Hello, 7th grade.

Friends, neighbors, mathematicians! I have an exciting announcement to make.

No. I haven’t forgotten that I have a blog. I’ve just been a tad busy with growing/birthing/feeding the most precious tiny human in the history of the world.

But I digress.

I’m moving to 7th grade! 

Yep. Call me crazy, but I’m really pumped about this new adventure.

I spent a little bit of time in a 7th grade classroom during my time at Auburn, and I absolutely loved it. And since I’m suffering from mom brain and hurrying to finish this during nap time…

REASONS I’M EXCITED. (In list form.)

  1. The content is super fun. Hello, unit rates, negative numbers, scale drawings? Yes, please.
  2. Illustrative Mathematics curriculum! Can’t wait to work my way through this awesome FREE resource.
  3. Our middle school has got it going on. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work alongside some fabulous teachers.
  4. Seventh graders are hilarious and awkward and stinky and wonderful. Amen. (In all seriousness, 7th grade is such a formative time. I’m super excited to be a part of my students’ growth and discovery.)
  5. ONE PREP. (*ish) Technically, I have 2 preps since I have an advanced section of 7th grade, but still. It’s a very welcome change after being used to having three preps every term.  I’m really looking forward to having a little more focus.
  6. A fresh start. As much as moving classrooms is annoying, it’s forcing me to reorganize and be more thoughtful about my classroom set up. Big thanks to Angela Watson and the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek for giving me some good direction.
  7. I get to be a little goofy. Maybe? I’m hoping that I’ll feel the freedom to bring my silly side out a little more with the younger kiddos.
  8. I’m the only 7th grade math teacher. And while that might be a tad lonely, I’m SO thankful for the community of educators I’ve found online. I don’t know what I’d do without the #MTBoS. (Besides probably cry and quit.) BUT — this means I’ll get to see the entire 7th grade class in my room. That’s exciting!
  9. I get my students for the whole year. I’m used to changing classes every semester, and don’t get me wrong, sometimes that can be nice. But it can also be tough to really dive into the content and build deeper relationships. I think it will be SO nice to have more time them.
  10. Change. Change is good sometimes and this change is coming at a really great point for me. I’ll be fresh back from maternity leave and I know that leaving my little boy is going to be tough. On the flip side though, I have so many things to look forward to as I’m coming back to work. In my third year of teaching, I’m getting to experience something completely new and I’ve got a good feeling about it. I think 7th grade is going to be a great adventure!


I’m hoping to share my journey by blogging/tweeting/gramming about it as much as I can. Looking forward to doing this thing with y’all!

first day fun.



I’ve been thinking A LOT about my first first day of school–and thanks to the trusty interwebs I’ve found tons of great ideas. Dan Meyer really came to the rescue and put the word out for me. (How cool is that?!).

So, after doing a significant about of internet exploring/stalking, these are some of the ideas I’m going to try to incorporate into my first day.


As they come in…

Math is like ____ from @MrOrr_geek. I love this idea. I want to encourage my students to get creative and also get a read on their mindsets about math. I’m thinking I’ll give them bright colored sticky notes and then display them on a poster or something.

This makes me laugh.

Next up…

Who I Am from @ddmeyerI may tweak this sheet a little bit, but I love the idea of letting my students tell me about themselves. Some teachers suggested keeping them and handing them back at the end of the year to see how much the students have changed. That sounds like fun!


Now let’s DO SOME MATH. 

Handshake-NetworkSupreme Court Handshake from @NCTMIllumI love this problem. There are so many different ways to attack it! I think it will be a great opportunity for the students to begin problem solving in groups and maybe talk about the Standards for Mathematical Practice.  I’m even thinking about having them act it out… depending on time.


Classroom Expectations. 

I copied @mathycathy (she has tons of great ideas here) and created a video with VideoScribe using their free 7-day trial. I’m not quite sure when I want to show it… but I do like that the video makes it kind of fun.


Exit Slip.

I want them to write me a note. I’m going to give them an index card and tell them they can use it to tell me anything they want. I’m hoping this will give students to open up, if they need/want to. Should I be more specific with the prompt??


Other Good Stuff.

I also really liked this. Talking Points & Math Mindset from @MathMinds. 

And this. First Day with Make it Stick, Plickers, & Jo Boaler from @jreulbach(I’m thinking I might have them read the Make it Stick for homework and then discuss it first thing on day 2. I can hear them already. “Reading? In Math??” I know. Lock me up.)


Things I’m not sure about. 

Timing. We’re on block schedule, so I’ll have about 90 minutes. I’m not sure what all I will have time for, but I’m going to have some backup ideas planned in case things go faster than I think.

Talking about group roles. This is super important, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time to address that day 1. Is that a bad thing? No idea. I’m thinking we could talk about it on day 2 after they spent some time working in groups on day 1. We shall see…

Exit slip prompt. Should I be more specific? I want to give the students freedom to say ANYTHING, but I’m afraid if I’m too vague they’ll say NOTHING. Thoughts?



My first day is August 8th. SO SOOON! When’s yours? What are you planning on doing?? I’d love to know.