Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Muchos Thanks!

This post is such a flyby that there isn't even a picture. Oh the horror.

I just had to stop by and say a great big THANK YOU for all of the email love I've received. I'll be sending out proper gratitude just as soon as I can, but couldn't let another moment pass without letting you all know how grateful I am for your support.

This is by far the craziest week I can ever remember.

State testing - check
Report cards - check
Scoring Writing Assessments - check
Scoring Math Assessments - check

Big Blue Box - a work in progress. I swear I can't bring myself to mail it until the very last minute because I feel the need to just keep revising things.

Doctor Appointment scheduled for tomorrow - canceled (because quite frankly I think my blood pressure would have registered at a point that would have required hospitalization at this point).

It seems like each time I am ready to scream an email pops up containing the sweetest, most encouraging words from CFC readers all over the world. Global baby! That's so crazy to me!

Thanks again! Y'all are the best. I'll talk to you Saturday. Around 1:01 just after the post office closes and right before I take off with my long lost family for an overnight getaway. Gosh I hope they remember me. :)

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Did Y'all see Finding Nemo?

I've had Dory's voice running through my head for the past few weeks.

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.




Because if I don't I'll sink like a ton of bricks.

I miss you all.
I miss your blogs. I miss your comments. I miss your emails. I haven't checked any of the 3 in over a week so my sincerest apologies if you are waiting for a reply.

I miss my family.
Oh, they are around. They're the chaotic background noise to which I work.

I miss sleep.

It was over 80 degrees here this week.
And I missed that too.

But, there is light at the end of my tunnel.

National Boards are due next weekend.

Good, bad or ugly that box will be out of my hands by Saturday.

My problem is that I feel the need to revise and add evidence as long as I possibly can...which is until the post office closes at 1:00 p.m. on 3/31.

Report cards are due Friday.

MCAS will be done Monday.

I am so looking forward to emerging from my little cocoon next weekend.

Hopefully you will hear from me before then though. :)


Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Get Inspired! Math Manipulatives Before and After

If you are just joining us, you'll want to start here or check out my Clutter-Free Guide to Organizing and Managing Your Classroom.

There I was wandering around cyberspace when I stumbled upon this cute little display of math manipulatives.
Here's what I loved:
  • the colorful green shelf
  • the (I'm assuming plastic) jars that housed the manipulatives
  • the pink lids
  • how happy and inviting and kid-friendly it all looked

I desperately wanted to see more of this teacher's classroom, but the photo was a dead link.

Lucky for me (and you), I am one heck of an internet stalker. Not only did I manage to track down the original site, but I did so even though the shelf was in disguise.



Turns out the shelf belongs to The Virtual Vine which is one of the pioneers in teacher sites. I remember stopping by there way back when I was teaching K/1.

The fact that this shelf had a before picture made me all the more giddy.

Y'all know how I love me a good classroom before and after project.

Now here's what I REALLY love...
It appears that over time Ms. Virtual Vine has:



Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Free Printable Math Manipulatives

If you are just joining us, you'll want to start here or check out my Clutter-Free Guide to Organizing and Managing Your Classroom .This week's Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge has you organizing your math materials.



We've been organizing math manipulatives, but what if you don't have many manipulative to organize?


Perhaps you are just starting out or maybe school budgets don't allow for an expansive collection.

Have you ever wished your students had resources to use at home?

Well, you've come to the right place. Below is a collection of links to FREE printable math materials and resources. They would be great to share with your students' families so they can access them at home.



includes:
  • EVERYTHING!!
OMG! I heart this site. I love how it is organized in alphabetical order. I like the quality of the resources. I click my heels together because it is FREE!!

Here's a bunch of other awesome links that will all take you to more free math manipulatives. :)

includes:
  • full page sets of pattern blocks (I would copy onto construction paper)
includes:

  • Pattern Blocks
  • Base-Ten Blocks
  • Base-Five Blocks
  • XY-Blocks – Set of X, X2, XY, Y, and Y2 blocks.
  • Attribute Blocks
  • Rods
  • Color Tiles
  • Graph Paper
includes:
  • Dot Paper
  • Geoboard Paper
  • Graphing Paper
  • Pattern Blocks Grid
  • Hundreds Chart
  • Base Ten Blocks
  • Place Value Chart
  • Nets for 3D shapes
  • Pattern Blocks

includes:
  • nets (3D models)
  • clocks
  • number cards
  • coin worksheets
  • coin cards
  • coin fans
  • math spinner
  • coin dominoes
  • volume cubes
  • place value cards
  • number lines
  • graphs
includes:
  • compass
  • hundreds chart
  • numeral track
  • fraction rulers
includes:
  • math paper
  • graph paper
  • number lines
  • money and coins
includes:
  • Geometric Solids
  • Base Ten Blocks
  • Geoboard
  • Colour Tiles
  • Addition Mat
  • Tangrams
  • Pattern Blocks
  • Blocks & Cubes
  • Isometric Dot Paper
includes:
  • Number Cards
  • Number Lines
  • Sign Cards
  • Shape Cards
  • Shape Cards with dots
includes:
  • shapes
  • addition
  • fractions
includes:
  • gameboards
  • templates for creating your own games
encourages students to make their own manipulatives

includes:
  • place value
  • multiplication
  • division
  • addition
  • subtraction
  • fractions
  • patterns

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Green - EARTH DAY IDEAS





Earth Day - Going Green - Recycling: My town has implemented some new rules to increase recycling and it is trickling into our school which is great. I created a writing packet.

Like all of my other writing packets it includes 15 printable pages to use with your K-5 learners. There are differentiated pages for each web, draft, and final copy which makes the project very easy for you to modify to meet the needs of all your students. I always use a combination of the different pages within my room.

This would tie in nicely with my Lorax Writing Project and Bulletin Board as it relates to protecting our resources.

I'll be using this packet to have my students write a persuasive piece about recycling. It would also be great for informational writing or process writing. Have your students explain how to recycle a specific item (jar, cereal box, etc.)

BULLETIN BOARD IDEAS:
  • Use recyclable materials (such as newspaper or cardboard) as your background and create a border by hot glueing actual items (cans, cereal boxes, paper, milk cartons) around the edge.
  • Take a photo of each student holding a recycling bin and display it with their writing.
  • Take a photo of each student wearing green and display it with their writing. You could either ask them to wear green to school or else purchase a Tshirt from a local craft store and have them put it on for the photo. Use a bright green Tshirt and a piece of dark green butcher paper or a sheet as your background.
  • Better yet...combine the two...have your students wear green and take their picture sitting in the recycling bin.



Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Math Game Storage Idea - from Swampfrog's First Graders

If you are just joining us, you'll want to start here or check out my Clutter-Free Guide to Organizing and Managing Your Classroom .This week's Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge has you organizing your math materials.


Heidi (from Swampfrog's First Graders) stores her math games in hanging file boxes. Here's what I like about that:

  • The bin is transparent so she was able to label it without risking the the label falling off.
  • The containers are uniform.
  • The games are sorted by skill. Storing items this way allows you to quickly access resources to target individual needs.
  • She uses hanging file folders to further sort like items within a container.



Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Barrow's Hodgepodge Math Storage

I love Mechele's (from Barrow's Hodgepodge) Math Manipulative Storage and here's why:


  • It's in a cabinet.
  • The manipulatives are stored in clear containers. This makes it easy to identify what's inside.
  • She uses a collection of containers that are congruent. This presents visual order.
  • She fills the space well. It's chock full, but doesn't appear messy in anyway. She's really made use of the amount of room she has by selecting containers that fit well.

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Get Inspired ~ Math Centers

Since this week's Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge has you organizing your math materials, I wanted to inspire you with some math center eye candy. The following was originally posted as part of last summer's Setting Up Your Classroom Series.

Enjoy!



This post is part of my Setting Up Your Classroom Series.

I've been working on putting together some visuals on how my math materials are sent up and how I run math workshop to include with this post on storing math materials, but have come to realize it really is a post all it's own. So I'm going to post these great ideas for you now and will come back with the details from my own classroom and additional tips and ideas soon.



Mrs. Bond has won me over with her symmetrical math storage.

This homeschooling mom stores her sensory and math materials in clear jars. I think this is a great idea because it's organized, easy to see and jars are free and recycled. However, I would be hesitant to use them in the classroom if they are glass. Just a head's up.

Can you tell I heart Mrs. Rojas? This is a project she recently created and blogged about. And if you look carefully up on top you'll spot that adorable pen holder that I mentioned yesterday.



Mrs. Freshwater uses drawers to sort/store her math materials.

Kristen's math games are a must see. The two links under her picture are chock full of info.






F
or more ideas and pictures to help organize and manage your classroom, please check out my book: The Clutter-Free Guide to Classroom Organization and Management by clicking here.
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Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.