Wednesday, December 24, 2014

All I Want for Christmas is ... a TpT Gift Certificate! WINNER!

I had a lot of fun reading all of the comments and reviews during the giveaway. Like many, I too love me some clipart! Congrats to Melanie A. who is randomly chosen Rafflecopter winner; I know you will get some amazing goodies with your gift certificate! Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wishing you all a Happy Chirstmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

All I Want for Christmas is ... a TpT Gift Certificate!

I am so excited to be linking up with other teacher authors at Corkboard Connections for a fun little giveaway. Perfect for last minute gifts to teachers in your life (or maybe for a little gift to keep for yourself).

Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards are the perfect gift! I secretly wished that my students gave me those instead of Starbucks gift cards. Not that I don't enjoy going to Starbucks, but I REALLY enjoy shopping on TpT!

If you'd like to enter you can complete up to 4 entries through the Rafflecopter. You can visit the other teacher authors participating to try to win even more gift cards! The deadline to enter is when the clock strikes Christmas Eve (EST). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: Comments are moderated, so if you hit "publish" then you have entered!

Loved the Lesson - Patty Paper Math

I'm so excited to link up with The Teacher Studio this week for her Love that Lesson Linky. I was hoping to post this earlier in the week, but we all know how crazy the week before winter break is! I had my formal observation last week and this was that lesson.

Recently my teammate introduced me to Patty Paper. I had to have her repeat that to ensure I had really heard "patty paper". I had no idea what she was talking about. Apparently you can purchase packs of wax paper squares to put between hamburger patties. These translucent exact squares are perfect for math, especially multiplying fractions.I purchased mine on Amazon for about 0 (there are a 1,000 sheets and we barely made a dent).

At first I hyped up Patty Paper and didn't tell the students what we were going to do with this cool "math tool". I gave them each some sheets, a Sharpie, and some fraction tracing sheets. They traced several different fractions on their Patty Paper pieces.

Once we were prepared for the introduction to multiplying fractions by fractions I presented them with some real-world problems which required multiplying fractions by fractions. Or, in terms the students could better understand: parts of a part.

Then I gave no further instruction. I wanted them to experience some frustration and put forth some problem solving ideas of their own. The groups had some great math talk but after a few minutes they needed some more guidance, so I placed the needed Patty Paper pieces under the document camera so that they overlapped.

I forgot to photograph the problem, but here they were to find one-half of two-thirds. 

This led to further math talk and students continued to have that important progressive struggle. This is a newer method of teaching for me, and I have to say, it is challenging to let go of that idea that we have to teach students how to do everything, rather than giving them the opportunities to figure out strategies and methods on their own. 

After some more struggle I suggested that the students try folding the Patty Paper on the fractional lines to represent the problem. 

Some students then came to the solution this way. They could see that the folded two-thirds were represented and then the folded half cut that two-thirds. The section of the Patty Paper that was overlapped by both pieces of the paper modeled the solution. One-half of two-thirds is two-sixths (or for those in my class who have mastered 

The result was some students feeling that boost of confidence and lightbulb going off, while others were still baffled and needed more practice. So, we continued to try representing different problems with our Patty Paper. After a couple days of using it, my students were masters at representing and solving multiplication of fractions using Patty Paper! 

If you are looking for a different and engaging way to work with fractions you just may want to check out Patty Paper. 

You can check out other excellent lessons with The Teacher Studio's Loved that Lesson Linky!

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Freebies

Every year my favorite teacher authors and clip art artists give away great freebies. For the past few years I have wanted to join in on the gift giving and offer a holiday freebie of my own, but like most people life gets extra crazy once Thanksgiving hits. This year I have actually been getting a head start on some holiday goodies, and I created a fun little math activity just in time.

And......I'm super excited and honored to share that I have been included as one of the 50 teacher authors to have a page in the 2014 Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies: Grades 3-5 Edition e-book.

You have to go check it out, there are so many amazing holiday tips and resources that I'm sure you'll find many that will really make this time of year more fun and engaging for your students as well as help reduce some of the stress that comes with this time of year. Rachel Lynette of Minds in Bloom is a TpT ROCKSTAR and puts together this generous holiday gift. She is amazing!

My holiday tip and freebie link are on page 45! Go grab your FREE copy now! Or you can check out my holiday freebie first, but don't forget to download your holiday e-book.

As a kid I loved doing MadLibs. My friends and I would come up with the silliest stories, and I'm sure this is how I learned parts of speech. This was my inspiration for the Holiday Mad Math Stories. I thought this would be a fun way to make math problem solving more fun too! I created two stories which students fill-in-the-blanks to personalize, all while they practice adding and subtracting decimals. These two stories can be customized to any gift-giving holiday, so you can include students from a variety of backgrounds.

I hope the tips and freebies help make the holidays cheerier for you and your students!

Monday, December 1, 2014

2+1=TPTCYBER: What's On Your Wishlist?

I have been looking forward to this year's TpT Cyber Sale (Dec. 1 and 2 only!) because I recently made one of the best purchases...Jivey's Mentor Sentences. I'm not good at consistently teaching grammar because it can be a bit boring. We've already completed three weeks of sentences and I am hooked. So much so that I couldn't wait to get home and purchase the rest of the sets! Coincidentally, I am linking up with Miss Jivey herself! 

This gem has been on my wishlist (actually, it's been in my cart) for the past two weeks as I patiently waited for the sale. If you teach the upper grades and need an amazing way to squeeze in some grammar, then this is for you! I was worried that I wouldn't have access to all of the mentor texts, but guess far I've found them on YouTube! My kids love hearing other people read the books each week! If you are just starting out, you'll need to purchase the first set, but I highly advise you to also grab the rest of the sets during the sale!

I was a bit shocked to check out my TpT stats, as I hadn't checked them in awhile. I'm so amazed and thankful that other teachers have found my resources useful in their own classrooms. The top two wishlisted items...

Calendar Math! I use this with my math students so that they can practice previously taught skills and see patterns as the year progresses!

The American Revolution Lapbook/Interactive Notebook is my #1 wishlisted resource, it's also my bestseller. My students love completing lapbooks as it is engaging, personalized/differentiated, and shows their learning.

You can grab so many amazing items from TpT sellers today and tomorrow for up to 28% off. Don't forget to use the code TPTCYBER when you checkout! Happy shopping!