Monday, July 31, 2017

Gift Bag STEM and a Huge SALE

First things first. Teachers Pay Teachers is having a back-to-school sale on August 1st and 2nd! 

My entire store will be 20% off, and TPT is offering an additional 5% off when you use Promo Code BTS2017!  

Even my already discounted bundles will be on sale!

If your district requires you to have emergency sub plans ready to go, I've got you covered! I have bundled plans for grades 1, 2, 3, and 4. Individual sets are available as well.

Click on the images below if you'd like to get your sub tub prepped and ready to go.

My children and I will be heading off to a birthday party in a few minutes. I  bought gifts. I wrapped them. But, my daughter had other items she wanted to give her friend. So, she made her own gift bag with paper, tape, and pipe cleaners. It was a self-motivated STEM project, and I just had to share it. 

 Have a good day! Click here to visit my TPT store for the sale.

Friday, July 28, 2017

3rd Grade Place Value With Freebies

Back to school for me always means PLACE VALUE review. It builds number sense and is a foundation for so many other 3rd grade skills.

That's why I've rounded up a few activities I like to use to build place value review into my classroom math block.  (Did you get the double meaning? ROUNDED up?)

Place Value Towers
I'd love to take credit for the brilliance and simplicity of this idea, but I can't! Ashleigh has some amazing place value products in her store, and place value towers was included in this unit.  I use this the first week of school, and it's always a a huge hit. It provides solid review and also allows me to see how well the students work collaboratively.
Place Value Bullseye
Alas, this is not an original idea of mine either! Amy Lemons shared how she uses googly eyes for place value in this blog post.

I adapted her idea for older students. 

Grab copies of the differentiated sheets I created by clicking here.

Spinners and Dice 
Using a variety of materials for practice is key. The kids love them, and it's easy to pull them out for early finishers. Kids can simply spin a number and then write it in standard form and expanded form. 

Choral Counting and Charting
I always start my rounding unit by having students skip count by tens and hundreds chorally. We chart as we chant! I like to do this because it reinforces the idea that "tens" don't stop at 100. 

After we chant and chart I show students a number, and we determine which two multiples of ten the number would come between. We place a piece of sticky note or washi tape between those two tens. We usually do several examples.  I use the same approach when we round by hundreds. I find that providing this foundation helps students round numbers later on. I leave the charts up for reference.

Round and Roll
Lots of practice is essential, and it has to be engaging! I have a freebie that can help! Click here to grab it. 

Other Products That You Might Find Useful
Many products in my store include place value practice. I also have some additional freebies available.
Click here to find it.
Click here to find it. Although it says "back to school", it is perfect for any time of the year.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Preventing Perilous Piles

Marla from A Word on Third hosts a biweekly linky, and I'm happy to be participating.

This week, I'm sharing an organizational tip that should help prevent those dangerous, gravity-defying piles of papers!

Confession: I used to be a piler. For real. It's embarrassing to remember, really. I've decided to be transparent and show you what I mean using photos. That's my son 9 years ago with my sister-in-law. Look behind them!

Admittedly, pile-ups sometimes still occur in my classroom. But the piles are less tall and don't hang around as long! Here's what I do now.
I have a file crate with dated files for 3-5 weeks. Whenever I copy something I'll need, I automatically place it in the corresponding file. 

Parent volunteers, paraprofessionals, and inclusion team-teachers know about my system. If any of them make copies for me, I always jot the date that I'll need it so they can place the sheets in the correct file. 

On Fridays, I take a few minutes to change the dates on the empty files.

Tip: Save time and sticky notes by using pencil to jot the dates. Then you can just erase and fill in the correct dates without removing the post-its.

Visit Marla's blog to read more Happy Teacher Tips. Perhaps leave some of your own tips in the comments. I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday July

Happy Friday! I'm a few days late for the July edition of Show and Tell Tuesday, which is hosted by Stephanie at Forever in Fifth Grade

We've been to the beach several times this month. I'm so thankful that I live within easy driving distance of the ocean. I've discovered that LARGE PRINT books are best for me at the beach. I can wear sunglasses instead of reading glasses and still see the words! Win!

My kids and I tried letterboxing for the first time. A local plant nursery with six spectacular greenhouses has set up a letterboxing adventure. I don't grow things. Ever. But I love wandering around in their greenhouses. In one of the greenhouses, there's a Ponderosa lemon tree that's 117 years old. In the picture above, you'll notice several types of citrus growing on one tree. Different types of fruits have been grafted in. 
My kids LOVE to read as much as I do. We've been to two used bookstores this month and to the Salvation Army store. We leave with armloads of books. One of the used bookstores we just discovered yesterday, and it's right in our town. We've also been spending lots of time in the library. Gabrielle has been all about logging her books online and doing challenges.
I've read two professional books and lots of "just because" books. I highly recommend Grammar Matters by Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty.
I've been trying to eat lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and other healthy options this summer. But, sometimes you just really want roast beef! My husband, the kids, and I went on a jaunt to this place to get delicious roast beef sandwiches and coffee milk. Coffee milk is a Rhode Island thing. In fact, it's their official state drink!

You'll notice that this post had very little school-related content. I'm in full summer mode! Head over to Forever in Fifth Grade to read other Show and Tell Tuesday posts.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Happy Teacher Tip Tuesdays

Marla from A Word on Third has started a brand new linky, and I'm so excited to participate!

This week, I'm sharing a wellness tip that has helped me feel better and be happier. Smoothies!

Last winter, I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix. Whoa, was it ever an eye-opener. For a limited time, you can watch it here. It's still available on Netflix also.

The man who made the film started juicing and eating a mostly plant-based diet. I am not a juicer, but it did inspire me to start trying to get LOTS more fruits, veggies, and natural whole foods into my diet. 

I feel SO much better since changing my diet, and smoothies have been a tasty and easy way to do it. My favorite recipe:

I'd love to hear from you in the comments if you give smoothies a try. Please share recipes, too! I'm always looking for good ideas. 

Head over to Marla's blog to link up and find more Teacher Happiness tips. 

FYI: My Smoothies Pinterest board has several other recipes.