Imposter Syndrome: A Cure

Everybody that's ever wanted to be good at something has, at some point, felt like an imposter. It's the feeling you get when you find someone who is better at something than you or had an idea you've never had and all you can focus on is that you. are. not. enough.

Usually at some point you also try to imitate these people who seem better than you in some way. If they can do it, so can you! So you try it out and....it's okay. Maybe. For a while. Or it fails. Big time. And now your pile of failures has just grown larger. The qualities you admired in someone else now seem ever farther out of reach.

But here's the thing...

The definition of an imposter is: a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others, especially for fraudulent gain.

Point #1: You can only be an imposter if you're trying to BE someone else. If you're pretending. Trying new things? Not an imposter.
Failing? Not an imposter.
Admiring qualities in someone else? Not an imposter.
Trying to emulate someone in order to better yourself? Not an imposter.

Point #2: If you are putting on new characteristics and trying new things because you think being someone else is better than being you, those changes won't be authentic. You think that you are choosing what you want and what will make you happy, but if it goes against your nature, you're going to be miserable.

Point #3: As a teacher, when you hear of new ideas and strategies, a litmus test is to decide if it excites you or makes you feel dread. It's impossible for us to try all new things, especially all at once. Pick the things that excite you. They will give you more energy, motivate you to take bigger risks, and cushions the feeling of failure if it doesn't go well. If you hear a new idea and you feel guilty that you aren't doing it, overwhelmed in how to even start, and doubt that you could even pull it off....that idea's probably not for you.

And who's to say you won't feel excitement for that thing next year? Or the year after that?

We have a finite amount of time in each school year to execute ideas. But a lifelong journey of looking for things to excite us.

MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Look at problems or gaps that come up often or really bother you. Focus on strategies and ideas to address those first. Give yourself some peace. Get off to a good start. Commit yourself each year to at least one thing that will make a difference for you and your students in some way.

MP2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
Make sense of the quantity of time and energy that you have but also what is sustainable over time. Baby steps. People are doing the best they can with what they know. When you know better, do better.

MP3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
When that little devil on your shoulder starts to tell you that you are not doing enough or that you are not enough, argue back with all the progress you have made. How far you've come. What you've tried. Your successes. Your survival. And every time you hear of something new to try, critique that through the lens of your nature, your school culture, your students. You are not meant to be everything to everybody.

MP4 Model with mathematics.
Model your staying power, your consistency, your willingness to show up through the consistency of patterns in math, patterns that always hold true, and the beauty that shows up in those patterns.

MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically.
Try things that will you make you better, more efficient, more available and that are sustainable. You don't have to have every new piece of technology (it's not like you could afford it?) or know every new social media site to love kids and improve their math experience.

MP6 Attend to precision.
Be precise in how effective and how much change new ideas will bring. Is your time worth it? What are you investing? For how long? What is the payoff?

MP7 Look for and make use of structure.
Can you address gaps through daily bell ringers? Can you try new strategies on lessons you hate? Can an activity be used with more than one practice structure? Can your scheduling solve a problem for students? Can something you write all the time be turned into a form? Can you build a template? Can you make something a routine? What structures can you use to your advantage?

MP8 Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
Where can you find shortcuts? Can students cut things for you? Can you make a bunch of copies all at once and do something else while they run? Can a student take over decorating that bulletin board? Will a student help straighten up all the notebooks and binders? Can you tidy up the room while you walk around checking work? Can you NOT grade everything? Would a rubric help you grade faster? Can you gather information with a Google Form? Doc? Slide? Sheet? Treat yo self! Make your life easier.

So when you are feeling like you don't measure up, remember that you are measuring the wrong thing. Measure where you are compared to where you started. Measure your successes. Measure your gratitude- it's usually a major symptom of the imposter syndrome. Measure your ability to try new things.

You can't fail at being you.

You can't be 'not you enough'.

Whatever amount of 'you' that you are right now...is the perfect measure.


Bell Ringers 5.0

It's time for my annual bell ringer giant powerpoint update! {See the originalversion 2, and version 3, version 4}

Here are the categories:

Mental Math Monday: 10 middle school mental math problems that I read aloud (no repeats!)
Tough Guess Tuesdayestimation180.com photos that students estimate how many
Which One Doesn't Belong Wednesdaywodb.ca four photos that students can name something unique for each
Throw Back Thursday: practice questions from the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test that seniors take for community college placement and simplifying radicals; I haven't been teaching this soon enough (although in reality it's never needed, it still is for testing) so I'm addressing it through bell ringers because it worked really well for factoring last year
Factoring Friday: factoring has been a huge pitfall was a weakness for me so 9-12 will be doing 3-4 factoring problems every week which really helped last year

  • GCF 
  • Four Term 
  • Four Term with GCF 
  • Trinomial a = 1 
  • Trinomial a = 1 with GCF 
  • Trinomial a > 1
  • Trinomial a > 1 with GCF 
  • Difference of Two Squares 
  • Difference of Two Squares with GCF 
  • Mixed (last 6 Friday slides)

Last year I used Google Forms for the first time. I really liked it although I often forgot to reset the responses. 

This year I'm trying out Desmos Activity Builder. Some friends created one where students input their responses and then a graph lines up the floating dots and it just looks cool. lol

I plan on using that for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The other two days are multiple choice problems and I will use plickers.

The font is Forget Me Not and I spent a ridiculously long time changing all of my powerpoints to teal and gray chevron instead of teal and lime green. I know that nobody cares but me but...I CARE.

I also made the first slide links to every Monday slide so that you can jump ahead to the correct week of school if needed.


Pinterest Pile Up: Brag Bracelets, Shoutouts, and Selfie Sticks

Instead of doing things on my to-do list, I'm busy making things I found on Pinterest.

First up, brag bracelets. These can be used to celebrate any behavior you want to reward. They could be unit specific. Some of mine are sarcastic, some of mine are specific to my students, and I also included birthday ones. I made 5 pages of 8 different bracelets per page.

I plan to print them on card stock, cut, stick a glue dot on one end and have them ready to go. To introduce them, I'm going to make one for every student with a reminder that they need a composition notebook, their remind code, and my school instagram account.

The font I used is Moon Flower and of course, they are all chevron. You could also print them on white paper and students could color them.

Next are selfie sticks. I saw this idea on Pinterest and of course had to make it myself in my signature colors. The finished product is SO flipping cute. When students want a picture of their work emailed home or posted on milligram, they pin a 'selfie stick' to it.

Files below, including a purple one for Cori!

Shout outs are literally for students to shout out their peers for good stuff. Note to self: Dollar Tree post-its are not the normal 3x3 size so maybe you should delete the square in the middle. And the picture again because it's so cute.

Below is a template that I plan on having students slide in the clear pocket on the outside of their binders. Students can stick post-its there and everyone can easily find them.


#TMC18 Intimacy is Confidence

(This is not a typical TMC recap but I blogged every session I went to and I've blogged the typical recap before...if you have any logistical questions, please ask!)

I read this sentence in a book and weirdly enough, it made me think about TMC and Twitter.

It took a few years for me to find my confidence and my place at TMC, even though I kinda felt like I belonged on Twitter. My main reason for feeling that belonging was just by proximity and quantity...I was on Twitter every night asking for people to share their lessons with me for every prep I had the next day. People knew who I was because I asked anyone and everyone questions on a regular basis.

But I didn't feel like I was offering anything...didn't feel like I had anything to offer...didn't feel safe enough to be that vulnerable yet.

Here's where I want to be clear: I didn't feel like I had a space...because I wasn't DOING anything at TMC. I was quiet in my sessions, afraid if I talked to other people they wouldn't know who I was, I went to lunch by myself and dinner by myself.

How could I expect anyone to know me when I did NOTHING to make myself known?

Over time, I became more vulnerable on Twitter. Being the only math teacher at a small school, I had nowhere else to ask questions and share my successes and more often, failures.

Here's the second sentence from my book: True intimacy feels no shame.

Sharing your failures is hard for anyone at anytime. But then for others to hear your failures and respond with encouragement, empathy, and their own failures? To say you're not good enough and no one makes you feel worse?

That creates a safe place.

I had to take a risk to create a safe place so I could take even more risks.

After that, I share my '2 Nice Things' strategy and became known for that.

I started sharing pictures of my organization and my room covered in chevron and became known for being obsessed with chevron.

I posted card sorts and interactive notebook pages and became known for that.

I became known.

And so TMC is a gathering of teachers who feel known by others there but are also constantly seeking to know more people and make them feel known.

By presenting something you feel proud of: you make yourself known.

By going out to eat with others: you make yourself known.

By sharing a My Favorite: you make yourself known.

By tweeting and retweeting quotes from other sessions: you make yourself known.

By asking questions: you make yourself known.

By sharing your classroom: you make yourself known.

By sharing YOU: you make yourself known.

I am confident in myself and my place in TMC because of the intimacy I have built up with them over time.

So if you aren't feeling like you're totally a part of TMC yet....start sharing.

We want to learn from you. We want to know you.

And we want to make you feel known.


#TMC18 Liked Tweets

I've never done this before but I thought I would make a post sharing the tweets that I liked from other sessions while at #TMC18.


#TMC18 My Favorites


Casey- ABC book for everyone to sign

Tina and Co- TMC mission statement

Hedge- Seesaw for MP 3
Kids can ask questions in the moment; can add and share files, invite others, link. Use as a birds eye view for exit slip or formative assessments. Acknowledge students in the moment without taking away from small groups you're working with. Improve culture of collaboration by giving and receiving detailed feedback from peers as well as teacher.

Sam Shah- Virtual Conference
The Virtual Conference of Mathematical Flavors
How Our Everyday Teaching Affects Kids Conceptions of Math
How does your class move the needle on what kids think about math?
Submit through August 1-29

Dave Sabol- How I Teach
Blog posts submitted about the day to day hacks in teaching
bit.ly/TMC18howiteach @dave_sabol

Nicole Muth @nmuth- CUW Superhero Steam Camp
Grades 3-8, Christian Camp with devotionals aligned to content
Superhero bungee jump

Todd Feitelson @toddf9- My Experience with 3D Printing in my Classroom
Using Wolfram Mahematica

How to problem solve: 
1. Do something
2. Do something else
3. Do a simpler problem (or maybe many simpler problems)
4. Learn from mistakes and dead ends

5. Don't stop just because the problem is solved. #myfavorites #TMC18 @nhoskee

Anna Scholl- Crazy 8s Math Club
High school students volunteer to coach elementary clubs
Don’t decorate the marshmallows first! 

Jonathan Claydon @rawrdimus-Thanks Glenn
Daily high fives at the end of class; helps pacing to end early

Mark Sanford @hfxmark- Music Friday’s
Play a song every Friday between periods. Choose based on your mood or the kids mood. Take special requests, school appropriate.


Elizabeth Stratmore @cheesemonkey- (Pre-) Heart Advice & Self Care
You carry the energy of everyone in this room with you. Be gentle with yourself. You can't implement everything. Be present.

Anna Panova-Cicchino @harpgirl555- Tarsia Puzzle Maker
Free software to create custom jigsaw puzzles, matching, and domino activities. Self-checking, great for noticing patterns, easy for teachers to use, math friendly. Print little version to do in class and then give larger version to students. Print out solution on matching colored version. Store in ziploc bags. Mr. Barton Maths blog shares pre-made puzzles.

Chase Orton @mathgeek76 Madiosn Sandig @madisonsandig4- Estimation Station
Ten minute instructional routine for low-floor discussions on estimation and statistics

Jennifer Fairbanks @hhsmath- Goosechase and Memes
Free scavenger hunt
One game at a time
Use 5 times
Set length of time and point values
Students upload pictures and videos

Posting memes, sometimes math related and sometimes not, makes kids want to come to math class and starts class with a smile

Ellen's heads up, you can pay $1 to create your own and play in class

Allison Krasnow @allison_krasnow- Making Relationships STICK
Sitckers given discretely and sparingly for
  • individual recognition 
  • group work
  • growth mindset
  • silent reminders for behavior
Walk over and stick it on their hand, no talking or change in facial expressions

Work on redirecting behaviors without saying their name out loud in class.

Kent Haines- Games for Young Minds
What is the 'read for 20 minutes' help that parents can do with their kids for math?
Play games. Ask questions.
Newsletter with game recommendations and questions.
Playing games means structures and structures are mathematical. #playmath

Matthew Kennedy @LS4GDrK- My Most Favorite Vertical Surface
60 cm x 83 cm $2.50 Whiteboard
Can be put on blocks on a desk, hung from hooks, velcro to the wall, lean against a wall, take it outside

Michelle Naidu @park_star- Come to Saskatchewan
When there isn't a thing, you create a thing. PD for PD conference called the Facilitator Forum in December

Mattie Baker @stoodle- Community Support
Include more people without losing the thing that gives us identity
Check the hashtag once a month to signal boost and encourage new followers

Brian Cerullo @bcerullo12- Origami in Geometry
Students fold step by step based on teachers guidance and fill out a chart based on what polygon they've created and the angles created by each fold.

Megan Schmidt @veganmathbeagle- An Ode to the Elementary Math Classroom
Go observe an elementary classroom and appreciate the richness and how they manage kids who never stop moving.

Chris Luzniak @cluzniak- Math Salons
A buffet of ideas and bagels; local gatherings for brunch and doing math

David Petro @davidpetro314- How to Make a Viral Video
Double domino effect with bricks

Philip Taylor @phitau- Quizlet Live
For memory facts, need 12 consecutive right answers, every student has three answers but not necessarily the correct answer, forces collaboration and communication. Don't ruin a good thing by trying to grade it. Little prizes increase engagement.

Amie Albrecht @nomad_penguin- Valuing the Back of Math(s)
The front of math is neat, polished, orderly. The back of math is something we forget to tell students about. Focus on draft thinking, oral over written, self evaluated, no stakes. Mini-talks 9 times per year, 1 if you show up and try, 0 if you don't. Bit.ly/BackOfMath

Daniel Carlson @pythagitup- Lou Whitaker belongs in the Hall of Fame

Taylor Grant @teachbarefoot-
How to Write a Blog Post Every Day
Blog a post about the day as soon as the school day ends, creates an organized reflection of teaching skills.
Don't let your dreams just be dreams.

Zachary Korzyck @MrDeltaMath- What Is Delta Math?
Practice problems for over 1000 different topics, students will have different problems so they can't cheat, combine multiple due dates, can add more attempts

Justin Aion @MrATeachesMath- Philosophy and Mathematical Discourse
An important question isn't always about important topics but it promotes discourse and causes you to interact with the world in a different way.

Annie Perkins @anniek_p Positive Phone Calls Home
Students can request it, I can suggest, only call when it's genuine, call early in the year. Hang clipboard in high traffic area, use highlighter when done, make calls when it's rejuvenating for you. Changes their affect in your classroom from 2 days to 2 months.

Glenn Wadell-
Turning negatalk to positalk bit.ly/ReframingTalk


#TMC18 Introduction to Delta Math {Zach Korzyk}

Introduction to Delta Math
Saturday 2:45-3:45
Zach Korzyk (@MrDeltaMath)

Started in 2009 out of frustrations with Algebra II messing up on basic calculations.

No app but does work on the phone.

Geometry is currently being developed.

Some problems are interactive; can't submit until all questions are answered.

Teacher accounts can generate more simulations when needed.

Students prefer practice on Delta Math over a worksheet, feel like they are earning credit.

Students that miss days in class can still earn a 100% with the 'forgive lateness' button.

#TMC18 Mathematics isn't everywhere. It is more awesome than that. {Edmund Harris, John Golden, and Glenn Waddell}

Mathematics isn't everywhere. It is more awesome than that.
Saturday Keyote
Edmund Harris, John Golden, and Glenn Waddell

Math isn't everywhere...it's more amazing than that.

Math is play.

Math is perception.

Why do we take the humanity out of teaching lines?

Why are we robbing learners of seeing themselves in the math? We are stealing intuition.

Redeeming Mathematics
General Ed, 3 credits
This Is Not a Math Class book
Anna Weltman

Mathematicians characterize and look at attributes.

 Students need to see their world through mathematics.

Finding the world through math and math through the world.

Finding aspects of math through other math.

Great math teachers have a high degree of competence in three types of knowledge:

  • math
  • pedagogy
  • learners

#TMC18 Discovering Geometry through Drawing and Discussion {Jennifer Fairbanks, Kathy Campbell}

Discovering Geometry through Drawing and Discussion from Verbal Cues at Whiteboards
Jennifer Fairbanks
Kathy Campbell
Morning Session 9:30-11:30

Use flippity.net to split students into groups of three; one marker per group. Rotate markers for new problems. Alternatively, have the groups rotate and add to the previous work or check for errors.

Use a script to have students discover instead of a lecture.

Attending to precision in geometry is like learning a new language.

Explain how three points define a plane by throwing out three ping pong balls and having students hold them up and visualize the plan.

Correcting units, labels, and capitalization on a daily basis in a "fishbowl" effect reinforces why precision is important.

You need mistakes to have good discussions.

{I'm thinking I would whiteboard for instruction and then use a graphic organizer answer key and have students sort and glue as a way to process. Also take a picture of  the board work and post in Google Classroom.}


If you are short on time, try starting with the hardest problem first.

Give verbal directions so that the words on a worksheet aren't a barrier.

The student writing is not the one doing the problem- the partner is telling them what to write. All people use the calculators when needed.

Have students write in black first, then shift groups and look for errors and comment in colored markers.

When writing scripts, things to think about:

  • when to switch markers
  • do only some parts need to be erased
  • what is the point of the lesson
  • how can you start with what they know
  • scaffold up
If one group is really strong and finishes early send each to a different group to assist.

Variation 1: each group has a different problem. After starting their problem, have groups switch and pick up where the original group left off. (trig identities, proofs, etc)

Variation 2: Write an equation in vertex form. Next group graphs it. Third group writes it in standard form, etc

Variation 3: Same diagram but three different proofs. Rotate groups so students have to really think about the givens.

VRG Variation: hand out a deck of cards but don't tell students how you are sorting; have them hold up the cards. Scan the cards and if you see people who shouldn't be together, pick suits or pairs or whatever you need. Students won't switch cards because they don't know if that will be beneficial.


When you are trying something new, start with the lesson you hate.

For large classes, it may be hard for everyone to look at others' work. Instead of a Stand and Talk, for students who approached the problem in different ways, maybe a Sit and Talk would work better.


  • when to switch markers 
  • to make sure everyone look at every group's work
  • when calculators are needed
  • to make an answer key
  • the misconceptions students will have
  • possible mistakes
  • using as much vocabulary as possible

#TMC18 Living Proof: Enjoy Teaching 2-Column Proofs {me}

Living Proof: Enjoy Teaching 2-Column Proofs
Friday 2:45-3:45
Elissa Miller (@misscalcul8)

Here is the folder with my presentation and resources. This is mostly about the activities I use to build up to proofs rather than a focus on the proofs themselves.


Here is a 24 minute clip of my hour long presentation (I ran out of storage) but skip the first minute.


#TMC18 Portfolios to Enhance Metacognition in Students {Megan Dubee}

Portfolios to Enhance Metacognition in Students
Friday 4:00-5:00
Megan Dubee (@megandubee)

Create a Google Classroom exclusively for the portfolio.

Weekly/frequent due dates.

Compiled into a final slideshow in May

Final project- design something in desmos, sketch it in Sketchup, 3d printed a keychain

Before Test

  • Best Work- picture and description
  • Most Challenging- picture and description
  • Unit Summary
Immediately After Test
  • Test Reflection
  • Test Analysis
Post Test
  • Action Plan
  • Follow Through
  • Continuous Reflection
  • Student Voice
  • Honest Communication
  • Demonstrates mastery and continual growth
  • Lots of Feedback
  • Summative component
  • Time management
  • No community piece
  • Struggled for depth
  • More portfolio feedback rather than math feedback
In the future
  • Ask better reflection questions
  • Look into other platforms
  • Consider a four year math portfolio
  • Include a presentation component
Give questions on directions to see if students actually read them!

  • Try Flipgrid or short videos inserted into Google slides.
  • Record in soundproof rooms in the music department
  • Use Seesaw 
What are you proud of in this class?

#TMC18 Being a Teacher Leader, Let’s Build Up {Julie Reulbach}

Being a Teacher Leader, Let’s Build Up
Friday Keynote 1:30-2:30
{Julie Reulbach}

If you are following 500 people and they post 3 great ideas a year, that’s 1500 ideas that you can’t possibly do in one year.

You can’t do everything!

No teacher is “choosing” to do a bad job.

There is no ONE way to be a great teacher.

The change we seek in education must come from inside the school building. -Jose Vilson

There is no ONE way to be a teacher leader.

Teacher leadership is not a ladder to climb- it’s wanting to support other teachers.

Make the time to talk and share.


#TMC18 Demos-ifying My Favorite No {Allison Krasnow}

Demos-ifying My Favorite No
Thursday 4:00-4:30
Allison Krasnow (@Allison_krasnow)


Always start with the math that they do understand. Then correct.

The Desmos dashboard can help you with equity issues by raising the mathematical status of those who might not be talking at any other point in class.

There's value in using Desmos in short little bursts.

Give the exit slip and then after school, choose your favorite no and anonymously take a picture. Put it in Desmos. Screen 1- what math does the student understand, Screen 2- correct the error. Put the photo on a sketch screen with a student input box.

Use the same template, only changing the problem and the picture.

"I'm going to pause you in about 30 seconds....here comes the pause"

Whose work do you choose to showcase?

Snapshot student work in words or pictures anonymously.

Lower students who don't know how to correct the mistake might still have something correct to share.

Turn and talk about which explanation you can improve.

Hide/pace a question until the last minute to see if your discussion changed their thinking or I'm going to unpause you; can you improve your answer?

#TMC18 Formative Assessment Lessons – Where Do I Begin? {Pam Wilson}

Formative Assessment Lessons – Where Do I Begin?
Thursday 2:45-3:45
Pam Wilson (@pamjwilson)

Hide a Where's Waldo figurine ($5 a Five Below) and have students fin and hide.

1, 3, 5, 7 minute cube timer, turn the time you want facing up ($12 on Amazon)

Hole punch problems you've already checked; students feel like they've earned something.

Green pens! Shoutout to Amy.

Pre-assessment: teacher doesn't answer questions, no discussion, 10 minutes, receive feedback later

Sort by their approach instead of correct answers for common conversations. Jot down questions. FALs suggests feedback- a feedback rubric! Label the rubric 'Q3' and pass out rubric to each group. Ask students to give a better response.

FALs can be used as a true pre-assessment or looking for gaps in previous knowledge.

"Do you agree with that answer? Can you explain it in your own words?"

Record your sorted matches on post-its in case you run out of time. Sort matches next to each other, not on top, so that everyone can see your reasoning.

End of Day Reflection:

Something I've learned...
Something I realized...
Something I was reminded of...

Two types of lessons: concept development-  whiteboarding, card sort
problem solving- open ended, multiple ways of solving, analyzes student work

 Link: http://map.mathshell.org/lessons.php

#TMC18 Measures of Center {Marian Dingle}

Measures of Center
Marian Dingle
Thursday, July 19th 1:30 – 2:30 pm Keynote

"I wanted to learn how to do school better for kids who looked like my kids."

The center is often what or who is valued...others disappear.

Facing microaggressions as a team with your family makes a difference/

When you are the only one of your kind in a room, you're proud of your accomplishments but also sad that you're seen as the exception.

"We made a conscious decision to center our kids in their blackness. This was their normal."

Are you hiding your own students?

Even in mathematics, all are not equal.

Why can't we see the gift of sharing power?

Disrupt or at least interrogate.

Can we reach the figurative moon with all voices? Or do we only think 'some' are smart enough?

Decenter the lies. It seems new because it was hidden. Lean in to your discomfort.

Decentering self is a lifelong journey.


INB Hacks

After four years of regularly using Interactive Notebooks, I'd like to share some hacks.

1. Tabs and Pill Box

I've written before about how I make and use tabs for each unit in the INB, but I also wanted to mention that I do each unit in a different color of paper but I follow the same pattern for each prep. 

At the top I have book marks. We use file size rubber bands and hole punch the back cover; this helps keep the notebook closed as it gets fatter. I use duck tape on the spine to also help keep the notebook closed. This was the first year that I bought the same notebook for every prep but I mean, how could I not when it's teal and chevron?

And like the picture at the top of this post, I decorate a pill box with the numbers of each period. I laminate the tabs, cut, and store in here for students to get.

2. Digital Table of Contents

This year was the first time I thought of this idea and it has been SO great. In previous years, I had a whiteboard designated solely to INB Table of Contents. I drew a little template and then wrote in the titles when I passed out new pages. Buttt with four different preps, sometimes they got confused and copied down the wrong title or page numbers. Sometimes things got erased. So this year I made a powerpoint for each prep. I even colored the slides to match the tabs and pages in each unit. As students were taking a quiz, I would update the title on the slide and display it. This was students' cue to get their new pages after a quiz, cut, tape, and label. This will also help me remember the titles, order, and colors for next year. It's already ready to go!

3. Cut in Half and Fold Lines
While most of my INB pages are single pages cut in half , sometimes folding is involved. Or flaps. Or sometimes students forget which page goes on the left and on the right after they cut them apart. This year I started putting notes of where to fold and tape.

I plan to put LHP and RHP and a dotted cut line on all of the regular pages for next year.

4. Table of Contents

I've also mentioned this in the previous post but I updated it again to included little bars for students to color in as a self-assessment.

5. Unit Reflections

I made a slightly different unit reflection for each unit. I worked hard on factoring in our bell ringers so I also put them on the unit reflection. The one question I asked every unit was for them to rate their effort.

This link to my box.com folder shows all my unit reflections.

6. Paper Trays
One of the best things I ever did was to set up these paper trays and my box of tabs on the chrome book cart. After every quiz or test, everything was laid out for them to add to their INB and the new title was displayed on the SMART board.

7. Google Form Binder Check

I only 'grade' notebooks once a quarter and I do it by having students trade binders and answer 10 questions. Basically they are looking for things in the binder and notebook: specific answers, labeling, organization. This year I used a Google Form and it graded itself! Magnifical.

This is my first time trying to embed a form so please let me know if it doesn't work.

I really love INBs and I'd love to hear your hacks or ideas you've seen others do! Also everything is much cuter when you download it than it looks in these widgets!