Saturday, November 2, 2013

PBIS Grade Level Bulletin Boards

My school is in its 2nd year of implementing school wide PBIS reward system.  I am a seventh grade rep and on the PR/spirit subcommittee for PBIS.  PBIS plans activities for the first day of school to help kick off the school year positively.  The first day of school consisted of a lot of house keeping and a grade level PBIS activity.  Each grade level had an activity that talked about positive behavior that represented our "Chute Choice"- responsible, respectful and successful.  

I had bulletin boards up before the 1st day of school and learned a little trick from a fellow teacher helping get the boards ready.  We used push pins to place the words before stapling.  I am a HUGE stickler on having my words centered so this trick was a big help! Why had I never thought of that?

Seventh graders read a short play that had to do with students bullying a peer through technology.  After reading the play students thought about how they could contribute to our school positively to decrease the "drama" of seventh grade.  Students recorded their thoughts on construction paper and I posted all of the papers on the seventh grade board.  

Sixth grade created comic strips about appropriate behavior demonstrated through out the school day.  These behaviors might be hallway, locker, bathroom behavior etc. 

 The sixth grade board was so large I had to break up the board into three pictures. 

These are all "before" pics- I never got a pic of the completed/posted comics.  Sorry!

I don't know the eighth grade activity but I do know that they ended with writing about something positive they wanted to be remembered by once they went to the high school.  They wrote their thoughts on eagles which is our school mascot. 

In case you were wondering - no I did not pick out the colors of the words! The colors made me cringe when putting the board together! 

I love doing bulletin boards at the beginning of the year before school gets crazy! Good thing these boards have themes that can last for months :) 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mystery Teacher and Carson-Dellosa Winner

Today was probably the best day with my students so far this year! We started our second book Stretching and Shrinking (CMP) with the introduction of the "mystery teacher".  We have a new math coach this year who taught at another middle school in our district for years.  He gave us (7th grade math teachers) the idea of using a real picture to help students starting thinking about similar figures.  He used the idea of a teacher taking his drinks out of the fridge in the teachers lounge.  We came up with a teacher caught taking students' notebooks out of their lockers.  

We needed a hat but were short on time so we used a sombrero - thank you Mr. Chung!  We used a composition notebook knowing we have them in our room for students to use as a reference.  We cropped the picture and made a "wanted" poster activity sheet for students. 

Wanted Poster

So much fun! The students were so into the problem and the conversations were AMAZING! Although I did over hear students discussing shoes or who owns a sombrero, I was able to redirect them back to the math by asking them what the problem was asking them to determine (the height).  I have not seen my students this engaged all year so it was really exciting to witness.

I loved when I found one of my most off task students laying composition books on the table to determine the height.

I so was proud of my students and the strategies they used to determine the height.  I think we are off to a great start with similar figures!

Finally - we have a WINNER for my first giveaway! Big Congrats to Melissa for winner her own set of common core standards! Thanks to all who entered the contest and if you are still interested in getting your own set of standards visit their website

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My First Giveaway: A Carson-Dellosa Common Core State Standards Kit!

I am very excited Carson-Dellosa contacted me to check out their middle school common core state standards kit.  The kit came the week before school started so I was able to show it off to all the math teachers when we came back to school! 

  The kit came with dividers to helps keep the standards grouped together by type of math concepts.  I really like that the strips have the standard language on one side and student friendly language on the other.

I was found an old pocket chart I purchased YEARS ago from the Target dollar bins that I never used and now have my standards nicely displayed on the front board for everyone to see :)

This is a great kit for teachers who are required to post the state standards on a daily basis.  What a great short cut to not only have the state standards but also student friendly standards posted daily! 

I teach CMP and the first book only had one state standard that fit with the mathematical concepts so my chart seems a little empty.  The next two books that will cover the Ratio and Proportion standards so the chart will be more exciting.  My principal does not require that I state the standards being taught everyday so I plan to change my standards for each book (about once a month).  The only issue I see with the kit is the font size of the standards.  Students would not be able to see these standards from their seats unless they are right up front.

If you are interested on getting your hands on your own Carson-Dellosa common core state standard kit it is your lucky day! Carson-Dellosa has graciously allowed me to host a middle school grades kit - $19.99 value!  You may choose a Math or Language Arts kit for grades 6, 7, or 8!  You can enter by following my blog and leaving a comment including your email address and grade level/content area kit you would like if you are the winner! The contest begins Sunday, September 15 and ends Sunday, September 29.  I will announce the winner Monday, September 30th!

Good Luck!

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Octahedron Summary Activity

One of my favorite summary activities this year was creating a octahedron with students throughout our 3-dimensional measurement unit (CMP Covering and Surrounding).  A year ago I found this pin on Pinterest.
When I saw this picture I visualized each face having an important vocabulary word or idea.  Since I am not big on students memorizing formulas I thought I could use the summary questions to help students explain HOW to find volume and surface area of 3-d figures in words.  
I posted the questions on the board at the end of each investigation. 

 Students were given two paper plates and wrote their explanations on the triangle formed by folding the edges.  I made sure they all wrote on the side with edges facing up so we could easily staple the flaps together.  I am sure you could do it on the other side but I didn't want to spend too much time figuring out how to get the staples to all be on the inside. 

As went discovered new ideas our octahedron started to form.  I only did 4 out of the 5 investigations so it ended up working out perfectly to have 2 questions per investigation. 
Activity tip: allow students to color their triangles (at least the edges).  I kept ALL of the octahedrons in the back of my room and it became really difficult to find names quickly when they were all plain white.  

I allowed students to use their octahedron on the test as a "cheat sheet".  Unfortunately many students didn't really think about the benefit of having complete and correct answers on each triangle until the day before the test. 

This was a great activity with the students and most students were engaged throughout the process.  In the future I would like to possibly hang them from the ceiling after the test!