Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It III

Yo! Linking up with Tara again at 4th Grade Frolics!

This week's Monday Made It is simple yet awesome.

I know everyone has heard of Boggle (and many use the game in their classroom) but have you ever heard of Noggle? No? Well that's probably because I just invented it.

Here's what you need to make your own Noggle Game
- Sentence Strip holder (I found some for $1 at the Target dollar bins)
THESE free numbers from A Cupcake For the Teacher (more awesome uses can be found on her blog)

The object of Noggle is to multiply number neighbors together to try and get as close as possible to 100. For example I could multilply 3 x 6 = 18, 18 x 5 = 90 Pretty close!

My hope is my students practice their multiplication and develop a better understanding of what a number is worth!

And if you're wondering where I got the odd name of Noggle, here's my thought process: since the game is similar to Boggle except with Numbers, I took off the B and added an N.... :)


Friday, July 27, 2012

My 5 Fav Teaching Items

Today I'm linking up with Teacher Idea Factory to some Rockin' Reasources I cannot live without. Woot!

Class Dojo is FREE "Behavior Management Software" that I found through Pinterest last year... You have all your students listed and can add points for good behavior / subtract points for misbehaviors (and they get a cute monster icon). I use it while I have a small group and students are working independently. I project it onto my projection screen through my computer (I don't have a SmartBoard) so all students can see. If a student is working nicely, I add a point. If I notice loud voices, off task behaviors, I subtract a point. WORKS LIKE A CHARM. The kids are so stoked to see their names high lighted on the big screen for positive points that I RARELY ever have to subtract a point... Ready for the icing on the cake?? You can access it through your smartphone!! I downloaded an app onto my iPhone that allows me to add/subtract points with ease. No stopping small group and no running around to manage behaviors. It's AWESOME. There are so many other features to Class Dojo that I cannot even begin to list here so GET TO IT and CHECK IT OUT!

This is a new purchase that I cannot wait to use! I've already blogged about theme here so to make a long story short, my friend Rachel A. found these at Target and I immediately ran out to purchase them! So fun to get kiddos minds churning when writing. I created story titles/ themes to use with mine so my kiddos choose a prompt, roll the dice and get to writing!

At CAMT I attended a session with Marcy Cook. Before this I had no idea who she was... I know, I know, shame on me. I mentally head slapped myself when KIM SUTTON mentioned Marcy Cook inspiring here when she was a classroom teacher (I adore Kim Sutton and hang on here every math word!). After attending Marcy's session, Rachel A. and I bought the following centers: Place Value, Area & Perimeter and Hundred Chart: Missing Numbers centers. CANNOT WAIT TO USE THEM! I made my number tiles instead of purchasing them from Marcy because I KNOW this is something my kiddos are going to lose... I've made mass made them!

I have an odd obsession with dice... Perhaps it's because kids love them?? Whatever the reason, these double dice are a STAPLE in my classroom. I pretty much own all of Kim Sutton's dice and love using those as well... However, these babies have gotten the most use. I use them for creating division problems, multiplication problems, creating numbers when working with place value, and basically whatever game my brain comes up with. If you don't own double dice, get some! They're kind of loud but their multitude of uses make up for it.

Best part of waking up? Literally, it's Folger's in my cup... I cannot teach without my vat of coffee each day. My sweet students know that I MUST have my teacher juice on hand at all time. I have even appointed a "coffee go-getter" (for when I wander off from it) and a "coffee cleaner-upper" because as my babies know, it's not IF Mrs. J is going to spill it's WHEN. My students also know if their papers have coffee spills on it, it means Mrs. J loves you!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's almost that time...

Just got back from vacation and I'm kinda freaking out...  For my district, there's less than a month until school starts. EEEEEEEK!

Are you freaking out, too?? Let me ease your mind a bit... I made these super cute Welcome to 3rd / 4th grade packets at the beginning of summer (don't ask me why I was working at the BEGINNING of summer!!) and I'm SO glad I did! It includes a getting to know you page, a get to know your classmates page, a get to know your teacher page, a word search,  a name glyph activity and a goal setting activity. FUN!

You can get your copy HERE AND it's 
20% off from now until Sunday!
My whole store is 20% off until Sunday!! 

Rockin' Back to School Linky Party!!
Grab the button & link up to share your idea... Teachers unite! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It Part Deux

Linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics again for Monday Made It!

Toward the end of the last year, I got sick of wrong choices hogging the majority of my time and decided to put the spotlight on the student's making right choices. I started "Student of the Week" but also honored the "Most Improved", "Hardest Worker", the "Most Positive". You can download the adorable sheet I used for FREE hereI totally plan on continuing this honoring system because the kiddos LOVED it..... So imagine how happy I was when I came across these adorable "Star Student" chair covers while shopping Target's dollar bins... LOVE! I have a Rockstar theme going in my classroom this year AND our state assessment is called the STAAR test, so these just fit in perfectly with EVERYTHING I'm doing this year. My Monday Made It is inspired by the chair covers. 

Last year I hung the sheets I linked above outside my door so the world could see who I was honoring each week... This year I decided I wanted something more eye catching... Chair covers for the classroom, FRAMES for outside the classroom! So I hit up Michael's and grabbed all these goodies:  

Frames: $1each
Glitter Sheets: $1.99 each
Glitter Star Accents: $2.99 each BUT 50% off!
Star Student Stickers: $2.99

Ohhhhhhhhh I just LOVE sparkly things.... My boys were teasing me that glitter is my new black! TRUTH! 

Once I got home I traced my frames onto my glitter paper, drew up a little design and cut them out.

I then used spray adhesive to get the paper to stick to the frame. [Side note: when using spray adhesive, use it outside... I stayed inside and thought putting paper towels down would catch any extra spray. WRONG! I ended up with a very sticky kitchen counter...] Once they were dry, I put on my "Star Student" stickers, hot glued a few glittery stars and BAM! Adorable!! They're not perfect but they are SPARKLY and FUN! I think my 4th graders will dig them. :) 

I decided to half a plastic sheet protector and hot glue it on the back so I can slide in the kiddos pics each week with ease. I can't wait to use these! Hope you can use them too! :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

CAMT 2012 Rocked My WORLD!!!

Wednesday - Friday I was at a math conference... I know I've only been a teacher for a year, but I've been to enough conferences to know the majority are BORING. CAMT, the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching (annual event for Texas teachers) was not. It was MIND BLOWING! It's not a sit-and-listen-all-day conference, it's a get-up-and-choose-what-you-want-to-learn-about (and leave-if-it's-boring) kind of conference! And the vendors... OH THE VENDORS! I spent a lot of money... SO WORTH IT.

I went to a lot of sessions on measurement since our kids struggle so much with it. All of the sessions I went to were great... Only exception was one that had us exploring grams with Sweet'N'Low... By separating the substance into milligrams.... With hotel key cards.... Are you seeing the problem?? My friend and I thought this was a great visual / concept, but very inappropriate. We decided using sand and shovels was a better idea?? Any one out there have another suggestion? ?
The activity at left is finding out how much an object weighs in pennies. SO CUTE! The idea came from the Children's Museum of Houston.

I also attended a Marcy Cook session. The Place Value activities she has created with just some simple number tiles are amazing. TEACHERS. ARE. SO. SMART. Rachel A. and I bought 4 of her activity sets. :)  (We're also smart, we went halfsies on a bunch of goodies so we share and save money!)

Next was Dinah Zike Foldables. This is one popular lady. I tried to attend her sessions on Wednesday and Thursday but they were full. There were hoards of people in line to attend.... I finally made it into a Friday session (it was for K-2 so the foldables were simple, yet still supremely cool) by getting there 40 minutes early... Of course this would be the session that was NOT full, started at 8:00 (putting me there at 7:20), and that people were walking in late to..... Blah! Oh well, better to be safe than sorry.... I bought one of her books and snapped this awesome fraction foldable idea from her booth. Rockin'!!
I also went to a Fractions without Distractions session, put on by a LoneStar Learning associate. CUTE fraction ideas. Like that PLATE! Take two different colored paper plates, cut a slit halfway through both of them, slide them together, and BAM! You have fraction circles for your kids to use.... GENIUS!

Finally, KIM SUTTON with Creative Mathmatics. Rachel A. and I are kinda Kim Sutton stalkers. Yes, I snapped secret pics of her. SHE'S A MATH CELEBRITY!!!
Kim Sutton spoke at our district last winter. I got a hug from her and some free stuff for helping during one of her examples. I brag about this a lot... To teachers... Because no one else understands! (or cares... Lol) Rachel is the one that kept running into her this time. They had conversations AND Rachel sat near her in another conference... They're practicall CAMT BFFs! Jealous!!
During her session we sat front and center so we got in plenty of K.S. time. LOVE HER!! If you don't have any of her stuff, GET IT. It's so fun, easy, helpful and QUICK! It takes no time to do her drills and kids love them. My suggestion? Get a random numbers CD.

As you can see, CAMT was amazing. Hooty's Homeroom was there too, but we didn't run into each other. We were SO BUSY running to-and-fro!

Question for all you fantastic teachers out there... I went to a session on Tabor Rotation. Anyone heard of it or use it? I really like the idea but I want more info... Thanks!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Made It FREEBIE!- What?! What?!

Bah! My first Monday Made It! I’m linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics today AND Classroom Freebies. LOVE BOTH BLOGS. And it's multi-tasking!

My Monday Made it can be described in two words: WRITING COPS.  The easiest way for me to explain this craft is to briefly describe how this idea came to be.

-         Weeks ago, while talking school ideas on the phone to my mom, she mentioned something about “Grammar Police”.  I decided this was GENIUS and I needed to incorporate this idea into my classroom. Wasn't sure how it would work, though... 

-         A few days later, I found Police Badges at the Dollar Store and decided I would have my “Grammar Police” patrol during writing. Their job would be like mine: checking to make sure students stay on task, answering questions, helping with format (since most of my darlings NEVER indent…), etc. At this point the idea is still forming.... 

-       Yesterday, AMAZINGLY ON PINTEREST (I’m claiming divine intervention here) I found this little beaut’ (pictured at left) which links to this awesome COPS writing activity & poster pack, all by The Eager Teacher. It's the final piece of my half-finished-idea!! I was STOKED! I'm STILL stoked!! 

-         Since the freebie poster said COPS and my dollar store badges said POLICE (and I’m extremely anal), I decided to ditch the dollar store badges and make my own. ENTER MONDAY MADE IT & FINALIZED IDEA! The “Grammar Police” are now dubbed the “Writing Cops” and they wear sweet badges while patrolling the room. The "job" is earned by showing your knowledge about capitalization, order & organization, punctuation and spelling. Basically the whole thing is superbly legit and rockin’.

Seriously!! Check out the awesomeness on the right!! That hardcore model is my adorable 9 year old who’s going into 4th grade this year!

Since this idea came full circle thanks to a freebie, I making my badges (pictured below) a free download as well.  Just click HERE, print these bad boys out, laminate** them, then hot glue a safety pin on the back. If you don’t want to use pins, you could put these on lanyards, magnets, whatevs.

** Do you own a laminator?? I DO! And I’m in love with it! I have the Scotch brand and I use it to laminate everything! Price is reasonable & it’s SO much sturdier than our school laminator WHICH PEELS, I might add… I found mine on Amazon around Christmas for $16.99 but I’ve seen them at Walmart for $25. Laminating sheets come in legal and regular sized and are around $10-15 a pack.  Worth. Every. Penny.

Thanks to Tara for hosting MONDAY MADE IT!
And Classroom Freebies for MANIC MONDAY! 
And thanks to The Eager Teacher for awesome writing goodies!!

Rock on, peeps! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Awards & Winners

I just received my first blog award! Ms. Whiteley at Toad-ally Exceptional Learners (adorable name, btw) gave me The Versatile Blogger award, and I'm so stoked!! She was also one of my first 5 followers, so she received my FREE Fantastic Fractions unit. Score!

As teachers we really have to be versatile... When kiddos aren't getting it, we have to find a different way to reach them. When are kiddos aren't engaged, we have to find a way to grab them. All day. Flexible & Versatile. That's us! I think this award is mucho awesome. Versatile at work and on-line. :)
The best part of this award is I GET TO PASS IT ON! But first I have to follow the rules:

Here are the seven rules to follow when receiving this award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.  THANKS AGAIN!

2. Include a link to their blog.  CLICK THE CUTE TOAD

3. Include the award image in your post.  LEFT!
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.  BELOW! 

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.  BELOW! 
6. When nominating, include a link to their blog.  CLICK THE BLOGS

7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.  :) 

Here are my 7 random facts:
1. I was born on Halloween! My friends say this explains a lot about me. 
2. My side job in college was baking! Check out my goodies on Facebook. I have since retired and only bake for fun. 
3. I have two cats, Cupcake and Rambo. Cupcake is dainty, Rambo is HUGE. 
4. I love the Houston Texans (football). I lose a little of my "lady like-ness" when football's on. :)
5. I adore music. Currently, I'm obsessed with The Head & The Heart and Sean Hayes. 
6. I live in a coastal town in Texas. We looooove the beach! I can't imagine not living near the water. 
7. I love tattoos and one of my favorite tattoos is my cupcake. CUTE, HUH?? I really love cupcakes.... 

Alright, onto the awarding!! All 13 of my followers rock, so I've nominated y'all. It's so nice to have people reading my little ol' blog!

And sadly my "First Five Followers" giveaway is ka-put. My winners are:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rory's ROCKIN' Story Cubes

I've mentioned my sweet friend Rachel A. before. She's the one that dreamed up the giant ruler I made (see post here). Well, Ms. Rachel has done it again! She sent me this text last weekend (she's white, I'm green):

By Monday I had two sets for my classroom. They're only $7.99 at Target. WOOT! The directions say you can play this game three ways. I chose this option: "Think up a title or theme for a story.... Then roll all 9 cubes and try to tell a story that relates back to the title or theme." 

Since this will be an independent station in my classroom and I don't want to hear [in whiney voice], "Buuuut Mrs. J, I don't know what to wriiiiiiite aboooouuut," I decided to create story titles students will chose from. I'm thinking I'll start the kiddos off with 4-5 cubes and work them up to 9... 

So excited to use these! And so excited I have Rachel A. as a neat-o teaching buddy!! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I looooove to blog hop... Check out these awesome giveaways I found! You're welcome :)

My FREE Fabulous Fraction unit is STILL available for 4 people-- just leave a comment & follow my blog!

Delighted in Second's $20 TPT certificate! 

Teacher-ific in 2nd $25 Target gift card! 

Writing Activities GALORE!

The summer is FLYING by... I can barely keep up! I took a two week-ish hiatus from anything school related (except Pinterest, of course!) but have decided I better get back into the groove.... First things first: BLOGGING! Second, scope and sequence.........................

Anyway! As a 4th grade teacher, I have to prepare my kiddos for [dumdumdummm] the state writing test... This baby includes editing & revising as well as TWO compositions-  a personal narrative & an expository. If there's one thing I learned this year it's KIDS HATE WRITING! Not good when they'll be tested on it... So this summer I found some super awesome writing activities to spark their imaginations & make writing FUN! They're kid tested and approved, too - I taught a writing camp this summer and my kiddos LOVED these activities!!

I started with "Let's Get Pop' Rockin" by Babbling Abby, a descriptive writing activity. I must have been really excited that day because I didn't take any pics... Bummer. This activity works on using awesome adjectives & similes to describe. SO GREAT! And YUMMMMMMY!

Day two was PLAYDOUGH MONSTERS by Smart Chick! The kiddos got to create their own playdough monster using playdough, feathers, google eyes, pipe cleaners and pom -poms. They ate.this.activity.UP! And I had all ages, 1st graders all the way up to 7th graders! After creating your monster you describe where it lives, what it eats, how it smells, etc. There are SO many options included in this activity pack: a how-to-report, moster warning note, friendly monster letter, acrostic poem... And that's not all of it! In short... BUY THIS!

For day three, we got to EAT and learn with the activity pack "How to Make Dirt Pudding" by Amy Lemons!! Another activity allll the kiddos LOVED! The activity pack has the kiddos work on sequencing, transitions, describing through observing... And the awesomeness doesn't stop there. Again! Buy it!

The last day of camp the kiddos made t-shirts. I gave each kiddo a blank t-shirt which they wrote their name on. Then we gathered in a circle and passed our shirts to the right (or left, doesn't matter). The kids then wrote a NICE adjective (or phrase) describing the camp-mate whose shirt they had. You keep on passin' until everyone has had a chance to describe their friend. When the t-shirt gets back to it's owner, you have a cool shirt with sweet descriptions written all over it! The kids LOVED it! And they didn't even mind practicing adjectives. :)

Until next time!