Friday, March 28, 2014

Marzano Scales

I cannot tell you how many different versions I have made of scales.  I don't feel like they "work" for my classes.  Today the students reaffirmed what I've been thinking all along...what's the point? The gifted kids get this "game."  They know that they are to move up the scale as they learn more about a topic and so often times will tell me, "I'm a 3," when we are finished because they know that is where they are supposed to be.

This past quarter, in conjunction with the required scales, I gave the students a checklist for each objective.  The checklist outlined how I would expect learning to occur as students acquired more knowledge and better understanding of an objective.  The kids said that they preferred those to the graph your understanding scales that we have been using school wide this school year.  Here are some downloads of the creations that I made, thought I liked, then went back to the drawing board.  My favorite general one, though, is the puzzle piece.  I keep this up in the classroom in addition to specific scales for each objective.

Puzzle piece general scale
Learning Log with scale
Checklist with the school wide scale

I'm once again in search of something different, something that meets the expectation but has meaning.  I've looked everywhere, but what I've found is for early elementary.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Algebra Tiles Downloads

My first week of break has been ultra productive as I've finished all sorts of small tasks around the house and my huge bundle pack for algebra tiles.  For the next 24 hours it is discounted an additional 25% off in addition to the already reduced bundle price!  If you want to download a free copy of the tiles or to see how these work, visit my last post.  Next up are tape/bar diagrams.  Hope to have those ready some time tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ahhhh...Spring Break!

Looking forward to the only time when Arizona weather is in the 80's and to working on some new stuff for some of you that made requests.  Don't worry just yet if I haven't been in touch, it does take me some time to make you what exactly you are looking for!  Here is a portion of a H-U-G-E download on using algebra tiles.  I've worked with my own kid on using these this past quarter, and I'm amazed at how much you can actually do with them.  There isn't any instructions here, but I found a super cool interactive site that shows you how to do just about anything with polynomials and algebra tiles right down to how to use them to teach integers.  And having taught adding and subtracting with integers, I can tell you that it will help out the students that seem to struggle with them otherwise!  Anyway, take 'em if you can use 'em, and check out this site for what to do with them! Math Bits

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Looking for something FREE??

As the school year winds down to a close, I find myself once again "Caught in the Middle." What started out as a catch phrase for a teacher of middle grades has morphed into a several different meanings these past couple of years.  I was, "caught" between choosing science over math, "caught" since I'm the only science teacher with both 7th & 8th grades, and now "caught" as I begin to contemplate moving into curriculum full time.  I hope that my being "caught" this time may benefit you.

I'm looking to produce more activities, units, and assessments with a broader base. I want to know what you, specifically, could use in your classroom.  Email me your requests and if I pick your's, you will have the resources to try out in your classroom or on your grade level team for FREE.  In return, all I ask is that you provide me with feedback so that I can add these to my store.  

If you are interested, email me at and give me a general idea of what you are looking for and when you would need the work complete.  I will be putting together a survey for the specifics that I will send out if your work is chosen. 

I hope to hear from some of you soon!