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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Crafts

This year my class had the opportunity to decorate the Zion's Bank Christmas tree in their lobby. We had to use paper or recycled materials.

The kids did a wonderful job! I love to see them be creative and to see how each take the project and make it their own.

I just googled some images of "craft stick santas" and the students ran with it! I love all the different personalities that shine through. We used red craft sticks, red foam, peach foam, googly eyes, pom poms, cotton balls, buttons and whatever else I had laying around in the craft box. I manned the hot glue gun for some tricky parts that wouldn't stay on with white glue and to attach the ribbon for hanging.  

I got this snowman idea and template HERE.

MESSY!! But so fun to let them be creative. (Oh don't worry, they definitely cleaned this up by themselves.) 

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Teaching Multiplication Strategies

We've been working on multiplication lately. It's just being introduced to these third graders so we have been learning so many strategies; equal groups, repeated addition, arrays, bar models, skip counting, and using the commutative property.

I have a bucket of all kinds of counters I have collected from thrift and dollar stores. Army men, foam shapes, chess pieces, blocks, mini erasers, etc. all make great counters.

Here's the students making equal groups with their counters and dry erase boards.

We've also been using our Fact of the Day books I created. This gives them daily practice with many strategies. You can purchase it HERE in my TPT store for less than $2!

Since I don't trust my kiddos to keep this mini book nice and neat in their desks, they are housed in their table caddies with their "Kickin' It!" Multiplication materials. This definitely gets our Math block going smoothly since we do both things every day.
Check out the "Kicking It!" fluency program HERE on TPT made by Kelly Malloy. We just started but the students are loving it. I am going to try my darndest to get these kids fluent in their facts before fourth grade! This program is a super fun way to help them with fact fluency. 
Here's a picture of our "Kicking It!" wall. I can't wait until some of those little ninjas gain more belts!

Please share in the comments how you're teaching multiplication!

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Art Ideas with Pinterest

Last year I was at a school with an amazing art teacher. This year I am on my own with all things ART! I do love art, just need help with ideas and finding time to incorporate it.

Just wanted to share my Pinterest board as I have many awesome ideas pinned from other teachers.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Having Fun with Lining Up

My students have a hard time on Wednesday mornings. Right when they get there we have to leave for computer lab. If your computer lab time is as minimal and precious as mine, you will understand my urgency to get there quickly and not waste any minute that is scheduled!

I've been trying to have more fun in the classroom, so this is what I did 5 minutes before school started.
As the students filed in I played the mission impossible theme (thanks, YouTube!) The slide says "Your mission, if you choose to accept: Line up in number order with the following supplies. Spy supplies: Pencil and notebook for computer lab" and also "This message will destroy in 5 minutes. You must be in line before the bomb goes off!" The "bomb" was a countdown timer I got from (They have a lot of different counters besides the bomb; alarm clock, egg timer, etc.)

The students unpacked, got their supplies and lined up in 3 minutes flat! Then we had to wait the other 2 minutes to see the "bomb"  go off. It was really fun for me and the students!

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Management for Raised Hands- Free Posters!

Here are some freebie posters I use to help filter the many raised hands all day. You can see at a glance what the students need. It also helps students think if they're really asking a question or just have a comment to share.

Hope these will be useful in your classroom :)

Click below to get the posters!

Management Posters

Black and White Version

Color Version

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Surplus and New Beginnings

I haven't written on the blog for awhile. I was loving my new class, excited for a new year, knowing THIS was going to be my year. My year to be less stressed, more organized, and a better teacher.

Then, I was blindsided by being surplused to another school in my district 6 weeks in to the new year. I was told on a Friday afternoon, taught Monday-Wednesday like normal, and then the district gave me a sub for Thursay and Friday. I then had to pack up my classroom while my students were trying to learn and continue their day. It was heartbreaking. Have you ever been in your classroom while there is a sub? It's not so fun.

With the help of my wonderful family I was able to get packed up and moved. I was moved to a nice school, still teaching third grade. I was put in a portable classroom, the only one at the school, so it wasn't ideal. I had to start teaching on Wednesday so I had TWO DAYS to unpack and set up my classroom. Needless to say, I am just now getting things set up exactly how I want.

Here's some pictures of the before:

A little scary? Yep. By the time school started it looked like this:

Not quite as bad! I'll have to take some more recent pictures when I get it just how I want it. 

All in all, it's been 3 months at my new school and I am settling in. It's hard to get to know the new teachers, especially being in a portable, but they are all so nice. The principal is great, which really makes a difference in the school atmosphere in my opinion!

I'm excited to start writing in the blog again and put the stressful past behind me!

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