Thursday, December 29, 2016

3 Ways to Make Math More Fun in the Classroom

Many students think that math and fun do not belong in the same sentence.  But, that's not true! There are LOTS of way to have fun with math.  Here are three of my favorites:

1.  Jenga
Everyone loves Jenga, so it is a FANTASTIC way to add some fun to math practice.  I bought 4 block stacking games in the Target Dollar Spot.  Each game has 39 blocks. I numbered each block from 1 to 39 on both ends of the blocks. Then, I created 39 questions to practice adding and subtracting decimals.

I broke my students into groups of 6.  I gave each group a game, 6 answer sheets, and a question sheet.  The first player picked a block that he/she would like to move.  All group members solved the problems.  Each student shared his/her answer. If all students did not get the same the answer they must discuss the different answers and figure out which is correct.  Then, the student can move the block and place it on top.

My students LOVED it!  Click here to grab my Decimal Addition & Subtraction Block Stacking Game for free!

2.  Scoot with a Twist
Do your students love playing Scoot?  Mine do!  I love using Scoot as a way to review concepts in the classroom.  Recently my partner teacher and I organized a large Scoot game that went between our two classrooms.  It was AWESOME!  There were enough cards for all of our students.  The cards were spread out between our two rooms.

Our classes loved the game.  They also loved traveling into another classroom to continue playing.  In fact, we had a lot of people asking us what was going on as they walked down the hallway.  I can't wait to do it again!

3.  Create a Game
Most students love playing games in the classroom.  So, creating a game would be even better!  I have done this in a few different ways.  I have had students that needed enrichment create a game to teach a concept because being able to teach something to someone else is a higher level thinking skill.

I have also done a whole class Create a Board Game assignment.  I love this assignment because it allows students to show their creative side.  They love sharing the games and we always have a Game Day after the assignments are finished. If you would like to see how I set up this assignment you can check out my Create a Board Game resource by clicking here.

How do you make math fun in the classroom?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Best of 2016

I am excited to participate in a Best of 2016 sale with a LOT of other TpT friends! I have placed my top 10 items on sale in my TpT store. You can search #bestof2016sale to see all of the amazing resources that will be on sale.

Here are my Top 5 best selling resources:

 5. Shop or Save? An Adding & Subtracting Decimals Game
This is a great game for practicing adding and subtracting decimals! It can be played in a math center or during a whole class lesson. Click here to find it in my store.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Wish List Linky

I am SO excited to join up with Daisy Designs for a Wish List Linky describing the top 3 wish listed items in my TpT store.  

The Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale begins tomorrow and this linky will be the perfect way for me to find more resources to add to my cart.  Woo hoo!  All stores will be on sale and then there is a promo code, too.  Don't you just love that graphic created by The Creative Classroom?

So, here we go!  The top 3 wish listed items in my store are:

Friday, November 25, 2016

Give Back Friday


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am joining many other TpT sellers in a Give Back Friday event.  50% of the profits of my top selling Create a Board Game project and a brand new Google Interactive Current Event research project will be donated to the American Cancer Society.




My dad has Lymphoma and two of my sisters-in-law have battled cancer.  It is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.

My post went out late, so I am planning to continue this through Saturday.  Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mid-Week Planning



I am joining up with Double Dose of Learning for a #whatimplanningwednesday post.  You can search the hashtag on IG to see what other teachers are planning, too.

It has been a crazy few days with parent conferences and a professional day.  I need to get back into the swing of things.  Here are a few of the things I am planning for tomorrow (and the rest of the week).

I am working with my students to build better reading responses.  They ALL have fantastic ideas when we discuss books, but writing them down is another story.  One of my favorite resources for helping students write better responses is a resource from Runde's Room called Stick it Together.  It's a collaborative activity and my students love it!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Halloween Activities

I can't believe that Halloween is right around the corner!  Are you still looking for activities to do with your class?  You've come to the right place!  Here are some things that I am planning on doing:

1.  STEM Challenge
There are LOTS of fun Halloween themed STEM challenges.  A simple Google search will bring up loads of different ideas.  I am planning to use one that I found on Teachers Pay Teachers.
I found little pumpkins at my local grocery store on sale for 10 for $10.  I can't wait to see the finished products.  Click on the picture to check out the product.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Conferences Made Easy and a Freebie

October is here!  I love the fall and the things that come with it - even parent teacher conferences. Yes, I love parent conferences because I finally have a system that works for me.  It has taken a lot of time and energy to figure out the best way to organize, plan, and run effective parent conferences. Read on if you'd like to hear my tips! 

Conference Sign Ups
Organizing the conference sign ups was my least favorite part of the process UNTIL I was introduced to my new best friend: Sign Up Genius.  Sign Up Genius is a game changer!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Participating in a Giveaway

Happy Monday!  I am writing to let you know that I am one of many TpT creators helping Jasmine from Lesson Plans & Computers celebrate reaching 500 followers on Facebook.  She has put together an amazing giveaway!  I hope you'll check it out for your chance to win some amazing products!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

First Day Activities

Is it just me or did the summer fly by?  It's crazy how fast it went, but I am EXCITED, too. There is something awesome about starting a new school year.  There are so many possibilities! Designing a new classroom set-up and/or decor, creating new activities to try, and having a new group of children waiting to learn are just a few of my favorite things about the beginning of a year.

The flip side to a new school year is the stress that is lurking under the surface.  There is A LOT to do and the first few days of school can be difficult to plan.  So, I am going to share my list of First Day Faves.  This list includes all of the activities that I think are critical for a smooth start to a new school year.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Homework Take 2 or Three Things My Students Will Do This Year


I wrote about my true feelings for homework in a previous post.  I have spent a lot of time thinking and planning for my approach this year.  In my opinion there are 3 things that upper elementary students should be doing for homework:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

4 Reasons Why I Don't Like Homework

Yes, you read that correctly.  I don't like homework.  I am a teacher and I DO NOT LIKE HOMEWORK!  Surprised?  Maybe you are or maybe you are not.  If you are like any other teacher or parent on the planet you have probably seen the great homework debate playing out.  It has been all over social media, the news, and in various forms of print.  Many people think that this is a new issue.  It isn't.  The debate has been going on for years!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer's Here (Almost) - Time to Recharge



I am so excited to join the blog link up hosted by Glimmers of Learning!  Summer is here and it is time for teachers to rest, relax, and recharge!  Here are the top 3 things I am going to do to recharge this summer:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

End of Year Tips and Tricks

Most people love when the end of April rolls around.  Warmer weather (especially if you live in New England), longer days, and the thought that the summer months are almost here.  I am here to tell you that this is NOT what teachers think about at the end of April.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

How Harry Potter Helped with Dividing Fractions

Yes, you read that right.  Harry Potter helped my students understand how to divide fractions.  How?  Read on and I will explain.

Multiplying fractions was one of the easiest things for my students to grasp this year.  Not surprising, really.  If you can multiply numbers, you can multiply fractions.  I figured that dividing fractions would be just as easy.  Yeah, no.

My students understood the concept of dividing fractions.  They even understood why the reciprocal is used.  But, they couldn't remember to actually DO IT!  So, they would solve the problem by multiplying the original equation without the reciprocal.  Wrong answers all over the place.

Friday, April 1, 2016