Sunday, August 31, 2014

3-2-1 Summary

I'm linking up with Teaching Statistics for the #MTBOS Challenge and 3-2-1 Summary.

3 things that happened this week:

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! :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

New School Year Ideas

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! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'm alive!!

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.

Thanks for your feedback! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School SALE!

Hey guys!

Just in case you haven't heard, TPT is throwing a 1 day back to school sale starting at MIDNIGHT! Here's your chance to purchase those common core posters to hang on your board...

or data trackers to have your students keep up with their growth throughout the year!

My ENTIRE store will be 20% off! On top of that, TPT will throw in an additional 10%!! Visit my store here! :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday 3-2-1 Link Up!

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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Made It

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!

Friday, August 8, 2014


I might as well go all in with the social media - I am now on instagram!! Add me @themathnerdette and I will add you back! :-)

Five for Friday Linky!

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! :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tackling the Classroom

I've been working summer school all July long, so this past Monday was the first time I could actually go to school to work on my classroom. On Monday, I did more dusting and cleaning than anything. I forget how dirty everything gets when a room is unoccupied for so long. Not only was it so dusty, but apparently every spider at my school has decided to make my classroom home. Ughhh! Needless to say, I left my classroom Monday afternoon messier than it was before I got there!

Tuesday I wasn't able to work on my classroom because I had mentor training with NCDPI. When I was a first year teacher, my county assigned retired teachers to new teachers as their mentors for their first three years of teaching. Because of funds, they unfortunately cut this program. I was already a fourth year teacher, so I was lucky to have my three years with my mentor. But I can't imagine being a new teacher and not having a mentor there to help! I learned so much from my own mentor that has made me a better teacher! Thankfully, our county is now revamping the mentor program by assigning veteran teachers to new teachers within the school building. I get to meet my two mentees next week at a luncheon my school is hosting! I'm excited to be working with these new teachers!

Today, I was able to go back to school and work on my classroom again. I was able to do more than clean this time! I set up my tables and chairs (Every class I have will be over 30 this year because my hall will be a four person team). Because I have to accomodate so many kids, I have no room for anything! I had to resort to placing my student computers on my cabinets, next to the faucets (I'm sure I'm going to be told to move them).

My big mess!

This was a shelf that was left behind by a previous teacher. It was plain white and dirty from wear and tear. I spruced it up with some polka dot wrapping paper, then outlined the edges with bright green washi tape!

This is the bulletin board at the front of my room. Previous years, I have used this wall for school news, calendar, important info, and keeping up with absences. Because I really want to focus on vocab this year, I turned this into my words worth knowing board. Those sentences strips are laminated, so I can write and wipe whenever I need too. I made vocab cards for each section on powerpoint, but I figured I would be more likely to change out the words or add to the list if I wrote them with an expo instead! The words on this bulletin board will be the words we focus on in a unit and my kiddos will be required to use our WWK ISN template, which you can download for free here.

Here is the left side of my whiteboard where I section off for EQ's, standards, and lesson for each of my classes. It feels GREAT that I only have two preps this year!!!! 

Here is my unfinished data wall. I decided since my word wall is now my front bulletin board, I'm going to use my entire back wall for data purposes. I'm still thinking about how I'm going to implement this data wall. I THINK what I'm going to do is have this display pre/post assessment averages for each standard. I have two sections of 8th grade math and two sections of Foundations of Math II, so I think I'm going to have different color bars to represent each class and make it into a competition. I'm also planning on finding a way to show my class goals so my kids can see if they class has met the goal that I have set for them.

I've been looking around for examples of other data walls, but I find so many elementary walls. I'm teaching math to the entire 8th grade and it would be overwhelming to have every single student represented on the wall, which is why I decided to use it for class averages. For individual data tracking, I'm going to continue to use my data trackers from last year, which you can find in my tpt store. My kids enjoy coloring in their graphs and seeing how much they've grown. Plus, each of their goals are individualized based off of EVAAS, so a lot of them like to keep their goals private. I have math I trackers, 8th grade trackers, 7th grade trackers, and 6th grade trackers available in my tpt store! 

That's all for now! Until next time! :-)

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Currently...

I'm linking up with Farley for this month's currently!

Listening - It's been raining all. day. long. but at least it's cooling down outside. I'm just hoping that it doesn't get any more humid - for my hair's sake!

Loving - As previously posted, boyfriend purchased a color laser printer and I've seriously gone printer crazy. I'm creating letters and posters and magnets galore. At least the excitement is motivating me to get stuff done for the school year! ;-)

Thinking - I've been working summer school for the entire month of July, so I haven't been able to get as much done as I would have liked. We have make ups next week, but I have mentor training one day next week, then I'm helping with our new teacher orientation the week after. This summer has definitely flown by!

Wanting - I've been stalking the weekly ads trying to find good deals. I usually keep my eye out for glue sticks, pencils, twisty papermate pencils (my fave), and expo markers. I've stocked up on glue sticks and expo markers last week, but of course I can never have enough! My teacher friends and I are taking a trip to Raleigh one Saturday to celebrate a birthday and hit up all of the teacher shops! I can't wait!

Needing - Again, because of summer school, I haven't been able to do much of anything. Because of the workshop I have to attend and helping out at the new teacher orientation, I'll only have 4 days total to clean, move desks, and decorate before school starts on the 18th!

What about you guys? What supplies do you keep any eye out for or stock up on during this time?!

Secondary Giveaway!!

There is a secondary giveaway happening at The Language Arts Classroom! There is something for everyone! Visit their Blog and check it out!! Contest ends on August 9th! If you teach Math I, Math II, and/or Math III, you have a chance to win my common core standards poster pack!! A $7/150 + page item for FREE!

100 follower giveaway results!

Good Morning! Thanks to everyone that submitted entries for my 100 follower giveaway!! Because I was TWO (yay!) likes away from 100 on my FB page, I decided to pick TWO winners!!! And the winners are...

Yay! Congrats to you both! Please check your email! :-)

Next goal - 200 followers! I can't wait for the next giveaway! :-)