Monday, August 21, 2017

6 Ideas for Setting Up the Middle School Math Classroom

As a teacher, there is so much to do when it comes to setting up the classroom, that it is hard to know where to start! Over the course of my first six years of teaching middle school math, a few of these classroom projects have become staples in my classroom. In this post, I plan to share a few of these ideas.

(1) Assignment Notebook Board

The first thing my middle school students do (or should be doing!) when they come to class is fill out their assignment notebooks. With some ruler tape that I found at Office Max, I created this assignment notebook board. The number 1 on each day is for what we do in class. The number 2 on each day is any homework that is assigned. For example the 1 might be "Multiply Fractions" and the 2 might be "Pg 232 hw (due tmw)."



          

(2) Math is Everywhere Board

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/6th-Grade-Math-Bulletin-Board-Letters-2714084

I have written about this project in a few other posts, but it is one of my all time favorites to start the year! I have two bulletin boards in my classroom. This one gets filled with these tiles. Students must show how they see math in the real world on their tile. On the back of their tile, they must write a paragraph explaining how math is seen in the topic that they chose! You can click HERE for a free set of the bulletin board letters!

(3) Challenge of the Week

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Challenge-of-the-Week-6th-Grade-Math-1904489

 Many of you have already seen or tried out the Challenge of the Week in your classroom! I have loved seeing the pictures! Each week, I put up a new challenge problem. They are optional and students have until the end of the day on Thursday to turn it in. Anyone who gets it correct gets a small prize on Friday when we go over the answer! Both the 6th Grade Challenge of the Week Problems and the 8th Grade Challenge of the Week Problems are FREE in my TpT store. Enjoy!

(4) Teacher Book Shelf

My teacher book shelf took on some major changes recently. I started with this new way of organizing all of my math workshop materials. I decided to organize them more by the type of game, rather than by the topic like I had done in the past. I cleared these shelves off and organized them in these containers that I had ordered a few years ago. If you are looking for the materials and resources that I use for math workshop, be sure to check out my Math Mega Bundle (Upper Elementary/Middle School) and my Math Mega Bundle (8th Grade Math).


Below these containers, I have two shelves with labels for Monday through Friday. This is where I put all of my plans and resources that I will be using for the coming week. This has been a useful way to stay organized and prepared throughout the week! As you can see, I am not quite ready for the first week of school...


On the bottom of these shelves are my task cards, which very well could be the hardest resource when it comes to organization! I found these containers at Michaels. They have worked out pretty well. I have two sets of task cards that I use throughout each school year for each grade level. I have a regular set of task cards and then a set of enrichment task cards. Each set takes up two of these containers. Teaching two different grades means I end up with 8 of these containers, which is pretty manageable! Check out the links below if you are interested in the task cards for each grade level!


Math Task Cards Full-Year Bundle - 6th Grade Math
Math Enrichment Full-Year Bundle - 6th Grade Math
8th Grade Math Task Cards Full Year Bundle
8th Grade Math Enrichment Task Cards Full Year Bundle

(5) Bulletin Board (Number 2)


My second bulletin board is filled with some routine-oriented and expectation posters. I made these the last few years. The colored math workshop poster shows where students of each group should be at any given time. The homework data chart is where we record our homework data. As a class, we figure out what percentage of homework we turn in on time each day. Over the course of the year, we graph these and look at trends. It also becomes a fun competition between classes!

(6) Bobblehead Collection


I started my bobblehead collection a while ago and it has just grown ever since! Students enjoy seeing them and it is a fun way for students to get to know me and my interest in baseball! My wife and I are trying to get to all 30 MLB stadiums, and recently made it to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Luckily it was a bobblehead giveaway, so the Kevin Appier Royals bobblehead is the most recent addition to the collection!





Monday, August 7, 2017

Decimal Dash! A Multiplying Decimals Board Game

In my opinion, it never hurts to add another math game to the classroom repertoire! One concept that we review early on in 6th grade math is multiplying decimals. I decided to create a board game that can help students practice this skill... Decimal Dash! This is honestly the most fun I've had creating a resource!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Decimal-Dash-A-Multiplying-Decimals-Board-Game-3280465

The game play is pretty simple, since I wanted to make sure it was easy for students to learn and play on their own. Each player begins on 0.0. On a player's turn, they flip over a Playing Card and must find the answer to the problem (a student work sheet is included!). Their opponent checks their answer with a calculator. If they are correct, they move ahead the number of spaces indicated on the card.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Decimal-Dash-A-Multiplying-Decimals-Board-Game-3280465

If at any time a player lands on a Take A Chance space, they draw one of the Take a Chance cards pictured above. The card will either move them ahead or backwards. First person to reach the 2.6 space wins the game!

The only things not included that you will need are calculators and some sort of game pieces! I plan on using colored counters as game pieces.

I can't wait to try this one out this fall with the 6th graders! Click HERE to grab your copy!

Don't forget that you can sign up for my weekly newsletter for free! As a bonus, I am including a free preview (16 cards) of my Angle Relationships Task Cards with sign up! You can click the link below to get the newsletter.