Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's (almost) Time!!!

Well, it's (almost) officially the end of summer for me.

Yep, just ONE.more.day...  :-(

Where did the last 9 weeks go???  Most of it was spent loving on my beautiful, very first grandchild...baby Luke.  I'm so going to miss those daily cuddles!!!

My hubby did take me camping this past weekend. 

 I think he was trying to get me as relaxed and stress-free as possible.  He knows how I work myself into a tizzy during the first few weeks of school.

It really worked! My kind of camping is VERY relaxing...

a home away from home...

 Except, now I realize that I still have several things I need to print and laminate tomorrow.  I've got a long to-do-list of things to complete here at home to take to school with me Thursday!

Before heading back, I did manage to finish one more unit for you!

 As always, it's half-price for the first 48 hours, so hurry on over to get your discount.

AND, to go with the money unit, here is a FREEBIE money math center for you.  
Just click on the picture to grab it.

Have you checked out my Pinterest boards?  I have LOTS of math ones, along with some that will help you out with organization ideas.  Stop by and check them out.

It's time to make it another GREAT year...

That's just...My Kind of Teaching.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hot Off the Press: A Back to School Exclusive

The days are getting shorter.  :-(

THE dreams have started (You KNOW the ones I'm talking about).

I've been to my classroom to start arranging and organizing.

Yes, it's THAT time of the year...  

Summer has FLOWN by once again and it's now time to start thinking about...
(cue dramatic music... da, da, DUM)


But don't worry!  Before you head back, we're offering up even more fun than you've previously had with our blog hops!
I've teamed up with TWENTY of my besties... teacher-bloggers I have met on this amazing journey, to celebrate.  You are going to have SO much fun!!!
So grab a nice cold drink, maybe even a little snack (you'll not be able to tear yourself away), and settle in for awhile as you spend some personal time with your computer and see what we have in store for you.
Along the way, you will collect freebies for grade levels pk-5th grade.  
(You'll find several freebies to fit your needs no matter WHAT grade you teach)

And you can also win prizes worth HUNDREDS of dollars!!!  WHAT???

Yep, a prize a day!!!

(If this is not your first stop, no need to read all of this again.  Just skip down to my freebie!  You know what to do by now!)  :-)

Every day, you will have the chance to enter and win one of 10 great prizes!

This is what you can win during our Back-to-School Exclusive (in no particular order)

Prize #1 Quiet Pencil Sharpener & a $25 TPT from Graphics from the Pond $50 value

Prize #2 Bright Chevron Classroom Decor Set $50 value

Prize #3 Teacher/Classroom Gift Basket $200 value

Prize #4 Teacher/Classroom Gift Basket $200 value

Prize #5 Google Nexus 7 Tablet with case & stylus pen $250 value

Prize #6 Scotch Laminator $25 value

Prize #7 K-2 TPT Product Bundle over $100 value

Prize #8 3-5 TPT Product Bundle over $100 value

Prize #9 Blog ("Cuter" Design by Christi Blogs!) $70 value

Prize#10 TPT Gift Cert $50

This is the IMPORTANT part. Please read carefully. EVERY DAY, FOR 10 DAYS, you will need to visit the final stop blog each day to enter to win and see if you were the previous day's winner! Each day a winner will be drawn and one of the ten prizes will be awarded. To keep it fun and exciting, you won’t know what prize you have entered to win until the winner is announced the next day!

You never know what you might win! I know I would visit every day to enter for a chance to win the Google Nexus Tablet!

To win one of these great prizes, just follow these steps…

Step 1: You will need to download and print the Hot Off the Press Cheat Sheet.
Click the image below.

Step 2: You’ll need to collect your freebies. This hop will take you to all 20 blogs where you will collect freebies along the way. You can start at any of the blogs, follow the “next stop” buttons, and it will take you in a loop to all 20 blogs. The very last stop will be The Teaching Tribune.

Step 3: Hidden in each freebie is a QR code, which looks like this…

(Note: This is just a sample image. You do not need it for any reason.)
Find the QR code.

You will need to scan all 20 QR codes for a cash value with your smart device. For those of you without a smart device, head on over to Sugar & Spice where she has the solution for you!

After downloading the freebie at each blog stop, be sure to record the amount in the QR code onto your cheat sheet.

Step 4: Once you have all 20 cash value amounts, add them up, then you will enter the total value to win a prize a day on the Rafflecopter. All prizes will be posted on The Teaching Tribune blog.


It’s time to get started! All you need to do is click on my freebie below to download.

Find the QR code hidden in my freebie and add the value to your cheat sheet for stop # 4.

THE NEXT STEP: Click on the Next Stop button to head over to the next blog to grab your freebie! 


ENJOY!!! Fun for students AND teachers...


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Revisiting Your Teachers Pay Teachers Purchases

Do you ever take the time to revisit your Teachers Pay Teachers (better known as TPT) purchases?  
If not, you really should.

When you sign in, you will have the option of viewing "My Purchases".

On the drop-down menu next to the word sort, you will be given several options.

You can see your most recent purchases...

You can view them alphabetically...

You can also choose "Recently Revised".  I recommend that you do this occasionally.  Sometime there are reasons that sellers must make revisions for typos or even because they add to the product.

If there are any with revisions, it will be flashing "Newly Revised Re-Download".  Underneath, you will see "Description of Revision".  Click on this to see what has been changed or added.

The last is one of the most important...  Click to see if there are any that you forgot to leave feedback on.  This happens to me when I want to use the product before I leave feedback, and the I forget to go back. 
You'll definitely want to be sure you leave feedback.

Why?  As a seller, I really appreciate reading the feedback.  (The more detailed the better.)
Telling me what you like, what works, or what you would like to see added really helps me make my products the very best they can be.

An added benefit to you, the buyer, is that you get TPT Bucks to put toward future purchases.  If you are like me, it's time to start looking around and buying new things for your classroom.  Getting some $$ toward your purchases is like getting a sale, even when there's not a sale!

Head on over and check all of your purchases out and see if there are any revisions or if you need to leave feedback. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Interactive Data Board for Fact Fluency

Do your students struggle with fact fluency?

Whether it's addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, many students struggle with fluency on a daily basis.

This was an area that we really worked hard on to improve with my students this past year.

And guess what??

Even though they were a lower math group, they all succeeded in learning their addition and subtraction facts to 20.  I was so very, very proud of them.

The first thing I did was to implement this Interactive Data Board.

 My students really enjoyed getting to see their improvement.  As they learned each fact, the student got to sign his/her name on the leaf for the fact.

Here's a couple of closer views.

To go along with the Interactive Data Board, we also have Brain Math every Monday.
 Have you ever heard of Brain Math?

I hadn't either until a fellow teacher shared it with me.

I started it the very next day after he shared and can I just say...

It was AWESOME!!!

It helped my children so much with their fluency facts for addition and subtraction to 20.

Here's how it works...

Have the students use dry/erase boards and number 1-10.

Use your projector system or Smart Board to show the fluency slides.

 Decide on a time limit.  (I started at 10 seconds for each slide.)

Have the students number their boards.  (Most are 1-10, but some vary.)

The students write ONLY the answer next to the number.
(Be sure you say the number as you change slides.)

On this slide, I would say, "#5" and the students would write ONLY the answer of 5.

We would continue in a like manner every 10 seconds until we reach this slide.

 When we reach this slide, all of the students would put their markers down and then pick up their erasers

As we went over the answers, they would erase any wrong answers.
As we go over the answers, I am walking the room and scanning their boards.  

At a later point (after practicing each set several times), I give an informal test.  

I usually do 4 at one time by having students fold a piece of notebook paper into fourths.  At the top of each section, they write the name of the slide, number 1-10, and then write their answers.  

By the time we get to this step, I expect the students to be able to answer in 4-5 seconds so we go through the slides quickly.

Either have students exchange papers to grade, or plan on grading yourself.
You can receive your own freebie to try out by clicking on the picture.

To purchase the full packet that includes a whopping 409 pages for ONLY $15 click on the below picture.

Great ideas for the classroom...that's

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Getting Organized

I looked, REALLY looked at the calendar this morning and realized that I only have less than a month to get all of my ducks in a row for back to school.  


So, it's time to start getting some things organized.  There are several things I'm going to be doing from the comfort of my own home before actually heading into my classroom to work.

(Which believe me, will be happening in about another week or so!!!)

One of the first (and easiest) things I always begin with is my calendar and lesson plans.

This year, I've made myself an editable calendar.  

This easy organizational tip will only take you a few minutes to a couple of hours TOPS to complete and will put you so far ahead of the game for next year!

First, I will take the school district calendar and add special dates to my calendar.  

I also add the curriculum map of when things must be taught to the calendar.

Whether you do your lesson plans on the computer or you write them by hand, simply going ahead and filling in all the weekly dates, special days, holidays etc.  will make it so much easier when it comes time next year to do those mundane type of things. 

 If you know your schedule add the times and activities.  If you teach special themes add those into the months you teach.  

ANYTHING you add now, will be that much less during the busy school year.  Remember, we want to make this next year all about Working Smarter, NOT Harder! 

Speaking of lesson plans, how do you organize your activities to make it easier during the crazy, busy, school year?

I get everything organized on my computer (again...at home).  

This organization idea will take you longer, but after the initial set-up, it will be a breeze to drop things into your files and make your next school year's planning a BREEZE!

Make a folder on your computer simply titled LESSON PLANS.

Inside this folder, make a folder titled August. 
Inside this folder, make another folder titled Math.

Next, inside this folder (can you guess???)

You got it... MORE folders!

Label these Power Points, Hands on Activities, Worksheets, etc.

Now, close the folder titled Math.  Copy and paste as many times as needed for each subject you teach.  Change the title to those subjects.

Next, close the August folder.  Copy and paste as many times as needed for each month of your school year and change the names.

 I am now ready for all of those wonderful ideas I come across on Pinterest, blogs, TPT, etc.   I can just drop them into the correct folder.  

I just made my job of planning during the school year SOOOO much easier.  Everything I need is at my fingertips when I make lesson plans.

And I won't forget all of those wonderful ideas I came across this summer!

 I hope this helps you to gather your thoughts and start getting organized for the classroom.  Now, I'm back off to Pinterest, to see what other great ideas I come across!  

Getting organized, and feeling confident about the up-coming school year, is My Kind of Teaching!


Friday, July 5, 2013

It's Christmas in July!!!

Can you believe that it is LESS than six months until Christmas???  

That's like CA..RAY...ZEE!!!  But oh, so true!!!

I guess technically, we should have done this fun little hop on June 25th, but "Christmas In June" just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Christmas in July" does it??

However, my group of bloggy friends and I have joined together to give you a little fun to beat the heat (or the rain, depending upon your geography).

My store and all of the others in this fun hop, will have all of our products in our TPT stores on sale until Sunday at midnight EST.

As you hop along, you'll also find some great holiday themed freebies (some can also be used at any time of the year!), and a chance to win your choice of products from the stores.  There will be a prize for grades pk-2 and another for grades 3-5.  

If you're not already following all of these blogs and stores, please don't forget to do so.  It will show your appreciation and thanks to these ladies for being so kind and sharing.  :-)

Hidden in each freebie, look for the flamingo hanging out at the beach.  In the sand, he has written the title of one of his favorite Christmas carols.  You'll need the underlined word to enter for the prize drawing!  

I am stop #2 on this fun and different holiday weekend!

I know most of you are pros at following our hops, but just in case...

Click on my freebie to go to my store and please don't forget to become a follower while you are over there! 

You'll find that my store is also on sale.  I have been loading LOTS of new products this summer!  (You'll find some more great freebies also!)
Here are a few more of the TWENTY products I made in June.  You'll notice several with similar titles because they can be found in two levels... those of a 2nd/3rd grade level and those more on a 3rd/4th grade level.  

 I've also made some units to help you get started (once again on two levels), some new classroom decor, and LOTS of calendar/newsletter editables.  I usually offer a  50% off savings for the first few hours on all of my new items.  To find out when this happens, become a follower of my Facebook page (where you'll also find a monthly freebie). 
 After you've had a chance to download my "Christmas in July" freebie, come on back (and please become a follower of my new blog) to find your next stop on this hop.

One last reminder, we've got some BIG things planned.  Believe me, it's the best yet.  You WON'T want to miss out, so don't forget to become a follower at all of your stops.

But, most of all...Have a wonderful and fun time gathering up all of these great freebies!

Having a great time, yep, that's just MY KIND OF TEACHING!