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Multiplication Tricks

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Doubles

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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

The Book that Needs to Be Heard in this Season…

Merry Christmas! This book is educational, funny, and may even make you shed a tear. It did me. The reason I say it needs to be heard is that some students don’t know the Christmas story. They have only seen and been exposed to the sanitized version allowed to be told in public schools…you know…Santa, elves, reindeer, Christmas trees, stockings, magical North Pole type stories. Did you know it was on video if you don’t have a paper copy available. The Best (worst) Christmas Pageant Ever.

Engage 100% of Your Students with this lesson!

I just repeated this lesson from a few years ago. Students DO NOT FORGET this lesson and will beg for more. This is great for a day when student’s attention span will be minimal such as the holiday season.

This lesson will take you about 30 minutes or you could stretch it out if you like. First warn by saying, “Do not stick these up your nose or in your mouth! Do not mash these.” (my warning comes, of course, from a student who did stick one in his mouth.)

  1. Give each child one Mexican jumping bean. Tell them to lay it on the table and observe.
  2. On paper, ask them what they think the mystery item is. Some will answer what they think it is. Common responses I have heard are a nut, an acorn, a rock.
  3. On paper ask them if it moves. By this point they will probably have discovered it moves because another student will probably have exclaimed that it moved.
  4. On paper, ask students to explain why they think it moves.
  5. Have the children draw a picture of what they think the mastery item looks like on the inside. I never call the object the master items until after I have shown them the story.
  6. Show students the Mexican jumping bean story.
  7. Bask in the fact that you are currently the children’s hero for bringing something so cool to look at.

Where do you get these beans you ask. You can actually get them off of Amazon. Mexican grocery type stores most likely also have them, but I got mine from Amazon here.

Happy Thanksgiving with a Quick Lesson!


This year for a quick and easy lesson, I showed a quick video about thankfulness by Kid President. Next, we discuss what thankfulness even means. Children aren’t certain on this I have come to realize from listening to their answers. Next, I have students draw pictures of certain things they are thankful for that I can describe such as these…

Name something you are thankful for

1.that is red.

2.that is in the shape of a triangle.

3.that is scratchy. (usually kids want a description of scratchy)

4.that is soft.

5.that is the shape of a triangle.

6.that you can’t see.

7. that makes you happy.

8. that makes your teacher happy.

Add to these or change them around and make them your own. This is sure to make your students brain juices flow!

Children Will Love this Easy and Fun Activity with their Name!

I had children create name monsters a few years ago, but these are new and improved! This time the art teacher let me borrow his graphite sticks. First have children fold their paper in half the long way. Then have children write their name large on the fold. Then they write over it with the graphite stick, fold the paper back, and rub the paper. This will create a reflection of their name on the other side. Bonus! Children are learning about reflections and symmetry. Their next job is to make a monster out of the shape that was created. Challenge the children to see eyes, a nose, a mouth, a tongue, hair, and eyebrows etc. Then children can color their creation. They all turn out really interesting!

Teach Them about their Country…

I’m so thankful to have a parent this year who works closely with a judge which has provided us a way to take an amazing field trip later this year. To prepare the students, I had them do some real world research. Each child had to survey 20 people about some government topics. Students had to record their research on tally charts and then graph the data. They could choose to graph the data on a bar graph or a circle graph. What you see pictured is the end result of one of my teams.

Students were required to ask the following questions, and then they could pick one question of their own.

*What are the three branches of government?

*How many stars are on the American flag?

*How many stripes are on the American flag?

Children picked questions such as: How many senators are there? Who was the first president? What do the stars stand for on the flag? and the like.

I told children they couldn’t survey immediate family members, but they could ask neighbors, boy scout leaders, sports team parents, church members, random people they called at businesses etc. I wanted the questioning to be as realistic as possible so that children got a true sampling of the public.

Before children called I had them write a phone blurb so that they knew what to say when they called. For their safety I insisted they not use any identifying information such as their first AND last name. I emphasized using manners such as please, thank you, and ending with a positive comment. Children were hung up on at times which gave them a great dose of reality. The real world teaches like no other experience. We discussed how to improve the rate of no hang ups by following the directions I had given.

Children grew on so many levels with this project. They had to practice their social skills to get their survey completed. They had to practice talking in a professional way to adults. Constructing a graph of real world data is not often an experience we give children. In addition, students had to decide if a circle graph or bar graph was better to represent their data. Since the posters they made were being hung in the hall, I encouraged them to write an attention-grabbing title to have a greater audience for their work.

With so much going on in our American government right now, this works nicely with current evens. I hope this idea spurs you to do a similar project with your students!


Get Student Attention with These!

I wore these today. As I walked down the hallway, I had multiple kindergarteners tell me they liked my glasses. Looking at them makes me smile, too! I got the glasses from Amazon and the eyelashes from the Dollar Tree. These work great for a lesson on being original!

Will You Start the Year with Love or Hate?

This year instead of saying “I love you” and “I hate you” to jars of rice, I decided to try something new. Strawberries! I thought it would probably smell WAAAAY better than rice when it had rotten. The students enthusiastically say “I love you” and “I hate you” before they leave the room each day. We first wrote predictions about what we thought would happen after 30 days of talking the jars. Did I mention we have a blank jar? Yes, we have one we don’t speak to as our control group. Here they are! The jars after a couple of weeks. What do you think will happen? I will post more after we finish the 30 days of talking to the jars.

Happy Labor Day!

Start the School Year with this Book!

Patricia Polacco is probably one the most famous children’s authors there is…and for good reason! Her books are so rich in content. There are so many connections that can be made from one book. I just discovered this book a few years ago and it is one of my all time favorites! The book The Junkyard Wonders shows how believing the best in your students can impact them for a lifetime. When you read this to your students, they will be hanging on every word. What’s even better about this impactful story is that it is actually TRUE! I plan to read this book to my students soon to start the school year out. The book can be found in video format on YouTube, you can pick up a copy from Amazon, or maybe you will find it in the library!

Don’t Forget about this Amazing Resource!

Every now and then you have a parent who wants their child to do advanced work or who needs acceleration in some form or fashion. I will say that in times like these, I am so thankful for Super Teacher Workheets. The convenience and value is hard to beat. I recently had parents who wanted their child to skip a grade level in math. After scrambling for a little while to find materials, I realized I had a huge resource at my finger tips with Super Teacher Worksheets. I easily pulled resources that were advanced in math for this child. I love how there is an answer key for all the math pages, too! Give Super Teacher Worksheets a try today!

More than having access to multi-grade level material, there are great activities for back to school such as “About Me” posters and “Getting to Know You” games.

Look! This is free!

Have a great school year!

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