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Classroom Management

Have You Filled a Bucket Lesson Fun! {Giveaway}

One of my friends calls it punting when you come up with a lesson at the last minute that turns out better than one you spent hours planning. Now, I did have a ready to go lesson and was ready to teach it when I thought this idea would be so much better. In a school where I have difficulty with the students treating one another with kindness, this idea seemed perfect. I used the idea from Have You Filled a Bucket Today? for this lesson, but I never actually got around to reading the book.

Here is what I did. I brought a bucket of sorts which actually was a Dollar Tree gift box and it was filled with red die cut hearts and puff balls. I gathered the students in a circle and threw out puffballs one at a time while saying things that kids say to one another that are hurtful. For example, “you’re ugly, your breath stinks, you’re wearing cheap shoes, no one likes you, you can’t play kickball” etc. Every time I would say an ugly comment I would drop a puffball or heart on the floor. Then I showed the kids how the box is like your heart and it is like you are hurting someone when you say mean things to them.

Next, I gave each child a puffball in the circle and had them think of something nice to say about someone else in the circle. I started so that the students had an example to follow. Then as they said a nice comment about someone, I let them put the puffball back in the box. Then at the end I let the kids see how the box was filled up because they said nice things about one another.

Note: It is hard to get young children to say something nice about someone that isn’t about their physical appearance, so this requires modeling or else the children will say that johnny has a nice shirt or that they like someone’s hair. After we sat on the carpet and did all of this I had the children write something on a paper heart that they would say nice about someone else. Then I collected all of the hearts and made a bucket to post on the wall so that the children could be reminded of what we had talked about.

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 TeacherTheBeezyTeacherMrs Wenning’s ClassroomChocolate 4 TeachersKari HallA Plus KidsSmart 2 Heart CreationsThe Cozy Crafty ClassroomPint Size LearnersStar KidsThe Fun FactoryIt’s a Teacher ThingMs. KThe Chocolate TeacherKelly McCownMrs Hansens HelpfulsMickey’s PlaceFourth Grade Frenzy,  Little Owl’s Teacher TreatsPriscilla Woodard – Tasked 2 Teach,  and Right Down the Middle with Andrea.

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 2/13/20 and is open worldwide.

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Are You Having Girl Drama In Your Class? Try This!

About this time of year, it seems the girl drama erupts. The winter time has set in and it seems none of your students can stand each other. A lot of times this begins with someone saying something about someone else and then no one thinks they are liked. Or it may start with a pointing finger. He did ____ or she did _____. There is always blame. Discontent ensues and no one likes one another. I have used this quote to help students get past this mindset and it works as long as the ideas are fresh in their minds. In other words they will need reminding of this…

No one wants a small mind and so this quote gives students a lot to think about and makes them act the right way. When you hear them discussing people, you can just remind them to not have a small mind. :).

Here is a printable for your classroom.

Wish I Had Known About the Brain!

A couple of years in a row now my partners at other schools have begun the year teaching about the brain and mindsets. I was like, “Yeah, that sounds great.” BUT, I had already planned something else in my mind. They shared their lessons with me and they all revolved around this book…Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by  Deak Ph.D., JoAnn and Sarah Ackerley.

Here is a brief sketch of what I did with my students in 1st and 2nd grades this year. These were three 30 minute enrichment lessons. Most of this I cannot take credit for since I didn’t write the lessons, but I adapted them for my own use.

Day 1: I read the first few pages of the book and we learned the parts of the brain here as we touched the parts of the brain on our heads, we talked about each part’s function. We did a coloring sheet in which students colored parts of the brain like are on this page of the book (sorry, but I am not at liberty to share the coloring page).

We also sang with this Story Bots You Tube song.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnl7DLSNFV8[/embedyt]

Day 2: We read the next few pages of the book and reviewed the parts of the brain. We acted out different scenarios which were pre-prepared (I didn’t come up with them on the spot in other words). Students had to guess which parts of the brain they thought were being used to perform the actions that the children were doing.

Day 3: We read the last few pages of the book, and made neurons with our arms, palms, and fingers. We talked about how electrical impulses travel down the neurons to tell the body what to do. Then I talked to students about how mistakes are the biggest teacher (reiterating what the book says). I brought up the idea of a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. I held a balloon and blew it up. I said this is like a growth mindset. I also held up a flat balloon and said this is a fixed mindset. Then I asked students what they could do to make it easier to blow up the balloon. I wanted them to tell me to stretch it (like their brain). From this point, I found a random fixed mindset/growth mindset poster on the internet and read it while holding the balloon. I had students check phrases they had said before on both the fixed and growth mindset side. This website has a good chart about characteristics of fixed and growth mindset patterns.

What I love when teaching about the brain and fixed/growth mindset is that in essence you are teaching children the power of choices to let their mind expand or stay stagnant. With my older students, I also discussed how when you let your mind go a certain direction over and over it makes a deeper pathway similar to when you walk on the grass a whole lot. I ask the students what helps the grass to stop being dead in the same spot. Students invariably are able to say that you stop walking on it and when the rain comes it grows back up. So it is with anyone’s brain. They stop thinking the worst and the grass grows back up. Their brain stops having that pathway.

I hope you get a chance to teach about the brain and mindsets in your classroom. You won’t regret it!

Hanitizer That Doesn’t Dry Out Your Hands?

Hanitizer is affectionately called so for students’ simple naming convention. A few years ago I tried out this hand sanitizer I’m about to tell you about and absolutely loved it. Now, of course, I have used all of the different types of hand sanitizer…Germ-X, the Kroger Brand, the deliciously wonderfully smelling Bath and Body Works brands, but they all left my hands feeling dry and cracked especially in the winter since they have alcohol in them…Well, enter the best hand sanitizer ever which fixed that problem. Thieves hand sanitizer made by Young Living. I have small ones for my purse and a large one at school.

After you use the hand sanitizer, it keeps your hands feeling soft and pleasantly scented. When I buy the large one, I use it to fill up my small bottles for my purse so that it is more cost effective. Pictured above is a small purse sized one. Also, even better is that it only takes a very small amount–smaller than a dime size to sanitize your whole hands. This sanitizer is made with essential oils, which is what naturally kills all the yucky germs, and it doesn’t have any harmful chemicals in it like normal hand sanitizers. Give it a try! You will LOVE it!

To get this hand sanitizer, just go here to YoungLiving.com and order. My sponsor and enroller number are 2600343.

How Can You Get Kids to Manage Time While Working on a Project {Giveaway}

I recently had my students do an extended project on Greek Mythology, but this idea could work for any subject. The students had to do several steps to get to the movie making part. They had to research different myths, gather details, make an outline, make a story board, make a costume, and make a prop. Then they had to learn the iMovie software, including how to edit, include a sound effect, and include music. In the end the students’ projects turned out wonderfully, BUT to get multiple students to work together and not fight without a project going ON AND ON, there has to be some sort of time limit. Students of the 9-10 year old range have to have some sort of deadlines.

I incorporated two methods to help them stay on target while working.

  1. As a class we talked about the due date before they had been working very long. We planned together on their student calendars different due dates for each part of the project to be done. Now these weren’t actual due dates. These were just dates to help students pace themselves.
  2. Next, I wrote each student group on a sticky note–one of those sticky- on-the-whole-back notes. Above the sticky notes, I placed the items that were necessary for them to complete (on white cards above). As a group finished the task I moved the notes along. This puts a little positive pressure on the kids to get finished with each item because they don’t want their names to be left behind on the wall. Above I blurred out their names for privacy.

Now go forth and do great projects!

Guess what! It is giveaway time!

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 TeacherMrs Wenning’s ClassroomThe Chocolate TeacherA Plus KidsKamp KindergartenSamson’s ShoppeHelping Kids ShineTheBeezyTeacherKelly McCownCatch My ProductsThe Cozy Crafty ClassroomChocolate 4 TeachersJackie CrewsStar KidsThe Fun FactorySandra NaufalThe Best Days by Julie Santello180 Days of ReadingRoots and WingsGlobe Trottin’ KidsPriscilla Woodard – Tasked 2 TeachMs. KGlistening GemsJosie’s PlaceThe Froggy FactoryMickey’s Place, and Guide Teach Inspire.

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 5/13/19 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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How Can You Manage Peer Help?

I am currently having my students make videos. This is the third year I have done so. I don’t mind students helping one another if one wants to be in the video while another holds the camera for the rest of the students. However, what I do mind is when the students seem to be spending too much time helping someone and then forget about themselves. Kind and caring kids seem to have this happen often. To help avoid anyone being taken advantage of, I made these time sheets. These would work for any task–not just video work. In the past I have also had that problem with students helping others with math problems

I have developed a solution to this problem, and you can have it here for free to help you manage your students, too! 🙂 At the top you tell students how many minutes they are allotted to help others and they keep track of the time they have helped others on the sheet. Have them keep this page in an easy to reach place, so they can easily pull it out when they are helping other students.


Does Fruit Have Feelings?

This post is a continuation of our previous water and rice experiments.  The experiment is completely a product of child wonder and curiosity.  After we spoke to rice for 30 days and saw the changes, the students wanted to try fruit, and they voted on blueberries.  So that everyone was a part of the experiment, I put the blueberries in a baggy and put that baggy inside of a Wal-Mart sack to prevent leakage.  Then I passed the bag around so that all of the students could have a turn squashing the berries inside the bag.  Next, I put about a half of a cup of squished berries in three different clean jars and sealed them.  With masking tape, one jar was labeled “LOVE” and the other jar was labeled “HATE”.  A third jar was left blank as our control group.  The children made predictions about what they thought would happen to each jar.  Every day without prompting as the students would leave class, they would say, “I love you” to the love jar and “I hate you” to the hate jar.  The blank jar sat by itself without being spoken to.

After 30 school days of speaking to the jars, we opened them…duh…dum…

So what do you think happened?  Now, if you have been following the other two experiments, you may have an idea of what happened.  The love and hate jars smelled distinctly different.  The love jar smelled like sweet wine.  The hate jar smelled more like vinegar.  Of course, all of the jars had started a fermentation process.  In fact, the jars had fermented so much that when I opened the lid it was pressurized to some degree and  hard to open.  There was actually a blue-grayish fog that came out of the love and hate jars when they were opened.  The jar that had no name didn’t have a fog and neither was the smell very strong like the love and hate jars.


What explains all of this?  Now, I can’t explain it, but there is something powerful about words and your students will figure this out after doing any of these experiments.  This could lead to such a powerful discussion about talking to others in a kind way.

What do you think we did next?  Well, I had one student who wanted to know what would happen if we started saying “I love you” to the hate jar and “I hate you” to the love jar.  We did this for 30 school days with the same jars and same berries.  We relabeled the jars with “hate” tape over the “love” tape and “love” tape over the “hate” tape.

(suspense building music plays here)…We opened the jars again after 30 school days of talking to the jars.  I predicted that the jars would change and the love jar would turn the hate berries into smelling sweeter and the hate jar would turn the love berries into smelling more sour…BUT this isn’t what happened.  The jars actually smelled the same.

What should we try next?

Essential Oils for Classroom Concentration {Win a $25 Credit}

I have an amazing offer for all of my oily teacher friends! Here is a guest post by Stacy from GotOilSupplies.com about how oils can help your children in the classroom or while studying.  Got Oil Supplies has some absolutely beautiful pendant necklaces so that your child can be diffusing an oil all day long for maximum learning potential.  They also have other amazing products!  You must stop by to check them out!  AND…you must sign up for a chance to win this $25 store credit from their website!!! 😀

I received some sample roll on bottles for mixing my own oils, and beautiful gold labels from Got Oil Supplies. I love how they have metal roller balls and how they are made with blue glass.  I have never bought a bottle with a metal roller ball.  They work so smoothly and so much better than plastic roller balls!  They also came with these beautiful gold lids which match the gold labels–very classy looking!  What’s great is that the price is a great value for the quality of the bottles!


Keep scrolling and reading to enter to win a $25 Got Oil Supplies Credit on the Rafflecopter below.

Essential Oils for School:

Unleash Your Potential with Aromatherapy

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils renowned for their therapeutic and medicinal effects. They’re naturally extracted from plants through a process called distillation. Distillation is done by heating or steaming a part or parts of a plant (such as leaves, flowers, roots, bark, or stems) until the essence is produced. The extracted essential oil retains the plant’s fragrance as well as its other natural properties.

Essential oils can be dispersed through an essential oil diffuser or can simply be applied onto the skin. Due to the high potency of these oils, they can provide healing effects to human body just as much as the plants from which they’re extracted. They’re antiseptic, meaning they’re a good choice against infection. They can also boost the immune system. Furthermore, they can be used to relieve asthma, vertigo, bronchitis, and headaches.

Perks for the Mind

But the most prominent benefit of essential oils lies in their effect on the human mind. The fragrance of essential oils contain true essences of plants; hence, they are best inhaled. They’re known to provide a lot of positive effects to the brain, from stress relief to learning enhancement, depending on the particular oil you are using. Since they are a great aid in brain function, a number of essential oils are found to be helpful for students.

Rosemary

The first essential oil that can aid in learning is Rosemary. Rosemary extract can improve your mood and brain performance. Its fragrance relaxes the brain and can, therefore, help you focus more. This essential oil is best when diffused during study time, whether in school or at home.

Peppermint

One of the biggest struggles during study time is when a lazy mood hits you. Good thing there’s peppermint – an essential oil with an energizing effect. Its minty aroma can make you feel cool and refreshed. Plus, it can also help enhance your focus. Diffusing peppermint essential oil after lunchtime is helpful, most especially when you need to study during that lazy hour.

Cedarwood

Among all essential oils, it’s cedarwood which can deliver the most oxygen to the brain. Oxygen is important to sustain active brain function; thus, the more oxygen gets sent to your brain, the better your mental capacity becomes. This is the reason cedarwood is strongly recommended during exams as it can keep you calm, focused, and alert – all at the same time.

Lemon

A sleepy mind is not a well-functioning mind; so, better use an essential oil freshly extracted from lemon. Lemon’s citrus scent can rejuvenate an otherwise sleepy spirit. It’s also known to provide an energy-boosting fragrance that aids in concentration. As a matter of fact, this particular scent has been found to aid in several cases of learning disabilities. Wake up to a fresh scent by diffusing a lemon essential oil during the morning and start your school day feeling energized.

Sandalwood

Sandalwood can help maintain healthy blood circulation in your brain. It can help enhance your memory and concentration. Its soothing aroma can also save you from the stress and anxiety you usually get the night before your final exams. This essential oil is best inhaled during review time.

Frankincense

Frankincense is commonly diffused to soothe stress and anxiety. Aside from that, it has also been found to calm a preoccupied mind, giving way for mental clarity. Hence, it’s usually best to use this oil when you need to improve your focus and thinking.

Blended Oils

There are also essential oils made from mixed extracts that provide synergistic benefits. Peppermint and wild orange blend is a good example. It combines the refreshing effect of peppermint and the uplifting scent of wild orange in one essential oil. A blend of rosemary, coconut oil, and lemon is also a great choice if you need enhanced focus and memory.

Another famous blend is the vetiver and cedarwood blend. The essence of this blend can both calm your mind and boost your thought processes. This blend is best inhaled during the morning.

Choose Carefully

While there’s no denying that essential oils are beneficial, you shouldn’t just grab the first ones you see. Keep in mind that these oils tend to vary in terms of purity – and of course, you’ll want to go for those made from the real thing, completely devoid of additives.

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Do This Experiment if Your Kids Are Name Calling {Giveaway}

So, I had this idea a couple of years ago.  It started with the curiosity of the experiment Dr. Emoto had about water and snowflakes.  In case you don’t know Dr. Emoto spoke different words to water and then froze it.  After freezing the water, he saw the water form different structures and shapes. The kind words made beautiful snowflakes while the bad words made the water form in less desirable shapes.  I showed this to my students first.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au4qx_l8KEU[/embedyt]

Then I saw where someone had recreated this experiment with rice and water.  I decided to try this at home one summer where I could speak to the jars without interruption for 30 days.  When I was at home, I chose 3 equal sized jars and put one cup of dry rice in each.  Then I poured one cup of water on top of the rice in each of the three jars.  On one jar I labeled LOVE, one I labeled HATE, and on the third jar I wrote nothing.  Then I spoke to the jars for 30 days.  I said, ” I love you” to the love jar and “I hate you” to the jar labeled hate.  I did nothing to the jar labeled with nothing.  After 30 days I opened the jars.  I was in total suspense.  When I opened the jars, they all stunk really badly, but they all had distinctly different smells.  They all grew mold.  Interestingly, the jar that was ignored grew more mold than the jar that was labeled hate.

Now fast forward to a couple of years later.  I did this with my class starting on the first day of school.  This time I did the experiment a little differently and I recommend doing the experiment this way with your class if you decide to do this. I boiled 3 cups of white rice and measured out one cup for each of three equal sized jars and sealed them.  I, again, labeled the jars, love, hate, and then just a blank jar.  Each time the students would leave for the day, they would say “I love you” to the love jar and “I hate you” to the hate jar.  Now to the blank jar, they were supposed to do nothing and say nothing.  Every now and then a child would pick up the blank jar.  I had it marked on the calendar for the day we would open the jars.  We just finished the experiment this past Friday.  This was the 30th day of us talking to the jars, but not the 30th day of the jars sitting.  On days we were not at school, the jars just sat.  I was a little worried that this would have a negative effect on the experiment, but it did not. (below the lids are ajar because this is the day we opened them)

Before we did the experiment, I had the students predict what would happen to each jar.  None of them predicted what actually happened.  I was also surprised about what happened.The rice DID NOT mold.  About mid way through the 30 days the rice started to liquefy and become just white slush.  The granules of rice were no longer visible.  The consistency was more like oatmeal.  When we opened the jars, they all stunk but not as bad as when I did the experiment at home.  The love jar smelled like fermented bread.  The hate jar smelled like fermented cheese and had more of a sour smell.  In my opinion, the blank jar smelled the worst and also smelled fermented.

To make sure everyone had a chance to smell the jars without having their peers adverse reactions affect their experience, I had each student go smell the jars individually with their back turned to the class.  The jars were set up in the back of the room.  The children were busy working on another activity while I let each child go one by one to the back for jar observations. I instructed them before hand to not make any reactions to the class so that everyone had a fair chance to form their own opinion.  I  had the students write down the results of what the jars smelled like after they smelled them on the same paper that they had made their predictions 30 days earlier.  Then I let them talk at their table groups about what they noticed.  Later I pulled all the students to the carpet to discuss what they noticed and their thoughts.  Of course, they wanted to talk about how it smelled like “poop”, “farts”, and the like! 🙂  When we got past what the jars smelled like, I asked the kids why they thought I had them do this.  Some kids recognized the fact that their words changed the rice, and were in amazement about how this had happened.  (below the jars from the back–I know the jars look like different amounts, but I measured each one the same)

I must mention a HUGE teacher moment happened during this.  One of those moments that makes your job worth while :).  I had a child come up to me after we had talked about how words affect people when you say mean things to them just like our words affected the rice positively or negatively.  He said, “You know, I’ve been saying mean things to a someone in my class, and he’s here in this room right now.  I said, “Do you feel like you need to apologize?”  He shook his head saying yes.  I said, “Well, you are welcome to step outside with him and apologize.”  And, so he did!

Who would’ve thought that talking to rice would change the heart of a child?

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  
 
Prize: $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
 
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
 
 
 
 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 10/13/17 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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Why Won’t My Students STOP TALKING??!!

What do you do when your students talk too much? I know it drives you insane!  Is there a way to curb this behavior without taking away a privilege from everyone–moving clips, taking away Dojo Points etc.?

I’m going to share with you what works for me.  First I start out the year with an anchor chart like the one pictured here.

I review each of the five items on the chart.  I have students practice acting like each of the five expectations on the chart.  For example, I have them read the expectations with me.  When we read number three I have the students whisper in their teams.  When we read number four I have them practice using low voices in teams.  We talk about how students’ bodies look when students are using soft voices–how their bodies are close together.  I even have children practice raising their hands to ask a question.  We discuss how a child waits to be called on before making any noise, how students don’t get called on when making “ooh, ooh, monkey noises” etc.

Now, what happens if children are talking too loudly while working?  After I have given them a warning or two about the class volume, I have found this to be a simple solution.  “Students, you have been talking too loudly.  Because of this, we are going to sit in absolute silence for one minute.  If after one minute no one has made a sound, you will be able to talk again in low voices.  During that minute if one person makes a sound–even a whisper–I will start the one minute over.”

I hold to what I said, and the noise magically lowers.  Sometimes it seems that children just  needed a break from their conversation and noise level to readjust their volume.  I hope these tips help you.  It is never too late in the year to establish your expectations.  Don’t give up if you are struggling with a talkative class. 🙂

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