Monday, September 1, 2014

Mathematical Monday....IS BACK!

Now that summer is over...BOO!'s time to start planning our math lessons!  Last night I FINALLY finished my 4.NBT.6 Lesson Plan Bundle!  {Only took me ALL SUMMER to complete my 4th Grade NBT Lessons!}  In my plans I devoted a day to teaching the Partial Quotient Method of Division, and I wanted to share with you WHY. :)

Partial Quotient Method

I honestly had never heard of this strategy until last year when one of my teammates introduced it to our team.  Not going to lie...I thought this was the craziest way to divide!  After spending a weekend study the method and trying to make sure I understood it before teaching it, I now see WHY it's effective and LOVE it!

Here is a quick video I found in Youtube.

To make it easier on the kids my teammate told us to teach the students "Benchmark" numbers to use when first introducing this strategy.  One reason this strategy is helpful is because it's easier for children to think this way, especially when they don't know their facts!

We use the benchmark numbers 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1.  Once they are familiar with division and know their facts better then they will be able to think in terms of "80" and other numbers, like that in the video.

Interactive Notebook pages from my 4.NBT.6 Division Lesson Plan Bundle

Once I taught this method I had more students have success with this standard than in previous years when I strictly taught the standard algorithm.  The Partial Quotient strategy goes back to place value and requires students to think in terms of expanded form.  Rather than asking "how many times does 8 go into 6 or 67?" students are thinking/asking "how many groups of 8 will total 600 or 670?"  By introducing the benchmark numbers you are helping them see the place value relationship and familiarize them (and their parents) with this "new" way of thinking. :)

I still believe in teaching the standard algorithm, but only after teaching the Partial Quotient method first.  Last year I did it the other way around, and had many more "light bulbs" go off from the PQ and realized how valuable this strategy was.

Interactive Notebook pages from my 4.NBT.6 Division Lesson Plan Bundle

If you previously purchased this bundle please make sure you re-download it.  I have added the newest lesson plan bundle to this product! :)

I know many of you have been working hard on some new products this summer! So, for this week's Mathematical Monday linky you may LINK UP ONE PRODUCT OR ONE BLOG POST.  I can't wait to see what you have all created and come up with!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Five for Fraturday!

I started back to school two weeks ago, the reason for my absence lately.  The kids started on's been a very LOOONNNGGG week!  This is my first year as an Instructional Coach and it is VERY DIFFERENT!  I love it though! 

My oldest started 2nd grade this week!  My children do not go to the school I work at, but the one we are zoned for.  I didn't get to drop him off Monday, so my hubby took him in.  Xavier was VERY excited to go to his new school and meet new friends.  He is the friendliest and an extremely well adjusted kid that I knew he would be fine at his new school.  The highlight of his day was riding the bus!  He was a car rider before this year.

I created a gift basket for Xavier's teacher for the first day of school.  I used one a Thirty-One mini tote and placed a bunch of goodies in it.

My middle guy starts Kindergarten Wednesday, they have a delayed start date.  We went to his Open House yesterday afternoon, poor guy is nervous!  Maxton doesn't transition well, he is the complete opposite of my oldest. When he was a baby and moved from the infant to the walker room the move didn't go so well that they changed the schedule of his favorite teacher to be with him in the morning.

Last year Maxton went to school with me, his PreK class was just down the hall from me.  He is nervous about a new school, riding the bus, and mommy not being just down the hall.  I know he will be fine after the first day, but getting through it is going to be difficult for both of us.  Fortunately, his teacher is awesome, his TA is his bus driver, and I am only 10 min down the road.
I've been continuing to work on my health and fitness goals since going back to work.  So far so good! I worked out everyday last week and missed two days this week, which means I am working out today and tomorrow.

I'm down 11lbs and in a size 10!  I haven't been this size in ten years!  I am still in the Shape Up Challenge and using my AdvoCare products daily.

My hubby and I have signed up to become distributors for AdvoCare, because we love the products and that it's a Christian based company.  If you are interested in knowing more about a 24 Day Challenge or any of their products please feel free to contact me or check out the following link 

During the summer my Bible Study group and another group collected supplies for our bus kids.  This week we got together to bag all the supplies in backpacks for the kids.  They will receive them tomorrow after church.  We put together over 40 bags and donating the extra supplies to the three local schools.

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19

I am loving my new Instructional Coach position!  This week I went into several classrooms to complete Read Alouds.  I read The Name Jar or the Recess Queen.  After reading I had the students complete one of the centers from my The Name Jar Unit or my Summarizing Freebie.

As a coach I don't only get to impact the children in one classroom, but several classrooms within the's truly AMAZING!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Spark Student Motivation with a FREEBIE!

This year I am at a school that does not have AR.  I have always used AR and wasn't sure what I wanted to use this year to motivate students to read.  I found out that several of the teachers at my school completed the 40 Book Challenge last year and I am hoping to get all teachers on board this year.

As Instructional Coach I hope to encourage and support my teachers with motivating their students to READ! :)  To help address this I created my newest FOREVER FREEBIE!

The 40 Book Challenge Freebie Pack includes a Reading Log for students to complete as they read selected genres.  Students are to write the title of the books read in each of the boxes.  I have included a Reading Log in cursive in color and BW along with one in Print for the primary grades also in color and BW.  To motivate students I created bracelets for them to wear when they have read 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 books. 

I plan to suggest to my teachers to require students to keep their Reading Log in their Reading folder/notebook or Independent Reading Book Bin.  I created the bands in BW so you could save on color ink by printing them on different colored paper.

I would love to hear how you use or used the 40 Book Challenge in your classroom!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five for Friday...Guess who I met!?!

Today is my first official day BACK TO WORK!  I've been working all summer off and on for various Coaching meetings and moving a book room, but today I am officially off of summer break.  I am looking forward to my new position and can't wait to see what this year brings!  I do miss decorating a classroom, but a I am grateful for a very large office that I get to decorate all my own!  Can't wait to show you completed pictures in the days to come. :)

A few weeks ago I was told my Grandma was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer (if you have been following me for awhile you may remember my other grandmother passed away last summer due to lung cancer).  This past week end I drove from NC to Western NY,  I left my hubby with the three kids for four days....they all survived. 

I had a wonderful time visiting with my grandmother!  She was in ICU the night I arrived, had been there for two weeks, and was released to go home Sunday afternoon!  God is good!  I enjoyed visiting with her and just chatting with her every time I went to see her.  She loved my charm bracelet and even gave me hers!  This bracelet was one my grandfather gave her years ago....I love it!

She is a fighter!  She will have her next chemo treatment next months, and we are saying our prayers for her!

One thing I miss about WNY is the beautiful hills!  It's SO BEAUTIFUL there, COLD but pretty!  While at home visiting family and friends I also met up with my BBB, Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper.  She was only a 30 min drive from where I was!  We met for lunch and while talking we discovered that we worked one or two shifts together at Mc Donalds 17 years ago!

Holly went to college at the college in my small hometown and worked at McDonalds while there.  McDonalds was my first job!  We reminisced about a few of the people we worked with, it's a small world!

 Not the best picture of me, but it was so good to sit down and have meal with a great friend!

If you follow me on IG you have seen all of my Get Fit or Get Fat Shape Up 2014 pictures!  This cycle ends next month, but so far I am feeling great and doing great!  I need/appreciate the accountability part of this challenge and will most likely sign up for the next cycle as well.  

Last October I had a nasty fall on the box during a Crossfit WOD.  I haven't been able to get over my fear since then and have not completed a box jump since.  I have been using a large tractor tire instead.

Wednesday I FINALLY conquered my fear!  I completed 20 Box Jumps in a row!  My first round I stepped up on the box, my second round my goal was to complete 5 box jumps.  I felt good after those five and then attempted another 5, and so on until I completed ALL 20!


As a child I have always hated the dentist, still don't care for it as an adult.  Well this little guy needed to get a crown and I was the lucky parent to take him.  

During his procedure I sat at his feet and leaned over him to hold his hands.  He was not the best patient, he kept crying, sticking his tongue in the way, and just being difficult.  The doc put the crown on to see if it fit and then couldn't get it off.  He felt a head lock and some tools were the best way to get it off.  Once off and the glue stuff was ready, he put the crown on and then said, "oh that didn't go on the way I wanted it to".

I couldn't take it anymore and I sat up straight....didn't feel right and made the poor decision to get up and walk across the room to a chair.  I ended up passing out and all the nurses came in to lay me on the floor and get my blood pressure to raise back up.  All while my child was screaming and crying in the chair.

What does this stinker do after everything? (I was okay, my BP just dropped from the stress and heat.) He chooses sunglasses and plastic vampire teeth from the prize box.  Pops the plastic teeth in his mouth as if he never had any procedure done!!!

I can't believe I will have a 2nd grader in one short week!  We've been working on his math skills using Jamie's 2nd Grade Math Journal all summer!  Check out my review HERE, absolutely LOVE this product!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Math Journal by Diary of a Not so Wimpy Teacher...A MUST HAVE!

I don't know about you, but I feel like everything I had planned for this summer did not happen!  The summer flew by and life happened!

At the beginning of summer I started "Mommy School" with my boys.  My oldest is going into 2nd and my middle guy is going into Kindergarten.  I found Jamie's (aka Diary of a Not so Wimpy Teacher) Second Grade Math Journal Freebie for Xavier and immediately fell in LOVE with it! 

I praised Jamie on FB for how awesome her problems were and how much I loved seeing my guy challenged just enough on the few samples he completed.  She then asked if I would like to do a review of the!!  I haven't gotten to whole punch and put it all in a binder yet, but our large clip is doing a great job thus far.  

Xavier checked out the cover page, there is one for girls as well.  He LOVES math and it is his strongest subject.  I was impressed with his ability to answer many of the prompts, he only needed a few vocabulary words reviewed in order to complete some of the prompts.

These are my favorite two pages in the whole packet!  First as a classroom teacher I often forget what prompts have been completed and what still needs to be addressed.  The Math Prompt Checklist page is a life saver!  It makes keeping up with the prompts and planning so much's the little simple things that help us stay organized :)

The Math Journal Sentence Prompt page is AMAZING!  As a parent and as a teacher this page is extremely helpful to both the parent and the student.  I would require my students to keep a copy of this page in their homework folder so parents can have a better understanding of how students are to explain their thinking or reasoning.  Everyday we worked on the journal prompts he completed 1-3 (like I said he LOVES math) prompts and I required him to use a different sentence started for each of the day's prompts.

Each journal prompt includes the CCS, a workspace to work out each problem, and a place for students to explain their thinking.

Xavier is also a strong writer (I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom :)  ) and doesn't mind explaining his thinking in I am dreading this moment with my rising Kinder...that's going to be painful!

For those kiddos who struggle with writing the Sentence Starters will be a great place for them to start.  I have to give a KUDOS to his first grade teacher, I was very impressed with how well Xavier used the question to help him write his answer.  He knew to go back to the question to find words for spelling help and for phrases to help him write his complete sentences.

3rd Grade Common Core Math Journal with 100 Prompts

Jamie also has a 100 Prompt Math Journal for 3rd Graders.  I am going to HIGHLY encourage my third grade team to purchase this product!  It will be beneficial not only to them, but to their students as well!  I will be purchasing this one next summer :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It

I am so excited to share with you what I have made for this week's Monday Made It linky!  I have been contemplating what color scheme or theme to use in my new office this year, and I finally have decided!  Last year one of my dear friends gave me a beautiful Dr. Seuss wreath for my classroom door.  I am unable to hang it on the door at my new school, but I have been planning to hang it on the wall in my office....and my color scheme is, aqua, and yellow!

I picked up the above items from Walmart and found this tutorial on how to create flowers using the burlap ribbon.  I fell in love with ribbon before I knew what I was going to do with it. Before I even paid for the items I did a quick "burlap ribbon craft" search on my phone and found the tutorial.  I knew exactly what I was going to do!

The red burlap ribbon was larger than the other ribbon and didn't look right with the size of buttons I had purchased.  So, I played around a bit and decided to create a layered flower.  I burned my fingertips off by this point :)

I had spray painted a basic bulletin board from Walmart and hot glued on my flowers.  I LOVE IT!  I like how the red flower looks like a poppy!

I haven't decided which direction I plan to hang my new board, I love it either way.  
{Note: I didn't cover my board very well during painting and some paint got onto the cork.  At least it will be covered up eventually!}

I also created these frames using wooden frames from Michaels, Washi tape, spray paint, and my ribbon flowers.  I'm not sure if I will put pictures or quotes in these yet.

Have you shopped the TpT Back to School Sale yet!?! 
My entire store is 20% off {Bundles 10% off} today and tomorrow!  

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