Monday, March 21, 2016

My thoughts last night... (FYI, this has nothing to do with school)

First day back after Spring Break, I'm already dying this morning.

Next time I don't think I'm going to run a half marathon the last weekend of Spring Break after walking all around Austin for SXSW.  It was a great break, had a ton of fun seeing friends, kids, dogs, great live music and celebrities.

Got to see Jake Gyllenhaal...  

Got to see a panel with the stars of Bajillion Dollar Properties (it's going be hilarious!)

Got to celebrate a friend's birthday party and practice our Resting B faces while enjoying some wine and pizza and Mexican Train Dominoes.

Got to have FREE Franklin's BBQ and Torchy's Tacos.  Thank you Verizon Wireless and #ATXUnite! 

Got to see what one of my cats looks like when done in latte art!

Petted some super sweet dogs while, unbeknownst to me, I stood next to Elijah Wood (I was just to their left; so glad my husband finally turned me by my shoulders to show me who I had just been petting dogs next to!)

Took a much needed nap while hiking through downtown Austin. (I love my city!)

Got to see some awesome live bands.  YACHT (left) and Mitski (right) just to name a few new ones.

Enjoyed some great performance art at The Historic Scoot Inn before Dan Deacon's set.

And then like a crazy person drove to Waco to run the Toughest Half in Texas with some great friends!

But of course, that couldn't be the end of it!  Had to go to the "closing" show that Peelander Z always does the last day with some great friends and then "hike" up Mt Bonnell.

I think I need a vacation from my vacation!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Historical Images for Math encouragement

With our state testing sneaking up on us in the near future my teachers are doing after school tutorials for review and posting fun flyers around the school to get the students attention.  The math teacher for our ESL Newcomer Academy (the amazing Hannah Davis) made these images and I had to share the amazingness with the #MTBoS.  


Those Crazy Surface Area and Volume Formulas

Everyone just LOVES teaching surface area and volume, right?  Well, I always loved teaching the topics but when it came down to kids solving the problems and figuring out where they went wrong that's when I started going cross-eyed.  

So about 6 years ago (whoa I can't believe it's been that long!) the powers that be at my school gave the present of a triple stacked Double Blocked Geometry class.  If you're reading this and thinking "what the heck is that", well it's when you put general education students in with inclusion students and add a layer of in with resource students on top of it.  (We won't go into the legalities of this class because that will take me back to a very, very dark time.)  Because my students were all on so many different levels and spectrums I had to modify and differentiate constantly.  This little template ended up becoming my best friend when we got to the measurement unit.  Not just because it forced my students to organize their work but also because it helped me figure out exactly where they went wrong and it provided a constant procedure for them to follow.  It also made the grading process light years easier!

Before I had always told my students they had to write out the formula, then plug in the numbers, and finally give me the answer.  They would try to do that but would regularly mess up with something until I started providing them with the spaces and the lines to actually write the information in.  

It's easily been my most viewed and used resource I've ever created, not just from my personal classroom or my TpT site but also from teachers that I've shared it with randomly.  It's free and editable so feel free to share it with others and let me know if you've tweaked it for anything in your classrooms.  I'm sure the teachers I currently work with would love the additional resource as well as anyone else that happens to stumble across my little blog.  

Have fun with it!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Where you can find me

So I've taken to pinning a TON of stuff on Pintrest recently and I've been able to incorporate a lot of it into the PD that I've been presenting to my math team.

Here are some of my math boards that might be interesting.

               Follow Sarah's board Geometry Stuff on Pinterest.    

               Follow Sarah's board Algebra Stuff on Pinterest.    

               Follow Sarah's board Math Stuff on Pinterest.      

               Follow Sarah's board Apps for the Classroom on Pinterest.  

               Follow Sarah's board technology in the classroom on Pinterest.  

               Follow Sarah's board Instructional Coaching Stuff on Pinterest.  

Follow Sarah's board Foldables and Interactive Notebooks on Pinterest.

Just a fair warning, if you totally follow me you'll also see a lot of zendoodle patterns, random gifs and memes, and a bunch of running stuff (I've recently become addicted to half marathons).

Please leave your pintrest or twitter handle so I can follow back.  I'm always searching for new and great ideas!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Struggling with Excel Macros

In my new position as instructional coach I've been playing even more with spreadsheets than I ever have before.  I love, and I mean LOVE spreadsheets and reports but I've hit a big road bump here and am in need of some help.

In my last post I talked about the campus wide intervention we've been doing during the day that has been really successful.  The only problem is that we can't take attendance for it this year in the program we usually use for attendance so we've been doing it through Google Forms.  It's great and has been perfect since the kids rotate the intervention group they go to every 3 weeks but creating the summary report of who's missing has been the problem.

So the form looks like this on Google Forms:

And when I download the responses from Google to sort them alphabetically and by grade level it looks like this:

I've been spending part of my afternoon every Friday making a sheet for each day of the week, splitting the cells so there is a column for Last name, First Name, ID # and Grade Level, and then combining all the sheets into one as a summary at the end.  So the shots of everything go in this order:
New Sheet for each day

Splitting the Cells:

Putting each student (celebrity) on their own line

Summary Sheet sent to APs

I know there's a way of using Macros to do more of this work for but every time I try to write and run a macro for even splitting the cells my debugger looks like this and I know there's not supposed to be that much yellow on it.

If anyone knows of any tips or tricks for how to make this go more smoothly, how to write a program to automate half of the process or a better way of doing this that would be awesome.  I'm passing this weekly task off to an admin assistant soon and I'm trying to make the process smoother for her than it was for me.  If anyone wants to create something for me using the dummy version that I took screenshots of here the file can be downloaded here.

Thanks a ton and Happy Thursday to everyone!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Campus Wide Intervention

So this year at my new school we're doing campus wide intervention for the entire spring semester in an effort to try and assist all students with the upcoming EOC exams, AP exams and their coursework.  It's been great to see the kids getting a lot of help and assistance out of the 30 mins each day but the planning portion of it on my end has been a little tiring.

We have 5 math sections that are happening; Current Algebra I remediation, Algebra I EOC Retesters, Current Algebra 2 remediation, AP Calculus Test Prep and AP Stats Test Prep.  The AP math teachers are doing a great job of getting their assignments and lessons together for the intervention time but I've been making the lessons, answer keys, copies, etc for the Algebra I EOC Retesters and the Current Algebra 2 remediation.  I really think my brain is about to short circuit from the additional planning it's been putting on my plate each week along with all the other new responsibilities that I've been trying to wrap my head around this year.  But hey, if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger, right?!

I do have to say I've found some great resources that I've used for both rotations on Teachers Pay Teachers as well as on She Loves Math for the Algebra 2 curriculum that I'm supplementing.

If anyone out there has any additional resources for the new Alg I EOC in Texas I would happily trade some of the assignments and activities I've created!  

Happy Test Prep Season!