Monday, November 14, 2016

Donut FACTOR-y

Last week I taught one of my favorite lessons to my sweet fourth graders. The Donut FACTOR-y.

Even though the concepts factors and multiples are not listed as major skills in fourth grade, I feel the need to establish a solid foundation with my kiddos since, after all, factors are the building blocks to multiplication.

We've created factor rainbows in the past to list the factors of each number in order to categorize numbers as prime or composite, but I felt that many of my students needed a more conceptualized approach to learning exactly what factors are and what it truly means to be prime or composite. The result: the Donut FACTOR-y lesson.

Ok, well I didn't actually come up with the activity until I saw these babies at Target...

Oh, and my classroom theme is all things sweets, so these are PERFECT for engagement with my little BROWN-ies. So...Factors + Donuts = Donut FACTOR-y. I tell my kiddos that we run an exclusive donut factory that is popular with celebrities. Celebrities come from all over the country to get our specially packaged donuts. What's so special about our donuts? Well aside from being delicious, we can package the donuts multiples ways in nice, neat arrays. Celebrities don't want their donuts to move around and get ruined in their boxes so we make sure they are happy by showing them ALL the possible ways we can package their donuts into an special array packages. Then we put a stamp on the box that tells our customers if they have a PRIME or COMPOSITE order.

Y'all, my kids ATE this up. Literally...

I gave each student a bowl of donuts, a paper towel, and a personal board. My students slid the order form template into their personal boards and used dry erase markers to complete each celebrity order. The students created their arrays on the paper towel, and recorded their arrays on their boards along with the factor pairs, and the label of prime or composite. 

I made up some celebrities to get us started as a whole group and then gave each group task cards that included celebrity orders so that they could practice the skill with their peers. Every now and then I'd let on task tables/students munch on a few donuts. You can even do this with Cookie Crisp cereal if you can't find the donuts!

If you are interested in this activity for your sweet learners, you can find the instructions to the entire activity, the personal board template, the celebrity cards in my TPT store by clicking HERE or by clicking the picture below. The activity pack also includes a template and cards if you choose to do the Cookie FACTOR-y with Cookie Crisp cereal. 

You can also find this activity in my Factors and Multiples Bundle. This bundle includes lesson plans for my entire, 5-day Factors and Multiples Unit, task cards, personal board templates, SCOOT activities, Homework, and more. To find the bundle, click HERE or the image below.

Have fun!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wardrobe Wednesday

I am excited to give something new a try on my blog. I love, love teaching, but I love, love, LOVE clothes-especially "teacher clothes" as my husband would say.

I know that as teachers, we spend lots of our own money on classroom supplies and we often don't treat ourselves to nice clothes because the word, "budget" is lingering in our minds. My goal for these Wardrobe Wednesday posts is to give teachers (or other professionals) an idea of budget friendly outfits that can be worn in the workplace and even mixed and matched for casual weekend outings. 

Today I am going to focus on some versatile pieces that I discovered at The Limited for 50-70% off! The quality and comfort of each of the items are amazing, so I hope you have your credit card handy!

Just some quick notes: I am semi-tall, about 5'9. I know for my tall girls out there, finding skirts and dresses that are an appropriate length for school can be rough, but the ones I feature today won't get you a dress code violation-promise! Secondly, I have weird toes. I'll just put that out on the table...

 Let's start with some basics. A black pencil skirt and a white, sleeveless top. Ladies, I present to you Outfit #1. This sleeveless top is extremely airy and light, but it's not too see-through. I'm down here in South Louisiana so I don't like wearing a cami underneath a top if I don't absolutely have to. The pencil skirt fits true to size and is touching the top of my knees. Did I mention it's less than $19?! 

The white top comes extremely close to my shoulders, but I know that some of you have strict dress codes. If you are worried about the shirt being "too sleeveless" just throw a cardi over the top. This would have to be one of my favorite looks EVER. The top is less than $18 and the cardigan is $20. 

Now let's talk about these wedges. Heck yes, I am a wedge girl. Yes, even when I am on my feet 10-12 hours a day, I love rocking the wedges. Fact: If you invest in high quality, comfy wedges, your feet will thank you. They will. Especially in these babies: Clarks Platform Wedge. I ordered these from Amazon. I've also seen then at Nordstrom Rack, but they are more expensive at Nordstrom.  I LOVE these so much, I am going to invest in the navy and nude.

See, I told y'all...weird toes.

Now let's talk about another pencil skirt option: khaki. Same skirt, but just a traditional khaki color (I may or may not have ordered this skirt in navy, too...) Now, as much as I adore the skirt, let's talk about the cutest top, EVER. I love everything about this top. The color, the fabric, and the dainty ruffles. I have the link to the skirt below, but the top seems to only be available in stores. The top is worth a trip to the mall! It was 60% off of the sale price (making it about $13.00) and there was also a lavender option.

 Let's take a little break from showing some leg, and let's talk about my absolute favorite crop pants. Crops are perfect for me to wear to school here in the South. I love my skirts and dresses, but a nice, fitted crop is a staple that I always find myself going to for a nice, clean look.

In the left picture below I am wearing the same coral top with Drew fit ankle pants and my Clarks wedges. I will be able to wear these pants until December and then again in March, so these are definitely worth purchasing! These pants are super slimming and comfortable. The fit is true to size for sure. 

The picture on the right shows me wearing the white, sleeveless top with the red version of the Drew fit ankle pants. Something about the start of school screams, red, don't you think?

This next pair of pants need to be in your closet, asap. Not even just one pair, I'm thinking that if you're a teacher, you need every. single. color. These Chino pants are to die for. They are super light and extremely comfortable. I did go a size down in these pants because they seem to fit a little larger in the behind area. This is definitely a Thursday look for me. Cute, but casual and just what I need towards the end of the week.

Chino pants ($35)
grey t-shirt ($10 and I'm wearing a medium)

Last, but certainly not least....DRESSES! This has got to be my favorite dress I've ever purchased from the Limited, and God knows I've got lots. The pattern is gorgeous and can carry you into fall, and the fit is flattering. Oh, and my favorite part, it's not more than 2 inches above my knee so I can wear this gem to school!

Printed A-line dress ($28 and wearing a medium)

 I loved the fit of the dress so much, I had to buy it in the navy and red striped pattern! So simple, yet so fun!

 I am super pumped about my back-to-school clothes, and I know I'll be rocking these classic pieces for quite a while! I hope you all have gotten some ideas for your school wardrobe today!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Quickie and a Freebie

This summer has been an absolute whirlwind. I cannot believe that it's time to get back into the classroom...YIKES! My days of pajamas, Netflix, Homegoods, snuggling with my pups, and having a clean house are just about over. Insert sad emoji here...

...and if you didn't feel sorry for me before, continue reading...

Y'all, my Open House is next in July 27. YES! July. 27.

Every time I remind myself that my classroom has to be picture perfect by JULY, I get major stressed out. As much as the start of school and the endless amounts of school supplies excite me, the hustle and bustle of getting everything ready gets so overwhelming! Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like they are ADD around this time of the year? I start something, then move on to something else, but wait-that bookshelf needs to be organized and those labels have to be remade...

Speaking of labels, you can grab these labels FREE by clicking the image below. I needed some new homework labels for my whiteboard as well as a pop of color for my objectives board, so I whipped up a few things.  I hope someone else can benefit, so go ahead, click below!

Oh, and while I was gallivanting today at my usual hot spots, I picked up these fabulous notebooks at Office Depot. Cupcakes, donuts, sprinkles...I mean, my heart was about to explode! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Currently...Multiplying by Fractions

I seriously cannot believe it is March! I feel like my fourth graders just came to me, and now I realize that I only have 11 more Mondays with this crew!

Today I am actually remembering to link up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade.  I have been a total slacker lately, but I do, indeed, have an excuse!  Hubs and I bought a house and have been renovating ever since.  I should have told you all this before now, so that someone would have talked me out of this whole living in a house while renovating deal...

Anyway, here's my March Currently!

Listening; Y'all, The People's Couch on BRAVO. I just can't. I am literally crying after watching this silly show Watching people watch TV...who knew?!

Loving: Like I said earlier, we moved into a new house. This house had wood everywhere, so I told my husband that we would buy this house if I could have a bright, white kitchen and living room. Needless to say, Happy Wife, Happy life. The painters just finished, and I am loving the bright white!

Thinking: As much as I love the progress we are making...I hate the process of making progress :( I hate not having a workable kitchen, master bedroom, etc, etc, etc.  Just writing about it makes me cringe!

Wanting: I am at that point in the year where I feel like I cannot cover everything fast enough. S-T-RESSED!

Needing: An unlimited budget to finish all of these renovations and of course buy new furniture to match.  Oh yeah, and then there are Spring clothes...

Polling Site: My school does act as a polling site, but the school shuts down due to strangers on campus posing a safety issue. I think that's the safest idea!

In other news, my students have been ROCKING fractions.  It's funny how when I was in third and fourth grade, the one skill I hated more than anything was fractions.  Now, I LOVE teaching fractions!  My fourthies actually laugh at me because I get giddy about all of the fraction action that happens in my room :)

One activity that my students just LOVE-ed, was Smoothie Shoppe.  My students pretended like they worked at a Smoothie Shoppe that created smoothies for celebrities.  The activity required students to read recipe cards that included fractional ingredients. Students worked together to correctly multiply the fractional amounts so that they created the prefect smoothie order.

We did this last week, but I've made the cards a little more appealing for next year and I've included the updated version in my TPT Store.  You can grab that here or click on the last picture below! :) 

The pictures of my kiddos working display the "not so attractive cards", but they still had a blast making smoothies for Taylor Swift! You know how those last minute ideas hit you on the drive to school :)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I L-O-V-E Math

February is one of my favorite months as a teacher. No, not because of the ridiculously cold duty days, but because I am a sucker for all things pink and all things themed!

I also feel like February marks the beginning of crunch time for testing season. Boooo. Not my favorite, but, this does give me an excuse to sneak test prep into Valentine's Day themed activities.

My fourth graders are absolutely loving fractions, and I am majorly excited to start fraction themed madness with my kiddos this week. My fourth grade pack includes activities geared towards equivalent fractions, multiplying fractions, multi-step word problems, and more!

Here are a few pictures of my kiddos from last year working on "Piecing Together Equivalent Fractions". I think I loved this activity more than my students because I was able to hear mathematical dialogue between my students explaining their reasoning behind equivalencies. I was also able to identify misconceptions and address those directly. Sooo excited to implement this activity again this week!


 This month we will also be conquering the task of multiplying fractions with spinners!  I L-O-V-E a good spinner activity!


...and lastly we will be spiraling multi-step word problems including all operations. I set this activity up as a SCOOT, but you could also post the heart cards around the room and allow students to walk around with clipboards to solve. This works great as a partner activity or as an independent activity.

You can find all of these activities, and more, in my Fourth Graders "HEART" Math Stations Bundle. Just click the image below to grab this fun set in my TPT store.

 You can also grab the multi-step SCOOT as an individual product by clicking on here!

I also have a third grade Valentine's Day Math Center Set focusing on multiplication, division, and multi-step word problems. You can also check those out below!


Last, but not least, if you have dice and spinners in your classroom, go ahead and grab this addition and subtraction V-Day themed freebie!  Your kiddos will love this simple activity as a review or in math stations!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Fresh Start with a Freebie

In my book, a New Year always means a fresh start. I feel rejuvenated when my students enter my classroom after the new year, and I can tell that they are fresh and ready to learn...until Spring Break...but who's counting?

One way I help my students get off on the right foot is by reviewing the math concepts that we discussed in 2015. Math + a New year theme = happy, engaged kiddos. I've completed New Year's themed math reviews with both my third and fourth graders, and they absolutely love the sparkly, counting down until midnight-themed activities. 

You can use the activities in math centers/stations, as small group activities, have students complete in partners/groups, and even as independent tasks.

I've included two freebies from my third and fourth grade New Year's Math Review packs below.  Just click on the Addition Freebie or the Multiplication Freebie to grab yours now!  Who am I kidding...go ahead and grab both!

Those of you who are interested in the entire New Years packs can click the images below, which will lead you to my TPT store.  

I hope these products help each of you begin a fabulous year!

Friday, January 1, 2016

January Currently

January 1, 2016. Another year, another chance to change the world! Ok...let's just start with a new year, new opportunities :)  I spent my exciting New Year's Eve writing down goals for 2016: personal goals, health goals, professional goals, family/friends goals, etc. My plan i to blog about the progress of these goals, which should hold me accountable to achieve the majority of list!

Today I am linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for the January Currently. 

Listening- Bravo has been on my living room TV consistently over the break. I am definitely a sucker and get drawn into the Housewives...okay, and Vanderpump Rules...and maybe Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce. Sorry, not sorry!

Loving- This has been my first Christmas break with no grad school or NBCT certification or any sort of school obligation- Thank you JESUS! I am absolutely loving lounging around in new pajamas with no reason to put on any make-up. I honestly do not remember the last time I was this lazy.  Again...sorry, not sorry!

Thinking- I just cannot believe that today is Friday, and I have to go back to school on Monday. Two weeks off sounds like such a long break, but my two weeks felt like 2 days!

Wanting- Sunshine in my life!  It seems like it's been rainy and overcast since Christmas Eve. How can I be even slightly motivated to get out of my pajamas in this yucky weather?

Needing- My husband and I are in the process of buying and renovating a new house; yay!  We just need to spruce up our current house a bit and get this baby sold!

One Little Word- REACH.  Reach is my word for 2016 because I plan to reach farther and higher this year, and I WILL reach the majority of my 2016 goals. 

Happy 2016 friends!