Currently in a NEW YEAR!

Currently January 2015Another year has begun and with the beginning of a new month means a new Currently with Oh Boy 4th Grade. Seriously this blog linky that Farley has been doing for ages now is one I look forward to each month even if I forget to actually do it. :)

Listening to the DVR first episode of this season of Little Women LA. I have this infatuation with watching shows that include Little People but being 6’2″ and seeing them in real life is a bit daunting.

Loving my fuzzy socks! They are seriously the best thing in winter.

Thinking I have some planning to do. I have a workshop in South San Antonio and in North San Antonio next week and I need to do some planning. They are make and take workshops so they should be a LOT of fun.

Wanting someone to magically put away all of the decorations for me. I seriously hate putting them up and hate taking them down even more. Need to go get some bigger storage tubs to hold the larger stuff we have now.

Needing to do some serious laundry from our trip to Nebraska over Christmas and to be prepared for the upcoming trips that I have. Anyone want to help? I will let you do yours as well.

Yes, I am having weight loss surgery this month, January 13th to be exact. I will be having a vertical sleeve gastrectomy and be in the hospital probably just for the day (maybe overnight). I’ve been on my pre-op diet since December 23rd and I have my ups and downs. I will be on liquids through January and then soft foods for awhile after that. I am hoping that by my birthday (February 24th) I will have met my first goal of being down 10% of my starting weight. This gets me started on the path and I can’t wait. I did grab some new portion plates and serving pieces to help have the right tools to get me going. Since hubby had the surgery almost two years ago it wil be good for both of us.

So while all of this is starting the new year on a new foot, I am excited about what it means.

Are you Nerdy? Linky Party

Do you remember doing Mad Libs when you were younger? I sure do and I loved them!

My good friends Mel and Gerdy over at Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy have started a new weekly linky party that I am so happy to have joined in on and I hope you will too.

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So without further ado….

SaturdayNerdLibs_1

Well, that really is a day for me. Waking up at 42 is about right because I never wake up at the same time anymore and I love that! Everyday I start with my beloved Keurig making me a new cup of coffee (or two). Yoga pants (or pajama pants) are my typical wardrobe and if I must get out I am out and about in our mini van. Hey, I may not have children but that thing holds a TON!

Starbucks is a regular occurrence although they really need to get some coconut milk or almond milk in the store instead of just soy. I might just start driving to Dunkin Donuts for my latte’s instead.

And of course, who isn’t perusing Facebook when they are sitting at their desk! Shh, we can keep it our secret!

Who is Math Dad?

Over the past few months you may have seen a new image finding it’s way on some of my products. If you thought was just another Melondheadz you wouldn’t be completely wrong. As of this summer my father has started to work for me here at 4mulaFun. Not only is he a great dad but he is also a wonderful math teacher (I might be biased).

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MathDad has been teaching since I was a Freshman in high school (1995 to be exact). He actually did his observation hours in my Eighth Grade Algebra class back in 1994. It was kind of nice getting to go home with him at the end of the day since my Algebra class was 6th period and I had some random class after that. As you can probably guess teaching wasn’t his first profession but he has always been a numbers man. He came from a background of working in finance at a few different corporations for the first 17 years after college before deciding to make the change to the classroom.

MathDad_graduation

After MathDad was teaching for awhile he went back to achieve his Master’s Degree in Mathematics. I’m thinking the advanced degrees run in the family just as much as the love of numbers do because my sister (in the picture above) and I both have our Master’s Degrees as well (Library Science and Curriculum and Instruction respectively).

Over the past 19 years, MathDad has taught everything from Pre-Algebra to Calculus in the middle school and high school settings. He is now also adding college professor to his resume as he teaches math to adults in an accelerated program and loves it.

MathDad is here to stay at 4mulaFun as he helps develop materials for Algebra through Calculus. He told me this past week that after he finishes the Algebra Interactive Notebook, Pre-Calculus is next!

Feel free to email MathDad with any of your Secondary Math requests, comments, etc.

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What I’m Working On: November 23rd-29th

Another week has come along and there are more goals that I plan to work on this week. Now, because it is a HOLIDAY here in the US this week, I do plan on taking some time away from the computer to spend with my family. Do you get the entire week off of school or only part of it? What are you MOST looking forward to this week?

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What I’m Working On: November 16th -22nd

Can’t believe that it has been so long since I’ve blogged. I guess being gone for a WEEK on the trip too and from Ohio really did take it out of me. I will definitely be blogging about that this week!

This week brings about the last conference of 2014 for me to attend and exhibit. This one is a bit out of my subject area but I am sure it will be a blast! Heck, I even get to spend some time with some great TpT buddies like The Science Penguin, Bond with James and Teaching in the Fast Lane!

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Why are Non-Examples Important in Education?

Why are Non-Examples Important?

Every year when I begin using Frayer Models for vocabulary I have to teach what non-examples are to my students. Students are used to working in a world of creating examples and rationales behind their learning but not defining what their learning isn’t.

What is a Non-Example?

A Non-Example is simply helps define a new term in it’s entirety using the characteristics that are given and determine what the term is not.

Let’s take the word proportional…

Proportion Frayer Model

Based on the definition and characteristics given by my students it is very easy to see that to create something that is proportional both sides must be equivalent. As you can see in creating a non-example the students created a proportion that did not become equal when cross-multiplied.

Starting lessons with examples and non-examples helps to build a foundation and clear up concepts before you get too deep into the learning. When students don’t start with a foundation of what a term or concept is they can continue to focus on that term and miss out on other key material. For my teaching this was a critical comprehension step for many of my students.

While speaking with some other teachers about using Non-Examples in their classrooms I received some great opinions.

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As you can see from these teachers, as well as my experiences, using non-examples is something that we need to do in our classrooms. Non-examples don’t always have to be done in the form of a vocabulary definition. Another way to use them is through a concept sort or Venn diagram. What is one thing? What is another thing? Why is it that way? Get students talking about why they think something can be classified in one area and why not in another.

Function Sort
Non-Function Sort

How do you use non-examples in your classroom? Do you struggle with student’s understanding of what something isn’t? Let’s discuss in the comments.

And, if you are looking for further ways to use Examples and Non-Examples in your classroom, check out the Examples and Non-Examples post over at It’s Academic Tutoring Center’s blog as they give some great insight on how using these techniques can help the foundations of learning.