Sunday, February 26, 2012

Leap Year Sale! at TpT

To celebrate February 29th this year, TpT is holding a sale, and so many shops are participating!  Everything in my shop will be 20% off, and with the coupon code below, you can save even more!  This morning I filled my wish list with a ton of activities, just waiting to see if the authors will be participating too. If you are looking for something incredible, this is the day to buy.  Everything that I have ever purchased has been amazing, and they have something for everyone.  Happy Shopping!! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Favorite Pins of the Week!

I've spent entirely too much time on Pinterest this week.  More than usual, I think.  I just have to share my 5 favorites of the week!

How awesome is this for a center or an activity for early finishers!  The blog even provides the print outs.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!

March 2nd is right around the corner! This blog provides a step by step tutorial.

I think everyone can relate to this one.  I had a good laugh when I found it!

Super cool for me since we are beginning our study of the human body this month.

I love these wreaths.  I pinned another that was a bunny.  They are so creative, but I think I'd have to  make it since it costs $400! The link takes you to the easy site with all the different character wreaths.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

At least procrastination bears some fruit!

Hard at work...not doing what needs to be done.  Here is a CCSS Mathematical Practices Poster with a variety of different backgrounds.  Enjoy the fruits of my procrastination!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fe Scientist and Socrative

This year our city has gone all out to promote math and science in our communities, schools, and businesses.  It has been very exciting to see everyone show up for all the events!  On Saturday, I worked the Iron Scientist event that invited kids from the audience to do science with teachers and a "secret ingredient."  My husband came up with Fe Scientist many years ago to get high school science teachers to battle each other at our district science fair.  It was a hit and great, and the audience typically learned some new science concept while watching all the science that could be done with balloons, or paperclips, or scotch tape, or whatever was deemed the "secret ingredient."

This year, since kids were going to be asked to participate, I asked him if we could please use my science bags from "Lab in a Bag."  One ingredient would be kind of scary to find appropriate science to do with kids aged 2-15.  Luckily, he obliged and the results were truly amazing.  Kids were coming up with all kinds of experiments from using Newton's Laws to creating a water purifier if you found yourself stuck in the woods without clean water.

The best part was that the audience got to vote on who's science experiment won.  The new program Socrative allows teachers (and others) to create an online quiz of sorts.  Then the students, using their phones, vote or answer questions or take a poll.  Parents were directed to this new resource and asked to vote for the Fe Science winner electronically.  If I taught high school or was doing staff development, I might just have to use this!  Our school has spent thousands of dollars on responders and and the software to go with it.  Socrative uses a free online program and cell phones that people already have...what will they think of next??

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Common Core Product

I just finished a 39 page unit for geometry transformations for the coordinate grid.  It includes activities for the basics through the highest level of Bloom's.  I'm teaching it for 7th grade math this year, but it will be moved to 8th grade as we switch to common core next year.  It's available on both my TpT and TN sites.

Here are some samples...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Today I was updating my pathetic calendar in the classroom that is hidden behind my tall director's chair.  It's been years since I actually bought new calendar cards.  I use stars now.  Stars are good for any month.  There was a time when I had holiday cards with matching month headings, but that was me as a first grade teacher.  The calendar was important since it was always part of our math wall.  These days I use it to let kids know how long they have until a project is due, or when the next math test will be.

On Pinterest this weekend...surprise, surprise...I found several different pins of people that had made their own.  Of course!  Why I hadn't though of it earlier is beyond me...maybe it's the suppressed primary teacher in me.  So here are 6 sets that I created...FREE to all!  I'll make more later, but this should get me to the end of the year. :)
Black and White Vines

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Math Wall Vocabulary

I've spent a great deal of time this weekend trying to create vocabulary cards for our math word wall.  The ones that I've found online are fabulous, but each set I find is lacking something that I need.  So I either put together a modge-podge of cards on the wall, or I create my own.  In the middle of taking a break, I found something on Pinterest that sparked my interest, and sure enough I found a site that has all of the vocabulary based on Common Core by grade level.  Yeah!  I couldn't believe it, one, and two I can't believe I didn't think to look around first.

This school district in Salt Lake City, Utah has activities, blank vocal cards, cards with the words, cards with words and a picture, and cards with the words, picture, and descriptions, templates, presentation materials, resources, and dual language resources.  If you are already working with common core, or headed in that direction, this is such a time saver.  Click here for their website!

Then, since I felt like I hit the jackpot, I headed over to their science page, and found even more resources.

Here are some other great resources for CCSS:

Common Core State Standards Mathematics
Teaching Channel ~Teachers in NY pilot showing implementation.
Suggested Reading Lists (by grade level and including texts for science, math, and history)
There's an App for that!
Dean Adventures

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Science Fair

Today was the district science fair.  It is such an amazing event put on by teachers in our district with help from Intel.  Besides displaying the best projects from each school site, there are groups from around the area there promoting science and STEM education.  My son had a fabulous time "doing science" with various groups.

Here, he is extracting the strawberry's DNA with the high school bioengineering club.  He did the smashing of the berries, while they showed him the rest.  Now he has a necklace with a vial of it around his neck.

This table may have been his favorite.  He is going to be an engineer someday with all the building that he does!  This is a toothpick bridge he built with spaghetti and marshmallows.  Once he was done, the volunteers from Intel hung a paper pocket in the center.  My son filled the pocket with pennies, counting each one carefully.  His 5 year old bridge held 13 pennies!!

The Mad Scientists were there with many demonstrations.  The van de graff generator was definitely puzzling to him.  Since his hair is so short and coarse, it didn't stand up.  When his dad touched his arm to help him down, though, he was unpleasantly surprised.  Then his cute 5 year old curiosity tried to shock everyone he came across.

As I upload all my science fair items from this year including the logbook and board headers, here is a freebie that will help as kids make those boards look organized and put together!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Math Resources

There are some days, no, many days when I need more massed practice to supplement our math program.  For some kiddos, a spiral curriculum is perfect.  They get a new concept each day, while constantly reviewing what has already been taught.  For other students, they need 10 or 20 practice problems of the same type.  I'm so very thankful for all the great internet resources for math.  I used to make my own, usually by hand since the computer isn't very math symbol friendly, but now there is no reason since there are well done resources out there.

Math Worksheets 4 Kids
Kuta Software
Grade A Math Help
Math Ocean ~all grades
Ed Helper

And...the new one I learn of today Thinkfinity.  This one is more well rounded, and is categorized by state.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Freebie Friday

Paying Tribute to Pamela Wood of the Vintage Teacher on Freebie Friday. Thanks for helping to pave the way for those that have come after you.

Pamela's family requested that her items on Teachers Notebook all be offered FREE in her honor.

I keep this poem by my desk, especially for those days I forget...I thought it was appropriate here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tag, you're it!!

I just love these fun posts that help us get to know each other!  Kim, over at Joy in 6th, tagged me, and then Sarah tagged me from Teaching Tweens.  I'm playing along, but have had so much work this week that I'm not passing this one on (Next time... :)

Here are the rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

1. Seven years ago this week I was offered my dream job, Title I reading teacher, but life's unexpected events led me to leave my school and continue as a classroom teacher.  Today, I am a highly qualified middle school math and science teacher.  Who knew!!

2. I can't drink wine.  I can't.  I've tried, but it gives me reflux.

3. I moved every year in junior high.  Maybe that's why I enjoy teaching them.  I know how hard it can be for some.

4. I can sew.  I'm not terribly good at it, but I did make 4 poodle skirts on Saturday for my daughter's student council event this week.

5. I spend way too much time on Pinterest and playing Words with Friends.  

6.  I leave Arizona in the summers so that I don't melt.

7.  I have 3 other "failed" blogs.

8.  I have a habit of not finishing projects that I start.

9.  I do a load of laundry everyday when I get home so that I don't have a gazillion to do on the weekend.

10. I typically work at school at least one day on the weekend.

11. I'm "one of those" parents at my kids' school, but it's because I would do at least that much for someone else's child.

12.  I love to relax, but don't know how to do it without leaving the country!

My answers for Kim:

1.  What is your favorite Starbucks beverage (in case I'm in your neighborhood and I'm bringing you a treat!)? Iced vent, non fat, no whip, salted carmel mocha.

2.  Book, Nook, Kindle, iPad, book on CD, other?  iPad What is your favorite way to enjoy a new book? I'm still kinda partial to the old fashion book.  I love holding it, turning the pages, and feeling my accomplishment.

3.  If you weren't a teacher, what career would be your second choice? Socialite...just kidding.  I'm not sure.

4.  What is the first subject you plan for when you start your lesson plans for the upcoming day? Math
5.  If you have traveled, what is your favorite country to visit?  If you haven't had the opportunity (or if you have!) what country would you most like to visit? I've only been to Mexico.  I know, I'm sheltered, but I'd love to see the English countryside.
6.  Have you been a principal?  Would you ever want to be? No and No. I watched my mother do it, and my husband does it as well.  I love being in the classroom, and I've heard and seen too much about being in that position to ever want to do it.  And, it seems as if so many really good teachers leave the classroom to be principals.  I feel like we've got to keep the best with the kids.
7.  What dessert would you choose in a fancy restaurant? chocolate, and the restaurant doesn't have to be fancy!
8.  What's the most adventurous/daring/exciting thing you have ever done (that you can blog about!)? For someone who's afraid of heights, I've been parasailing.  I loved it!
9.  If you slept in "late" one morning, what time would it be? 9:00
10.  Do you still read magazines?  What's your favorite? Yep. People
11.  Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets? Sunrises.  I'm always awake to see them.
12.  What brings you JOY? Successful, happy kids

For Sarah:
1.  What's your favorite book to read over and over? Twilight series.  I just can't help it.
2. What time do you get up to go to school? 6:00
3. What's your favorite teaching gadget/supply you use daily? doc camera. It's a Godsend.  No more inky hands from using overhead markers
4. What's your best teacher memory? Sprinklers turned on in the middle my kids' concert.  OOPS!
5. What do you like on your Tombstone (or any kind of pizza)? Extra cheese
6. Where do you spend more time--blogging or pinning? :) Blogging
7. What do you like to do on the weekends? Laundry.  I know, exciting
8.  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? British countryside
9.  Favorite season? Fall
10. If you could invite anyone to your classroom to speak to your class, who would you invite? Steve his stuff!
11.  Favorite website? I have to pick one? um....pinterest, probably
12. Favorite time of day. after school!