Sunday, September 7, 2014

It's FOOTBALL TIME!

I am so excited that it is officially football season that I decided to put one of my favorite packets on SALE today only!

It is Multiplication Football time!

I love playing multiplication football with my fourth graders every year.  They get really competitive and are completely engaged while practicing their math facts!  TOUCHDOWN!

Here is everything that is included:

This packet is great for practice with 3.OA.1 and 4.OA.1.

I especially love how I designed that flash cards included with this game!
You can grab this packet now by clicking on any of the pictures above! :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Co-Worker Gifts...Wordless Wednesday!

Decided to link of with Miss DeCarbo over at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday! I wanted to share today my beginning of the school year gift for my fellow co-workers.  

I originally got this idea from my sweet friend Alyssa who gave me something similar two years ago.  I love "stealing" ideas, but I need more!  What other ideas do you have for co-worker gifts?  Thanks for sharing!

 If you have never linked up before, it is so simple that you could start today!  Check it out:

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Classroom Tour...

I made it through the first week of school!  I applaud all my fellow teachers who also made it through this week...woo-hoo!  I have to admit, it does get a little bit easier every year.  I really enjoyed setting up my classroom in preparation for this school year.  I would love to take you on a picture tour.  So, come on in...
 I love the chevron burlap border around my door (Walmart) and the pennant banner (Hobby Lobby).  I also love that I had a little extra burlap to make my door owl a bow.  :)

These are the little gifts I gave my team on the first day of school.  I simply got cute mason jars (The Dollar Tree), put on chalkboard labels (Hobby Lobby), and tied on some leftover burlap.  To finish the look, I stopped and got some fresh flowers on the first day of school.  These are sure to brighten any classroom!

Speaking off brightening up...
My students were so excited to get these glow bracelets on meet and greet night!  The glow bracelets came from The Dollar Tree and you can grab these FREEBIE labels from Teach with Laughter. {click here}

I put fresh flowers around the room and also put out mints for meet and greet night because "it mint so much to me" for everyone to come!

Now, for an overview of the whole room...


Here are my table signs...each table is a continent!

Love LOVE my happy chair!  CLICK HERE to read about the happy chair in the making! :)

Here is my classroom library. I finally have it completely organized exactly the way I want it!

This shelf I saved for all my math manipulatives and games. I received three of these AMAZING bookshelves through a Donor's Choose project last year.

I decorated the pencil cup with chevron duct tape (Hobby Lobby) and added some more fresh flowers on the shelf.

This bulletin board is saved for "Out of This World Work."  I can easily attach and change amazing work throughout the year using the glitter clothespins (Michael's).

Spontaneously made this new job chart one night.  I used scrapbooking paper and ribbon (Hobby Lobby).  I wrote all the student's names on colored popsicle sticks to identify the jobs (Walmart).  I think the best part is that it doesn't take up a lot of room!

One of my favorite first day of school activities to do is making the classroom rules with the students.  I love how our rules and handprints turned out this year!

If interested in the process that I used to create these rules with the students, check out this packet...

Here is my little teacher area.  I decided to proudly display my National Boards Certificate. :)

So, that's my classroom in a nutshell.  Here is the sign you see as you exit the door.  Remember to "Be Awesome Today" and turn off the chevron light switch before you leave!



Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Sale Day + Mustache Birthdays!

First, I want to say Happy Sale Day!  If you haven't heard the BIG BACK TO SCHOOL SALE if happening over at Teachers Pay Teachers!  You can get 28% off almost everywhere today and tomorrow by using code BTS14 when you check out!  These are amazing saving and I know I will definitely be taking advantage :)

A new product that I wanted to share with you is my Mustache Birthdays {Gift Idea and Tags}!  I am completely in LOVE with my birthday gift for my students this year.  Take a look...
The best part?  Get this product for 28% off today and tomorrow!

Now that you can check students birthday gift idea off your list, I wanted to remind you about the AMAZING back to school hop that is happening until the end of today!

You can grab 20 FREEBIES and also WIN...
Wowzers!  Time is running out though so act fast.  You can go to my last post to grab more details and find out how to enter to WIN!  {click here}

Before I leave you on this Monday morning, I wanted to remind you about one more really great deal!  I recently BUNDLED all my performance tasks together into one Super Bundle filled with performance tasks through the seasons.  With the extra TpT sale going on, I think it is a great steal!  Click on the either picture below to check it out...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hide and Go Seek Blog Hop ~ Win a $50 TpT Gift Certificate!

That picture sums it up and it is that easy!  Here are more details...

The Teaching Tribune bloggers have teamed up to bring you amazing freebies and the chance at one of TWO $50 TPT gift certificates as well as a custom door hanger (for a US winner). We will select one US winner and one international winner for the gift certificates!


As you play Hide and Go Seek, you will GO to 20 blogs where you will collect freebies. HIDDEN in each freebie is a school supply with a price tag. You will need to collect all 20 supplies and add up the price tags. Once you have the sum, then you will enter to win a $50 TPT gift certificate as well as a custom door hanger at the final stop, The Teaching Tribune

If you are looking for school supplies to fill your backpack, then you are at the right place! Start by downloading the recording form to help you keep track of the amounts that you find...

Lucky you have reached the last stop of the game...this is STOP #20!

Now all you need to do is GO download my freebie and find the HIDDEN school supply! Then, if you haven't already, you can complete the circle with the other bloggers to collect their freebies and school supplies. 

Click the find my freebie button.

It is my latest sample Performance Task for Back to School!
To read about the importance of using performance tasks in the classroom {click here}.

You can complete the loop by starting at the first blog or continue on by visiting The Teaching Tribune and entering your total to WIN! Either way, you will make a complete loop to all the blogs, freebies, supplies, and the final prize! 

Don't forget to become a follower of our blogs as you continue on. You never know what we will be doing next! 

Just click the picture below to continue Hide and Go Seek!

Or you can choose to start at the beginning by clicking below…

Good luck and have fun playing Hide and Go Seek! :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ~ School Time Fun!

 I am linking up with Christina from Sugar and Spice today for my favorite blogging day...
It's Wordless Wednesday!

Anyone else let their students do this?  
It's shaving cream!  I do it every year on the last day of school!  It cleans the desks and is SUPER fun!  If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. :)

So what other crazy, off-the-wall things do you do with your students every year?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

5 Reasons to Use Performance Tasks

An upcoming trend in the teaching world is using Performance Tasks.  Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium defines Performance Tasks as response items that "measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards—a key component of college and career readiness."  I am a firm believer in these Performance Tasks and I believe they should be implemented into classrooms worldwide when both practicing and testing skills.  I have also been doing a lot of research about the topic and have compiled my "5 Reasons to Use Performance Tasks" in the classroom.

So let's begin...

1. Performance tasks provide real-world application of skills.  We have all heard the math problem involving cantaloupes...
This cartoon is hilarious to me because it is not true life.  There is a very slim chance that our students will someday have to buy 60 cantaloupes in the real-world; yet, as educators, we have all seen problems like these.  Performance tasks are essential in the classroom because they are authentic.  There is often more than one answer and they involve creativity.  Students actively participate in problem solving activities rather than just selecting A, B, C, or D.  Doing well on a multiple choice test does not mean the student can use this information in the real-world.  Performance tasks allow the students to hone in on application of their knowledge.  There is no more teaching to the test; there is teaching to the real-world.

2. Performance tasks engage the students.  When I started implementing performance tasks last year, I was unsure on how the students were going to react because, let's face it, they are challenging.  But I was a little surprised when my students did not seem to notice the difficulty because it was meaningful to them.  They were engaged with what they were doing and invested in completing the task.  When it was time to complete a new performance task, I actually got shout-out, "YESES!" and cheers!  I knew immediately, I was doing something right.  I had hooked the students and they were taking ownership of their learning.

3. Performance tasks target the Standards for Mathematical Practices.
Primarily, performance tasks have a heavy emphasis on application of math skills.  I know my students can not sit and listen to me all day.  They need to "DO."  Students must make sense of problems and persevere in solving them which enables the students to become better critical thinkers.  When students must "show their thinking," higher order thinking is involved.

4. Performance tasks integrate and make connections across curriculum.  Every performance task that I use in the classroom has more than just a math component.  Writing is always incorporated in some way and very frequently science and social studies topics are incorporated as well.  In this way, students must transfer knowledge of skills across the domains and see the relationships with what they are learning in the classroom.  This is a complex process that develops students skills.

5. Performance tasks inform the teacher.  I believe knowing whether a student knows it or not is not enough.  I want to know if the students can use what they know.  I want to know what my students have really internalized.  Using performance tasks allow me to do this because students must apply their learning.  I like that performance tasks can also facilitate student learning while assessing.

*******

I do believe that performance tasks are a key component of college and career readiness.  Obviously, I believe it is very necessary to implement performance tasks at the elementary level.  So, how do we do it?  Well, I have developed a set of performance tasks to use throughout the school year.  I encourage you to check them out.  It might be a great place to start.




If you are using performance tasks in the classroom or are thinking about it, I would love to hear from you!
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