Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sea Turtle Patrol and Slope

Two of my favorite things are the beach and math. This summer, I was able to enjoy them together with my first season of Turtle Patrol! Share the Beach is an organization of amazing volunteers that patrol the beaches from May until the end of August EVERY morning. Morning patrol, as it is called, looks for tracks or signs of mama sea turtles that have nested overnight. 

These are mama turtle tracks coming in and going back out to sea. Below, you will see tracks of one mama who could not make up her mind and went all over the beach searching for the perfect spot. 

Sea turtles are on the endangered species list partly because of habitat loss. Share the Beach volunteers assess where the turtle left her eggs and will follow guidelines set forth in making the decision to relocate nests to higher ground, if they are in danger of being inundated by storms. Enter Matt Ware, a doctoral candidate from Florida State University, who has spent three turtle seasons on Fort Morgan collecting data for his research. There are concerns with relocating nests to incubating environments different from where the nests were originally placed. His research deals with comparing the two nests' thermal profile, sand characteristics, and exposure to threats. There is SO much data! Volunteers take measurements of all the things when a nest is found. Data for the date, location by GPS, distance to high tide line, and nearest obstruction are recorded when a nest is found. If the decision is made to relocate, based on the Alabama Sea Turtle Conservation Manual's guidelines, more data is taken including new nest GPS location, distance moved, number of eggs, and the reason for relocation.

The research uses beach SLOPE between the nests to analyze all the things! Love this! All the fancy math can be seen with this article and PowerPoint from Hilary Stockdon. Matt Ware's research can be read here


Once the nests reach day 55, volunteers begin nest sitting at night. Stethoscopes are used to listen for movement once an indention starts forming at the center of the nest. Then the boil happens and the babies make their way to the water.

72 hours later, the nest is excavated to collect data on how many eggs were in the nest and their viability. 


And sometimes....there are still babies in the nest waiting to get out!

My morning patrol also had friends that I would rather not have met! And weather that you needed rain gear and your scared sister for! 


Share the Beach shared their turtle patrol with me and I am so thankful for a summer filled with new experiences and MATH LESSONS

Fine print: All photos obtained with permission from the US Fish and Wildlife Service under conditions not harmful to this or other turtles.


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Breakout Boxes for Team Building has a game for anyone and everyone! I love that their games span all content and ages. Two of my tried and true faves for team building are TEAMWORK and Elf.

I have used TEAMWORK the first week of school for the last couple of years. I love how it breaks the ice and makes kids comfortable to persevere right from the start. I have only ran the breakout as a whole class and I love how it is so telling of the class dynamics. Who the leaders are, who will speak up when they have an idea, who will organize the ideas and just have to sit back and observe.

Students learn quickly how to communicate and work together! It makes my teacher heart happy to see every time I do one!

The day before we get out for the holidays is always a great time for the ELF breakout. Students love the movie and are familiar with the locks so there is always high interest. Team building is an everyday thing in my classroom but big activities like these are perfect for end of quarter breaks.


I used's list of supplies and created my own box. Home Depot was super sweet to give me a deal on locks. I love all the different types of locks and had no idea some even existed like a directional lock! I have just kept adding to this collection whenever I see a cool lock.

I created my own breakout for Real Numbers and it was a LOT of work! It was so worth it though to watch my students solve the clues and get excited!


This year, I started a new position as Curriculum Leader and wanted to try a breakout during our back to school in-service with teachers to demonstrate how awesome it is.

They loved it just as much as the students did! They were also just as competitive wanting to know how the other groups did and who broke out the fastest!

AND THEN! The PE Teachers wanted to do one the first week of school and asked for help setting it up. Yesssss! I helped them with the first couple of classes and then they took over and rocked it!

The air conditioning was out in the gym so they were stuck in the cafeteria. A whole cafeteria of Boys' PE is definitely the biggest group I have ever played. But they spread out and got to work on their clues and then helped other groups when they finished. It was amazing!


This post is part of the MTBoS Blaugust Festival of Mathematics Blogging! Click the photo to be taken to some amazing math bloggers! You can still participate so go blog about your awesome classroom!


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Classroom {Office} Tour

This will be my first year without a classroom and I have to say it feels a little weird! I super LOVE reading all of the back to school blog posts, especially classroom tours! I am in love with my space and will never be able to thank my hubby enough. This is his 11th back to school classroom and he did not disappoint!


I went to pick up my key in July and asked where my classroom which I got laughter and shown this office. I knew I wanted to make it mine and that would include some flexible seating. The space is small so stand up tables seemed to be the best option. My vision is teachers collaborating and coming up with amazing things while they sit or stand. 

This table was the beginning and I had a specific color I wanted that Lowe's nor Home Depot nor Sherwin Williams had! Imagine that! So we invested in Annie Sloan and made our own. It turned out to be the perfect aqua color I was wanting. 



Did I mention how awesome this guy is? He makes all my Pinterest dreams come true! By giving more space to the table, I lost storage space. Big decisions had to be made about what was important to have in my ONE cabinet. 


Sizing down from a huge classroom with thousands of cabinets to an office left just a little in the storage unit! 


The TOROS are my new school's mascot. How super fun is this trophy Toro, that we even got to put together, for my wall?! I still have lots to do with finishing touches, including an amazing calendar that is coming soon. Binders for the shelves with all the things in them. A fake plant or lamp maybe for the empty spaces on the wall. But I love how it turned out and wanted to share it with you before we start back tomorrow. I am beyond excited to start a new position even though my heart is teaching math. Here is to the best year ever!

This post is part of the MTBoS Blaugust Festival of Mathematics Blogging! Click the photo to be taken to some amazing math bloggers! You can still participate so go blog about your awesome classroom!

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