Keeping Organized: Part 1,224,567

Does anyone seem to battle organization as much as I do? I try and try. And then I try some more! Here is my latest way to battle the piles of copies and papers that come my way.

This is how is USED to organize my stuff:

 
 

This is the area next to my desk. The black stackers on the top are for the week- one for each day. The bottom 3 black stackers were for fancy paper (overhead transparencies- which I no longer use so those recently went in the giveaway pile, cardstock, color copier paper, etc).

The white drawers to the left were for miscellaneous things copies, papers to be graded and filed and so on. There were a few problems with this system.

  First of all, my copies box, often overflowed out of this box. We tend to make copies in advance and need a place to store them, or have copies we didn't get to that week and want to go back to them (we actually do this often).

The second problem is that I am a piler and I love to hide my piles. That file box got fuller and fuller until it wouldn't shut. Sigh. I hate to file things back! Now I have a smaller box on top of the file cabinet where I put materials (usually new things that need a new home) that need to be filed. I am hoping since it is on top of my file cabinet it will entice me to file? No such luck yet!

The last problem is that papers to be grade box. I never put papers in there. Usually I put papers to be graded in my bag and they hibernate in there until I get the itch to grade (or my bag gets too heavy). I take very few grades, rely GREATLY on observation, and grade tests immediately as kids turn them in or pretty much the same day. Most the papers in the bag are for practice and I don't stress too much about them.

So, it was time for a new system. I must say I LOVE this system MUCH better!
   

I had other drawers and stacked them on top to make a higher set. I took some of my fancy papers and put them in the drawers to keep them from getting ripped up and mixed together (I had too many different kinds and only 3 black stackers to sort them in previously). So the top 3 drawers are for my most often used paper: copier paper, color copier paper and card stock. Then I have a drawer for Math, ELA and Science and Social Studies. I store future copies in each drawer (paper clipped together)) or copies we did not get to. It is so easy to refill the weekly black stackers to the right! Or if I need a time filler (this happens rarely, but has happened) the copies are RIGHT there. The bottom drawers are student rewards and carbon copy notes for parent communication!

I LOVE this! I use EVERY drawer now!



Today is the big day! Please make sure to “hop” on over to my store for the big 28% off Leap Day sale!  I am one of several sellers participating! I can’t wait to fill up my own cart!!


3

Signature

Part Four: Measuring to the Nearest 1/4 Inch

I love games. I love watching kids play games. Even more so, I love watching kids play games with a PURPOSE. I see games as an opportunity to practice and I use them as often as possible in my classroom.

Often after I have taught a math skill I need to watch children practice to see if they have it completely and are able to be independent or if they need more time and help. I like to do this with games during small groups- because then I only have to watch 4-7 children instead of the whole class.

Sometimes I use partner games. However, sometimes I want the children to have even MORE practice than partner games (partner games always involves some waiting, unfortunately) and often I move from an independent game to a partner game once I know they have mastered the skill and just need opportunities to practice and retain it.

My favorite, most simple game for independent practice is Grab and Go. It is very similar to the game Scoot, but it does not require as much movement or waiting.


Here is my most recent Grab and Go game to practice measuring to the nearest inch or centimeter (following directions kills my kids this year). In the top left corner of the card is a blue number, in the center of the card is a line in red, and in the bottom right is a direction. I give students a worksheet numbered 1-14 (there are 14 cards in all). Then I placed all the cards in the center of the table, with this side up. Students randomly drew a card and measured the line with the correct unit. If this was the card the student drew, then he or she would record the answer next to number 4 since this was card 4. Then the student would turn the card over and check their answer, since all answers were on the backs of cards. They circled an incorrect answer and checked a correct answer (because this is at our small group table it is easy to keep kids honest!). Then they drew a new card.

Similar to Scoot, but no waiting to "scoot" while the other kids finish! Kids can move at their own pace! It is an easy assessment for me and gives a great opportunity for immediate feedback. Many times I use the task cards that are all over the internet for these activities.   Proteacher has an extensive list that I highly recommend that the member Unseen001 has organized out of the kindness of her heart!

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!


0

Signature

HUGE Leap Day Sale!



Wednesday is a special event! Not only because Leap Day only happens about once every four years, but it is also a big sale day!

 Teachers Pay Teachers is offering 10% off of everything with the code L2P9Y.

Additionally, many sellers are also putting their stores on sale for a total of 28% off!

My entire store will be on sale for 28% on February 29th only!  This includes my brand new Dr. Seuss Biography Research Project.  It will only cost $2.16 (if I did my math correctly, which- fingers crossed I got it right!)! 


Enjoy! I am looking forward to stocking up myself!

If you have been reading several other blogs, then you have already heard about the big hoo-rah about Pinterest.  Thank you so much, Laura Candler for bringing it to everyone's attention- I didn't read the fine print! Anyway, everyone has my permission to pin photos from this blog (if they want!)

0

Signature

Part Three: Measuring to the Nearest 1/4 Inch

Okay, so now my kids understand that 1/2 and 2/4 are equivalent and that each space on a number line represents the distance between the numbers (or fractional parts).



We pulled out our unit fraction papers and I asked students if they knew another way to rename 2/4. They all nodded and wrote 1/2 under 2/4 (as best they could).

Now it was time to bring out the big guns. I reminded the students of the story Jack and the Beanstalk. I told them the giant had come down the beanstalk with his giant ruler to measure different things. When he climbed back up, part of the ruler broke off and now I have it and I would show them how to make their OWN giant rulers. They loved it, and were now invested. Hook, line, and sinker.


(Sorry- I can't get it rotated for some reason!!?)

I cut white copier paper in half length wise (hot dog style) and gave each style a piece. I labeled the far left side 0 and the far right side 1. Then I folded the paper in half. We discuss that the paper was now divided into 2 parts and that the folded line represented 1/2 and that the distance from 0 to 1/2 was 1/2. Then we discussed how the distance from 1/2 to 1 was still 1/2 as well. Then we folded the paper again and now the paper was divided into 4 parts and the first box was 1/4, the second box was 2/4 or 1/2 as well had learned the day before, and the third box was 3/4 and the last box was a whole.

Then I showed students how to use their giant ruler (line up to the 0 and see what is the closest 1/4 mark). Students then went around measuring things smaller than their ruler.

They wanted to measure bigger things like desks and the board so they came up with the idea of taping their rulers together and I did a quick mini lesson on renaming the whole to 1 whole, 2 wholes, etc.

And BAM! It all made sense! They were ready to measure. Scarily easy!

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!



0

Signature

Part Two: Measuring to the Nearest 1/4 Inch

Alright.  I have already shared my feelings on measurement and how I started my measurement unit this go around.  Already my stress level was at about  7 instead of its usual 9 about this time of year.  Ahh ... nice big breath.

Let me share how I completed step two of this process.  After introducing to students the unit fraction, I wanted to start show students that there are many different ways to represent one fractional amount.  I gave each student a set of fraction bars (Do you have these?  I LOVE mine!)

I had the students pull out the 1/2 fraction bar and explain that I wanted to see if students could make 1/2 another way with different bars- but they had to stick with the SAME color fraction (no mixing 1/8 and 1/3 or whatever).  Then students had to prove they were the same length by laying the fractions under the 1/2.  Eventually as students worked and talked they began seeing that 1/2 was also 2/4, 3/6, 4/8, 5/10 and 6/12.

Next (because I wanted to reinforce number lines) I made  6 number lines and showed how that 1/2, 2/4, 3/6, 4/8, 5/10 and 6/12 all lined up on the same places on their number lines.   We discussed how all of these were different ways of saying 1/2 and they were all equivalent.

And that was all we did.  I know, simple, not rocket science but it DID take up the whole time AND it was all their little brains could process.  Up next: relating all this newfound knowledge to a ruler.

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!



0

Signature

Part One: Measuring to the Nearest 1/4 Inch

I am not sure about you, but there are always a few things I love teaching...and a few things that I dread. Well, measurement takes the cake, because it makes me want to stab my eyes out. With a dull pencil.

In my district students have to be able to measure to the nearest quarter inch and also do simple conversions (usually when given a chart). The conversions are not fun, but do-able. The quarter inch- ughh. It is always blank stares and crickets when I try to explain that we label the ruler dashes 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, whole. That whole 1/2 thing really throws them off- they have only seen fractions with LIKE denominators first of all AND then when they write the answer they are writing in mixed numbers- for the first time EVER.

This year I got smart- we introduced mixed numbers (VERY basically) when we taught our fraction unit (which we taught right BEFORE measurement- one year we did measurement and THEN fractions. I still have nightmares). I took a week in between fractions and measurement to do prep work in small groups.

I introduced the unit fraction.


I  had students make a 2 by 2 array with different colors using the one inch tiles. Then I gave the students 1 inch grid paper and had them color in the tiles and cut out the square. I had them make TWO. We then talked about what fraction each color tile was of the whole. Kids understood that each color was 1/4 of the whole. Score. Then I cut out my tiles and modeled laying out the tiles as rectangular shape (leading to a number line). We discussed how each color was still 1/4 of the rectangular shape and we labeled each block as 1/4. Then we discussed that the yellow AND green square was 2/4 of the whole and we labeled this. Then we discussed how the green, yellow and blue squares were 3/4 of the whole and we labeled. No blank stares. The crickets had hopped away and they got it.

Then I had my real money making unit when I laid the smaller paper clip (about an inch) above the green tile and asked the students  how long it was.  The all said 1/4.   Then I laid it about the yellow square and they said it was STILL ¼.  Then I laid it above the blue square and they said it was STILL ¼ because it didn’t matter where I put it, its’ length didn’t change and that each block was worth ¼ (how many of you have seen that crazy question in which an object is laid above the ruler  BUT it does not start at 0?  Who doesn’t start at 0?  It is the FRIST thing we teach kids- BUT there is a question like that every year!).

Do ya see what I did, do ya? I introduced a number line with fractions using manipulatives that leads to an inch broken into quarters! Whoot whoot! And they GOT it. Next up: getting kids to understand different ways to represent 1/2 (which will lead to that pesky 2/4 issue).
1

Signature

Differentiated Multiplication Word Problems- Give Away WINNER



I am so sorry this has taken so long!  Now it is time to announce winners of the Differentiated Multiplication Word Problems book!  A big drum roll...


Congratulations to


Amanda Estrada

and

Suzy Q!

If you would like your own copy of the Differentiated Multiplication Word Problems book it is now on sale for $3.50 on my Teachers Pay Teachers page.
0

Signature

Read Across America Day Research Project


Updated Post:  I removed this Dr Seuss Research Project from Teachers Pay Teachers because I was afraid I was (unintentionally) infringing on copyright. Dr Seuss and  Read Across America are even trademarked words so I don't think they can be sued without permission. :(

However, I did want to do a reading project that would be appropriate for March for ANY author. So I edited the project below to make it copyright, trademark friendly!!



The project is the *mostly* same, but I did my best to improve it :).  Students can either be assigned or choose an author to research. A list of 17 authors appropriate for primary and intermediate students is included. A "ballot" for students to choose an author is also included. 

Students will use the internet to research a famous author’s life and write a short biography of his or her life. A note taking sheet is included. Then, students will create a brochure describing the author’s life while integrating text features.

The brochure includes the following text features:
• Bold print/ types of print (Students will need to select the words and bold them or highlight them. It is not a separate part of the brochure)
• Headings
• Table of Contents
• Index
• Glossary
• Picture with a caption
• Map

A list of suggested websites for author research is included.  I also recreated the SAME list of suggested websites for author research in a Word document so the  teacher can just cut and paste all the links in the document and add them to a website or to a class blog. If teacher's don't have unable to create their own blog or website page, I  created a blog post just dedicated to this.  You can see the post here.

You can get it here on TpT for only $3.50!!!

********************
    
      Every year I want to participate in the Read Across America Day festivities, but it seems like many of the ideas are too primary or do not hit our standards. This year I decided to change that and made my OWN project to match the standards! We are currently studying nonfiction conventions and informational writing.

With this project students will be researching the life of Dr. Seuss and writing a biography and publishing it in the format of a brochure. Students then will create the conventions to match the writing.

Here is a rundown of the project:

The purpose of this package is to integrate research skills, text features, and informational writing with “The Man that Made a Cat Famous” birthday and Read Across America Day.

          Students will use the internet to research his life and write a short biography of his life. Then, students will create a brochure describing his life while integrating text features. The brochure includes the following text features:

· Bold print/ types of print

· Headings

· Table of Contents

· Index

· Glossary

· Picture with a caption

· Map

Also included in this package are an assessment rubric, a research/ note taking page and a list recommended websites for research.

Please note that this can be differentiated many ways. It can be an at home project, an extension project for younger students, an independent school research project or a guided project used for modeling. In my classroom, we will research together, with the teacher modeling for students how to take notes as the students copy. The biography will be written together as a shared writing piece. Then, students will work with partners to determine the headings, table of contents headings, bold print words, glossary, words for the index, and create their own picture and caption.


14

Signature

200 Followers Big Give Away Winners!

 source

I am so tickled at how many new followers have joined this blog!  Thank you so much and welcome everyone!

Now it is time to announce the BIG winners!  Two people will win everything (35 products) in my Teachers Pay Teachers store AND a $10 Amazon gift card!   A big drum roll please...


Congratulations to


Lizzie C.!

and


Nancy Taylor
I will be emailing you both soon!  Congrats!  thank you so much to all that commented!  I hope you are enjoying your freebies!

 
2

Signature

Sneak Preview and Give Away Updates

Ummm...why hello there! I had no idea that when I did this give away that a bunch of people would join the bandwagon and become followers! Yay! Welcome! Welcome! Thank you so much!

If you have no yet, please consider joining my giveaway. You may choose any item, $5 or less, from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store FREE between now and Monday, February 20th. This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM Eastern time on Monday. Please note the Math Word Problems Tic-Tac-Toe, Christmas Vocabulary Unit, A Thanksgiving Reading Unit, and Geometry Fun are NOT included in this giveaway : (.

Please leave a comment on this post of your chosen item and to read more information about the giveaway. I will email it to you as soon as I can.

I *think* I have responded to every one's request UNLESS you have commenting while I was typing this blog OR you did not leave your email address so I had no where to email : ( OR I made a mistake (could totally happen!). If you haven't received your product, email me at mandyholland@hotmail.com and I will fix it as soon as I can!

I also have been working FEVERISHLY to get this new product out. I personally think it is TOO CUTE and it totally hits the standards we have been working on this nine weeks.


I have been wanting to do something for Read Across America Day but we are studying informational writing and many of Seuss's books are fictional and many are also too primary (until we get to pollution and The Lorax is PERFECT). So I came up with a short information writing project ABOUT Dr. Seuss!

Here is a rundown of the project:

The purpose of this package is to integrate research skills, text features, and informational writing with Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Day.

            Students will use the internet to research Dr. Seuss’s life and write a short biography of his life. Then, students will create a brochure describing his life while integrating text features. The brochure includes the following text features:

· Bold print/ types of print
· Headings
· Table of Contents
· Index
· Glossary
· Picture with a caption
· Map

Also included in this package are an assessment rubric, a research/ note taking page and a list recommended websites for research.

Please note that this can be differentiated many ways. It can be an at home project, an extension project for younger students, an independent school research project or a guided project used for modeling. In my classroom, we will research together, with the teacher modeling for students how to take notes as the students copy. The biography will be written together as a shared writing piece. Then, students will work with partners to determine the headings, table of contents headings, bold print words, glossary, words for the index, and create their own picture and caption.

Please note that this will be a zipped file with one file being 8 pages and the second file being 3 pages for a total of 11 pages. This will be on sale SOON for $3!

My brain has been EXPLODING with ideas lately so I am also working on an area tic-tac-toe game, perimeter tic-tac-toe game and a Compound Words spelling packet. I also have several more posts up my sleeve (I love a good day off!) giving away my Differentiated Multiplication packet (I swear I did not forget!), teaching measurement and nonfiction conventions! Whew!
5

Signature

Yahoo! 200 Followers! Give Away and FREE STUFF!

Yay!  This lil' old blog of mine finally hit 200 followers!  That is a big deal to me!  Thank you so much!  I have been racking my brain to figure out how I want to celebrate.  I have checked out several other blogs to see how they handle the give aways for followers and I think I am going to mush it up and put my own spin on it.

Here is the Big Hairy Deal:
In order to say thank you to YOU, my readers, I am doing a give away. To everyone.

You may choose any item,  $5 or less, from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store FREE between now and Monday, February 20th. This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM Eastern time on Monday.
Please note the Math Word Problems Tic-Tac-Toe, Christmas Vocabulary Unit,  A Thanksgiving Reading Unit, and Geometry Fun are NOT included in this giveaway : (.
Click here to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

To receive your free product please leave a message in the comments with the following information:
1. The name of the item of your choice
2. your email address
3. Please leave ratings and feedback on the item on the TpT site. It makes me feel good : )

BUT, the fun is still not over.  On Tuesday, February 21st, I will randomly select two  TWO comments that will each win
a $10 Amazon gift card
and
all 35 products from my TpT store.

Also, please feel free to blog about this. It is not a "secret!" It won't hurt my feelings! I have found so many wonderful , free things through blogs so now it is about time I give back!

Thank you so much!
69

Signature

I Don't Like the Way Crow Tastes


Today I received a comment on one of my Teachers Pay Teachers products. While the comment was very nice and constructive, it still hurt my feelings (I am a wee bit sensitive that way). Unfortunately, I couldn't stomp my feet or huff and puff because the comment.was.totally.right. Shoot.

The comment was about the Valentine's Day graphing product that I have available on TpT. She noted that the scale on the bar graph did not match up with the lines. And they didn't.

Then, to make me feel worse, when I tried to copy my OWN stinkin' lesson to use it today I realized I had made the assessment bar graph totally cute...but totally not copier friendly. The colors were too pale to be picked up on a black and white printer and the ENTIRE bars didn't show up. Makes reading a bar graph kinda hard when there are no bars!

Normally I would just fix it and move on and apologize, BUT I feel REALLY bad with this because it is a seasonal item and now it is too LATE to fix it.

So here is my peace offering (as I cover my face and nibble on some crow),I am offering anyone that bought this product ONE item for FREE in my store as an apology. Please email me at mandyholland@hotmail.com with your TpT name and the product of your choice and I will send you it ASAP. Also, if you downloaded this product please go to TpT and reload the new packet for the correct, updated version. If your new, free product has a mistake in it, well, then I just might have to cry!
3

Signature

Differentiated Multiplication Word Problems- Give Away!

I am finally finished!!!!!!!!!!  I have completed my differentiated-single-digit- multiplication-word-problems-book (was that enough of a mouthful for you?).  I posted a sneak preview of it earlier.  Here is a recap if you missed it:

This 46 page packet includes:
- 3 differentiated books with single digit by single digit multiplication word problems. Students are required to show answers in pictures, number sentences and an answer sentence.

- Each book contains the same seven problems but the lowest level problems have bolded, italicized clue words and a cloze sentence for the answer. The mid level book does not have bolded, italicized clue words but does have a cloze sentence for the answer. The highest level book does not have bolded, italicized clue words and requires students to independently write the answer in a complete sentence.

- Teacher assessment rubric included for each book

- Nine multiplication word problem to use for modeling in small or whole groups (that are different from the student books)

- Multiplication clue words poster (8 ½ x 11 inches)


It will regularly cost $5.00, but I am putting it on sale for $3.50 for a limited time (or until a remember to take it off sale, to be honest!).

I will give this away to two lucky visitors! Please follow my blog and  leave a comment saying you do so and include your email. I will chose someone next Sunday night!

Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow!  Hope it is "sweet" (and your children aren't too terribly sugared up wild ones.)

11

Signature

Adorable Valentine's Day Gift for Students


I had a colleague request a cute little tag for a Valentine's Day gift for her students.  Her original idea was to include some Graham crackers, mini marshmallows and snack size Hershey bars.  Then she put them all in a valentines party bag and closed with a twist tie and added the circle tag.
 I think I will do something similar except I am going to use snack size bags and staple the rectangular toppers on the top if the bag.  Inside of the bags I will put in a mixture of Golden Graham cereal, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.   I am hoping it was still be tasty, but cheaper!  I guess that means that I will have to brave the cold and venture out to the grocery store!
7

Signature

Differentiated Multiplication Word Problems- Sneak Preview

We have been working on multiplication word problems for a while in our class. They are so hard for my students. Soon we will be moving into double and triple digits by a single digit. My students need to have a firm understanding of how these problems work with simpler problems first! To help students "get it" we first spent a week on words problems and then they worked on these word problems books. We still completed the word problem books in small groups for reading support. I have compiled all of these into a multiplication word problems packet.

This 46 page packet includes:
- 3 differentiated books with single digit by single digit multiplication word problems. Students are required to show answers in pictures, number sentences and an answer sentence.

- Each book contains the same seven problems but the lowest level problems have bolded, italicized clue words and a cloze sentence for the answer. The mid level book does not have bolded, italicized clue words but does have a cloze sentence for the answer. The highest level book does not have bolded, italicized clue words and requires students to independently write the answer in a compete sentence.

- Teacher assessment rubric included for each book

- Nine multiplication word problem to use for modeling in small or whole groups (that are different from the student books)

- Multiplication clue words poster (8 ½ x 11 inches)

This will be sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store soon for $3.50!
1

Signature

*Thisclose*

I just realized I am *thisclose* to 200 followers! Yay for me and my poor little neglected blog! That is a big mile stone for us! Be on the look out for a big giveaway as soon as we hit the big 2-0-0.
Happy Friday!
Mandy
2

Signature

Irregular Verbs

I have been making spelling and grammar games for centers this school year and have posted a contractions and plurals game packet for free on Teachers Pay Teachers. I have made a new packet for irregular past tense verbs. It is also posted for free. The games are the same, but with different words. My students like the familiarity of game play with a new concept/ words. It also saves me time! Please feel free to download! I hope you find it useful! If you do download, please leave feedback and follow my TpT store! I would really appreciate it!

Also, there was a typo on the Kaboom! label for the plurals game and I have fixed that as well. Oops!

Also, Check out my Graphing Valentine’s Day lessons!  The packet is just $3.00 and includes everything for line plots and bar graphs- including TWO days of complete lesson plans for math! Click here to see it!
Happy Thursday!

Friday is so close!
0

Signature

Nonfiction Features

It has been the busiest last few days! I have so many things to post, but I am dog tired. Isn't that how it always is?!

One thing we are focusing on is nonfiction features/ conventions. Tomorrow we will be going on a nonfiction "scavenger hunt." I know this is not a new idea, so I don’t feel guilty sharing!
On a sheet I have listed all of the features that students must be familiar with in third grade (according to my district). As we come across in an informational text we will make a tally mark and record the page number (as evidence). I wanted to make sure that I had a large enough text that all students could see and search for features. A big book would not be big enough and would not cut it.

I found this awesome site that has an online preview of a Ranger Rick magazine. I am going to show the magazine on my Promethean board and then tally the features on chart paper. Then the students will then get a copy of the hunt and look through informational guided reading text looking for features.


I know Valentine’s Day is JUST around the corner! I need to make my Valentines.  I was posting my plans for next week (or starting to) today and was able to put in my graphingValentine’s Day lessons!  I pat myself on the back as I cut and pasted!  The packet is just $3.00 and includes everything for line plots and bar graphs- including TWO days of complete lesson plans for math! Click here to see it!


5

Signature
Back to Top