Light in Darkness #onegoodthing


Who knew such a simply thing would bring joy… Christmas lights hung around my whiteboards.

The oooo’s and aahhh’s brought smiles as students stepped into our room.  Festive was one description. 

One student even shared they were having a bad morning until they saw the lights.

Sometimes we just need to pause and take in the simple things.  Share a smile, an encouraging word.  We just need to pause and take a moment to see the goodness around us.

Light drives out darkness.

Reverse Quiz


As I was driving home this past week, thinking about a practice quiz from earlier that day, I wondered…
“What if I asked students to purposefully choose the wrong answers with support/reasoning they knew made the answer incorrect?  The goal, to get 0% correct…a reverse quiz.”

I’ve done similar things with mistake game, my favorite no, discussing our wrong answer analysis as small groups/whole class.  But maybe our next MC Monday will be this format.  There should be no green when we review our responses with Plickers.

I remember a discussion once with a colleague who told me that focusing on the wrong response would only confuse students.  I respectfully disagree.  I’ve seen how having students compare responses, similar/different allows them to develop understanding of the structure of expressions.  

I believe that this process and follow up discussion/students sharing why their response is wrong will allow them eliminate answers, which is a test taking skill.  

I believe it allows them room to take a risk and actually engage with the question.

If you have experience or suggestions, even links to research to support or otherwise, please share.  I look forward to seeing how this goes. 

Greatest Fear


I had the privelege to attend the Kentucky Teacher Advisory Council meeting today.  I leave these meetings in awe of the ideas colleagues share, amazed at the things they’re doing in their classrooms and districts.  

Today I felt guilty.  Not that I didn’t belong, but that I have not lived up to the expectation I set for my own students.  I have withered back, let someone silence my voice.  I have failed my school, my colleagues, my students by not being my best.  

I’ve become something I despise. Complacent. Mediocre.

Education Commissioner, Dr. Pruitt shared part of this quote in response to something a TAC member said…

Our Greatest Fear 

Marianne Williamson

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;  it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson
Tears filled my eyes. 

Tomorrow I will begin my journey back.

A clip from Akeelah and the Bee my friend and colleague shared. Akeelah & the Bee

True False Statements about Graphs


I have not idea who to give credit to on this document tf-statements.  I’m thinking it looks like @mathymeg07.

So I used it as a beginning discussion with functions.  Students were asked to place a post-it over the T/F questions.  I gave them 1 minute to quick write anything they notice about the given graph, anything they see, anything they think may be important.

We then did a pair-share and finally, I  drew popsicle sticks out and randomly called on students to share something they noticed.

After the sharing, I asked students to remove the post-it, answer the best they could on the T/F.  Then we discussed and shared answers with reasoning.  This is actually a pre-assessment for what I want them to do at the end of the unit… key features, define domain and range, locate / discuss function values from the graph.

The final step, a box at the bottom of the page, asked them to write one more valid statement about the graph.  We then visited a classmate for a Give-One, Get-One.

We repeated this process with 3 more graphs.

As we closed class, students were asked to reflect by completing the sentence.

Something I learned…  Something I realized… Something I was reminded of…

Ending #MTBoSBlaugust 


I had good intentions.  I always do. But I’m a realist, knowing my limits.  As a mom, 8 performances of Disney’s the Little Mermaid, a season opener Exhibition with Marching Band.


I think I ended up with 12 posts…with numerous others in my head.

But I am proud of the fact that I have posted something for everyday I’ve had students so far on my #Teach180 page.  That’s gotta count for something, right?

So do the math 12 posts+this 1+ 16 days of #teach180 = 29.  I almost made it to 31.  Oh well, maybe next year!

I’m looking forward to my #teach180.  It’s gonna be a special year.  Some awesome kids walking through my door every day!

Have an amazing year everyone!

Graphing Stories #MTBoSBlaugust Post 12


As we completed the matching cards portion of Journey to the Bus Stop, Distance – Time Graphs from Math Shell site, I provided an Graphing Stories Organizer in our co-teaching class.

In our notes, I had students separate the graph into sections, sort of like numbering lines in a text passage.

Then I asked them  to describe each portion of the graph as increasing, decreasing or staying constant.  Next I asked them to add a descriptive word like rapidly, slowly, etc.

Rather than jump right into the matching, this required students to think about what was happening. After completing this for each graph, students took out their scenario cards and began matching.

I feel like the conversations were more focused on what the scenario cards were saying and how that looked as a graph.

I wonder if I did a similar text marking, maybe with highlighters – one color for increasing, one for decreasing, one for constant…would that allow them to match more efficiently?

Encourage Colleagues #MTBoSBlaugust Post 11


Sometimes we have tough days, so a bit of encouragement can be the little boost needed to finish strong.  My Granny was a wise, wise lady.  I learned from her whrn you’re having a tough time, start to get down on yourself, if you’ll focus on encouraging or serving someone else – it can lift your spirits…it’s not about you anymore.

Here are 3 Things I’ve seen in our building this year to offer some encouragement to colleagues.

This clipboard is on a shelf in our lady’s faculty restroom.  There are several motivational quotes that are cycled through.

This jar was in our lady’s faculty restroom last year, filled with positive thoughts and motivational quotes. 

 This year, we’re beginning with every employee and/or department on a slip of paper.  The big idea, is to draw one out and encourage that person for the following week.  

The teacher who shared this board idea said it came from a link on Pinterest called the 30-day Happy Teacher Challenge.  There’s a variety of challenges from encouraging colleagues, taking notice of students, exercise/time for self, trying a new strategy in your classroom and organizational tips.

The idea is each time a teacher completes a challenge, they add a sticker to the board.