## If You Teach 2nd or 3rd You Have Always Needed This!

Here is the tool you never knew you desperately needed! I finally finished my classroom wall number line. I measured it to be nearly 41 feet long. When I put this together at home it went down my hallway and then some. This number line spans from 1-120 and has base ten blocks underneath each number. There are also gray half marks in between the numbers so that the teacher can begin introducing students to fractions while still talking about whole numbers. This is sure to be a visual reference tool which will be useful ALL year long!

You can discuss comparing numbers, greater than/less than, ordering numbers, rounding numbers, ten more and ten less, one more and one less, etc!

This number line has clear instructions for assembly, can be printed on card stock, and laminated for durability.

## Have You Heard About this Great New Math Practice Site?

Tell everyone you know about this great new free animated website iknowit.com that helps elementary kids practice math skills by playing games. This site will remain FREE for at least the next year while improvements and more lessons are added. Iknowit was built by the makers of Super Teacher Worksheets and Modern Chalkboard, a SMART board lesson site.

The lessons give children immediate feedback so that they know if they have answered each question correctly or incorrectly. There are drill lessons for basic math facts–addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These lessons are timed. Then there are lessons based on progress in which students answer a certain amount of questions. Right now the lesson topics include addition, multiplication, division, time, money, fractions, and there are many more to come!

In the future as a teacher, you can log in and set up a class roster. You will be able to assign lessons, monitor student scores, and track their progress. You will also be able to adjust the number of hints children are allowed to have on each problem. Teachers will be able to set the amount of time students practice drills and set the number of questions a student must answer for a lesson.

Because this small business was set up by teachers, they value teacher’s and student’s constructive feedback as they venture forward with improvements to this site. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to give your input. Just imagine a website built with your feedback in mind

## Best Year Ever Back to School Sale on TPT! and GIVEAWAY!

TPT is having a back to school sale on August 1st and 2nd. During these days, everything in my store will be 28% off.

Also, I’m giving away a $10 TPT gift card to spend. Just register below to win :). I will announce the winner Tuesday morning!

## Are You Planning a Castle Themed Room? Look at This!

This past summer, I had an amazing experience teaching in a summer gifted camp. The kids were amazing, but even more so the people I worked with. Everyone had enthusiasm about teaching. With that enthusiasm came much creativity. There were dragons and castles everywhere. The front desk was decorated as a castle. All of the classroom doors were decorated as little drawbridge doors. I wish I could take credit for this marvelous idea, but the coordinators of the camp made us the materials and had the ideas. We just put the materials together. This is my door…

Now let me tell you about the gray rocks. These were an afterthought and another teacher friend made them and made enough for me. I used them, but after I started putting them on, I really didn’t like the look of them. See the other doors without the gray rocks. They look better don’t they?

Now the following door is the same door, but just with a different angle.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Those black paper chains are attached to the floor, and they won’t make it very long with kid traffic. You are correct! We did have an issue with those, however they mostly stayed in tact after three weeks of kid traffic–which was the length of the camp. One of my neighbor teachers attached the chains to the wall to keep them off of the floor. After the first day, the kids get the general idea of the castle theme and I think it is fine to attach them to a wall.

I hope this sparked an idea for your new door decoration idea for this coming school year!

## July Giveaway! Win a $75 and/or a $25 TPT Giftcard!

To celebrate over 350 followers in my TPT store I am teaming up with a group of my blogger friends to host a July giveaway. We are teaming up to giveaway a $25 and/or a $75 TPT gift card! Woohoo! Here are the details:

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

**Prize:**$25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

**Rules:**Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends

**7/16/16**and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Prize:** $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

**Co-hosts:** Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), Peas in a Pod, KB3Teach,The Bender Bunch, Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching, The Chocolate Teacher, Ms. K, Knowledge Mobile, The Education Diva, Mrs. Roltgen, Samson’s Shoppe, A Plus Kids, Simone’s Math Resources, Evil Math Wizard, Mickey’s Place, Love Believe Teach with Jo-Ellen Foody, Minute Mommy, Kamp Kindergarten, Planet Happy Smiles, Sara Rucker, Jackie Crews, The Literacy Garden, Karmen, Teachers Are Terrific, and Paula’s Preschool and Kindergarten on TpT

**Giveaway organized by: **An Apple for the Teacher

**Rules:** Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. Giveaway ends **7/13/16** and is open worldwide.

*Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? **Click here** to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!*

## Have You Read this Summer Must Have Book?

Before I tell you the name of the book, I must say that this book is second only to Fred Jones’s Tools for Teaching. I must tell you the whole story, though. I recently acquired a job teaching summer camp for GT learners. The heads of the camp have provided every child and teacher with a copy of a book and it’s associated workbook which helps teach character. I have seen this book for years on the shelves of bookstores at back to school time. I have thought to myself, “Self, you need to read this book!” However, I never bought it and never read it.

The book I am speaking of is Ron Clark’s The Essential 55. Have you read it? If not, YOU MUST READ this book before school begins. I guarantee it will change your school life! I have always known to teach procedures and even known that they need to be specific, but Mr. Clark takes his teaching a step further and teaches his children rules to be successful in life. Here is a peek at the table of contents:

While reading through this book, I have to even ask myself if I am following through with these rules in my own life. Teaching your students to follow these 55 rules for life will surely change your whole school year! In addition, Mr. Clark has written a workbook to accompany the book he has written so that students can have a chance to practice the specific procedures they have been taught–What a valuable resource! I will definitely use these next year.

Just look at this video, too, which emphasizes that school needs to prepare students for life which school seldom does.

## Do You Need a Great Parent Involvement Bulletin Board?

One of the last things my principal asked me to do before I left school for summer is to make a bulletin board to advertise our need for “Watchdog Dads”. Well, that is exactly what I did, but with a creative flair! We had some clocks lying around, so I decided to use the clock to make a watch on the wall with a little riddle.

As you can see the clock makes up the watch.

Then, I used push pens to attach the clock. The clock is just hanging on them.

My principal wanted me to use the T-shirts on the board…so here you have one with the shadow of a head stuck inside.

I hope this gets lots of fatherly attention for back to school! If you want to learn more about Watchdog Dads, you can go here!

## Use This Strategy to Easily Multiply Large Numbers and Fractions

You know the guys who easily multiply in their head who leave you picking your jaw up off of the floor? Well, these folks have special strategies. I am going to teach you one of these so that you can teach your students!

First, let’s look at this example with fractions. If you double ½ you get one. Instead of going through all of the steps it takes to multiply fractions, why not simply double the fraction and multiply? In the case of one half or any other fraction with an even denominator, this process is simple. ½ becomes 1. Then multiplying by 1 is super simple.

In the case of a denominator such as ¼, in the second example, you can double the number twice and halve the other number until you find a factor that is easy to multiply. ¼ doubled becomes ½ and ½ doubled becomes 1. As long as the other factor is easy to halve, this works great!

This may be done with mixed numbers as well. As long as one of the numbers is even, you can double the other.

Now let’s look at examples with whole numbers. Again, double one factor and halve the other. Hmmmm 6 x 24. I don’t know that in my head, but I do know that I can easily double 6 to 12 and halve 24 to 12. Wow! I do know 12 x 12! 144!

I will skip the next two examples (12 x15 and 25 x 16) because these are self-explanatory.

Let’s look at 6 x 32. If we double 6 and halve 32, we get 12 x 16. Still not an easy fact. Ok, I will try to double and halve again, and I get 24 x 8. Hmm, again I don’t know that one. Let’s try another time. We get 48 x 4. Whew! Still difficult. One more time. Ok, 96 x 2. To solve this problem, I will use a combination of strategies. First I know that 96 is 4 away from 100. If I have two groups of 4 away from 100, then I know that I will be 8 away from 200 because 96 is almost 100. If I take 8 away from 200, this gives me 192. Teach children through number talks etc. to think flexibly about numbers and ways to solve problems. By teaching children these strategies, you will become stronger at solving math problems in your head as well!

## Summer Giveaway Time! Win a $25 Amazon Giftcard!

While you are relaxing this summer, enter for a chance to win this sizzling summer giveaway– a $25 Amazon gift card! I have teamed up with a group of bloggers to offer this special giveaway to you!

**GIVEAWAY DETAILS:**

**Prize:**$25 Amazon Gift Card

**Co-hosts:**Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher) The Chocolate Teacher, Ms. K Math, Schoolhouse Treasures, Samson’s Shoppe, Jackie Crews, Sliding Into 1st, and The Literacy Garden

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.

a Rafflecopter

Giveaway ends 6/22/16 and is open worldwide.

*Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media? Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome groups of bloggers!*## Is Ladder Division Causing Your Students to Struggle? Try This!

When students struggle with ladder division, many times it is because they learned a procedure and haven’t made sense of the procedure for themselves. In this case students haven’t had enough experiences with division problems that are near friendly numbers so that they can reason about the numbers. Try giving students some problems that are near friendly numbers first if you notice that they aren’t using number sense to form partial quotients. For example, if students continue to subtract only small groups of ten and aren’t able to estimate a larger number for partial quotients, then try giving students numbers that are easier with which to estimate, like in the picture below. In the above picture, I started with some students in intervention who started solving the problem using groups of ten. 2499 divided by 25 is obviously close to 2500. Why not start with 100 groups and reason about taking away one group so that the quotient isn’t too large. When students look at how they could estimate to solve this problem, they have a lightbulb moment. Give them other examples like this to get students in the habit of solving problems with reasoning and number sense as opposed to a procedure.