Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oh well...

I know several of you have read the blog, but I guess no one has any ideas...that's ok. I have come up with some other ideas and I'm very excited about them. I am going to complete one lesson on tessellations and one on theoretical and experimental data. It should be good.

So how many of you know what a tessellation is? I didn't either until I started teaching 7th grade. A tessellation is a pattern created by a polygon which flips, inverts or slides so that the shape can cover the entire plane with no overlapping or gaps. Confusing? It was to me too. Some examples of tesselations that you are familiar with (but may not know it) are floor or wall tiles, a brick wall, etc. There is an artist who creates art from tessellations. You may be familiar with his work. I've posted a couple of the more famous examples of Escher's work for you to look at. I bet you'll say "OH! I didn't realize this was a tessellation!"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Suggestions please...

In this class I'm taking the big project is to choose a children's book and read it to the class then develop two math lessons based on the book. I have chosen The Napping House as my book and now I'm trying to figure out what lessons to teach.

The lessons I teach have to be practical for my of my standards has to do with sequencing which is a perfect lesson to teach from this book. The other lesson is the one giving me trouble...I'm having a hard time coming up with what to teach.

If there are any of you who:

1) know the book or have it and only have to read it,

2) can open the link for the SC Mathematics Standards and find the 7th grade standards (listed below), and

3) are very creative and willing to share ideas,
then please feel free to leave a comment under this post. I'll see if I can post some of what I actually do with the lessons soon. Let me warn you that the SC Mathematics Standards document is very long. The 7th grade standards start on page 54 of the can just scroll down to there.


Thursday, June 19, 2008


I'm taking this math class at Winthrop! It's really cool...we are doing some very hands on math activities every day and I LOVE it! I can't wait to teach my students some of the things we've learned in this class.

One of the coolest things we've learned is called chisombop. Are any of you familiar with this? I didn't know it was called chisombop...I just thought it was a 9s multiplication tables trick. It's when you number your fingers and thumbs from left to right...1-10. Then you fold down the finger that corresponds with the number you're multiplying by 9. The number of fingers up to the left of the folded finger is the tens and the number to the right of the folded finger is the ones.

In this picture, Sarah's fingers will be numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, from her left pinky all the way to her right pinky.

In this picture, Sarah's #3 finger is folded under. The multiplication problem would be 9x3. Look at the number of fingers unfolded to the left of her #3 and count them. You should see two. Now look at the number of fingers unfolded to the right of her #3 and count them. You should see seven. The fingers to the left of the #3 represent the tens and the fingers to the right of the #3 represent the ones, thus the solution to the multiplication problem 9x3 is 27.

This works with all the 9s multiples up to 10! How cool is that?

There's another one that I learned that's even cooler, but it's way more complicated and will take another post.

Thanks Dr. Mink!

Better understanding...

When I posted yesterday about the mapping we had been doing in our district several things had slipped my mind. I said that I would find out more about it all before I got upset so I emailed my friend who is the Instructional Coach at RRMS and she refreshed my memory for me.

During the process, one of the things we did, or at least tried to do, was to determine if each indicator really fit with the standard under which it was written. Then we tried to develop a sequence for teaching these concepts. These were all brought to a meeting at the district office where teachers from each school met with the coordinator for their area. These representatives have come up with a sequence for teaching concepts in classrooms. I hope all this makes sense the way I'm saying it.

I had a good explanation of this from our IC and administrator back when we were doing this and all that info. just completely left my mind when I heard about this yesterday. Sorry for misleading anyone about that!

All this is to say that we work hard, but we often screw up (or at least I do). I try to be more careful about running my mouth before I know what I'm talking about, but often...VERY OFTEN I eat shoe for breakfast! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


For the last year or two we (teachers in our district) have been doing this thing called curriculum mapping. This has been very's new to us and we have to work together in departments and grade levels...lots of give and take. Many "newer" teachers like myself often feel that we are struggling to find a balance between how we like to teach and the teaching methods of teachers who have been around for a while. It has been very difficult.

I heard today that our district is giving us a map they've developed for us. Now, I see the value of all our schools/grade levels/subjects teaching the same concept at the same time. My problem is this...if, and that's IF our district leaders intended to give us this map, why did they ask us to spend hours of difficult work doing this? I have to do some more research and find out how true this is for the math department (it could just be happening in Language Arts) before I get upset. I also need to see the proposed map before getting upset.

This is something I feel strongly about...I really love teaching. However, when copious amounts of time is spent working on something that most likely will not be used anyway, thereby leading me to feel that I've wasted my time, I get upset.

I will be finding out more about this before I really get upset.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I promised!!!!!

Here's the updated post! Wow...this last couple of weeks has been crazy! I know I told you all that I would be going to Florida. I went and had a blast with my girls but it was way too short! I did rent a book on cd and listen to it on the way down and back, so that was a nice distraction, but it would've been nice to have stayed for about 3 more days!

I got back and both kids had some type of camp, so I spent about an hour each day in the car. We are spending a lot of time at the's good exercise for them and I get to keep my sanity! :)

Last weekend we went to Anderson. My youngest brother brought his girlfriend up from Dallas to meet the family, so mom and I went and "kidnapped" Lindsey to go shopping in Commerce on Saturday! The girl is a scream and she loves my brother. While we were there my kids asked if they could stay and visit Mammaw and Papaw for the week, so Dad, Carla, Ashley and Kyle are trading them off every day or two for the rest of the week. Nice to have that break.

After Ryan and Lindsey left Anderson they went to Gatlinburg where RYAN PROPOSED! I'm so excited that I'm going to have a sister-in-law!

Now I'm home and I started my summer course. It's a fun math will end on July 3, so it's short (which is great) and after I finish that one I will only have ONE CLASS until I'm a Master of Education! Ha! I'm very excited about that too!

On another note, please continue to pray for the Lawrensons. Tricia has just been diagnosed with post transplant lymphoma, so there is another hurdle for them to clear. Thanks!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New Post coming soon...

Hey...It's been crazy! School's out, whirl-wind trip to Florida, kids in camp, laundry piling up, DAMN CABLE MODEM GOING OUT AT LEAST ONCE/DAY! You get the idea, huh? I'll put up a better post soon! PROMISE!

Love ya!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Today's the day...

"Today's the day! The sun is shining! The tank is clean!" My children woke up this morning shouting and jumping!!! "It's the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!" The kids' last day is today and we have a work day tomorrow. But...a teacher workday is like a day off! :) I hope you all have a WONDERFUL summer!

10 bazillion happy days to anyone who can tell me the movie the first quote is from! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fixed that thing...

You know the weird letters that you have to verify if you want to post a comment to my blog? I disabled it, so I would love to hear from my 3 readers! :)

ONE MORE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


That's how long I have with my students from this year. I will miss them, but for the most part we all need a break so badly, I think it will take us several weeks to start missing each other! :) We're doing things this week like taking all our text books to the book room and doaling out fines for damaged books. I've also almost finished grades which need to be exported tomorrow.

Anyone who has ever taught knows that the last day or two of school is a scramble to do fun things that will keep the students involved. We also have been watching every cool movie we can find. Today we watched "Akeelah and the Bee." One of my students said "I've never gotten so excited over listening to people spell." If you haven't seen this movie and you have kids (either yours or someone else's who you teach) I HIGHLY recommend it. It's a fantastic, feel good movie and very encouraging for kids.

Tomorrow we are making playdough in zip lock bags while they watch another movie...not sure what this one will be. Rhonda's bringing one for us to watch...then we're walking across the street to Burger King to eat junk, shoot the breeze, sign yearbooks and relax. I'm really looking forward to it!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your week as much as I will! :)