So, I’ve decided that the reason #Teach180 is working for me is that it seems doable. I can post one picture a day. I can write a caption. Most days, there are multiple pictures I could post. I teach three preps, and each prep is usually doing something unique. I just pick one of the neat things we did and post it. There’s no need to be comprehensive. For me, #Teach180 is not about chronicling every thing I do in my classroom. Instead, it’s my effort to stay plugged into the #MTBoS every day. I learn so much from twitter. But, it’s usually the first thing that starts to slide when life gets busy. I know I’m a better teacher for those interactions with my tweeps, though.
For the next few days, I’m going to try to approach my blogging in a similar manner. I usually blog a comprehensive idea at a time. For example, I usually blog an entire unit’s worth of notebook pages at a time. What happens when I don’t have a picture of one of the pages? That blog post gets put off and may never actually happen. I keep getting e-mails from people asking where the rest of my Algebra 1 INB pages from last year are. Well…this girl is a perfectionist. And, they’re not perfect nor complete. And, that’s kept me from writing those posts. I need to get over my perfectionism and get to blogging.
Shorter, Incomplete Posts > Perfect Posts that Never Happen
That’s going to be my blogging motto for this year. Hold me to it, guys.
Today’s Incomplete Idea: Algebra Tile Storage
I got a classroom set of algebra tiles this year. I’m excited to use them to illustrate factoring, distributing, completing the square, and combining like terms this year. I tried using algebra tiles cut out of card stock one year. That was a disaster. Oh my goodness. Little bits of paper. Everywhere.
Each set came in a zip-top baggy. But, I know my students. Ziplock baggies somehow have a way of getting destroyed in my classroom. Or they get tossed back in the bin without being zipped up properly. [Though, Ziplock Baggies > Rubber Bands. I learned that the hard way with my first day of using conic cards…]
I want these resources to be easily accessible to students whenever they need them. I want them to stay organized, too.
I saw a pin where an elementary teacher was storing base 10 blocks in tupperware-style containers that were divided into sections. I pinned it thinking I should do something of the sort with my algebra tiles.
While in Dollar Tree, I saw sandwich containers that were 3 for a dollar. They’re not divided into sections, but the price is definitely right! I’m going to put two sets of algebra tiles in each container.
My desks are arranged in groups of four, so this will let my students share easily with their partner that is next to them or across from them.
Here’s what two sets in one container looks like.
My thoughts: students can dig around in the container without dumping the contents of the bag on their desk. Less dumping should mean less pieces on the floor. And, I hope that making sure the lid is snapped on well comes more easily than making sure the bag is zipped properly.
I could probably put a table’s worth of pieces in each container, but I’m hoping that doing containers by each pair will increase participation of ALL students.
Warning: I haven’t actually used the containers with students yet. This idea is completely untested. So, if you have what you think is a better solution, please share in the comments! I may be needing it…