Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Huge TPT Sale!

Hello darlings!  It's happening!  I hope you have heard about the TeachersPayTeachers sale that starts tomorrow! 
My whole store will be 20% off on those two days and TpT will be kicking in an additional 10% savings. So exciting!

In order to get the extra savings, don't forget to use the Promo Code TPT3when you check out!

Here are some previews of my best sellers!

There are so many good things out there!  I know I will be buying some more melonheadz clipart for sure!

Make sure to check out Jamie's Store too!  She has some amazing Test Prep Centers that I am using next week!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Graphing Activities & Ideas...Plus a FREEBIE!!

Hello lovely ladies and gentlemen! It has been a few weeks since I last posted. It's amazing how quickly time can slip out from under you, especially when you are teaching and trying to have a personal life as well. My husband and I have been going through a roller coaster with some medical things so my focus has been there more than anywhere else, which is my excuse for me being MIA for a few weeks now.

Speaking of time slipping away...all of these snow days have made it more difficult to get the necessities taught before the wonderful MAP test begins in late April. My team and I met on Wednesday this past week (we had a full release day) and started stressing over the little amount of time we have to cover so much "stuff".

On a side's a wonderful thing when you work with a group of people who you can joke around with, be serious with at the necessary times, who you support through tough times, or who you can be crabby with and STILL get along and like each other. The best part...we don't take it personally, hold grudges, or get mad at each other. I am VERY fortunate to work with a fabulous team as just described.

Anyways, we talked about the remaining part of our academic calendar and planned out how many weeks we are going to hit on the major concepts that we need to cover before the wonderful MAP test begins. Graphing is one of the concepts we are getting ready to cover, after we finish up with our measurement unit later this week.

As we collaborated, we started talking about different ways we could incorporate graphs within the classroom. We find that students still struggle with answering questions from graphs that are given, especially if they are pictographs where they have to determine the value of each object. After much collaboration, we decided that we will incorporate a graphing activity in the centers that we do during RTI (Response to Intervention/Instruction) time.
Groovy Graphs is a FREE activity where your students can create their own graphs and can be used universally. In addition there are graphing questions that your students can answer based on the graphs that they create.

Students create either a bar or pictograph by developing a theme and variables that are associated with that theme. They roll 2 dice to determine how many votes are given for each variable and then graph the total amount rolled. After all variables have been graphed, the students then answer the questions (included on a separate page) under their graphs. They can work individually or with a partner to create their graphs. Click here to download Groovy Graphs for FREE!!!

In addition to the Groovy Graphs activity, I also have a graphing game within my Major League Math centers that is similar to Groovy Graphs but is within a baseball theme. (Check out the other concepts that are included within the Major League Math centers by clicking on the link above.)

Some other graphing ideas that I wanted to share with you include the following:
  • Math-Aids-A coworker of mine told me about this awesome website where you can quickly create worksheets for various math concepts. I use this website especially for my lower students. Click on the link to look at the various graphing options this website has to provide.
  • Math Data Game For Kids-This is a great technology resource, especially for your lower level learners or for introducing graphs. Students get to determine the amount of tallies made and then create a bar graph that shows the amount of tallies. Upon completion of the bar graph, your students then get to create a pictograph (which even includes the key where each one is worth more than 1). Great resource for a center or to put on your student computer(s) for your students to work on.
  • You could also have your students determine a theme that they would like to survey a group of people on. Have them survey the people (students and teachers within your school or can survey people at home) and then create a graph to determine their findings.
  • Hand out candy to your students and they have to graph the candy (they determine how they are going to graph the candy). Then have them share with the class the strategy they used to graph their candy.
  • Basic Skill Practice Games-a plethora of math graphing ideas and links to click on.
Thanks for stopping by today! Don't forget to follow us on

How do you incorporate graphs within your classroom? What other suggestions or resources do you have for graphing?

Happy Sunday!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Family Science Night Freebies

Hello darlings! We just recently had our annual Art and Science Explosion at our school.  I am the Science Fair Coordinator, so I am in charge of running all the science stuff.  My cohort, Pam, is in charge of all the Art Displays and she does an amazing job!  I really just have to deal with all the Science Fair Projects, but a few years ago, I decided to add in a hands-on experiments element to the night.  I thought it would be fun for families to complete experiments together, instead of just coming to check out the Science Fair Projects and the awesome art.   It turned out to be a big hit!

Here are some pics of the night.  Even if your school doesn't do a Family Science Night, you can still use these experiments in your own classroom.  I am including all of my science and question stem cards for free since I like you so much!

Crime Scene Investigation

Materials: hot chocolate powder, large makeup brushes (dollar store), CLEAR plastic cups, non-latex gloves, ink pad, magnifying glasses

My third grade teamies ran this booth.  We each fingerprinted a cup and then a sheet of paper, and kiddos had to use magnifying glasses to match our fingerprints to our cups. They had to wear non-latex gloves to hold the cups so they wouldn't "corrupt the evidence".    We also had another section where kiddos touched their own cup and then used a make-up brush and hot chocolate powder to find their fingerprints.  It really does work!  I was amazed too!

 Marshmallow Towers

Materials: mini marshmallows, thick spaghetti noodles, plates

Students had to construct the highest tower possible using just two materials, spaghetti and marshmallows.  We even had parents creating towers!

Piloting Paper

Materials: paper, paperclips,  paper airplane books

Kiddos used paper airplane books from the library to try to create an airplane that would fly the farthest. They used paperclips to experiment with weight.

Moon Craters

Materials: flour, large trays with ridges, different size and shape balls, chair for standing on, table cloth or butcher paper for clean up

Students were testing how the size of a meteorite effects the size of the crater.  They also experimented with the distance that they meter traveled.

Money Magic

Materials: assorted coins, droppers, water, cups for water, paper towels for clean up

Families investigated surface tension.  They tried to see how many drops of water could be dropped on a penny before the bubble of water burst.  They did this with other coins as well and compared their results.

Here is just a sampling of our Science Fair Projects!  We had almost 100 projects this year!
Here are the table signs and the question stems.  Enjoy and please pin and rate!
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snowy Days & Winter Centers

Hello darlings!  Another cold, snowy day here in the Show Me State!  Watching kids outside throwing snowballs at each other, reminded me to post about my Winter Math Games.  One game my kiddos loved last week was the Snowball Fight.  Yes, we threw paper around the classroom and acted crazy, but you know what?  Those kids were learning!  They absolutely loved it!

So what did we do?  Each kiddo got a snowball card with a three digit by one digit multiplication problem on it.  Before they even solved it, they crumpled it up into a ball and when I yelled "Snowball Fight!"  they threw the ball across the room.  (I can see you are panicking...)    Next, they grabbed a snowball, opened it, and had to solve it as quickly as they could on their recording sheet before I yelled "Snowball Fight!" again.  We kept repeating this.  (It is okay, hang in there!)  To make it a little more exciting, there are yellow snowballs mixed in.  If a kiddo grabs a yellow snowball, they have to sit out for one round.  I didn't tell my kiddos what the yellow snowballs represented.  I told them to make an inference.  They got it.  Yuck!

Needless to say, EVERY single kiddo was working hard to solve his/her math problem.  Even my kiddos who like to melt down or refuse to work, were working, smiling, and giggling!  It was fun even for me.  I didn't think to take pictures since we were having a blast!

Click here to download this free game and while you are at it, check out the rest of my highly engaging Winter Math Centers here.

Here are the rest of my Winter Math Centers.  In third grade, I use them during RTI time when my kiddos go to Math Wizard Station.  To check out all my info and freebies about RTI, click here.

Is it a snow day for you?   Tomorrow I will choose a random person to grab these centers for free.  Leave your email in the comments if you would like a shot! Please be sure you are following us on Bloglovin!

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