Mathematics is the study of patterns.

This summer I was crazy fortunate to spend several days learning from Sara Van Der Werf. If you’ve ever heard her speak or even been around her for more than 30 seconds, you know what a huge blessing that was!  SO much of what I’ve done these first few days and things in my classroom are either from her or a result of something I’ve learned from her this summer or her blog.

One of the things that Sara continued to bring up in her sessions was that math is the study of patterns, and that mathematicians notice patterns, describe patterns, and generalize patterns.  In my notes from one of her sessions I have written down that one of the things she tells her students related to this is that powerful people notice patterns, describe them, and generalize them.

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This idea kept coming up over the summer, and I knew I wanted to make a poster for my classroom with that on it to remind myself of this so that I can stress this idea to students.

Sara said she’s got a blog post on this topic, so let’s hold her to it and make sure she blogs about it soon!

Update 7/21/17 –  Read Sara’s post on this here.  She’s got some ideas I will DEFINITELY be using the first week of school this year!

The files for the poster are here.  The poster is 24″ x 18″.  I printed it from Vistaprint.  If you use the Publisher file, you will need the fonts KG Life is Messy, KG Dancing on the Rooftop, and KG When Oceans Rise.

 

Quote Posters

I start school crazy late this year because my school is in the middle of a building project.  After seeing so many blog posts and Tweets this week from all of you back with students, I’m anxious to get back at it, but I’ve got to wait until September 12th to have a classroom full of students!  In the meantime, I’m enjoying reading all your first week ideas and am taking notes of what I want to steal from you all for when it’s finally time for my first week.

This post is simply my attempt to organize some of the quote posters I’ve made over the years so that they’re in one place -right now they’re in about twelve different folders on my computer.  Because let’s be real, who actually has an organized computer?  If you do, PLEASE teach me your ways because I. certainly. do. not.  It’s a mess.

I have always loved quotes.  Over the years, I have found countless quotes I want to use in my classroom.  A couple years ago I started putting up a quote of the week on the whiteboard below the agenda for the day.

Honestly, I do it more for myself than the students.  I put up a new quote every Friday before I leave for the weekend.  Sometimes I pick one that resonates with me personally -something to encourage me throughout the upcoming week.  Other times I pick out a quote in hopes to encourage a student or a group of students based on something I noticed that week or something I know will be coming up the following week.

Here is the link to most of the quote posters I have made.  I print them off on colored card stock and laminate them.  If I find more in random folders on my computer or make more in the future, I’ll try to remember to add them to that folder, but no guarantees.

Divisibility Rules Posters

Confession:  This time of the year I spend more time than I should creating things for my classroom.  My first year teaching my walls were pretty bare, and it was sort of depressing.  Since then, I’ve slowly started adding new things to the walls.  I really enjoy making these types of things and don’t have time during the school year to do it.  I tell myself it’s an ok use of time because for 9 months out of the year, I’m in my classroom more than anywhere else.  Totally valid reasoning, right?

Jo Morgan wrote a post on divisibility rules recently, and it was the push I needed to find/create a set of divisibility rule posters for my classroom.   (If you haven’t checked out Jo Morgan’s site, you’re missing out!  Her weekly collection of gems is my favorite.)

I couldn’t find anything that was exactly what I wanted, but I did get enough ideas so that I was able to create my own.

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Here is the link to download the pdf and Word Doc of the posters.  You will need the fonts KG Blank Space Sketch, KG Blank Space Solid, KG Wake Me Up, and KG Be Still And Know for the Word Doc.  (I know, I know…kind of an excessive number of fonts.  I’ll admit I have a problem.)

This year I want to be intentional about discussing with students why these divisibility rules work.  There’s a video in Jo Morgan’s post that explains the rules for 3 and 9.  Does anyone have experience explaining these rules to middle schoolers?  Any tips/advice or things you’ve found that work well to help students understand these rules?

Next on my list of things to create was a set of perfect square and perfect cube posters I had seen here earlier this summer, but I was happy to see that Sarah Carter already did.  Thanks, Sarah!