March Mayhem

Happy Friday all!  This week is definatley a week of changes... can you feel it in the air around you?
I love this quote that comes from the story: Let it Shine Rosa Parks.  It is part of our Treasure series, but the entire book is amazing.  Ten stories about beautiful, smart, witty black women who changed the lives of the people around them.. It is a fabulous book for reading and teaching biographies.
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for the Five for Friday and hanging on for dear life with the winds of change!  Bear with me that not ALL of my 5 are about my classroom!

#1:  Our team changes came out this week.  I had mentioned last week that our principal was going to be mixing up our teams.  I work on a 3 man team right now. I teach ELA and 3 sections of math.  Well... now I'm a two man team! So I have to teach ELA, 2 math sections and one section of social studies.  HOLY amount of PLANNING!  But I'm not worried.  I spent about half of my teaching time in an elementary building.  I know how to teach across the curriculum.  So, all said and done, THAT change is a good one.

#2:  MATH for my smarties is difficult right now.  H-A-R-D!  They are making the whole process MORE difficult for themselves and THAT is frustrating me!  My smarties are taking short cuts they shouldn't take.  They are not showing their work.  They are counting on my kind hearted retakes and not studying the first time!  BLECH.. if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.  My smarties take the state assessments in April after our break and we have some work to do!

#3:  My friend Gina at Beach Sand and Lesson Plans is having a BIRTHDAY BASH!  Stop by her blog next week!  She is having a ton of giveways!  Be sure to wish her a Happy Birthday!

#4:  My daughter, "24" has been working hard in her social studies class learning about the branches of government.  Her teacher is very hands on, and she loves the class.  Over the past few weeks she has been campaining to be her social studies class president.  She made posters, commercials, videos, all kinds of things.  The candidates even had a class debate.  Today the period voted, and she tied for the win!  The teacher is going to have co-presidents for her period.  I am so proud of her!

#5:  Lastly, my Syracuse Orange play Georgetown TONIGHT!  This has been the epitome of rivalry this year.  We have lost both games to those HOYAS!  I am hoping that CHANGE is in the air for my Orangemen tonight!!


  1. What a cute blog name! I love the colours, but obviously they have something to do with your fav basketball team!

    It sounds interesting what you teach, I will look forward to following along!

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

    1. Thanks Alison.. welcome to Coffee Cups. Orange is my favorite color, and I'm lucky my two favorite basektball teams just happen to be orange and blue.


  2. Hi Michele. On the point of your students taking advantage of your redos,I've recently been having the same problem. For the last Social Studies and Math tests I have stopped - the mark you get sticks - no redos or test corrections.

    At least a few students who would usually need to make corrections to improve their mark did better. Coincidence? Perhaps. I'm sticking with this new rule for at least the next couple of tests in both subjects, and I'll compare the results with those that I was getting before. I still want them to make corrections for their learning's sake, but they've been working backwards. "I have hockey, band, texts to send (...fill in the blank here). I don't have time to study and so I'll just make corrections after if I have to..." This was the thinking of many (I realized). So, that's what sparked my change of heart. Oh and, of course some students did fail both tests. Why? No studying and/or not paying attention in class. I'm hoping that seeing their marks tank will be the natural incentive that they need to put more effort in on their end. If it's not - I'm not sure what I'll do.

    I can't wait to hear what others are doing, as I realize that my approach is kind of like whipping the rug out from under them. They sort of needed it though. Thanks for the reminder that I'm not alone.



    1. Krystal~ Our team as a whole just had a conversation about NOT allowing the retakes on unit tests. The kids are just not doing any work at home. Many of our parents are not even checking agendas to see what the kiddoes have to do. I kept 15 kids in on my lunch time Friday to reteach an important concept with proportional relationships that could certainly show up on our state assessment. It is tiring me out!

      I hope I get a few more responses to my question! I would love to know what other "middles" are doing especially. If you can direct atteention in anyway it would be appreciated.. or pose the question too and I'll check out your other sources.
      Thanks for the comment and reminder I'm not alone!!!

  3. Lots of changes going on. I hope your team won. I am your newest follower.

    The First Grade Princess

  4. Hi Michele,

    I teach 6-8 Math and this is what I'm finding works for my darlings (after a year of everyone doing a retake if they wanted ... and not studying): All tests are corrected, signed, and returned. Students fill out a retake form reflecting on how and where they went wrong and what steps they will take to better prepare for the retake. Parents sign this form. Then, students can take a retake IF they had turned in all of the homework for that unit prior to the original test. This helps eliminate the scrambling to turn in work once students realize they want a retake. Grades typically improve greatly for the retake because students who tend not to study typically are ineligible for the retake because they did not turn in all of their homework for the unit. I can't wait to hear other ideas. :-)


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