Little Room Under the Stairs: Educational Math Activities and More

Thursday, November 30, 2017

After Tests


So it's test day. You have students that will finish in 20 minutes and others that will take the entire period. What do you do?

Provide your early finishers with some quiet activities they can do at their desks!


These are all perfect to have available for those times you need some quiet in the room. They are activities with an academic focus that can be completed at their desk. The students will enjoy engaging with math even after taking a test!

These are pretty easy ideas to recreate for your students with your skill. If you want to save some time (just print and go), click on the items below.






Thursday, October 26, 2017

Moving in Math with Bingo Extreme

Bingo is a staple game in many math classrooms. It certainly was in my classroom especially on Fridays. My students always enjoyed a game of Bingo and never minded that they had to do some math problems to play.

One day, one of my 8th graders asked if we could make some changes to the rules to make it even more exciting. We talked about it and decided to play an "extreme" style of Bingo that involved movement. 

Years ago, the youth and children's ministry adults at church decided to sit down and play some Uno. We were getting a bit bored and decided to spice it up by moving seats each round. I thought this would be a great addition to our Bingo games! 
  1. How to Play:
    • Students will answer and cover on their Bingo board for the first problem. 
    • After that they will move on your signal to the next desk/board. This movement continues throughout the game until someone gets a Bingo. 
    • Be sure to explain which direction everyone will move in. You do not want chaos! You can have them move clockwise, counter clockwise, or around a grouping of desks. It just depends on your desk set up.
  2. Pass out the Bingo cards and cover pieces.
  3. All students should have a piece of scrap paper and a pencil on their desk for anyone to use. All other stuff should be out of the way to allow for safe movement.
  4. Explain the Process:
  •  The teacher calls out a problem for students to answer. They check their board and cover if they have the answer.
  •  Once everyone has had time to decide, the teacher will say "MOVE" (or give some other signal) and students will move the direction you have gone over already.
  •  The teacher calls out the next problem. Students solve, check their "new" board, and cover if they have it.
     Signal for students to move again.
  •  The process continues until someone has a Bingo.
  •  My students always stood during the entire game.
Students will enjoy the movement during a favorite game!

If you need some math Bingo games, I have several in my store here.


Friday, June 23, 2017

The "M" Word

I haven't blogged since the middle of January. The past 6 months have been a whirlwind for me after hearing the "M" word again. 

The "M" word for me is Melanoma. 

Four years ago (July 2013), I was diagnosed with melanoma through a mole on my neck. I had surgery to make sure the melanoma was contained in the mole and had not gone into the lymph nodes. Everything was fine at that time.

Fast forward to the middle of January 2017. A lump appeared on my neck. I wasn't sick. I waited to see if it would go away - NOPE. I called my doctor. Next came a CT scan and then a biopsy. My melanoma was in my lymph node. Off to my oncologist for a PET scan and MRIs. I was scheduled for surgery to remove lymph nodes from the left side of my neck. We knew one lymph node was infected with melanoma. After surgery, we found out that 2 lymph nodes were positive for melanoma. The second one was microscopic and had not shown on the PET scan. 

Next came physical therapy twice a week to get my neck moving again and discussion about treatment as I was now considered to have Stage III Melanoma. Lucky me (I say lucky because my oncologist calls the standard treatment for Melanoma "evil". The clinical trial drug isn't as evil.), I qualified for a clinical trial and that was the road I took over the standard treatment and radiation.  I had a 50/50 chance of receiving the trial drug. 

I am receiving the trial drug, Keytruda. I started receiving treatment on May 18 (my 26th wedding anniversary). I go for treatments every 3 weeks for a year. So far I have not experienced too many side effects - just a bit of fatigue every now and then. I am hopeful that will continue but we'll see.

Some things have been on the back burner such as blogging. I am still spending some time creating resources, but they certainly take longer than prior to surgery and treatment. The hubby and I are continuing to go camping and create as normal a life as we can have through the midst of appointments and treatments.



I don't let the "M" word get me down. It's just part of my life now. Praying and reading God's word gets me through. I know there are others that have it worse than I do. My go-to verse Joshua 1:9.


Here's a selfie from today. Be sure to check your moles once a month and wear sunscreen. :)




Thursday, January 12, 2017

DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

As a teacher, I always needed something to jot down a note or idea on. I also seemed to have a lot of scrap paper. So I decided to make some scrap paper notepads. You can also use this with new paper.

Materials Needed:
-paper
-paper cutter
-rubber cement & binder clips OR binding machine & binding material (wire, coil, or comb)

**Make sure your "scrap" paper does not have any identifying names or information on it. Those papers should always go to the shred pile. I use leftover classroom papers.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Rubber Cement Method
Step 1: Cut your paper to the size of notepad you would like to have. Some suggestions: 4.25 x 5.5 or 5.5 x 8.5.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 2: Put all pages together and put binder clips near the top.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 3: Apply rubber cement to the top edge of the paper stack. You will need to apply about 5 coats and let dry in between coats.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 4: Take clips off and use.

Binding Machine Method
Step 1: Cut your paper to the size of notepad you would like to have. Some suggestions: 4.25 x 5.5, 5.5 x 8.5, or 8.5 x 11.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 2: Put all pages together and punch your paper on the side you want to bind.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads 
You don't need a large machine. Maybe you have a small for scrapbooking and crafts. They work great for small notepads!
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 3: Attach binding material to your paper stack and use.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

What to Do with These Notepads
*notes on your desk or small group table
*keep at computer stations for students to jot down notes, websites, scores, or work out math problems
*put together 1/2 page or full page "scrap notebooks" for students to use in math (easily stored in a folder)
*use new paper and give as gifts

DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Best of 2016

Best of 2016, Teachers Pay Teachers, TPT, Math Resources

It's time to count down 2016 and prepare for 2017. Years ago I stopped making resolutions. They never seemed to last very long any ways. So now I just have some hopes and wishes.

For 2017:
I hope for good health and happiness for my family and myself.
I wish each of you a healthy and joyful year. May you move towards fulfilling your dreams in 2017!

From 2016, I wanted to share some top resources that teachers have used in their classrooms this year. They will be 20% off through the end of 2016. You can find them all here

Best of 2016, decimal operations math stations

Best of 2016, fraction decimal percent color with math

Best of 2016, order of operations trashketball

Best of 2016, fraction decimal percent math stations

Best of 2016, one step equations trashketball

Best of 2016, decimal operations color with math

Best of 2016, fraction decimal percent bingo

Best of 2016, add subtract decimals trashketball

Best of 2016, multiply fractions trashketball

Best of 2016, multiply divide decimals trashketball


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