Sunday, November 30, 2014

TpT Sale!

If you haven't heard yet, teacherspayteachers is throwing a cybermonday sale this Monday and Tuesday!

Thanks to Teachers are Terrific for providing the banner! You can visit her here!
I am putting everything in my store 20% off! Type in TPTCYBER when you checkout and you will get a total of 28% off your total purchase! :-)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Data Walls

Does your school require data walls?

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! :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A whole month.

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. :)