Saturday, April 27, 2013

Circles, Supplementary, & Complementary Angles

Circles and Angles

As I started to sort through the year and clean out, I found a sample of the circle foldable that I made with the kids.  Years ago at Lakeshore Learning, I came across this really cool white construction paper cut in perfect circles ($4? for 100).  It was in the preschool section (I just like to play there once in a while), and it was for something called a Spin and Draw.  Apparently, you have something like a Lazy Susan and put the circle cut paper on top of it with a magnet to hold it down, and then give a 3 year old paint.  Yeah, not happening in my classroom.  But the paper was so cool, that I figured I could use it for something.


Over the years I have used it for various foldables about clouds and the water cycle, but a few years ago I got really creative and decided to use it for CIRCLES...I am obviously a genius.  It changes every time I do, but these are the basics. 


Circle/Angles Foldable


After discussing how many degrees are in a circle, demonstrate folding it in half - point out that it looks like a protractor  - 180 degrees. 


Then have them open it up and refold it so that they it is in fourths. 

At this point I make them open it up all the way and tell me how many degrees are in a complete circle.  Then I have them fold it in half and tell me how many degrees are in a half circle, and remind them that now it looks like a protractor.  Some years I only do this once, and other years we spend a lot of time emphasizing the full/half/fourth circle thing - it just depends.  


Once I have beat the circle thing into the ground, I have them fold it in half and use a highlighter along the bottom of the half.  This starts the introduction for supplementary angles. 


Then we fold it in fourths, highlight the edges, and introduce complementary angles.


This year, we went right into vertical anglesLast year, we did 2 circle foldables - one just for the complementary and supplementary with vertical angles on the flipside, and one with the area with circumference on the flipside. 


This year on the flipside, we did diameter, radius, area, and circumference.


Keep an eye out for Spin and Draw art paper!  Sure you could cut out the circles, but WHY when you can get it pre-cut for a reasonable price?  Plus, the paper comes shrink-wrapped around a sturdy cardboard circle - perfect for the kids to use if they need to trace circles for some other project.  I usually buy two or three packages a year and share with my colleagues.  I put them in the paper cupboard where the kids see them all year.  It teases them all year and they try to figure out what we are going to do with it.

 If you have any questions, please ask!  I didn't want to go into too many details and preach to the choir:)  This is one of those foldables that can change and go with the flow.   It does not have to be the same every year - your kids are not the same every year. 






Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Read 180 Browser Notebooks

Read 180 "Browser" Notebooks

Today was our last minimum day of                  .  So, it seemed like a good time to go through the Read 180 pages that I had been working on and put one of the notebooks together.  

As usual, my goal to work the kinks out of ONE quickly evolved into ALL.  I used simple 1 inch notebooks, and ended up using about nine of them.  Driving to work this morning, I had one of those brilliant flashes of genius and decided to combine the Graphic Organizers and Quickwrites for each book in the appropriate notebook.  They turned out a little bulkier because of that, but my shelves sure look better.


This is a sample "book browser" page in one of the notebooks.  I simply cut the posters up and organized the book pictures and blurbs by Lexile - regardless of the "Level" that Scholastic had them in.  I pasted four per page (one sided), and slipped two of them (back to back) in a plastic protective sleeve.  Hopefully, this will make it easier to change and move as we add books to our library.


The Graphic Organizer/Quick Writes that go with each book have been in file folders (alphabetical in bins on top of a small bookcase), and they were a mess.  I put the Graphic Organizer/Quick Writes pages into plastic protective sleeves at the back of each notebook.  Eventually, I will have to label the sleeves to make refills easier.  Each notebook ended up holding about 12-16 "books" and the Graphic Organizer/Quick Writes that go with each one. 

They are not color-coded yet, but will be before next year.  It occurred to me that going to all the trouble of picking out the perfect colors might come back and bite me in the you-know-what if I couldn't find the same colors in spray paint or contact paper when it comes time to do the bookshelves.  At least one thing is semi-checked off my list!


 




Monday, April 22, 2013

SRI Growth!

 A BIG BLOGGING THANK YOU!!!

Just wanted to thank everyone who left comments and welcomed me to the world of blogging.  It will be challenging, but I am excited about it.  I am still trying to visit and "follow" my fellow bloggers, but I am not sure if I have it down yet.  I have tried to add a few things to my simple blog, and I think it looks a little better.  Knowing myself all too well, it will only be a matter of time before I have researched every blog, template, and design:)  Just need to keep the focus on the content and not the fluff for a bit!


READ 180

Since we are still "busy," cleaning out and reorganizing are not possible.  I thought that I would share the only board that I left up.  It is for their SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) and shows their growth (Lexiles) since August.   My 6th graders are with me for all subjects and Read 180/System 44, and my 7th graders are with me just one period.  They have been done so well this year, that I had to brag a little.  This board is just for my 6th graders.
"Surf's Up" - SRI Growth Bulletin Board






The blurry blue parts next to the individual growth are their names.  Two of them are hidden behind the computers.  Our district expects each secondary student to grow 150 Lexiles during the year in Read 180 or System 44.  Most of my students have blown right past that expectation - in March!  They are so excited to take the May/End of the Year SRI in a few weeks!  Just in case you are wondering, there were 27 students in my class in March.  There are 30 students with me now - a little higher than your normal Read 180 class, but I have them for most of the day.

Thanks for letting me brag a little about my students!  Next time, I will let you have a peek at the Read 180 notebooks that I am working on! 


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Spring is the traditional time of year for cleaning out the clutter and dust bunnies.  It is the time for new beginnings and fresh starts, unless you are a teacher.  Most sane teachers are just hoping to keep things under control until "that-which-shall-not-be-named"  is finished, and then survival mode kicks in.  Not me!  Even after 25 years of teaching, spring brings a chance to reflect, assess, and to try new ideas out.

This year, my spring cleaning urges kicked in when everyone was frantically running to get butcher paper to cover their walls before "that-which-shall-not-be-named" occurred.  Usually, I cover and drape my room with hurriedly stapled butcher paper; this time I carefully removed the content material and put it away.  I left just the fadeless butcher paper and bright borders.   Even though the walls are empty, they are neat and clear.  It is clean and organized, not muddled and cluttered.  My room is a clean slate of brilliant blues, greens, and hot pinks. 

And that is when the questions started zipping through my teacher brain.  How can I start off next year better than I did this year?  Is there possibly a way to arrange the desk, tables, bookcases, and computers more efficiently to allow for better flow--one that I have not tried before?  And of course, why did I think that this was important enough to file away, ten years ago?  Since pushing furniture around and cleaning out the closets is frowned upon right before or even during "that-which-shall-not-be-named," I started making my list.

At my age, lists are a necessity, not just a symptom of OCD.  All of my springtime brilliant ideas for the perfect classroom will not survive the brief summer in my menopausal brain. So here is my list for the perfect classroom.  Please note that this is just a list, not a complete commitment or contract that states I will actually follow through on these ideas.  These are just ideas, things I want to improve upon, or try again.


Ms. OCD Teach's List for The Perfect Classroom
  1. Clean out and get rid of anything that hasn't been used in the last 5 years -except samples.
  2. Tall bookshelves from home moved to school closet (need to find a way to get them there).
  3. Use closet and shelves to organize TE kits and resources, CD players and audio books for check out.
  4. Oh, clean out closet.
  5. Reorganize Read180 books by Lexile and into cardboard magazine holders.
  6. Find another metal bookcase (or steal it from an empty room) to hold Read180 books.
  7. Color code bookshelves for Lexile levels and put color coded stickers on non Read180 books
  8. Cut up Read180 book posters and make Lexile notebooks instead.                          
  9. Move desk and fridge to the other side of the room, shift computers.
  10. Make sample Math notebook - with foldables and examples
  11. Make student/parent friendly CORE standards - checklist form for self assessment
  12. Quotation bulletin board for journals
  13. Math warm-up routine bulletin board
  14. Study Now! bulletin board
  15. CORE standards pre-written on sentence strips for pocket chart
  16. New student materials in envelope (thank you Pinterest)
  17. Pencil cans and pencil sharpener on my desk (just in case next year's crop is like this year)
  18. Job chart (just in case next year's crop is like this year)
  19. Student Behavior/Intervention Notebook (just in case next year's crop is like this year)
  20. Get business cards made - for me, and as reward cards for moving Read180 levels
The list will change and mutate through the summer and beginning of the year, but at least my good intentions are out there in the universe.  As this blog progresses, I will keep you updated on the mutations of the list, post pictures of my classroom, share ideas, and the successes (or failures) of the year.  After year 25, it will be good to shake it up, reinvent, or find my inner teacher again.  

Coming up next...THE GREAT CLEAN OUT!  (and yes, I will provide before and after pictures)