Sunday, October 14, 2012


Right now my sweet math classes are fighting their way through division... UGH. (Any fantastic-sure-fire-ways to teach it out there?? Help me, super teachers!!)

My light at the end of the division tunnel is knowing GEOMETRY is right around the corner!! I LOVE teaching angles, lines, 3-D objects and their properties, symmetry, congruent shapes, transformations.... WOOT!

This activity is a fun way to learn about symmetry and it's a fun Halloween activity, too! Click HERE to purchase it at my TPT store.

LOVE using this in my classroom to define and explain what transformations are. Great hands on activity and an excellent addition to a math notebook! Students define each term, then put three shapes onto a grid to show how they slide, turn and flip! Click HERE to purchase it in my TPT store.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Hey Girl"

I have nothing curriculum related to share today... But I think you'll enjoy this post anyway.

If you're obsessed with Pinterest even half as much as I am, you've seen the Ryan Gossling "Hey Girl"s. If you haven't, they're pictures of Ryan Gossling (hotness) saying things that would make any teacher swoon. Finding one is as exciting as finding Waldo for me. They make my day!!

Here are all the "Hey Girls" I've found:

THESE MAKE ME LAUGH SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have you found a Ryan Gossling "Hey Girl" that's not on my list?? PLEASE SHARE!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Multiplication Madness!

Monday starts our multiplication and division unit. Our Fourth Grade TEKS (the Texas version of Common Core) state my kiddos need to be able to mulitply two digit by two-digit numbers and divide three digits dividends by one digit divisors. This is hard when they still struggle recalling basic facts... To remedy this, I've created several basic multiplication activities for my kids to do during math stations.

While enjoying one of my favorite past times, Pinterest, I stumbled upon The Crafty Classroom's Times Tables Folders. LOVE! Each pocket contains multiplication facts so students can study their areas of weakness.  I had to create my own IMMEDIATELY!!

The Crafty Classroom provides those cute little pocket templates and I found the perfect sized flash cards from HERE.

I attempted to use our school laminator to laminate these babies (my laminator was too small to accommodate the file folders) and almost ruined all of my hard work. I had let the machine heat up for over an our but I guess the thickness of the folders was too much for the aging laminator... EVERYTHING PEALED OFF and took some of my pockets with it. I fixed my poor folders and decided to reinforce with clear packing tape instead.

Next is my super cheap up-cycled multiplication game.... Using bottle tops my dear family and friends had been collecting for me since summer time, some garage sale stickers I found at the dollar store and modge podge, I made these little guys:

FUN! I've seen a lot of these games on TPT and Teacher's Notebook. A few versions have the fact on top and the answer inside of the top... I opted for a "blind draw" so my kiddos can't get away with only answering the easy facts. 

All the bottle tops are flipped over and students draw and answer their fact. If they get it right, they keep the top. If they get it wrong, they put it back. The kiddo with the most tops wins! Easy enough, right?

There are enough for me bottle top facts for me to introduce this game whole class, then split up and make three different sets for station use. I also have wide bottle tops (from Gatorade bottles and such) that I'm thinking about using as "challenge questions". For example, "Recite your 5s Facts," and things like that... 
What are your multiplication ideas??

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Math Journal EXCELLENCE!

We are rocking out with Math Journals this year... Check it out!  

We started of the year with understanding place value vocabulary.

Then we made a foldable that allowed us to identify and practice with our places (whole numbers to 999,999,999).

After that, we began studying tenths and hundredths (please excuse the spelling error in the title... It should say "hundredths" not "hundreds"! I assure you, this student now knows there is a difference!)

Check out our tenths and hundredths odometers. THEY ROCK! Kim Sutton (math guru) has place value odometers for whole numbers that I LOVE to use. Since my kiddos struggled with tenths and hundredths last year, I decided to make odometers for these places as well. LOVE THEM! So do the kids! They did a phenomenal job of putting them together. Minimal stress for me and huge payoff for them! 

Like these? Stay tuned for my TPT Place Value Pack I'm putting together! Hopefully I'll get it posted this weekend. :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012


My Rockin' Giveaway is over and Katie S. is the winner!! 
Check out her blog at 
I want to be a Super Teacher!!

From one Katie to another, congrats!! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012


This week in writing, we're reviewing nouns. Fun stuff! We worked on plural rules yesterday and each group of kids created a mini-poster for their plural rule. Then as a class, we thought of examples or helpful hints that could help us remember our rules and put them on sticky notes... Here's the finished product!

Have you entered my Rockin' 100 Followers Giveaway yet?? ONLY ONE MORE DAY! Click here to get your entry on!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Giveaways Galore!

I'm not the only one hosting an awesome giveaway (see what you could win and enter HERE)!

Tonya at Tonya's Treats for Teachers is hosting a whopper!! There are three prizes you could win, 1st gets a $50 gift card to Amazon, enjoy!, TPT or Target, and 2nd & 3rd get a plethora of teaching goodies from some rockstar teachers. GO ENTER! 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rockin' 100 Followers Giveaway

In my absence, my little ol' blog has reached 100 FOLLOWERS!!

I'm soooo stoked and to say thank you to all my bloggin' peeps, I'm hosting a rockin' giveaway.  

Giveaway Items include:
$5 Starbucks Giftcard
$5 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificate
$15 Target Giftcard

Winner will be announced next Saturday! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Classroom :)

It has been WEEKS since I've updated, but I know my fellow teachers understand... The start of school is EX-HAUST-ING. But I survived and am back to share pictures of my classroom!

Here's my lovely desk area that I barely get to use... The arrow is pointing to my super secret copy machine (don't want the whole school to come use it) that my wonderful in-laws got for me!! My mother-in-law is a 20 year veteran teacher, but it was my father-in-law (who's married to a 20 year veteran teacher) who thought of this wonderful gift! LOVE THEM BOTH!

I LOVE my library area, and so do my kiddos. My husband made me that GORGEOUS tree last year and it's held up well. He's so talented! Right next to library are my Boggle & Noggle centers. If you're wondering what Noggle is, just click HERE! These are new activities this year and my students are LOVING them. They constantly ask to play them.


The colorful stuff on the left side of this pictures is my "Math Workshop" board. This year for math I'm mixing whole group instruction with targeted math rotations. My kids will have "teacher time" (one-on-one instruction), "math facts", "at your desk" (worksheet for the day) and "hands on" which will be reinforcing our topic with games/ manipulatives.  My Math Workshop is inspired by The Clutter Free Classroom (rockin' blog!). I'm also dedicating an entire bulletin board to math vocabulary that will correspond to whatever skill I'm teaching. No more missing questions because of a lack of math vocab! 

This is a whole classroom pic - what you can't see (which is to the left) is my small group area (just picture a rainbow table with little chairs and you'll get the idea). Way off in the distance you can see little cards which is my MATH ALPHABET! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS! It's a FREE download from Bridget at Lovely Little Leaders. I would have paid major dinero for it though! It's so stinkin' cute and gives my kids MORE MATH VOCAB! YAY!

And last but not least, my handsome boys & me on the first day of school!! My sweet angels are in 7th and 4th grade this year... They're growing up SO FAST! I love first day of school pics and I LOVE MY BOYS!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Last Day of Summer Vacation & Classroom Managers

On June 1st, I changed my ringtone to Alice Cooper's "School's Out". You know the song: "Schoooooool's out for summer! Schoooooool's out for ever!" I guess today's the last day I can rock it! MY GOODNESS, summer flew by....

Anyway, a few "Monday Made-It"s ago, I posted about my classroom manager positions (check the original post out HERE). I've had a lot of comments about what manager positions I have, how they're made, and how I manage my managers, so this post is dedicated to that.

My "Classroom Managers" idea came from the Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline (CMCD) inservice I attended as a student at the University of Houston (GO COOGS!). The gist of the idea is every student is given a responsibility in the classroom which turns the classroom into a community we ALL are responsible for and take care of. Notice I said EVERY student... I had 25 students last year and EVERY ONE had a position!

Manager positions should be relevant and switched out on a regular basis (I switch mine each month, but do what works for your class). I had my students interview for the positions (download my manager application HERE for free!), choosing their top 3 positions, why they would be a responsible and effective manager, and listing any special skills they have.

My students last year LOVED interviewing and took their positions very seriously. Plus, it's fun to be a MANAGER of something, rather than just expected to perform a "job".

Here's a list of manager positions I used last year:
Daily Jobs
   - Attendance Manager
   - Equipment Manager (brings out & takes in recess equipment)
   - Plant Manager (waters classroom plants)
   - Turtle Manager (feeds turtle)
   - Ticket Manager (we have a brain teaser at the end of the day where students earn reward tickets; this
   students collects all earned tickets into a bucket I draw from each week)
   - Computer Manager (turns on/ off computers daily)
   - Door & Light Manager
   - Pencil Sharpener Manager (I ONLY let one student sharpen pencils... Can't stand the sharpener
   noise! They enter the classroom early each morn to do their job)
   - Board Manager (erases board daily)
   - Restroom Mangager (one boy & one girl: makes sure students are quiet & neat during group
   restroom breaks)
   - Neatness Manager: Floor (checks floor at end of day/ asks students to clean any messes)
   - Weather Manager (records temp & announces temp to class)
As Needed Jobs
   - Supply Manager (makes sure hand sanitizer & kleenex stay stocked)
   - Handout Manager (helps me pass out papers)
   - Out of the Classroom Manager (takes messages to office, etc.)
   - Homework Manager (collects homework)
   - Substitute Manager (go to person when there's a sub)
   - Absent Manager (collects work for absent students)
   - Coffee Manager (this is a LEGIT position in my classroom, and one the kid's all want. Basically,
   they bring me my coffee & help me clean up any spills... which happen daily)
Weekly Jobs
   - Word of the Week Manager (changes out Word of the Week chart)
   - Library Manager (my students check out their books by signing them out on a chart. The library
   manager follows up with all check outs on a weekly basis)

New manager positions added for this year:
As Needed Jobs
    - Detective Manager (Helps Mrs. J find things she looses in classroom. I'm hoping this prevents the
   entire class from hoping out of their seat when I lose handouts or my keys...)
   - Paper & Centers Copy Manager (let's me know when we're running low on centers copies /
   notebook paper
Weekly Jobs
   - Boggle & Noggle Manager (Changes out Boggle and Noggle boards each week)

I like to make sure my students know how often they'll be needed for their positions, so I'm sure to label each position as a daily, weekly, or as needed.

I make up business card sized labels (I use Avery 8879; 10 cards to a page) with the job title and description, print & punch them out (no cutting! woot!) and glue them to library card pockets (you can also laminate for durability). I then put student names on popsicle sticks and stick them into their job pocket. Easy to make and easy to switch out as positions change.

I hope you find this info helpful! I CANNOT STRESS how much this system has worked for me... If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

VERY late Monday Made It

I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics yet again for Monday Made It.... Except it's WEDNESDAY!

Why didn't I link up on Monday? Well, I was totally zoned out in bed because my back gave out on Sunday... Here's the deal folks: I am a mere 29 years old (30 on Halloween), not in the best shape but not in horrible shape, and this is the THIRD time my back has gave out on me in the last 12 months... Ridiculous, right?! My Sunday night and early Monday morning were spent crying in the ER begging for answers as to why this keeps happening... I literally COULD NOT MOVE. My sweet husband had to help me sit/stand/walk/etc... It was awful. The very nice ER doctors told me I need to strengthen & stretch my core, wear better shoes, gave me pain meds & muscle relaxers and sent me home. I am finally feeling better today, and hope by tomorrow I'll be able to venture out into the real world. I'm definitely counting my blessings this happened the week BEFORE I had to go back to work... And I truly think God was telling me I actually needed to REST at some point this summer instead of going, going, going.

Anyway, three days of bed rest later, I'm finally uploading my Monday Made It.  :)

I wanted to give a cute and CHEAP little welcome back to school gift to my kiddos... Last year I spent soooooo muuuuuuuuch mooooooooney on my sweet little class, and most of the time I'd find my gifts (like Christmas books from Scholastic) stuffed in their desks when we cleaned them out in MAY.  NOT doing that this year...

On Pinterest, I found these adorable little guys:
Which inspired me to make THESE: 

Super cheap and easy to make. All you need is a box or two of Lucky Charms, snack baggies and a printer, because I've uploaded some free ones for you HERE! I know not everyone teaches 4th grade, so the freebies say "Welcome Back to School!" There are 4 different and adorable monsters on them, all created by clip-art genius, KPM Doodles!


Sunday, August 12, 2012


Have you heard about the huge sale going on at If not, let me fill you in.

Most sellers are offering 20% off their products, and TPT is offering 10% off with coupon code BTS12. That's up to 30% OFF!!!!

If you visit my store, here are some of the goodies you'll see on sale:

Get over there and shop 'til you drop! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ice Breakers

One of my favorite beginning of the year ice breakers is the M&Ms game. Each student gets a few M&Ms (I go with 2-3 each) and then they share a fact about them according to the color of M&Ms they have. This year I made a cute little sign to go with it. Want a copy? Leave me a comment & follow my blog. I'm giving this away to the first 3 people that comment and the first 5 new followers! Click THIS LINK to download a copy! Enjoy!

Monday Made It - Part 4

Hello All! I'm linking with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics again for another Monday Made It!

The last weeks of summer are flying by. And not at jet plane speed, either. That I could handle... But this lighting speed crud?? Come on!! Didn't I JUST say good-bye to twenty-four 4th graders?? Anyway, this week's Monday Made It contains a lot of "made its'. And I'm including a Freebie! Yay!

First up, my out-of-classroom-passes & sign for my sharp/unsharp pencils.

Last year I made REALLY cute passes (they were lost) and bought REALLY cute passes (they were also lost) so this year I QUICKLY made a-ok passes. I totally realize I will need to make more toward the end of the year. Last year I would just hand random objects to my students when they left the room... Paper flowers, a Native American talking stick, rubber bands-- Basically, whatever I grabbed. I got my super cute broken pencils / sharpened pencil printables from The First Grade Derby HERE!

Next up, classroom manager positions! While in college at the University of Houston (GO COOGS!), I attended an inservice called Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline. As described on the website, CMCD is "is an innovative school-wide (preK-12th grade) research based, classroom-tested classroom management reform program that builds on shared responsibility for learning and classroom organization between teachers and students." Summed up: it's great. One of the points was having classroom "managers" with legit jobs that help the classroom function. Did I mention there needs to be a job for EVERY student?? Yes, that means I created 24 manager positions... As you can see from the pic, one is "Classroom Detective". Job Description? Helping me find items when I've lost them... hehehe! Also, my students will interview for their positions. I'll rotate them out every month or so to make sure everyone gets to manage their area of choice. FUN! Last year, my students took their jobs VERY seriously (and came up with the CUTEST interview answers) and it truly did make the classroom a functioning, cooperative place!

And now to my new system of turning papers in... Magnets! While at CAMT, I attended a session by Nikki Bitzer. She has a set of numbered magnets in her classroom and when students complete their assignment, they get their number magnet and use it to secure their paper to the board. The numbers are assigned in alphabetical order-- and students keep them in the correct number order on the board-- so when you collect the papers, THEY'RE IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER! Gradebook WIN! Also, it's super easy to see who hasn't turned their work in. Love this idea! 

Lastly, I pinned an awesome "STOP: Please stop what you're doing and make a better choice" sign weeks ago. When I finally got around to following the the blog link, I was taken to Ms. M's Blog. Great blog- but I could not find the sign anywhere. So I made my own little guys. I think these are an awesome and discreet way of redirecting a kiddo while teaching. Just walk up to the student and place one on their desk and they'll get the hint! I'm always circling the room so other students wouldn't even realize what's happening. Awesome! Want some? I've uploaded mine HERE

Well, colleagues, I hope your summers have been fantastic. Enjoy these last lazy moments!