Friday, July 31, 2015

The Monthly Top Ten! August 2015

I am so excited for the second month of the Monthly Top Ten! I can't believe there is only 5 days until I go back for training! I am a little nervous, because we still can't get into our classrooms, eek! but, I know it will all work out... I'm starting to recruit people (man, it seems like most of my friends are teachers!) that aren't teachers and aren't stressing over their own classrooms to help me with the last minute list that I know is going to be crazy long!

So, in order to start calming myself down, and refocusing on what is really important (the kids!) I am dedicating this Monthly Top Ten to the Ten best things about going back to school and the new school year!

Use this image to tell us all why you enjoy going back to school ... it can be in order (mine is) or it can be out of order. It can be for you as a teacher, a mother, a student, etc. It's just a way for us to get to know each other a little better and remind ourselves that this craziness that we go through results in something fantastic!

Here are my Top Ten Best Things about the Start of the School Year

1. I get a fresh start every year, and that's pretty cool! I can learn from my mistakes, try new things, and be a better teacher because I get a new "batch" of kids every year. Things are always different, and every group is a new adventure.

2. I am so excited to meet all of my new kiddos this year! I am moving schools and just sent out a test email ... so it's starting to get real! 

3. I am excited to be a part of a really amazing school this year and learn from new team mates, colleagues and friends.


5. Self Explanatory... school supplies, swoooooon!

6. It's the best excuse to go shopping, ever!

7. See above statement

8. I mean, I can't complain about earning more money can I?

9. This may seem hypocritical, but I am actually looking forward to having a reason to wake up and get my butt in gear every morning. Starting Monday, I'm saying good bye to late nights and sleeping in for the summer.

10. Learning new things is fun and exciting, and now that school starts, I get to put them all into practice.

What are your top ten favorite things about going back to school, join the link up and have a chance at winning my newest resource - your choice of math facts made easy products! 

Multiplication will be done soon ... check out all my listings here

{to enter the giveaway ... blog about your top ten then post it back here by August 15th - make sure to join in on the linky party! A winner will be announced on the blog and through email on the 15th!}

Be sure to comment on at least 3 peoples link ups when you join in on the fun!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Assess Me! A Get to Know You Link Up!

I am so excited to be joining the Tattooed Teacher this week for her newest Linky-Party! I love the idea that this linky will get us all a little better acquainted and it looks like so much fun!

This week is all about Yes or No ... these questions were so random and wonderful! 

I must explain ... I don't always talk to myself, but I have found that this is definitely a trait I inherited from my mother. She is constantly talking to herself, so at least I didn't inherit the full extent :) 

My television is almost always on, but I am currently obsessed with one of my all time faves newest project ... Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin have always been in my playlist, but I'm really loving the newest single 

I was one of the few lucky people to NEVER get my wisdom teeth ... I'm 27 and have never had to worry about it! But, then again, I am genetically missing 4 adult molars and still have baby teeth, so I probably never will have to worry about it! 

Now that you know a little bit about me, go to Rachel's site and complete your own assessment!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Multiplication Number Talks: Wonderful Idea Wednesday

Today, I'm Linking up over at freebielicious for Wonderful Idea Wednesday. I am so excited to be joining this link up and sharing my idea on Number Talks! 

Last year, I started doing number talks in my classroom. It was an essential part of our math curriculum, but I didn't really understand it when I was teaching First Grade. Now, I don't think I can live without it! My kiddos learned so many strategies when we did our number talk discussions. They worked with others to become more fluent mathematicians and became great mathematical thinkers through this daily practice.

What is a number talk, you ask?

Number talks can be summed up as: the best part of my whole day! It's one of the most powerful daily activities I do, and teaches the kids so many important things - mathematical computation, strategies, discussion, etc.

What are the goals of a number talk?

Now, I don't have a video of myself doing a number talk with my kiddos, although I wish I did ... but I do have a video for you to take a look at to get some ideas of what a number talk looks like...

I love this video, I even learned some new things (showing the 2, 3, etc on the hands to show your strategies)!

How does my number talk work?
- It's the first thing I do in the morning after attendance and lunch count/ correcting their morning work
- I gather the kiddos at the carpet and review the "rules" for our number talk (think in your head, thumbs up when you have the answer, don't shout out, come to an agreement)

- I use my Number Talks products from TPT to project a question on the whiteboard

- The students silently think through the problem using a strategy the are comfortable with and can explain, when they are ready they put their thumb up and wait for other students to be done.

- I ask the students to talk to their partner (first they tell them their answer, then they take turns explaining their strategy for solving. I have purposefully sat them at the carpet next to someone they can talk to and that could scaffold their learning)

- I listen to the students conversations and keep in mind a few students that I would like to explain their strategy, sometimes I purposefully pick someone who had a misconception so we can address that.

- The students explain their thinking to me, and I write what I'm hearing on the board. This helps students refine their explanations.

- We come to an agreement on the answer and go on to the next question. IF the students do not see the connection between the questions I ask, then I will point it out at the end, but the way my number talks are built, they eventually will see the connections and start to use them in their math work outside of the number talks.

There are several things that students need to be able to successfully participate in a number talk:
1.A safe environment
2.Problems of various levels of difficulty that can be solved in a variety of ways 
3.Concrete models
4.Opportunities to think first and then check


This has been one of the most successful programs in my classroom, and I was thoroughly impressed with all the growth I saw in my students last year, and can't wait to get going with multiplication next year!

If you are interested in my powerpoints for addition, subtraction and multiplication: check them out here!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Five For Friday! {July 17, 2016}

Today is one of my favorite days to blog, because it's Friday! and, Friday means that I get to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her reflective 5 for Friday post. I've only done this link up one other time but I loved that I got to sit down, reflect on my week and share some personal things with everyone out there.

My boyfriend got the chance to bring this little cutie patootie into our home last week ... he's a spitfire, 9 week old purebred Corgi and I love him to pieces! Just don't let my other pup know that! They have been getting along so well, and we are almost over the potty training hurdle! Riley is so jealous of Sherman now that she knows he's here to stay, but she's been such a good momma and it's adorable to see! 

 I had the opportunity to attend the Idaho Regional Math Centers Conference last week, and I  learned so much about geometric thinking and parent communication when it comes to the common core. I will be putting together a blog post about my thoughts and ideas later, but am still letting the information all sink in. I can't wait to share what I learned with you!!!

I finished creating my second Math Facts Made Easy pack! I am so excited to have this made up and ready to go for next year! I loved how well it worked with my second graders, and am hoping it will be just as amazing with my third graders. I am going to start working on a mixed operations pack for addition and subtraction next, and then onto multiplication and division. It's going so quickly now that I have it all created and ready to go:) 
For a Free Week Sample!

I spent a lot of this last week putting my house together and it's so close to being done ... I just had to take the last few days to finish a couple of little projects and I wanted to relax a bit before the craziness of moving into my classroom starts next week. This is the last time in a long time that I am planning on moving, and so now I've been working on making everything cute and perfect! Here's a sneak peek into my living room ... I still need to head to my favorite craft store and buy some new fabric to cover the chair, but I am so loving the blue, mustard and gray combination!

I started putting together my A Modern Teacher teacher binder and I am in L.O.V.E! I purchased the striped teacher binder a few weeks ago when she was having a great sale, and have been waiting to get ink to print it out! I've still got some things to print, but am loving it so far! I also linked up with The Teaching Thief for her back to school essentials linky, and now am dying to get my bootie to Target as soon as all the back to school wonderfullness comes out!

What did you do this week? Be sure to link up with the five for Friday post and reflect on your week!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Back to School Essentials!

Today, I am linking up with The Teaching Thief for her back to school essentials linky party.

 I am excited about this link up because it's getting me ready for all those back to school sales!!! This is the first year that I am not ready for summer to end quite yet ... I've had so much going on and I could use just a few more weeks :) But, I am always ready to go shopping so here's my list!

Ikea Book Boxes

I use these babies for everything ... book-boxes, table organization, mailboxes, etc... they are so cheap that I just have to have them around! One of these days, I will get around to buying ACTUAL PLASTIC book boxes, but for now these will do! Plus, when we reach our stamina mark we get to decorate them, and the kids always love that :) 

The only bummer about these bad boys is that there is NO IKEA in BOISE. Road trip anyone?

Some sort of organizational binder/planner/etc

This year, I switched it up and bought A Modern Teacher's striped teacher binder and put it in a new Avery pink and black binder... and I love it! I just got busy printing it out the other day and didn't have all the paper I need to finish it, so I'm off to the store sometime tonight! I love the flexibility a teacher binder gives me ... if I need more room, voila I buy a bigger binder or separate a section out, if I mess something up, I can easily reprint the page. This year, I decided to do my "data and student info" in one binder, my lesson plans and calendar in another. I know this seems like a lot to take home, but I like having the two things separated for meetings and my own brain :) 

Sharpie Flip Chart Markers

These babies are the best and never seem to fade! I seriously have an obsession with them and cannot live without them any more. They make my anchor charts rock! They do smear, a little, but it's only because they are so inky and wonderful! I love tracing things on my anchor charts {like cute clip art or font} and use the projector to help me out a lot... these markers are just what I need to help me ready myself for the back to school season!

Glue Sticks

Seriously, how does one only request ONE glue stick per child for the WHOLE school year?!?!? Do they think that glue sticks grow on trees?!?!?!? If I were in charge of school supply lists, the request would be for 20 per kiddo ... especially with interactive notebooks! 

Lifesavers Mints

Maybe I'm a big meanie, but I rarely let my kids go to the nurse. I can almost always tell when they are trying to get out of class, or if they are being over-dramatic, which in first and second grade happens a lot ... so, I buy a baggie of these mints at the beginning of the year to help placate those tummy troubles.

Ink, Laminating Pouches, and Cardstock

I always buy a ton, but I always seem to need more :( 


The more the better! 

and last but not least... 

A fresh batch of Sharpies and Flair Pens

Because, honestly ... that's why I became a teacher!

What are your back to school essentials? Be sure to Link Up with The Teaching Thief  and share all of your ideas ... Now, I feel the need to go to Target! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

It's a Giveaway!

In honor of week 4 of the TPTsellerchallenge, Follow Frenzy, I thought I would entice some new followers with a giveaway of my product for week 3 ... Math Facts Made Easy: Addition Edition.

If you haven't had a chance to check out my blogpost about Math Facts made easy, take a few minutes to and then come back and enter to win!

If you've already read about my Math Facts Made Easy product, you know you need a copy... so here's your chance to win it, for free!

Just enter your information in the Rafflecopter giveaway below and the winner will be randomly selected on the 16th!
             Click Here to Enter the Giveaway!