Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Controlling Excessive Talking in the Classroom

Whew, I can't believe I haven't blogged since school started back. I have several blog posts and ideas that I can't wait to share with you in the coming months. For today, I wanted to share a simple strategy that I have been using successfully for four years to control excessive talking.

I call this easy to implement strategy, "Thumbs Up!" Here is how it works:

  • The students are allowed to talk about the work or directions, BUT one of the students talking must have his or her thumb up. It is that simple!!!
Here is why I think this works:
  • Students know they have some freedom to talk about the work, however they have to do a little work to be able to do it (putting their thumbs up). This curbs off task talking. They do not want to waste their energy with their thumb up to talk about something off topic.
  • It is super easy to remind the students of this procedure. When I hear talking with no thumbs up, I simply say, "I hear talking, but I don't see any thumbs up." This is a quick and easy reminder that is not nagging or annoying to the students.

I use this strategy during the morning, during independent work, and during dismissal. I DO NOT use this during turn and talk times or group work because talking is expected. I also do not implement this during times when talking is not acceptable (taking a test, lining up, etc).

Trust me, it works like a charm! If you want to try it out, you can download some posters to hang in your room, by clicking on the images below!

If you try it, I would love to know how it works for you! Also, let me know your simple strategies for curbing those talkers by commenting below. I would love to hear your ideas!

Friday, August 8, 2014

5th Grade Back to School Blog Hop {Freebies}

Happy August! I’m so excited to join in with other amazing 5th grade teachers to offer this Back to School Blog Hop!

I wanted to post a few pictures from my classroom and share a few freebies with you! This first image is of my behavior board that I use in conjunction with Class Dojo. It is very simple, but also visual. I like the simplicity of it, but it is still age appropriate.

All of the kid's names are on the blurred cards. I put magnets on the back of their name cards. I can move the cards up to Warning, Five Minutes of Recess, 10 Minutes of Recess, All Recess, and Call Home.

You can grab a FREE editable powerpoint to create your own behavior board by clicking here.

I also have another decor freebie appropriate for Upper Elementary. These are circle words that add a little inspiration to any wall space. Click here to download them.

You can see more great Back to School tips by clicking here to hop to the next blogger, Kristen at Teaching Trio!

Our group of bloggers has a great pack of goodies to send to one lucky winner to help your year get off with a bang! Check it out! I am giving away my Interactive Math Notebook: Word Problems. Read about it here.

Enter at this rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Math is Real Life {A Year in Review}

It's the first Wednesday of July which means it's time for our monthly linky - Math IS Real Life!!  If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!  
If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs - feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!

A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by

For my Math is Real Life post this month, I have decided to highlight my favorite posts from the past year.

Cyber Shopping Blog Post

  • This post was all about shopping! And my favorite kind of shopping, shopping! This post featured a real life freebie about shopping with coupons and choose which discount is better. Click here to read the post and grab the freebie.

Multiplying Mixed Numbers Blog Post

  • This post was inspired by a need to really connect a tricky skill with the kids' lives. I created posters and example problems of how multiplication of mixed numbers is connected to real lives. I used the problems in a gallery walk activity. It was a hit! Click here to grab the posters and example problems.

Carnival Fun Blog Post

  • This particular post came after spending the day at a local fair/carnival in our hometown. Click here to check out this post. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog for this "Year in Review" and I hope you have a chance to use the freebies in your classroom.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back to School Sale!

Well, the time has come! Teachers in my district report back tomorrow. :(  But....the good news is that TeachersPayTeachers is having its annual Back to School Sale!

My entire store will be 20% off Monday and Tuesday! And with the TpT promo code *BTS14* , you will get a total of 28% off!

As I mentioned above, EVERYTHING in my store is on sale! But I did want to share a few of my favorite resources with you. I have over 300 products in my store, and that can get a little overwhelming!

Click here or on the image to check out my interactive notebook resource for 4th and 5th Grade Common Core Math. My flippable packs are perfect for new interactive notebook users. They are super easy to implement and use and take little classroom time to prep. My word problem interactive notebooks are new this summer, and I am super excited to use them this year!

These next resources have saved countless hours of prep and searching for homework! Click here or on the image to check out my Weekly Reading Homework for 3rd Grade and 4th/5th Grade! Rigorous homework that is meaningful and common core aligned? Yes, please!

My kids are all about CHOICE! And they love using my Math and Reading Choice Boards. Click here to check them out!

These next resources really took my reading instruction to the next level last year. Click here to see Close Reading Resources that are Common Core Aligned and super rigorous!

And last but not least, I bundled my Reading Units and Math Units for even more savings! The bundles themselves save you $8, but if you buy them on sale, you will save a total of $16! Click on the images to check them out!

Whew, that was a lot! Thank you for letting me share some of my favorite resources! And don't forget to check out some of my favorite upper elementary stores by clicking below! 

Happy Shopping!

Hide and Go Seek {Freebie and Giveaway}

I have teamed up with some of blogger friends at The Teaching Tribune to bring you amazing freebies!
   As you play Hide and Go Seek, you will hop to 20 blogs where you will collect freebies. My blog is the 7th stop as you play Hide and Go Seek! 

Click on the image below to grab the freebie!.

This freebie includes narrative prompts from my Back to School Writing Prompts resource. 

 Click here to see the complete resource that also includes opinion and informative prompts.

 {Click here to see all of my seasonal writing prompts.

Click here to see all of my Back to School resources.}

You can complete the loop by starting at the first blog or continue on by visiting the next stop. Either way, you will make a complete loop to all the blogs!

Don't forget to become a follower of our blogs as you continue on. You never know what we will be doing next! 

  Just click either picture below to continue Hide and Go Seek!

To Teach is to Inspire...