Saturday, August 20, 2016

Giveaway Winners

The Giveaway has ended. Thanks to all who participated! The winners have been contacted.

TPT is having a One Day Sale today only. Hurry by for some great savings on your Back to School needs. My store is 20% off. Use the code: ONEDAY at checkout for up to a 28% savings.

I am having a Back to School Giveaway to help celebrate this Back to School season!! There will be two winners - one for a $10 TPT Gift Card and one for $10 of products from my store. Hurry to enter as the giveaway ends Sunday night at midnight EST. I will draw the winners on Monday, August 22, and notify the 2 winners on Monday. Enter below!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Saving Money in the Back to School Season

Saving Money in the Back to School Season

Every year I would spend hundreds of dollars on my classroom. I wanted cute decorations and a new way to organize. I also needed new materials and supplies to teach students that were behind one to four grade levels. There's only so much money in a school budget. You are one of the lucky ones if your school gives you classroom money. I remember when I first started teaching and had a classroom budget. That helped a lot! By now, though, there is no money given by the schools. So what do you do? Learn to be frugal and seek out donations.

 Bulletin Board Backgrounds
 Buy a sheet from your local discount or thrift store. Choose a color you can live with for a few years.

 Does your school receive school supplies for the kids? Buddy up to the person in charge of handing those out. You will be using them for the kids! My community collects backpack supplies each July and passes them out to the various schools. It's amazing how many glue sticks, markers, crayons, etc. are collected. In my school, it was the counselors who would pass things out to students. Well, there was always a ton of supplies, so I just asked for some of the supplies for my classroom. They handed them over knowing the kids would be using the supplies.

 White Boards
 If you don't have a class set, there are some cheaper alternatives. You can see my blog post here.

 Classroom Lesson Materials & Manipulatives
 Look at what you have first. Have you cleaned out your closets and cabinets (at home and school) lately? I tend to buy things and then stick some place where I know I will remember when the time comes. Three years later. Oh, there it is! Do some cleaning and organizing you might find what you need.
 Check with other teachers. Maybe they have what you need and you can borrow, buy, or trade.
 Check garage sales or your local thrift store. I have found many school items for cheap at both sales and the thrift store.
 Check Teachers Pay Teachers. TPT has lesson materials, forms, decorations, and games that are all economical. There's something for everyone!

Set a budget this year as you think about the Back to School season. Look around and use your creativity to spend less this year.

Teachers can save money during the Back to School Season

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Innovative Classroom Technology

Innovative Classroom Technology

Are you planning on using technology in your classroom this year? I've teamed up with some other educators to bring you some ideas on using technology in your room. Using technology doesn't have to be scary. It can actually be engaging and a change of pace for your learners. While in the classroom, I was always trying to find a way to use the computers. Using Google Slides is a great way to have students complete a math station activity. I just transformed this traditional set of activities into a digital version - ready for Google Slides.
Innovative Classroom Technology Adding Decimals Google Slides

Thursday, June 9, 2016

5 Ways to Move in Math

5 Ways to Move in Math | moving in math class | math activities | trashketball | math tag relay

I always loved having my students get up and move in math class. They probably enjoyed it more than I did. Kids need to move including middle schoolers!

Here are 5 ways to move in math:
5 Ways to Move in Math | Trashketball
1) Play Trashketball - This combines sitting to work the problems and moving when it is time to shoot baskets. Group students into partners or small teams. Show some problems on the board/screen. Students solve and have you check. The number of shooting opportunities is based on the position they finished in (ex: 1st place - 3 shots, 2nd place - 2 shots, 3rd place - 1 shot). Be sure everyone gets a turn to shoot for points!
5 Ways to Move in Math | Math Tag Relay
2) Math Tag - Nope, not play outside chasing each other tag. Math tag is a relay game where students are grouped into teams. Math problems are placed on the other end of the room/gym/measured space outside. Partners race down, solve a math problem on the sheet, and race back to tag the next partner team. This is great to do in a large space or outside but can be accomplished in the room by clearing desks out of the way.
5 Ways to Move in Math | Musical Chairs
3) Musical Chairs - Circle up the chairs and place math problems on each chair. Play some music and have the students move around. When the music stops, they have a seat and solve the problem. I never removed chairs and just continued to play until the time was up. You can remove chairs if you want for a little more competition.
5 Ways to Move in Math | Around the Room Task Cards
4) Around the Room - Hang up math problems (task cards are great for this activity) around the room and have students move around answering them.
5 Ways to Move in Math |  Partner Match Ups
5) Partner Match Ups - For this movement activity, you will need matching cards (ex: word/definition, word/picture, problem/answer, problems with the same answer, etc.). Give each student a card and have them find their match.

I have a Partner Match Up freebie that you can download here or by clicking on the picture. Students solve the adding or subtracting decimals problem and find a partner with the same answer.
5 Ways to Move in Math | Mix and Mingle Add and Subtract Decimals | Free | Teachers Pay Teachers

It's time to get your students moving in math!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

DIY Dry Erase Boards

Dry Erase Boards

Dry erase boards should be a staple in every classroom. They are great for practicing a skill or doing a quick informal assessment. Most teachers would love to have classroom sets of dry erase boards, but they can be quite pricey.

Here are some alternatives to buying expensive dry erase boards.

1) Check your desktops. You are able to use dry erase markers on some desk or table surfaces. This is definitely the cheapest way to go. 

2) Laminate pieces of card stock, construction paper, or file folders. You can also use duck tape to go around the edges if you want to spiff them up a bit. If your students use a binder for your class, these can be hole punched for easy storage or stack in a paper tray when not in use.
Dry Erase Boards: Laminated Construction Paper

3) Stick a piece of card stock into a smooth plastic sheet protector. These are great for storing in a student's binder.

4) Shower board (Thrifty White Panel Board) from your local home improvement store has a dry erase surface. Be sure to get the smooth finish. Most stores will even cut it to size for you. You can also use duck tape to go around the edges if you want to spiff them up a bit. These can be stored in file folder hanging boxes or crates.
Dry Erase Boards: Shower Board

You also need to be able to erase what you wrote. Here are some ideas for erasers.

1) Use an old sock. The sock can be used as an eraser and storage for the marker.

2) Facial scrubbers. My local dollar store sells facial scrubbers and they work great as erasers.

3) Felt squares. Some felt pieces work great for erasing. Choose pieces of felt that are soft.

Hope you found some ideas for some DIY dry erase boards.


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