Friday, June 21, 2013

Blog Lovin'

Bloglovin’ is a fantastic FREE blog reader that pools all the blogs you follow into one feed. How cool is that? It makes it super easy to follow all your favorite blogs. You can follow my blog on Bloglovin’ by clicking on the "Follow my blog with Bloglovin" button on the sidebar. If you have your own blog and want to claim your blog on Blogloving, Megan from teachingsuperpower has created a video tutorial. Click here to view Megan’s tutorial.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Snowball Fight in June?

Several years ago, I invented my rounding snowball fight game and every year since my students beg to play it. They say it is the BEST game ever!! The year I invented this game I had a high number of kinesthetic learners and I was constantly trying to think of ways to let them move and learn at the same time. The idea came to me after a rounding unit. I wanted an informal assessment to see if my students were ready for a test. I grabbed a stack of blank copy paper and wrote one number on each page with a sharpie. I wrote the numbers large so that they could be seen across the room. Next, I underlined one of the digits in each number. I made enough sheets so every student would have 2-3 pages. I gave each student 2-3 pages to crumble into individual snowballs and told my students we were going to have an indoor snowball fight. Before the game, I told the students my expectation: 1) Don’t run 2) Aim below the shoulders. They all pushed in their chairs, I set a timer for one minute, and then I told the students they may begin. This was one minute of pure happiness for my 4th graders. Afterward, I asked each student to take one snowball back to their seat and to leave the others on the floor. One at a time, each student opened their snowball, and rounded the number on the snowball to the underlined place. I asked them to hold it so that the other students in the class may see as well. After everyone rounded their snowball, it was time for another snowball fight. It is super is easy it make yourself or if you want to just hit print. Click Here to Download my Rounding Practice Snowball Fight.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What Time Is It?

updated 3/4/15

What time is it? You wouldn’t think I would get asked that question very often as a fourth grade teacher, but the truth is many fourth graders struggle to accurately tell time. A few years ago, I read in John A Van De Walle’s book Elementary and Middle School Mathematics to begin measuring time instruction with a one handed clock. Thinking what did I have to lose I grabbed my stack of card board clocks, a pair of scissors, and cut off the minute hands off every clock. My colleague across the hall walked in while I was chopping away and thought I lost my mind. But, let me tell you, it worked! This is the best way to introduce time. My students use the hour hand to estimate the time. They use the hour hand to decide if the time is almost __ , a little after __, or between __ & ___.

I have created a telling time game pack which includes 6 teaching posters to go along with my one handed clocks. Plus, 3 engaging games which allow students to practice telling time.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Common Core

On my late night stroll around the internet, I have stumbled onto a FANTASTIC site. I can’t believe I haven’t found it before now. It has Common Core Math resources divided up by standard! Woo Hoo!! Common Core Math Lessons
Common Core Math Lessons

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lollipop Buddies

I brought home my school candy stash for the summer and my son has had a field day eating the lollipops. This made me think of something I do every year on the first day of school and I have to share. I know is a little soon to be thinking about back to school, but I wanted to tell you about it before I forgot. Before school starts, I buy a huge bag of lollipops, Dum-Dums® work well for this because they have so many different flavors. I sort the lollipops by flavor, finding two of each flavor. On the first day of school, I place exactly enough pairs of lollipops into a bowl so that there will be one lollipop for each student without any leftover. If there are an odd number of students, I add one more lollipop of one of the flavors I already placed in the bowl so that there are three of that flavor instead of two. After passing out the lollipops, I tell my students to find the person with the same flavor as them and complete a getting to know you sheet. The kids really enjoy this activity. As they complete the sheet, I walk around taking pictures of all the new buddies to put on a bulletin board. Click Here to Download my Lollipop Buddies Pack for $1.00

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Inflation--Money Words

You every think about how much a word is worth? My students were constantly thinking about the price of words. One of the things they may do when they finish their assignment or center is to find Dollar Words. I assigned each letter a monetary value by writing a money amounts on index cards and taping it next to the corresponding letting on my alphabet. The kids loved finding the words so much they even did it at home. I have also created these colorful money words posters. Click here to check them out in my TPT store. I love these little posters! They are perfect for creating math or literacy centers in which students find the value of their spelling or vocabulary words.

Updated 9/3/2015

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sink or Swim

Today I went swimming with some friends. Someone brought a watermelon and threw it in the pool to keep it cool. Did you know a ripe watermelon will float? I didn’t. Because I am a mathnut, I wondered, “How many watermelons would fit in the pool?” When I teach volume I usually use something like candy and boxes. It might be kind of cool to create some problems with watermelons and pools.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Addition Card Game

Updated 2/26/15

Have you ever wondered what kids think the = sign means? Well it turns out that most kids think that it means: “the end” “I’m done”. Seriously, kids think of the = sign as a period. Armed with this information I asked myself, what have we as elementary school teachers done to make them think any differently. How often do we write the answer on the left side of the equation? Do we use vocabulary to help them understand equivalence? I have been racking my brain trying to think of a fun way that our students could practice this skill throughout the year. I created an addition card game called Balancing Act. Click here to checkout my Addition Card Game!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Quick Change

Now that I am a blogger I wanted to share one of my best inventions of the 2012-2013 school year. This was a HUGE time saver for me! Are you ready for it? Last year, when we departmentalized I gave the reading teacher most of my books for her classroom library so that I could fill my shelves with math manipulatives. Afterward, I had a whole bunch of bookends and no books. On a whim, I grabbed a tube of hard as nails and glued the bookends to the back of a stack of clipboards. Now, changing out center directions is quick and easy.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Flash Cards for Visual Learners

I am so excited about my Multiplication Flash Cards for Visual Learners. As a fourth grade teacher, I see firsthand the struggle many students have learning their multiplication facts. Many students who do memorize the facts do not connect them to the concept of multiplication. These multiplication flash cards help students make connections between the facts they are trying to learn and the concept of multiplication. These flash cards represent the multiplication facts in arrays or rows. This is perfect for visual learners. Click Here to Download my Multiplication Flash Cards for Visual Learners for $2.50