After school today, I held a "Solving multi-step equations crash course!" session. What a great turn out and awesome learning! Later this week, I am going to send out a survey to find out what concepts they feel they need the most help with, and if they would attend a weekly math "crash courses," if offered.
Below are links to all the resources I provided in today's course. I also have extra copies of practice problems in my classroom. Remember, just like with skiing, practice of math skills makes for a stronger math student!
Please use these resources at home if any problem is challenging. Learning to use resources and notes is a vital skill that needs to be developed!
Solving Multistep Equations: Pinch Cards (this is a rad site that has a video linked with each step of the solving equations process!)
Math Antics: Solving Basic Equations Part 1
Math Antics: Solving Basic Equations Part 2
Math Antics: Solving Multistep Equations
Attached is a print out of a fun mnemonic to use to remember the steps when solving an equations. Check out the Math Dyal blog for great tips and tricks on learning/teaching solving equations!
I hope you find this helpful!
Welcome back WINTER!
I hope everyone has a wonderful break and enjoyed the snow we got last week. I was happy to ski three times last week and got some freshies on off KT on Thursday. Also, I attended the CPM (math curriculum) National Teacher Conference this past weekend. I went to 6 breakout sessions on CPM best practices and how to better assess student learning over the course of the year. I heard some fabulous teachers present from all across the country and the vibe was very exciting. This conference got me more feeling pumped on teaching math (nerdy, I know)!
Next week eighth graders will begin an hour of sex education over the course of 5 weeks, presented by a Planned Parenthood health educator. I sent home an opt-out letter for this class today and included in this email. If you DO NOT want your child participating in comprehensive sex ed, please sign the letter and return it to me by Friday, March 1. If your student opts out of sex ed, they will spend the hour in another room with an alternative health assignment. Comprehensive sex education is included in the middle school California state standards. Please see the letter for more details.
Tomorrow (2/27) at 1pm, the middle school will be competing in the first ever Creekside Olympics! Come support your student and help run the events. I am look for a few volunteers to help us referee the three different events. Please let me know ASAP if you are available to help from 1-1:50pm tomorrow. Thank you!
We will hold a metal ceremony Wednesday morning at 8:30am to award the top competitors in each event. Please come support the athletes!
Farm Cart Program
Middle school students will be participating in a Farm Cart program starting tomorrow. It is facilitated by The Tahoe Food Hub. Students will learn about where food comes from, the farming process, marketing, setting up a business, and working a booth. More information to come tomorrow on this program.
End of Season Skier IS
Please send me the IS schedule for your student if they are competing in the upcoming competitions and will be gone for more than one day. I would like to get all of the IS organized this week to give to students before they leave.
Reminder: We are a team! Students, parents, and teachers work together and share responsibility for learning. Students on IS are required to use outside resources to learn the material given to them. All IS needs to be completed by the end of each learning period. LP6 ends this Friday!
If you can help organize graduation, please contact me. I am putting together a team of parents to get the planning started. So far I know that Dawn and Hunter are able to help. Lets make this the best graduation yet!
Volunteers in the classroom
I would love some help organizing! I have a ton of things I need filed, labeled, cleaned, organized, and put into binders. If you are able to help at any time, please let me know and I will get everything set up for you to come in. These tasks will be easy and fast, but will support me and, thus support the learning for students. Help!
And lastly, if your student is interested in taking care of the class chameleon, Dr. Ronny Googles over Spring Break let me know! He needs a home that week, as I will be out of town.
Cheer y'all and let it snow!
Hello 8th grade families!
What a great surprise to get snow today! Students were having so much fun out back during lunch today, sliding on the snow almost like human curling. Our playground brings out the creative side of the middle school students. I am hoping winter decides to stick around for a while.
Report cards were mailed home today for first semester. Look for them Wednesday. We are already halfway through learning period 6!
Remember, if your student is a skier/on IS, they are required to complete their independent study and turn it in the next day they are present. I have posted on my website several resource links for math and science help. Please check it out! All students have school assigned Khan Academy and IXL accounts for independent math and science learning (Purplemath.com is super useful, too). When students take IS days, it is their responsibility to use various resources to learn the content. They can make an appointment with me to receive additional help, but they must take the initiative to schedule a meeting. It is critical for students to keep on top of their work, lest becoming overwhelmed and stressed.
Harvest of the Month will be this week, hosted by the lovely Chiara. If any other parent is interested in helping with this monthly lesson on fresh foods, please contact me. This week we will learn about kale and Swiss chard- yum!
The whole school will be hosting a Creekside Olympics on Tuesday 2/27. The middle school will be competing from 1:00-1:50pm. We always need parent volunteers! Please email me if you are interested/available to help. The award ceremony will be held 2/28 at 8:30am for the whole school.
Students are encouraged to bring their own plates and forks to Pizza Thursdays. Creekside is actively trying to lessen our ecological footprint, and we can make a huge impact by reducing our waste. Additionally, please remind your student to bring their own water bottles! We do not want to give any cups out (again, we want to eliminate trash).
Lastly, 8th grade graduation is nearing! Every year, we have had a team of fabulous parents who organize the graduation ceremony. If you are interested in helping, please let me know and include how much time/level of involvement you can do. I would like to start organizing this event sooner than later. And on the graduation note, all middle schoolers are required to complete 5 hours of community service each year. You may turn the completed forms into me or the office.
2/19-2/23 President's Week (Ski/Skate Week)
2/12-2/16 Random Acts of Kindness week
2/27 Creekside Olympics
2/28 Creekside Olympic Ceremony
Enjoy the fresh snow!
Happy New Year 8th Grade Families!
I am so excited for the new year and new beginnings! Before the break, we discussed the impact that sugar has on our health. Students watched TEDed videos about how sugar affects their brain, read articles about the sucrose molecule and health adversities linked to sugar, and watched Fed Up (a movie about sugar consumption in America).
Today, students were introduced to a 10 Day SUGAR FREE Challenge. We (me included) will begin the challenge tomorrow and finish on 1/18. Students were sent home with a sugar free challenge log and we will be taking time daily to reflect on their ability to refrain from sugar.
In regards to the challenge, sugar means sucrose. Refrain from added sugars to food, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, etc. Sugar from fruit and milk is OK. It is important to read nutrition labels.
Abstaining from sugar can help improve sleep, energy levels, focus and concentration, and improve mood.
I invite you to join us in the challenge! I have attached a copy of the pledge for you to use if you want to participate. I encourage you to make meals at home with your child, read nutrition labels, and pack healthier lunches. Encourage water instead of juice or gatorade, oil and vinegar rather than ranch dressing, and stay away from high-glycemic starchy foods (french fries, chips, fried foods). I will be sending home recipes for easy lunches, dinners, and snacks every day this week.
I know this will be a hard task, but it is just 10 days! I encourage whole family involvement because cooking and discovering new foods together can make cooking more fun!
8th graders will have a chemistry unit final on Monday. They were given a study guide last week (also posted on planbook.com) and are allowed to use their science notebooks for help. The ONLY science IS this week is to STUDY! We will be having a study hall in the afternoon tomorrow.
Additionally, algebra students will have an exponent and polynomial quiz on Wednesday morning next week and then I will be collecting math notebooks.
Learning Period 4 ends this Friday. Students need to turn in LP4 PE logs and any missing work since 11/20. No PE log equals a zero for the LP and will lower the PE grade significantly (the easiest A+ one can get).
Lastly, we will be doing Holidays Around the World on Thursday 12/21 and I would love some parent volunteers to travel with the 8th graders or help out in my room! Additionally, during last period, we have our middle school holiday party. If you can help from 10:30-11:30 for Holidays Around the World OR from 1:50-2:45 for our party, let me know ASAP. Any additional adults that day would be awesome.
Students are invited to bring a $5 maximum gift for White Elephant on Thursday afternoon. Regifting is encouraged, as the game is supposed to be fun.
We have an exciting new addition to the science and math classroom: a pet chameleon!
Last week, we had guest speakers come in and talk to the middle school about the unique animals of Madagascar, which included live chameleons that they breed.
Pam and Jeff were kind enough to donate a baby chameleon to my classroom! The students have named him Dr. Ronny Goggles. Students will be taking turns feeding the little guy crickets, meal worms, and silkworms. We are studying how chameleons change colors, their specific ecosystems, and will be using their unique traits as a discussion launch point for many scientific inquiries. Additionally, students will learn how to take care of such a challenging pet. Dr. G thrives in tropical temperatures with 50% humidity and recreating that in Tahoe is challenging, but a great learning opportunity about climate control. We will also be building him a larger enclosure at some point, as he is growing fast!
I will be designing a sign up system to take the chameleon home on holidays for students who are interested. I am so excited about our new addition- he is so cool looking and fun to watch!
In other news:
Happy weekend middle school families!
7th graders are wrapping up our first math and science unit. They will have a math and science assessment the week of October 9th. Students are studying probability in math, focusing on writing probability as fractions, decimals, and percents. In science, 7th grade is wrapping up our survival and reproductive traits unit. Throughout the unit we examined organisms from Madagascar, their unique traits, and why they adapted they way they did.
A friend of Ms. Gretchen's will be coming in on Thursday 10/5 to present information about Madagascar, give a slide show of their trip to the island, and show off their chameleons! More information on this to come early this week.
Currently in 8th grade science we are studying chemistry. Students are exploring the concept of atoms, elements, molecular bonds, and extended structures. If you are a chemist, please let me know! I would love a guest speaker to come in and talk about the amazing possibilities chemistry has to offer.
In algebra, 8th graders are finishing up a unit on functions and graphing functions. There will be a math assessment on functions the week of 10/9.
HUGE thank you to Kailea and Bill Kelly for fixing my whiteboard and mounting the TV arm to the wall. Both are working great, especially the TV. I can now show everything on the big screen!
Additionally, thank you to the ongoing donations parents provide to my classroom. Everything you donate helps support student learning and enhances my lessons. I am so grateful!
Announcements and Upcoming Events
I am in SF this weekend visiting the SF, milling about the city. I am excited to return with some creative and inspiring ideas for art class. Enjoy the lovely weather and have a great weekend!
What a great second week! The 7th and 8th graders hiked to Shirley Lake on Wednesday for a picnic and swimming. Students really enjoyed themselves. I feel like all of us got to know each other better, plus any time we can get outside and explore our campus is a great day. Win!
(See pictures below.)
This week in Ms. Grete's class:
8th graders wrapped up their Learning Inventories project and reflected on what this information can do to guide and improve their educational experience (this activity also helps me tailor my teaching to create the optimum learning experience). We explored the concept of multiple intelligences, learning styles, and personality color. Ask your student what they most identify with! Their final posters will be on display for Back to School Night.
7th graders engaged in growth mindset activities and we discussed the importance of making mistakes. We had a great discussion about word associations, emotional attachments placed on specific vocabulary (such as failure, mistake, success, dedication, creativity), and how we can shift our mindset to improve from failure. Additionally, 7th graders explored the nature of science and inquiry with a fun Mystery Tube activity (parents will get the opportunity to engage in this same activity on Back to School Night!).
Both grades were introduced to different challenging math problems and we discussed the importance of creating a safe classroom space where all ideas can be heard.
iReady Testing and Computers
All students should come to school each day with a charged computer. We use these daily in all classes, so it is mandatory they bring it. If you still need to get a computer or lease one from the school, please email me!
On that note, next Wednesday and Thursday is iReady testing, a growth monitoring program we use school wide to measure student growth over the year. Middle school students will need their computers for this test. Please make sure your child is well rested, eats a good breakfast and comes to school on time (they should do this every day anyway).
New Daily Mindfulness Practice
Students will engage in daily mindfulness practice each morning from 8:30-8:35. Please be on time to school, as late comers can disrupt the practice. This is a school wide initiative and research shows mindfulness practice helps students mentally prepare themselves for a great day. Check out Life Ingredients for more information.
My Class Website
I rebooted my website this year (finally!) and I encourage students and parents to make use of it. On the homepage you can find blog posts/updates, classroom information, and tidbits about what students are doing at school! On the resources page, there are several VERY useful links to websites students use daily (planbook, PLS, curriculum text, IXL, etc.). See the Resource page.
Box Tops for the Schools
Please collect box tops from a variety of house hold products and food items. We can get money for them! Thank you Cara Hunt for organizing this. Please see flyer for details.
9/11 Back to School Night: Monday 5:30-7:00pm
Mandatory that one parent is in attendance. Please begin the night in your student's master teacher's room:
9/13-9/14 iReady testing 8:30-10:15 each day (with a snack break)
9/18 Project Discovery Field Trip 8am-5pm. We still need drivers.
Wow! Ok, I think that covers everything. See you all on Monday!
Wow! This last week flew by!
What a great week we had at Creekside Middle School. In my classes, students are learning about goal setting, growth vs. fixed mindsets, learning profiles, classroom culture and respect, and team building. Next week students will dive into the math and science curriculum.
Shout out to Amy Rosen, Liz Moriel, Allyson Schreiber and Steve Mollin for the generous donations selected from my amazon classroom wishlist. I am extremely grateful, as are the students! Also, thank you to all families for the classroom/student supplies; Gretchen and I are well stocked for the school year.
We have field trips and important dates coming up! Please mark your calendars.
Shirley Canyon Hike. Wednesday of next week, 7th and 8th-grades will be hiking Shirley Canyon. Please remind students to dress appropriately for hiking, including proper footwear, and bring a water bottle, lunch, and small backpack to carry it in. Things like hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also a good idea.
Field trip! We have an upcoming field trip for 7th and 8th-grades on September 18th to Project Discovery. This is a leadership challenge program designed to help students with communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills. Ms. Gretchen has done their program several times in the past, and it is an excellent experience that truly brings out the best in the students. Please be aware that is a long day (leaving school at 8:00 and returning at 5:00), and we are in need of parent drivers! Please let me or Ms. Gretchen know if you can drive and how many students you have space for in your car. Also, if you have not had fingerprinting done with us before, you will need to do that ASAP before you can chaperone. You can pick up the fingerprinting form from Lynn in the office.
Pizza Thursdays. Sign up now for fall semester on the PTO website, http://creeksidepto.org Your child will get pizza served at lunch every Thursday.
Open House. Please join us on Sept. 11, 5:30-7:00 for our Open House. There will be a lot of important information, and it is mandatory for at least one parent.
Picture Day. Our school picture day is Tuesday, June 12. Please let me know if you did not get an envelope for ordering.
And the following information comes to you from our awesome Middle School Enrichment Team:
Middle School Enrichment begins September 8th!
We have an exciting program shaping up for our kids available Fridays this fall, starting Friday, September 8th. Our season kicks off with a day of Rock Climbing and Meditation on Donner Summit. We will text and email details to parents who sign up HERE on or before September 5th.
Other outdoor field trips include Mountain Biking, BMX and Bike Park Volunteer Maintenance, and a special Kayaking / History tour on Lake Tahoe. Six Fridays will be based out of the Truckee Rec Center with age - appropriate programming in Music, 3D-Art, Rock Climbing, Swimming and Community Service Leadership.
Details and waivers will go out to parents who sign up HERE on or before September 5th.
This is going to be a wonderful year!
I am incredibly excited to embark on the new year. I hope all of you have had a wonderful summer and are refreshed, relaxed, and pumped up to start another exciting adventure in middle school.
I will be the 8th grade master teacher this year. I have had the pleasure of working with most of these students since 5th grade and am excited to watch them grow up and prepare for high school. We will be meeting on the first day of school in SVP 3 on the Creekside campus at 8:30am to (roughly) 9:15am for orientation. I will cover various information, have a packet for parents to review and sign, and provide time for questions. We will be signing the Master Agreement on Tuesday August 29th, so it is imperative that a parent is present.
I value critical thinking, interaction, engagement, and hands-on project based learning that allows children to make mistakes and grow. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to work with such impassioned, fervent, energetic individuals. The teachers, students, and families at this school are what make coming to work fun, exciting, challenging, and unbelievably rewarding.
This year I have the pleasure of teaching middle school math, science, and art. I strive to cultivate more of a problem solving approach to math and science education, allowing students to explore, experiment, and discuss all while learning to apply their knowledge to relevant situations. Science will follow a project based learning curriculum, while math will use both a common core curriculum supplemented with problem solving and active learning. Both science and math will incorporate technology, collaboration, direct instruction, reflections, and exams.
Please feel free to email me with any questions.
Welcome to my class website. I teach middle school math, science, and art. Here you will find important information, weekly updates, resources, and class photos. I live in North Lake Tahoe and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. My dog Bear joins me on all my adventures and often visits the classroom. Bear is currently training to become a therapy dog!