Showing posts from February, 2014

Interactive Slope Sliders

I'm using this interactive graph tool to illustrate the effects of changing the slope or y-intercept on the graph of a line.  This tool is nice because you can also show the table.

2πr Increasing

Have you ever made a wordle?  A wordle is a word cloud.  You can use any text and the more times a word appears in the text, the large it appears in the word cloud.  You can use wordle in the classroom or in life!  I recently had to keep track of the food I ate for a week and turned it into a wordle just for fun.  Looks like this baby is getting a lot of cheese, pretzels, oatmeal, and greek yogurt! :)

Baby Bump at 24 Weeks!

Student's Weekly Reflections

I am having my students do a weekly reflection on Fridays.  Check them out here:
Regular Math Classes Blogs
Advanced Math Class Blogs

Each Friday they will answer 5 reflection questions on their blog:

1. What did you learn in math this week?

2. How are your grades this week?  Are they better, worse, or the same as last week?

3. What is one interesting thing you read this week? (fiction or non-fiction)

4. What is one act of kindness you did or observed this week?

5. Free choice reflection. (about music, TV, weather, movie, friends, family, sports, clubs, etc.)

2πr Increasing

A little late with the bump pic this week.  I'm at 23 weeks already!

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

I love to celebrate wacky holiday is my classroom.  However, today's holiday isn't so wacky.  Today is "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day."  This one is close to my heart because I have a BS in Civil Engineering.  I actually worked for 2 years as an environmental engineer before deciding to go to grad school to become a teacher!

Me at a Hazardous Materials Training back in the day. :)

Middle school is an especially important time to encourage girls to appreciate their successes in math and science.  There is still quite a discrepancy between the numbers of men and women going into the field of engineering.

Today, my warm-up (bell ringer) is going to be to have students explore some links about engineering... both boys and girls.
10 Reasons to Love Engineering
Engineering Careers

But I do plan to especially make sure I have a little 1:1 moment with girls that I think would make great engineers!

Blog Post About My Blog of Student Blogs

So today I'm blogging about having my students blog! :)

I decided to have my students create their own blogger blog and use it to reflect on things they are learning in class.  I set up a class blog to post assignments and to add their blogs to the blog list.  I intend to assign different topics for them to blog about as well as to have them comment on other student's blogs.

So far we went over safety (don't use last names, only school-appropriate content) and they have 2 posts assigned.  I'll let you know how this project goes, but so far it's been working great!

Standards For Mathematical Practice: Middle Schooler Friendly Language

The Standards for Mathematical Practice are the place to start even if your school/district isn't fully implementing the CCSS yet.  You can use these practices with your current curriculum.  If you are implementing CCSS, it is a good idea to refer to these practices often and make sure that you are addressing at least 1 or 2 per lesson.

I have seen some "kid-friendly" versions of the practices, but haven't come across some that are "middle schooler friendly" meaning not too babyish!  I put the practices into my own words-- words that I think are appropriate for mathematicians in grades 6-8.  You can click here to download my "Middle Schooler Friendly Standards for Mathematical Practice."

Pregnant Teacher: 1st Trimester

I thought that I would take a few posts to talk about my experiences as a pregnant middle school teacher.  Being pregnant has it's own challenges and so does being a middle school teacher... put those two things together and you have a pretty unique situation that deserves a little planning to make it through!

Today I'm focusing on the first trimester.

"Morning" Sickness If you are like me, you will be feeling a little nauseous.  Hopefully you won't be one of those poor people that can't keep any food down and are throwing up in their classroom trashcan.  For me, it was just a constant nauseous feeling (why do they call it morning sickness when it lasts all day?).  The worst part is that this is the time that you are probably not telling your coworkers what is going on, so you can't even pull the sympathy card.  
Bring snacks to munch on.  I found that keeping a little something in my stomach was better than having an empty stomach.  Some mornings I had to…

Sorry Justin Bieber

Dear Justin,
This week, in class, a student asked if I was going to celebrate your birthday.  I made a joke that I was not because of your recent bad behavior.  I did not think about the fact that some of my students are big fans.  They took my joke personally, as if I insulted a member of their own family.  Sometimes it is easy to forget, as an adult, just how important their crushes can be.  This was a good reminder that I need to be careful with my words even if I am talking about a celebrity that has made some bad choices lately.  I need to make sure that I am always modeling respect.

Mrs. Forest

P.S. If you could also work on being a good role model that would help too!  Thanks!

Happy Valentine's Day

I got an email from NCTM's Illuminations about some cool math activities/brain teasers you can do for Valentine's Day.  I thought I would share!  Enjoy!

Build Our Love (easier) Plot Our Love (medium) Graph Our Love (challenging... high school level)

Presenting at the MMC Conference

On February 1st I attended and presented at the Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago's Conference.  It was a great experience and I was flattered that they asked me to present after reading about my ICTM presentation in the ICTM program from their annual meeting in October.

It was super snowy that Saturday morning and it was pretty tough driving there!  I couldn't even see where the lane lines were on the highway which was pretty scary at times.  I ended up making it in time, though, so that was good.

I changed my presentation a little from October and also provided these handouts to participants.  I think the people that attended my session liked what I did.  I think the "Get it Together Activity" was the highlight of the session.  It is always so fun to teach teachers something new that they can use in their classrooms right away.

The two sessions I attended were good.  One was about common misconceptions that students have regarding algebra and the other were …

2πr Increasing

My circumference continues to increase...
22 weeks!   According the the baby is the size of a papaya!

Why I Love the Middle School Model

I recently had dinner with a friend who has two small kids.  She was talking about where she plans to send her oldest to Kindergarden.  We were discussing the difference between districts that offer K-8 schools vs. K-5/middle school.  Her perspective was interesting.  She thought that getting to stay in the same school for K-8 was better because it was less moving schools and I'm guessing she felt it would establish more of a community.

Her perspective was interesting to me because I hadn't thought of it that way.  However, it doesn't change my mind that middle schools are best for grades 6-8.  Ages 11-14 are a unique time and requires a unique team of adults that understand the needs of the students.  A sense of community develops in middle schools because the age of our students and their needs are respected.  My experience during my first year of teaching was at a K-8 school where my 8th graders were expected to walk in quiet lines in the hallways just like the little …

February Desktop Background

Here's February's cute desktop background.  I have been downloading them each month at the blog called Going Home to Roost.  Enjoy!

MMC Conference

I attended the Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago Conference on Saturday.  I'll post more about it soon.  I just wanted to say a quick THANK YOU to the teachers that attended my session.  It is always fun to present to teachers that are excited to learn, friendly, and willing to participate!