Archive | August, 2013

By the Numbers First Week of School Activity

19 Aug

This is a new activity I’m going to try this year. I think it’s going to be a great way for me to share some facts about me with my students, and for me to learn about them. And they have to use numbers to tell me (and their classmates) about themselves. I call it a first week of school activity, but it could be used for the first day, or later in the first week or even assigned as a homework assignment in the first week.

I created a worksheet that has a box in the center and says “By the Numbers” underneath the box. I’m going to start by showing the students my example…


My example. I chose numbers that I could use to tell students more about me. For example the 12 is the number of the QB on my favorite team (the Colts) and my least favorite team (the Patriots). This way they’ll learn that I’m a big sports/football fan.

I’ll have students write their name above the box and then draw a self portrait in the box. Then I’m going to have them write at least 5 facts around the box using numbers. For example “3 = the number of siblings I have” or “20 = the number of books I read this summer”.  I’m probably going to give students about 15 minutes to write their facts and draw the self portrait. Then I’m going to have them share some of their facts with me and the class. Depending on the time left and the number of students in each class, I will limit the number of facts they share.

I think this will be a fun way to get info about my students, instead of having them just fill out info sheets. Plus I love the fact that it uses numbers.

If you want the PDF that I’m going to pass out to students you can get it for free on my TpT site. I highly encourage using this with your math students, and especially make your own to share with them!


Planner Pains

15 Aug

Each year I browse the school sections at Target, WalMart, Office Depot and so on. I love seeing all those shiny new school supplies and it gets me even more excited about the upcoming school year. I always check out the school planners. I love school planners, but I can never find one that I think is good enough for my teaching plans. So this year I decided to create my own pages.


Last year I taught 3 sections of 7th grade math, and 3 sections of 7th grade preAlgebra. So I just used a regular planner and had two columns. This year I’m going to be teaching Math 6, Math 7, PreAlgebra, and Algebra. I’m going to have to be much more organized in order for each class to be successful. I’m not big on writing out super long lesson plans, but I like to have a general description down. So I wanted to share with you all what I created. I’m also going to put it on TpT for free, so you can customize it for yourself it you want. I used Excel, so the formatting may be difficult if you’re not used to using Excel.

So basically I’m going to print several of these and put them in a three ring binder with my other needed teacher documents.

How do you all document lesson plans? I’m open to any suggestions!

Link to TpT site :


Math Wreath

13 Aug

ImageSometimes I think I should teach art, and then I remember I really don’t like art, I like crafts. Like may not be strong enough a word. I LOVE CRAFTS! I try to work them into math class as much as possible. Here’s my latest craft project: A Welcome Wreath for my classroom door! It was a lot easier to make then I thought it would be, and I love the look of it. Great way to use those old wooden rulers hanging out in your classroom cabinet!

Materials you’ll need…

  • 18 wooden rulers
  • 6 inch hoop (I used an embroidery hoop)
  • Your choice of embelishments
  • Ribbon for hanging
  • Exacto Knife
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue

First you need to cut the rulers in half. I did this by scoring the ruler on both sides around the 6 inch mark. Then I just broke the ruler in half.


Then glue one round of rulers on the hoop. I started at the top (12 o’clock) then did the bottom (6 o’clock), then left and right (3 and 9 o’clock). Then I put a half-ruler in between each of these.

ImageThen I flipped the ring over and put a half-ruler in between each of the already glued rulers. They’re not going to fit perfectly. You’re basically making a second layer.

ImageThen I glued on my embellishments. I made a few flowers out of old textbooks, and then some chalkboards with my name. Then I used a sharpie to color some wood letters black and glued those on. I used a ribbon to hang it. Hopefully my students will like it as much as I do!



New Year’s Resolution

5 Aug

It’s almost the start of the school year!! It’s that great time of year when I’ve forgotten all the terrible parent emails, the long (seemingly pointless) meetings, and the headaches that often come with teaching. I’m full of ideas for the new year, and a determination that this year, I’m going to do it right. I’m anxious to set up my classroom, meet my new students, and start the year off right. A lot has changed over the past few months. I’ll be talking about those in my future posts, but today I want to talk about my resolutions for this upcoming school year. I know a lot of teachers make goals for the new year, and I like to make resolutions (that way if I don’t meet my goal, I don’t feel like such a failure! Lame I know). 

My main resolution this year is to keep the excitement  I have right now throughout the school year. It’s so easy to get down about teaching, and frustrated with the grading, emails and management problems. Whenever I get down about the job this year, I’m going to surf some blogs, browse pinterest, and get excited about doing something new with my kids.

Also I resolve to remember that it’s not about me, or my fellow staff members, the admin, or even the parents. It’s about the kids, and making their learning experience as great as possible. This is one I really struggle with during the year. I focus too much on all the bad stuff, and not enough on making it great for the students.

I’m also hoping that throughout the year when I update this blog, I’ll see this post and remember what I want to be working on.

Coming soon … First Day activities, fun classroom ideas, More Math-tastic activities

I hope everyone has a great start to the new school year! I cannot wait to share more with you, and also hear all about the amazing things you’re doing in your classroom.