Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Ideas {Go Green in Your Classroom}

With Earth Day quickly approaching, I have been doing some thinking about ways to "Go Green" in my classroom!  I am always trying to do my part to take better care of our earth and today I'd love to share a few simple ways that I encourage conservation in my classroom.


How do you "Go Green" in your classroom?  I'd love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook for more great ideas!

For more bright ideas from 150 different bloggers, please browse through the link up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you.  Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas {Playing Around with Perimeter}

Hey y'all, I am super excited to be joining a bunch of awesome bloggers in the Bright Ideas Blog Hop!  I thought I'd share with you (mostly through pictures) a few fun activities we've done lately to explore the concept of perimeter.

Last year was our first year with Common Core and regrettably, I didn't do as great of a job teaching 3.MD.8 in a conceptual way as I could have.  But with some ideas from a talented teammate and some of my own creativity, we are now masters of perimeter!  We started by exploring with pattern blocks and creating ponds.

Then we had fun incorporating literacy into our math learning.  This super cute book (with a real world application) by Marilyn Burns is all about preparing for a family get together.  Mrs. Comfort plans to have 8 tables of 4 so that there is enough seating for the anticipated 32 guests but as people arrive, they begin to rearrange the tables.  Unfortunately, then there isn't enough seating for everyone.  So after lots of moving the tables around, they must end up in the original arrangement to be able to accommodate everyone.
So of course we had to honor the "Doctor" in some way and my kiddos had a blast creating these cool cats! I love how cute they turned out and it was a fun way to practice perimeter.
Finally, we've started to compare figures with the same perimeter but different area.  We read another great book called Chickens on the Move and students modeled the coops with paperclips.

Ready for another amazing idea?  Check out the fabulous Hilary over at Rockin' Teacher Materials!  She's sharing her awesome book bin organization system!  
Looking for more bright ideas?
Check out K-2 Bright Ideas:
Check out 3-5 Bright Ideas:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mathematical Monday {Patterns}

We survived Monday friends!  I don't know if it was because we were out of school for most of the week last week or what....or if it was because we passed out valentines today (which I may or may not have gotten into chocolates from my sweeties on the way home today)....but today seemed super long.  It was great to get back into the swing of things though because we still have LOTS to learn!

Tonight I'm linking up with my BFF, Jess, over at I Heart Recess for her Mathematical Monday linky.
We've been working on 3.OA.9 for a little while now and here are a few ideas of what we've done.  We started by looking at an addition chart and analyzing patterns that we noticed.  My kiddos played some cooperative games to talk about the patterns that they saw on the addition chart, such as even + even = even or odd + odd = even. 
Another day we did a similar activity but we looked at patterns on the hundreds chart (sorry for the horrible pics...I need a new phone!!!)  They enjoyed working with the multiplication chart even more because they are so excited about learning their facts...big 3rd graders that they are! =O)  I was super impressed at the patterns that they noticed.
After that, we used some task cards to really analyze these patterns with addition and multiplication.  I've noticed on assessments my kiddos really get tricked when they have to answer questions telling if someone's strategy or reasoning is correct.  These task cards were a great way for us to focus on this style of questioning and for them to work on these two Math Practice Standards-construct viable arguments and look for and make use of structure.
We've also started to look at patterns and determine the rule for the given pattern. The kiddos had a lot of fun playing this game called Who Rules?
If you're interested in any of these activities, you can find these and others in my Patterns Pack.
Hopefully, I'll be back soon with some more ideas for addressing this standard!

Also, don't forget that you can enter Shannon's giveaway for a chance to win some amazing prizes!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spring into Learning Giveaway

Happy Sunday everyone!  I just wanted to let you know really quickly that Shannon over at Teach2Love is having an amazing giveaway!  It is called the Spring into Learning Giveaway and you can win tons of fabulous prizes!
I've donated my newest product, Time is Tickin', to the giveaway!
Check her blog post out for more information but you can also enter here!
Entry-Form  Good luck!

I hope you all have a blessed week.  We are back in school after 4 days off!!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day #3 and Quick Facebook Giveaway

Hi everyone! So it's official...
We are on Day #3 here in NC of no school and school has already been cancelled for tomorrow.  At our house, we've done science experiments, played games, watched movies, written a "book," built a snowman, had a snowball fight, drank hot cocoa, practiced handwriting and addition, and even conducted Nerf gun target practice just to name a few things.  I'm not sure what I'll do to keep my boys entertained tomorrow but I'm sure we'll have lots of fun!  And since we only lost power for about 4 hours last night, I am ever so thankful to be nice and warm in my home with my loved ones!

So in honor of another Snow Day, I thought I'd do a quick Facebook giveaway!  If you haven't already, go like my Facebook page and comment on the most recent post to enter!  The winner will receive my newest product, Time is Tickin'!

Hope you're all staying warm friends!  And feel free to comment here with any ideas of fun things to do with my boys tomorrow...they're I am getting a little restless!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Five for Friday

I'm excited to have the time to link up with Kacey's Five for Friday.  I always love seeing what everyone else is up to!
#1-Like some of you, we've been out of school most of the week because of the snow and ice!  We had about 5 inches when we woke up on Tuesday.  My boys were thrilled to see that much snow (remember I live in NC) and we had a blast playing in it!  This break has really been a blessing.  We've enjoyed so much family time together...lots of snow play, board games, Legos, and hot cocoa!
#2-So all this free time also left time for some crafts.  I am a little behind on getting some Valentine's stuff up!  I have seen lots of cute pennant banners made with old book pages so I created this one to put on the mantle.
Then my little fellas wanted to get in on some crafting action.  I had seen the most adorable owl craft on a blog called Happy Clippings and knew we just had to make some!  Here are the finished products.  My littlest dude needed quite a bit of help (aka Mommy cut most of it and he glued) but my older guy got creative and wanted to add a mustache and what he called "Angry Bird eyebrows" to his owl (love his creativity).  I made a few more and they are hanging in our kitchen.
#3-I mentioned earlier this week that I had been neglecting my blog because I have been really trying to focus on my faith and family above all else.  One thing that we've started with our boys is a daily devotional.  It is called Jesus Calling and it is amazing.  I read from the book, my hubby reads the corresponding scripture, we talk about it all, and then each pray.  This time has really helped focus our family...I highly recommend it!

Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids
#4-I did have school one day this week and I posted about using the website Today's Meet.  There is a tutorial if you want to check it out.  Just click on the pic below:
#5-Finally, since I've been home all week and my boys still take naps, I've had some time to work on a few new things to use with my kiddos.  I am really excited about my patterns pack called What's My Number? and would love to give a copy of it away.  So I'm going to do my first Pin it to Win it!!!
1.  Pin the What's My Number?  A Patterns Pack image above on Pinterest.
2.  Leave a comment with your email and the URL after you have pinned the image in your comment.

I will choose a winner using a random number generator and will announce the winner sometime during the Super Bowl (because I only watch for the commercials, haha!!!)  Thanks for entering!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tried It Tuesday {Today's Meet}

Hey y'all!  It is been a hot minute since I last blogged.  I have really been trying to focus on my faith and family first so this little blog has certainly been neglected.  But since we had a "snow" day (with just a very light dusting so far) and there's no school again tomorrow, I figured I'd pop on here really quickly and see how y'all were doing.  Also, I wanted to share a little something that I tried yesterday so I'm linking up with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried it Tuesday Linky Party!
A little over a week ago, we had a Professional Development session on Writing in Math that was really useful and meaningful!!! (Hopefully, I'll share some of it with you later...with pics!)  One of the tools that the presenter used to facilitate the meeting was called Today's Meet.  Have y'all heard of it?  It's basically like an online "room" where people who know the specific URL can chat.  Well, I don't know about y'all but while I use technology daily in my classroom, I definitely can stand to be more interactive with the use of techno.  So I thought that this Today's Meet site would be a great way to interact with my kiddos and for them to engage one another.

Our standard for literacy this week happens to be RI.3.1-Ask and answer questions (referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers) so I thought it would be perfect to have the kids generate and submit questions to our Today's Meet "room" about the Declaration of Independence text we're reading this week.  (The kiddos can answer others' questions too if they want.)  For privacy purposes I have kept off the student names and the name of our "room" but here's a little screenshot of how it looks.
You can definitely see that we need to work on proper punctuation and capitalization when typing but more importantly I can quickly see who can successfully create text dependent questions about our selection and just get general insight into what they are thinking while they are reading.  I can even print a transcript of all of the comments to keep a written record of their work.

If you are interested in using this tool, it is so simple to set up a "room."

So to have encourage you to check out this super easy tool, I created a "room" at  I'd love to hear how you could use Today's Meet in your classroom!  See you there!