and Sims 1 came out. I own every single Sims game and expansion pack since Sims 1. So of course, when Sims 4 came out last week, I HAD TO HAVE IT. Bad. idea. Now all I want to do is play! I'm hoping to zoom through this lesson planning so I have some time to play tonight before I have to go to bed!
1 Thing I'm happy to do:
1. It sounds extremely nerdy, but I am happy to analyze this data to explain to the staff what we need to do to improve. I guess it's because I'm a math teacher, but I just love analyzing data. Data is so powerful! And the most exciting thing to come from this, is seeing where our weaknesses were and coming up with a plan to implement so our data will be better next year! :-)
I look forward to this linky every month! I'm linking up with Farley for September Currently!
Listening - Boyfriend and I are thinking about re-doing our floors with laminate flooring. Right now we're leaning towards someone installing them, but he is researching on how to install them.
Loving - This extra day! The first week back is always draining, especially if you start the first week on a Monday! It's so nice to have this extra day to rest. My ankles and feet were definitely killing me by Friday! Plus, today I'm attending a friend's birthday cook out, so friends and food are always a plus.
Thinking - My lesson planning is done for next week, but I want to get ahead. My bellringers are not done though, so I need to get on that, especially since I want to post them on tpt!
Wanting - For September's earnings to exceed August! I can only hope for this! August was by far the best month I've ever, ever had! I usually set a goal and see if I can reach it. I had to raise my goal FIVE times! I love back to school time!! Seeing how well last month went definitely motivates me to work on more products for tpt and post them.
Needing - Which leads me into Needing! I have some things that I can post, but I've been way too lazy to make answer keys for them! Ahhh! I need to get it together! I also have some ideas for my store that I am excited about! I'll have to try really hard to hold it in until it's time to blog about it (when it's done!)!!!
3 Trips - To be honest, I am not a traveling gal. I get really bad car sickness even just riding down the rode if I'm not driving. But I would like to go to Hawaii, Bahamas, and NY. A couple teacher friends and I were talking about going on a cruise. I think that would be fun!!
I can't believe it's September already! I'm ready for the cool weather! Until next time! :)
1. Survived the first week of school! Yay! I love all my kiddos this year. They're great! And they are so eager to learn - double yay!
2. Finally finished getting all my data stuff together. I made data folders for every single 8th grader so it took a while! Now I just need to finish grading these pre-tests and we can start charting!
3. Started implementing my new bellringer routine on Friday. My kids loved the error analysis activity that we did. I'm excited for Tuesday's bellringer!
2 things that I enjoyed this week that were not school related:
1. Boyfriend and I took a trip to Raleigh and we had loads of fun! We went to the farmer's market and bought three bottles of fresh honey. It tasted soooo good - we couldn't pass it up! We then nerded out at the bookstore and poked around Sam's, Michael's, and Trader Joe's!
2. Went to go with my parents to visit my sister at college. She's studying to be a music teacher. We ate at Chico's (my first time - I've been missing out!) and then went back to her new apartment where she gave me a bunch of free ECU stuff that they were giving away for free! Score!!
1 thing I'm looking forward to this week:
1. Starting my math lessons! Last week was full of get to know you activities, ice breakers, setting up interactive notebooks, and pre assessments. Tuesday will be our first math lesson! :)
Long time, no blog! I was afraid this was going to happen once school started back! I'm definitely going to make it a priority to blog at least once a week - probably every Saturday. I have so much to tell!! Eeeek!
The first day back with the kids was Monday. Our group of kids this year are ah-ma-zing! I was a little nervous at the beginning because our hall is now a four person team, so every one of our classes are filled with 30 or more kids. But seriously, even though it's only the first week of school, I can tell that this will be a fabulous year! This week was spent doing ice breakers with the kids, getting to know them, and setting up the beginnings of our interactive notebooks. As soon as I get these parental consent forms signed and return, I can't wait to start posting pics up here to share!
I have yet to show my classroom pics! I keep forgetting to take picture before I leave. I will have to remember to do so next week!
This year, I decided to change up my bellringer routine. Before, I would give a couple problems for my students to solve that reviewed over what we learned the day before. This year, I decided to take a different route. I was reading through another blog and saw they had something similar (If it was you, please let me know so I can give you a shout out! I can't remember who it was :( ). I liked the concept they had, but I changed up some of the themes to best fit my class.
Every Monday is known as Mental Monday. My kids will have to complete problems without a calculator and use EOG like gridded response sheets to record their answer so they can get use the that part of the state test.
Tuesday is known as Tough Patterns Tuesday (Borrowed that one!) I really liked that concepts so that is one that I kept from the original poster. Tough patterns tuesday is when I give my students a graph, table, etc. and they will have to analyze the graph or table and answer questions. A bit part of the 8th grade EOG is functions, so this is perfect to implement every week.
Wednesday is known as Words Worth Knowing Wednesday. A big focus this year for our math department is math vocabulary. My front bulletin board is dedicated to math vocabulary for our units. We will do something different each week, such as creating frayer models, engaging in a matching activity, drawing or providing examples for each vocab word to name a few.
Thursday is Throwback Thursday AKA #tbt (I borrowed this one too - I loved it too much!) This is when we solve problems that we have learned this year and are reviewing or even concepts that were covered in years past.
Lastly, my all time favorite...
Flub Friday is when we focus on error analysis type questions. This past Friday was the first day we actually started bellringers. I found this AWESOME activity from Middle School Math Addict. (You all should check her out! She has both a TPT store and blog - just click the links provided!) It's an error analysis activity that focuses on two friends that apply the order of operations. My students worked together to see which friend worked it out correct and which one didnt. They then had to write a written response as to who they thought was wrong and why. I LOVED THIS because it turns out that I was seeing this scenario in real life! It was hilarious! One student would get the friend 1 answer and the other student would get friend 2's answer. So after I gave them time to work, we had a class discussion about their answers. I let friend 1 supporters argue their point and friend 2 supporters argue their point. In summary, it was such a great activity. And, it was a perfect intro because it review what they should have learned in the past and allowed me to clear up misconceptions at the same time (applying operations from left to right).
I had such a great time this past week. I can't wait until this next week when I actually start my lessons! Next post - DATA!! Be on the look out! :)
My poor bloggy! This week was the first week back from summer break and it's been a long one! I have so much to share, but will wait until the long weekend to tell about my week.
Quick question for my fellow bloggers - if you intend on showing student work and activities (of course, no face showing and no last names) on your blog, instagram, and/org facebook, do you send home a letter and have the parents sign to allow this or opt out? I'd like to know if I should do this to cover myself or just post and ask for forgiveness later.
It's been a crazy week! Last week was my last full week before school starts for teachers tomorrow. Of course, it was spent either setting up my classroom or helping out at district workshops. Two days last week, I helped out at the new teacher orientation that our district holds every year to welcome the brand new teachers. Three of the six middle school teachers there are coming to my school, so I more than happy to come and help. They are AWESOME! I had a blast those two days. I think we are going to have a fun year this year!
Anywho, I'm linking up with Middle School Math Rules for Sunday 3-2-1 Linky.
3 Things I Need to Accomplish This Week
1) Plan for my classes
2) Finish my practice interactive notebook for both 8th grade math and Foundations of Math II (at least the first two chapters)
3) Make copies for my data trackers, open house papers, and back to school forms
2 Things I'm Letting Go of For Now
1) Being such a perfectionist - It drives me insane.
2) Worrying over the first days of school (my b2s nightmares don't help)
1 Thing I Need to Remember
1) To breathe and understand that I can't worry over things that I can't control.
Good Morning! I'm linking up with 4th grade frolics for another Monday Made it. I don't have too much to share this week. A lot of this week was spent cleaning my classroom and spending wayyyy too much money on shopping with friends!
This had to be #1 this morning. The past couple of nights have been rough. I haven't been able to stay asleep throughout the night because I have five million thoughts running through my head - mainly things I need to get done before school starts. Anywho, we used to have a keurig, but boyfriend wanted to buy a french press and try it out. We've never gone back!! Coffee out of a french press tastes so much better! I never thought I would admit that because I loved my keurig so much!
Last night I made these because I knew I was going to school today and needed new rules posters. When I was creating these, I decided to call them "classroom norms" instead of "classroom rules". I just think it sounds better to me than "rules". I love how they came out! I can't wait to put them up today - even though this will be a challenge since I am 5 feet and I'm planning on hanging these up above my whiteboard near the ceiling. This should be fun!
My friend over at Math Made Gr8 posted a pic of her classroom and I saw this near her desk. I HAD to have one! She graciously messaged me some links as to where to find one and I got this one off of amazon. I love this thing! And it matches my other cart that I already have in my classroom. It was definitely a splurge, but totally worth it because I can fit so much on the top two racks and have more room on my desk! And I put this thing together on my own. Boyfriend had a kick watching me even take this thing out of the box! :)
The next few pics are not part of Monday Made it, but I had to share because I was so excited about my deals this past weekend!
I.LOVE.THESE.PENCILS! These pencils are my all time favorite pencils! They are so stinkin' expensive during the school year, so I jump right on them when they go on sale during summer. These were $1 at staples and there was no limit! I cleaned their shelf off (shhh, don't tell anyone!) I was one of those crazies that waiting in the parking lot for them to open at 10am just so I could get to them first. Yeah, I told you I was a school supply addict!! Don't worry though Wilson peeps, when I went to check out, the manager was stocking the shelf with more! ;-)
Best deal of the weekend!! I dragged boyfriend all the way to Rocky Mount (it's about a 25 minute drive from me) to hit up the office depot the snag these deals!! The box of 12 mechanical pencils were on sale for 25 cents each with a limit of 3 and each inkjoy pen was also 25 cents with a limit of 3. With me and boyfriend getting 3 of each, I ended up getting a total of 72 mechanical pencils (6 boxes) and 6 inkjoy pens for $3.20!! Deal like this is NOT good for my school supply addiction! If office depot was closer to my house, I would go again! :)
That's all for now - I gotta head to school to work on my classroom! Until next time!
Good Morning! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for this week's five for friday! It's been one crazy week!
I made one of those teacher tool boxes a couple of years ago and it was looking pretty sad. I originally spray painted it pale pink, so you could see every dust particle and every tiny little scuff mark. I decided it was time for a face lift!
Yay!! I spray painted it hot pink and it looks so much better! Plus, a lot of what I have in my classroom is hot pink so it matches my classroom decor.
At my school, we have four new teachers coming in! I get so excited because I like showing them how great our school is. Our school is a family - everyone gets along and we all, and I mean ALL, have each others backs! So when I heard we were getting four new staff members, I asked the principal if we (the mentors) could get together a welcome gift.
And this is what I put together! It looks even cuter now because yesterday I found these stickers that represented each subject and I was able to individualize the bins with their subject area! I also made a teacher survivial kit poem to go with it.
It's not the best quality because i haven't printed it out yet. Some of these I borrowed from google and some of these I came up with. I hope they like it!!
I have slowly been working on my no name board and have finally gotten around to decorating the clothes pins. In the past, I decorated clothes pins by covering them with scrapbook paper and then modpodging them. That took a lot of time (for me, anyway), so this time around, I decided to use washi tape. Because I'm a total weirdo, the edges have to be completely straight or it will bother me to no end! So that's when I recruited the boyfriend<3 to cut the edges with his exacto knife kit (he makes knives as his hobby, have I mentioned that?)
I've always wanted to make some kind of business card or magnet for the parents so they can contact me whenever they need to. Last week, I took the time to make magnets! I figured it would be great to have my magnet on their fridge so they have my information. I used powerpoint to create it, printed them, and laminated them to make them sturdy. I then used magnet tape for the back and voila!
Nothing too fancy, just a card that has my info and planning time. Plus it gave me the opportunity to use magnet tape that I bought from a teacher store that was not very strong. Just strong enough to hold up something small like this.
And finally, I'll leave you with this snapchat pic I sent my friends the other day. Kramer always trying to steal my food! :-)