Switching Gears

Looks like I may be teaching 8th grade instead of 7th this year. Luckily, I taught 7th grade Pre-AP last year, which is the 8th grade TEKS, so I;m familiar with the content. I had done quite a bit of work on my class blog that will have to change, and I had started recording videos based on 7th grade TEKS. Flip side is that most of my videos from last year were based on 8th grade TEKS, so that means I'll be able to use those videos again this year. Yay!

Of course, 7th grade is a comfort zone for me, but I have to do what's best for the team!

Musical Transitions

A recent pin on pinterest encouraged me to start looking for some current music. Since I don't listen to the radio much, this is a bit of a challenge for me. I know I can use classic songs, but I imagine the kids would enjoy the transitions so much more if the sonds were current ones that they liked.
Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. The post led to Classroom Alarm Clock by Rick Morris. The post talks about the advantages using a short song as a cue to indicate that it's time for a certain procedure or transition. The page also walks you through how to set the songs to an alarm clock on your PC or Mac, so that they play automatically. CHeck out the website for the research and more details.

So, as I consider the idea of musical transitons and timers, I'm trying to compile a list of songs I may use in the classroom.

Start Class
Let's Go - Calvin Harris (ft. Ne-Yo)
Ambition - Wale
Tardy for the Party - Kim Zolclak
Mission Impossible Theme Song
Let's Get it Started - Black Eyed Peas

End of Warm-up
All We do is Win - DJ Khalid
Jeopardy Theme Song

End of Class
Deuces - Chris Brown
Glad You Came - The Wanted


I've done a little research on blogging in the classroom. I have decided to emphasize writing in my math classroom more this year, and blogging seems to be a great medium for that as opposed to pencil and paper journals. What truly makes blogging worthwhile is an audience and their comments. So, how do we get that audience? Quadblogging is a great solution!
In short, class blogs are put into a quad made up of four classes. During week one, class 1 is the focus and the quad all visit and comment on class 1's blog throughout the week. During week 2, class 2 is the focus and the quad all visit and comment on class 2's blog throughout the week. So, over the course of four weeks, each blog is the focus for one week. Classes who have participated in quadblogging say that students take much more pride in their work after the first experience and step up their performance for their next quadblogging experience all because they know they are going to have a large audience.

There are a few place to get plugged in with a quad. The one that stood out to me was, which you can also find on twitter, @quadblogging. I'm even thinking that you can set up quads of individual students within your class, so that different students are commenting on the individual student blogs.

I'm excited about stumbling across the idea of quadblogging and look forward to using the concept in my math class this year.

Here is a link to my classroom blog, We Speak Math!