Sunday, March 29, 2015

SPRING is in the air!

Hey Y'all! Excited to be linking up with The Inspired Owl and many other fabulous teacher bloggers for a Spring Linky!

Oh, Spring. I love Spring. 
The weather is getting warmer, state testing is almost over, and summer is right around the corner!!
Just look at how GORGEOUS my sweet little island city is. 

I did not grow up here, I moved here, making me an "IBC" meaning "Islander by Choice". If you're not an IBC, you're a "BOI" which means "Born On the Island". This may seem weird that we classify ourselves... I thought so too when I moved here. Five years later, it is what it is... Lol. I'm proud to be an IBC. After experiencing island life, I'll never leave my little strip of paradise! 

I also dislike Spring... 
Because this season starts to bring out the crazy in my classroom... My sweet little fourth graders start to act more like 5th graders. Behaviors start getting a bit more obnoxious because they sense the year coming to an end. So to combat the cray, I introduce my students to BINGO DOTS.  

What are bingo dots you ask? Well, they're stamps made from bingo daubers. I purchase my bingo daubers at the Dollar Store. $4 and some change later, I'm armed and ready to capture my student's attention and get their behavior back on the straight and narrow. 

All you need are these handy-dandy bingo daubers and a scrap sheet of paper for each students. You're ready! 

I give away bingo dots for EVERYTHING. 
- Working hard in class? Bingo dots.
- Quiet in the hall? Bingo dots. 
- Showing strategies? Bingo dots. 

I also play the "Give me 5 Game"
When the kids are rowdy, or I want them to get ready to switch classes, I say "*insert student name*, Give me 5!" That student gets 5 bingo dots, then walks around to find a quiet classmate to give 4 bingo dots to. The student chosen for 4 bingo dots gets to walk around and find someone to give 3 bingo dots to. Then that students finds someone to give 2 to... All the way down to 1. End result? SILENT CLASS. ALL SITTING PERFECTLY. 

My FAVORITE thing to do though is give away giant amounts of bingo dots.... 
Sometimes I get caught up talking with a teacher, dealing with a student, parent, whatever. YOU KNOW that as soon as the teacher's back is turned, kids think it's a free for all... WHY, I DON'T KNOW. Anyway, while I'm handling a situation and they're acting cray, I simply find one student who's behaving and say, "*insert student name*, 20 bingo dots". DUDES. The way the rest of the kids snap to is simply amazing.  TRY IT!! 

Why are these bingo dots so amazing? Two reasons: 
1) The kids get to stamp themselves. It's thrilling for them. And less work for me :) 
2) Bingo dots EARN REWARDS!

Most teachers have a reward system in their classroom. I have several. 
--> TREASURE BOX (answer "exit tickets" correctly, you get a ticket. Ticket goes into bucket. Draw from bucket for treasure box)
--> EARN A TILE (get a compliment in the hall or from specials/rotation, you get to draw a letter that eventually spells out a classroom reward - check it out in my TPT store for more details)
--> BINGO DOT REWARDS. Students save up their bingo dots and redeem them for rewards.
     5 Bingo Dots: fun eraser
     15 Bingo Dots: piece of candy
     30 Bingo Dots: homework pass  
     40 Bingo Dots: QR Reward Card THEY GO CRAZY FOR THESE!!! Check them out in my TPT store
     50 Bingo Dots: 15 minutes of choice time 

I'm seriousl, y'all. Bingo Dots are THABOMBDOTCOM!!!! You've got to try them. 

Bingo Dot Tips:
- I tell my students keep up with your Bingo Dot papers. If you lose them, too bad so sad. Just get out another piece of paper and start over
- Let the kids stamp themselves. It's a reward in itself. I've only had a few students try to "over stamp" but the other kids kept them honest... They will rat each other out in a heart beat for stealing bingo dots!! 
- Have several different bingo dauber colors. It makes it more fun and HELLO, THEY'RE ONLY $1!! So have a rainbow of 'em! 

I REALLY want you to try out this Bingo Dot Madness in your classroom so you can see how fun it is for you and students... So here's my FREEBIE! Bingo Dot Reward System Templates!!

The product includes the poster I use in my classroom and three editable templates for you to personalize of your own classroom. Just click the link to be taken to my TPT store! PLEASE leave feedback and follow my store while you're there! :) 

Enjoy and PLEASE let me know how they've worked for you!! I love to hear feedback and any upgrades you've made! 

Thanks SO much for reading this post! I hope you've enjoyed. As a reward to yourself for BEING AWESOME, enter the fantastic giveaway below!! YOU DESERVE IT! Happy Spring!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
An InLinkz Link-up

- Katie

Monday, March 23, 2015

Body Angles

If you're a 4th grade Texas teacher, you know that protractors and measuring angles are part of our new TEKS (the equivalent of the CCSS). A lot of the changes in TEKS  have given me a headache... but I actually REALLY enjoyed teaching my students how to measure angles!

I attended CAMT (Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics) last year in Dallas and was lucky enough to sit in on a presentation from some AWESOME teachers with some great ideas for introducing angles. I'm trying to find their names, because this activity was inspired by them!! 

After introducing my students to protractors and how to read them (SHOUT OUT TO GEOSTIX! pictured above), we started a fun project called "Bendy Bones".
- First up: brainstorming angles we see in real life.
- Next: brainstorming angles we can make with our joints.
- After that, students chose 4 joints to create an angle (elbow, knee, neck, etc)

- Then, student pairs took turns making an angle with their joint while the other created the angle with a pipe cleaner and estimating what they thought the angle measurement would be

- Finally, students put the pipe cleaner onto a protractor, measured the angle, and classified the angle as obtuse, acute, or right

My students LOVED this activity! I literally had to PROMISE we would do it again. I love when students LOVE LEARNING!!

I want YOUR students to enjoy this activity, too! So click the pic to be taken to the link and download it!!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

March Blogger Match-Up... LOSER :(

Remember the March Madness Blogger Match-Up I wrote about yesterday?? 
Well.... my team lost!!! *insert crying emojis*
The Whole Wheat Class's team, the Sooners, beat my adorable Albany Great Danes... 

Do you also remember how I said when I LOSE, you WIN?? 
Well.... it's true!! 

For a LIMITED TIME, my Rockin' Math Journals is FREE!! By my clock (in the dirty south), it's 11:35. My freebie will be available until 12:35! This is one of my best selling items. Wether you teach 3rd, 4th, 5th, this pack works for you. SO GO GET IT!!  Just click the picture below to be taken to my TPT store! While you're there, PLEASE follow my store and PLEASE leave feedback!! 


Thursday, March 19, 2015

March Blogger Match-Up!

Do you love basketball? teachers? blogging? FREE STUFF??
If you answered yes to any of the above, you'll LOVE this March MADNESS Blogger Match-Up!

Here's how the awesomeness works: Ashlyn over at The Creative Classroom  linked up SIXTY-FOUR blogger teachers and assigned them a basketball team. If you win, you move on. If you lose, you offer a freebie to your blog followers!! 

So basically, you WIN. And WIN AGAIN. AND AGAIN! SIXTY-FOUR WINS!!! 

I've been assigned Albany. I knew nothing about them, but I know a lot now! 

Here are some fun facts:
- Their mascot is the GREAT DANE. Adorable. 
- Albany is in New York (DON'T JUDGE. I teach math, not geography.... Ha!)  
- Their colors are purple and yellow (Which are the same colors as my son's high school! Go Tors!)
- Their record is 24-8. 

We (I jumped on the bandwagon QUICK) play the Oklahoma Sooners (22-10). 
WISH ME LUCK!!!! I'd love to move on because I'm competitive..... But remember, if I lose, YOU WIN! I'll be giving away my Rockin' Math Journals!

Here's a peak of some of the goodies inside :) 

Make sure you check out all these other amazing bloggers and what team they're supporting (and what goodies they're giving away!!)

Learning with Mrs. Langley cheering on Belmont
Second Grade Stories cheering on Indiana
The Neat and Tidy Classroom cheering on UC Irvine
Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten cheering on Coastal Car.
Miss Johnston's Journey cheering on Maryland
The Creative Classroom cheering on San Diego State
Fifth in the Middle cheering on Wichita State
Lessons with Coffee cheering on Arkansas
The Kinder Garden cheering on Notre Dame
Exploring Elementary cheering on NC State
Inspired Owl's Corner cheering on Oregon
Frampton's Fundamentals cheering on New Mexico State
Learning in the Little Apple cheering on Michigan State
NC Teacher Chick cheering on Utah State
A Tall Drink of Water cheering on Baylor
Sara J Creations cheering on Oklahoma
ELA Everyday cheering on Duke
The Blessed Teacher cheering on Lafayette
Mrs. 3rd Grade cheering on VCU
Rock & Teach cheering on Albany
Create Teach Share cheering on North Dakota State
One Happy Teacher cheering on Gonzaga
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas! cheering on Iowa State
First Grade Roars! cheering on SF Austin
The Learning Chambers cheering on Hampton
Teaching is Sweet cheering on Eastern Washington
Sounds Like Fun cheering on Louisville
Confessions of a Teaching Junkie cheering on Cincinnati
Year2tastic cheering on Kansas
Sparkling in Second cheering on Wyoming
Making Meaning with Melissa cheering on Purdue
One Sassy Teacher cheering on Villanova
Brittany Kiser cheering on Texas
Coach and Teach 24/7 cheering on St. John's
Hardcore Teacher Resources cheering on LSU
The Whole Wheat Class cheering on Oklahoma
Mixing It Up In The Middle! cheering on Mississippi
Teaching Maddeness cheering on UAB
Its Elementary My Dear cheering on Ohio State
Live Love Serve Teach cheering on Providence
 Education Kingdom cheering on North Carolina
A Dab of Glue Will Do cheering on Dayton
Learning to be Awesome cheering on Kentucky
Technology Timeout cheering on Harvard
Kovescence on the Mind cheering on Butler
Blossoms of Blue in 2 cheering on North Eastern
Mrs. D's Corner cheering on Robert Morris
Where the Wild Things Learn cheering on Buffalo
Bright Concepts 4 Teachers cheering on North Iowa (UNI)
A Trendy Teacher cheering on Valparasio
Lucky to Be In First cheering on Wisconsin
O-H So Blessed! cheering on Virginia
Tales of Teaching with Tech cheering on Woffard
Very Perry Classroom cheering on Arizona
A Kindergarten Life for Me cheering on Georgia
First Grade Buddies cheering on Iowa
Miss Case's Classroom cheering on Georgetown
A Grace-Filled Classroom cheering on West Virginia
Third Grade Cupcakes cheering on SMU
The Class Couple cheering on Xavier
More Time 2 Teach cheering on Georgia State
Owl-ways Learning cheering on UCLA

Friday, March 13, 2015

Lucky You! Blog Hop

Lucky YOU!! Welcome to the blog hop, hosted by the awesome Fancy Free in Fourth!

State testing is quickly approaching... Here in Texas, our kiddos take the STAAR writing test at the end of March. EEK! So to get them ROCKSTAR READY (and have a bit of fun while we prep), I've created this St. Patrick's Day Revising & Editing FREEBIE! I want you and your students to enjoy it, too! Just click this link to be taken to the download. :)


FIRST: Check out this giveaway and be sure to enter! 

SECOND: Click the button below to hop on over to Fancy Free in Fourth! She has an awesome Freebie waiting for you! Lucky you!  

Fancy Free in 4th