# Good Things: Volume 8

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Several weeks ago, we got to watch our middle school play.  I love seeing my students excel outside of the classroom.  They did a great job with the play Transyl-Mania!

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I still have students asking if they can work on Desmos Mini Golf Marbleslides months after we did it in class.  It makes my heart happy that they not only remember doing this activity, but enjoy it enough to want to work on it in their spare time in class.

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I overheard some of my 8th grade girls talking about one of their pens (a Flair pen).  The girl said that I inspired her to get the pens because I have them.  It was cute.  I did nothing to “inspire” her other than use them in class.

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I had my students create their own equation puzzles, and they crushed it!  They came up with so many creative puzzles!

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My response to a student’s question was, “We’re all in this together.”  Without missing a beat, a student broke out into High School Musical.

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I used Julie Reulbach’s method to introduce equations to my 6th graders.  This is one of my favorite things I do with them.

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We were going over a few examples of equations in class, and I had several students with their hands raised before I even asked a question.  I pointed this out, and ended by saying that maybe they do know what I’m going to ask.  They then proceeded to go through the example and ask the guiding questions that I would have through the entire problem.

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Not entirely math or school related, but I put my Christmas tree up last weekend.  I know it’s early, but I wasn’t sure what my weekends would look like the next couple weeks, and I LOVE having the tree up and wanted to enjoy it as much as possible.  Christmas ornaments have always been super special in my family.  It started when I was a little girl and every year my aunt would make an ornament each year for everyone and my grandma on the other side would also paint a ceramic ornament each year.  My aunt and my grandma have both passed away, so those ornaments are now extra special.  My mom always gets ornaments to remember special events, whether it’s a trip throughout the year or a big event that happened that year.  I’ve started doing this too.  I smiled when I put up my TMC ornaments

My mom, cousin, and I have carried on the tradition of making an ornament each year.  I was pretty excited that Target came out with holiday building blocks.  I’ve spent a lot of time this past year playing with different mathy toys with my cousin’s daughters, so I thought this would be the perfect ornament for this year.  I’m happy with how they turned out.

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Another non-math Good Thing, but I saw this planner, and knew I’d found my planner for next year.

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Basketball season has started.  I’m convinced that God made basketball a winter sport because he knew Minnesotans needed it to get through our awful winters.  Basketball is a huge thing in my family since my dad still coaches.  Part of the reason I look forward to it every year is because it means time with family in the gym.  I also love that my middle schoolers ask whenever they have games if I’ll be there doing clock.  I love that it matters to them that I’m there.

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Middle schoolers’ giggles.  I love the sound of innocent middle school giggles.  I’ve got a group of students who have been coming to my room after lunch to play with the stuff on my play table and just hang out in a quieter space than the lunch room.  This week they made up their own HedBanz game.  I loved the sound of their giggles every day in my room.  On Friday, I had a group of boys first hour get the giggles as they were working.  It was a great way to start the day.

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I had an 8th grader come to me before class Friday morning.  She told me she was going to be leaving early and wondered if she could take the test first hour during her study period.  When I brought the test to the teacher, the teacher was unaware that she was leaving and had asked to work on the test early.  That means she took it upon herself to plan ahead and take initiative to get the test taken!!!  I LOVE when I start to see middle schoolers take responsibility.

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I had the warm-up on the board Friday, most of my students were working.  I was getting ready to go prompt one student to get started when he said, “I suppose I should probably do something.”  Again, I love when I start to see students monitor their own behavior!

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Every Friday we do Hats for Hearts and the proceeds go to one of our secretaries who is battling cancer.  Students pay \$1 and get a sticker to put on their hat, which tells us as teachers that they are able to wear their hat for the day.  One student had a sticker on his shirt and wasn’t wearing a hat.  I asked if he just gave money to the cause.  He did.  I love the hearts of these kids!

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Our high school play this fall was Clue.  Clue was the game I always played with my grandma when I would go to her house growing up.  We are nearing the 1-year anniversary of her passing away.  Every time I saw the posters for the play up around school, I thought of her.  In my 5 years at my school, the middle schoolers have never gotten to go to the performance of the high school play during the school year.  This year we did, and I don’t think that was a coincidence.  I thought of her throughout the entire performance.

## 3 thoughts on “Good Things: Volume 8”

1. Those student puzzles are amazing! Did you give them some type of criteria (certain amount of different objects or lines) beforehand?

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• I didn’t. Last year I did that “project” on a whim…decided in the middle of a class period to do it. This year it was still pretty informal, but planned. I did nothing other than do a few examples with students beforehand and discuss the “pattern” with them (use the first line to find the value of one object, second line uses that object to find the value of a second object, etc.). I encouraged them to use that structure if they were stuck, or they could do their own thing. Some students’ puzzles definitely aren’t perfect -you can’t figure them out using only the information they’ve given you. I hope to improve it for next year and make it a little more formal.

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• Good to know. Thanks!

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