Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly Teacher Tip #1

Teacher Tip #1

Use a system to collect your papers.  I've been teaching for over 18 years and I use a mail sorter that I call a mailbox.   I use three sections for "In" -papers that come in to be graded, and three sections for "out" -where papers are to be given back to students.  This system has worked for me even when I had a homeroom and used all 20+ sections. I used numbers on each section instead of kids names to sort papers to go home weekly to parents. I team taught with another teacher and we had 2 classes and over 40 students. We kept up with papers from all subjects and even papers from the office. When papers were graded and recorded or the office gave us papers to go home we used a basket to hold the materials until they got sorted by the students or parent volunteers would sort the papers.

I have two clips that I've attached to the top to indicated "IN" and "OUT." On the sides I have put clips with the words CORE 1, 2, 3 on each slot which indicates the classes that I teach (3).

I love this system.  It works for me.  What works for you?  

Friday, November 11, 2011


I'm teaching PF (prime factorization) GCF (greatest common factor), and LCM (least common multiple).  I haven't always taught them together, but the last few years I have.  It is a lot of vocabulary for the kids to learn, review, and master, but I really feel it works well together.

I teach with something that I learned about 4 years ago- stacks,  Danica McKellar talks about it in her book, Math Doesn't Suck.

Stacks are math done with an upside down division symbol, sometimes called upside down birthday cake, and anything else that someone names it.  I don't know if it really has a specific name. I found this "Youtube Video" that calls the Indian Method. She makes a straight line where I would make an upside-down division symbol.  In her video which does three numbers, which before today I had not seen and now I love it. Check the video out.

I love them!  I teach students first by doing factor trees. What do you do?  What is your favorite?

This year in the land of 6th grade Math

I don't know about you, but I'm having a great year!  I have one class of AIG, one class of AIG/High Achievers, and one class of High Achievers/Watch students. The students are willing to learn and do whatever I ask them.  They are kids and love to play games. My second class doesn't like it when one particular student gets all the right answers and does the problems quickly, but I make all of them winners.

The year seems to be moving very quickly and I can't believe it is almost Thanksgiving.  I guess part of this post is due to the fact that today I give thanks that I get to do what I really love to do, teach. I give thanks for the parents, students, and collegues that I have.  So this is a early thanks to all those people that are in my life.  My husband who really doesn't understand my job (all the work outside of the classroom, the money spent, and the time devoted as well). He is my biggest supporter and even helps me when I come up with a project (more to come about that after completion). Finally my son, who pushes me to continue to post weekly to this blog, because he believes I have something to share. THANK YOU!

So who do you thank? Are you thankful for what you do? Do you enjoy your job- the art of teaching?