Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas & Winter Freebies {EIGHT Freebies}

We are definitely on the Christmas break countdown over here in Georgia. Three and a half more days with the students! To get in the holiday spirit, I have compiled EIGHT different Christmas/Winter themed freebies to help you through this holiday season and on to January. Check them out!

1. Decorate the Christmas Tree: A Decimal Operation Craftivity 

The students will decorate their tree with the given decorations. After decorating their trees, the students calculate the total of cost of the decorations. Then, the students complete the printable handout to answer a few more questions about their trees. Click on the cover to grab your copy!

2. Benchmark Fraction Sort

This activity requires the students to sort fractions by comparing them to the benchmark fraction 1/2. Click on the cover to grab your copy!

3. Winter Themed Constructive Response Math Problems

This 8 page freebie contains 4 Common Core aligned constructed response practice problems. Each practice problem contains a student handout and a colorful sign with a "We Can" statement. These signs and handouts would be perfect for winter bulletin board displays! Click on the cover to grab your copy!

 4. Christmas Persuasive Writing Activity

This is a fun resource for a persuasive writing activity with a Christmas theme. This contains prompt pages, planning pages, brainstorming pictures, and publishing pages. Click on the cover to grab your copy!

****And these great freebies are from my friends Meg at The Teacher Studio and Lacey at The Fabulous Life of an Elementary Teacher!

 5. Factor Freeze: A Differentiated Multiplication Game

 This game comes with 2 different editions—so you can pick the one that meets your students’ needs. Have everyone play the same version or differentiate so different groups get different games. Click on the cover to grab your copy!

6. Snowball! A Differentiated Addition and Subtraction Game for Grades 2-5

This game contains three levels that you can use to differentiate your students' practice! Click on the cover to grab your copy!

 7. Christmas Winter/Themed Writing Papers

Use these writing papers for any Christmas or winter themed writing assignments! Click on the cover to grab your copy!

 8. Fraction Match Up Freebie {Winter Sports Themed}

This set of 14 fraction matching cards will allow your students to practice identifying fractions. Click on the cover to grab your copy!

 Which freebie will you be using this season? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Merry Little Tips Linky {and a Freebie!}

Happy Holiday Season! I am joining with some fantastic TpT author/bloggers to bring you some time saving tips to get help you get through the holiday season!

The biggest issue that hinders time management during the holidays is definitely behavior management. Something about the holiday season and the looming Christmas break that makes kids (and teachers...) a little bonkers! To save some time and sanity, I have put together some fun behavior management incentives. Keeping the behavior in line will help you get the most of those few weeks before break to teach your content.

First up, we have some "On the Nice List!" cards.

Pass these cards out to students who are well-behaved and on task during these hectic weeks. Then choose one of these options to let the students "cash in" their cards (or create your own option).
  • The students could cash in their cards for prizes or special privileges.
  • The cards could be used to raffle off prizes or special privileges.
  • The student with the most at a checkpoint could win a prize or special privileges.
  • All students who have a certain amount of cards by a checkpoint could receive a prize or special privilege.
  • These cards could also just be used as motivation to behave with no extrinsic rewards.

The next simple behavior incentive is Holiday Bingo!

Choose students throughout the week or day to write their name on a square on the bingo board. At the designated time (at the end of the day or at the end of the week), use the cards to draw a number and a holiday image to choose a winner.  The winner can win a prize or a special privilege. The holiday bingo board can be printed, laminated and written on with a vis-à-vis marker to save copies.

To grab these freebies click on the image below.

Speaking of time saving tips, have you seen these Just Print, easy to use printables for Math, Reading and Writing in my TpT store?
Here are some shots of my Math Just Print Packs. My class last year loved using these. The fun graphics and engaging topics are just what they need to stay motivated. I cannot wait to get them copied for my group this year.

Another time saver are my Seasonal Writing Prompts. Each pack contains persuasive, narrative, and expository writing prompts. The students love the topics which makes them eager and motivated to keep writing. P.S. I have these available for all seasons. :D

And finally, my Just Print Reading Resources are perfect for independent reading, guided reading, or homework. Each pack contains three passages (a poem, an informational passage, and a fiction story). The students love these themed stories and the activities that go with them.

You can get these resources and all kinds of other awesome products to save you even more time at the TpT Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale...where my ENTIRE store is 28% with the code TPTCYBER!

Check out these other great time saving tips from my blogging friends!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Autism is...A Post from the Heart

As a parent of an 11 year old, nonverbal severely Autistic son, I find it difficult to balance work, life, family, and everything in between. I am not a writer by any means. However, I wanted to share this quick poem I wrote about what life with an autistic child is like.

Autism is...

Autism is messy.
Peeing on the carpet, leftover food on the floor, hands and face covered in cake.

Autism is frustrating.
Temper tantrums, people staring, unspoken judgement.

Autism is heartbreaking.
Tears of anger, sadness, desperation.

Autism is a thousand unanswered questions.
The future, his future, our future, so unsure.

Autism is exhausting.
Sleepless nights, doctors' visits, hours of research.

Autism is laughter.
Tickling tummies, swimming in the pool, jumping on the trampoline.

Autism is love.
A huge grin, a sweet kiss, cuddling in the bed at night.

Autism is life.

And here is my sweet Brody. (And his eight year old brother, Blake)

Thank you for letting me share. :D

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Giving Thanks with a TpT Cash Giveaway!

I have teamed up with some of my favorite TeachersPayTeachers Teacher-Authors to say thank you with a special giveaway! We are so excited for the holiday season that we couldn't help but spread some love!

We have teamed up to give YOU some TPT spending money. We appreciate you more than we could ever say! Your kind feedback and words of encouragement mean more than you think! We wish we could give all of our fabulous followers some money, but for this giveaway, FIVE winners will be chosen!

Enter the Rafflecopter below by simply following our TPT stores, and you will have a chance to win one of five $25 TPT gift cards! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Easy Breezy Division {Lots of Freebies}

Long Division is every teachers' (and students') worst nightmare, it seems! Every year, my students come to me with very little number sense. This makes dividing with two digit divisors so difficult. In response to this, I started teaching my students "Easy Breezy" division, a spin off of partial quotients.

Here is a poster that breaks down how I teach the skill. The main thing that I have added on is the Easy Breezy facts (which you can see in Step 1). As I mentioned above, many of my students lack number sense and desperately need this scaffold. Basically, the students multiply the divisor by their 2s and 5s, then add zeros for their 20s, 200s, etc. They use these Easy Breezy Facts as their partial quotients. This really works for struggling students who are not strong in division. All they need to be able to do is those multiplication facts and subtraction. They pull from those facts to solve the division problem.

As you can see from the poster, this method does take them awhile in the beginning as they typically only pull form their Easy Breezy Facts. However, as they gain mastery and confidence, they will begin to see patterns and learn to take larger quotients to solve the problem sooner.

To help with a conceptual understanding of the process, I always model this process using a word problem.This gives the students a context. Here is the word problem I typically use. It involves distributing cupcakes. We compare the partial quotients to packages of cupcakes that would be sent out.

I also created some  interactive elements that the students use to practice this skill in their interactive notebooks. Here are some shots of the interactive elements and the students' work.

 Click here to access all the printables shown in this post for FREE!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Math Warm Ups {Guest Post: Freebie & Giveaway!}

Hey there!  It's Amanda from The Primary Gal!  Earlier this week, Jennifer invited me to write a guest post in order to share one of my newest morning routines.  As many of you, I have the standard morning routines, such as turn in homework, sharpen pencils, and go to the restroom.  From there, rather than the typical morning work that I have previously used, I have began to implement Math Warm Ups.  This summer, I hosted a book study over the book Guided Math by Laney Sammons.  Math Stretches {or as I call them Math Warm Ups} are part of Laney Sammon's Guided Math philosophy.  {On a side note, I LOVE her!}

At the beginning of the year, I began using Math Warms Ups to start our day by using chart paper and scented markers.  {Side note, thank you Sentos!  You make math even better!!!}  I would pose a question related to the topic that they had from the previous night's homework.  In the picture above, my students had watched a math video for homework about multiplying three-digit by three-digit numbers.  Why not begin the following day with a little warm up to refresh and wake up our minds?!?!  In this particular warm up (and many others), each student creates a component of the problem and they work together to solve it.  I really like this because it allows them to self differentiate as well as work cooperatively with others.  They typically have different partners each day which allows them to work and help many friends.

After they complete the problem, they record their initials next to their work.  I love this because when we meet to discuss the Warm Up after morning announcements, I have them explain what they did to the class.  Most of the time, their answers are spot on and I love hearing them put their mathematical actions into words.  Other times, they are pretty far off and it provides a chance to teach from common mistakes that students make.  Either way, I love it!

As the weeks passed, I realized that I was going to go broke if I kept on the chart paper kick.  So I moved the Math Warm Up to the board.  The process is the same but no scented markers.  *Sniff*  The students really seem to enjoy these and I love getting the opportunity to see their ability to follow directions, work as a team, and most of all, review a grade level skill.

After completing these Math Warm Ups on the board {sitting right next to my Promethean Board} for months, I felt like an idiot when I realized....I could do these digitally!!!  Duh!  So using Power Point, I created Math Warm Ups that are able to be done on our Promethean Board while mastering the same objectives and saving paper, chalk, and lots of time.  Plus, what child doesn't love the opportunity to come write on one of these boards?

Now, if you're interested in trying these on your own, I have a sample copy with VERY basic Math Warm Ups that you could use to see how they fit into your classroom.  These are typically the types of warm ups I use on days where we are in between skills, right before breaks, or other awkward days that just don't "fit" into a typical warm up.

If you enjoy the sample or think that this is something that you would like to incorporate into your classroom, I also have Math Warm Ups designed for specific skills.  I currently have decimals, fractions, and measurement & geometry.  They are perfect for complimenting your daily instruction and allowing students to "warm up" their brain before diving into math class!  Each set comes with a PDF version of the Warm Ups as well as an editable Power Point for inserting your own Warm Ups.

Image Map

Enter to win a copy of my Math Warmups below!
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Writing Choice Boards

My students absolutely love choice boards. They love choosing their own tasks and having that sense of ownership. So, I created a set of Writing Choice boards that aligned to Common Core requirements and coordinate perfectly with my Reading and Math CCSS choice boards.

This resource contains 7 different choice boards with 15 prompts on each choice board, for a total of 105 prompts! Take a look!

The choice boards are available in color or black and white. The color version would be perfect to place in a literacy center or station. The black and white version could be copied and given to each student. They could color in the choices as they complete them.

Click here to grab your set.

To Teach is to Inspire...