Math = Love: Five Things Friday: Volume 1

Friday, October 27, 2017

Five Things Friday: Volume 1

Lately, I've been finding lots of ideas that I want to blog about that aren't worthy of their own entire post. So, instead of doing anything about these ideas, they've just been lurking in my blog drafts folder. The number of drafts in this folder has finally gotten to me, and I've decided to do something about it! Every Friday, for at least the next few weeks, I will be sharing a blog post of five smaller ideas that I think are worth sharing but are not worthy of their own post. I'm calling this Five Things Friday.

Let's get started.

1. I made the news!

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My hometown newspaper recently published an article about me and my Oklahoma Teacher of the Year journey. If you're interested in learning a bit more about me, you can check out the article here.

2. I used some pretty tape to repair some thermometers. 

I found some thermometers stuffed in a random box in the science lab of our old high school. I brought them over to my classroom for my chemistry students to use, but I found that a previous teacher had misplaced the backs to some of the thermometers.

After replacing all of the batteries, I took some decorative tape and covered the back of the thermometer. Now they're ready for my students to use!

3. I challenged my students to solve some tangram puzzles using Geometiles (affiliate link). 

Recently, I was contacted by the kind people at Geometiles to write a review in exchange for a free set of Geometiles. Of course I said yes! You can check out my indepth review of these awesome math manipulatives here

One of the awesome free resources that Geometiles provides teachers is a printable set of tangram puzzles. I printed off these puzzles and set them on a (mostly) unused table in my room. I didn't mention them to my students. Instead, I just waited to see what would happen. 

It took a few days for students to start noticing them, but when they did they became obsessed! I love that these puzzles look easy but can actually become quite tricky. Soon, students were rushing to play with the Geometiles whenever they entered the room or finished early.

4. Inspired by my Geometiles experience, I decided to start a "Puzzle Table" in my classroom. 

After leaving the Geometiles out for about a week, I decided it was time to change it up. I packed up the Geometiles and pulled out another puzzle for students to play with: ThinkFun's Brick Logic (affiliate link). Never heard of this puzzle? Check out the blog post I wrote about it here.

On the first day of having the Brick Logic puzzle out, we had a little mishap. My students informed me that one of the pieces had been lost. We looked all around and couldn't find it. I started to think that this was the end of the puzzle table since one of my students must have walked off with the piece (either intentionally or unintentionally). I know I shouldn't assume that a student would steal something, but it wouldn't have been the first time it happened. Sadly, I've had so many things stolen from my classroom over the course of my teaching career. 

Thankfully, it was just a false alarm. See that second piece from the top? It's actually two pieces stuck together. Mystery solved! This means the puzzle table can live on!

Fun Fact: If you do lose a piece to a ThinkFun puzzle, the company will replace it for free if you are a teacher! That's some awesome customer service!

5. I'm teaching myself physics!

After earning my chemistry certification last year, I'm now looking towards earning my physics certification. I don't have any real desire (yet) to teach physics, but I love the challenge of learning something new. My physics experience in high school wasn't the most rigorous, so I have A LOT to learn. When we were in Australia this summer, I found my husband's 11th and 12th grade physics textbooks. So I have adopted them as my curriculum.

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