It’s a new school year! I’ve moved to eighth grade math! I’m really excited about the move but a little nervous too. I’ve spent the last 14 years teaching 7th grade math so it’s almost like starting all over – new curriculum, new lesson plans, new posters, new everything! My room is looking a little bare but I’m sure in a few weeks I will have student work covering the walls and thinking of new posters/centers for the classroom.
The one thing that has made this move worthwhile is the other 8th grade teacher! She is wonderful! We are complete opposites and, as she says, “we make a whole person”. Since she has taught 8th grade for a couple of years now (she moved up from 7th grade too), I am busy stealing some really GREAT ideas! There is one idea that she has been trying to get me to try for years. Well, this year, I decided to go for it! Apparently, I can’t get enough change 😉 We are using an over-door shoe organizer to store and distribute calculators and pencils. First, I used orange duct tape to number each of the pockets (Neither one of us is using the top row of holders because we can’t reach them!). Then I numbered each of the blue school calculator. (I simple wrote the number on the back of the calculator using a sharpie but, as the number rub off, I am planning to put a piece of orange duct tape on each calculator and write the number on the tape.) Then I used a strip of “thin” duct tape to number each of the mechanical pencils. This year, I cut the regular sized duct tape into thin strips for the pencils, I will NEVER do that a gain – I think I ruined my scissors 🙁 (Oh, and three days later, with very little use, the numbers rubbed off the duct tape I put on the pencils! – definitely, use masking tape) Anyway, try a product like this for your pencils, it will be much easier to apply – masking tape, painters tape, or colored masking tape.
When the students arrive, you will assign each student a number. Each day when they come in the classroom, they will get their calculator and their pencil. They will return the pencil and calculator each day and you will need to check to make sure all calculators are in their place after each class. I’ll let everyone know how this works for me!
Hope you have a SUPER GREAT new school year!