Great Math Products!


Base Ten Number Line


Multiplication Tricks



FourFingers with Numbers

Telling Time Misconceptions


Equivalent Fractions


Simplifying Fractions


Clock Fractions


Math Fact Motivation


Math Night 2012


Bulletin Board Ideas


Classroom Management


Lines and Angles



I get the cutest handwriting fonts at Fonts for Peas!


This Tool Will Accelerate Your Students’ Understanding of Fractions

Just because students recognize a fraction model doesn’t mean they can reason about the size of the fractions in comparison to other fractions.  This number line helps alleviate some of that difficulty for students.  You can proudly display this in your classroom on the wall as a year-long reference tool.  The number line stretches to about 10 feet long and is spaced by increments of twenty-fourths. 

If you don’t want to introduce your students to twenty fourths yet, you can  use the included blank fraction cards to cover up these increments.

Fractions to show equivalence are also included.  Students can see how the blue portion of the square is the same size as the equivalent fraction above it.   You could play a whole class matching game in which you have students place their equivalent fraction underneath the fraction on the number line.

In case students have a hard time visualizing the space being the same size a variety of fraction cards are provided in which the rectangles are in different directions.  For example, see below.

Because this number line prints on 8.5 x 11 card stock there is some assembly required.  I assembled this one in less than 30 minutes. Cutting out the additional cards can be done as needed and is not necessary at first.

How to Set Up an IKnowIt Account (free)!

Guess what?!  Have you heard about this great new math website?!  There are math lessons set up for kindergarten through 5th grade.  Students are given a score for problems they get right so that you could potentially use this for a quick grade. Winning!  Right now you can set up an account for your class absolutely free–until August 2018 that is!  In the following video, I show you how to set up your free account and how to assign lessons to your students.

Help Your Strugglers with Fraction Number Sense!

Sad but true…Most kids start out struggling with fractions.  In real life, we don’t count by fractions and fractions are smaller than our normal counting numbers.  Sometimes students get the “top number” and “bottom number” confused.  The computer makes fractions with a slash, and teachers tell students to write fractions with a straight line and not a slanted line.  There is so much to stumble over as a student!

Could making fractions a part of your daily routine actually help students have a better conceptual understanding?!  But of course, darling (with godfather accent)!  I mean, after all, when teaching kids to count, we count over and over again EVERY DAY in kindergarten.  Students count by 2’s, by 5’s, by 10’s etc. and that is how we teach them to develop number sense.  We somehow lose this idea when it comes to fractions.  What if we actually gave the same tenacity to counting with fractions?

I am going to show you the tool to use to be able to support your students through scaffolded understanding of counting with fractions.  Behold!  Fill in Fraction Number Charts! 😉


Students have the opportunity to count by ½, ⅓ , ¼, 1/5, 1/6, ⅛, 1/10, 1/12, and 1/100. There are a variety of number charts included so that students can start out finding patterns when counting by a unit fraction.  Then there are three levels of charts when counting by each fraction.  Each chart level gets increasingly more difficult as it scaffolds learning.  This could also provide differentiated practice for your learners.  When students become comfortable counting by unit fractions, they can then try the three levels of simplified charts if the unit fractions can be simplified.  Then after daily practice, ta-daaaaaa, better fraction understanding!

Oh, my gosh!  What a great idea for morning work!  Great way to start the day!

I’ll be back in a few days to show you a special fraction freebie I have in store for you!

Have You Ever Needed a Number Line That Counts Past 1,000?

By request I made this number line which counts from 900 to 1,200 to hang on your classroom wall.  This number line spans almost 11 feet.  There are matching base ten blocks for every increment of 25, but the number line has lines for every increment of one.  This is a great visual tool for those students who struggle to comprehend the transition between hundreds and thousands.  You can see this tool pictured below.  Stop by my TPT store to pick one up.


Use This to Help Teach Expanded Form

I know at this point in the year many of you have already taught expanded form. How do you get your students to maintain their understanding of expanded form?  You could leave a reminder up all year long which doesn’t take up much space.  Use your classroom number line, and add these special signs to your number line. Ta-da!  This is even better than an anchor chart!  You can choose from space saving triangular ones…


or longer ones so that the numbers are easier to see from a distance.



If you hang your number line low enough students can help add the cards to the number line, and you can print the signs on card stock.  This way students can easily attach and reattach them with velcro onto the number line (great for long term use).  Tape works fine too!


You can use your own store bought number line, or you may enjoy using this number line especially  created  for use with these signs that includes base ten blocks already attached like shown in the instructions above.


You can go here if you are interested in purchasing this product.

Happy counting!

Do You Need Some More Math Activities for Math Night?

Take a look at these exciting photos of our recent Family Math Night.  Originally we had scheduled Family Math Night on the 100th Day of school to build more momentum for the event, but we had to reschedule Math Night due to weather.  I’m mainly including activities that we hadn’t done before, and I will include links to former math nights so you can get even MORE ideas!

To start, tables with parent information were set up in the hallway.  The more inviting and fun student tables were set up inside the cafeteria.

Since many parents are unfamiliar with ten frames (I had never heard of them until I had started teaching), we had a table informing them of how ten frames work.



Then we had an information table showing the parents of 2nd and 3rd graders addition and subtraction strategies.  Parents even had an opportunity to see how base ten blocks were used to do regrouping.




Here is a station explaining to parents how Reflex Math works.  We had a laptop set up to show parents Reflex Math from a kid’s perspective.MathNight2014Blog-43

One teacher put together game packets for parents to play math games with their children at home.



Now it’s time for the fun stuff!

Below you will see beach balls with math facts written all over them using Sharpie permanent markers.  When someone catches the ball, the right thumb’s landing spot determines the math fact that must be answered.   We had large beach balls for the kids to play with and small ones for them to take home.  We ordered the beach balls from Oriental Trading Company.


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How many books will it take for YOU to weigh 100 pounds?  That is the question that students had to answer when they stopped at this station.  Students estimated how many heavy encyclopedias it would take for them to weigh 100 pounds.  Having experiences with measurement is the best way for students to make reasonable estimates with measurement.



Uh-oh!  Looks like he picked up too many books, but he’s close!

Fractions beckoned to students’ interests under the guise of a messy pudding party.  Students had to measure out two cups of milk without using a 1 cup measuring cup.  They had to use ½, ⅓, or ¼  measuring cup .  Doing so made them repeat these measurements until they had milk equivalent to 2 cups.MathNight2014Blog-4

What is Math Night without estimation stations?


I have done estimation stations every year we have had Math Night, but I wanted to do a little something different this year.

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Instead of just having the estimation jar, ziploc baggies were placed in front of the jars with 10 of the candy item inside.  This helped students make more precise estimates.  I also had a wild idea about gluing base ten blocks together to see who could come the closest to estimating the total of the blocks in a base ten tower.


How many are in this base ten structure?  Can you guess?

(above) I know the tower looks more like the leaning tower of Pisa than anything of mathematical value–it looks like a hot mess–a hot glue gun mess ;).   What can I say…I think I should pose like one of Charlie’s Angels with my hot glue gun!

(below) Making 10 groups of 10 was a kid favorite last year and remained a kid favorite this year.  Kids took small food items and grouped them on a mat.  They got to eat their 10 groups of 10/100 items when they had filled up their mat! Yummy!




(below) Where did Freddy the Frog land on the hundred’s chart?  These kids played Toss and Guess, a game with a giant hundreds chart grid and a beanbag–in this case a bean bag frog.  The idea for the grid and the Toss and Guess game came from The Learning Carpet.  Kids received prizes when they guessed where the frog landed correctly.


Below is my absolute favorite booth of all booths!  How many hulas can you hoop?  Students hula hooped until they could hula no more.  Then they counted their hulas and wrote the total of their hulas on a piece of paper.   They stuck this paper to the wall so other students could compete with the highest total.  The two hula hoopers with the greatest number of hulas won a hula hoop!

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The following made the evening worth while.  This parent solved math problems with her Pre-K student.  She helped him count on her fingers!  This embodied the goal of the whole evening–helping parents connect to their children through mathematical thinking!

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 If you liked this post about Math Night, you might also like Math Night from 2012 and 2013…







 I hope these posts inspire you to make your math night fun!

How Can You Make a Life Sized Hundred’s Chart Cheaply?

At the last NCTM conference, I went to a session about “The Learning Carpet” which is a giant 10×10 grid.  This life size grid helps students see number patterns on a 100’s chart.  To actually buy one it costs around $300.  The presenter told us that she started out with a tarp to make hers before she had the carpets manufactured.  Intrigued with the multiple ways the carpet could be used, we set out to teach people about the carpet in our own district and make our own.  Several of us made them with small patterned duct tape.  They took us about 3 hours to make, and it works best if you have help.  Each square is 6 1/2 inches wide.  On the real “Learning Carpet” the lines in the middle of the squares are 1/2 inch wide, but the duct tape we used is over an inch wide.  There are number and letter cards that go with the mat which we made as well on card stock.  One of our teachers took the initiative to get together before school started to make the “learning tarps” so we could help each other.  To buy the tarp and duct tape it costed us about $30. Which is the better buy?  Hmmmm…you do the math! Below are our results.  

Turquoise and pink chevrons…wooo!

Yellow and paint splatters…

Orange and bubble design…

As you can see from this photo, it is easiest to lay all the horizontal stripes first and then go back and lay the vertical stripes.

I tried to make a learning carpet a different way just to see if it would work…my little experiment!  I  built a stencil from a piece of poster board and spray painted the stencil on a full size sheet.  To make the stencil, I cut the 1/2 inch outlines away from the squares while leaving a little piece of poster board attached to the squares so that the stencil wouldn’t fall apart.  The stencil is the green rectangle with paint on it that you see lying on the sheet.

I just moved the stencil and lined it up each time I spray painted to repeat the pattern.  Towards the end I started getting several smudges since the stencil was getting soaked with paint.  Sturdier cardboard may have worked out better.  Two cans of spray paint are necessary to paint all the squares on the sheet.  The total cost for the poster board, the sheet, and the spray paint was about $20.  Although the spray paint/sheet method was messier, it is much easier to create this project alone than stretching the tape exactly straight with the tarp method.  Plus you can easily throw the sheet in the washer when it accumulates too much kid dirt!

A few paint fumes later…my finished product!


If you truly wanted to have a learning carpet, this stencil method would work to spray paint a carpet remnant with low pile as well.

 Read my original post about “The Learning Carpet” to find out more about how this can be used in your classroom.


Try This Incentive to Encourage Students to Count to 100

The idea of belonging to a club makes kids feel like they belong.  With that said, one of our kindergarten teachers came up with the idea of belonging to the “100 Club”.   What does it take to belong to the 100 Club?  Well, you guessed it…you must be able to count to 100!  I took this idea a step further and suggested that we hang all of the kids pictures on the wall that were in the 100 club.  We will add to this as the remaining students are able to count to 100.  The kids have taken an extra interest in counting to 100 especially if their pictures aren’t on the wall!  This display of the students’ pictures has grabbed students’ attention of course as well as parents and staff members.  We even have a kindergartener that told her teacher, “I counted to 100 in my pillow 3 times last night before I went to bed.” 🙂

Use This Simple Idea to Make Patterns Explicit in Number Charts

When having second grade students explore patterns in number charts which were in increments of 300, it dawned on me to cover up some of the numbers to show students how the numbers repeated.  I did this on the document camera.  For those students who weren’t able to see the number patterns explicitly, this proved to be very helpful.

 The number chart is shown above uncovered.

First, I left one column uncovered except for the hundreds place.  Students were easily able to see how the hundreds place repeated.

Then I uncovered all but the tens place.  Students saw that the tens place goes up by one ten going down each row.

Finally, I uncovered all except the ones place and students were able to see that the ones place remained the same ALL the way down the chart.

In case you are interested, these number chart printables to 1,200 are available here.  There are fill in number charts too.

Smart Board lessons that match the printables are available here which may work even better for showing the patterns with the screen shade.

Are You Wondering How to fit a 1,000’s Chart on Your Wall? Try this!

I just finished these Smart Board Number Charts to 1,200 and I will be using them with some second graders next week.  I have been working on this Smart Board lesson so that students can see a lot of patterns quickly without having to change all of the number cards on a hundreds chart.  While the hundreds pocket chart cards have value, it would just take too long to see all of the numbers to 1,000 quickly enough to see how the patterns within the centuries repeat.

Oh, and the best part?  The Smart Board number charts are on sale for 20% off ,and tomorrow they will be on sale for 28% off for the Cyber Monday sale!  (YAY!)  And, you will even get a few charts for free if you stop by my store and download the preview!


There are 1-100 and 1-120 number charts and fill in number charts for K and 1st.

This set of  number charts includes charts that start 10 before and 10 after a century so students get practice crossing a century.  Counting before and after a multiple of 100 is difficult for many children, and requires practice.

There are also number charts and fill in number charts that count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s.

There are number charts and fill in number charts in increments of 300 for students to recognize patterns across multiple centuries.





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