November 10, 2015

Pencils in the Classroom-Nightmare or Daydream?

Hi everyone! It has been a few months, but I am back for good. Today I want to share with you an idea that is brilliant! I hated handling pencils in my classroom. Students always lost them or over sharpened them and they always always needed a new one. What a nightmare! I've tried many things over the last decade and this one finally solved my problem. I stumbled over this idea on someone's blog, so if it is your amazingness that I am sharing, let me know!

Simply write the student number or name on the end of the pencil and hand them out at the beginning of the month. At the end of the month if they still have their pencil, then they get a reward! I do this every month. So simple and brilliant! I very seldom have students lose their pencil or visit the sharpener too often. 

Have a fabulous day!!

August 22, 2015

Math Flipped Classroom at a Low Income School

Hi bloggers! I'm going to link up with the awesome Holly for...

and to a new and fun linky I found...

You definitely need to check them both out!

On to flipping...

Have you ever wanted to try flipping your classroom? Then this post is just for you! I do what I call an "in-class" flip. Many of my students have no internet access at home, so I have flipped my math lessons by using the math workshop rotations.

First off, let me tell you about my classroom. I am going on my third year of having a 1:1 Chromebook classroom, BUT YOU ONLY NEED 5-6 DEVICES to flip your classroom! I've been flipping my math lessons for over a year now and it has been awesome for both my high and low students. This year I have 23 students (isn't that low number awesome?) so I have seperated them into 4 differentiated groups. These groups go through 4 rotations, which are:

-Math Facts

-At Your Seat

-Teacher Time

-Hands On Practice

At the Math Facts station, the students simply practice their facts. Every. Single. Day. This is a must. Hands On Practice is where the students practice the topic we are studying at the moment with task cards or games.

What I really want to talk about is the At Your Seat rotation. My students watch a video I have created using on their Chromebooks.

The first bunch of videos are free to create, but then you do have to purchase a license for $100 to continue making videos. My principal happily purchased this for me using technology money.

Each video is a lesson. For instance, we are doing addition and subtraction right now. I have 4 addition videos that walk my students through addition. The videos are SUPER EASY to create. I use the app on my iPad so I can write with my finger during the video. The app is awesome and is the only way to go when creating a video. Here is an exmple of one of my videos we watched this week. I was distracted and made a mistake on the first problem, but caught my mistake after a few seconds. My students loved that I had made a mistake :) It was pretty funny. Enjoy!

 My daughter talked at the first and sometimes leaves messages for my students. They love it :) The above video is the second lesson in the topic, so we have already went through vocab and walking through the steps. My videos gradually climb up the Higher Order Thinking ladder, so by lesson 4 or 5 they are doing more creating and evaluating.

After the students watch the video, they go to the Teacher Time rotation. This is where we do the assignment. I sit with them at my group table and I challenge the high group and help the lower groups. 

By doing an in-class flip in the classroom, my students are getting me twice during math. I also love it because if I have a student gone one day, they can easily watch the video the next day.

Okay, I know I have missed something. So please let me know! Have a great weekend!

August 15, 2015

Multiplication Facts Review with Card Games

School is back in full swing, which means I will have more to blog about! I am the exact opposite of most teacher-bloggers out there because I don't like blogging during the summer. Especially this summer, because I had a beautiful baby girl in May and I spent most of my time cuddling!

I'm going to link up with my BBB Holly for Tried It Tuesday! I know I am late to the party, but oh well!

So, math facts. I always start the year off reviewing multiplication facts. I found this little beauty on Amazon for $8 and couldn't resist. I am loving it already!

We have only played one game so far, but the excitement and motivation going on in the room was amazing! I had only planned on 30 minutes to introduce the activity and play, but the kids were having so much fun (and computing like crazy) that I let them go an extra 20 minutes! We could have went longer, but the fire drill was going to happen :) I can't wait to introduce more games next week.

Have a great Saturday!

June 2, 2015

Currently and Monday Made It: Writing Journals

Hey everyone! I need to start posting more than once a month :) Oh, life gets busy with a newborn, a 3 year old, and 6 year old. Maybe I should feel lucky I am posting at least once a month! Haha!

On to the post. I am doing a double-dip today with Farley's Currently and Tara's Monday Made It. I love both of these and am excited to go explore the link-ups.

I loved my students this year! One way this class was different from the other classes I've taught in the last 10 years is the way this class LOVED to write! It was fabulous! So I am going to link up with Tara for Monday Made It to share our writing journals!

One day we were talking and one student said they wanted a writing journal to keep all their "stuff" so I brainstormed aloud with them and this is what we developed!

Superhero Writing Journals! I made the covers and we simply put lined paper behind with a colored page on the back. We also made a little pocket on the back cover to keep "other" writing like posters and mini-books.

The students LOVED these! I made a bunch of different formats of the writing journals (half-sized, full sized, etc.) The kids get a different cover and journal each month to collect their writing. Sometime soon (hopefully) I will post on how easy my Writing Center is. 

You know what? I am in the giving mood :) if you would like a copy of my Superhero Writing Journal, leave a comment with your email and I will pick a few winners! Hope you have a fabulous day!!

May 4, 2015


I love Farley's Currently! I am a few days late this month...oh, well. Here you go!!

April 22, 2015

Brain Break Ideas!

Do you give your students Brain Breaks during the day? How about during testing? Well, if you do, but haven't tried GoNoodle for these Brain Breaks, then you are missing out!

Your class gets to choose a Champ to represent them. They start out as just little tiny dudes!

As soon as the class has completed 10 activities, their champ gets an upgrade and grows! My students LOVE when they get an upgrade!

 After 5 upgrades your class is awarded with a certificate to print out and display. Then you choose another champ. We have a new champ about every 4 weeks.

 The activities to do are endless!  Crazy-fun songs, Zumba, fitness challenges, track and field events, stretching, yoga, and more! The GoNoodle team keeps adding more and more too!

The activities take in all ages. My 3 year old and 5 year old love playing at home and my 4th grade students love it too! 

I'm linking up with Holly on this one! Make sure to go check out the other awesome Tried it Tuesday! links. Have a great week and good luck with testing!!!!

March 27, 2015

The Gallon Guy...or Girl

I'm sure MANY of you have used the Gallon Guy/Man/Girl in your classroom. Me too! I use it to teach the awesome concept of capacity in the customary measurement system. But I do it a bit different than others because I don't use a template that is copied. I simply use half sheets of construction paper and we fold and cut to get the right amount. Everything is cut out of different colored half sheets. I (over) emphasize that all the measurements are equal to a gallon. Since each different measurement is cut out of a different colored sheet that is the same at the beginning, the students are able to see how many quarts/pints/cups are in a gallon. I don't know if I am making sense. Let me show you what I mean.

We started with 4 half sheets of different colored construction paper.

The first we left whole and wrote:
1 Gallon
=4 quarts
=8 pints
=16 cups
(no picture, sorry)

Then we took the next color, folded it into fourths, and wrote 1 quart on each fourth. Then we talked about how this is the same capacity as 1 gallon (because the papers are the same size). Then we cut it and place it on top of the gallon paper.

We did the same to the pints, but cut them in eighths :)

And then we did cups, but I didn't get a picture. Sorry.

Then we glued the dude together! The students LOvEd it!

Oh! Everyone got a "head" for their little guy that was 1/4 of a piece of construction paper. The students immediately made the connection to a half gallon. It was awesome!

And here are the finished product before I put them in the hallway. 

I love incorporating hands-on activities! How do you teach capacity?

March 15, 2015

Peek at My Week - 4th Grade Lesson Plans

I haven't linked up with Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten for her Peek at My Week linky in a long time. I LOVE this linky and am happy to be linking up this week!!

I went through the Lucky You! Blog Hop and I seriously felt LUCKY! So many awesome bloggers with amazing freebies. (If you haven't hit it, you better hurry fast!) Anyway, these freebies are going to be added to my week as soon as I get to school and have access to my printer and can laminate :) So, here are my plans (so far) for the week. Click no the pictures to view.

Have a fabulous week!

February 16, 2015

Different Ways to Learn Vocabulary in the Classroom

Graffiti Word Wall 

Graffiti Criteria
1- Word is drawn using bubble letters
2- Definition in own words
3- At least three images representing vocabulary
4- All white space colored in

I like the idea of a Graffiti Word Wall! The creativity is a great way to promote learning. The only thing I don't like is the fact that I would like each kid to do each word to help their understanding, but who has time for that? This might be a great activity to do after the vocab has been learned or at the end of a unit.

Crossword Puzzles

I REALLY like this idea! Have the students use their own definitions for the words and create their own styled puzzle.

This is a fun idea from Devoted to Vocabulary Development

February 7, 2015

Multiplication Facts Practice

Hey, hey awesome teacher blog world! I am dropping in today to tell you about our fabulous facts practice and linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her helpful Spark Student Motivation linky.

 Every term we do a different celebration for students who are passing off their math facts. Some of my students are working on addition facts still, most are on multiplication and a few are on division facts. During the 2nd term we were working towards an ice cream sundae party. This term we are working towards a movie party with treats (pictures to come).

Each student received an sundae page that was their ticket to getting some goodies. Every time they passed off a fact I marked the fact off and they were able to color it! They LOVED coloring in each section!

Some students passed everything off and some only passed a few off. All the students passed off at least enough to get one scoop and one topping.

I created a Google Doc where parents could sign up to bring certain items for our celebration. I have awesome parents and everything was donated! I even had three volunteers come in and help serve up the sundaes. It was a blast!

Now, to the particulars...
My students have a "Math Facts" rotation in our Math Groups where they practice the fact they are on or review their facts EVERY DAY! This has helped my class tremendously. In years past, I have never made my students practice daily and I can really see a difference this year. To practice we use the site, flashcards, and math fact card games. 

Every Tuesday during our intervention time the students have the opportunity to take 4 math fact timed tests. I use the drills from Multiplication and Division Boot Camp by Teacher Chick to have them practice.

I give the students 45 seconds to complete the drill. They have to pass it off starting at the top and then pass it off again starting from the bottom. This way they can't just memorize the order :) The set also come with a BUNCH of fun games for the students. We actually started the year off by going to "Boot Camp" and used this. It was a blast and set up our math practice for the rest of the year.

December 1, 2014

December Currently

Oh Farley, how I love your currently!

November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Math Fun!!

I was absolutely stumped as what to do for math on Tuesday. There are usually quite a few students missing, but I wanted to do something meaningful. The BEST idea popped into my head in the middle of the night (do you ever have that happen?) and so off to our local small town grocery store I went before school started.

The students LOVED the activity and asked do it again!

Here is the scoop...

12 grocery store ads (Thanksgiving edition) + Paper and Pencils + Thanksgiving Dinner List = Math Funness

We made our list of our Thanksgiving favorites and how much 1 person would eat of each item. Then I told the students they needed to plan a Thanksgiving feast for 10 people using the store ad. I told them they had only $50 and needed enough of each item for each person. Every student was required to do the math.

It was a blast! We were dividing, multiplying, adding, subtracting over and over again. The conversations that were going on were priceless. And the real-world application was perfect.

A couple groups finished early and I told them they have 5 more people coming, but they only get $60. Off they went with determination.

We all loved it and the students asked if they get to plan a Christmas feast!