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! :)

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