Wednesday, January 30, 2013

coloring freebie and turtle heads!

Hey everyone! Sorry this will be a quick one because sick kid + up all night = one pooped mommy!

I have two coloring pages for you-- I don't know about you but having a class that loves to color goes in waves for me... this year my class LOVES to color.  I just love that-- it means they will sit and color and be content for a long time... ahhh!

So, I guess that is what prompted me to whip out these... I cleaned out my February file only to find a few mediocre coloring sheets.  Not to say these are any better- just better to have more! :)

Posts to look forward to:
~100's day
~Valentine's Day
~Around the school #2
~Pencil Sharpener Review and Giveaway!

Oh- one last quick share :)
I'm getting ready for my son's big birthday party extravaganza this weekend!!
Here are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle heads I made and the pizza box the heads will go on ('cuz the turtles love to eat pizza!) This will be the how we pass out our "favors"

Have a GREAT Thursday!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Word Problems SET 2!! {and a giveaway!!}

Hi Friends!!  I'm so excited to give you a sneak peek at my newest, hot off the presses, product!

This is a companion to the Word Problems Set 1 Pack.  The difference between the two packs is the Set 2 pack is filled with much more difficult multi-step problems.  I am so excited to get my class thinking more deeply about math! (Aligns with Common Core 2.OA.1)  Here is a closer look at what this set has:

There are 45 days worth of word problems!!  I have been working on Set 1 since about September and it is AMAZING how well my kids do with word problems now!  There is a great poster included that helps the kids tackle the problem step by step.

You don't have to start with Set 1- however, if you are looking to just get them started the Set 2 problems are much more difficult.  It might be good to mix and match.  (see below for a bundled pack!!)
The set is designed for second, however you could challenge your firsties or use as an intervention for third!

**PLUS**  This set has a BONUS section!! (not included in Set 1).

  These are sheets to work on equivalence that also aligns with Common Core 1.OA.7. (Click here to see my post that inspired these sheets) There are 10 sheets.  If there is enough interest, I will make more!

If you want to hit the ground running and have enough problems to last you until the end of the year... this bundled pack might be of interest to you!!  (buying them as a set will save you money! :)


And... of course I can't have a new product without doing a quick giveaway!! :)
Just leave me a comment below with your email AND tell me if you are interested in Set 1, Set 2, or Set 1&2.  I will chose a name with random generator this evening.

And... if you head over to my Facebook page I will have another chance to win there too!!
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The dreaded equal sign {=}

Phew!  I am just glad this week is o.v.e.r!  There is always a bit more stress during report card time and then to add my principal observation... well that was the icing on the cake! :)

Doesn't having your "boss" in give you mixed emotions?? I mean you want him/her to see all the great things you are doing...yet... they are well, your boss who has your job security in their hands.  I was happy to finally have my principal in to see my math block.  While he was in the room, I had my kids review equivalence which has been a grade level essential standard, building standard AND a district wide standard... yes, this is a biggie!  My class in particular S T R U G G L E S with this even still!  How many of your kids will answer this question in this manner:

3 + 4 = 4 + 11

My heart sank when about 80% of my students answered this question with 11 (after we had been working on it for a very.long.time!)  I learned that they just skip right over the equal sign and add all the numbers together.

Problems like this even throw them completely out of whack:

___= 8 + 4

Wait what?? you mean the SUM can be first??  Oh man... we have a lot more work to do on this.

So I told my students that we will be doing a problem or two every single day to practice the equal sign.

I wanted to share a few ways that I have been working on this with my Math Workshop groups.

I love to use a "scale" to show equivalence.  It looks like this:
 We talk about how it is a balance and that it has to be the "same as" on both sides of the equal sign.

I'm sorry I don't have that exact scale to share so I made another one for you (image from Discovery Education)

(click to grab)

We first talk about how the equal sign just means that whatever is on one side has to be the same as the other side.  I use cubes to represent numbers first.

We also talk about what it means to be "not equal"

Then I start adding numbers to show the balance of the equal sign.

Then I start adding equations.

Only some are ready for problems like this.  That is why I love my Workshop groups because I can differentiate my groups depending on their readiness for these type of problems.  It is amazing how complex the problems can get!

This is just another way to show equal and not equal.  AND how important it is to show children that the SUM can be first-- this is so tricky for them!

Another activity I had my kids do is they thought of a simple addition equation leaving off the answer.  Then we switch the boards so that the person next to them had to answer the problem.

Of course most would answer in this way:

But a select few would answer in this way:

It was then that I knew that I had gotten to them. Ahhh the feeling of VICTORY! :)

I made a poster for you that I hope you might be able to use.  I will be hanging it in my room for the rest of the year! :)

Finally, this concept has inspired me to add a BONUS to my almost finished word problem pack- SET 2:

To see Set 1 click {HERE}

Oh man am I SOO excited about this new set!!  The problems are much more difficult (by customer request) and I will be adding pages like this:
Just copy the page, cut it up and the kids have instant practice... and the problems are already figured out for you!! :)

This pack SHOULD be ready in a few days- hopefully!!

How do you approach the "dreaded equal sign"??  I'd love to hear your ideas! (yes I need help!!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Around the School~ #1

Hi Friends!  I'm still on my new bloggy high...ahhh I just want hang out here all day!!

Oh, and in case you were wondering why everyone was talking about "bacon" in the comments yesterday, well my Facebook followers and I were having some bacon fun :)  If you are not a FB follower-- go "like" my page because I will do quick freebies and fun things there.  Go and click my cute new little button on the upper right corner.  Oh, and while you are there, follow me on Pinterest too... I will often pin things that I think people might be interested in whether they are projects or new products.

Ok, now let's get on with the post!!  I'm so excited to roll out the first installment of ....

I have FIVE grades to share!!  These are just bulletin board displays that I see while walking around my school.  I love gathering ideas from displays and seeing what kind of projects other grades are doing.  I hope you enjoy this little tour through the grades!!

It's hard to see but the snow on the trees are made from "tinker toys" and there are cute felt patches on the snowman's hat!

The snow globe is the K version of the one I posted about a couple of weeks ago :)  Instead of "fake snow," they used cut up white tissue... brilliant! (I mean- tissue paper-- not Kleenex - just clarifying! :)

Um, cuteness!!  I am not sure if this teacher uses tracers or not- I love how they are all unique to the child.  The paper underneath is all the same and it states a few facts from his life.

These look amazing in person!!  I was told that this was an "Internet" inspired project (don't you just love that?!)  I tried to search and found this {site} that had a very similar project.  The snowman is made by ripping white and black paper and cutting the carrot nose- adorable!

On to my favorite grade (wink, wink) we made these super cute snow people from my hero- Amy Lemons!  They seriously are adorable.  We paired it up with a paper I made from my Snowman Glyph pack (see below).

I just LOVE this snowman project!!  It is from my Snowman Glyph pack and we had parent helpers who came and helped the kids paint.  The mittens hanging are also it the pack- oh, and the snowflakes in the first pic are ALSO in the pack.  You can see it here :)

This is a bulletin board that the teacher keeps up throughout the year.  The little envelope next to the pictures has the child's current goals (I LOVE that!!)  The newspaper article is one that the students wrote about themselves-- I have no idea how she made that but it looks so real!!  If you want to know, leave me a message and I'll get back to you.

I would love to know what you think!  Is this worth continuing?  I was thinking my next Around the School would be of Valentine's displays.  I will also try to include some upper elementary too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK Freebie

Hey Everyone!  Thanks for all the nice comments on the new blog design!!
  And sorry for the double post, but I wanted to do a quick share in case you are looking for a writing assignment or a homework assignment for tomorrow :)
Click to pick up a copy of this page


A whole new me! {bloggy makeover!!}

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness... look at me!! I am so excited I feel like I could shout from the rooftops!!!

So, a few weeks ago I was thinking... maybe it's time for a new blog design.  My old one was out there in a different color and I just wasn't wowed with it anymore.  New year, new blog.

Then I contacted Barb over at Ruby Slippers Blog Designs.  

She was amazing from the start.  I was nervous... she said, "this will be fun, you will see."  

Boy was she right.  It was fun- thrilling- nerve wracking- nail biting- edge of your seat kind of fun~ but truly fun!!  I was amazed at how adaptable she was and considered everything I said.  She made it easy and fun for me.  I do really think she wanted to disown me by the end (me picky? nah), but she remained patient through the whole process.  I kept saying- I want to open my blog and love seeing it every time.

And I do. --->BIG SMILE!

I encourage you to go to Ruby Slippers Blog Designs and get a fresh start too! :)
...and tell Barb I sent you.

What do you think??
I'd love to hear!

p.s... make sure you stop back tomorrow for my very FIRST "Around the School" where I have project/bulletin board ideas from PK through third grade to share!

...did you see the signature?!?!  ADORABLE!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shape Freebie for my Fab Followers

Happy Weekend Friends!
I am swamped with report cards, but yet here I am typing away on my computer and making things for you (ok, so it was really for me and now I want to share with you! :)  This blog gets me in a lot of trouble!!  (but I love it!!).

So, I have my formal evaluation by my Principal this coming week.  I haven't had one of those in like forever!  You see, our district started this thing called Professional Growth Plans and I did one of those my last "observation year" (we get to choose-- hmm let's see... growth plan... someone staring at me... I chose the first!).

Needless to say... the "PGP" was short lived and now we are back to the good ole days of observations.  Gulp.

So, I decided that my Principal should probably come and see my math block.  Considering he had a Superintendent, Principal, and teacher from another school district come and see my math time WITHOUT him even know exactly what I do during math.  (if you ask me that should have been observation enough!). :)

Anyway.. there is a POINT I promise!
I realized that I needed some new math games for my Math Workshop time (read about my math block {HERE}).  So I went on a search for something free.  Nada.  I decided to make my own and wanted to share them with you!
We are studying plane shapes right now so I made some goodies to go along with that.

There are two pages of shapes with the names and # of sides/vertices- so helpful for the kids.

You can grab this for FREE if you click the above picture.

If you like it, PLEASE leave me feedback!


I am SOOO excited about two upcoming things... 
first, I will be starting something called
I will take pictures of projects/bulletin boards etc. of many of the grades in my building (anywhere from preschool- fifth grade).  This way you will get LOTS of ideas from lots of grades-- I was going to take pictures yesterday... guess who forgot :(
I plan to stop by school today or tomorrow and get this post up soon!! (and then hopefully make it a every other week or once a month thing).

Finally, I am so excited I could just scream!!  My blog is getting a MAKEOVER!!!  You MUST stop back in the next few days because it will be ready very soon!  :) <-----so happy!