Posters 2018

I love designing posters, it’s fun for me.  The layout of fonts and choosing eye catching colors is relaxing…even more so when I am making posters when I SHOULD be doing other things for school. 🙂

I will add to this blog entry any other new posters I create this year. I had a list of what I wanted to make, but couldn’t find it when I started working on these so I will get to them later.  If there are any you want to see created, let me know!

First…I saw a post in a group of someone’s door to their classroom that said in vinyl “Calculate kindness into every day.” and I fell in love with it!! However, I currently don’t have vinyl to add it to my door, students peeled off the vinyl I had on the door last year and I wasn’t about to cut out all the letters and tape them to the door.  So…a poster I must make! In the file linked below (click on the picture), there are quite a few PDF color options and different calculators for you to choose from.  For me, I can get this printed poster size through my district and tape it to the wall or door or put it somewhere else.  I do like the idea of having it be something my students see while outside my classroom before they enter, so we will see where I decide to put it!


The second poster I made was because of one I saw @cheesemonkeysf had added above her calculator caddy.  I have a similar caddy and am happy to borrow out calculators, but they are also supposed to leave a shoe in my classroom….yet they forget many times. That’s how I ended up 4 calculators short at the end of the year last year, they had walked off never to return.  I found a few at goodwill this summer so I have enough now if every students needs to borrow one.  We use Desmos all the time in my classroom, but sometimes they need the handheld. Click on the picture to grab the link to the PDF.


8/22/18 – I saw a tweet by @fastcrayon WAAAYY back in July and “saved it” on Twitter by liking the tweet. I finally came back around to it as I was going through my likes.  The second I saw this I KNEW it needed to be a poster. So I created some…there are THREE different versions below, including some that have it all on one page. Hopefully you will find something you can use for your classroom!

8/26/18 – I made two new posters that focus on Growth Mindset and Grit in the classroom.  I’ve seen the YET bulletin boards, but my bulletin board space is limited, so I wanted a poster instead.  The second one uses some exit slip questions I want my students to refer to daily.

Links: Yet Poster and Mathematician Grow PDF files to print.

9/1/18 – Another Growth Mindset poster in two styles. Click on the graphic to access the printable PDF.


9/2/18 – I was on a roll during my relaxing Labor Day weekend and cranked out TEN more posters that were on my to make list.  The links to the FREE printable PDF files are under the snapshots. Enjoy!

Links: 365 Days / Be You / Believe in Yourself / Power of Yet / Parking Lot / In my class / Today / Dear Students / Control Myself / We like your face

This August, I’m participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! 🙂MTBOSBLaugust2018

If you want to join in the blogging fun, it’s not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! 🙂 Included are some “directions” and some awesome helpful prompts if you need something to help you blog!

Getting to know your students

Around this time of year, as some are heading back to school and others are still in summer mode, there is a lot of information being shared about starting the year off right and the key is to build relationships with your students…take time get to know them so you can make a difference in their lives.  It reminds me of one of my favorite TED Talks by Rita Pierson. But I am reminded that you can’t get to know every aspect of them in the first few days or weeks…you need to continue to build relationships ALL YEAR LONG.

In the past few years I have tried to build in more getting to know you questions for my students to answer at the beginning of the year on Name Tents (Idea from Rachel Rosales) and made popular by Sara Vanderverf. But after those first two weeks of prompts and questions, they would just disappear.  I added some fun questions on assessments and a reflection on my weekly warm-up, but I still feel the need to build more connections with my students.

I will also do Numbers about Me (a la @msrubinteach), Me…by the Numbers (a la @mathcoachcorner) or Mathematical Autobiography (a la @mathequalslove) that I read & respond to and then it stays in their skill folders.

On my weekly warm-up, I had a Weekly Reflection and asked students to tell me one good thing about the week.  I would collect those warm-up sheets each week and respond to their reflections and one good thing. It was one of my favorite ways to get to know my students and continue throughout the year. But collecting the paper and responding among all the other things got daunting. When we went 1:1 I wanted to try using google classroom or google forms for warm-ups, but couldn’t really figure out the weekly reflection piece where I could also respond to them to create dialogue.  Elissa who blogs at Miss Calculate found a way using google classroom and I am going to give it a go this year. She started the first week of school and then updated the prompts every weekend. She numbered the weeks and asked two questions each week, one more silly and one more serious; usually only asking for an explanation on one of them. Around certain holidays she asked holiday specific questions or at the end of the quarter she asked more reflective questions.  

I am going to open it to student contributions of prompts & questions, BUT I also felt the need to plan out my questions for the year in case they didn’t contribute or they weren’t appropriate.  So below you will see my quarterly planning document that I usually print and use to plan my units and see how they fall around holidays and weekends. I decided I needed a visual of what questions I am asking each week and a way to remind myself to ask reflective questions around the end of the quarter and holidays and such, so I decided to use this document electronically.  Obviously the listed days off are specific to my school calendar, so you can ignore those, but I planned to ask two questions each week regardless of how many days we were in school that week.  I am hoping by planning them out, I will be more intentional with posting and responding to them.  And I hope my students hold me accountable!

My plan is to post the prompts on Sunday, students need to respond by Friday and I respond to their thoughts Friday & Saturday (& Sunday if needed).

I will still continue adding fun prompts to assessments too (and probably start a document for that as well), but I think this weekly wrap-up will be a needed connection with students and I hope we will all find it beneficial.

Here are my prompts for the first two weeks of Name Tents (we have 8 days during this time). These aren’t quite finalized, but this is where I am with them right now.

Day 1 – I notice…I wonder…
Day 2 – What was your favorite thing about 6th grade?
Day 3 – How do you feel when you try to solve a problem you haven’t seen before?
Day 4 – Ask me a question.
Day 5 – If you were an emoji, which one would you be?
Day 6 – One thing I wish Ms. Bogie knew about me is…
Day 7 – What is something you feel strongly about?
Day 8 – What is something you are proud of?

Weekly Wrap-up Prompts (as a google doc, make a copy and enjoy!)


What do you do throughout the year to build relationships with your students?

This August, I’m participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! 🙂MTBOSBLaugust2018

If you want to join in the blogging fun, it’s not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! 🙂 Included are some “directions” and some awesome helpful prompts if you need something to help you blog!

Working hard or hardly working?

Yesterday was Monday and that means I have a week until the 2017-2018 school year starts.  I spent from 9:00am to 7:00pm in my classroom yesterday and I feel like I don’t have much to show for it. I’m in the mode where I have a ton to do, but I can’t get started on any of it. It’s crunch time!

I had to unpack the three boxes I packed up at the end of the year when I switched rooms. It was stuff from my desk or the cabinet, so that meant unpacking and organizing the drawers and cabinet shelves. I got SUPER excited because I found my calculator caddy…which will take up some board space, but will be VERY worth it.  I don’t have a class set of calculators, about half (I think I have 1-2 at home somewhere)…but I look for them any time I am at the thrift shop.


I unpacked markers, highlighters & more and organized everything in the tall cabinet. I moved the shelves in that cabinet more times than I care to mention…I kept rearranging where I wanted things, which changed the size of the shelves.  I do like the way it is now, though I didn’t take a picture yet.

I moved the furniture around to start figuring out how my flexible seating will work best.  There are about 10 desks that I would like removed from my room, but storage space in the building is in short supply, so we will see what ends up happening.  It’s kinda of surprising to me that I seem to have MORE space in the room even though I have MORE seating options than students.  I haven’t taken any pictures yet because I am still in flux, but I got excited today thinking of which seating options would work best in the different areas of my room.  I have a cafe pub height table and four chairs that are en-route, hoping to arrive before the first day.

I guess I feel like I didn’t get much done because it was mostly organizing drawers and the cabinet, things that aren’t visible. And while I did start moving furniture around the room is still in a very messy state.  So to complete something visual, I decided to put together the bulletin board for outside my classroom. I saw the picture and post from Amy on Instagram and grabbed her editable blank template freebie to create my own. But then Jac (@jacrichardson) stepped in and helped with that because she was looking for something similar and needed it before it was a win win for both of us! I LOVE the way it came out and hope to reference them throughout the year (though I do plan to change the board out). The background is wrapping paper from Tuesday Morning that is more like a vinyl/plastic because it can be colored in.


Today I got my back to school hair cut and spent the day organizing my desk at home, doing laundry and cleaning the house.  Not the most fun, but it had to be done. Tomorrow will be another day at school with the afternoon spent with the new middle school math teachers in our district, I think there are four.  I will do a post about what we go over tomorrow!

First Day Plans


This is another installment of #MTBoS #SundayFunday blogging. This is a weekly blogging prompt that is hosted over at Julie’s blog and this week’s theme is “First Day Plans”

Every week, Julie will push out a new topic, you blog about it and submit your blog post using this Google Form.  On Sunday, there will be a huge list of awesome blogs to go read! 🙂 YAY!

Honestly, my first day plans are still in flux…I have it laid out in my head but need to find out when I will actually be with my students as math students for the first time.  We start on the 24th as our first day with students, but with lockers, book/chromebook checkout, drills, PBIS required lessons for each period, etc…I don’t know when I will first see them as math students.  I will find that out on the 21st, when my team meets and we plan out those first few days.

In the meantime, I am hoarding links to ideas of what I want to do on the first day and the first week, which I am calling Unit 0. I plan to build in team & community building activities along with growth mindset and more so I can build the classroom environment I want to have.

Once I finalize it all and stop procrastinating I will post my plans here! 🙂


Goals 2017-2018

I am so excited that Julie (@jreulbach) brought back #MTBoS #SundayFunday, which is a weekly blogging initiative. In years past the blog posts written about the given topic helped shape things I was doing in my own classroom, it’s great because they all get linked together…like a one stop shop for amazingness! It took me all week to look at everything I wanted to do this year and pull out what my main goals are, so my submission is a little late.


At the start of 2017, rather than set a bunch of resolutions I went with one word…Intentional. As I started reflecting on my goals for this school year, I found the word Intentional to be very fitting as well.

And as I was looking through my endless to do list to prep for the new year, I saw one simple theme…Building Community.  Over half the items on my to do list are related to the engaging community of learners I hope to build. Here are just a few of those things:


  1. Flexible Seating – Last year my intervention students wrote a grant to get flexible seating and I found out it was funded after I found out I was going back to teaching core math at 7th grade.  I talked to my Assistant Principal and got the go ahead to do it in my room this year.  So then I spent most of the spring and summer looking for items to help create an environment of flexibility and comfort. I LOVE a good challenge to be thrifty and find cute things for the classroom. I can’t wait to share pictures of what it looks like…that means I need to get it set up first though. 🙂
  2. #VNPS – Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces to allow students to work together while standing when doing math in my classroom. For table work, I have individual whiteboards and the group whiteboards from WhiteboardsUSA. I have the Standard-L Seconds and the students love using them. You can’t tell there is anything wrong with them…at all.  However #VNPS has been something I have been reading about on Twitter and because two of my walls are covered in CHALKBOARDS, I thought that would be a fun way to incorporate #VNPS and give students a different medium for working together. I bought chalk and magnetic chalk holders and erasers….we will see how this goes!
  3. Visible Random Groups – To go along with the flexible seating, I was trying to figure out how the students will choose their seats and how often we will change. I am going to incorporate visible random grouping in my classes this year. I haven’t decided how often I will be switching them, I think I need to see how they do working together first. I saw a Tweet from , and   where they posted a pic of these sticks in prep for . I have printed the following sorting sticks on cardstock and laminated them so they should last the whole year.  Click here for the file with the sorting stick guide shown below.
  4. Student Roles & Responsibilities – Funny that I am coming back to this…I had a conversation on Twitter back in August 2015 with Joy (@JoyKirr) about her classroom jobs for students.  She shared this document, though she says she has trimmed down and changed them since.  I never put it into place and my goal is to be intentional with student voice & choice in my classroom community. I’ve been brainstorming with Jac (@JacRichardson) about how to set them up and keep them organized for our middle school classrooms.
  5. Positive Peer Feedback Jar – Another idea from Joy, students fill out a feedback/recognition slip for a kind act/ responsible deed/risk in class, and it will be emailed to that student’s parent. 
  6. Friday Feedback – I am going to implement bi-weekly feedback google form where students can give input on how class is going and how to make it even better.
  7. Saturday Sunshine – Another idea from Joy, pretty simple because it’s two good news emails home, sent each Saturday. 
  8. Mindset Mantras – I am going to give this a go...see what happens!

There you have it! I am excited for all of the things listed above and how I can build the best community of learners that I can for this school year.  I have 15 days until our first Institute Day and 18 days until the first day with students. I have a lot to do before then, but I couldn’t be more excited to get all those things done! 🙂

Posters 2017

I love making posters (as seen here and here), it’s the design process and being creative that I enjoy.  I used to scrapbook, so it’s the digital version of that in a way. 🙂 I like making posters because it helps me create exactly what I want to say or how I want it to look.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to do ALL the work, so I also borrow a lot of posters that others have made that I love.  Those are from @mathequalslove, @msrubinteach, @mathymeg07, @SweetBlessShan and many others!​

At the end of this past school year, I bought colorful paper and I printed A LOT of posters that others made to start prepping for this year. I was even lucky enough that my LMC had time to laminate them, so they are already cut out and ready to be put on the walls for this year.  The posters I printed came from @mathequalslove and @msrubinteach.

I am very good at procrastinating.  I could write a book about all the things I get done when I should be doing something else. I am putting off planning the start to my year and looking at the first unit, so it was easier to turn to twitter and offer to make posters.

I also retweeted it the next day and got a few more responses. I had fun making the posters and totally avoided the work I should have been doing! Here are a few examples:

And here is the PDF link to the 25 posters that I made.  Enjoy!


Bookmarking all the things

It’s hard to know what to do with all the awesome activities, lessons, organizational ideas, classroom decor ideas and more that I find when I get lost in the internet rabbit hole of amazing things.  For a long time, I would just open an email and send myself links to the blog post or website that I wanted to check out when I had time.  What I found was that I rarely went back to find those things when I needed to.

So here I am with this haphazard way of trying to catalog things I want to come back to check…I have modified the system, but it still needs improvement…

  1. Facebook – if I see something I like, I save the post and I do actually go back and go through them in a timely manner.  Once I have done what I needed to with the post and information I saved, I archive the saved post and move on.
  2. Pinterest – it has gotten so spammy and and filled with TpT links, but I still scroll through it late at night when I should be sleeping.  I sometimes pin things to my boards, but if it’s really important or something I need to use in the coming weeks, I email the link to the pin to myself through the app. Typically because it is something I need to look at or download from a computer and not a phone.
  3. Blogs – I use feedly and I am SO behind on my blog reading, but if there is a blog I want to come back to I star it and will come back.  Or I will mark it as unread sometimes too.
  4. Twitter – I use the “like” feature on Twitter to save tweets I want to come back to or use another time.  It has been super helpful for me, except that I’ve been absent from blogging and twitter for a bit and they just sat there.  There are about 2,500 tweets I have liked.  🙂

I started tackling the tweets this summer…my goal is to get it as close to zero before the first day of school as I can.  Then I feel like I can keep up with the items I want to save as the year goes on.

Tonight, while I was clearing out my liked tweets, I came across this tweet I saved from Kelly (@LebbyDoo)…

So I followed my saved tweet to find the link to the awesome folder labels and it wasn’t there! 🙂 Ha…so I googled Kate’s Classroom Cafe and found the blog and up popped the labels and freebie to download.  Here is the link to the post with the freebie and directions on how to use it for your own filing cabinet:

I plan to use the labels to color code and organize my filing cabinet in my classroom and in my office to start the school year!

Seeing that saved post actually brought me back around to how I organize all the things that I come across and I made myself a goal to really work to use Google Keep instead of my current method which isn’t really working and isn’t efficient.  I HAVE been using Google Keep, but not to the extent I could be. I can’t wait to learn to use it much better than I have been! If you have tips, trick or hints for using Google Keep, toss me a comment below!