Classroom News

7th Grade Interviews

It is official! Our 7th graders have all been interviewed. A group of students met with me every other Wednesday during lunch to share a little bit about themselves. We talked about their favorite things from 7th grade, shared some sports and hobbies and chose words to describe our personalities. Our time ends with enjoying a sweet treat before heading back for recess. These little write-ups have been on display in the 2nd floor hallway for the year. The first half of the grade was complete by the new year and the 2nd half of the grade just finished. Continue reading “7th Grade Interviews”


2nd Annual Pi Day (2019)

Check out our slideshow below to see all the pictures from Pi Day. Read on after the pictures to get a glimpse of our celebratory day.


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This year our 7th graders enjoyed the 2nd annual Pi Day!! We changed a few things from last year’s celebration. This year we had a team of students plan the event together with me. We met during lunch and recess to determine our activities and to do the prep work for creating a great day for the kids.

7th grade student Greta created sign up sheets for our parents to contribute PIES and to help us with serving. She learned how to use Sign-up Genius to set everything up. It was such a great help to have her do all this planning.

Ellie S. created a key code for our long “chain of pi” where each digit had a different color assigned. Lucy cut all the strips of paper for this great chain.

Lucas B. brought in a “Wheel of Pi” and Greta made an answer key for our math problems. Committee members Carlos, Lucas and Greta helped make posters for our hallway and some 7th grade classes had some time to make even more posters to advertise for the day! Students were given the opportunity to solve math problems to earn a chance for another slice of pie! All the kids on the planning team helped to create posters and decide what we should do for our activities. The entire 7th grade has been invited to join in a Thank You note writing party on Tuesday during recess. We had 31 adults involved in helping making this day really special for our kids!! Thank you parents and teachers for your time, baked goods and support.

Reciting Pi

All the students had the opportunity to practice learning the digits of pi. We spent VERY little time on this in our classroom. We listened to a song and practiced once or twice over the last month. Their memorizing work was at home, using materials posted in Google classroom or found online. All students were able to recite something and we had a fair number of kids in the double digits. Some even hit triple digits!! WOW. I hope they remember this for years to come. Everyone received a pi tattoo after they shared their memorized digits with the class!

A special thank you to our judges recruited by Lucy: Anthony Ouckama, Jennie Mayo, Lauren Bujnicki, Megan Conaway and Lora Hine.

The day wouldn’t have been possible without so many great pies provided by our parents (and students)! We enjoyed coconut cream, pumpkin, pecan, chocolate fudge, s’mores, apple, cherry, blueberry, peach, butterscotch, grasshopper and more. It was so challenging to make a choice!!

We all appreciate our parents coming in to help cut and serve the pies. It is not easy to manage a group of eager 7th graders in line for pie and they all handled it like pros!! Thank you to our parents for your time baking and serving. I think the kids really enjoyed the eating portion of this event.


Our plans for January 22-25 (our last weekly update!)

Dear parents,

This is our last weekly update. I’m going to drop this part of my teaching due to low readership in favor of less frequent posts/pages about curriculum or classroom highlights. I apologize for people who are enjoying the updates, but feel like it is the right plan to discontinue this. I’ve been writing weekly updates for a year and a half now! While I am sad to see them go, I know this will make room for more meaningful content for parents and students over time.  Continue reading “Our plans for January 22-25 (our last weekly update!)”

Our plans for January 14-18

The only way to learn Mathematics is to do Mathematics. -Paul Halmos

This week we started our winter iReady testing. We piloted using Chromebooks in our classroom instead of going to the computer lab. This generally went really well!! If your child has their own headphones, please encourage him to bring them on Monday for day #2 of testing. We have school headphones, but they aren’t as great as the ones the kids are used to using. Unfortunately, we had internet problems period 9 so the kids didn’t get to start. Instead we pivoted quickly and worked on what we plan on learning next Tuesday. Our classes will even up over the course of next week.

Continue reading “Our plans for January 14-18”

Our plans for January 7-11

In Math 7 this week we’ll be continuing to work through Module 3. This module is where we get to have some fun learning about like terms and working with them. You can support your child by accessing Google Classroom with them to check out the class notes. Their notes should be filled in through lesson 3 at this point. All notes (.pdf version) are posted in Google Classroom. Please look at the header for things and see which pages were that day. Each day the updated .pdf version is posted, so you will have to “flip” to the proper pages to check things out.

This is our plan for the week.

  • Monday – Lesson 4 Factoring and Distributive Property (Home Practice)
  • Tuesday – Lesson 5/Review (NO Home Practice)
  • Wednesday – Review (Finish Review Sheet for HP if needed)
  • Thursday – Quiz Lessons 1-5
  • Friday – iReady testing

Continue reading “Our plans for January 7-11”

Meet our 7th Graders

7th grade is a year filled with a lot of excitement for kids! In Trumansburg it is the kids’ 3rd year of middle school, BUT this year is also the first opportunity to play modified sports. It is a year that kids are faced with balancing their work-load a little more as well. Like any year, they are learning more about themselves and what they enjoy in school.

In our school we have large bulletin boards in our hallways and thanks to our PTO they are now painted vibrant colors. Our floor’s boards are red! As part of 7th grade, I use our popsicle sticks from class to randomly invite two students for an “interview” every other Wednesday during lunch. These students can invite up to 3 friends each to join the group. We enjoy lunch and I bring in a big cookie for each student as they share about their favorite things in 7th grade.

We’re about halfway through our interviews now, and we’ve had Ms. Whalen join us for one of the gatherings. The kids are asked to answer the following questions on a paper that gets hung in the hallway. I have just a few rules that I’ll share after the question.

  1. My Sports & Hobbies (you can include school or non-school sports and any hobbies)
  2. One thing I love about 7th grade (it has to be something about school itself – not 2:46. I discourage saying lunch and study hall because almost everyone likes lunch and study hall)
  3. Three words that best describe me (For this you have to be kind to yourself with the word you choose. Say flattering things. Treat yourself like your best friend)

The pictures below capture our first half of the year. I removed them before break and put them in the kids’ portfolios so that they can bring them home at the end of the year with all their other 7th grade math things.

As with all the photos, click into it to view it as a large size so you can see the writing.

My favorite part of this is watching the kids and teachers check out the interviews as they walk by. It is a fun way to learn just a little bit more about every student in the grade.

Whiteboard Equation Solving

You can use water-based markers on a whiteboard

It was a happy accident last year. A student (or maybe it was me I don’t actually remember) wrote on our classroom whiteboard in marker. Not dry erase marker. Oh dear!! We’ll have marker on our board forever, I thought. Before panicking though I grabbed some paper towels and a water spray bottle and was so happy to see that it came off!!

This mistake prompted me to use it as a teaching tool in the classroom.

How to mix water-based markers & dry erase in class

If you are doing something that you find yourself having to re-write on the board every period, AND you want to cycle all the students through something, this technique works really well.

For this class period, we were working on solving 2 step equation word problems. I set the class up this way.

  • 2 groups worked on writing and solving their own word problems modeling them from one of 4 types. This means they changed the numbers, names, situations etc for the problems to make them unique to them.
  • The other two groups were at the board solving one of two word problems as a team. They were able to underline, circle and mark up however they wanted. When they finished the problem, they checked in with me to see if they were correct.

Check out some short video clips from some of our classes.

Using the word problems

My plan for after this day was to use the word problems the kids wrote. I took pictures of their problems and solutions and then went to write them up and use them as our “Do Now” aka warm-up to kick off class. We used two of them the day after this activity and kids were really successful!! Notes were allowed as was collaboration with shoulder partners.

My long-term plan with this is to sprinkle them in for a few weeks, weaning them from the use of notes and then from collaboration.

Here are some of our problems. You’ll notice that some are solved correctly, some are very realistic, and some not so much. Some of them are solved incorrectly but everyone tried to write a word problem modeled after what I had written for them. Select a picture to view it at a size where you can read all the words and then scroll through. There is one problem that shows all the steps that I had written on the board for them. This is some great note-taking!!