Friday, March 15, 2013

Geometry Galore!

I was so excited to finally make it to the geometry section in our math book a few weeks ago. That is, until my kiddos gave me that worried look at the beginning of the chapter. I could tell they were nervous about these concepts and knew I needed to get busy! Enter these awesome resources that I made/found:

Looking for apps? Geometry Quest is a HUGE hit in my classroom! My kids absolutely adore this game, and I love that they're getting a constant review of lines, angles, shapes, etc...There is a lite version, which is what we started with, but my kids were so engaged that I bought the app. WELL worth $1.99! 




We constantly play Guess My Number, a game in which the teacher thinks of a number and the students ask questions with yes/no answers to try and figure out the number. So when I found this free Guess Who? game about shapes, I knew my kiddos would love it!

We love "I have, who has" games! In my class we race to see how quickly we can complete the game and if we can beat the previous score. This game is a quick, fun review that encourages students to read geometry terms correctly. You can find it in my store here.



I created these task cards for a center. The students follow the directions on the front, then turn them over to check. You can find them in my store here.



This is another center activity I created to help familiarize students with the correct ways to name lines, line segments, and angles. They read what is on the card and choose the correct answer. Scanning the QR code tells students whether or not the choose correctly. You can get it here

We've been having a great time learning about geometry now. Hopefully you can use some of them, too!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Truth About SB-190

I almost never post about political happenings, but I just couldn't sit back this time. There are too many people out there bombarding the public with false information under the guise of "helping students." How is it okay for a group who claims to support Christian values and morals to propagate half truths and out-right lies?!

The group I'm referring to has made outrageous claims that are easily proven false. Here are just a few examples:

Myth: Common Core is secret and many parents are unaware of the standards.
TRUTH: They're right here on the state department's website, accessible to anyone.

Myth: Common Core is anti-Christian and anti-American.
TRUTH: Standards are objectives to be met, not curriculum. Standards refer to the goals and outcomes of the learning, while curriculum is the medium used to teach the objectives. As an example, an objective might be "Use text clues and background knowledge to draw conclusions." The curriculum I use to teach this objective could be my text book, trade books, website, science books, newspapers, or any other appropriate material. Common Core does not dictate material.

Myth: Common Core takes control away from the State Department of Education in determining standards.
TRUTH: The SDE chose to use the standards as well as add some specific only to Alabama, renaming the new document Alabama's College and Career Ready Standards, with the goal being that all students who graduate from an Alabama high school will be ready to enter either college or the work force.

Myth: Common Core invades students' privacy by collecting data and "tracking them through retirement."
TRUTH: Standards are objectives, not a data collection mandate. States that are part of the Race To the Top grant must collect data as part of the grant, but Alabama is not a RTT state.

Myth: Under Common Core, high school seniors are only required to read at an eighth grade level.
TRUTH: From the CCRS document, twelfth grade standard 9.) By the end of Grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the Grades 11-College and Career Readiness (CCR) text complexity band independently and proficiently. [RL.11-12.10]


Senate Bill 190 is a bill that would repeal Alabama's College and Career Ready Standards, and set our state on a backwards track. If passed, we would be required to STOP teaching the rigorous standards and revert back to our previous courses of study. No material that is "Common Core" approved or written to address Common Core standards could be purchased with state funds or used. Scariest of all, this bill strips power from the SDE to create standards and gives it to the legislature.

If you are a legislator, I urge you to vote no on this bill. Please do not stop the forward progress that we are making as a state. Our students deserve to learn and be held to the same standard (or higher) than the rest of the country! They're competing for jobs and scholarships with students across the nation, and even globally. CCRS are the rigorous standards that Alabama's students need!

If you're a parent, grandparent, or concerned citizen, please let your voice be heard by signing this petition or contacting our legislators and telling them to vote no on SB-190. 


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Clutter Free Classroom Project

I'm a little late jumping on this band wagon, but better late than never, right? I absolutely love the tips from one of my favorite blogs, Clutter-Free Classroom, and I've decided to join up with her Clutter Free Classroom Project, starting with #5:
I started with this particular project because my teacher area is usually the LAST thing that I worry about! I'm so busy working with the kiddos that my area becomes a place to pile papers or whatever until I can get to them later, resulting in a huge mess. I delayed posting this because I wanted to test myself and see if I could actually stick with my newly cleaned, organized area. I did!!! Check out my results:
Most of the items you see here were just piled there waiting to be put away! My days of the week drawers were piled on top (sorry you can't see that in the picture). And can you see my lesson plans taped to the computer CPU? 

Ah! Neatness! And you can see the top of my desk! I'll have to add some photos showing the desktop (forgot to take them). 

The result: I feel like I can think more clearly and find things more easily. I "found" some things I thought I'd lost. I have a clean, clear work space for grading papers and doing lesson plans. Love it!

Still to do: Clean out the files and drawers in my desk. They're not so bad, as I organized them over the summer, but they need a little attention. 

Want to see more classroom transformations? Check out her linky here

 

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