Exploring the MTBoS

exploreMTBoS_zpsf2848a9aThe MathTwitterBlogosphere has been so helpful and inspirational to me that I really wanted to try to give back and participate a little in the challenges over the next few weeks.  I don’t promise to be inspirational or even good – just to make an effort to participate!  If you’d like to participate – check out the challenges here.

How my classroom is unique to me?  

Well – to be honest, I’m not sure its completely unique to me because I am the queen of stealing borrowing ideas from others.  My table numbers and bins are completely stolen from Shelli (@druinok – queen of Made4Math Mondays.)  Other things though I’d like to think of as my own ideas – although they could be stolen too!  Please let me know if I need to give one of you credit for one of these.

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Wall decorations – I had tons of math t-shirts (what you get for any and all occasions when you’ve taught for 28 years)  so I decided that they’d be great wall decorations.


My kids like them and they hold up great year to year.



The other unique thing (at least at my school) that I do is that I have a “Shining Knights” board (see the far orange spot on my bulletin board – it was early in the year when I took this – no one up there yet.)  We’re the “Black Knights” so that’s where the name comes from.  When a student gets an A on a test, scores a winning touchdown or just does something special for a classmate their picture goes up on the board.  Yes – I take and print all of their pictures!  Its a great help for learning their names at the beginning of the year.  They complain a little about having their picture taken but they always want to be on the board.  Parents love it when they come to visit too.



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Now I’m going to double dip a bit and share a Made4Math project that I did last weekend too!  It was originally a jar intended for straws (or soaking hair combs as one of my students pointed out.)  I turned it into a jar for pencils.  (Disclaimer – not my original idea.  One of my colleagues got one from her mom last year for Christmas.  Another stolen idea!)   I did etch the glass with my name which I think makes it look cool!

2013-09-30 07.59.08So nothing earth shattering here – but I do love my space.  Making your classroom your own whether it be by something you do (a friend has dance party Friday) or how you decorate encourages your kids to see you as an individual and helps build those all important relationships!  Just like connecting with others online does!  Love my friends on the MTBoS.  Looking forward to many more explorations!



    • Pari on October 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Nice post. I love the pictures of your room. I especially like the pencil holder and having your name etched in it. I think this would make a great gift. I teach at a university and depending on cost, maybe I can get one made for each of our secondary math ed graduates. Not sure on etching the name for them though; would they want it to say Mr. or Ms. Smith or their first name? Maybe a coupon can be made that they redeem. My brother in law works at a place that can do the names.

    Question on the shining knights board. Do you get all the students up there at some point during the year?

      • lbburke on October 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I’m thinking of giving a few pencil holders out as gifts myself. I have a student teacher this year and she may get one at the end of her practicum. You could always just etch “Pencils” on it if you didn’t want to commit to their name!
      I do try to get all of the kids pictures on the board at some point in the year. I sometimes find a project or something similar that they do that gives me the opportunity to get them on the board. I also will just put them up there for their perseverance. I did that with a kid last year. Told him that he had worked so hard and shown such great patience and persistence in learning that he deserved to be there. He was pretty proud to tell everyone that he made the board for his overall efforts as a student.

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