Monday, April 6, 2015

ACT Prep: Basic Algebra Skills

For the past 7 years, when I haven't been working my day job, I have been tutoring for the math portion of the ACT.  I absolutely love helping students and celebrating with them as they reach their goals for college and scholarships.  For me, tutoring is one of those things that I think that I would keep doing even if I won the lottery today.  I find it that much fun...seriously! :)
As I have tutored, I have noticed that students tend to miss the same problems repeatedly.  I can tutor 10 students in a week and 7 of them might miss the same problem on the practice test.  We work on the problem type during the session and again at the end of our appointment, but I also like to begin the next session with a similar problem.  It is helpful to have frequently missed problems ready to go either for a tutoring or a traditional math class.  So, today's #Made4Math is just that...a quick 2 question quiz "ready to go" to practice frequently missed Basic Algebra skills. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Free Blog Post Planner

Blogging has been one of the best things that I have done as an educator to get organized, create an electronic portfolio of sorts, and improve professionally. When I first started teaching, I tried to collect all of my lesson plans, ancillary materials, and tests into a binder that would become too full too quickly.  So, I moved to floppy discs and felt a bit better about being able to access my lesson materials quickly, but realized that unless my file names were explicit (like Day 1, Day 2, etc.), I would forget what I did from year to year only to find a great activity that I had filed after the lesson was complete.  Once I started blogging and utilizing online storage, I felt like I was able to gain momentum.  Not only was I documenting activities with photos and electronic files by date utilized, but I was also reflecting on what worked and what needed tweaking to make the lesson even better. Over the years, I connected with other educators in the blog-o-sphere through participation in linky parties and educator challenges allowing me to collaborate with teachers around the globe.  This connection helped me grow.
For me, blogging has obvious benefits and when I am not blogging, I miss it.  I have found that when I post in themed categories (#Made4Math, WebtoolWednesday, #MyFavFirday, etc.), I tend to be more consistent in posting. Also, I know that I am more likely to post when I schedule it on my calendar. So, to help stay focused, I created a Blog Post Planner.  It is my first attempt at maintaining a separate calendar for blogging.  The planner will provide a place for me record ideas for future posts and plan by category.  Take it. Use it. Provide feedback. What helps you stay on track with writing your blog?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Highlights from #ASCD15

#ASCD15 in Houston TX was amazing!  It has been just over a week since I have returned and I am still thinking about all that I saw and heard.  I have had the opportunity to share some resources with my co-workers and try some interactive teaching strategies that I learned from the Kagan session in a middle school math class this week.  During the conference I tweeted, shared pics, and wrote a couple of blog posts, but I wanted to capture the highlights of the conference while they were still fresh on my mind. So, here is a bit of a visual summary of my time at #ASCD15.

Pre-Con Marzano Leadership Strand:

Meet and Greet hosted by Discovery Education:

Top Technology Resources (as shared here and here):

Hands-on Learning with Dinah Zike Foldables

Active Engagement using Kagan Strategies:

Great Presentations:
 Maximizing A School's Potential Through Teacher Empowerment (Presented by authors, Ken Cooper and Joe Salah, who lead by example.)

I left with so much more than with which I came (both literally and figuratively)!
Thank you ASCD for an incredible experience!