Easter Blog Hunt!

I'm a member of a great group of relatively new bloggers who decided to come together for a great giveaway. But giveaways are more fun if they have a little twist. So, we've also made this one a blog hop. Each blogger will be running the same giveaway on their blog. So after you enter here, head on over to each of the other blogs and comment to enter there as well!

Here's what you'll win:
1. From Tales from Outside the Classroom: Captain Cool, which practices addition and subtraction in function machines.

2. Ms. Fultz’s Corner: Egg-citing Math Bundle, which practices addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

3. All that Glitters in First Grade: Shape Fun, which practices the basic shapes circle, hexagon, octagon, oval, pentagon, rectangle, square, and triangle.

4. Ms. McDonald’s Fourth Grade: Decimal War, which practices decimals from tenths, hundredths, thousandths, and mixed decimals.
5. Young and Lively Kindergarten: Growing in a Spring Kinder-Garden Learning Center Games, which practice beginning sounds, color words, rhyming, number words 0-14, counting 1-20, real/nonsense words, reading CVC words,punctuation, & Time to the Hour.
Here's how you enter to win:

This means you can get up to five entries here and up to five entries each by commenting on the other blogs as well. That's 25 chances so go get yourself entered to win! Entries will end on Sunday, April 1st at noon CST. Winners for each blog will be announced that night.

Other Easter Blog Hunt Pages:

All That Glitters in First Grade
Young and Lively Kindergarten

Sponge Activties

As promised I have finally taken a picture of my sponge activities containers for your viewing pleasure! Sponge activities are academic, fun activities that students can do when they finish an assignment early. I have a basket for Math and also a basket for Science/SS. ( I interchange the label on Science and SS depending on what is being taught that day.) I do this to help extend my lesson and so the early finishers always have something to do when they are done. This allows me time to pull students to the back and work with them in a small group on the assignment if they don't understand it. This is the first year I have tried this approach and I have loved it! I also use the blog as a sponge activity using the tabs at the top labeled for the students. Included in the sponge baskets are self checking worksheet, matching games, and flash cards. In the middle you will see the AR books that are relating to the things we are currently studying. I had an earlier blog post about those and you can view it here. My students ask me why I call them "Sponge Activities" and I tell them that a sponge soaks up water, just like sponge activities soak up extra class time.

Ok now for how I decorated the basket. SUPER SIMPLE! Black milk crate from wal-mart, polka dot ribbon from wal-mart, and polka dot signs from The Schoolbox. (I have a tiny obsession with polka-dots if you have not noticed. I love them!) I weaved the ribbon through the holes of the crate and hot glued the ends down on the inside. Laminate the sign and write a title. Done... and you have a super cute crate!

I hope you found this helpful!

Teacher Tips!

Teach 123 is having a great linky party asking everyone to give a few teacher tips for new teachers. Being a first year teacher can be stressful. I truly believe teaching is a calling. It takes a special kind of person to teach others and have the patience and energy to do it. Check out my teaching tips and then go visit Teach 123 to see what advice fellow teachers have to say!

The Water Cycle

Recently we worked on learning the water cycle in science. One thing I like to do is find at least one kind of fun activity and one video on each lesson or topic I'm teaching. With the water cycle we had lots of choices! First, we did an outline with our science book together and discussed the vocabulary words. Then we started singing. I found the cutest song on pinterest. This is NOT my song, but my kids LOVED it and still actually remember the words 3 weeks later. This is where I found the song. We sang this everyday at the end of our lesson for the 4 days we spent on the water cycle. It really seemed to help them remember the different parts. The next thing we did was draw the water cycle and label it. Here is one of my students drawings.

The last thing we did was watch a few fun videos. My favorites are The Water Cycle with Bill Nye and Wet All Over from The Magic School Bus. One of these we watched during inside recess because it was a little too cold to go outside. (You gotta squeeze it in when you can!) 

I also found some great websites with Water Cycle Games or Videos for the students to play or watch for a sponge activity or for my early finishers! 

All of these links are located under the Science tab along with many other science games/ video links. My students know how to get on the blog and find the given topics we are working on.

What other things do you do to help your students learn about the Water Cycle? 

New Products

This week I have been a busy bee! Tons of great products to share with you! Enjoy!

First up is a Math Center game: Improper Fractions & Mixed Numbers
This is great to use after teaching your students how to convert improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa! It has super cute pirate ship theme that your students will love! 

The last new product is a Units of Time Matching Games. This product includes two matching games. The first is converting standard time units such as 60 seconds = 1 minute. The second game has abbreviations for units of time. 

Free Stuff!

Hello again! I wanted to share some great freebie's! Enjoy!

This is a sight words game by Valerie Young! It is Easter themed and super cute! Check it out here!

This St. Patrick's Day Multiplication or Addition Game is from Tessa Maguire. It would be great as a center game for this St. Patrick's Day week! Find it Here!

This last freebie comes from scipi. Number Tiles are problem solving math activities for grades 5-8! Get it here!

Additional Resources & Differentiating Instructional Worksheets!

When I graduated from college and started my teaching career I remember feeling like I knew everything and was going to change the world! I quickly realized how much I didn't know and started trying to absorb as much information from my fellow teachers as I could! I can say that I am still growing and changing, and I truly hope I never stop! One thing I have learned recently came from the teacher next door! She teaches Reading, L.A., Spelling, & Writing. She was telling me about how she taught Language Arts and I realized that her method would also be perfect for my math class! What she does is for every topic such as plural nouns she has three varying levels of worksheets; easy, moderate, difficult. She begins with the easy worksheets and works her way to the harder worksheet last. This gives the student several opportunities and varying levels of difficulty practicing this skill.  This works well for several reasons. 1) you always want to build on something in teaching. When they begin with something easy they can take that information and apply it to the moderate and difficult worksheets as well. 2) Our state test has varying difficulty questions on the test. Thus when we practice with all difficulty levels nothing is a "surprise" on TCAP.

Okay so back to math. As I said I thought this would be a great idea to use in Math as well! I want to expose my students to as many types of questions as possible to prepare them for the "final exam." For example this week we are studying about graphs. I have found or made worksheets that are an easy example first and then we work our way towards harder levels. It's been working great! HOWEVER, the book series only gives 1 Reteaching page & 1 Practice page per day. I wanted more and honestly I can't go home and make 3 worksheets for every lesson every day as much as I would like to! Finding GOOD resources was my only real choice! I wanted to share my resources with you in hopes that if you find this leveling a lesson a good idea then you don't have to go searching to much for good worksheets! Even if you don't want to use three different worksheets then these resources can also help you differentiate for your lower or higher students.

http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/ - I love super teacher! It has been one of my new best friends! It does require a memberships to see all worksheets, but it gives MANY FREE worksheets that are good! I'll admit I'm not a member yet and have only used the free worksheets, but I have been so impressed I may actually join next year!

www.teacherspayteachers.com - Teachers Pay Teachers is fantastic! The products on this site are made by other teachers so their things I are usually on point. They also have tons of free items! I have been very impressed with the quality of work from this site!

http://www.math-aids.com/ - Good website for math worksheets! You can choose options so that your worksheets are exactly what you need.

Do you have websites that you love for additional resources? I'd love to hear about it!

New Products & Free Stuff!

Hello Again! It's that time to tell you about my newest items and to share some great free items I have found! I hope you enjoy!

First up is FRACTION WAR! Your students are going to love this! Teaching comparing fractions can be difficult for students so this came helps reinforce cross multiplying! The students play the game just like they would regular war with a deck of cards, except they are wanting the biggest fraction! Check it out Here!

We recently learned about customary and metric units of measurement! This is a matching game I made to help my students memorize the conversion of measurements and the abbreviations. The game actually has 2 games in it. Take a look here!

Now for the free stuff! I have tons of free items to share with you this week! Don't miss out because they are all great items to use in your classroom! Many of these cover all grade levels not just intermediate! Enjoy! 

Graphic Organizers - by Best Practices 4 Teaching 
Reward Bookmarks - by Mixminder.com 
Picture Prompts - by Teach123
St. Patrick's Day Writing Prompts! - by HoJo's Teaching Adventures 
Skip Counting by 2's - by PreK Paradise 
Iditarod Learning Games-  by Arlene Sandberg  

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