Sunday, February 28, 2016

It's a Job Shadowing Kinda Day!

Friday was an exciting day in the 8th grade world... It was Job Shadowing Day! Students get to take the day and job shadow an adult of their choice. Students bring in signed paperwork and contact information for an adult and place of business and then they are good to go for the day. Students pick all sorts of awesome careers to job shadow. I know there were students on our team who shadowed Pre-K teachers, personal trainers, arborists, waitresses, accountants, and more! Sounds like an awesome day to me! After students job shadow for the day, they return this next week with a packet of information they gathered as they job shadowed.

With lots of our students gone for the day, we spend the entire day back at school focused on career choices of those who stay with us. We begin the day by having students complete a couple questionnaires about what they are interested in, what they want when they get older, what they want different from their parents' lives, etc. Check out the questionnaire here!

As students get finished with their questionnaire, they are thinking about their future and their career decisions. At this point we have students complete the Career Webquest where they can find out, based on their interests, what careers most closely match up to their personality. Many students are surprised to see what careers are suggested for them.

Through this webquest, students are also able to research a little more into their choice of careers and find out important information like education and experience requirements, starting salary, and job duties. Students really start to enjoy this when they are researching their own career choice and are interested in what they are finding because it directly relates to them and their future.

Finally, once students completed the questionnaire and the webquest it was time for students to make a Wanted Poster for their career choice. Students picked an APP on their iPads to create a 1-Slide/Page wanted poster for their career that included job duties, selling points for their job, starting salary, and more! Students really got into this one and here are some of their fabulous creations!

Overall I think students really enjoyed the day both outside and inside the classroom. I think students were able to really think about their career choice, what they want in the future, and how they can go about reaching that goal. It was a great learning day for everyone!

My last note for this post is a little insight into my life outside of school! This weekend my parents were in town visiting from Stafford, VA and I couldn't have been happier! My sister, my mom, and I tried out Painting With a Twist and our talents in the painting world. Needless to say, it was a blast! We had a great time, enjoyed the 2 hour class, and would totally go back!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

It's Been Awhile...

Where do I begin...It's been a little while since I've posted. Don't judge, but it's been a little crazy. Basketball seasons started in November for both myself and my husband (yes, he started his first year at the Varsity level and loved it!). So with that...any given week Monday through Friday...we may have both been home before 9pm once a week! It was a little intense. My little seventh grade team finished 2nd in our conference with only 2 losses! They were fabulous!!

In the classroom we've definitely been busy too! I'll stick with my Algebra I kiddos for this post. Some of the cool things they've been working on include a Car Interest Project (**Click here for the PDF instructions!!**) surrounding our study of Simple & Compound Interest (correlating with exponential vs. linear functions). For this assignment/project students were given various jobs that they may hold as a teenager when looking to purchase their first car. On their job card (**Click here for the Job Sheets!**), students were also given their pay per hour and their interest options whether simple interest from their parents or compound interest from the bank.

Students then researched various cars they could afford with their salary while taking into account their simple/compound interest payments. Once students figured out their simple and compound interest payments, they then had to decide which option they were going to chose to finance their car choice and create a presentation that would defend their choice by showing their findings.

Students really seemed to enjoy this project. It was funny to hear them talk about the cars they wanted before getting their jobs. Many students were wanting the most expensive cars they could think of...then when they realized their yearly salary still wouldn't be able to afford their dream, it was interesting to see where they went next! It was also fun to hear students talk about which was a better option...getting their payments over with in a shorter amount of time even though they would pay more monthly, or if they wanted to take a "cheaper" route and pay for their car longer with lower monthly payments. Overall I think students really liked this project, and it provided a great excuse for students to use simple and compound interest through real-world experiences! 

Algebra I students have also been working on graphing and solving Linear Systems. Students completed the same project we did last year where students were given one word problem and asked to solve the system through one of the methods studied in class: linear combinations, graphing, or substitution. 

Once students were given their problem, they were instructed to solve the problem in any way they chose, explain their variables, and defend the method of solving the problem they picked. They completed this project through the Explain Everything APP. They seemed to do very well and enjoy this project as well! 

Outside of the awesome projects that my students have been working on, there are other great things going on in my classes. We recently had our Clover School District TechFest and my co-teacher and Science team teacher attended a session about stations in the high school classroom. Needless to say...we got inspired. For the last three days I (along with my co-teacher in my PreAlgebra classes) have been trying stations. Here's a rough outline of my Algebra classes:

Station 1: With me for 20 minutes - Students in small groups (roughly 8-10 students...about half of the class) are centered around the board as we cover new material and concepts through our textbook. 

Station 2: Students work in small groups of three or four (two groups of 3 or 4 are doing this station at a time) to complete some skills practice problems from concepts/material covered the day before. This station is only 10 minutes long. Once the time limit is reached, students in this group switch with the Station 3 for 10 minutes before moving to my station for the last 20 minutes of class. 

Station 3: Students work in small groups of three or four (two groups of 3 or 4 are doing this station at a time) to complete an EdPuzzle specifically assigned to them. I pick and chose the EdPuzzles as well as the questions that are asked throughout them for students to complete. Concepts either cover previously covered material as a review, or new concepts as a pre-lesson for what I will teach either that day or the next. After 10 minutes in this station, students head to Station 2 before heading to my station for the last 20 minutes of class. 

I asked student in our Canvas classroom site to discuss how they felt about these stations as we tried them for the first couple days...

I think this station thing has something special going on! The kids have spoken...and it looks like I'll be sticking to this for a while! I'll be sure to update how this turns out when it comes to test scores! 

And one last little note before leaving this post...I have a little bragging to do. My 7th grade team from last year (currently the 8th grade) basketball team won their Conference Championship again this year! That's 2 years as Conference Champions. In two year this team has only lost 2 games (11-0 as 7th graders, 13-2 as 8th graders!). I would say that's pretty impressive. I can't wait to see what they do as high schoolers!

And finally...with basketball season being officially over...It's softball season. Here's the wonderful group of girls I get to work with this year. I'm expecting some pretty wonderful things from them...

I've got lots to update and post about in the coming weeks...Until next time... ;)