Friday, August 30, 2013

Thousand Chart

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
We just finished the second week of school. This week was really our first week of math instruction since we mainly taught procedures last week. We kicked off our addition unit by creating a one thousand chart. Last year, we made a 1,000 scroll. The students cut out 10 small hundreds charts and glued them on receipt paper, and then stapled a straw to both ends. That was a cute idea in theory, but it took my students FOREVER to cut out all the hundreds charts and glue them onto the receipt paper. Then the scrolls kept falling out of their journals and I found them all over my classroom. This year, I came up with a new plan----wait for it....  I copied ten (full sheet) blank hundreds charts for each student. I used a paper cutter to slice the extra paper off the top and the bottom of the charts so that they would fit in the composition notebooks they use as their math journals. Let me tell you, this was the best solution!! Not only did it save so much time, my kiddos will have access to their chart for month to come since it is glued into their journals. I have included a blank hundred chart in my Free Thousand Chart (see below).
I also created a classroom thousand chart. I wanted a chart for my classroom so that we could easily discuss place value patterns using numbers from 1 to 1,000. Because the chart is laminated, my students may write on it with dry erase markers. Click here to download your free Thousand Chart!
I also created a printable booklet. Click here to get your free Printable Booklet!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Think About It!

We started school on Monday and I have to say ----I am so excited about this school year!! In addition to meeting all my new kiddos, I am excited about our classroom management plan. Since we are departmentalized, I teach in a pod with three fabulous 4th grade teachers. This year we want to help students learn to take responsibility for their actions. We decided on a few questions we would like our students to think about when they don't make a good choice. I created two posters using the questions we created. Click here to get your FREE poster set. We each designated a spot in our classroom to place the posters. As a part of our beginning of the year procedures, we taught our new students how to walk to the designated spot and how to answer the questions.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale

It is time for a Back to School Sale!! Every item in my TpT store will be 20% off on August 18-19. Use coupon code BTS13 to save a total of 28%. Click here to visit my TpT store. I also have 14 freebies you might want to checkout--just click the custom category link on the left side of my store.

This cute sign was created by Ink N Little Things

Friday, August 16, 2013

Classroom Reveal

I LOVE my red kidney table!! My computer table is behind the white shelves.

I do a lot of cooperative learning in my classroom. I really liked the idea of assigning each desk at a table a number and a letter. In my classroom, I have groups of 4 and groups of 6, so I needed a table mats for both types of groups. Since I couldn't find any mats to meet my needs, I created my own (see above picture).  Like my Facebook page to get your FREE set of table mats!!

I use these four covered crates to hold the math journals (composition notebooks) for each class.  Since I teach four classes of math each day, I have assigned each class a specific color (blue, green, red, and yellow). Notice the crate covers have colored buttons attached to the front. At the end of class during clean up, each table combines all the journals from their table in a heavy duty plastic bag, and then places the bag in their class crate. Next, they look inside the next class's crate for their table number. Once they find the bag of journals, they take it back to their table. This allows the next class to go straight to their seats and get busy. I found the crate cover directions on pinterst. Click here to learn how to make your own crate covers.

I stole this idea from my friend Kelly. I bought a popcorn tub and some black beans. I already had the scrapbook stickers. This is perfect for holding scissors because the kids and easily get to them.

I like having my math manipulative assessable to my students. I have more covered crates in which I keep bulky math manipulatives such as Unifix cubes and Cuisenaire rods. I also have many red baskets in which I keep smaller math resources such as protractors and dice. Two years ago I received a grant to purchase the red bins for my math manipulatives. Available for purchase from Really Good Stuff. Above my read bins is my Visual Decimal Number Line. On my door, I have my Think Math posters. Click here to download your FREE copy of the 1-35 number cards.  Click here to download your FREE copy of Polk-a-dot numbers. On the bulletin board I have photos of arrays with a title "Arrays in the Real World."

On this bulletin board, I put kid friendly "I can.." statements for a unit in the pocket chart. Each day, I write the daily objective on the picture frame with the red background. Stapled to the board I have conversation starters that I got from Hello Literacy. I use the numbers on the wall to take my lunch count each day. Click here to read about my lunch count procedures.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Think Math

I decided this year I was going to try to incorporate Think Math in my classroom. I first learned about Think Math from For more information on Think Math click here. In a nutshell, the teacher gives the students an answer and they generate a problem that would produce that answer. Their problems may be equations or word problems. I can envision all of the critical thinking skills that will take place as my students create their own problems. Since I am departmentalized I decided I wanted to put a poster on my door so that my kiddos could place their sticky note with their problem on their number when we changed classes. I went to the teacher store to get a blank calendar and some calendar numbers to create a poster to put on my door. The calendar numbers were picked over and I couldn’t find anything I really liked, so I decided to create my own numbers instead. These numbers are perfect for my board because they have tiny numbers going around each green circle.  Click here to get my Freebie Number Cards 1-35.

How I created my Think Math poster

1.    I purchased a poster calendar from my local teacher store, and then cut off all the words so that only the grid remained.

2.    I turned the calendar on its side because rows of 5 fit better on my door than row of 7.

3.    I printed and cut out the numbers I created, and then glued them to the board. I glued 35 numbers on my board, but you could cut off the bottom row of 5 if you wanted to stop at 30.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Decimal Number Line

As a math teacher, I have to say I LOVE using a decimal number line. This gives my students the visual model they need to grasp a difficult concept. I copy small hundreds grids for my students to color the decimals from zero to one. Click here for your free blackline master. I usually let them use colored pencils for this task. After they color the hundreds grids, they cut them out and paste them on a roll of receipt paper. I like to use the 3 inch roll because it leaves a little room at the bottom for my kiddo to write the decimal from, written form, or equivalent fraction. I have several number lines already completed and laminated; however, I like to let my students create one each year in groups of 4-6 students. A lot of learning takes place as students work together to complete this project. It is neat to watch how they assign each other their rolls. Some groups do everything together while others delegate the coloring, cutting and pasting to specific students. After we complete the project, I hang them outside in the hallway. I also have a laminated number line hanging in my classroom. I like to let my students label this one with a vis-a-vis marker because it is easy to clean and reuse.  Click here if you want to print my Visual Decimal Numbers Lines that are already colored and labeled

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Multiplication Masters

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
I am always looking for fun ways to encourage my students to master their multiplication facts. When a friend of mine told me she used karate belts to show student progress through the levels, I immediately fell in love with the idea. I created a little card so that I could give one to each student as they passed a new level and earned a new belt. Students will color the belt of the karate boy or girl on their card as they master multiplication levels. The Multiplication cards could be displayed on a classroom bulletin board, students could glue them in their journal, or they could be given as an award to take home. Click here to get your free copy of Multiplication Masters.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Measurement in Mexico

I recently got back from my vacation to the beautiful Riviera Maya in Mexico. On the way from the airport to our hotel, I looked at the speedometer of our driver and saw his speed was over 100. Freaking out a little, I did a double take. That is when I noticed it was not miles per hour; It was kilometers per hour. The MathNut in me got really excited that I could use this in the classroom. The speed limit was 100 Km/h.  When we got to the hotel, the thermostat was in degrees Celsius. Since I like it nice and cool, I kept it a 19˚.  Possible Questions: How fast was my driver going in mile per/ hour? How cold was my room in degree Fahrenheit?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lunch Count Procedures

I have used the same Lunch Count System for about 10 years ago because it is quick and easy. I have not had to replace any of the materials I used to create it.

Materials: I went to my local teacher store and purchased a blank calendar from the poster section; a tub of plastic chips which included red, blue, yellow, green and orange chips; a pack of calendar numbers; and a pack of Stikki clips. I went to Walmart and purchased three small red baskets to hold my chips. I went to my local office supply store to purchase Velcro circles for the back of the chips.

Setup: To create my Lunch Choice Poster, I trimmed the calendar so that only the grid remained. Next, I turned the trimmed calendar on its side, glued the calendar numbers inside each square on the grid, and then laminated the poster. Next, I put a Velcro circle on each number. I also place a Velro circle on the back of each of my red, yellow and blue chips. I created a Lunch Choice Key, laminated it, and put Velcro on each choice. I hung the Lunch Count Poster and the Lunch Choice Key with hot glue. Then, I place two Skikki clips under the Key to hang the paper lunch choice calendar our school gives us each month. Finally, I placed the three red baskets containing the Velcro Chips on a table under the Lunch Count Poster.

Each afternoon, my helpers write the lunch choices on the board for the following day. At the beginning of the year I assign each student a number. When students come in the morning, they unpack then they make their lunch choice by selecting a colored chip and placing it on their number. Afterward, my helpers count each choice and record them on a slip a paper. On the table under the Lunch Count Poster is another basket containing slips of paper and envelopes for lunch money. I also use this system to figure out who is absent by looking to see which numbers do not have a lunch choice. At the end of the day, my helpers remove the chips and place them back in the correct basket. I have them wait until the end of the day so that students do not change their lunch choice when they go through the lunch line.