Thursday, July 28, 2011

Math Vocabulary Cards

As summer is winding down, I've decided it's about time to complete so many of those projects I have started throughout the summer. Today, I finished my vocabulary cards for beginning number concepts. Inspired by Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations, I created cards for numbers 1-100 and 14 other cards that depict words like even, odd, compare, etc.

Check it out by clicking here!
It's on sale until midnight! (Central Time)


Friday, July 22, 2011

Mega Swagbucks Friday and My New Storage Stools!

First of all, if you haven't signed up for Swagbucks yet, you need to! It's a FREE way to earn "swagbucks" that can be used for things like gift cards to (My favorite, by the way!) Today is a great day to join because it is Mega Swagbucks Friday. That means that when you use as your search engine, you can earn bigger swagbucks than usual. Check it out by clicking "Sign up" on the widget below:

Now for the new storage stools! I told you last night that I was working on a project, and I'm now finished. You first read about these storage stools at What the Teacher Wants or  Fantastic in First. I decided to make the stools for myself!

Apparently, this has been all over Pinterest, but I just saw it and decided to try it! Here is my version of the tutorial with a few time-saving shortcuts!

  • A storage crate for each stool you want to make ($3.88 at Wal-Mart right now! Be sure you get the ones with the lip for hanging files or it won't work!)
  • Plywood (I used 3/8" thick) PRECUT ($11 at Lowe's, cutting is free but you MUST take the crate with you so the happy helper at Lowe's can be sure it fits perfectly!)
  • Spray Adhesive ($5 at Lowe's... much cheaper than at an actual craft store)
  • Foam Mattress Pad ($9 for twin size at Wal-Mart... free if you get an old one from your parents!)
  • Fabric Quarters size 18"x 21" ($1.99 at JoAnn's Fabrics... plus 15% educator discount. I found this to be cheaper and easier than buying fabric by the yard that I would have to trim later
  • Staple Gun (FREE if you borrow from your loving brother like me!)
  • Staples with a shallow depth so they will not stick out of the plywood. I used 1/4" deep staples (FREE because my brother had them on hand!)
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie 
First of all, I said this before and will say it again, Make sure you have the happy helper at your favorite Home Depot or Lowe's cut your plywood for you. DO NOT forget to take your crate with you. He was able to measure, cut, try to fit it in the crate and then cut again to find the exact size. The plywood will fit on the lip of the storage crate made for hanging files. 

1. Gather your supplies.

2. Trace the cut plywood on the mattress pad and cut out.
 3. Use the spray adhesive to adhere the mattress pad to the plywood. *NOTE* If you get the egg crate kind of mattress pad, put the egg crate side down so the seat will not be bumpy on top.
4. Lay out one of the fabric quarters and center the board, foam side down, on the fabric.
 5. Wrap the board much like a present, but use the staple gun instead of tape! Look at the pictures below to follow which sides I did first. *NOTE* On the first seat I did, I pulled the fabric too taut, so the seat is uneven. Do not pull the fabric too taut if you want it to look smooth. I think the wrinkles on my seats will come out with time or ironing... but time seems easier! :)

 6. Insert seat into storage crate and admire your creation!

Can't wait to get in my classroom in August, use the space in the stools to free up my cabinets, and use them as chairs at my Guided Reading Table!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fun DIY Idea

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Look at these adorable wreaths I just found on a new blog:

Can you guess what they are made of?

It's from a styrofoam ring from the Dollar Tree, paper from a book from the Dollar tree, glue and spray paint. Check out this tutorial and others at Creative Juices. She has lots of cute ideas that you could adapt for the classroom, too!


I absolutely LOVE finding new craft blogs. :)

I'm working on a craft for my classroom right now and I'll post as soon as I finish!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Do you pinterest?

I have waited for quite a while, but I finally decided to join Pinterest. Lindsey from The Teacher Wife was so sweet to send me an invitation to join. If you don't know much about it, my take on it is that it's a fun way to keep track of ideas you find on the web. In fact, they have a simple tool that you can put on your toolbar in your browser. It lets you "pin" anything from any site within seconds to your virtual pinboards. If you are like me and waited a while, but are ready to check it out, then leave me your email address in a comment below and I'd be glad to invite you to join!

Below is a screenshot of my pinboards. Check them out by clicking here.

On another note, today was the last day of the CAMT conference. Oh my, was today a GREAT day! I am T.I.R.E.D, but it was worth it! I wrote down so many ideas and can't wait to share them with you! I got permission from a presenter to share lots of ideas for teaching measurement. Honestly, I think I have enough ideas to post one every day for 2-3 weeks. Seriously, if you live in Texas, you NEED to go to CAMT next summer. It's awesome!

I've also attended 2 other sessions about math workshop management systems and have decided on what mine will look like. It's kind of a combination of all three I attended. I will be sharing that with you next week once I get it mapped out on paper.

Have a great rest of the week bloggy friends!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Awesome Math Conference!

Hey there!
I am going to am awesome math conference this week called CAMT. Today was the first day and I've already had some great classes. In fact, after I get permission from the presenter, I'd love to share with you a management system for Math Workshop that is very similar to the format of Daily 5. It is awesome and I can't wait to implement it! I know she is planning on starting a blog or website in the Fall to share her ideas as well.
Then, I spent three hours this afternoon in a wonderful class about strategies for teaching numeracy. Her book is called Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: 20 Numeracy Strategies That Engage the Brain. Marcia Tate was a WONDERFUL presenter! I'm sure you'd love this book.

And the best part... look at all the free samples I got from the vendors at the conference:

Can't wait to share about Math Workshop and to go back tomorrow!


Monday, July 11, 2011

New Shop and a Sale!

Have you heard of Teachers Notebook? It's a lot like Teacher Pay Teachers in that you can buy items form other teachers, but there is something different about Teachers Notebook. With every purchase you make on Teachers Notebook, you can earn points. With the points you earn, you can redeem them for fun rewards. I am so excited about this new site!

I have decided to create a store on Teachers Notebook, and am working on uploading products as we speak. If you've had your eye on my Phonics Friends unit or my Writing Interactive Notebook Pack, run on over to my Teachers Notebook store. Both items will be listed at $4.00 through Wednesday, July 13. You'll earn points towards a reward, too!

Interested in starting your own shop?


Thursday, July 7, 2011

FREE Math Vocabulary Cards

I had a request to create the cards in a different font that was easier for the kids to read. I chose Comic Sans since it has the same lower case a that I teach in handwriting. Why is that so hard to find in fonts? Anyway here you go!

Geometry Vocab Cards- Comic Sans Version -

If the download doesn't work for you, you can grab it for free at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I'd also be happy to email it to you if you'd rather that.

Someone has asked if I would send her these cards so she could translate them into Spanish. I'll share that with you as well when they are complete!

Thanks for the great response to the vocabulary cards. I'll be making more on different topics covered in Math Workstations. These include beginning number concepts, addition/subtraction, place value and measurement. I'd be happy to take other suggestions as well!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Math Workstations Chapter 7: Geometry Workstations

Here it is, y'all! I have been so anxiously awaiting my turn to host this chapter!

So, what is a geometry workstation?

A geometry workstation does NOT have the goal of helping students simply memorize the shapes.
It is NOT a chance for students to practice identifying shapes for a test.
It IS a chance to expose students to the vocabulary of geometry.
It IS designed to help students develop the ability to visualize objects and spatial relationships.
It IS designed to get them to look at things in the real world and see the shapes they are created from.

What kind of geometry workstations do I have in my classroom?

My goal for next year is to have workstations that beg my students to explore mathematical concepts. I want to use work stations as a chance for students to build the math vocabulary that they need.

Here is the fun part! I've got lots of freebies to share with you!

The first one is a set of vocabulary cards I have created. I plan to use these in mini-lessons as I teach a concept. I will also brainstorm with the students which words they would need for specific workstations and include them in the basket so they are easily accessible.

Geometry Vocabulary Cards -

The next FREE download for you is a set of shape cards. I will use these to  help my students develop the ability to visualize spatial relationships. They will sort the shapes, compare the shapes, group the shapes, etc.

Shape Cards -

This next FREEBIE is a set of shape sorting cards. It is meant to be used with the shape cards. Each card provides directions for sorting the cards.

Shape Sorting Cards -

This FREEBIE is a set of "Guess My Shape" cards. Debbie Diller wrote about this game in her book.

Guess my shape cards -

Please leave me a comment or rate these free products in my Teachers Pay Teachers store if you enjoy them!

Here is a product I enjoy using as my students are sorting the shape cards:

These are called Sorting Circles from Learning Resources. I used to have my students create circles with string, but 1st graders can get particular about the string circle and feel the need to spend MUCH time fixing the string circle if it gets moved. These sorting circle are perfect for eliminating that issue! No, I have not been asked to promote this product... I just really like it!

I will have Freebies for chapter 8 posted on my blog and my Teachers Pay Teachers store next week, so be sure you are a follower!

Now it's your turn! Link up with your thoughts on this chapter! Thanks for checking out my little blog!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chapter 7 of Math Workstations on Its Way!

Hey friends! I hope you are enjoying your summer! I am hosting chapter 7 of the Math Workstations book study, and I wanted to let you know that I will be posting that tomorrow. I have lots of freebies coming your way, so check back tomorrow afternoon with your posts ready to link up! Here is a sneak peak at something you can grab tomorrow for FREE!

Enjoy today with your family!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Time to Cast Your Vote!

I was nominated for the 2011 Really Good Blog Contest, and am very humbled. I am amazed at how far this little blog has gone in such a short time! Y'all are awesome!

Now it's time to go cast your vote!

Vote for Me