May 18, 2014


Sorry that I've been MIA for a few weeks now! Lots and lots going on...

I'll wrap up my First PBL series soon with my student presentation information and a reflection on the entire process. There were definitely some things that I loved and some things that I didn't. It's always about trying new things and a growth mindset, right?

Since the last time I posted, my Algebra 1 kiddos have finished their End of Course testing. So glad that big, looming test is out of the way! I can focus on finishing up those last final details now. 6 class periods left!
Have you seen this pin floating around pinterest? Cracks me up!!

Our sweet furbaby also gave us a scare last week.

Full disclosure, we are some of those people that love our animals way too much. They are most definitely part of our family. This spoiled princess had a lump on her left shoulder region for about a week and it didn't go down. We took her to the vet and they were definitely concerned. Did a biopsy - waited 51 excruciating hours for results - no cancer and no tumor! Praise the Lord!!! The Mr. and I cried when we received the good news!

Also more good news!!!!

I have been selected as a 21C Grant recipient in my district!!!!!
This means I will have a class set of 30 laptops beginning in the fall. 
Beyond. blessed. and. excited.

Back Story: I teach 8th grade at the same junior high that I went to for 8th grade. Never planned on that happening, just a fun coincidence! :)
The head of the 21C committee (and the woman I'm fiercely hugging in the picture above) is our district's Director of 7-12 Instruction. She was also the building principal of this school - the one I attended and now teach at. Such a fun and sweet moment that she got to award my grant in one of the same classrooms we were both in 13 years ago. Fun day!!!

My face. Oye.   

Out of the 24 grants awarded throughout our district, SIX were in my building. The other recipients and I had a conversation and attributed this feat to our incredible principal. He is inspiring, positive, and a world class leader. He brings out the best in people and makes us all want to achieve greatness. It was also mentioned that we don't know how long our little junior high will be able to keep such a great leader as our principal. Fingers crossed that he stays for a few years before moving on to bigger and better things.

Another fun thing that I've been working on...

I don't know about you, but around this time of year I get soooooo distracted with thoughts of next year. I would rather redo my syllabus, fantasize about room arrangements, and create a teacher planner than lesson plan for tomorrow. Oops. Please tell me I'm not the only one with this issue?!?!?!

Anyway... I looked around the internet and just didn't fall in love with any teacher planner. I am so stinking picky I wanted it to fit what I needed exactly. And didn't want to feel like I was paying for pages I would never use. I have other places that I record grades and parent information. I needed a place to lesson plan, conveniently store standards, and take meeting notes. So... here it is!!! I am pumped! This will probably take the place of this binder for this year. We'll see how I like it!

And yes, as always, I'll give away the file for FREE. 
But side note about that, it just really burns me up when I see stuff I've created and given away show up on Teachers Pay Teachers. Has this happened to anyone else?! Makes me furious!!!!! I try not to get cynical and remember all the wonderful teachers that I benefit from and hope I'm doing the same for others, but really, come on?! I had to go all Creative Commons Non-Commercial 3.0 on someone's butt earlier this year.
Don't sell what isn't yours! Alright, rant over.
Enjoy the file :) But don't you dare turn around the sell it!

A special thank you for the free chevron file!
Also the free washi tape png files
and Kimberly Geswein for the free font called KG Eyes Wide Open.

See, creating and giving away for free really does make the world a better place. :)

Well, I guess that about wraps up this post full of random musing. I will try to go lesson plan for these final days of the year when all I really want to do is enjoy the outside and get ready for next year! Have you seen this syllabus by Rob Patin?!?! Drool worthy. I will be revamping my syllabus soon!!

May 1, 2014

My First PBL Unit - Day 5 & 6!

Here are the previous posts:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Here is how I started day 5...
Teams talked and most came up with C because it got the closest to the most points. BINGO! We talked about what was wrong with all the others, especially A since it tripped up a couple groups.

After that, groups got to work using their simulation data to create scatter plots.

They created one scatter plot for each of their survey choices; a, b, c, d. They compared sample size to number of people with that choice. They made their line of best fit based on that, and then predicted the outcome of each choice for our entire town's population.

Here are some in-progress shots...

And here are some finished poster shots...

 (yes, the one above has a couple errors. They fixed them next class.)

consisted of groups finishing up and preparing their presentations. I told them they had to tell us which product they were launching and show the data to support their claim. The rest was up to them!! I have a few groups that filmed commercials, one that is making an infographic, one made an online animation with voice over, and of course a few that are using powerpoint. Tomorrow is presentation day and I am SO excited!!!!!