I am going to share a little secret with you about something I have been using for myself and plan on using this year at school. I have started using essential oils in a diffuser when I am working at my home computer. I have found that using two drops of peppermint, two drops of lavender, and two drops of lemon in my ultra sonic bamboo diffuser with these oils helps me focus, helps me stay alert if I’m working late at night, and helps lift my spirits. In other words when I diffuse these three, I just feel happier :D. See my happy face!
I am planning on taking it to school this year to diffuse in my room. I have even been thinking of buying another one so I can have one at work and at home. Not only that, but I have a close friend who took hers to school last year and diffused lemon on a daily basis to help her students focus during instruction. Another great benefit of using a diffuser at school….if you use the Thieves blend of essential oils, it promotes cleaner air, which is especially needed during those winter months. As if, ALL teachers haven’t already spent a small fortune on using hand-sani! This would be another way to support the prevention of germy surfaces!
Here is my diffuser in action with my favorite three oils. As you can see it sits in my office in front of my gargantuan printer. This model is my favorite that Young Living sells because it has a one or four hour timer so you can choose how long to diffuse.
If you want to order an ultra sonic diffuser and oils like mine, the best value is to buy a starter kit here. If you decide to buy some be sure to use my enroller and sponsor number 2600343. I would really appreciate it! Happy calm school year!
What does a day out of school equal? A finished product for Teachers Pay Teachers! Here is a little something I have been working on that I was able to complete today since we got a surprising day off from work due to the icy weather.
Because decimals seem abstract to students–especially when the zeros fall off the ends, I created these decimal pocket chart number cards. The zeros are grayed out so that students begin to make the connection that the zeros don’t necessarily have to be on the end of a decimal number. The number cards are great for 4th graders just beginning to make the connection that the zeros have no value.
The cards come in 3 different color variations–red backgrounds with white numbers…
white backgrounds with red numbers….
and white backgrounds with black numbers. The black numbers offer a host of variations if printed on colored card stock. The pattern possibilities using colored card stock are endless.
The numbers also come in two different variations–without the whole number 1 and with the whole number 1. This will aid in giving students the understanding that decimal numbers may or may not have whole numbers in front of them.
Come by my store to check these out!
This kind retired airforce veteran named Ray crafts beautiful handmade teacher name plaques, and he made one for me. He’s given them to many teachers in his hometown. I was thinking they would make great gifts for a new teacher during Christmas time, for birthdays, or if you are a mentor. I know when I have mentored teachers, I am always trying to think about a perfect gift! Nothing says I thought about you more than a personalized gift with your name. Take a visit to his Etsy storeif you would like to have one of these beautiful name plaques for your desk or for someone you know.
I recently had a sticky mess all over my front door’s glass which I admittedly created. See, my front door’s glass has these pretty damask rose cut outs in it, but if I were to walk by in say a towel or less after just getting out of the shower, you can see right through the door’s glass where it isn’t frosted. Eeeeek! So, I spent $17.49 with a coupon to purchase this sticky frosted film to add some privacy to the door. About two hours later, I had stickiness on every finger, on the door, and my hair even got stuck to the stuff. My dog was just laying there looking at me like, “When are you going to give up?” Disgusted with myself, I went to the grocery store to find some Goo Gone which my mom swears by…listen to your momma! The Goo Gone got every bit of the sticky mess off of the door. I couldn’t stop saying “Wow” while I was cleaning with it because it worked so well. When you rub it on with a paper towel, it takes the stickiness out of the residue. Then you go back over the residue with a wet soapy paper towel and the sticky stuff balls right up and comes off. Ta-Da!
While I was cleaning with it I was thinking how great Goo Gone would be great for cleaning off all kinds of sticky messes that are made from things you put up all around your classroom…especially the sticky residue left by attaching name tags to student desks.
Happy back to school cleaning when the time comes!
I have done everything in the past to hang items from the ceiling at school. I’ve climbed on tables and chairs, borrowed tall people, and sweet talked the custodian with a candy bar. Hanging items from the ceiling is something that I always dread doing since it takes so much effort. Now I don’t have to borrow my custodian or climb like a monkey because of these new hooks I ‘ve found–Magster ceiling hooks. Magster ceiling hooks have a convenient pole that I can use to attach magnetic hooks to the metal part of the ceiling. I just lift the pole to the ceiling until the magnet attaches. They are easily moveable and can be taken down with the same pole. Now I am just thinking of things to hang up for next year.
Here is what came in my starter package:
Above the wood sticks join with the black pieces to make a long pole. The U-shaped black piece holds the hook. The other white plastic items are the hooks.
Above you can see how the wood pieces join to make the pole to hang the hooks.
Here is me standing on the floor (not on a chair, not on a table) with my 5 ‘ 3″ self and hanging a hook.
Ta Da! That was easy and quick!
I can even use this to hold my posters…See!
The pole makes it super easy even to hang posters above! (I hate that my ceiling is cracked right there. They won’t fix it though 🙁 )
Surprise! I’m hosting a give away of one package of these wonderful hooks which you will absolutely LOVE! All you have to do is make a meaningful comment on any post on my blog, and leave another comment below about what you would hang if you won the new hooks. The contest will close on July 10th. I will select two winners at random and announce them on July 12th!
Here is my absolute favorite session from NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics). The presenter was a lady from Canada who brought The Learning Carpet for us to see. The learning carpet is a 10 by 10 grid of empty squares that you can use for many things, but it is especially useful for a large 100’s chart.
The number cards are 6 1/2 inches square and made out of card stock. Students in groups of five can see how fast they can place the number cards on the carpet. This can be easily differentiated by giving the easier numbers to the struggling learners and the larger numbers to the students who need a challenge.
Students can also be asked to pick up the numbers whose digits makes sums of 10 or any number. Students will start to see patterns such as how different sums follow diagonals. I felt dumb when she showed us this because I had never noticed that the sums make diagonals.
In the above picture you can see the gray squares on the mat. You could easily make this on a tarp with paint or tape to show the number boxes. The gray boxes are 6 1/2 inches and the black stripes on the grid lines are 1/2 an inch. If I made one of these carpets, I would make the squares actually bigger so that feet could more easily fit inside the boxes. I ordered the book with all the games that you can play so I could make my own if I wanted. Next year, there may be money in the budget to actually purchase some of the carpets.
The amazing thing about the fact that there are no numbers on the grid actually teaches more number sense. Students are made to think about number relationships to find spaces on the grid. If asked to find any number on the blank grid students have to understand the relationships between the numbers. For example, if trying to find 57 on the grid, students will know that all the sevens are in a column so that 57 will be in the column with sevens. A marker can be thrown on the grid and then students have to tell what number space that it landed on. They can walk on the carpet to help them figure it out.
The grid can be used for bar graphs or coordinate grids. The grid can also be used for area and perimeter like below.
There are so many fun activities you can do with this carpet, and I love the idea of the students actually being able to get up and stand on it to be involved. If you want to order the resources you can buy learning carpets and resources here. The kindergarten teacher who designed these is in Canada, and this is the only place you can buy them. They don’t sell through a larger distributor like Amazon etc. I have no stock in these, I just think that it is a great idea whether you order the ones she makes or make your own.
I wanted to share with you these new tools that I ordered for this year. I knew that we would be studying a lot of fractions, and we only had the linear models for a class set. Normally, when introducing fractions I start out with whole sheets of colored paper and have students cut them apart into halves, thirds, fourths, and so on. Then students can lay these pieces of paper on each other to find equivalent fractions. While this has value for students understanding that fractions are parts of a whole (piece of paper), students tend not to cut them out perfectly, so their equivalence investigation is a bit skewed. Because of this I move to manipulatives for the equivalence investigation, but again, I only had tools that were linear models…so here is what I ordered… Foamy fraction squares!
What is even better than the fact that they are brightly colored and quiet?
Students can easily see that one-half equals five-tenths, one-fifth equals two tenths, and one tenth equals ten hundredths.
I ordered a class set of these from EAI education here. I promise I make no money from telling you about these, but they make teaching fractions so much easier. Every teacher who has used them loves them!
I was so excited to get these unifix books that I ordered. With there being a shortage of counting activities in our regular kindergarten textbook, I was eager to find more. These simple and practical books for kindergarten and first grade offer several counting activities like the following:
- Shapes that students cover with cubes to see how many cubes will fill the shape. Students count the number of cubes that fill the shape.
- Cards with a different number of shapes on them that students match to numbers cards.
- Number cards to match to plastic baggies with cubes in them.
- Games like “First to Fifty” in which students spin a number spinner to draw a certain amount of cubes to cover a board. Students can count how many they have left to cover.
There are some other good number sense activities included also. These are available at Didax for $13.95.