Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spark Student Motivation - The Ultimate Puzzle

Happy Saturday! If you are like me, you had yesterday off for Good Friday, so it's a 3-day weekend! I am linking up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Saturday.

This time of year, I will do ANYTHING to keep my kiddos motivated! They tend to finish their work a little faster now that testing is over for math, and the end of the year is about 7 weeks away! Last week, I had some students ask for something to do after a quiz, and I told them I had some extra credit for them. "Sweet!" they thought...even sweeter when I gave them a 16 piece puzzle and told them to make a 4x4 square. When they did, they would get a free 100. I knew that it took me much longer than the 15 minutes they had left in class, but it had been done in under 5 minutes before. Or so I am told. I don't know if I believe it!

They started by trying to make a 2x2 and then add on to make a 3x3 square.

These boys got the hang of it quickly!

Until--that LAST piece didn't fit! BUMMER!

These kiddos refused to leave until it was finished--I had to write them a tardy pass when I finally got them to go!

Needless to say, no one has gotten it YET, but every free moment we have had they have worked on it! And that, to me, is a WIN!

P.S. In case you are wondering, I got these from a math conference, but I believe you can get more information/order them online here:

I was not compensated or asked to write this post. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Currently April!

Well, hello there! Remember me? I am so glad to find some time to blog again--it seriously has been too long. It's not that I haven't had anything to, no, no, that is definitely not it. I have had way too much going on at school, commitments with things outside of the school day, and my own personal life that I literally haven't had a chance to breathe if it wasn't written in my agenda ahead of time. I might be a little dramatic. Or maybe not. But that is just the way things have been lately...Soooo:

I am so excited for the once-a-month-linkup that gets me back on track! Farley's Currently!

So, without further ado, here we go!

Some things are pretty self-explanatory, but let me go into some more detail here:

I cannot even stand that I am up this early. I really woke up at 5:34 (well, that is when I was frustrated enough that I was awake and looked at my phone). Friends, I cannot get out of bed FOR ANY REASON short of a fire during the week. I literally cannot make myself get up when the alarm goes off. But on the weekends, I am a bright-eyed birdie in the middle of the night. Yes, the middle of the night is anytime before 7 AM, just so we are all on the same page. I remembered going to bed thinking I wanted to blog today, so maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Hubby is still asleep and my sweet puppy graciously took my spot in bed when I got up. The things I do for others. I am a giver, I tell you.

I am loving that it is the weekend! Well, let's be clear, what teacher is ever sad to go home on a Friday? Not this one! April 1st and 2nd we had state testing (STAAR) for 7th and 8th graders. My kids took Math on April 1st. They all told me that it was just a joke and that when they opened their tests they swore it would say "April Fool's! You don't have to take the STAAR today!" I kept telling them in the weeks prior that, "Yes, you will take the test, the state doesn't make jokes, ever, and you need to be prepared." You should have seen some of them after the test. STILL shocked that they had to take it. I can honestly say I am glad to be done with it as the stress leading up to testing day was insurmountable. Now, I am just stressing about who passed and who didn't!

Another reason that I haven't posted in a while is because the hubster and I have spent the month of March looking for and signing a contract to BUILD A NEW HOUSE!!! Well, with that, of course comes the stress of selling the current one! More about that this week :)

After this week, I need a back massage. Enough said.

Although our work hours are 8:10 - 4:10, I usually arrive by 7:30 to get things ready before the kids come at 8:55. Because of the two "ice" days, we have to make one up on Memorial Day, and the other on June 6, so the teacher workday from June 6 was moved to June 7 :)

Until next time--Have a wonderful weekend!