Saturday, July 30, 2011

Who's Your Teamie Linky Party?

Today I am linking up with Monica at The Schroeder Page to talk about my teamie Linda.  I am a member of the 7th grade Blue House (we have a red, white, and blue house at each grade level).  Our team consists of a Math, LA, Sci, SS, and Sped teacher.  My beloved BFF and school husband Rob retired this past year otherwise I would probably post about him.  This coming year our team will have a brand new Sci and LA teacher so our team dynamic is totally up in the air.  I loved our previous team and we had all been together for the past eight years.    Linda and I have always been the task masters on our team and it will be an interesting new year for us both.  We are just happy that at least the two of us still are together!  Change is good, right?  I sure hope so!  Please join in the linky fun and let us know about your awesome teamie.  :)

10 Teamie Questions about Linda

#1 How long have you and your Teamie been teaching together? We have been on the same teaching team for the past eight years, but prior to that we both taught 7th grade Social Studies (she still does) and we collaborated a ton.

#2 What is your Teamie's best quality?  Linda is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  Every year the students constantly comment on how "nice" she is.  
#3 Who will retire first?  I hope to God it's me!

#4 What makes you two an awesome pair? Linda and I are both very organized type-A personalities and we are both task masters so we are usually on the same wavelength with whatever goes on with our team.

#5 Do you both have any rituals that get you through the day or a hard time? I think laughter is what gets us through the hard times.  We meet together every Mon, Wed, and Fri for team planning and we always are able to vent when needed and offer each other support.  We also eat lunch together when not having kids with us.

#6 What is a word that describes your Teamie? Awesome!

#7 Is your Teamie in the blog world?  If so...what is their blog? (Don't forget to link it:) If not...will this post push them in? She is definitely not in the blog world, but she would love all the cool teacher things you can find out in blogland.

#8 What is the funniest thing that you and your Teamie had to face at school? There have been so many funny things that have happened.  I think we have laughed the hardest in Team Planning and it would be without a doubt because of something Rob (our now retired LA teacher) said.  I mean we are talking gut busting raucous laughter, the kind that when you hear it, you just want to be part of something THAT funny.  I hope and pray that we still have laughter and fun this coming year, with Rob gone.

#9 Complete this sentence...I would not trade my Teamie for a $1,000 gift card at the Dollar store  because... She is my #1 go to BFF at school and I would not trade her for ANYTHING!

#10 Add a special tribute to your Teamie:)  In addition to being a great teammate Linda is an even greater friend.  She has always supported me 100% in my times of need.  When I was going through something really challenging this school year she sent me the nicest card with an even nicer message she wrote to me.  I will NEVER get rid of that card and confess that on challenging days I look at it and it always encourages me.

Friday, July 29, 2011

More Target Love

I spent six hours at school yesterday working in my room.  I will do a post tomorrow about what I accomplished.  I also have before and after photos of my blue storage cabinet where I house most of my math manipulatives.  I will share a few organizing tips also, so check back tomorrow for all of that.

I made two Target shopping trips this week, on Sunday and yesterday.  I am sharing my purchases from Sunday in this post.  

Most of what I bought.

These will come in handy for organizing manipulatives and for Learning Stations material.

More organization.

These clips are magnetic and will be used for a variety of things.  I bought a few koosh balls to use for fun.

I think I may use this for dice or game pieces for learning stations.

This frame color was on sale.  I have an idea for this and will share once it is completed.

A few large storage containers.  Some post its and wrapping paper in my color scheme.

Sidewalk chalk.  I thought it would be fun for the kids to solve equations or do some vocabulary work outside.  Any other ideas?

Magnetic numbers for solving equations.  I purchased a set of letters.

A frisbee just for fun.

Some chairs for my classroom.  I have to decide if I want to keep these or  go with the rocking recliner floor chairs.

This is what they look like.

My collection is growing.  :)

I want to thank Hadar for featuring me at Target Treasures.  I am doing some serious revamping of my classroom set up this year and Target has the perfect items to incorporate into my classroom organization and math learning stations.  I also cannot help, but love the bright color scheme.  Pink is my favorite color and I love me some pink and green.  I think the addition of the blue balances things out a bit.  :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Classroom Set Up

I believe I have mentioned before how small and odd shaped my room is for a middle school classroom. It is a oddly shaped pentagon with a very small back wall.  I have found the back area of the room to be wasted space so several years ago I moved my teacher desk and materials to the back corner.  I have heard that when they built the addition to our building that included my pod they scaled back the dimensions by a square foot.  No matter what these classrooms are too tiny and the shape stinks, but we all make the best of it.  I am incredulous when I see some of the ginormous classrooms teachers post photos of on their blogs.  Color me jealous!

A bit of advice for those of you setting up your rooms is to take pictures of all views.  When you sit down to write out your classroom set up to do list you will most likely not forget anything because of being able to see everything you are working with.  I used these photos to make my classroom set-up list.

This post is only focusing on the physical set up of the classroom.  I will do a separate post about lesson planning and any computer/printables that need to be made for the beginning of the school year.

Wall #1 the front of the classroom.  That chalkboard was my Word Wall last year .  The table you barely see had all the math games my kids loved to play on it.  This year I plan on making that corner my Learning Stations area and will be adding a bookcase to store all materials so the table can actually be used by students.

Wall #2 the side wall.  That board is my agenda/assignment board  you can see a photo here of what it looks like.  The blue cabinet on the right store math materials and manipulatives.  The green cabinet next to it needs to be decluttered.

Wall #3 is the diagonal wall that my SMARTBoard is on (covered in orange).  The right side of the blue cabinet has all the things I need to set up my desk/teacher area.  I store everything for the beginning of the year there for easy access when setting up my classroom.  I know where everything important is and after setting up my room I have an empty cabinet for storage.  Genius I tell you!  On top of the cabinet are my two paper sorters that will go on the vertical file cabinets.  Then all of the boxes will be neatly stacked on top of the cabinet and I MUST declutter those boxes this year!

You can barely see tiny wall #4.  Those vertical file cabinets will store the paper sorters and other materials.  The bookshelf houses my teaching binders and other important books/resources.  The shelves behind the desk are teacher storage and also for frequently used manipulatives.

A more close up view of my teacher corner.  I have two 4 drawer file cabinets and one 2 drawer cabinet.  The microwave will end up sitting on top of the fridge next to the computer table.

A better view of the computer table.  Lots of file organizers get stored on that table.

Last but not least wall #5 or as I call it, the window wall.  Can you believe the gorgeous view I have?!  It is the best in the whole school.  To the left you can see what will be the Learning Stations area I am setting up this year.

Classroom Set Up TO DO:
Bulletin Boards/Decor:

(X) Front of Door
(X) Window ledge welcome border
(X) Window ledge decor
(X ) Welcome sign on wall next to door
(  ) Window clings
(X) Hanging decor (off lights)
(X) Assignment Board
(  ) Math Learning Stations area
(  ) Teacher info area
(  ) Diagonal wall area
(  ) Vertical file cabinets (personal items)
(  ) Desk/file magnets
(X) Word Wall
(  ) Posters
(X) Mathematical processes frames


(X) Paper sorters 24-slot (2)
(X) Vertical file cabinets
(  ) Teacher storage back wall shelves
(X) Computer table
(  ) Teacher desk
(  ) Teacher bookshelf
(  ) Four drawer file cabinets (2)
(  ) Learning stations bookshelf
(X) Learning stations bookcart
(X) Learning stations table
(X) Trapezoid table
(X) Storage boxes- out of the way for now, but definitely a huge project for this school year!
(X) Blue wall cabinet- I will organize this at a later date
(X) Blue wheeled cabinet
(X) Green cabinet-  I am not doing anything with this cabinet at this point
(X) Student desks
(X) Pink cart


(X) SMARTBoard
(X) Computer Cords
(X) Fridge
(X) Micro

Hope this post is helpful to you!  I will be checking back and updating when items are completed.  It makes me want to get into my classroom and get started.  :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I play a game in my classroom called SKUNK and the kids absolutely love it.  Each player needs a piece of paper with the word SKUNK written at the top of it.  Draw lines between the letters to create a score column for each letter.  Basically the leader rolls two dice and then you find the product of the numbers (great practice for beginning multiplication up to 6 x 6).  As long as players remain standing they get to write down each product rolled.  Once they sit they add up the total points for that round (each letter S-K-U-N-K is a separate round).   Play ends for each round when everyone is seating or when a one or snake eyes (double ones) are rolled.  Anyone standing when a one is rolled loses their points for that letter round.  Anyone standing when snake eyes is rolled loses all their points for the game up to that point.  The game ends after five rounds and winner is the person with the highest point total.  Also I play that if a one or snake eyes is rolled on the first roll of the round it does not count, otherwise no one would get points for that round.

This game involves both choice and chance and is a great discussion springboard when you are studying probability.  I am linking you to Illuminations.  They give a detailed explanation of the game as well as a great Thinking About Skunk sheet.  I have always just played the game for fun, but will do the follow up sheet this year when we start probability.  My students always ask to play SKUNK if we have some extra time.

You can play it old school with dice and a chalkboard or overhead, but we play it on the SMARTBoard and they LOVE the dice.   Enjoy and let me know what you think!  I am joining a couple fun linky parties.  Click to see more amazing math ideas!

Little Miss Kindergarten

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New School Year Resolutions for 2011-2012

I am joining The Clutter-Free Classroom's New Year Resolution Linky Party today.  I love to make goals and plans for new school year during my stress free summer (well as stress free as being the mother of three young boys is).  One of the things I love most about my job is getting to have a fresh start every new school year.  How many careers do you get a do over every single year?  Now I must say that I am coming off of probably the best year I have ever had since becoming a 7th grade math teacher.  I got to have two accelerated math classes and our students were just fabulous.  I definitely enjoyed my students last year because a group that awesome comes around only a few times in your career.

I have been thinking about my goals all summer and it will be nice to have them all in one place for reference.

In my classroom:

1)  WORK STATIONS:  I am going to implement work stations into my math class this year.  I have been doing lots of research this summer and unfortunately I am not finding many resources out there for math stations at the middle school level.  This is a definite work in progress for me.  I will have a corner set up in my classroom with materials organized for student use.

2)  DIFFERENTIATION:  I will enhance what I do to differentiate in my classroom.  This would be for intervention and enrichment.  I already do several things, but there is always room for improvement.

3)  LITERACY:  I will incorporate more literacy into my math class.  I started off the year doing a great job with vocabulary and word walls and I hope to maintain that all year for this coming school year.  I want to get the students to do more writing in my math class.  It is difficult because we are under so much pressure with the adoption of the CCSS.

4)  COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS:  I will work to align what I am doing with the CCSS.
5)  ORGANIZATION:  I will do a better job of keeping my binders and materials organized as I use them.  I will also declutter the boxes of materials I have been holding onto for too long.  I will organize my math manipulatives in my blue cabinet.

As a middle school math liaison:

1)  SMARTBOARD:  I will work with the other 7th grade math teachers to help them with their new SMARTBoards.  I will also share all of my SB files and lessons with them.  I will create some new files that can be used to support the CCSS and our math curriculum.

2)  COLLABORATION:  I will structure our math PLC time to work on meaningful tasks to improve the math education of all 7th grade students.  I will share best practices and curriculum materials I create.

3)  MATH REVIEW COMMITTEE:  I will help to lead the K-12 math review (as the middle school liaison).  This will be a challenging year long process and I will stay positive and focused on the task.

4)  BE A POSITIVE FORCE:  This would go under both my teacher and liaison roles.  I want to use my various leadership positions to continue to move our school forward in a positive manner.  I will continue to serve on the School Effectiveness Committee, the Positive Climate Committee and as a Building Rep.  I have also been chosen to be on the interview committee for our new AP.  We just found out last week that our AP (who I really liked) is leaving to take a HS AP/Athletic Director job at the district he came to us from.  :(   Good for him sad for us.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Number activity for first day

I teach 7th grade math and so the first day of school can be a bit chaotic to say the least.  We always have a special bell schedule for the first day of school and our academic class times end up being shortened.  I would say that class ends up being about 20 minutes instead of the normal 55 min.  I teach four sections of math (3 regular and 1 accelerate) and I like to be consistent in what we do the first few days of school for all four classes.

A few years ago, I decided to switch up my first day game plan.  My students see seven different teachers on the first day of school and I can only imagine how overwhelming that is and how these kids are on information overload.  Students are new to our building in 7th grade and the first day all they are worried about is getting lockers opened and not getting lost.  Due to nervousness I don't know how much they are actually "listening" to what teachers are saying.

Firs Day lesson plans from last year.

For this reason I like to get them up and moving around the classroom.  I also like to have an easy and nonthreatening activity where students can participate and get to know each other in a safe and fun manner.  After a quick and fun SMARTBoard warm-up, a brief discussion on supplies needed and quick introductions, I start asking a series of questions and students move to the number that applies to them.  I actually got this idea from one of our inservice activities and adapted it for my classroom.  It was a great way to get to know more about other teachers and everyone seemed to enjoy it (and that says a lot for an inservice activity!)

The numbers 0-12+ are posted around the perimeter of my room.

A sample list of questions:
~How many pets do you have? (then I go around and ask them to tell us about them, kids love a chance to talk about their pets)
~How old are you?  (you find out the age range of your students)
~How many siblings do you have?
~What is your birth order? (this is always interesting)
~What is the month of your birthday?
~How many extracurriculars do you participate in? (sports, dance, band, academic things )  Again the kids love to tell me about how they spend their free time.  This can also clue you in to who your introverts might be.

If I did some recording of the information we could use it to make graphs.  I have never done that before, but it could be a way to extend this activity.  

This could be easily adapted for any age student.  I can see it working really well with younger students. You may decide to adapt the number range and change up questions.  

This is really the perfect easy and fun activity to start with on the first day.  I get to know way more about my students and they get a break from a day of sitting and listening to teachers bore them with information overload.

I am linking up to Fun in First's Blog.  I have a feeling most ideas will be for primary grades, but hopefully I can find something to adapt for my math class.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Organization of my Teacher Binders

I have been using binders to organized my teaching materials since back in the early '90s.  I was a pioneer back in the day when everyone else was using file folders to store things.  I am VERY picky about the copies I give out to students.  It drives me crazy when I see a poorly copied or crooked paper being passed out by a teacher.  I also prefer to have things typed out rather than handwritten (this is for passed out copies).  It just seems more polished and professional to me.

Organization is definitely a strength of mine when it comes to managing my classroom and teaching my students.  I use binders for all my math units (which are called modules in our series).  I have also fine tuned this organization for the students I teach when it comes to their math materials.  I require every student to bring in either a 1/2" or 1" three ring binder.  I am really a stickler on students needing to have a binder and keep a supply of extra ones so if a student needs one they get one within the first week of school.

The textbook series we currently use in our district for grades 6-8 is MathThematics by Mc Dougal Littell.  I teach 7th grade so we use Book 2.  Our text has a 2002 copyright and this book has a newer updated version.  Our district is under a K-12 Math review for the 2011-2012 school year and we will be choosing a new curriculum to implement for the 2012-2013 school year (as far as I know).  This is a standards based series with a spiral curriculum.  Various math strands are present in each module and the "theme" of the module is what ties it together.  Some themes work great, and some not so much.

I organize all my teaching materials into special Lifetime Binders.  Now these are not so easy to find anymore and they are pricey, but I have had these binders for years and never had any trouble with them.  The company that made them when I purchased them was bought out and now they are called Keba binders (or that is the manufacturer).  I did not pay $25 plus $7 shipping and handling.  I got a great deal on a set of them and payed maybe $15 a piece including shipping.  It was several years ago.  I think that over time they are proving to be a wise investment.  We have a running joke on my 7th grade math team about my "Lifetime Binders" and I told one of the other teachers that when I die I will leave him my Lifetime Binders in my will.  :)  You don't need these fancy binders, but I tell you I think they are worth every penny I spent on them.  I definitely need the 2 1/4" size to fit all materials from a module in them.

Part of my organization is that I color code all papers by section.  I either have copy masters on white paper for running student copies, or if it is an answer key I will write on one of the colored student copies.  This makes it very easy to organize extra copies and teaching resources as we go along in a unit.  This school year was super busy for me with some new initiatives we had and I just did not have the time to put things back in the binder like I could/should have.  The color coding system made it super easy for me to get everything together after the fact and get my binders back together in working order.

I use the same color system with my students and all copies they receive are three-hole punched other than assessments that never go in the binder.  The students love this system and it helps to keep them organized.  I can elaborate on the student binder in another post if anyone is interested.

Module 1 Binder (the cover sheet is on the inside that is why it looks blurry).

You can sort of see the color system.  

Cover sheet and Section Tabs.

Section Tabs up close.

This has all the learning targets for the module.  You can see what color each section is.  When I first started color coding a few years ago I had to write down what color each section was, but now I keep it consistent for every module so I always no what section we are on by the color of the paper.
A couple other things I need to mention is that I use the extra wide tabs because everything that goes in the binder is put in a sheet protector.  My master copies are never three-hole punched, just the copies I make for the students.

I do have a SMARTBoard now so more of my files are digital and will be as we adopt a new curriculum.  I keep all my hard copies in the binder so if I have a sub that person has copies of what they need including the answer keys of everything.

Hopefully this post makes sense and is helpful.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I would be happy to do a follow up post to explain things in more detail.  My binders definitely keep my materials organized and at my fingertips.  Extra student copies do not go in the binder, they go in color coded file folders (I warned you about my organization), with copies separated by section.

Monday, July 18, 2011

How I am spending my summer vacation

If I had to sum up my summer in two words it would be be boys and baseball.  I sort of feel like a chauffeur once summer rolls around.  I am constantly driving one of the boys to either swimming lessons, baseball, golf, the pool, or sports camp.  I don't know how I get everything done around the house when I am teaching because the days go so darn fast in summer when I am off and I rarely accomplish everything I set out to do.

Baseball has pretty much dominated our summer.  My oldest son's team won the Little League Major League championship in our city.  It was quite an accomplishment and I all I can say is that we had great pitching and barely any errors and that is why we ended up winning.  It was really an exciting way for Ben to end his LL major career.

Drew on the left played in the minors and Ben was in the majors.
Drew also had a great season.   His LL team went undefeated and he made the 9 yo All-Star team.  They lost their first game and won the next two games.  They ended up losing their fourth game.  Drew played a great tournament and batted clean-up and had some very nice smacks.  It was a fun experience for him and the team would have been much more successful with better coaching and better fielding.

Our All-Star and brothers with Nana and Papa.  Cooper plays t-ball for the Pirates and had a game the same night as Drew.

I have been to the dentist three times already this summer (two check-up appts and a filling for Drew) and have visited the ortho twice.  Cooper has to go back tomorrow to get sealants on his permanent molars that have come in.
Cooper's dental check-up.  Despite his smile he was not happy when he found out he needs to go back for sealants tomorrow.

I went into my classroom to assess things yesterday.  I have decided to shift my desks around to hopefully give everyone a better view of the SMARTBoard (which is on the left angle wall that you cannot see from the photo).  I also want to do Math Learning Stations and will most likely store materials for that in the front right corner of the room.  We almost never use the front chalkboard because we always use the SMARTBoard.

A view of my classroom from the back.  Nothing like having an oddly shaped pentagon for a classroom.  I think the architects that designed our pod failed geometry.
I can't believe I have not taken a single photo at the pool this summer.  We have been there several times and it has been really nice to go lately with the scorching heat we are experiencing in WI.  The pool is open on Mon and Wed nights so we went tonight and then picked up Chipotle and Noodles on the way home.

I have been spending a boat load of time on the internet trying to find ideas for implementing the CCSS in math into my classroom this coming year.  I have also been stalking K and 1st grade blogs looking for ideas to work with Cooper to get him ready for K this year.  I have been using the Ready to Read Printables from the Moffatt Girls Blog and have been so impressed with how he is catching on.

Thanks to other blog stalking I discovered Mo Willems's books.  I put a bunch of them on hold at the public library and we read a bunch of them today.  Cooper and I both loved the books and I must say his older brothers enjoyed watching the DVD of a few of the stories.  It brought back memories for them.

We have been going to the library and I am making the boys read nearly every day.  They joined the summer reading program and got several great coupons to use this summer.  I am just amazed at how I can put books on hold and then walk into the library and they are all there waiting for me.  I love it!

We are looking to spend some time in Chicago and Door County or WI Dells before the summer break is over.  I have to say that it has been a great balance for me of work for school and fun this summer.  I am thoroughly enjoying all the time I get to spend with my boys over the summer.

I am linking up to Clutter-Free Classroom's linky party.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Classroom purchases AKA My Target Addiction

I have been on a roll lately hitting up the Dollar Store and Target's Dollar Spot.  I have decided on a color scheme for my classroom organizing this year.  It is pink, green, and blue.  I love everything pink and green (that's just the preppy coming out in me), but I felt if I just went with pink and green it might be too girly so I threw the blue in for some balance.  

This morning I stopped at Target before going into my classroom to unload most of my summer purchases. I have taken over a bookcase in the living room with my teaching binders and other math resource books and I knew my husband was not too thrilled with all the bags of goodies strewn throughout the house.  I hit the jackpot at Target this morning with some items that were perfect for my pink, green, and blue color scheme.
Unfortunately not everything comes in my lovely color scheme.  I know these pocket charts are more geared toward the elementary level, but I will figure out a way to use them either in my learning stations or for classroom group work.
Everything is from Target except the green bin three pack in the middle of the photo.  Don't you love the color scheme?

I am bound and determined to do some Math Stations this year and will figure out a way to use those files either for the stations or for teacher created math games.  The scrapbook paper will be used for cutting out letters or something like that.
This is the shelf where I store all my math binders and other teacher resources.  Looking forward to adding more color this year.  Not sure how everything will come together, but I assure you it will all get used!

Blogger is misbehaving right now as I try to add captions to my last few photos.  When I add a caption the photo jumps to somewhere else in my post and it's super annoying.  The next photo is of some little planes I saw at the Dollar Spot and decided to buy to figure out a fun activity or learning station.  My students LOVE to do anything out of the ordinary and I know they will have a blast with the airplanes.    Now I just need to figure out what to do with them.

This last photo is of some random items I have purchased to use in my classroom.  I just love getting my classroom set up for the new school year and am looking forward to spicing things up with my new purchases.  I teach middle school, but I assure you my students love to a have a fun brightly decorated and very organized classroom.  I like my classroom to feel cozy and inviting to anyone who enters it.

This I am linking up to Love2Learn2Day's Math Monday Blog Hop and Target Treasures.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Daily Routine

One of the things I pride myself on as a teacher is keeping a very structured classroom routine whereby we don't waste any minutes of precious instructional time.  I work very hard the first several weeks of school constantly reinforcing classroom procedures and expectations.  We do not have sixth graders at our middle school due to space limitations so the 7th graders are brand new to the middle school.  Our 6th grade teachers do an excellent job of preparing them for middle school, but there are several hurdles for our new students to jump like opening lockers for the first time and navigating our unconventional school layout.

I have developed a daily routine that is posted on my agenda/assignment board.  I have laminated the signs and put magnets on the back so it can be changed daily, depending on what we are doing.

1) Warm-Up:  This is always posted on the either the SMARTBoard or the chalkboard.  Students are expected to come into class and start the warm-up right away.

2)  Assignment Check:  Completed assignments are stamped and receive 2 pts.  Answers to the assignment are always posted on the SMARTBoard.  Students are responsible for checking there own work and asking questions if they do not understand a problem.  I work out any problems that are requested or that I feel need further explanation.  Students are responsible for making sure they understand the concepts prior to any assessments.

3)  Lesson, Activity, Problem Solving, or Assessment:  Students are responsible for taking notes and for participating in class discussions and activities.  Material presented in class will be covered on assignments and assessed through quizzes and tests.  Our text is activity based so students will be actively involved in the learning process and participation by all is an expectation.  Problems solving is stressed.

4)  Assignment:  Every effort is will be made to give students some time to begin homework in class.  This is done to assure the students have an opportunity to ask questions about the assignment before they leave for the day.  Due to the length of some explorations this is not always possible.

This class structure has worked extremely well for me and I am looking forward to making it even better this coming school year.

Areas for development/improvement:
~Improving my warm-up time/problems.
~Exit slips-  I want to gauge individual student understanding (which can be overwhelming when you teach over 110 students in a day).
~A more structured set up for intervention and enrichment.  
~More differentiation throughout a lesson.
~Math stations- I just have not figured out how to work these at the middle school level.  I see the amazing things primary teachers do, and am going to try and adapt the concept to my level.

If you have any feedback for me on my ideas please share.

Welcome to my classroom

Welcome!  I took these photos with my iPhone last August as I was setting up my classroom for the beginning of the school year.  These are just a few that I wanted to post to get my new math teaching blog started.  I have been so inspired this summer by all the primary blogs I have found while searching out math and reading activities to do with my 5 yo son to prepare him for starting kindergarten this year.

Last year I changed up my door decor and really ended up loving it.    I got lots of compliments on my new design.

A view to left of the door.  I want people to feel welcome when entering my room  and I think my door decor does the trick!

My daily assignment board for the first day of school last year.    The green was for my two accelerated classes and the blue was for my two regular math classes.  The numbers were for a get acquainted activity I do on the first day.
This is where I keep all the papers that go into student binders organized.  I am very serious about my classroom organization.

The goal of this blog is to share ideas with other teachers and hopefully network with other dedicated and creative middle school math teachers.  There are so many primary teaching blogs that are phenomenal and perhaps I can find my way to some equally amazing blogs that focus on middle school math~