Monday, July 31, 2017

TPT Cash!

Have you heard the news?  A TPT Sale is coming!  

TPT is having a sale August 1-2.  Everything in my TPT store is 20% off.  Combine that with the TPT discount and you will save 25% off all of the items you need for BACK TO SCHOOL!

Want to win some TPT cash to spend?  Enter to win a $10 TPT gift card!  Just hop on over to my Facebook page and comment on the post with the grade level you teach.   A winner will be chosen 8/1 at 10 p.m.  Click on on the picture below to go to my Facebook page!

Happy Teaching!

Math Game Monday!

The next few weeks I'm sharing some of my favorite activities and ideas!

This week is Math Game Monday!

A few years ago I need a quick group game that we could play on a regular bases and would be student led.  I made up this chart and laminated it.  You write a number from the chart on a sticky note and put it in your pocket.  The students have to ask yes and no questions to try and figure out what the secret number is!  As they ask questions, you cross off different numbers that it couldn't be.

You could use any group of numbers depending on your kiddos ability level.  This game is great to reinforce key math concepts and really helps the kids formulate quality questions.  When you first start is a learning process.  They have to practice and listen to each other.  After playing a few times they get the hang of it and now the BEST PART.....

Let it become STUDENT LED!  Yes you read that right, let a student run the game!  The student that guesses right gets to become the next leader. They can play this FOREVER if you let them!

Once they get good at being in charge of the game, this frees the teacher up to do some quick reteaching for a friend that needs extra help.  Everyone stays engaged and best of all....  they are having FUN!

Another favorite math game is BUMP!  If you haven't discovered it yet, you are in for a real treat!  TPT has BUMP game boards for lots of different ability levels and skills.  The best part is that I have been able to find one for anything I needed that was FREE!

My kiddos LOVE IT!

Ready to give it a try?  Click on the picture to download one for free from my TPT store!  Just make copies, get some dice and cubes.  You are ready for the kids to use this in small groups, in centers, or for early finishers.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Where did June and July GO????

June flew by and now July is almost over....  How did that happen?

I spent the first two weeks of June in Nashville training to lead professional development.  One of the sessions dealt with the new Tennessee Standards for ELA and math.  The other was a special session designed for 4th grade teacher to dive into fractions.  (I'll blog about that another time.)  Both of them were AMAZING!

While I was in Nashville I managed to lock my keys in the car.  Yes, my car beeped at me over and over to tell me that it didn't want to lock, but I forced it to.  I was in a hurry and wasn't thinking.  Thank goodness that my insurance covers people popping your locks.  (Please check and see if yours does!  You will be glad you did)  Just a phone call, they pinged my phone to get my location, and in ten minutes a nice man had my car open.  (Lesson - When your car beeps it is trying to tell you something!)  When this happened I said that things couldn't get worse.... I was wrong.

The next day I got that call....  the call that NO PARENT wants when they are 3 1/2 hours away from home.  It was my husband letting me know that our youngest son was pitching at a baseball game and was hit by a line drive.  He needed me to find a place to take him because they were certain it was broke.  I think my heart stopped for a second....   I have always worried about not being there if he ever got hurt and now I'm hours away and can't do a thing.  Thankfully the wonderful people at Marriott took my insurance information, called to verify a fax number with ER, and got everything taken care.

Jackson was lucky....  I mean extremely LUCKY!  It turns out that when he released the ball, the batter hit it hard and it was coming straight for his head.  Had he not put his hand up, he would have been hit in the head.  So as bad a broken hand was, things couldn't have been so much worse.

Then I realized....  his injury would keep him out of TN Future Stars.  We were suppose to leave in three days.  Jackson wanted to give up his spot so that his team would not be down a player, but after contacting the staff of TN Future Stars the decision was made that he would still attend.  With sad eyes and a broken heart, we ventured off to take part in the experience that was so amazing last year.  While he didn't get to play, he experienced another year of working like a college football player.  He came home more determined than ever to work hard and make his dreams come true.

We made a quick trip to visit my parents on their 51st Wedding Anniversary.   I was walking behind my mom and Jackson when it hit me....  13 years ago I walked behind them down the sidewalk at our house and took a picture just like this.  He was much smaller of course, but I remember thinking to myself how could I love two people so very much.  

That's when I realized....  SLOW DOWN!  Enjoy each day!  Make them all count.  

So here I sit realizing that this summer went by TOO FAST!  All of the things that were on my "list" never got done and I'm OK with it.  I spent the last two weeks being a MOM!  Yep, I sure did!  I volunteered at my son's new high school for two football events and enjoyed time with him.  I think we might have gone to lunch almost everyday and I wouldn't trade that time for the WORLD!  Don't tell my husband!

So while you start making goals for this year....  put family FIRST!  Every year I make goals for school.  While I am still working on those, the first goal I made was to commit more time to my family.  Enjoy being a mom and make every minute count!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pack Like a BOSS!

It is finally coming!  The end of the school year!

Seems like just yesterday we were unpacking boxes for another year.

Over the years I have learned from my many, many mistakes!

Here is my list to PACK like a BOSS!

#1 - Do not be a HOARDER!

Get yourself a box of GLADE trash bags and go to town!

Take time to throw away anything that you didn't use the last two years.  (Face it - chances are you don't need it!)  Go threw all of the books in your classroom library, if they are torn up or missing pages, into the trash they go!  Have some sweet kiddos go threw all of your buckets of supplies.  If it doesn't work, write, or glue - OUT IT GOES!  My kids did this Friday and had a BLAST!

Why is this #1 on my list.  My friend next door.  She is a convicted teacher HOARDER!  Just last week she came to show me that she was throwing away a HUGE stack of blue DITTO papers!  Yes folks.... those old blue ditto machine worksheets from our childhood!

Don't be a hoarder!

#2 - Be a Photographer!

Take pictures of areas of your room that you loved!  This will make it that much easier to set back up when you return in the fall.

#3 - Clean, Clean, Clean!

Get some Clorox wipes and clean it before you pack it.  No sense in packing dirty bins.  You will thank yourself later.

# 4 - Organize!

Take the time to organize everything.  Put everything by subject in the same area.  If something is missing a piece.....  Throw it away!

#5 - Taking Home!

Only take home things you know you will use.  One year I took home several boxes that sat in my garage all summer and never got opened.  Don't do it!  I limit myself to 2 boxes of things I plan on working on.  Everything else stays!

#6 - Label each Box!

Put things together in a box and label it.  Run off a bunch of papers with your name and room number on it.  Use plastic tape to secure each box with a label - write in marker what is in each box.

#7 - VIP Box!

As you pack label a special box VIP!  Put anything you need to set up your room in the fall.  Scissors, tape, glue gun. staples, Ziplocks,  markers, glue sticks, and anything else.  This saves me so much time when unpacking because you can set up at the same time.

Label this box with bright paper so you can find it easily!

#8 - Box it Small!

Collect a bunch of boxes.  The best place to get them for free is a liquor store.  (Ha! Ha!  I am totally serious and while you are there....  pick up a couple of bottles!)

Think about the poor people that have to move things during the summer and pack lightly.  You will thank yourself when you don't break your back in the fall!

#9 - Work in Stages!

Don't try to do it all in one day.  Start the week before and do little things.  It makes it much easier and way less stressful!  If you try to do it all in one afternoon, you will end up just throwing things in boxes and come fall it will be a disaster!

I hope these little suggestions make packing up a little easier this year!

Enjoy your summer and take the time to relax!

Happy Teaching!