Sunday, December 11, 2016

Classroom Freebies Too!

If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to change it up in the classroom. When you are excited about a new activity, your students will be too.  It's a win-win situation.

For new ideas that won't break the bank, check out Classroom Freebies Too! Several freebies are posted each and every day.
My "Be the Teacher" freebie is featured on there today. You can check it out here.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Turkeys - A Math Craft

Bulletin Boards are a big thing in elementary school. Last year I focused on Keeping It Simple with bulletin boards. I made it a point to display items that could stay up for several months. You can check out those posts here and here. I did not alway have a keep it simple mantra. There were many a year where I changed out my bulletin boards every month.  These turkeys were a particular November favorite.

As my district embraces the guided math model in grades K - 8, I am reevaluating all of my lessons/activities. Although this turkey activity would not be considered a traditional center activity, I see no reason why it couldn't be used during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. 

When we created these turkeys, we were learning about order of operations. But you could use them for just about any topic. You could put a fraction on the body and equivalent fractions on the feathers. You could use it during a measurement unit. Have the students write a number of meters on the body and the equivalent centimeters, kilometers, etc on the feathers. The possibilities are endless. 

Then instead of hanging them up, send them home. What better way to show parents what their children are learning than to send home a craft that highlights the current math topic. These turkeys could also be used as a formative assessment. They clearly show each child's level of understanding of the order of operations. 

Do you use seasonal guided math centers? I would love for you to share below.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday - September 20

I am excited to be joining Stephanie from Forever in 5th Grade for her Show and Tell Tuesday.
It's been a long time since I have blogged. At the beginning of the summer I applied for a job within my district. A job that would take me out of the classroom. I found out just before school started that I got the job! 

So this is were the majority of my classroom supplies ended up.

All my school stuff that I didn't throw away or leave for my replacement, ended up in the storage space under my kitchen. Ugh! Now what do I do with it?

Don't forget to head over to Forever in 5th Grade and check out what everyone else is up to.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Keep It Simple: Classroom Door Display

Last summer when I was searching for some inspiration on Pinterest, I found this adorable door display.
(click image to go to original pin)

I knew I just had to do it. 

I put this display up before Open House and kept it up all year.  This picture was taken at the end of the year so the flower had wilted a bit. I laminated the saying so I could use it again.

Our team is departmentalized so I teach math to all the fifth graders. I had each student decorated a hand print on the first day of school. They could decorate it any way they wanted. My only requirement was that they put their name on the front.  Prior to the last day of school, I had a student helper take down all the hand prints and return them to each student. The hand prints were a nice souvenir of our year together.

Do you decorate your classroom door? What is your favorite display?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday - June 22nd.

I am happy to be linking up again with Stephanie from over at Forever in 5th Grade. Her Show and Tell Tuesday is so much fun. I love getting a peek into what other teachers are up to in and outside the classroom.

After our first round of state testing I had my students take a break and make some play dough. We talked about how kneading the play dough can help relieve stress and tension from testing. I wasn't sure if my 5th graders would buy into it. Not only did they love it but also several parents commented on what a great idea it was and how the students would use it at home.
The recipe is very simple. Two parts cornstarch to one part conditioner. Any cheap scented conditioner works great. I added a few drops of food coloring to the bottle of conditioner to make the color a bit brighter. I students loved it and the classroom smelled amazing. That's a win-win in my book.
For a more detailed recipe description go here.

That's all I have this month. It has been super jam-packed and I have not had a second to think about taking pictures as I go. I hope to be better next month.

Don't forget to check out all the other show and tells over at Forever in 5th Grade!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Shares

Looking for a quick and easy assignment that is sure to get your students excited about reading? Head over to Focused on Fifth and check out my post on book shares.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Keep It Simple: Free Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

In my district, Mother's Day is the Sunday before our second and final wave of testing. To say to we have limited time to stop and do something creative is an understatement. At the same time, I don't want high stakes testing to suck the fun out of the school year any more that it does. Plus, moms deserve to be recognized!

So here are some simple Mother's Day ideas that won't take too much time but I'm sure any mother will appreciate. And they are all FREE!

This first idea comes for Adventures of a Schoolmarm. Her Mother's Day Mini Book is perfect for upper elementary students.
click on the image to get the freebie!
Your students can personalize the pages and add an unique cover. 

Valerie Steinhardt also has a free Mother's Day gift idea. Her Ice Cream Scoop Book is an adorable craft and writing project. 
click on the image to get the freebie!
For the younger grades, The Teacher Gene has this adorable Mother's Day Poem.
click on the image to get the freebie!
Just add the child's hand print and signature and you are done.

Here is a tried and true one. The Mother's Day Coupon Book.  Michelle Harper has a cute free printable you can use.
click on the image to get the freebie!

As sad as it is to think of, some students don't have mothers, so Mother's Day can be tricky. I usually speak to the child individually and suggest they make a Mother's Day card for another special woman in their life, such as a grandmother or aunt. But sometimes just having it say "Mother's Day" can be too much for a student. So in my Mother's Day freebie I included a card that reads "Happy Spring" and a blank one for students who prefer not to make a "Mother's Day" card.

 This one was made for the child's grandmother
Lifting the petal reveals the kind words underneath 
You can get this for free here.

How do you help your students celebrate Mother's Day? I would love for you share your Mother's Day gift ideas in the comment section below.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Keep It Simple: Bulletin Boards part 2 and a freebie!

In an effort to Keep It Simple, I decided to change my main bulletin board only three times this year. You can see my first two bulletin boards here.

Now that spring has arrived I needed to take down my fraction snowmen.
I can't say that I am sad to see them go. I am looking forward to warmer weather and lots of sunshine.

Last year we had 11 snow days! (That is not a typo) and when spring approached I was just starting my fraction unit. So I used these fraction flowers to have the students demonstrate their understanding of adding and subtracting fractions.

On each of the five petals the students had to give two equivalent fractions, draw a picture of their fraction, create an additions problem and a subtraction problem that equaled their fraction. If you are interested in a free copy of this activity, you can get it here.

This year I finished my fraction unit just as spring arrived. Knowing that my previous flower activity would not be a challenge for my students, I gave it an update.
This time the students need to create an equivalent fraction, an addition problem, a subtraction problem, a multiplication problem and a division problem. We pretty much reviewed our entire unit on this one flower!
I love the division problem that this student created. It difficult to see since they colored the section in grey but it says 5 ÷ 10. I love that they remembered that a whole number divided by a larger whole number can be converted to a fraction to solved it. Most students divided a fraction by a fraction to create their problem. 

I used these flowers as a center activity just before our test on dividing fractions. Even though my students are in 5th grade they still love to color. They also love having their work displayed. 

This was a great way to check for student understanding. A few students needed to go back and make corrections but overall they did really well. 

Would you like a copy of my updated fraction flower? Click the image below.

How do you keep it simple in the classroom? I would love to hear your time saving tips in the comment section below.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Divisibility Rules Freebie!

Whether you are teaching division or fractions your students need to know the divisibility rules. Throughout the the year I stress with my students the importance of number sense.

With the switch to Common Core and the division algorithm being moved to 6th grade I hold off on teaching the divisibility rules until our fraction unit. Simplifying fractions can be a struggle for students. The divisibility rules can help.

 There are three different page 2's in this freebie. It makes it easy to differentiate your lesson based on how much you want your students to write.
This notebook page has the rules and examples provided. I just had the student highlight the key words and examples. For others, I used the page that omitted the examples and had the students come up with their own. Would you like a copy of these pages? You can get it for free here.

Do you use an interactive notebook in your math class? How do you use them to differentiate instruction? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

New Product and a Giveaway!

I make so many games and activities for the students in my classroom but I always struggle with getting them TpT ready. Well, I finally finished my KABOOM! Dividing Fractions Game.

My students cannot get enough of KABOOM!. They seriously ask to play it every time we do centers. It has definitely motivated me to get moving and make some more games.

My favorite way to display the games is with these wonderful containers. You can wrap them in colorful duct tape like I did or just use them as is.
The KABOOM! slips fit perfectly inside.
It makes it easy for the students to reach in and grab their next slip.
You can also store your slips in these containers.
I have so many KABOOM! games that I prefer to store them flat in a storage container. I put the slips in a zipper bag and paper clip the answer key to it. Then I lie it flat in the storage bin. That way I don't have tons of cans everywhere. I have a few empty ones on a shelf that I fill with the choosen KABOOM! game of the day.

Would you like to win my KABOOM! Dividing Fractions Game?  Enter below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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