Monday, November 26, 2012

Huge Cyber Monday/Tuesday Sale on TPT!

If you have something you've been thinking of picking up something from my store on Teachers Pay Teachers, now you can get it for a whopping 28% discount. 
I have listed ALL of my products in this sale!
Be sure to use the additional promo code:  CMT12 to receive the additional 8%. The sale lasts through Tuesday to give you time to make your choices.

I have just uploaded my newest product, Government Responsibilities 2:  The Branches.  This is the companion to my biggest seller:  Government Responsibilities:  Local, State and National.  These are each heafty units packed with charts meant for viewing on the Smartboard, lesson plans, assessments, and fun review gameboards with game cards. 

If you want to start a Word Sort program or just need to add to the one you are using, check out my word study product titled,  A Treasure of Words Sorts:  Spelling for the Whole Year.

If your curriculum wants you to compare Fariytales, Folktales and Fables,
 I have the perfect unit for you...and its included in this Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) Sale too. 
It is titled, "Fairytales, Folktales, and Fables-  Element Detective".
If you teach students about magnets, I have a complete unit you may want to pick up at this great discount titled, Magnets:  A Complete Unit.
There are so many great buys available Monday and Tuesday.  Grab them before the sale ends. 
Bye for now,  I have some shopping of my own to do... Enjoy some great deals!

Here is a freebie that you'll want to grab if you teach third grade and compare Greece to the U.S.  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Halloween Math and Literacy Center Games

October is such a fun month to me.  I love decorating my house with pumpkins, hay bails and all else fall.  The national fair comes to our town, and our school system has Fall Break for a week at the same time.  My own kids are relentless until we find that perfect costume and we end the month trick-or-treating in the neighborhood with friends.  
To add to this month's fun, I've created center games to review much needed skills all in this Halloween theme.  Click here to go check it out. 


These are the two game boards... 
There are 4 sets of game cards
 that cover the skills of...
*  identifying nouns,
* identifying proper and common nouns,
* rounding to the nearest ten, and
* rounding to the nearest hundred.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Freebie: Adding on an Open Number Line

We are teaching several common core strategies to our third graders this year to help them add and subtract.  One of those strategies is using an Open Number Line.  This math has definately been challenging as we attempt to stay one step ahead of our students.  With no text books and little practice material, we are creating our own.  Here is a homework sheet we used to check student understanding after our whole group instruction. (Clipart from 3am Teacher). For a full packet of "How-To's" to distribute your parents, or just use yourself, see the blog post just before this one on September 3rd. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Handouts for Parents on the Commom Core

Announcing my newest Product...

If you have already begun teaching addition and subtraction this year, you may already be facing one of the biggest issues of introducing Commom Core... 

the lack of anything tangible to send to parents.
Our parents were not taught this way, and they are desperate to understand. 

As I mentioned in my earlier post, at our school, we had students copy an example from the board or chart, to use as a guide when doing the 4 or 5 homework problems we assigned.  We typed the homework problems on strips and glued them in their math journal right next to the written example.

Thinking that we had planned this out pretty well, I was quite surprised the morning following the first homework assignment, after all, it was only 4 problems.  I had 8 notes on my desk and two parents stopped in for unscheduled doorway conferences.   Over the first week, I spent several unexpected moments, showing parents the charts we'd used and teaching them how to help with homework and eventuallly the test preparation.  This continued until I addressed it.

What had gone wrong with our plan? 

Problem: Handwriting illegible, incomplete copying, parents completely unfamiliar, etc. One more thing...we have only started the year, so parents haven't had a chance to get to know me.  Who knows what opinions they were making based on this "new math", as parents are calling it. 

Solution:  I just created "how-to" sheets for each addition and subtraction skill, using the Place Value Blocks strategy. 

They are designed to be sent home to parents as you introduce each skill to their children.  These "Parent Guides" provide simple step-by-step instructions along with visual aids to help your parents help their children....and a nice extra... they will help keep parent complaints to a minimum. 

Here is a snapshot of one "how-to" sheet...

Here is a closer look at steps 1 & 2:

Here is a closer look at the next step (step 3) where trading is needed...

For each "how-to" sheet, there is an application sheet.   You can use it for homework, independent or small group practice.  I intend on using it for independent practice after I feel they have a good grasp of the skill.  There are 4 of these, so after the last one, I will combine them for one classwork grade. 

Here is what one looks like:

I am currently creating handouts to teach how to add and subtract using an open number line and using expanded form.  I will post here when they are finished.  Soon I hope.  I wish you success and have a great new school year!

Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Subtract the Common Core Way

It seems we have started back to school a good bit earlier than many of the rest of you, so I thought I might share our initial experiences teaching our first math unit after adopting the Common Core.  It may make it a bit easier to see the anchor charts we created.  I hope this proves helpful.

According to the Common Core, there is an emphasis on building number sense with third graders.  Our first unit has included Addition and Subtraction.  To build number sense, we have taught several strategies for addition and subtraction: using a hundreds chart, an open number line, place value blocks, and expanded form. 

Subtraction was the most challenging, especially for informing parents who want to help their children.  Not having text books written for common core makes homework a challenge.  In order to meed this need, we used a Math journal.  In that journal, we had students record an example homework problem that we did together in class.  Then we pasted small homework handouts (half sheets) underneath.  In a perfect world, this would have been just fine....but it's not a perfect world.  The problem we have run into is with those sweeties, that have trouble copying from the board or chart (for the homework example).  This copying thing is still a challenge for many 3rd graders.

I intend on letting my parents know they can check out this blog too, in order to see these anchor charts as well.

This anchor chart shows how to subtract using an open number line.  The hardest part for the students is using the skill of counting backwards, especially when going back over a ten-mark (ie 212, 201, 192).

(*I just realized I left off the letter "e" in the word "increase" below.  I'll fix it soon, upload a new photo and delete this comment, but I wanted to address it until I get the chance to make the change.)
  Here is my anchor chart for using place value blocks to subtract when there is no need to regroup. We started with real place value blocks.  Then we moved to the picture model.  After a bit of modeling, my kiddos really caught on to this strategy well. When subtracting without regrouping, this method tended to be especially easy for them.

However, when regrouping was needed, it got more complicated, but after a couple of days, my students found that they still preferred this strategy.  Here is the anchor chart to teach subtracting with place value blocks when regrouping was needed.

(technical difficulty with photo - will be corrected soon) 

If you have questions, I will be glad to try and answer them. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

School is back in full swing! Classroom FREEBIE to share!

Here in my small corner of the world, in Georgia, we are back in full swing!  We are in our third full week of school - I can hardly believe it!  We are digesting the common core in both reading and math.  Whew!  Lots of work tackling both major subjects at once.

I am so grateful that my Social Studies units are all planned out for the year.  We enjoy teaching this awesome unit on Athens, Greece.  (Lots of great visuals and creative acitities).  Actually it's the influence of Athens, Greece on America's culture, government and architecture.  We really did get a lot from them! 

Toward the end of the unit, when we compare and contrast the U.S. with all that we've learned aobut Greece, we use a double bubble thinking map.  If you teach this topic and would like a FREE copy of your own, click HERE .   I hope you enjoy. 

 If you are in fact, looking for a complete unit to teach this concept, check out what comments others have left at my TPT store, to see if this might fit your needs. (Just click on a picture.)

The complete unit is also available:
 at my TPT store here or
 at my TN store.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back To School Sale!

To support your efforts as you get ready for a new school year,
I am participating in the huge Back To School Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers! 
Click on the coupon below to go to my TPT store. 

Be sure to use the coupon code to get your additional savings...up to 28% off, the highest offered on TPT

That's this SUNDAY and MONDAY!
I know you will not want to miss it!
Here are my newest products:

ATreasure of Word Sorts
click here

Common Core Posters
click here
Phonics Flashcards:  Long and Short Vowels and Blends
click here


Common Core Math Lessons for Addition
click here 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back to School Newsletter

I have only one more day before I go back for preplanning, so I am already in planning mode, working on items for the start of school.  I want to share this newsletter template with you. 
If you can use it...

  1. follow my blog,
  2. like my facebook page and then click on the picture below to get your free copy.

This is one of several newletters in my Back to School packet.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cool Books for teaching Math

As I am "spiffing up" my classroom library this summer I thought I'd share some of my favorite for books for teaching different subject areas.  Today I will focus on books that I use for various math lessons. 

One of my favorites is The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns when I introduce our geometry unit.  The kids love the "shape shifter" character, so it really holds their interest. 

A great book I have found for supporting number sense is the book,
The Grapes of Math by Gregory Tang. 

Your kiddos will have a ball listening to you read Measureing Penny by Loreen Leedy.  This story is about a little girl trying to do her math homework assignment and gets the help of her dog, Penny, for all sorts of measuring fun.

A book we will be using this year as we introduce the idea of elapsed time is called The Long Wait  by Anne Cobb.  It's set at an amusement park where the main characters Josh and Zach are evaluating the length of the ride they want to take.  They make estimations and judgements related to how long they may wait in line.  Sounds like a great book...can't wait to read it.  I just ordered it from Amazon.
The Long Wait (Math Matters)

Of course, if I can find a way to involve chocolate I will... so I must mention an old favorite to introduce fractions (which I really do bring chocolate in)...I call it The Hershey Bar Fraction Book, but the true name is The Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar Fraction Book
by Jerry Pallotta and Robert Bolster.
Product Details

Recently, they've added to the Hershey Bar book series with Hershey's Milk Chocolate Weights and Measures.  Now, I don't have this one yet, so I can't give my opinion, but I plan to pick it up and check it out. 
Product Details

Go enjoy a great math book!

Donna Boucher at the Math's Coaches Corner is sponsoring a great blog hop
to go along with this blog topic called...
I'd love to hear your favorites too...
The book you link up can be a book about teaching math, a children's literature book that you like to use for math instruction, or one of both if you'd like. Use a link directly to the book for the URL, the book title for the description, and the book cover for the picture. You can go to  Amazon to grab a URL and picture.

C'mon, don't be shy! Add a link now. This is also a blog hop, so grab the code and share it with a post to your readers. It should be fun to see everyone's favorites!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Free Welcome Back to School Bookmarks

We just got back from one of the greatest "end-of-summer"
vacations at the beach! 

 We love Fernandina Beach, Florida, home of the best and biggest waves on the Atlantic side of Florida. (At least that's we've found.)  You can actually ride a real surfboard out there! 

After relaxing and clearing my head listening to those great ocean waves,
before plowing full speed ahead in preplanning meetings next week, I have been preparing and making items for the start of school.

You can get this new "Welcome Back" school bookmark set here for free.

I plan to include these in my welcome back pack that students find on their desk on the first day of school.  There are two color versions and one black and white.  I hope you can use these.  

Stop by again soon as
I increase my postings regarding my plans for preparing for
that first day of school.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
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