Monday, December 17, 2012

Week Fourteen - Dec 10-14, 2012

This week was...interesting.

It started out very rough.  There were a lot of issues at the beginning of the week with mis-communication, lack of communication, and so on and it caused a very rough start to the week. And my bad mood seemed to carry over several days, which was a bummer.

We spent the week playing games dealing with perimeter and area and volume, and we continued learning our Perimeter and Area rap.  The kids really love learning these songs with the hand motions.

The best part of the week though was Friday.  One of the ideas I got from the Ron Clark Academy was to have "theme" days throughout the year.  These happen randomly and they only last for a day.  The kids also do not know these days are coming!

So on Friday I decided to turn my classroom into the "Nez Hospital".  I literally transformed my room into a hospital.  I borrowed lab aprons from the Waller High School and went to Dollar Tree and bought face masks, hair nets, and gloves for every student.  I even dressed up like a doctor named "Dr. Nesbit".  I told the students that Mr. Nesloney was absent that day.  They totally played into every single part.

We did different lab activities to review things we had learned with measurement conversions and perimeter/area/volume.  They had to pull "worms" (gummy worms) out of "bear blood" (red dyed water) and measure the length of the "parasites".  I also had them measure the length of their arms, dissect the worm, and other different medical math problems.  I used my SMARTdocument camera to display a 3D beating heart on the board, and had my iPod plugged in the back of the room playing the sound of a beating heart.

I had zero discipline problems and the kids acted great.  They said they REALLY enjoyed the whole experience.  And I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Week Thirteen - Dec 3-7, 2012

Wow, talk about exhausted!  So after attending the Ron Clark Academy the week before (you can check out more about my trip at there were quite a few things I wanted to do differently in my class this week.  And man did they make a difference!!!

So for the first half of the week (Monday-Wednesday) I began my new expectations.  I began teaching the students the first ten of our new "Essential 55 Rules".  I also began implementing a more structured behavior expectation system.  After seeing how attentive, well behaved, and respectful the RCA students were, I knew there was much work to be done with my students.  Some of the new expectations I implemented were...

  • Must look at teacher while teacher is teaching.
  • Must come to class completely prepared.
  • Must enter room quiet and ready to learn.
  • Must look at other students as they are answering questions, talking, presenting, etc.
  • Must participate (I do a lot of "call-backs" in my class)
I do others too, but those are what's coming to my head right now.  Every time the students don't meet my expectations they have to put their name on my board.

  • Just name = warning
  • Name + check mark = silent lunch in my class
  • Name + 2 check marks = no recces and call home
  • Name + 3 check marks = call home and schedule parent conference.
I had already had high expectations of my students but I just increased those expectations this week.  I am already noticing a world of difference in my students.  I have already had MANY students in silent lunch or have to call home, and I already have two parent conferences scheduled for next week as well.  These students know I'm serious about this change.

I also had the students make their own multiplication flash cards (in addition to all the work we're doing in class) so that they could have something at home to study.  Multiplication facts are so very important and I'm trying to really instill that in the kids.  The amount of facts RCA students could do in  their heads  I want my  students like that too.

I also sorted the students into their new 4 houses!  We used a randomized spinner and each student came up and spun and got their house assignment.  I've also really been focusing on teaching my students how to CHEER for others and really be happy for others.  It was so much fun to watch them cheer and get so excited about spinning to be placed in their new house.  I chose to name my houses after Texas Universities, so we have UT, A&M, Rice, and Baylor.  The students are already working incredibly hard to earn points for their houses, but I'm not giving them out easily!!

I also started teaching with more purpose and passion.  I think my students can really tell a difference.  I was passionate before, or so I thought, but after seeing RCA teachers in action, I knew I could do better.  Another thing that really stuck in my head from RCA was that the teachers aren't allowed to ever sit while students are in the room.  I've been really trying to follow that rule too here and am working on getting my desk removed from my classroom too :)

The rest of the week was spent with my students teaching more rules, and having them practice social skills, and getting up in front of the class and teach lessons.  We did a LOT of modeling this week, because I really wanted them to see how my expectations of them are now THAT much higher.

My whole "flipped classroom" environment has changed.  Students are working that much harder to achieve and my flipped classroom has taken on a whole new level of deeper learning and achieving.  I am implementing even MORE new things next week, and check out my blog next week because I have something HUGE planned for my students....can't say anything yet, because it's a surprise, but it'll be's an idea I got from Kim Bearden!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week Twelve - Nov 26-30, 2012

Another great week!

We spent class time Monday working with my studnets on their new iPhone 4's.  It's surprising to me the lack of knowledge there is with this device.  I had assumed they kids would know what they were doing already, and they don't!  It's just more proof that we can't assume kids know technology just becuase they're surrounded by it.

Tuesday we went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  We had every student bring their iphone and they were tasked with taking photos while at the musuem, so that when they got back to school they could prepare a slideshow to show what they had learned.  It was so exciting to me to see the amazement in the student's eyes as they walked around the museum.  They took in every single exhibit.  And even more, every student now has personal memroies documented from the trip because for the first time ever, every student was able to have thier own camera at their disposal.  It was also great to get a compliment from the museum staff as we left about how impresed they were with our students behavior and that not many shools bring kids that are excited or interested as ours were!

Wednesday through Friday I wasn't at school.  I was afforded the opportunity to attend the Ron Clark Academy ( in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was life changing.  You can check out all what went down in Georgia at my trip blog,