Ready to Get Your MATH On?

ONE more day left of school and I'm already thinking about next year! That just seems to be the nature of teachers, doesn't it? I'm tearing down my room and planning how I'm going to set it up all at the same time. Can I get an Amen?

I'm also thinking about my Math instruction and how I can amp it up. When I came across this book by Laney Sammons, I thought, "Brilliant!". Building Mathematical Comprehension is all about using comprehension strategies and applying them to Math.

I mean...seriously. bRiLliAnT. 

Last year, we delved into Laney Sammons' book Guided Math which was FaBuLoUs! I learned so much
and applied it to math instruction in my classroom this year and loved it! I am so excited to read Building Mathematical Comprehension this summer!!

 Beth over at Thinking of Teaching and I are hosting a summer book study. We'd love to have you join us! We've got lots of wonderful bloggers hosting chapters, sharing freebies to go along with each chapter, learning lots, sharing lots, and having fun! And it all launches on June 8th!  Click on the book link above to order your copy from Amazon.

And here's BIG news! Beth and I are each giving away a copy of the book! Yep! Two books for two winners! Just enter below.....

SmartPALS = Awesome!

My kiddos have been trying out some super cool SmartPAL Jr. Sleeves from EAI Education. When EAI contacted me about reviewing them, I jumped at the chance! My kiddos are loving them! I mean SERIOUSLY. Loving them. I mean like it's a huge treat to be able to use one! (I could almost use them for classroom management...they are that excited about them!).

There are some practical features that I just love:
  • Made of nice, thick plastic so they'll hold up longer.
  • Side loading! This is such a small thing...but such a big difference! Have you ever tried to slide a paper down in a top loading page protector? It can be a pain. But side loading? Easy-peasy lemon squeezy!
  • The paper doesn't slip! I was a bit worried about this before I started using them. I was planning to try them out with cursive tracers. . .so they needed to stay put! There's kind of like a static cling that holds the paper snugly in place. AwEsOmE!
  • They're two-sided! Kiddos can use them for the front AND back of papers!
  • They erase easily and completely (we use socks for our "handy dandy erasers")
  • Perfect to use in a workstation! Instead of making a whole class set of a paper, all you need to do is make 4-6 copies, slide them in the SmartPAL Jr. Sleeves, and you're good to go!
I know that we'll find lots more ways to use them, but so far, we have used them for ...
  1. Cursive handwriting tracers. This was one of my kiddos' favorite thing to use them for. They reported that they were able to write much more smoothly with the marker on the plastic than with pencil on paper. They felt that it made their handwriting better (and it was, too!).
  2. Math fact practice. My kids LoVeD doing math facts with the SmartPAL sleeves.
  3. Workstations-- we used them for a couple workstation activities: Word Search and Rainbow Writing. They had so much fun! I'm telling ya....a nifty little motivational tool here! We're winding down to the end here (Friday is our last day), so our workstations are a bit limited, but I think they'd also be awesome for Boggle, Word Sorts, Elkonin Boxes (Sound Boxes), and all kinds of Math workstation activities!
Make sure you stop by and check them out. I think you would LOVE using them in your classroom, too! EAI is also offering free shipping for orders over $30 until the end of August! (it's normally free shipping for orders of $99+). Just use the code PIFREESHP13 when you order.


Oh...and on another note....

Only THREE days left, friends! Only THREE days!

Back Home Again in Indiana...

Hope you are all having a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! Here in Indiana, we've been enjoying "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing"-- The Indy 500. "The Race" has always been important in my family. My dad started going to the race with his 5 brothers way back in 1964. My family has gone to the race ever since. In fact the group going to to the race grew to 33 in in the 80's and 90's.

So for me, the weekend was always more than "The Race". . .it was a time to connect with extended family and enjoy great food, great company, and great conversation. Literally-- the race is "epic" in my family. My dad passed away about four years ago, and the event is not the same, but my husband, brother, sons, and their friends still go every year.

Actually, this is the first year my older son has been able to go for a few years. For three years, he was on the media staff at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Here's he is in this pic of Danica Patrick. He's the tall
guy right behind her looking all official with the headphones, and the official gear (yep. I'm a proud mom!).

Primary Possibilities also posted about Indy 500 traditions. They also have two fabulous freebies for you! Make sure you stop by and
check it all out!

Summer Book Study~ Ready to Get Your Math On?

I am so excited to be hosting a summer book study again this year with Thinking About Teaching. Last summer, we really delved into Guided Math by Laney Sammons. It was a lot of fun, and it really transformed my teaching. Judging from many of the posts that I've read over this school year, Guided Math made an impact on many classrooms.

This summer, we're ready to get our math on, again! Check out this awesome book we're diving into this summer. . . .
Building Mathematical Comprehension by Laney Sammons. 

I know we've all had success using Comprehension Strategies for Reading. . . why not apply them to Math??
Doesn't it make sense that being able to visualize, question, make connections, and dig for important details will help kiddos in Math? (Are you also saying to yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?!"

I am just SO excited to get into this book!

From Amazon: "Building Mathematical Comprehension provides a solid foundation for incorporating familiar reading comprehension strategies and relevant research in mathematics instruction to help build students' mathematical comprehension. This stand-alone book demonstrates how to facilitate student learning to build schema and make connections among concepts. Teachers will learn how to help students ask good questions, visualize mathematics, and synthesize their understanding of mathematical concepts."

Grab your copy & get ready! It all launches on June 8th! 

Also--Are you interested in hosting a chapter? Drop me an email! 

And on another note. . . . . 
I only have FIVE days left, people! FIVE days!

Helping Moore, OK Relief Efforts

My heart just breaks for the victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma. As a teacher, one of my worst fears is enduring a tornado at school. Every time we have a tornado drill, the scenario runs through my mind.
What would I do? What would the building do? How would I get my kiddos out after the aftermath?
It's just heartbreaking to think of the teachers and the littles, and their families who really went through it.

When Teachers Notebook contacted me about contributing to a special teacher resource bundle, I quickly said, "YES!". The proceeds of this bundle will go to the Moore Relief Effort. I hope that you will join me in supporting the relief effort and consider purchasing the bundle.

I contributed my Vocabulary Strategy Poster Pack. And there are TONS of more great resources in the pack! Please click the picture above to find out more about it!


Hoosier Blog Hop! On the Track for Fun & Freebies!

Thanks to KadyDid Doodles for the awesome clipart!
I am super excited to be part of the Indiana blogger blog hop! In case you weren't aware....there's more than corn in Indiana! Indiana is home to 
  • Hoosier Hospitality
  • Hoosier Hysteria -- Basketball, anyone?
  • The Greatest Spectacle in Racing-- the Indy 500, which occurs one week from today! 
So we all decided to put the pedal to the metal and add to the festivities by hosting a Blog Hop! There are 18 stops on this hop with 18 fabulous freebies! I'm starting it all off here...

Ladies and Gentlemen......
Start your engines!

My freebie is a super fun sight word Uno game. It uses the 25 words from the 2nd 100 Fry words.
Your kiddos will have so much fun playing this game just like Uno!

Just click the pic to download your free copy!
After you grab this freebie (and please leave feedback!), head on down the road. Your next stop is Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks.
Enjoy the hop!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

9 days!?! Spark Student Motivation

Phew! Only NINE....yes, NINE days left! Friends, I'm telling you, I already have a case of summer brain! And my kiddos are even worse! haha! I'm pulling out all the stops to keep those little sweeties motivated!

Last week, I decided I was going to do something a little different each day from now until the end of the year. Some of the ideas worked a little better than others. Here's what I've done....

  1. I had a traveling prize that I moved from desk to desk of kiddos who were doing a great job being
    responsible and respectful. This worked really great....but I had so many with awesome behavior that I wished I had more to go around.
  2. I brought in a couple packs of Kool-Aid Kool Bursts. I explained to the class that I would place one on the desks of kiddos who were being exceptionally responsible and respectful. BUT...they could lose it, too. If they still had one on their desks at Math time (which is at the end of the day), they could sip while they did their math. WOW! Did this ever do the trick! I am picking up some more of these babies this weekend!
  3. Lunch Bunch- This usually does the trick. I "invite" (put their names on the board) kiddos who are doing really well to eat lunch in the classroom. Those periodic reminders of, "I'm looking for a few more people to invite to lunch bunch" really make them snap to attention.
So-- my plan of action for the remaining NINE days is to alternate between these (and a couple others I have up my sleeve), & some of the terrific ideas I've been reading over on Head Over Heels for Teaching's Spark Student Motivation Saturday Linky. Stop over and check out all the ideas that have been linked up! Or better yet, link up your own motivation tricks! I love to add more tricks to the bag!

And here's a sneak peek.......the Indiana Blogger Blog Hop starts Sunday! 
Make sure you check back tomorrow for loads of fun and freebies! 

Fairy Tales ~FREEBIE!

We are just now beginning one of my FAVORITE things to teach! Fairy Tales! So, so much fun! We kicked of our Fairy Tale unit with The Frog Prince. We read the traditional version today, worked on a Beginning, Middle, End organizer (boy, did they have some GREAT details in there!).

Tomorrow, we're going to write a new ending to the story. Believe it or not, in the traditional version we read from our school library, The Frog Prince by Paul Galdone, the princess THROWS THE FROG AGAINST A WALL, & it then turns into a prince! What?!? Is that just crazy? Or is it just me?! Hahahaha!

In any case, that wacky ending gave me the perfect launch point for, "Well, that's not the wayI would have ended the story".....and tomorrow, we're writing new endings. Can't wait to read what they come up with!

Just click the image above for the freebie!

I also found the Muppet's Frog Prince on You Tube (just click the image)! We'll be watching that and doing a compare/contrast. I am so excited about this! Some fantastic, fun activities to do here as we near the end of the year (only 11 more days to go!).

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Pssst.......I'll share a little secret with you..... 

Check back here on Sunday for a super fun blog hop! 

Teacher Appreciation Sale & Winners

Doesn't it feel good to be appreciated? I hope you are enjoying Teacher Appreciation Week.

I appreciate YOU! 

Everything in my store is 28% off with the code TAD13.
(Don't do what I did & forget to type it in before you check out!! Ugh!) 
I'd also like to say Thank You for helping me celebrate my blog makeover! I just love, love, love it! (Is it weird that sometimes I just bring it up so I can look at it? Sigh.). 
Congrats to 

You've got mail!

Cinco de Mayo

We had a lot of fun learning about and celebrating Cinco de Mayo today. We read several books, watched a short educational video, and made our own papel picado! What fun! My kiddos LOVED it! 

Easy peasy, and SO cute! Fold a piece of construction paper accordion style, then cut shapes on the folds.

And they turned out just adorable! Really brightens up our window!

Visual Plans & a Freebie!

Only 19 days left! That's just crazy! It's hard to believe how fast this year has flown by! The next few weeks, we are going to be super busy!!
This week, we're learning about life cycles, celebrating Cinco de Mayo low-key on Monday, delving into adverbs and doing some compare/contrast with The Three Little Pigs and The Three Tamales. It's going to be a fun week! Just click on this picture & you'll link up to my Dropbox where you can download the PDF with clickable links.

Here is a fun little Comparative Adjectives Sort freebie for you. I found that my kiddos could identify the form of the comparative needed in sentences, but they really weren't too sure about the "you use different forms depending on whether two or three items are being compared". So I created this little sort to help with that. Just click on the image to link to the file in my Dropbox.

I'm also celebrating my blog makeover with a giveaway! TWO people will win their choice of any item from my store! Click here or my new button below to find out more about it!

Check out my new look! & Celebrating with a Giveaway!

I am thrilled about my new look! I love, love, love it!

If you have my button on your blog roll, would you mind replacing it with my new one? Super excited about it, & I'd love to see the new button in place of the old.

Big thanks to Christi over at Design by Christi for the FABULOUS work! If you've been thinking about updating your blog, or even starting a new one, I definitely recommend Christi. The process was super easy & she was patient with all of my ideas/requests/questions.

Design by Christi

I'm celebrating with a giveaway! TWO people will win their choice of items from my store!  Just leave a comment below with your email, & I'll choose two random winners on Tuesday!