Monday, March 2, 2015

Currently March

Is it March? Could have fooled me with this crazy cold weather!
(I'm not complaining though- I kind of like the cold weather and sweaters, mittens, etc.)

I'm excited to link up with another Currently from Farley! I flat out missed the February Currently so I've been anxiously waiting for this one.

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LISTENING: to the washing machine wash the 50th load since Friday. The baby had a nasty stomach bug all weekend complete with projectile vomit so I've been cleaning and sterilizing and washing everything that got hit. Then I got the stinkin bug yesterday afternoon. Feeling much better today.

LOVING: The writing going on in my classroom is just awesome. I've been doing some oral writing using Whole Brain Teaching and I just love the results. The kids are so excited to use hand gestures and what they are writing is just fantastic!

THINKING: I need more pens. Flair pens are good for everything. My current set is on its last legs. 

WANTING: Remember a couple of weeks ago when we had a three day weekend? I felt so rested on Tuesday when we went back to school. Plus I had time to get to everything on my weekend to-do list. I wish every weekend was a three day weekend!

NEEDING: no more stomach bugs in this house. I've had enough.

SPRING BREAK PLANS: Spring cleaning is a must. My closet is way out of control. But I'm mostly excited to spend time with family!

I love reading the other Currently posts from everyone. Have a great week at school!

Popplet Lite

We had so much fun using an app called Popplet Lite while we learned about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. You may be familiar with Popplet. It's and app as well as a website that allows for making webs. You can have a whole class working on a Poppet on the website which can be really cool. 

But to start off Popplet Lite is a great tool. It's free too! 

It takes just a few taps on the screen to create a bubble. Students can type inside the bubble or draw using their finger. You can also import pictures. So easy! We did one as a class first then I allowed students to create their own Popplets. Some of my students had such a good time that they even went home and created their own Popplets on family, their favorite books, etc.

This is a great tool to use in science and social studies and students feel successful! Below is an example. It turned out too cute!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Currently January

It's 2015 and I'm hoping to be back to blogging on a more regular basis. But I have a really fabulous reason for not blogging... this little angel!

Amber James joined our family October 24 at 7:45 in the morning. 
Being a mom is so wonderful- who knew your heart could be this full?!

It's been a few months but I'm excited to be back linking up my Currently for the month of January. I like getting a peek at other teachers real life outside of school.
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LISTENING: Well, with a baby it's literally taken me hours to write this post- HA! When I started I was watching the Ducks (GO DUCKS) play Florida State and it hadn't gotten ugly yet. Now we're watching Alabama and Ohio State. Love me some football!

LOVING: We are up in Seattle for a couple of weeks. My husband made a quick trip up here a few weeks ago and surprised me by putting up our Christmas decorations. We keep it simple here with a decorated mantle and glass ornaments on little twinkly fake birch trees. LOVE!

THINKING: I am so blessed! We love our sweet girl and I hardly remember what life was like before her. My husband is the best father and right now he's rocking the baby right now- swoon! 

WANTING: time to slow down! Maternity leave is almost over and I keep looking back at pictures and can't believe Amber is almost three months old. December just flew by too! I never made a single Christmas cookie - which my pants thank me for I'm sure.

NEEDING: I feel like I put this in Currently way too frequently, but seriously my desk is a horrid mess. Piles of crap everywhere. It's on the top of my to-do list when we get back from Seattle.

YES- I really like being organized. Give me something monogrammed or color coordinated and I'll knock your socks off. I have the Erin Condren Life Planner and it's been a big help keeping baby appointments and my appointments and my husband's traveling schedule straight. 

MAYBE- I will master Photoshop. It's a love/hate relationship. I'm sure once you get the hang of it it's not so bad but I get so frustrated that simple tasks take so many steps. GRRRR. I WILL figure it out darn it! 

I WISH- I could be a stay-at-home mom for a year! I love teaching, but I would love to stay at home for a year. Teacher dream!

Can't wait to catch up and see what everyone else is up to!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Snowman Math Races- an indoor recess solution

Have you been hit by those terrible snow storms over the past week? Are you DREADING indoor recess? You don't have to! I have a FREE solution for you and it helps your kiddos practice their math facts.

December means it's time for snowman math races! Snowman math races are a big hit in my classroom. We use addition wheels to practice our facts and turn it into a race. If you aren't familiar with them
Here's how they work:
Draw a donut shape and place numbers around the inside. Then place another number in the center. Students line up and take turn adding the number inside the donut hole with the center number. They place their answer outside the circle.
 When we race I usually have just three or four students in a line. Students are NOT allowed to whisper or call out an answer OR let another student know their answer was wrong. After a student writes down an answer they pass their expo marker to the person behind them and go to the end of the line. If a student writes down an incorrect answer someone else in the line has to fix it. They simply cross off the wrong answer and write the correct answer next to it.  As soon as all of the answers are written down, and all the answers are correct, that group wins. I don't write the same numbers in each wheel when we race because I don't want anyone sneaking a peek at the other team's answers. It's a great way to get students to practice addition facts.

Snowman math races are easy and quick and great for indoor recess, end of the day, brain break, or as a competition with other classes. (I'm just a wee bit competitive!) My students BEG to have these races! I've also used them for finding the missing addend. If you're an upper grade you could do multiplication wheels. 

Here are our snowman races in action.

*notice the wrong answer!

*If you don't have a whiteboard you can laminate some butcher paper or poster paper and cut out your wheel and use dry erase markers to write. Post-Its will work in a pinch too.

To help my kiddos understand how to do addition math wheels I use wheels from this product. Students quickly understand and your students who are still struggling with their facts get some extra practice. I usually incorporate some of these into our math stations too. My struggling students will take wheels home for homework all month. This packet also includes missing addend practice.

This pack will be on sale during the Cyber Monday sale!

To give your students a tutorial/taste of snowman math races I've created this freebie. Just click to download!


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