Aug 032012

This year I am trying to make my classroom more personal and less institutional. So many math classrooms are can be described and “lacking a personal touch,” I think because as math teachers we don’t realize just how much that personal touch is missed.

I know when I was in college, we spent so much time working problems and figuring out methods to simplify a complex issue into a simpler issue. In grad school taking my teaching classes, the courses were about methods of teaching and learning, not about classroom management and work flow.

To that end, I need to make my classroom more …. Me.

So, my short little My Favorite Friday post today is on a couple of things I am doing to make my classroom about me and about math (And those in the peanut gallery keep down about how that last sentence is a tautology and doesn’t make sense. 🙂

First off. I have many Seniors. They are under the impression that you go to college once, and never again. They also are under the impression that community colleges are somehow not as good as universities. To show just how wrong both impressions are, I hunted down a banner from every college / university I have attended and did this:

2012-07-30 12.02.47

From left to right, it is the banner from Mesa Community College, where I did not graduate from, but did attend for 2 years before transferring credits to Knox College. I then attended the University of Iowa and later the University of Reno, NV. To the right I have my degrees and my license in frames.

The goal isn’t to brag, but so show the seniors (and juniors) that learning is lifelong and you should never stop, as well as where you start does not matter. What matters is the effort you put into your learning.

The other MyFavFri is a new company I discovered that does some pretty amazing things. It is called Moo. Yes that is right, Moo. They are a full color printer of cards, stationary, etc. How that differs from a company like Vistprint is in the full color. VistaPrint usually does 4 color work very cheaply, but Moo is doing full color work.

They end up being a bit pricier, but the results are better. For instance, I ordered the following “Mini-Cards” from them. Minicards are about 1/2 the size of a business card.

Einstein Cards  Gauss Cards

The top teal part is the front of the card, while the bottom part is the back of the cards. You can tell these images are from money (I found the images here) and they will be printed in full color with all the details of the original image. I recommend you order, for FREE, a sample pack. I did, the quality is beyond compare. I am proud to have my name and website on the quality of these materials. I can’t say that about the school provided cards.

Again, the idea is to personalize the materials in my classroom to be uniquely me and high quality, not just “boring math.”

Now I just need to paint some walls, I think. hmm…..

  3 Responses to “#MyFavFriday–Personalizing my classroom”

  1. I love the idea about the college pennants! I need to mention that to the AVID Site Team! Thanks so much for sharing a window into your classroom!

  2. Your “learning” wall is great! Our AVID teachers display college pennants, but I don’t think they discuss the school(s) they attended, so I will definitely share the great idea with them. And I was just thinking about your business card idea, but I guess I now need to check out Moo… Thanks!

  3. Thank you for the comments! I have ordered things from several other business card companies, and has some of the highest quality printing I have seen. And FAST too. I ordered them on Wednesday, they were shipped on Friday.

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