Great Math Products!

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Multiplication Tricks

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Doubles

ThreeFingers with Numbers

Telling Time Misconceptions

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Equivalent Fractions

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Simplifying Fractions

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Clock Fractions

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Math Fact Motivation

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Bulletin Board Ideas

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Classroom Management

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Lines and Angles

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I get the cutest handwriting fonts at Fonts for Peas! kevinandamanda.com/fonts

Make Kids Cheer About Trash!

This was probably one of the best projects we did this year. My students made amazing U.S. landmarks from recycled items. Part of the challenge was to include a circuit that lit up. Students accomplished this with Christmas lights. Even if they didn’t bring their project to completion, all students gained more understanding of the landmark they studied and where it was located on a map. In the current educational world where social studies time is lacking, I am grateful for their learning. See some of their work below.


What’s a State Blitz and Should You Be Having One?

This little adventure began with me asking students if they could name the capitol of their state when I by happenstance was watching a classroom for a few minutes while the teacher stepped out. Do you know I called on seven….SEVEN…children before one could identify the capitol of their own state. The children I asked were of the age that they should have known this. Further, I work in a good school! They all lived in the capitol to make matters worse. Before you develop an inflated view of the school you teach in, I challenge you to pose the same question to your students to see what they say.

After asking children this question, I was prompted to do a Geography Bee. Too, this supported the teachers who are teaching an exhaustive reading curriculum with very little time to teach science or social studies. Round one was to name all of the states. Only one student out of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade was able to accomplish this. Less than 10 students named 40 or more states. Now for the whopper–more than 30% of students weren’t able to identify their own state on a U.S. map!! Could this be happening where you live, too?!

As a result, I borrowed some older children the last few days of school to do a blitz of our state all over the building. I had 40 state cut out-outs, and about 20 maps. Then I had children color them on a U.S. map. My helpers were so cunning that they even plastered a few outside the school building! See some examples below so that you can maybe make your very own state blitz.

Side note: I also love this video which shows the 50 states while they are highlighted during the song.

Fun Lesson-X Marks the Spot

Feast your eyes on this fun lesson I did with K, 1st, and 2nd grade students. Since the motivation was high, all surprisingly were able to accomplish the task. This started out with a discussion about compass directions. I brought a compass and we all became little human compasses standing up with one arm as our compass needle. We pointed out which direction was north, south, east, and west. One student in the class always points out the acronym–Never East Soggy Waffles so that they can remember the directions.

I tell students treasure is hidden in their classroom and we are going to create a treasure map so that they can find the treasure. The treasure they find out laster is pieces of candy. For this I only hide three pieces. Not all of the children will get one and they understand this from the beginning. It creates a little needed competition.

Students are introduced to a compass rose and we add that to the map first. Everything else is added in relation to compass directions. I ask the children to imagine they are a little bird flying over the room. Their job is to think of large pieces of furniture that they might fly over as a landmark. I have the children copy my map as we make it together. I periodically stop to ask what other landmarks we should add. At the end I mark X’s where the three treasures are hidden.

If the children have been following along with their map and made a good effort, I allow them to search for treasure. However, if they have been fooling around and not copying the map and labels, I have them sit until they have done it correctly while the others hunt. Having the children use their own treasure maps to hunt reinforces two things–working hard and following a map with directions.

TPT Sale for Teacher Appreciation!

Does Your School Have a Social Studies Crisis?

Does your school have a social studies crisis? Or your district? I really don’t think it is just my school. I believe it is a mindset in education. Teach children to read for the whole day, and squeeze in an hour of math. If you have time maybe you can throw in science and social studies once a week for 30 minutes.

This is typical and explains why when I walked into a room, no one could tell me the capitol of their state. Disheartened, I left the room. After some thought, I decided to do a geography bee with all the intermediate grades. Round 1 was to name every state. VERY few could do this. This showed me that many of our students don’t even. know the very state they should call home. Do your students know their states? If not, Super Teacher Worksheets is a great place to stop for these resources! I used their numbered map below for my round 1 and gave students other maps to study for preparation….but hey…maybe your students know ALL of their states.

Take Advantage of Downtime! Try this!

Well, as I was sitting in a meeting–you know the ones that aren’t productive–most school meetings– I thought, hmm I am going to work on helping students. While I listened to teachers talk about the problems they have with students not learning their math facts (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers) I made some visual aids to help while kids are wasting time waiting. Honestly, I am at the point of anger with the way we are teaching math. I am glad we are learning to reason about math facts, but after a half of a page of watching a child try to compute an easy math problem there must be a more efficient way!

Now, here are few samples of what I made. I posted them wherever I thought children would be standing for long periods of time. I expected nothing from this other than the hopes that children would learn.

The kids said, “Did you put those signs up?”

I replied, “What makes you think that?” :).

Of course I told them that yes it was me. AND, do you know what??!! They said, “Thank you!”

I was floored and not expecting that!

Giveaway Time!

I’m so excited to announce a new giveaway in partnering with Kelly Malloy and a few others!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  

Prize: $100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)

Co-hosts:   An Apple for the Teacher,

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 Mrs. Wennings ClasroomJackie CrewsThe Homeschool Style-Katie RingStar Kids by NaomiThe Froggy FactoryMickey’s Place,  Lockwood’s Little LearnersMs. KAlina V Design and ResourcesKim  HeuerKamp KindergartenSimone,   Angelica’s ResourcesChocolate 4 TeachersA Plus KidsIt’s a Teacher Thing180 Days of ReadingMrs Davidson’s Resources1stgradefireworks,  In the Land of TeachingPaula’s Primary ClassroomThe Monkey Market,  A Teacher and her Cat,  and Dynamic Learning Resources.  

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 3/13/22 and is open worldwide.

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers! 

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Teaching Kids to Say Thank You

Recently I pondered the idea of thank you cards. I haven’t received a thank you card for a wedding or shower in quite some time. At first I thought maybe the recipient was just being rude or thoughtless, but when I heard other ladies inquiring if I had gotten a thank you card, I wondered if this wasn’t just becoming a trend. After a short internet search, I realized that this is becoming a trend. It is not “the thing” to not receive a thank you card or a thanks for that matter.

I do my best to teach my students to say “thank you” to one another and to me. I have read the Ron Clark book to students in which he takes items back from students if they don’t say “thank you” in three seconds after receiving the item. This teaches them to be more thankful.

This month my students collectively wrote a thank you card to a guest speaker we had. I folded a 12 x 18 piece of construction paper in half. Then I divided the front into little squares so that each student could do their own artwork within the square. Before I let the students write in the square, I handed them a sticky note of the same size so that they could plan their artwork before they wrote in the construction paper square. This project turned out so beautifully.

The card SO impressed the guest speaker that I got a thank you card for the thank you card..haha! This warmed my heart during a week when I really needed some cheering up. Below I have pictured the thank you card I received from our guest speaker. In addition, at a later date, we received some coupons for all of my students to receive some free items. Hopefully this will make an impression on my students to always say “thank you”!

Happy Valentines Day!

Are YOU ready…Freddy?

Every time I enter a K-2 classroom to teach enrichment, I bring Freddy. Freddy is one of my classroom management posters. I bought some clipart and added a “Ready” title to the bottom of this page. The “Freddy” part kind of evolved with the children’s input. What is great about Freddy is that he looks exactly like I want the children to look when I am teaching. At the beginning of the year, we talk about what it looks like to listen and pay attention. Then as I am teaching, I walk around with Freddy and point to him when I see children not acting appropriately. Freddy and his friends are in page protectors in a binder that I carry with me when I am teaching an enrichment class, which lasts about 30-40 minutes.

Freddy has friends, too. With the children’s help I also have named a “Ready Betty”. As time has progressed, Freddy has made friends and I have included them in the binder, too. In addition, I have included a “lip sandwich” poster. I must give credit to a teacher friend for a lip sandwich idea. We discuss what a lip sandwich is at the beginning of the year so that children know the expectation. More than anything, showing them what Ready Freddy looks like gets results whether on the carpet in “criss cross applesauce” style or when children are at their seat. My principal even noticed how effective the posters were and commented on this, and I have had teachers ask their students to get in the Ready Freddy position.

Sometimes I am able to make a story about how Freddy is watching the children and I cover my eyes for five seconds and count and say that I know they will be ready when I open my eyes. I have also told children that Freddy is friends with Elf or Santa at Christmas. There are a myriad of fun imaginative stories you can make up where Freddy is involved especially since children thrive on imagination.

Here is the poster set I made for use at my school. There are most multicultural groups represented in this set.

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