Saturday, December 20, 2014

iHeart Math Holiday Hop

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I hope that this post finds most of you on Winter Break or very close to it. You may have noticed that I have been MIA for quite a while and will catch you all up on what I have been up to in a post very soon! For now, I am thrilled to be a part of the iHeart Math Holiday Blog Hop. You can click on any of the blog buttons in the image above to re-visit any of the other fabulous blog posts in this series.

Stocking Stuffer #1: Re-evaluate and Re-adjust 

I just love the schedule that I have this year and I love my students even more. Although I loved my 8th graders last year and thought that was where I needed to be, I decided to split 6th & 7th grade to help both teams. I have to say that I love it so much. My teammates are wonderful and I just love the curriculum.

Something that I love to do at the end of each semester (right before exams) is give an evaluation sheet to each of my students. I tell them it is anonymous and to not write their name. Some still do, but it is an amazing way to see how you are doing from the perspective of your students. They are very honest, and that is a good thing! I want to know if they think I am being fair to everyone, if I play favorites, etc. Even though I like to think that I treat everyone equally, it doesn't really matter if the kids think you don't. I am sharing my word document below for you to be able to edit to suit your needs! Feel free to use when you get back from the break or this week if you are still in school. Click here to download!

Stocking Stuffer #2: Giving Back

Every month we have a character trait at my school. This can be a time for great teachable moments when you have some downtime. This year, my campus has assigned each club or organization one month to create a lesson (lasting about 20-30 minutes) for the whole school to complete at the same time. This past week, we had our lesson on "Gratitude." This was put together by our student council and was fantastic. My little 6th graders were so into it that I shed a tear. No lie. 

Anyhow, the culminating task was that students closed their eyes and thought about someone who has positively influenced them. Then, I gave everyone a sheet of paper and they wrote a letter to that person. Some wrote to their favorite teacher from a past year. Some wrote to grandparents who had passed on. It was beautiful. I guess my point of this story is that is is sometimes so hard to cram in all of the curriculum that we teach in the short amount of time that we have with these kids. However, I think my kids learned more in those 25 minutes than I could have taught them in a week! They talked about be thankful for what you have and not what others have. They talked about those less fortunate and how we can help as a school and a community. I was so proud. If you have any spare time, these can sometimes be the best teachable moments that kids remember.

And, a freebie for you! One of my best-selling products is my set of Middle School Math Writing Prompts and I have so many people who have wishlisted this item. Want to try 10 writing prompts in your class and see if you like them? Click on the image below! This download is only available through the link below. (Click the image.) 

Well, that's it for me! I hope that you and your family have the most relaxing holiday and just enjoy spending time together. Join us tomorrow as my friend Jennifer from Teaching High School Math will share with us some holiday tips and a special gift!


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