#5Things My Career Bucket List

  1. I would love to be a math instructional coach, even just for my district with one elementary, one middle, and one high school math teacher. I see a lot of a value in noticing trends and implementing strategies district-wide.
  2. In the future I want to teach at the university level. I really hated my education program and left feeling very unprepared and it's supposed to be a good program. I only had two classes that I felt helped at all. I would love to basically take my blog to 4D and just help teachers learn how to teach and how to love teaching.
  3. I've always wanted to write a book and I sure don't know what else I would write about besides teaching. I imagine it as a book of stories with pictures included and downloadable activities and links to my blog.
  4. I want to be a National Board Certified Teacher. I would be the first teacher in the history of my school to accomplish it. Of course stupid Illinois had to take away the stipend. :( But the teachers I know through twitter and blogging that are NBCTs are some of the most reflective, thoughtful, thorough, and creative teachers I've ever seen.
  5. I want to be wealthy. I know it probably won't come through teaching but I just feel like it will happen some day, some way. I want to give back to my community and school. We are the poorest county in the entire state of Illinois. I would like to do things that other schools have, like 1:1 technology programs, new sports equipment/uniforms, a track and football field, pool, aerobics room, and senior class trips. I'd like to build a rec center in the community and have scholarships for students to go to college and for extras like dorm room supplies and a laptop. I just want to make life better for everyone around me.

What's on your bucket list?


Geometry Game Play

Last year I found an activity from a sample textbook series that I really like for geometry terms.

I bought foam circles from the Dollar Tree and wrote letters on them with Sharppies. Then I used magnetic tape and 3M tape to post the circles around the classroom.

The textbook even shows how to set it up.

Here's what it looked like for me:

I included the game at the end of this worksheet done in class:


Interactive Notebook Calculator Activity

I'm calling this an INB activity but this does not fit in the INB. This is my first activity where students had to constantly refer to the calculator hints we wrote in their INB.

It covers reducing fractions, operations with fractions, graphing equations, zooming, and adjusting the window.

This accomplished exactly what I wanted. Every time students asked me a question, I would just point to the place in their notebook and then they would say "Oh". After first period, I started having them highlight the directions because so many people just skipped right over them.

They got the hang of it after a while and overall, this activity took 20-25 minutes.

Some students got frustrated with me when I answered every question with "Look in your notebook". On closer inspection, that's because those students didn't write everything down. Ah, another life lesson.

My main priority was reading and following directions, learning calculator steps was just a bonus.

Made 4 Math Monday: Equation Wheels

I actually saw this idea on Pinterest and there wasn't really an electronic version. So of course I made my own...and there's still not an electronic version. lol It's just easier to write it than to try to type it in a wheel.

The yellow wheel is One-Step Equations and the pink is Two-Step Equations. There is an equation on each spoke of the wheel and the answer to the equation is on a clothes pin.

On the back of each clothes pin is a symbol and on the back of each spoke is a different set of symbols. I used this in summer school for 7th graders and they worked together, taking turns solving equations and matching the answer to the equation.

Of course if they get an answer that is not on a clothes pin or if that clothes pin is already clipped somewhere, it's time to discuss and rework some problems.

When the wheel is complete, students turn it over and I give them the answer key to check the symbols.

Here is the file for blank wheels, as this could definitely be used for many concepts. If you figure out an easy way to type in the wheel, let me know. :)


Day 5-7 Interactive Notebook Setup and Memes!

When I read other people's posts about setting up their INB's in 45 minutes, I feel bad because it took me 3 times that. But I did a lot of cool stuff, got a lot of good feedback, and it's only my first time.

I have 94 students and I probably provided half that number of notebooks to students but I did charge them $.50. That's just so I could go buy more. I told them every day for 5 days that they needed them. I explained that I provide everything else, literally. I even give them pencils. But I asked them to get their own notebooks because I wanted them to pick something they liked and that was a reflection of their personality.

Here is some of my supplies set-up. We did pencil holders, bookmarks, plickers, pockets, and rubber bands,

I also had a tub of milkshake straws and duct tape and a crate of ribbon.

I made a cutesy powerpoint and basically went through it slide by slide.

I don't really know why it took so long but oh well.

Some of my favorite comments from the students were:

"I didn't even know you could do all this to a notebook!"

"I've never been this organized in my life. My mom would be so proud of me."

"Ms. Miller, you are the bomb. You buy us all kinds of cute stuff."

"Ms. Miller, why you gotta be so fancy with your notebooks?"

(After taping in foldables) "So are we ever going to put notes in here?" Me: "Yes, foldables, like what we just put in there." "But like real notes? Like are we going to write in them?"

"Where do you get all these ideas, Pinterest?" Me: "Yes." "So you like, sit at home and look up teaching ideas on Pinterest?" Me: "Yes." I had to laugh because my teaching board on pinterest is called Teaching Ideas. lol

And a lot of students asked me if I would come to college with them to organize their life and decorate their dorm rooms. I would love to!

Overall, students, okay female students, loved the decorating and matching the tape to the stickers to the pencil and so on. They were excited to show them off to other students and describe how pretty they are.

In case you didn't look through my powerpoint, here are my first sets of pages.

Table of Contents

Page 1-2
First, I did calculator hints.
This was my first example of CWP, Color With Purpose, and their first assignment will be a calculator worksheet where they have to refer to their INB, to promote the idea of it being a tool.

Page 3-4
I changed my syllabus from my earlier post to one with lots of fun memes...well I thought it was fun and I did get some laughs out of my classes. And the RHP was Sarah Rubin's Top 5

Page 5-6
And then I retyped Sarah Rubin's Learning Style Survey. We had some decent conversations about the differences in how we learn and study. But I definitely could have went more in depth with those. And the RHP was also Sarah's idea of having them illustrate four of the learning suggestions.

Here are the document downloads:

Calculator Hints

Classroom Expectations (Syllabus)

Learning Style Survey

And that wraps up my first full week of school!