It's my favorite time of the month again! Grab your computer and a good cup of coffee, because there are over a hundred bright ideas ready for you to peruse! I really appreciate you stopping by my blog!
This month's bright idea was a real game changer in my class. My group this year is having a tough time with math, so that means I am trying to find as many hands on ways to reach them so that we can all learn together!
The second week of school we were working on number lines. I remembered back to a training I went to over the summer where the instructor told us about a hundreds chart on the floor to build number sense, and it just made sense!
Right then and there I broke out the tape! The less than straight blue tape forms our actual number line. Then I used washi tape to create the tick marks.
Finally I used Post-It labels to write the numbers on, but I covered them in packing tape so that I could erase the numbers and change the scale.
Now it was time to try this bad boy out! At the time we were working on decimals to the hundredths place, so I labeled my Post-Its 0-1 with all the tenths in between. Then I took small stickies and wrote completely random decimals between 0 and 1 on them. The little stickies I passed out to the class, keeping one for myself.
We all gathered around the number line and shared what we noticed about it. I made sure that everyone knew we were dealing with decimals between 0 and 1. they all assured me they knew this.
Then I placed my sticky that had fifteen hundredths down and explained why I chose to put it where I did.
Then we went around our circle with each student placing their sticky where it belonged. Each student had to tell us their reasoning (see how I stuck that process TEKS in there?) for why they placed it where they did. Others asked questions if they didn't agree, or helped those that weren't quite sure.
In the end, we had a number line full of decimals that the students could use to help them visualize. The best part though, it can be there all year when we need a refresher!
Every fall the week of September 17th is deemed Celebrate Freedom Week. Every fall when this week comes around I struggle to fit this required curriculum into our BUSY schedule.
This year I decided to do a little something to ease that trouble. Instead of forcing all this important information into a few minutes each day I am making it a more independent discovery process.
Enter the Celebrate Freedom Week QR Quest! This product has two different formats, so that you can decide what best fits your classroom. Format one has large QR codes that you can hang around the room to have your students complete in stations or as a scavenger hunt. Format two has the QR codes right on the recording sheet to make it an activity that can be completed in their seats, or in a specified location around the room.
Both formats also come with open ended questions and scaffolded answer recording sheets so that you can differentiate to the needs of your classroom. Of course there is also an answer key, so that you can make sure your students are on track.
The QR codes lead to a variety of media including safe share videos, a song, and websites for students to search for their answers.
All you need to add is a device capable of scanning QR codes!
Personally, our class will be completing this activity in stations throughout the week. They will be working in partners and small groups to scan the codes and search for their answers. I know they will love it!
So, this last weekend I moved. I am not going to pretend that it was all butterflies and unicorns, because it most certainly was not. BUT, and that is a big but, there are a few things you can do to make it a whole lot easier on you.
Let's start with before the day of the move:
1. If you are able, I highly recommend hiring professional movers. I am pretty sure it is the best money that I have ever spent. Now, I was moving out of a third floor apartment, so that has something to do with it. Either way, your friends/family/whoever helps you move will appreciate it too!
2. Buy a fun design/color of duct tape for each room in your house. My friend Stefani showed me this trick, and I thought it was genius. This way instead of having to label each box you pack, you tape them, which you are doing anyway. Step saved, yes please!
3. Pack EVERYTHING before your friends/family/movers that you hired because you just can't fathom moving yourself arrive. This one seems obvious, but I can't tell you how many times I have gone to help a friend move it hasn't happened. When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING! This doesn't mean most things, it means everything big and small. Really, it makes the move so much easier.
During the move:
1. Hydrate! As my uncle says, "Drink early, and drink often!" Living in a furnace Texas this is vital, but moving is a lot of work, so you need to stay hydrated no matter where you live.
2. Have a plan. Are you going to empty and load room by room? Are you taking all the furniture first? Whatever it is, talk about it with whoever is helping you.
3. Are you getting new furniture delivered? If at all possible schedule the delivery for before or after you are moving. Having to stop what you are doing to sign for and let delivery people in can really slow the momentum of a move.
Once you are in your new place:
1. Relish in the fact that you made it!
2. Appreciate any new items that have been delivered. My sister now has her first big girl bed, which after sleeping on a futon for a few months seems like winning the lottery.
3. Don't panic. The picture above is my bedroom the day after moving. No, it is not okay. Yes, I am panicking a bit. Can you blame me?
A special note...
Please remember that as stressful as moving is for you, it is quite possibly the most stressful thing that will ever happen for your pet. This is my Birdie. She was quite anxious throughout the day. My mom basically came and sat with her throughout the day.
I made sure to know exactly where all her favorite things were and they were the first to get unpacked so that she could have some familiarity.
After the move:
In all likelihood you will have to clean somewhere whether it be your new or old place. If you are like me, moving out of an apartment, you have this pipe dream of getting part of your deposit back, so you really need to clean.
1. I wish I would have just hired someone to do a make ready. I mean, after moving do you really think I wanted to clean so that I could turn in the keys? I don't think so, but I didn't think that far ahead. If you think of it and are able to, just hire someone to do it, I promise it will be worth it.
2. Magic erasers truly are magical. They are fantastic for cleaning marks off of walls, stains out of carpets, bathtubs, and just about everything else.
3. Speaking of tubs... I know that all of you have spotless tubs, but incase you know anyone with a less than spotless tub Easy Off Oven cleaner in the blue can is amazing at cutting through soap scum, you know, if you ever come across someone that doesn't religiously squeegee their shower after every use.
Keep your sense of humor! Moving is stressful for everyone involved. Above is an example of a good idea gone awry. This is my sister hooking up the washer and dryer. We completed the task, but I am pretty sure that most people don't try for ten minutes, then Google it, then spend another forty minutes to find success.
I hope that there has been some helpful information, or at least some laughs. I am off to unpack some more boxes.