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Showing posts from September, 2020

Student of the Month

As we end the 1st month of school, try giving the students and yourself a boost by giving out a student of the month award. It may sound simple but I started a student of the month award in my classroom with a mini trophy. Prior to giving out any awards I outlined what it would take to win it. My student of the month didn’t have to earn A’s all the time; to qualify they needed to work hard, seek help when needed, be responsible for your actions, and be respectful. Each class had 2 winners per month. When you won student of the month you received a certificate, mini trophy, and some classroom cash. The criteria to win allowed me to recognize students who would often go unnoticed in a classroom because they weren't the top student but they also never caused behavioral problems. I emailed parents of the winners each month and the parents were excited to see that their child was being seen in the classroom. Since every kid could possibly win, students who were struggling started to sh

Drag and Drop Activities (or Cut and Paste) using Google Slides

  Engaging yet guided activities such as a drag and drop allow students to work at their own pace but not become overwhelmed. Domain and range is a topic that is often difficult for students to grasp and the last thing I want is a free response form where they aren't getting quick feedback.  A drag and drop activity is a great way for them to check their understanding.  When using a drag and drop activity the students have a limited number of answer choices and thus if their answer is not there, they must seek help or rework the problem.   As a teacher a drag and drop is a quick check they can share their response with you and you can look over it quickly and discuss any changes that need to be made. In the classroom, I would print this on 2 slides per page and have them complete it as a cut and paste.  The benefits of using 2 slides per page reduces the amount of paper needed but also limits their choices for each question.   Drag and drops are easier to make than they appear.  I&

Free Equations Activities

    I love having my students work on activities and games instead of a traditional worksheet.  Creating or finding just the right activity to fit what I'm looking for can be a challenge.  I started making activities that my students enjoy and that allow me to pull students away for small group help.   These resources are all free to use in your classroom.       A walk around is a great activity to get the students up and about while allowing them to check their own work.  By using a walk around, students can work at their own pace, be out of their seats, and check their work.  They each start at a different problem, once working out the equation, they find their solution on another paper and complete that problem.  The students complete the problems until they end up back at their original problem.  Here is a  One Step Equations Walk Around .        A maze is a self paced activity where students move along based on their answer.  This  Two Step Equations Maze  can be done online b

Invigorate Classwork with a Voice and Choice Board (using Google Forms)

Simplify the juggling of multiple activities and different paces of students by using a voice and choice board. A voice and choice board starts by asking a question. Students who answer correctly are sent to the voice and choice board where they have the freedom to choose what activity they complete.  The students love being in control of their assignments.  They are excited to do the work because they picked it.  I've found that I may be met with added enthusiasm if I put a regular worksheet or activity on this board instead of on its own. For the students who get the first question wrong, they are sent to a remediation video.  After watching this video, the students get a second chance.  All of the students who get it correct are sent to the voice and board.  Students who get it incorrect are sent to the teacher for help.  This method quickly gets you the students who are in need of the most help in a small group setting.   The beauty of the choice board is no more juggling diffe

Thankful for Custodians

  A custodian's job and work often goes unnoticed until there is a problem.  Starting in my first year, I got to know the custodians as they cleaned my classroom every afternoon.  I’ve tried to make it a point each year to get to know the custodians who ensure my classroom is clean and looking nice and it has paid off.  My first three years, I can remember the custodians walking by my classroom to check on me throughout the day to make sure I didn’t need anything.  One day in particular I was teaching at the board and I noticed someone dancing by my classroom door window and it was them.  I always found that they were going above and beyond in my classroom and I thanked them for all they were doing and tried to do my part as well.  Last year, in my 10th year, I did a cut and glue activity which always results in a mess however, this level of mess was one I had never seen before.  I tried to clean my classroom but little pieces were EVERYWHERE and so I warned the head custodian and

Tired of Writing Passes?

  After 10 years of teaching and writing thousands of bathroom passes I found a system that is simple, quick, and hassle free.  I bought these hooks and lanyards from amazon.   I use 1 of each color to represent a different location a student may ask to go.  I wrote on a piece of paper the location the lanyard represented and slipped it into the lanyard pocket.  My locations are library, nurse, boys bathroom, girls bathroom, office, guidance counselor, locker and water.  When a student wants to go to one of those places they fill out the clipboard which hangs beside the passes, grab the lanyard, and go.  The students and myself know what each color represents so if the blue water lanyard is missing, a student wanting to go get water knows they need to wait.  This simplified passes and highly decreased classroom interrupts from students wanting or needing to go places. If you are looking to add supplies such as these to your classroom and need funding to do so, you can create a donor

Self Paced BINGO

 Everybody loves a good game of bingo but add math and this fast paced game can become frustrating unless, you make it self paced.   I love playing games in my classroom and my secondary students love games.  Bingo is a popular game however, the fast paced learners get frustrated with those who need more time, the slower paced learners get frustrated with the fast pace of the game, and I end up repeating myself too many times.  I started playing self paced bingo this year and it has gone amazing.   How do you play self paced bingo? You create a google slide with all of the problems on the bingo board.  After creating it you share it with your students.  Students answer the questions at their pace to create the pattern you decided for bingo.  Once students have made bingo they share their board with you.  This is quick to check as a teacher since all of the students have the same questions in the same position.  We have been playing self paced bingo as independent work and homework in m

Escape the Ordinary

  Create an escape room for your students to have an interactive and fun experience when doing test reviews.  There are two escape rooms types that you can make that are free and easy to navigate. allows you to easily build an escape room with google forms, videos, and audio.  I have used both there free and paid accounts with the biggest difference being I like the tag options better on the paid account. You start by picking a 2 dimensional picture or 3 dimensional picture from their library.  After selecting the picture you insert tags for each of your clues.  Once you are done you can share it with your students by copying the link.   Google slides is the most recent escape room I've learned about.  Using transparent images, you build the room or rooms you wish to have with all the furniture and clues.  Once you build all of your slides, you can share the presentation with your students for them to try and escape.  When sending to your students make sure you forc

Flubaroo + Google Forms = Quick Grading of Assignments

  Google Forms with the Flubaroo add-on can automatically grade quizzes and get feedback from your students.  This is a great resource to use for warm-ups to assess if students understood previous material or pre-test for upcoming material.  It is a great way to give an exit ticket after teaching a lesson.  Flubaroo creates a spreadsheet that provides you with individual feedback and also overall question feedback. If the overall performance on a question is low for your class Flubaroo will turn the column orange to alert you. This is a quick way to see what material you need to review or reteach.  

Easy Money for Classroom Supplies

  Using I was able to get about $2,500 in supplies for my classroom without spending my own money or begging my friends for help. I know teachers spend a lot of their own money on classroom supplies and materials but there’s a website called that can help. There you create a project with the supplies you need.  After getting your project approved they create a post for you to share on social media soliciting donations.  Along with using social media they provide match offers. Match offers are how I often earn money for my project quickly.  The last few years Google has done a match offer that includes teaching the students about coding or being respectful.  When your students complete the offer then you receive a gift card to use towards your project.  Watch for match days and boost your project when those occur and post your project to social media again letting your friends, family, and followers know that their donation is matched during this wind

Parent Teacher Conference Scheduling Simplified

By using Google Forms and the Choice Eliminator 2 add-on you can quickly and easily have parents and/or students schedule meetings with you.   You start by creating a Google Form with the information you need to know about the person such as name and class period.   Next, you will need to decide what times you are available for a conference.  The Choice Eliminator 2 add-on then eliminates a time after someone has selected it.   As a teacher you get a spreadsheet letting you know who has signed up and what time slot they signed up for.  I’ve used this in my classroom to schedule one-on-one tutoring sessions and small group tutoring sessions.  Parents are able to quickly see if a time is available without the back and forth emails or phone calls to find a time that works with their schedule.  When all of the times are taken, you can provide a message with more information about how to schedule a time.