I’m teaming up today with a dear veteran from Paw Paw’ s Workshop to host a giveaway.
He makes beautiful teachers’ name plaques. Wouldn’t that make a wonderful personalized Christmas gift for you teacher bestie or mentor/mentee?! Well, we are giving away one of these very name plaques pictured above! You can also visit Paw Paw’s Etsy store to see other examples of his work.
To enter to win this name plaque, all you have to do is:
- follow my TPT store here,
- and follow my blog through either Facebook or Twitter .
- Then just leave me a comment below to let me know that you followed my blog and TPT store.
The contest will start today and end Thursday, December 5th. On December 6th, I will announce the lucky winner!!
I know I can usually be found stooping over the $5 bin of Christmas music in Wal-Mart this time of year because nothing brings the feeling of Christmas around more than Christmas music!! Because of this I want to share with you some beautiful Christmas music that a friend of mine wrote. All of the songs are ABSOLUTELY, breathtakingly, beautiful! They have the sound of the Transiberian Orchestra! The whole album is only $5.99, and it was just released today–December 1–to download on iTunes!! The special part about the album is that half of the proceeds are given to charity–St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Arkansas Children’s Hospital if you purchase the album through iTunes . That means that you are giving sick children $3 and really only paying $3 for the music itself. Below is a video about why the writer is giving half of the profits to charity. I’ve already downloaded mine!! :)
Well, with large numbers this is something that my fellow colleagues did not feel comfortable teaching. And when that happens…who steps in?? None other than The Mathemagician…ta-da! (which is me of course, but shhh don’t tell anyone!!)…I’ve been off for a few days as I write this, which makes me a little sillier than normal–and probably slightly more interesting! So, on with my lesson! Now just remember when I post these pictures it is not a beautiful, I spent weeks preparing, colorful, lesson. This is a practical lesson anyone could use whether you are savvy with a computer or not. (I may turn this lesson into something more aesthetically pleasing later on.) The part that stumped the teachers was the fact that the standard says “up to 4-digit dividends”.
CCSS.Math.Content.4.NBT.B.6 Find whole-number quotients and remainders with up to four-digit dividends and one-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.
I had to think myself about how to teach this before I spouted off a lesson idea. (I know I am supposed to be the math expert in my building, but, honestly, I have to look up what exactly common core is expecting before I assume I know what a standard is asking students to do.) I looked at North Carolina Unpacked–my go to document for what common core expects…
So , I was out walking my dog and I just happened to notice this clump of straw on the ground in my yard. My curiosity made me stoop down and pick it up. To my surprise, I found a bird nest!!!! I’ve seen bird nests before, but somehow I’m always amazed at the work that a little bird did making such a sturdy structure. The nest was soft like a bed on the inside but the nest walls had mud packed in to the sides to help strengthen it. More coarse grassy materials were on the outside. Birds–little engineers! Yep…nothing mathematical to share at all here except there were 0 eggs in the nest. Needless to say I brought this to school to share with a teacher who could use it in her science lesson. Just the secrecy of what was in the cardboard box I carried around on the way to delivery caused plenty of kid curiosity.
Reflex Math…I LOVE IT! Kids LOVE it! In case you aren’t familiar with Reflex, it is a computer program that web based and helps students learn their math facts. The computer program is like a video game so it is very engaging to kids. I wrote more about Reflex math here. I am always trying to think of ways to encourage students to be a little more competitive about learning their facts, so I host a contest every quarter. We just finished our first Reflex contest a few weeks ago. While the contest was going on, I created a bulletin board with the students who were in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place weekly. I also announced these students every week. When the contest was over, I posted the students photographs on the bulletin board with their names.
I also posted the students’ fluency certificates on the wall beside the bulletin board.
When students earn a certificate, they get to pick out a prize. A teacher at my school met one of the representatives from Reflex at a conference this summer and the representative gave her lots of free prizes. The kids especially love the fake tattoos.
In case you don’t have Reflex at your school and you would like to try it out, they offer grants to teachers to try it out for free for 12 months.
This week, I was helping our kindergarten teachers gather some resources to teach counting by 1′s and counting by 10′s. I made these simple blank number charts that the kids could use with unifix cubes when counting. Because the vertical lines on the number chart for counting by 10′s are missing, this prompts students to group their blocks into a stick of ten for counting groups of ten. The squares are ¾ of an inch so they fit exactly with a snap cube or unifix cube. The counting by 10′s mat is made to fix ten unifix cubes exactly as well.
I am sharing these sheets for counting by 1′s and counting by 10′s with you (freebies)
I have to share what I have been working on with you all! I have been working at home on this for months. I finally finished my Telling Clock Time Lesson Plans and Activities Unit! I’ve been putting together all of the lessons I have used to teach time that have been tried by the fire of struggling learners. I will have to say by far it is the best thing I have posted on Teachers Pay Teachers yet! This is definitely the product for you if you are busy and teaching 2nd or 3rd graders about time.
Many of the lessons have links to videos or book suggestions…
There are 3 differentiated levels of small time booklets for students to fill out. There are lots of other differentiated lessons, too!
To teach elapsed time, there are directions for building a linear clock. You can read more about the linear clock here.
There are card sorts, games, and center activities. This card sort is a freebie!
There are suggestions of ways to teach that will help steer students away from misconceptions about clock time.
And there are clock labels for your classroom clock…
And so much more!
And that’s not even all that’s included!
You can find out more about the time unit here.
I am putting this unit on sale for two days–Monday, November 11th through Tuesday, November 12th–at half price…so scoop it up while the sale lasts!
Every year we recognize students who scored proficient or above on our state test. We think of a theme and build a wall around it. Our principal usually is the one who decides on a phrase for the year. This year she coined the phrase “Ignite and Inspire (our school’s name) is on Fire”. I really can’t take credit for all the decoration because several people were involved in the whole project.
If you have been following my blog for long you will remember our Olympic themed bulletin board from last year…well we put all that yellow, orange, and red cellophane to good use again for this year! Oh, and the Christmas lights that we made the fire out of…yep, we used them again too, but in the rocket flame this time…see….
Then to recognize all of our kids, we took their pictures and placed them on little fireballs.
We got the glitter scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby and our whole staff helped cut most of them. One of our teachers freehanded the stencil for the fireball. (how talented!)
Here is an up close view of a fireball…this one turned out lopsided. I’m not sure why I chose to take a close up of it????
Finally the hallway view…
Since some of our students are struggling with estimation, I’m thinking of bringing in a few pictures, that might help put estimation in perspective. While out today at the grocery store, I came across estimation.
The sign said, “About 15 items.”
Oh, my gosh! What does that mean? I have 21 items in my cart! Can I still go through the line? The cashier looks haggardly and tired. Is 15 about 20? Is 21 about 20?
I think I will be okay going through the line with 21 items and without a fuss . Smooth sailing!
Then I found estimation again on a can of almonds.
The can displayed, “About 28 nuts.”
I’m on a diet. Does that mean I can have 45 for the same calories? No, I don’t think so. I think that 45 is close to 50. I know that 25 doubled would be about 50 and 28 is close to 25. What about 30? Would 30 be about 28? Yes, 28 is only 2 away from 30. I think I could have about 30 nuts for the same amount of calories!
I’m on a diet to teach estimation!
Having conversations like this reasoning about numbers will be my plan for this week!