Friday, August 29, 2014

Some Thanks...

The teacher workshops are completed, the room is set up, and the lessons are written.  It has been a long and exhausting week, but for the first time in a long time, I am feeling calm going into the school year.

This sense of calm comes from so many people who probably don't even know that they have helped me over the summer tie some loose ends together, rethink how and why I do things, and help me realize that all of us have the same issues in the classroom.  Everyone has the student who won't stop talking.  It's not just me.  Through the stories that they have shared, I have begun to feel that I'm not alone when I feel like I am swimming upstream.  So I want to take a moment as my school year begins to thank some of them.

First of all, I want to thank those who inspired my classroom bulletin boards this year.  Thank you for inspiration when I had none.

My favorite is the Star Wars themed growth mindset posters from Paul's (@TeacherPaulP) blog TeacherPaulP which I combined with Sarah's (@mathequalslove) idea, from her blog Math=Love, to put up sayings from a fixed and growth mindset.  I added Darth Vader and Yoda to the mindset phrases to keep the theme.  I will enjoy saying "Use the Force" this year when I hear fixed mindset statements.  

Next, I have to thank, Sarah (@msrubinteach) from Everyone's a Genius for the idea to do the loop-da-loop for how you learn a skill.  Looking forward to using it to remind students that learning is a process.  

Finally, Pam's (@pamjwilson) blog, the radical rational, had an awesome bulletin board for displaying sentence starters that I totally just did my best to recreate.  I am hoping that this will be well used by my students!

Besides all of the help with decorating, I need to also give some thanks to The Global Math Department for the truly awesome professional development that I attended this summer.  If you haven't attended a Global Math Department webinar yet, please try one.  It's free and that is every teacher's favorite word! 

MTBoS and everyone I met and worked with at Twitter Math Camp are awesome.  I am excited to become more and more involved with the both groups.  It is amazing how technology in general has made it possible to sit on my couch and talk to teachers all across the country.  I feel like I dated myself with that statement, but it's so true!

And speaking of sitting on my couch, I want to thank those who monitor the chats on Twitter.  I like to lurk during #msmathchat and Justin (@JustinAion) and Adrienne (@shlagteach) do an awesome job.  I know there are other groups and other monitors, but I haven't explored all of them yet! 

Thank you to everyone for your inspiration and willingness to share what you do! 


  1. Hi! I stumbled upon your blog and I really love it. I'm a middle school teacher too. Your ideas are so organized and you have some great links too. Thanks for the inspiration. Have a great year!

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I hope that you found some inspiration!

  2. Hi Chris,
    I really like the way you added Darth Vader and Yoda to the different statements. Would you mind sharing that file?

  3. I love this! I have a Star Wars theme classroom and was trying to find a growth mindset board to go with my theme! How did you print the Darth Vader and Yoda pictures poster size?