### Fall/Thanksgiving Coloring

Many years ago (I have no idea how many!) I used this coloring activity with students. I don't remember where the idea came from, and I had even forgotten that I ever used it! (The memory is really going!!) However, I was looking through an old "November" file to find some ideas for today (for the substitute to use - I took a personal day), and found the tracers and examples in my file.

Once I found it, I DID remember that the kids used to really enjoy this activity. So, I gathered materials (graph paper, tracers, colored pencils, thin black markers, construction paper) and left them for the sub, with these directions:

1. Students take one piece of graph paper (I use the tiny squares, but younger students could use larger ones).
2. Place the tracer under the graph paper and trace the outline and details of the shape.
3. Color the squares with different shades, alternating light and dark (I like to use colored pencils rather than markers).
4. When finished, outline in black, and go over detail lines in a darker color.
5. Cut out and glue onto construction paper.

This is a great idea to use with any tracer to make attractive pictures any time. I was just so excited to find it again that I thought I'd share:)

Happy Thanksgiving!

1. What a cute art project! :)

### Memory Wheels - First Day, Last Day, and Any Day in Between!

This post has been moved to:  http://www.cognitivecardiowithmsmm.com/blog/memory-wheels-first-day-last-day-and-any-day-in-between

### Math Class - First Day Activity

Rectangle of pentominoes Many 6th graders seem to have a pretty negative attitude about math, so I try to do something interesting to "grab" them during our first class. Last year, during the first math class, we spent part of the period working with pentominoes. Before working with the pentominoes, however, we played a name game so we could learn each others' names (I find it impossible to start anything else if I don't know some names, and fortunately, I learn them fairly quickly). rectangle outline For the activity, I divided the students into groups of 3 or 4. The directions for the activity were not complicated - the task was to make a rectangle, using all of the pentominoes. I gave students an outline of the rectangle, as pictured to the left, so they would know the correct size of the rectangle. The squares in the grid are each one inch. The rectangle is 5 squares (inches) wide and 13 inches long (13 inches includes the row that has the "Pent

### How Much Math Homework??

I am very curious about math homework in middle school, from a teacher perspective:     How much math homework do you give?     What kind of homework do you give?     How do you go over it in class? Let me explain why I ask these questions. I have taught 6th grade math for eight years, and every year, my goal is to "perfect" the homework issue. My basic issue is that I feel that I spend too much time going over it (not necessarily every day, but often). In the past, we have reviewed homework in the following ways:    1. going over answers as a class    2. self-checking answers that are on the board and sharing any questions    3. partner-checking and then verifying    4. choosing only a few problems to check When I taught elementary school (for 12 years), I never seemed to have this problem....we had 60 minutes for class and I never struggled to fit everything in. But at middle school, we have 44 minutes (minus time to switch for classes), and I just haven't fo