Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TPT Sale

Teachers Pay Teachers is celebrating 3 million members by having a sale! If you add the 20% discount I'm also offering, you can get some pretty great deals!

Enter the promo code TPT3 when you check out. Now's your chance to load up your cart with all those wish list items and shop away!

Thanks to: www.theschoolsupplyaddict.com and www.kimberlygeswein.com for the sale banner.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Subtracting Across Zero and a Giveaway!

My students have been getting pretty darn good at using regrouping to subtract. I only had to ask "more on the top or more on the floor?" about 7,000 times! One thing they are stumbling on is what to do when they encounter a zero when they "go next door" to regroup. It is now time to drag out the Boxing In (or Squaring Off) strategy I learned last year. I found this YouTube video that explains it better than I ever could:
click here to take you to the video
I show this video to my class SEVERAL times so they can get the hang of it. It is a very short video, but the best part is watching the student do an example at the end. I think this really shows the kids that they can do it! To give the kids some extra practice in a fun way, I made this set of task cards with QR codes:
click here to get it
Each card has a 3-digit subtraction problem in which there is a zero "next door" when you are regrouping. I added QR codes so students can get immediate feedback about their work. 

I usually use these types of task cards as a math center. In this case, I'm going to break it into two stations because it is a relatively new skill. I will probably bring this out later in the year as review and make it one station when they become more fluent.

For some reason, this technique makes so much sense to my kiddos. Here is an example:
I hope this helps take the frustration out of teaching subtraction with regrouping across a zero. I'd love to hear how you teach kids to use regrouping to subtract! I'll pick one comment at random to receive this product for free.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fraction Love

I was recently asked to make some fraction task cards with QR codes for the 4th grade teachers at my school. I made two products so far. One is adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike numerators:
50% off until Valentine's Day! Click here to get it.

The second product features multiplication of a fraction by a whole number:
Click here to get it.

One of my 4th grade colleagues has already tried them with her class. She is very new to using QR codes and was a little nervous at first. She loved the idea so much that she actually chose that lesson for our principal to observe! My principal mentioned it to me later and was impressed with that teacher's use of technology in her lesson. The kids really loved it too! They had a blast checking their answers by scanning the QR codes with iPods. 

If anyone wants me to make something like this with a specific skill for your grade level, I'd be happy to do it! I'm always looking for more ideas from other grade levels.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five For Friday.
What a week! I'm sure I added more things to my To Do List than what I crossed off. 

Speaking of lists, I can't live without this app. It has helped me to ditch all the sticky notes and random pieces of paper that served as my reminders. It is called Any.Do and it is free! I always have my phone with me so this app makes it easy to remember what I need to do anywhere.

We had a field trip on Tuesday and some of my little darlings were more excited about the bus ride than the actual play we went to see. They were having a blast singing "Down by the Bay" and even raised their hands (roller coaster style) in the air as we bounced over the speed bumps. 

 We've been working on telling time in math and today we raced to finish our timeline of a school day. I gave each student a different activity that we do during the day. They illustrated them, wrote the time in numbers and words and then showed the time on a clock. It was a great activity (from It's About Time by Amy Lemons) and looks awesome in the hall but it felt like pulling teeth to get them finished.

My sister went out of town today so I am dog sitting her two precious Yorkies, Lola and Brinkley. My dog, Scruffy, loves them and is probably worn out from all the playing, chasing and barking (he is starting to get a little old). The other two won't sit still but I did manage to snap a pic of Brinkley.
Finally, I am getting excited/nervous about a NM blogger meet up tomorrow. I am still new to the blogging world and I'm looking forward to getting some advice and ideas. I've been working on a Valentine craft to share with the ladies and all I have to say is that I got out glitter!!!

Have a great weekend and be on the lookout for a post on how our meet up went.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Running Out of Time

Yesterday it started to snow around noon. The kids were so excited! You see, here in the desert, we don't get a whole lot of snow. In fact, we've been in a drought, so while the rest of the country is complaining about it, we're loving it! We went on a field trip to UNM to see a performance and had to walk across this playing field to get to the theater. The kids found "The Biggest Snowman in the World" and just about flipped out to see it up close.
Note how little snow there actually is?

Also, due to the fact that we live in the desert, we are not well equipped to handle the snow (or any precipitation for that matter) so we had a two-hour delay today and my daughters' district cancelled school altogether. There may have been an inch. Maybe.
My kiddos normally arrive at 9:00 so today they showed up at 11:00 which is just in time for lunch. My morning plans had to be scrapped so we focused on math for the majority of the day. This week we have been working on telling time. I've been using It's About Time by Amy Lemons (love her stuff!) and supplementing with a few of my own things. Some of the stations I set up this week can be seen below:
The kids really love math stations and it gives me a chance to teach new games, practice new skills or do informal assessments at my station. My principal observed me during stations last week and noted how diverse the stations were and how engaged my students were. Whew! I love that she said "engaged" when all I saw was "overly excited". I try to incorporate different activities each week so that they don't become stale. Here's how I store my centers:
It's nothing fancy, but it is practical. I also made a Telling Time QR Code Task Card Set. It's only $2! I have a few other QR code task card sets in my TPT store as well (addition, subtraction, money, fractions, etc.). The kids love scanning QR codes to check their answers.

It is supposed to snow again tonight and chances are that we'll have another delay tomorrow. Well, I better head out so I can take my youngest to soccer practice. Don't worry, they play indoors!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February Currently

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade on her February Currently.
Listening: I really can't stand watching the news. To me, it is overly repetitive and often sad. I can still hear from the next room but I can kinda tune it out. Since he is watching, it gives me some time to blog! 
Loving: I just can't stand January. It is like 50 Shades of Brown here in NM and I miss my flip flops. One month closer to spring break...
Thinking: That I wasn't as productive as I should have been yesterday. I woke up early and *click* the brain starting going.
Wanting: My fam just doesn't like red beans and rice BUT because there is a "big game" today I am making it anyway. So there!
Needing: see Thinking. 
Fib: I have not met Gwen, but my hubby did!
Truth: I have met President Obama (before he was elected) and it was quite exciting. My hubby had a friend in the Secret Service and when Obama was campaigning here, I got a front row seat! 
Truth: I have met Garth Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood. They are the most down to earth celebrities. I got to hang out backstage with them and then watch Garth perform in Las Vegas. My brother set this up for my birthday and it is one of my favorite memories! 
Garth, ME!, my bro and Trisha
Not the greatest picture, I know!