“How you doin?” -Joey Tribbiani

Have you ever taken a test and said, “Hmm, I wonder if I’m the only one that’s (excited, pleased, bummed, etc.) about how I did on that test?”
Once again, Plickers to the rescue! (And we did take the time to clarify what each choice was truly asking, a wordsmith in print I am not!)

Before handing back our chapter 3 test on solving linear systems, students eagerly shared there thoughts on how well they though they did on the assessment. As a teacher I appreciated being able to look behind the scenes to see how individuals responded in an instant.

Once we went over the test, I quickly used the Plickers app on my phone to generate and survey again.



LOVE instantaneous feedback!

What other methods of formative assessment do you use in your classroom?

This inquiring mind would love to know!!


The Little Things

I have one class of 14 students, Algebra 1 Concepts & Skills, our most basic algebra course offered at the high school. There are days that I end that class wondering if anyone is going to remember how to solve a 2 step equation; the overall maturity level is, well, that of a 14 year old boy since they dominate the class. Dominate vocally would be an understatement.
Then there’s days like today, where I started the hour with a student slipping me this note just as the bell rang:


Day = Made

Even though 2 kids were sent out that hour today, some of “the usual suspects” were trying to be mindful of our class rules.
It’s the little things that keep me in the profession, not June, July and August. Well those are perks too 🙂

Hoo’s paying attention in class?

Boring looking classrooms drove me nuts in school. Stark walls, row after row of desks, and just a teacher sitting at an overhead projector or feverishly writing on a chalkboard. Even thinking back to that scene makes me sleepy!

Enter my classroom and you might find me near the front of the room at most times (working on that!) but my room will always feel inviting. Creating an atmosphere of learning looks different to everyone, but my style seems to surprise most. Mainly because I teach in high school, where students and parents expect boring classrooms. (I feel these photos don’t give the best angles, but using a phone and not my DSLR, I’ll take it!)



I like your clouds!

Those that step foot for the first time instantly notice my light covers. Being a migraine sufferer, these partly cloudy blue sky filters make the lighting in the classroom closer to natural light than destructive fluorescent lighting ever can! (Ever notice how papers on the wall get discolored over the year in fluorescent lighting?)
Caribbean blue columns, engaging posters, inspirational quotes, cute cutout owls, mathy stuff, all fill up a good portion of my walls. The 2 extra whiteboards in my room are wonderful as well. Students that want to do a problem on the board but not in front the class have no issue with going to a side or rear board in the room.

IMG_8817.JPGAlgebra 1 students equation solving around the room.

And did I mention the cutout owls?Random huh? I’m a sucker for cute things, and when I had the chance to visit a supply store this summer that I’ve never been too, Mardel, I found matching folders, cutouts, and bathroom passes I couldn’t pass on!
I’m just now having students discover them in my room.


How many do you think there are around my room?
And what makes your room environment special to you?