Monday, March 26, 2012

Survey Says Linky

I'm linking up to 5th Grade Rocks, 5th Grade Rules' Survey Says Linky Party! How fun!! Click on her blog title to join in on the fun! (Can you tell that I am procrastinating and putting off doing something else??!?)

1. Are you married, do you have a bf, or are you flying free as a single lady/man?
Just celebrated 5 years married!

2. Where did you grow up?
All over--military life. I call Alaska home. :)

3. Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and what is his/her name?
I have a dog named Ranger.

4. What is a favorite tv show you are embarrassed to admit to watching?
Wow....I totally love to hate 90210 and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Those aren't bad, right?? I also used to watch the trashy VH1 dating shows that used to come on. :O

5. Are you a saver or a spender?
Definitely a spender!! (You've seen my classroom.....)

6. What is your favorite children's book?
Sideways Stories from Wayside School--I read it to my classes every year!

7. Were you the class clown, teacher's pet, or neither?
Hahaha, depending on the grade--all of the above!! Mostly clown because being the pet was no fun.

8. Who is your favorite athletic team?
.... don't........have one...... ;)

9. Where did you go on your last REALLY fun vacation?
hhmmmm......right before the school year started, a group of my teacher friends and I took a trip to the metroplex and shopped at IKEA and other places that aren't really worth mentioning because WE WENT TO IKEA!!!

10. Who is your favorite actor? Actress?
Jason Bateman!! (Arrested Development, people!!)

11. Tell about the last time you cried because you were happy.
Visit this post!

12. What is your favorite season?
Spring--testing is ending, school is almost out and the weather is juuuust right.

13. What is your biggest regret?
That I didn't put my knowledge to good use during my school days--that I didn't get involved in more during middle school and high school--that I didn't pay attention more during college!

14. What food do you just NOT like at all?
LOL, if you actually know me, you know that this would be a pretty extensive list. I am the pickiest eater. Ever. You name it--I probably don't like it!! (seriously, lol)


15. What do you love most about blog world?
I love finding other upper elementary teachers out there and being able to collaborate with them. I am the only 4th grade math teacher at my school, so collaboration is not something I get to do! I also love connecting with higher grade level teachers (shout out to Kate from To the Square Inch!!!) and gaining insight into what I specifically need to do in order for my kids to be fully prepared for the future. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And the winners are...

If you were not a winner, it's okay! You can preregister for only $14.95--what a deal!! Click here for information on registration. Also, if you are suffering financial hardships, you can apply for a scholarship to the event. Scholarships are subject to approval and should be directed to

Meet Me at the Expo!!!


Well, this is ME!! (Sorry if you are disappointed--lol.) I am SO excited to announce (again) that I am a featured speaker at the Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo!!!! Sign up and get a non-surgical, pain-free, totally productive makeover!!! 

So, why attend the Expo????
  • Meet ME (duh) and 3 other fabulous bloggers!!
  • You can watch it at YOUR convenience! No getting up early, traffic, waiting in line or cold workshop rooms! Kick back on the couch and view at your leisure. :)
  • Access it any day, any time!
  • A bag of virtual goodies valued at $100 from some of your favorite bloggers!

Here is what's in store for this expo:

Cara Whitehead
Integrating Technology into Your Classroom
Cara Whitehead from Teaching Is My Calling
Are there simple ways to integrate technology into your already jam packed day? Cara from Teaching My Calling will offer the tips, resources and examples of how you can bring technology into your classroom successfully! You'll get the scoop on free webtools and sites that will enhance your curriculum no matter the amount of technology on hand. With plenty of student examples to help you see the possibilities, Cara will lay out her best tips and organizational tools so you'll be able to start integrating technology right away!

Modifying Math Instruction to Increase Student Understanding
Janaye from Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes
Math instruction is MUCH more than just teaching a set of rules and procedures. So, what does effective math instruction look like? Join in with Janaye, author of Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes as she explicitly shows you how to teach for understanding of concepts and procedures. With implementing these ideas and strategies, your students will know the "why" and not just the "how"! Ready to increase your students' understanding of math? Get set! Go!

Heidi Raki
Successful Strategies for English Language Learners
Heidi Raki from Raki's Rad Resource
At the intermediate level, teaching English Language learners can be challenging since students are not only expected to be able to speak and understand English, but also to read and write in English. How does a teacher meet these challenges? Heidi from Raki's Rad Resources will present key strategies for teaching English Language Learners so that you can meet these challenges head on! Whether you have one English Language Learner or twenty, you'll be empowered to put the strategies into place right away. Join Heidi as she takes a close look at how vocabulary, background knowledge and language experience play a pivotal part in today's intermediate classroom.

Mor Zrihen
Interactive Student Notebooks
Mor Zrihen from A Teachers Treasure
What kind of writers and thinkers do you expect your intermediate students to be? What kind of tool does it take to develop creative, reflective, and independent thinkers? Learning how to implement interactive student notebooks in your classroom can give your students the opportunity to develop these skills while learning content. What are interactive student notebooks? Join Mor, author of A Teacher's Treasure, as she shares the value of this tool that performs as a live journal, personalized textbook, and working portfolio. You'll learn how to set them up, use them for note-taking and activities, and how these can be a fantastic assessment tool. 

You can purchase tickets here ORRRRRRRR........ 

You can enter my giveaway to win a FREE ticket to the Expo!! 

I am giving away 3 tickets--you may enter for yourself, for a friend or for a colleague! Here is how:

1. Be a follower of my blog and comment that you do.
2. Be a follower of my Facebook page and comment that you do.
3. Be a follower of my Teachers Notebook store and comment that you do.
*BONUS ENTRY--blog about it and comment with a link to your post.

Please be sure to leave a separate entry for each time you enter--this will increase your odds--AND your email address in at least one of your comments. :)

Enter by Sunday night (3/25) at 7:00 p.m. CST. The winners will be announced the same evening at 8:00 p.m. CST. 

THAT'S IT! Good luck and I hope to see you at the Expo!!! :D

Friday, March 16, 2012

Number Sense Pack!!

AAAAHHHH!! I was struck with inspiration to create some number sense activities Wednesday evening and I haven't stopped thinking about it since!! I just finished it last night and have already added it to my store.

ANYWHO, here it is--whole number and decimal number sense activities appropriate for multiple grade levels. The activities are available as one big pack, whole number only pack or decimal number only pack. I am very excited about these and can't wait to use some of the activities in my own classroom (especially to review for the state tests!!). Click on each picture to view the item in my store!!

Thanks, and enjoy!! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Upper Elementary Blog Link-Up


My fellow fourth grade frog friend Lorraine at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies is having a link-up party for upper elementary blogs! Click on the button above to check out all the neat 3-5th grade blogs there are out there--I'll bet you will find someone new!! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Math Manipulative Storage!!

I posted some pictures showing my math manipulative storage at the beginning of the school year, but didn't really go into detail. I am excited to share these pictures with you now because I am SO proud! After state assessments last school year I spent a few days going through and reorganizing all of the manipulatives that I had in order to make room for MORE. Anyway, I will let the pictures speak for themselves--enjoy! :)





Thanks for stopping by! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Numbers, Numbers Everywhere! Games

Looking for place value practice games?? Check out my newest games, "Numbers, Numbers Everywhere!" These games are available individually OR in a bundle (at a discounted price). Each game follows the same format--students practice reading and writing numbers in standard form. The first 3 people to comment (with an email address) will receive a FREE copy of the game bundle!

You can check the games out in my Teachers Notebook store. :)

Thanks, and ENJOY!! :)

Monday, March 12, 2012


I am actually responding to awards in a (somewhat) timely manner this go-round!! Yay for me!

I am honored that some of you thought of me when you were making a list--thanks a bunch!! I received this award from:

Jennifer @ Teaching With a Smile
Mrs. L @ Life With Mrs. L
Emily @ Circus of Learning
Jennifer @ Herding Kats in Kindergarten
Jen @ Teaching, Life and Everything In Between

This award is from Andrea @ One Teacher's Take.

I received this award from The Teched Out Teacher

I am pretty sure I got everyone listed.....pretty sure. I checked twice! :)


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Belated Seussy Project

Here is one of the Seussy projects my class did a few weeks ago! They were challenged with the task of creating the next Seuss super star (a little competition for The Cat in the Hat)! The only rule was that it had to rhyme. Here is what they came up with:

Possible extension activities:
  • Create a class book of the fun new characters.
  • Write and illustrate your character's first book!
  • Write a persuasive letter to Dr. Seuss describing why the new character is worthy of being published.
What other extension ideas do you have?? Post below!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Virtual Teaching Expo

The Everything's Intermediate Virtual Teaching Expo is right around the corner and yours truly is one of the presenters!! I am very excited/nervous about this (yikes!!). We are currently looking for a few of you awesome teachers out there to donate items to the virtual goodie bag each participant will receive. PDF products worth over $5 are now being accepted! To donate, please CLICK HERE.

Thanks, and SEE YOU SOON!!! :D

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The return of the SMART Choice bucket

I posted about my SMART Choice bucket wayyyy back at the beginning of the school year. I use it to randomly reward students that make smart choices! That could be anything from standing in line quietly or helping others to simply using good manners. I just updated the file with the free download of the label and added 9 more labels with all different themes! Click on the picture to return to the post and grab a copy for your SMART Choice bucket!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Keeping Students Accountable

Standardized testing--any thoughts on them?? Just kidding! We don't have enough time for that!! ;)

Standardized tests are such a BIG deal in Texas. I'm sure those of you in other states feel pressure about your testing system too. We are required to have students take practice tests--benchmarks--to assess progress every 6 weeks for all three tested subject areas. As fun as these are (NOT), the kids get worn out and oftentimes will deem them useless. I believe that well-written benchmarks can be useful. Whether or not the ones I have to give my students are, in fact, useful, I want them to feel like they are so they will always do their best on them. I don't want to pass on any negative feelings that I may have about them. I always make sure to let students know how they did on these tests. We sometimes reflect upon their progress in an informal manner and make goals for the next benchmark. I have also had them keep track of progress on a graph before. But we don't do that every time (for a number of reasons). Anyway, I decided that I needed to enhance the page that I currently use in order to better keep them accountable. I created this little minibook for them to track their progress. Check out the book below and feel free to download it! I am not sure how many of you can actually use this, but I hope there are some of you out there that can!

I have not used this version with my students, but I know that they will enjoy it, since they enjoyed my previous history form. Enjoy!

You have my permission to PIN!

You have probably come across blog posts regarding Pinterest's terms of use here lately. Basically, if you pin something you are agreeing that you have the right to pin it; Pinterest can then use the images in any way they see fit. Check out this post by Laura Candler for more information on the issue. Also on her post is a list of blogs who have granted you permission to pin. Know that you have permission from the blog author to pin whenever you see the red button (above). If you do not see the badge then you will need to contact the blog author for permission.

That being said, consider this my official post granting you permission to pin images from my blog! Also, click below if you would like to check out my boards on Pinterest:

Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New Multiplication Game!

I've just added a new game to my store! Multiplication Madness can be used to practice multiplying 1-digit and 2-digit numbers. Click on the picture to view it in my store.

My students absolutely LOVE this game! They don't even realize I'm making them practice how to multiply. :)

I would love to give away 3 free copies to the first 3 people to comment with an email address. :D

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Math Notebook Setup Part 2

Welcome back! This is part 2 of my notebook set up series. Click here if you missed part 1!

4. Table of Contents

Directly after the personalized cover page comes the Table of Contents. As you can see in the picture, we record each entry with the date, title and page numbers. I decided to use subcategories in this year's notebook (picture #2). (You can see that is is much more specific than last year's (picture #1).) We will usually record the date and title before making a new entry; the page numbers are recorded after the pages are complete (so we are sure that it is accurate).

5. Vocabulary Section
The very last page of the notebook marks the beginning of the vocabulary section. We put all of our vocabulary cards back here.

We complete the cards together, with the students providing the information for each section. If you would like a copy of the Frayer model vocabulary card click here to download it from my store. There are several different versions out there--the version I have works well in my classroom. You may find that a different version is better for you. :)

6. Page numbers
We number each page, a few at a time. I like to have them number about 10-15 pages ahead of time. This keeps the kids on track and ensures me that they are on the right page when we are about to add a new entry.

7. Storage
Above is a picture of my almost-completed classroom (from back in August). Next to the table you will notice a plastic drawer set. This is where students keep all math journals and math class folders. Each class has its own drawer. These get VERY messy, VERY fast so it is important for me to stay on top of them! We clean them out frequently (some more than others!).

I have SO. much. fun. incorporating these journals into our classroom!! I hope you enjoyed these posts. :)