Back to the Future (Next Year Plans)

    Since I broke my arm (really, really broken in many pieces) I have been off work, which has left me with a lot of mixed feelings.  I needed the time to heal, and regain use of my arm, but I have missed out on my wonderful classes.  I really had some extraordinary students this year and not only have I missed seeing them, but on Friday they will have their 8th grade promotion and move on–with no goodbyes. I have sent notes, and left messages but not the same thing as being there daily.

    I can’t turn back the past, but now I am looking forward to August.  I took a webinar in interactive notebooks with Erin Cobb of Lovin Lit blog.  Erin is an expert with interactive notebooks and I picked up quite a few tips.  Her second webinar is next week, free and I am already signed up. If you are interested, you can sign up at her blog.Notebook Webinar2

    One of the things she said is that students need to be taught EXPLICITLY how to glue things in notebooks.  Amen to that, they also need to be taught to cut and tape as well (and number pages, and what consecutive numbers mean).  If you are reading this and you are shocked, you do NOT teach in grades below high school. I used to think my 9th grades have no fine motor skills but looking back they had the skills of a gifted surgeon.

    So I made a power point on using interactive notebooks so students can see exactly what my expectations are. Interactive Notebook PPT for students. I borrowed this powerpoint from the internet and personalized it for my class, I apologize in advance for not giving credit to the author, I have forgotten who it originally belonged to.  This is not the final product, I still need to add some slides about gluing…and supply bins and how to organize the supplies, etc.

    I have always been a loosey, goosey type who likes to go with the flow but I also have a lot of anxiety because of it.  And the first couple of periods each day were “throwaway” because I hadn’t organized my thinking enough, but next year every period is going to have the same quality organization! I have already started working on the pages, classroom expectations, calculator use, computer use, for the notebook.  I have not used the words “rules” because I have learned students don’t follow rules, but expectation–they love to live up to expectations.

     ,Stole the mathography page from Sarah’s blog.

    If you want these pages, they are available here: Use of CalculatorsClassroom ExpectationsComputer Use.

    I got some page dividers from Mathequalslove blog and adapted them to match my curriculum, added the standards and included the learning targets as well (That’s what the T34 means).  They are folded in half to make handy page dividers but they also serve as documentations for learning by target, with a place to record the initial score on assessment and the revised score (students are allowed multiple retakes on common assessments). When I glued my first one in I left too much hanging out of the sided, (like a big tab) and had to take it out and redo because I didn’t want it interferring with my rubber band.

    The previous year when we were keeping stuff in out notebooks, we used glue sticks and some students did not glue it in well enough and stuff fell out (all over my floor constantly).  This rubber band put a stop to that, but it also was a source of a lot of noise the first few weeks.  Some students with antsy fingers snapped that rubber band 100’s of times each class period. The duct tape kept them from snapping it at other students, but nerves wore thin for a while.  And in case you are wondering, I personally taped all those rubber bands on myself.  Students chose their tape design and held the band while I taped.  I was not crazy enough to give them rubber bands and trust that it would work out (but that was later in the day, Period 1 did not do notebooks and if they had, I probably would have made that mistake). There were times I questioned myself on that rubber band, but I think the good outweighed the bad.

    As I continue to work on pages and my notes for each section, and foldables (I love foldables, especially on colored paper) I will add more pictures.

    I recently posted my June Sampler Pack on TPT, it is free to you…go get it, even if school is out now, there are things you can use later..

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