our sweet mamaw

Chuck's mom called this morning to let us know that Mamaw passed away.
Even though we expected the phone call...
Are you ever ready?
Mamaw was an extra special lady.
We spent every Christmas Eve at her house.
She loved our girls...aka "good shoogs".
Fashion and bling should have been her middle name!
And she loved with her whole heart.

Blessed is the one
whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Psalm 1.1-3

Mamaw left a legacy of love.
I want to be her when I grow up! :)
And it comforts me to know she is dancing with her Jesus at this very moment.

I'll be back to chat next week.
Happy New Year to YOU...Make it Count!



upper grades & resolutions linky parties

Secondary Solutions

Kristen over at Secondary Solutions is dedicated to bringing upper grade level teachers to the blogging world. Count me in! I'm happy to share the life I live in my math classroom. Wanna join us? Hop on over to the blog party and link up.

Tis the season...
to set goals for the new year.
And there are two linky parties in the house.
Thanks to A Teacher's Treasure and Live, Love, Laugh Every Day in Kindergarten for getting the party started.

Personal goals:
:spoil my family on a daily basis
:choose sweets with exercise or no sweets at all
:dedicate time for scrappy goodness

Professional goals:
:prepare geometry gurus to shine
:build MATHercise tasks that align to CCSS
:apply for Kagan certified trainer program

So are you a goal setter?
Wanna share?


my mathercise routine

It only took two years.
But after much resistance on my part...
I admitted my mathercise had flopped.
My students simply weren't engaged.
Middle school students.
They're different, huh?

They crave variety, fun, and structure.
And I was only providing structure.

Out with the old and in with the new.
My classroom adopted a new routine.
With only 5 months under our belts...
We are head over heels in love!
Well...maybe me a bit more than them...
BUT as close as 12-year-olds can come to loving math. :)

I read everything around me.
The Daily CAFE...
Math Work Stations...
And every google search along the way!
My conclusion?
Elementary teachers are genius.
And I should adopt their practices quickly.
So...my MATHercise routine evolved.
Each day (M-Th) my students complete a folder task.
Game to build fluency.
Stopwatch Skills to build accuracy.
Mind Workout to build comprehension.
Journal Entry to expand vocabulary.
The content within each folder task stems from what we learned in class the previous week.
The students work silent solo for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile I pull students for small group tasks.
No more than six students working with me.
Maybe this sounds normal to you.
But to this former high school teacher...
The format is uncommon at best.

Clear as mud?!?
Let's look at a sample week...
Next week our MATHercise will be filled with complex area.

Journal Entry...
Students will have two writing prompts to complete.
One is a compare/contrast on calculating complex area.
The other is a goal setting prompt to start our new semester.

Mind Workout...
Students will have a set of plastic pentominoes.
Plus a record sheet of puzzles for their solutions.
This particular set is a free download that I formatted to my style.

Stopwatch Skills...
Students will have a stopwatch.
Plus a record sheet of complex area problems to solve.
This particular set is another free download.
Formatted to my style. ;)

Students will play the Complex Area Monster Cages game.

Supplies include dice, Cootie Catcher, roll cards, and a record sheeet.
The objective is to calculate the area of complex shape.
The shape is the floor plan of a monster cage.
And my favorite part...
The floor plan dimensions are determined randomly.
With the aid of the Cootie Catcher and dice!
(available in my TpT store)

Hope that helps!
I have several weeks outlined.
But I really should get off this blog...
And get busy creating.

Happy Friday to YOU..Make it Count!



11 in '11 linky party

11. Favorite movie you watched:
Brings back memories from my childhood.

AND the fact that we stalked McDonalds!
Organize classroom.
Purchase Happy Meal in hopes for Smurfette.

10. Favorite TV series:
Lie to Me.
A little on the creepy side.
But then I find myself watching for clues.
Too funny!

9. Favorite restaurant:
Ruth's Chris.
The best salmon in town!

8. Favorite new thing you tried:
Unsweet tea.
Not that I'm in love.

But I gave up carbonation.
And I must have caffeine to survive.
So technically...
That makes unsweet tea my new fave!

7. Favorite gift you got:
Taylor created a linoleum print of our downtown square.
It is phenomenal!
And I have my very own copy. :)
Emma selected the cutest magnets.
They are owls!
Best location for maximum use?

School or home?
Chuck surprised me with a bag of makeup.
He had the Clinique girlies look up my faves.
I know that seems routine and silly for a gift.
But it truly is the thought that counts!

6. Favorite thing you pinned:

I want to make duplicates of this frame.
Plan  to hang on my girls' closet doors.
How fun to post a new message each week?!?

5. Favorite blog post:
Let's go with this one!
I just started blogging again.

After a very long hiatus.

4. Best accomplishment:
A four-day scrapping record!
I spent a long weekend with my sister and her friend.
We rented a house in Orlando.
We scrapped and laughed.
And scrapped and laughed some more.
Hoping it becomes an annual tradition. :)

3. Favorite picture:
This photo captures my heart.
It shouts Emma through and through.

2. Favorite memory:
Starting a new Christmas tradition.
We stayed home for the holidays.
It was bittersweet.
But I know Mamaw would approve.
Because I want to be her when I grow up.

1. Goal for 2012:
Choose to be a blessing.
Every single day!


in search of a snow dance

A snow dance.
One that produces blizzard conditions after unseasonably warm temps.

So I can edit this blog.
And again.

You see...it all started with a tweet.
From a sweet friend.
She was just sharing a Pinterest image.
Via Twitter.
And one thing lead to another.
And another...
And another.
I know.
You understand.
Here I am.

A few tabs of pages.
Math goodies to share.
Conversion to google docs.
And I'm live with my latest passion.
Teaching middle school math.
Not convinced anyone will be interested.
But I'm good flying solo on this one.

Have a fabulous Thursday!
And make it count...