Sunday, October 5, 2014

Currently - October

OH MY ITS OCTOBER! We have made it through a month and a few weeks, WOW! Time is flying!

Well Enjoy!! Posted some items on the blog, some questions, and added a math talk homework goodie! 

Have a wonderful week! Check out my Currently with "Oh Boy it's Farley"

Rule #2 - Just Grade it - - Don't let it pile!

This seems to be one of the hardest things for me to do at the beginning of the year. Getting back in the "swing" of things and I can convince myself that I don't need to grade one day because I will grade it tomorrow. Well tomorrow never comes and a week later, I am forced into my room to grade for what feels like an ETERNITY. (And as much as I love my precious children, after deciphering the hieroglyphics we call handwriting, I am a little frustrated at myself.

So.. Rule #2 is - Just Grade it! (It's kind of like NIKE and how they say "Just do it" teachers have to do that too. ) Just get it done, one more thing off the list and then we can send it home.

Grade it as soon as they return it. This may be the simplest rule, and YET the hardest one to follow through, because on Friday afternoon as your sprinting out the door, no one thinks to take home papers or notebooks to grade. If you need a solution, pick one day a week after school, and shut the door and grade. Pick that one day when you have nothing else going on and assign yourself an hour of grading weekly. ( If it was me, I would pick a Monday because graded papers go home on Tuesday.)

Hope this help someone! We all do it, but it doesn't make it a good thing. :-p

HELP!!! - - Math Talks and Sentence Stems or Frames

Hey Teachers!!

So as we know, talking about math is the HUGE push right now and I am agreeing that it does help with student "digestion" of information. It gives them a stronger sense of understanding and it helps them to be the teacher to someone else. I do believe that when students understand what they are doing they can teach someone else.

I am here looking for  HELP from someone who has some awesome and engaging math sentence stems or frames that I can use for math. Maybe any examples for rounding, place value, or just in general everyday math. Thank you in advance! :)

Please note below the math journal or homework assignment I read about in a book. This is a great tool from the Building Mathematical Comprehension book by: Laney Simmons.

Click on the picture below for a replicated example to use in your room. I am eager to see how the relevance of math and the connection of everyday life will spark interest in students. 
(Text-Self and Text- World Connections)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rule #1- Always Pay Attention- (Especially during Dismissal)

So I'd like to think I am a very attune and attentive teacher. I really listen to most of what my students have to say because I want them to know that I care. 

It was about the 2nd week of school, and  the first day for our (my partner teacher and I) Intern to be with us for a full day. After what I would call a "pretty darn good day", dismissal comes... so we are lining up the bus lines and sending the students down line by line, as the time changes from 3:30 to 3:40 to 3:50 and we begin to question bus 66. (It's usually one of the first buses to arrive.) 

Needless to say, they called it and we MISSED it. Which brings me back to this being the first rule, ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION. 

We quickly found ourselves stuck passing glances at each other, to our intern, and back at 2 of our precious kiddos (who at this point one is tossing his backpack around and the other is calm as calm as can be expected when he realizes he's been left) #nochildleftbehind 

After walking the halls and calling parents arrangements were made and all was well again.

But we couldn't help thinking... How did we miss this bus?? How did the students not hear their bus?(Rhetorical) How did we only have 2 kids from bus 66 left behind?? These questions go unanswered, however; we learned that there is a first time for everything, and unfortunately We fell victim to paying attention.

Rules are established by not only our mistakes but also our successes. -me


R is for Rules!

Each year, at the beginning of the year we, as teachers, establish "Classroom Rules or Expectations" for our students. We write these rules in such a way that they can only be viewed in a positive light, such as "Always walk in the halls" rather than saying "Do NOT Run." We change the way we word them, so they say what we CAN do versus what we CAN'T do. 

But when I sit and think, it is amazing to me how many rules there are for students. This year I want go out on a whim and write about the rules of teaching, focusing on what we CAN and should do rather than saying what we CAN'T do. 

Create your own rules, and always know the only rules in teaching are the ones that work! (Until told otherwise)


Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Gift

"98% of what you say, isn't coming out of your mouth." -Hitch

Today I was gifted the opportunity to be away at a retreat. While there, we had a guest speaker, and if you have any prior knowledge on guest speakers, they love to ask for volunteers. Well... she did ask, and me I was too eager to be her 1st volunteer. (Lesson learned) I quickly stood up and without background info, she asked me to tell her "what is branding?"... So before you begin to ask why... Focus on the word and think about how it has multiple meanings. (As a veteran teacher it amazes me at how my brain approaches topics, words, and thoughts these days. I see a word and view a teacher's perspective, I think of a math concept and can have a song in my head to connect with it.)

So anyway, I stand up and say "I think a brand is something that is trademarked, a brand is something that is popular or well known in stores." If you think like me, you're thinking good answer, right? Well, unfortunately, the presenter was not looking for that definition, she proceeded to get another definition from another lady and then complimented her with a gift. CRAZY! Right??? Yes, I was shocked to say the least, bc I know that I gave her a definition of branding. (FYI- in my mind, I'm really mad at this point, bc I know there are at least 3 definitions off hand) So basically, ... she got the prize and I didn't... although I DID give a correct definition. (You hopefully can imagine how I felt.)

Point is:
As teachers we are often searching for specific answers to questions asked. We ask our students questions based on what has been taught and we encourage them regardless, whether right or wrong. This moment gave me a glimpse into how it feels to be the student(s) who may not have/give the right answer. This made me think of all students who do not receive "class cash" or "tickets" for right answers. The strugglers, the behavior problems and the quiet ones who fear being wrong. If students feel inadequate they will not be their best, they will shut down and hold it inside, just as though I found myself doing today. I can easily see how trust can be broken and how student-teachers relationships can fall apart based off one encounter.

Charge for all:
I charge all teachers and parents to continue to build up your students/children. Encourage them through the struggles, speak positivity into their lives,and should you choose to reward students for answering questions, give them something for participating. Always show that you support them, and are thankful for their hard effort, they may not be right but they ARE trying.

This post is dedicated to all those who have ever felt inadequate. Those who have ever felt wrong and were truly hurt. We as PEOPLE have the power to make someone feel supported, and it doesn't always come from what you say. (Body language)


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Math Madness!!

Okay ladies...  11 days down! We can do this! I think the hardest part is not settling into the summer fun too soon!

In hopes to help give some rigor to these last few days, I would love for you to try out this new page. I have posted a new math madness page for math review!! It is now on sale until Saturday night! However, for a limited time I have it as a FREEBIE under my freebie tab!!

This is only a preview! I have an entire bundle to be released this summer! :) Thank you for your feedback!!