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## TEA-cher Time Giveaway!!

I am SO excited to be hosting a giveaway compliments of TRADITIONAL MEDICINALS® teas.  They have a wonderful array of teas which are healthy and delicious.  My favorite flavor is peppermint.  Pictured below is the product sample package that they will be sending the lucky winner.  I was so surprised when I received this in the mail because the sample was so nicely packaged.  There is a ceramic mug (made in the USA I might add) three boxes of teas,  a tote bag, and a tea sampler with different types of teas arranged ever so neatly in a wooden box.  The teas all come packaged with descriptions of their health benefits.

I will be choosing one winner at random who comments below on the following prompt.  Only U.S. residents may apply.  The contest will be open until next Saturday at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Since spring is approaching, comment below about your favorite most creative math lesson or activity for spring.  If you don’t do anything special for the season of spring, just tell us about your favorite math lesson.

## How Big is Your Kiss?

I know no one is probably looking for Valentine’s Day lessons yet, but I redid my cute little Valentine lesson “How Big Is Your Kiss”.  This will be my momentous tribute to working over the Christmas break.   This is my favorite lesson to do at Valentine’s Day.  Kids kiss a piece of grid paper with Vaseline on their lips, and then measure their kiss.  This looks SO cute, too, when you hang it in the hallway with all of your kids lip prints.  See the lesson below.

## Decimal Number Line: Project Completed

I am posting a follow up of the lesson I co-taught with a fifth grade teacher.   The earlier post shows the number line that I made for students to model their number line after.  I had planned to have students do a different section of hundredths so that we would have a large number line from 0 to 1 tenth compiled of different students’ number lines.  I decided not to have them do different numbers than I had shown on my own number line because I saw that students were struggling with the idea of counting by thousandths in discussion before they did the task.  The whole project took about 2 days for almost all students to finish.  Below I have pictured two of the  students’ number lines that turned out well.  None of the groups quite had time to write the midpoint between two different hundredths like I have in blue….five thousandths, fifteen thousandths, twenty-five thousandths etc.  Even though students muddled through this and had a difficult time getting started, I would do this lesson over again.  I probably would spend more time examining decimal number charts first so that students would more quickly recognize number patterns to write them on a number line.  To save yourself some time if you want to build these number lines see the measurements I used in my earlier post.

Student Decimal Number Lines Counting by 1 thousandths to 1 tenth

Teacher Decimal Number Line

## Cute Bulletin Board with Social Studies and Math Integrated!

Well, I haven’t been behind a computer screen much at all this week because I have been putting my room back together and decorating my door.  I don’t have many bulletin boards to cutesy up, so I take out my cutesyness  on my door.  I thought I would share this idea with you all.  I came up with this idea last year when there was discussion about integrating science and social studies into math and literacy.  I had read the book America by the Numbers: One Nation which made me want to decorate my door with a flag and ask questions about the number of stars, stripes, etc to infuse math.

The only problem I faced was finding an appropriately sized flag.  To buy a  large one was too much money and too large for my door.  The only other ones I had seen while shopping were too small.  Just my luck last week I was talking to a colleague who didn’t want a large flag covering up her only window.  So, we traded flags because I had an extra one that was smaller from somewhere rolled up in a closet.  Now, what to use for a background?  I was originally going to use some cloud bulletin board paper at available at teacher stores when I stumbled across this adorable sparkly fireworks fabric at Jo-Anne’s.  A little plug for Jo-Anne’s–they offer teacher discounts!  Then I made some white stars for the door with math questions in them to stimulate student thinking.  If you want to use this idea, I made the stars available for free here:  StarsForFlagBulletinBoard.

## Nothing But Nets

I just wanted to share one of my favorite products with you all.  I purchased these solids pictured below for our school two years ago and all of the teachers love using these to teach students the plane shapes that make up a solid.  They are great for helping students identify nets of solids also. Today I taught a class in which the teacher was absent, and I used these solids that unfold into nets.  After looking at these, students took paper nets and listed the shapes they saw in the nets and then labeled the solids with sticky notes.  Next they composed their 3 dimensional solids into other shapes such as robots and rocket ships.  See the following pictures below to take a peek at some of the students’ creations.

Folding Geometric Shapes. Available from most math educational catalogs.

Robots

Rocket Ship

## Cute Winter Door Decoration!

What ever will you decorate your door with when you return to school.  How about a friendly penguin?  I captured this kindergarten teacher’s door with her permission because it was so adorable.  All of the white spots that represent snow are cotton balls in case you can’t tell.

## How Can You Use Your Spare String of Christmas Lights?

You can easily find a string of Christmas lights at this time of year.  One year my mentor gave me the idea to put a string of lights around a bulletin board with this clever title:  See Your Name in Lights.  Post any type of student work and ta-da…a stellar bulletin board.  The great thing about this title is that you can leave the bulletin board up after Christmas since it doesn’t actually refer to the season or to a holiday.  It always makes me sad to put so much work into a bulletin board for Christmas, and then the holiday is over since we are only in school about two weeks out of December.  At this particular school we didn’t have any actual bulletin boards, so this isn’t as artsy as one I have made in the past.  We had to staple/push pin things into the drywall (shhh don’t tell), and the drywall doesn’t hold much.  For example, you could staple little sunglasses into the wall to resemble Hollywood stars and use metallic silver border to make the lights reflect like a real sign.

## Did You Know Peppermint Candies Grow?

This is too cute not to try!!!  I learned that peppermints grow from a very talented kindergarten teacher.  Every Christmas season, she has her students plant peppermints in a cup of dirt.  Students put glitter in the dirt for fertilizer and then just wait.  In a few days, a small candy cane has emerged “growing in the cup”.  In another few days, a candy cane of larger stature has “grown”.  Children are oh so excited that their peppermint grew to such a large stature!  Of course behind the scenes, their teacher is placing a small candy cane in the cup when the children have gone for the day, and then replacing the small candy cane with a larger candy cane.  This all for the amazement and wonder in children’s eyes that comes from the magic of Christmas.

## More Christmas Themed Doors!

In my post yesterday, I placed a picture of my neighbor’s door at school.  So many teachers admired the door that they wanted their door decorated too!  With some persuasion he decorated some other teachers’ doors as well (pictured below).  These photos may give you some ideas if you are feeling festive this Christmas season!

Monkey Christmas Present Door

Christmas Tree Door in Progress. Students will put ornaments on the tree to decorate it.

Clever way to make snow for a Christmas Tree--just white bulletin board paper cut along the edge.

## Wow, Cute Way to Chart Parts of Speech

I came across these posters in a fourth teacher’s room at my school.  She decided to display parts of speech on a shape poster to help students think about what types of words they use when they write.  She made a poster for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.  She had displayed a house for nouns, a blob shape for adjectives, and the kite below for verbs.  For some reason my other pictures didn’t turn out, but the kite picture managed to turn out, which is my favorite.  Also, pictured below is another chart which she made entitled “RIP” for ‘dead words’ or words that are overused.