Saturday, December 31, 2011

QR Codes For the Classroom

You've seen these little black and white squares.  They're showing up everywhere!

Why not in the classroom???

Go to this website, QR Voice, and enter up to 100 characters of text.  Click on the little blue rectangle and get your own special little QR Code generated for you!

You can scan it with your SmartPhone and hear a playback of what you typed!!!

How cool is that?

You also get a web address you can copy to paste the code anywhere you like.  The address for the QR code above is

If you listen, it says to, "Remember to do your homework."

I can foresee e-mailing these to students and parents, posting them on a Facebook page or classroom blog, or...the sky is the limit!

Although I teach in a low-income setting, most parents and many student have SmartPhones...or easy access through another family member.  I do realize for some students this would not be a possibility.  

I'd love to come up with a creative way to use them IN the classroom itself.  I guess that would mean having my phone available to scan the images??  Not really sure about that part yet.

If you have an idea or have seen something in the past, PLEASE be sure to leave a comment and let us all know!!! 

Making It,

Winter Break Linky Party

Clutter-Free Classroom is hosting a How I Spent My Winter Vacation Linky Party! 

I'm in! 

 I spent time completing the decorating and shopping for Christmas.

I spent time with family.

I spent time cleaning up for the family to come over. 

I spent time cleaning up after the family left on 2 different occasions. 

I spent time reflecting on the year coming to a close and the new year heading my way. 

There was also time for relaxing, reading, crocheting, blogging (of course), and random other things. 

This time of the year always serves as a great time of reflection and rejuvenation...all at the same time for me! I'm ready to head back to school for a work day on Monday and take on the 2nd half of the school year! 

What did you do???  Join in and tell us! :)

Making It,

Out with the old...

As I'm typing this, there are less than 12 hours left in 2011!

Reflecting back on this year, what will I remember?  What had the most impact on me?

This year started out as a rough one, but thankfully ended on a much brighter note!  I had a tough, never-want-that-kind-of-year-again school year last year.  So bad, that I strongly considered quitting my job which I truly love!  I've managed to put most of that out of mind after spending my summer thinking, crying, praying, soul-searching...and forgiving those that hurt me.

Happily, this school year has been SO much better!  There are still tough days and difficult students, but we just have to take those in stride.  

I was asked to teach two new content areas this year which made me quite nervous in the beginning.  Now that I feel settled in, I am honestly enjoying it.  Math will always be my passion, but Science and Social Studies are fun to teach as well!  If anything, making me move from my comfort zone has made me a stronger person and a stronger teacher.  Challenge is always a good thing in my book!

In short, I am thankful for the year I had...both personally and professionally!  I mean, who wouldn't be thankful for the new blog world I've joined, the new friends I've made along the way, the new obsession I found called Pinterest, the new hobby I took up - crochet, and many, many other happy, feel-good things from the year!?!

I hope you have had at least a decent 2011 and I hope you have an outstanding 2012!

Until next year...

Making It,

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hey everybody! has been a LONG time since I wrote a new blog post.  I'll go into more detail later, but in short, life sometimes throws a curve ball, and we have to catch it! 

I've been bobbling that ball for a few months and I think I've finally got a firm grip on it.

I've adopted a new blog name and updated the look quite a bit.  I hope you like it!

I'm here today to tell you about a wonderful opportunity!!

A blogging buddy started up a new linky party for those of us in the blog world who fall into the minority...Middle School and High School Bloggers. ;-)

Head on over to the Middle and High School New Year Blog Party at Secondary Solutions!  Kristen has listed several specific categories that you may fall into...and you can link up to as many as apply to your blog's topic.

One request is to mention another blog that would be of interest to my readers.  I happily pick Middle School Math Rules.  Be sure to check her out, too!

Kristen is an awesome sweet gal and she knows her stuff!  Head on over and show her and as many other blogs as you can possibly get to.  Let's all band together in 2012 and make our presence known {huge round of applause}!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Finally Friday ~ Relax


For me, this was the students' first day back at school!  Exciting, hectic...all the usual first day stuff.

Whether you're back at school already or heading that way in a couple weeks, remember to leave school at school when you leave the building on Friday (as much as possible), and enjoy your time off on the weekend.

Relax and rejuvenate!

Here's a great article about stress-relief and unwinding.  There are some great tips to keep in mind throughout the school year!

Mathematically yours,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Three Things Thursday ~ Quotes for the Classroom

I love having motivational posters in my classroom.  I want my students to read them and I enjoy reading them, too!

There are many different sayings out there and many that I like.

I've recently come across a few more that I wanted to share with you.

These could be made on your computer and printed if you can't find them in a store.




Keep the positive thinking alive and well!

Mathematically yours,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Whacky Wednesday ~ you've never seen them before!

Back-to-school is in full swing, so of course we're thinking about our rooms and school supplies.

School supplies make you think about pencils...and that's the inspiration for this week's whackiness!

Pencil Shoes...REALLY?!?

Shoes made from colored pencils!  Maybe not quite as crazy as the one's above! o_O

Finally, I guess you could paint your nails to look like an eraser...hmmmm...

You may never look at pencil the same way again. ;)

Mathematically yours,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tip Tuesday ~ Chalkboard Clothespins

As I have been feeling uber crafty lately...thanks to Pinerest, I wanted to share a tip - with a twist. 

Rebecca over at Create-Share-Inspire shows you how to create Chalkboard Clothespins.

These adorable little things would be great in ANY classroom for ANY content as a way to display student work!  

Self-contained, lower-grade classes could have each individual student's name on their own 'chalkboard'.  

Upper-grade classes with 100 or more students could label the boards according to what you are displaying.  Super Speller, Excellent Explanation, Wonderful Work, etc....

You can color-coordinate with your classroom decor and personal style!  I LOVE these!

So that's the tip this week...make some of these. :)

Mathematically (and Craftily) yours,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Math Game Monday ~ Muggins

Hi guys!  It's a super quick post today for Math Game Monday.  This is my first 'official' day back at school!

Muggins is a great game, lots of fun, and can be played a few different ways.  I use if for order of operations and integers.

My school has numerous sets which allows each 7th grade math teacher to have 6 - 8 games going at the same time!  We do a tournament between class periods and then between the 3 academic teams.

All of my students have loved this game so it's worth checking out!


From the Muggins Math website:
"Muggins math board games and manipulatives are not only educational but make learning FUN! Built the old fashioned way with wooden boards and marbles, the games are great for family game night as well as for the classroom and after school programs.
Our award-winning board games and manipulatives are for:
  • Individuals, families, students, classrooms, teachers, whole schools.
  • Ages 4 to Nuclear Physicist.
  • Those who love math or those who hate math.
  • Those who are math challenged and those who are number geniuses.
Our math games are guaranteed to challenge, build thinking skills, and increase self-confidence. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division have never been so much fun!"

Mathematically yours,

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Share-A-Blog Sunday ~ Secondary Solutions

The blog I'd like to share with you this week is not a math blog, but it's definitely one worth checking out!

Secondary Solutions is described as, "Teaching ideas, lesson plans, tips, tricks, stories, and insight from Secondary Solutions President Kristen Bowers for the middle and high school English Language Arts teacher!"

Kristen is extremely knowledgeable in her field and very enthusiastic about her products.  She has a contagious desire to be successful and I have enjoyed learning with her! 

If you know an ELA teacher, you MUST share this blog with them!  If you don't know an ELA teacher, you SHOULD check out this blog for an example of how to get it right!

Mathematically yours,

Friday, July 29, 2011

Science Saturday ~ FREE Download

This week I am sharing a downloadable product with you...absolutely FREE!!!

This product corresponds to GA 7th Grade GPS ~ Life Science.  I'm also a science teacher so this is a product I created!

The 6 Steps of the Scientific Method.  We will use these to create a flow map (Thinking Maps are used at our school).

I hope you will find these useful....even if you aren't teaching 7th grade life science in the state of Georgia!

Mathematically (and Scientifically) yours,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Whacky Wednesday ~ Unusual Mascots

As we all get ready to head back to school ~ some in a week or so...and some still several weeks away ~ we all become once again focused on our school's sense of pride!  With school pride comes the thought of our school's cherished mascot....

Well maybe not so much for some.  I found some rather unusual school mascot names so I thought I'd share a few with you!  If your not a huge fan of your school's mascot, you might be when you finish reading these.

  • Palmer Moose ~ Alaska
  • Salome Frogs ~ Arizona
  • Stuttgart Rice Birds ~ Arkansas
  • Lincoln Fighting Zebras ~ California
  • Brush Beetdiggers ~ Colorado
  • Marvelwood School Screaming Pterodactyls ~ Connecticut
  • Cobden Appleknockers ~ Illinois
  • Chinook Sugar Beeters ~ Montana
  • Crooksville Ceramics ~ Ohio
  • Northeast Grape Pickers ~ Pennsylvania
  • Hutto Hippos ~ Texas
  • Fall Creek Crickets ~ Wisconsin

So, as you can see, your mascot may not be so WHACKY after all! :)

Thanks to High School Team Names for sharing.

Mathematically yours,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tip Tuesday is here!  

Since school is almost upon us again, I thought I'd share a video of back-to-school tips for teachers. 

While I'm sure you already do most of these, I always find it helpful to hear ideas from another person!

I really like #3!  I need to invest time in making a 'real' checklist and not just random sticky notes.

I hope you find this useful and BEST WISHES for the upcoming school year!

Mathematically yours,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Math Game Monday ~ Order of Operations Millionaire Game

Happy Monday!

Today's Math Game is an online Millionaire game for Order of Operations.

I don't know about you, but my 7th graders still struggle with this concept!  This is a fun way to practice applying order of know ~ that good ole Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.

There are 2 modes for this game:  1 player and 2 players.  I would also consider this as a 1 team or 2 teams option.  

As always, for the 1 player option, you could display this on your ActivBoard for whole-class participation.  However, I sort of like this one for individual or partner computer time!

Students can choose from 13 characters and enter their own names.

Just like on TV, there are 3 Helplines available:  50/50, Phone A Friend, and Ask the Audience.  50/50 is self-explanatory.  Phone A Friend gives the student or team 30 seconds to discuss the answer.  Ask the Audience only works is you have online polling devices.  I don't, so I would just tell my students that is not an option.

Also just like on TV, there's a dramatic feel when moving from question to question and a cool little bit of music!

The questions start with a value of $10,000 and go up to a value of $100,000.  The questions do get progressively harder.  Many of the common mistakes students make when applying order of operations are addressed in the questions.

Here are 2 example from when I played the game myself.

                $10,000          10 - 3 x 2

                $100,000        (2 + 3)^3 - (11 - 4)^2 x 2

Each question allows 100 seconds to answer.

When the student 'becomes a millionaire', there are fireworks on the screen and students can print a certificate congratulating them!  In my opinion, if a student can answer all those questions, I'll buy the paper for the certificates myself if I have to!  I think parents would like to see it as well. 

Here's what it looks like:

For the 2 player version, when a student misses a question, points are deducted and their turn is lost.

I enjoyed playing this game and I hope you'll find it useful...and that your students will enjoy it also!

Mathematically yours,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Share-A-Blog Sunday ~ Science Stuff

I hope your Sunday has been A-MAZ-ING...Mine has!

This week's Share-A-Blog Spotlight is on Science Stuff.  This is a fantastic blog to follow!

Amy has 28 years of teaching experience and she knows here stuff.

She's on Facebook, Twitter, and my new addiction, Pinterest.  She also has a TpT store.  You'll even catch her doing a give-away from time-to-time.

Show Amy some love and head on over to check out Science Stuff!

Mathematically yours,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Science Saturday ~ Conduct a Fish Survey in Your Class

I found a really neat little experiment from EEK!  Teacher Pages called Conduct a Fish Survey in Your Classroom.

The materials needed are very simple. 

Each pair of students will need: 
     1 spoon and paper cup; 
     small white beans (about 100 cup); 
     colored markers; 
     calculators; and

The procedure is very clear and easy to follow.

While the standards listed are for the state of Wisconsin, I'm sure you have standards that are very similar to these in your state - depending on your grade level.

In Georgia, I would change the fish in question to the Large Mouth Bass - part of Georgia History!  You could easily adapt the little fishy beans to something familiar in your own state as well!

The part that appeals to my math brain is this tiny jewel:
Population Formula

                    Total fish tagged   X   Total fish in trapnet
Population =   -----------------------------------------------
                            Tagged fish in trapnet 

The student worksheet link is also included.

Go here and see what you think!

Mathematically yours,