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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Halloween Classroom Ideas

Are you planning on having a Halloween classroom party? 

Are you celebrating Halloween in the classroom this year? 

How do you have a great Halloween? Here are some tips for having a successful Halloween party in your classroom. Try one or all of these tips and your students will have a great Halloween celebration in your classroom this year! 

Halloween Classroom Ideas

1. Limit Candy Consumption

Depending on your school policy for Halloween and other holidays, error on the side of less is more. Students will have candy, students will bring Halloween trinkets, students will want to celebrate the spooky holiday. In preparation always buy a bag of candy or two for students to celebrate success or good behavior (if school policy allows it). Another great incentive is free homework passes or another reward that students will find value in. 

Start class on Halloween by listing the agenda, "Today's goals are ....x.......y ........z..., If you accomplish them, then you will be rewarded with 2 minutes of candy time at the end of class." That two minutes of candy time always seals the deal. Wow! The teacher is allowing us to eat candy. (It's going to happen. So prepare for it and allow it during a certain time). 

Remember that students appreciate a structure. Being the teacher with a structured class on such a chaotic day will benefit your class. Make sure your objectives for the day are clear and reward them appropriately for completing all the tasks. 

2. Students place ALL book bags in front of room

Keeping book bags in the front of the classroom allows for less distractions.  Students are less tempted to get in their bag for more candy or other Halloween items. Your classroom will have less behavior problems, less time talking about the book bags and other items, and more time focused on learning.

3. Plan for a Halloween Activity

Your entire lesson plan does not have to be Halloween based, but if you acknowledge the day with a bellwork question, your students will remember it more. Creating an environment to celebrate and acknowledge fun holidays is always helpful in developing rapport with your students. Think about what your students celebrate and how they celebrate it. Would having a Halloween math activity in class be helpful in building relationships with students?

However you decide to celebrate Halloween, remember to have fun! This is a great opportunity for building relationships with your students. Holidays are a great time to show the students you can enjoy learning math in your classroom.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

STEM Challenges for Middle School Halloween

Do your students like to make things and be creative in math? 
How do you have give students time to problem solve in math? 
Every year different students ask for projects or activities to do in class. This is the first year I have used STEM challenges. I've never used them before. Honestly I didn't know how they worked. Do they work?
Yes! I have found that there are STEM challenges that work. There are students that love to make and create. They are eager to build and work with other students on STEM challenges.

STEM Challenges for Middle School 

Students create, implement, and test their designs. The STEM challenges give students objectives to follow and guidelines to stay within. Any student can be successful with these STEM activities. Here are some STEM challenges to try this Halloween. 

1. Students create Candy Bags. 

Involving problem solving and volume students have to create candy bags to hold candy. Students design, plan, and test their creations. 

2.  Students build Bat Boxes. 

This is my favorite STEM challenge. Students have to create bat boxes with ratios and proportions. Highly engaging, lots of fun, and who doesn't like marshmallows?

3. Design Candy Corn Footballs

Students create paper footballs with rational numbers and test them on a football field. This is a highly engaging activity for students you like to create and play. 

4. Construct a Pumpkin Display

Students make a pumpkin display with decimals and area. Solving problems for a pumpkin patch to display their pumpkins to attract customers.

Halloween STEM challenges are for students to make connections to math with the STEM process. Students will practice their problem solving skills in many different areas of math. They will enjoy making and learning. 

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    Happy Teaching!

    Thursday, October 10, 2019

    Interactive Math Notebooks 6th Grade

    Do you use activities in math class?

    Do your students have interactive math notebooks?

    Interactive Math Notebooks are great tools for middle school math. Students can be creative, take ownership, and show math growth all in one notebook. Interactive Notebooks are meant to encourage students to be independent learners and creators of their math knowledge.

    Interactive Math Notebooks 6th Grade

    What is an Interactive Math Notebook? 

    The purpose of the Interactive Notebook is to help students be independent thinkers and writers of math. Interactive notebooks are used for class notes as well as for other math activities. Students should be expressing their own ideas and processing the math concepts presented in class. 

    What are the benefits of an Interactive Math Notebook? 

    Using Interactive Math Notebooks (IMNs) in class has several benefits for student learning.
    1. Provides classroom management and organization
    2. Differentiates the learning process for students
    3. Encourages student ownership of math skills 
    Students benefit from using IMNs in math class every day. You can even allow students to take their IMNs home to study, or only use them as tools in the classroom. 

    What does an Interactive Math Notebook look like? 

    An Interactive Math Notebook is a composition notebook that students can use for a semester or an entire school year. In the front is a table of contents with the list of what is included in the notebook. Each page is numbered and has a math activity, notes, or skill practiced. The notebook is set up by the students and for the students. The notebook is a student centered activity and is only assessed by the teacher weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

    Students create in their math notebooks and make meaning of skills. 

    Students used real world examples in their notebooks.

    How do I start an Interactive Math Notebook? 

    Students will need a notebook or journal to write all of their math concepts in. Make it easy for students to keep track of their activities with a Table of Contents. Try to add one math activity, notes, or practice a day. The best way to start is by trying an interactive math notebook activity today!

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      Interactive Math Notebooks can be a success in your classroom too. The key is to stay consistent. Try a new math activity, notes, or practice every day with your students. Watch as your students take ownership and pride of the math notebooks they create.

      Happy Teaching!

      Sunday, October 6, 2019

      How to get ALL students to turn in their math homework

      Do you have students who forget to turn in their math homework?

      Do you have students that need a reminder to complete their math work?

      Grades are due soon for the first quarter. Do your students turn in all their assignments? Getting students to complete all of their assignments before grades are due is a challenge.

      How to get all students to turn in their math homework

      To encourage students to turn in math assignments I send home a parent letter. This is a great motivation for 100% assignment completion. Involving parents in the process works well. They are eager to help and have their student complete the work.

      The parent letter is an excellent reminder for students. We all need a reminder about important events. Reminders help us remember what we need to accomplish. Reminders keep us on the path to success. As teachers, we don’t always have to be the reminder. A reminder can be a sticker, a bracelet, a text message, an email or a piece of paper.

      I’m sharing this grading reminder with you. It’s helped students make a connection between work effort and grades. Students develop a growth mindset with this process. They learn that turning in all of their assignments improves their grades. Yes! This progression helps illustrate that they should always use their best effort first rather than wait until grades are due.

      I've included an award certificate for you too! You've made it through the first quarter and deserve recognition for your efforts. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ Click HERE to download it today!
      Happy Teaching!

      $100 TpT Gift Card Giveaway October 2019

      Hey teacher friends! 

      I'm teaming up with some awesome teacher-authors this month to give away a $100 TpT gift card to a deserving teacher. Enter today! 


      Prize: $100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

      Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)

      Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 10/13/19 and is open worldwide.

      Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers! 

      a Rafflecopter giveaway 

      Good Luck!

      Tuesday, October 1, 2019

      What are Math Workshops and Math Stations

      Do your students like to be independent learners?

      Have you used Math Workshops in your classroom?

      Would you like to start using math stations, but don't know where to start?

      Math Workshops (math stations) are a way to implement math skills and provide independent learning opportunities for all students. Students practice and apply skills taught within the classroom. This is an organized and structured time for students. Before starting math workshops the teacher will need to introduce the content and expectations for the class.

      What are Math Workshops and Math Stations

      Math workshops does not have to be complicated. Let's break down what they look like, how to use them, and what to include.  

      What does it look like? 

      Students are actively engaged in purposeful tasks. The teacher is facilitating the classroom or meeting with a small group of students. The best math station activities are highly engaging. Students will know what is expected of them and do their best on the task at hand. The activities can be completed at a table, student desk, computer table, by a gallery wall, or even the floor! Now let's review 3 tips to having successful math workshops (math stations) in your classroom. 

      Tip #1: Be Flexible

      Math stations are flexible and help to meet the individual needs of students. It's easy to differentiate with math stations. Try to organize different math stations that include math vocabulary, math practice, math applications, technology/computers, reading math in the real world, and word problems. 

      Tip #2: Be Organized

      Math stations are easy to use when they are organized. Label bins or have tent tents to distinguish the different tasks. Make it easy for students to know what task they are on and the directions are easy to read. Students should be able to transition by themselves with little to no help from the teacher. Staying organized will help keep the students' focus on the important math skills that need to be reviewed and mastered, rather than the process. 

      Tip #3: Be Timely

      Math stations are meant to be short tasks. Have a timer on your smartboard or keep a stop watch handy. Math station tasks should only take fifteen to twenty minutes. Students should be able to complete the tasks within that amount of time and then transition to the next task. 

      The best math stations (math workshops) are easy to implement, versatile and differentiate three levels of Math. As a teacher you need math stations to help your students practice and apply many different math skills. Try a free set of math stations today! 

      Free Math Stations

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        Happy Teaching!