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. ūüôā

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 РI 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‚Äôm 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!¬†ūüôāMTBOSBLaugust2018

If you want to join in the blogging fun, it‚Äôs not too late! ¬†Go¬†HERE¬†to sign up!¬†ūüôā¬†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‚Äôm 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!¬†ūüôāMTBOSBLaugust2018

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

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. ūüôā
  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 РAnother 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! ūüôā

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. ūüôā 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!‚Äč

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!


Becoming a connected Math Educator

Many times in blog posts, in facebook groups or at face to face conferences, people suggest Math teachers should jump on Twitter and check out the #MTBoS to find helpful people and info. I couldn’t love that idea more. ¬†Creating a blog and joining Twitter have had the most impact on my teaching, my lesson planning and my reflection than anything else in my career. ¬†That’s because of the people whose blogs I read and activities I used, who would respond to my questions and share their ideas freely. And because of the people who I followed and interacted with on Twitter by asking for help or feedback on something I needed. ¬†You don’t have to have a blog to read others blogs and check out their activities and ideas. ¬†You don’t have to have a Twitter account either because you can find information through the blogs as well; though I do highly recommend joining Twitter to connect with others and create your online PLC.

I started reading blogs in 2005 starting with @ELanghorst‘s US History blog ( because I was teaching US History and wanted to find better resources. ¬†Then I started finding and reading math blogs in 2007 (like and fell in love (stalker-ish style) with @misscalculate when she started blogging in 2009. As I started to read more blogs, I would find more blogs to read…recommendations and favorite blogs listed on the side on the blog I was reading lead me to so many amazing people and resources. I had a blog reader set up and would spend time reading blogs newspaper style at night. I have 145 blogs in my blog reader that I follow now and I have a bunch more to add of educators I just started connecting with. I would email myself links of blog posts that had activities I wanted to try or ideas I wanted to incorporate into my classroom. (I still do this today, but I am working on using Google Keep instead.) ¬†I became the crazy math teacher at my school because I was always saying things like “oh on this blog they did this activity.” or “I found this online and it looks awesome.” or “Let me do a google search for a blog post I remember.” or “I just watched this presentation about this topic, let me send you the link.” I used google, blogs and online resources like crazy to transform my teaching. And then I wanted to participate more and give back, so I started a blog and joined Twitter and the rest is history. ūüôā

Teaching can be a lonely career because we are in our classrooms all day and while we may connect with our teams of teachers in our buildings, it’s usually about scheduling or behavior so we don’t get a lot of time to share and connect during the day the way we need to about curriculum, lesson planning or building rich tasks and activities. Therefore teachers have to look for it in other ways, through meetings outside of the school day, reading books, math conferences and connecting online with other math teachers, etc. It’s through these connections that I have learned the most and I have made amazing friendships to boot.

I think the key to become a connected Math Educator is to look for people, resources and help outside of your school, your district, your state. ¬†At first maybe you just read, save helpful links or activities and try them in your classroom, but over time you will find more and more resources and (I bet) you will eventually want to give back or explain how a lesson someone shared was used in your classroom. ¬†My evaluation system uses Danielson, which focuses on teacher reflection, creating my blog helped me learn how to reflect before it was part of my evaluation. Through Twitter and blogging I came across Global Math Department, which is a weekly webinar about tons of amazing math teaching topics. It started in August of 2012 and has SO many informational presentations! ¬†The past two years I was on the board and for many of the weekly meetings you will hear my voice as a host and I’ve even done a few presentations. ūüôā I try to make it in person so I can interact and ask questions as needed during the presentation, but if I can’t the best part is they are all archived for future reference and easy sharing with teachers via email!¬†You can find them all archived here,¬†¬†.

Here is a little more to explain many of the things that are out there online for Math Teachers to help you start your journey to becoming a connected educator.

  1. Check the graphic below for a great explanation of #MTBoS
  2. Watch this video for even more info:
  3. Welcome to the MTBoS site was created to welcome teachers new to the #MTBoS. It gives them support, some guidance, as well as helps them find some good tweeps (Twitter peeps) to follow and get to know.
  4. Find & connect with other Math teachers in your 2017-2018 subject area:
  5. The MTBoS Directory lists teachers who are self-identified as members of the #MTBoS. Want to join? Just submit your name. That is all it takes. It has a map of members to help you find local math teachers, as well as multiple ways to sort and select people.
  6. Exploring the MTBoS is a site created by math teachers to help organize, explain, and yes, explore the MTBoS.
  7. Have you ever wanted a lesson on XXX, but googled it and came up with a bunch of crap? This search engine searches only math teacher blogs, K-12, and will pull up lessons that are tried and tested. If the lesson sucked, the blog post will tell you that, and how to improve it.
  8. Find blogs to read weekly by checking the list of bloggers from the link in #7.
  9. Check out Robert Kaplinsky’s Problem Based Lesson search engine: ¬†
  10. Like the Facebook MTBoS page: Another way to connect with math educators –
  11. Use this Chat list of Educational Chats to find chats that interest you. They list themselves as ‚Äúofficial‚ÄĚ but of course there is no such thing. It is rather comprehensive, and although the chats change times each year, it is pretty complete and accurate.¬†
  12. Check out some of the books that have been written:
  13. Check out Global Math Department weekly presentations:
  14. Check out Jo Boaler‘s site,, which is important to helping change your mindset and the mindset of your students in regards to learning math. The three week’s of Inspirational Math have some great videos and activities to share with your students.
  15. Find and join a facebook group that applies to you, I really like doing BreakoutEDU in class, so I find the Math teacher’s breakout group helpful:¬†
  16. And finally check out the Desmos Bank‚Äď a directory for¬†Desmos activities

Do you have suggestions or ways to help others become connected math educators? I am sure I missed some!  Toss them in the comments below!!!

Here’s to a great 2017-2018 year of being a connected Math Educator!

Holiday Circles

Hi…I know I got some of you to read because 1. I haven’t blogged in forever and 2. The title may have sounded like something you could use in your math class. ¬†I promise there is math involved, but it isn’t as apparent to the non-math folk when they hear about these things.

In the last 24 hours, I have seen people in my facebook feed posting about joining a holiday circle/loom for $100 and at the end you get paid out $800. They say it’s a great way to get some holiday money this season. PLEASE¬†don’t be sucked into those holiday gift circle/money loom things and in fact, educate your students about them because at some point these will rear their heads during their adult lifetime.¬†They are absolutely a scam, sure you MIGHT get your money but someone definitely won’t because it’s impossible. They are unsustainable because of exponential growth. (See…there’s the math)

Holiday Circles seem like such a great thing. They tell you everyone freely gifts $100 into person A’s paypal account and in a bit it you get to decide what to do with your¬†$800. (They also float around in other start up amounts too.)

Wow, you say as the wheels turn in your head. Two fb posts later after seeing a friend post pictures of her paypal account growing by the hour, you freely send the $100 via paypal thinking of all the things you can do with $800. (Which is really $700, since you paid out $100, but they just assume you will understand that.)


You may even sign a special ‚Äėcontract‚Äô that looks all legal and everything that says you voluntarily gift this money¬†without any expectation of ever getting it back. Of course, as soon as you pay in your money you become one of the blue spaces above. Once there are eight new blue spaces, the purple person¬†in the middle gets their¬†$800 ‚Äď an 800% payoff. The chart then splits in half and everyone moves up a level. The two pink spaces¬†are now their own charts and they are purples, the green moves up to pink, and the blue¬†are now one step closer to their own big payoff. Maybe.

Now, nobody is required to bring in new special friends to gift money but how else are you going to help make sure you¬†have fun holiday money to spend? ¬†That, plus as soon as all your ‚Äúblue spots‚ÄĚ get eight new people to kick in you get one level closer to your own $800 jackpot. You start dreaming about what kind of things you can do with $800 and many people even join multiple looms once they start seeing and dreaming about the payout.

Posts by people involved that sound like this make it seem all okay, “It’s like pulling off of the church Christmas tree at Christmas time and shopping for a kid in need. Do we actually know if they get their gifts? No, but we only hope. We’ve all spent useless money for no reason at all. While you may be a skeptic, at least you know you helped a family at Christmas time this year. If we spread the holiday cheer we can make a lot of families happy. It’s time to put our own struggles aside and help ones in need. We’re all in here bc we could use the extra cash for Christmas. But blessed money comes from those who help.” And “its not a scam.. call it a “pay it forward tree” because that’s what we are basically doing”

I asked someone in my fb feed who is participating and posting to get others involved how does it end because mathematically I know these¬†things can’t really keep going. After all, the numbers don‚Äôt really work. She said “oh, it never does, it just keeps going”.¬†And then she asked me if I wanted in…um, not at all. She shared this with me…


So where’s the scam, you ask? It’s a reasonable question. Most of the time the people involved don’t see the crime, either. After all, the $100 is a gift that they give freely and without any expectation of any return so they’re not victims. Just like a $100 birthday present to your niece, right?


Wrong. Gifting Clubs are illegal pyramid schemes but they will try and tell you they aren’t because one person isn’t making money off the others. They‚Äôre done with really slick emotional appeal and promises of huge payoffs but sooner of later these clubs are going to run out of people to scam. It‚Äôs simple exponential math.

Lets assume you get in as one of the first blue spots. For all eight of you blue to move up to be green after the first split you need to recruit a total of sixteen new people. Then for all eight of you green to move up to pink you need to bring in 32 new people. It keeps going. All of your initial eight might get paid after 128 new blue spaces join, but to keep going and let everyone in the system receive their own $800 the scheme needs to bring in more people than exist on the planet.

If you do the math, there is logical, rational, left-brained evidence to support the conclusion that these circles are absolutely unsustainable in the end.

There is a mathematical certainty that up to 87% of the people who gift their money into a circle will lose their money.

To see the math in action, see this spreadsheet.  You can play with it  and change the variable on the number of times people re-up after cashing out so you can see what happens when people reinvest in the circles after receiving their gifts.

Bottom line: If 100% of people who complete the circle and receive their $800 in gifts rejoin another circle 3 more times, 80% of people who join will still lose their money.  The best possible scenario would be that every person who completes the circle rejoins 6 times and you still end up with 50% of people losing their money.

Google Forms Gets Even Better

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! ūüôā

If you want to join in the blogging fun, it’s not too late! ¬†Go HERE to sign up! ūüôā And here are the directions and some awesome helpful prompts if you need something to help you blog!

I LOVE Google Forms! I use them all of the time for a variety of reasons- both education related, with my swim team and for personal use. They are such a super easy way to collect info into a spreadsheet super quickly!

This may not be NEW news for many of you as Google introduced it at the end of June, but for those of us on summer break who haven’t opened Google forms to use in a classroom all summer, it is new and exciting information.

This new feature will allow auto-grading multiple choice and checkbox questions¬†which can give INSTANT feedback to students¬†and allow teachers to see if they need to spend more time on a topic.¬†SO STINKIN’ AWESOME! I have used the Flubaroo add-on before to do this same thing, but I always found it glitchy and a little hard to manage. I have already played around with this and it is SO easy to use.
Creating a quiz is super simple, here’s how:
  • Go to¬†your Google Drive.
  • Click on New and then choose form.
  • In the upper right corner,¬†click Settings in the top right corner and choose QUIZZES.
  • Next to “Make this a quiz” click the on button to make the form a quiz.
  • At this point you have a few options you can choose to turn on or off,
    • Release the grade immediately after each submission or do not release the grade
    • Change what students can see, Missed Questions, Correct Answer and Point Values.
  • Click Save to save your chosen settings.
After that you just start building your quiz.  You can make an answer key for multiple choice, checkbox, or drop-down questions.
  1. To add a new question, click Add.
  2. Fill out your question and answers.
  3. In the bottom left, click ANSWER KEY.
  4. In the top right of the question, choose how many points the question is worth.
But wait…there’s MORE!¬†You can even add explanations to answers- including links, videos,¬†or websites so students get immediate feedback!
To add feedback, just click on Answer Key and then on Add Answer Feedback.
You can find out even more about creating a quiz with Google Forms HERE.
Way to go Google- YOU ROCK!