Posts

Showing posts from February, 2015

A Review of My Review

Image
I get so excited when someone reads my blog! When I noticed that I was getting a little traffic from this link, I had to go check it out. How cool-- the writers of the online book, Nix the Tricks, quoted my blog on their site! I'm flattered.


So... now I'm sending you to their link, so you can see that they link back to me reviewing their book, which sends you back to their link! So enjoy that little internet wormhole, math peeps! :)

When I look at my students, what do I see?

Image
Middle schoolers believe you when you tell them they are smart, kind, or funny. They also believe you if you tell them they are lazy, unmotivated, struggling, or "behind." Although they may not show it or tell you, your words have a big impact on their own beliefs about themselves. It is important that we take this power seriously and are careful with our words. One (even joking) negative comment can become part of a students inner voice about his or her abilities.



I'm writing this as a reminder to myself about the power of our words. Of course, I am never the teacher to outright tell a student that they are lazy... but maybe I am implying it in some way? When I ask a student, "Did you not do your blog assignment, again?" Was that "again" at the end of my sentence necessary? no. Was it hurtful? maybe.

I'm going to make sure that my words are positive and helpful. Even when I'm tired. Even when I'm overwhelmed. Even when a student didn'…

Pi Day: A Math Holiday!

Image
Pi Day is about 3 weeks away! What are you doing in your classroom to celebrate? Now is the time to start looking for ideas. Check out the page called "I Love Pi" for some inspiration to get you started!

Students' Frequently Asked Questions

Image
As teachers, we repeat ourselves... a lot. If you teach middle school, multiply that amount of repeating by 10. Seriously. Middle Schoolers have so much going on, so many distractions, so much to worry about that I find if I don't repeat something at least three times, I can be sure that more than half of the students didn't hear it. It's not that I don't expect silence as I'm talking. I also expect students to look at me when I'm speaking. But if I don't say the words a few times, and then maybe once more in a different way, I can be sure that my class won't have fully understood my directions.

This can be exhausting. 
Now, I understand that this is part of the job and I get that-- but sometimes it's so tiring to explain something to turn around and have a student ask me a question that I just explained. Another version of this is when students email me questions that I've already gone over... multiple times.
So, I've developed a list of &…

Estimation: A Powerful Skill

Image
Why is estimation powerful? Students that can estimate have better number sense, problem solving abilities, and can judge whether an answer just "makes sense." I would say that makes them pretty powerful when it comes to math. All of my students could benefit from beefing up their estimation abilities!

I have found a few resources that I plan to use together to bring estimation to life in my classroom. The added bonus is that students find this super FUN! Also, if you are familiar with the SAMR model  for using technology in education, this activity is definitely "above the line" in the transformation area.


I found some great estimation activities (with videos) on this blog, Estimation 180. I am using it along with a interactive tool called Active Prompt

It works like this: 1. Find estimation problem on Estimation 180 2. Take screen shot of question and upload to Active Prompt. 3. Give students the link to active prompt and their warm-up is to drag the red dot to…