Archives for : Math Resources

Snow Day AGAIN! Five for Friday Linky!

I cannot for the life of me figure out why there is a giant space at the top of this post…GRRRR!


I am linking up with Doodle Bug’s today!  Click the pic at the bottom of the post or here to link up yourself!


5:30am (alarm sounds) – {hit snooze}

5:40am (alarm sounds) – {hit snooze and now holding phone so hitting snooze the next time will be easier}

5:50am (alarm sounds) – {hit snooze thinking about how I really need to get up now but I don’t}

6:04am (receive text from Kelli) – {reading her text about how she is dreading the drive to school}

6:05am (receive second text from Kelli) – {NO SCHOOL….what?!…no way…YES-more sleep…GRRRR-more make-up days…GRRRR-more being behind in everything…YES-more sleep…GRRR-I didn’t bring ANY work home last night…YES-I can work on report cards…YES-more sleep-GRRR-can’t sleep because my mind won’t SHUT UP…finally get out of bed…YES-coffee}

I am still in shock that we have another day of school off due to the weather.  

Snow Pretty

In honor of our snow day, I am going to try out my first give-away!  Winner gets their choice of one product from my TPT store!  If you follow me on Bloglovin’/TPT/Facebook, you already get an entry.

snow day

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I finished up Think Tinks – Volume Three last week!  Check them out for some creative and out-of-the box  thinking activities for your class!  You could use them for morning work, early finishers, gifted and talented, challenge activities, or put in your sub-tub!  Click here or the pics below to take a look!

Think TInks Volume Three

Think Tinks Volume Three

This past week, I was reflecting on my OLPA data (pre-MCA math test) and decided that my class is just not able to keep up with our Math Expression curriculum.  The majority of them NEED the basics.  So I am giving myself permission to give them what they need!  I am refocusing on getting my small groups back up and running along with all my Math Centers that focus on basic operations!  I am also going to create a few more based on some quick assessments I did this week!  Check back for more!  In the meantime, here are some current games we’re getting back to!

Differentiated Math Games

I really dislike when I have to prep things (cutting, laminating, more cutting, storing, etc.).  I really try to keep my Math Centers low-key for me!  I have my students keep all their game boards in their Smart Pal!Smart Pals

I have NOT been paid or recruited to endorse these…I just plain old love them and want to share them!  They are essentially a heavy-duty (but easy-to-use) plastic sheet protector.  You can insert ANY graphic organizer or worksheet and write with a dry-erase marker!  Super slick!  Click the pic above to link to EAI – which is where I buy them from!


Lastly, a non-teaching thing.  I was over at Alison’s blog at Rockin’ and Lovin’ Learnin’ and she posted about this mascara.  I am ALWAYS trying to find a mascara that is good, so I thought this one looked interesting and I can’t wait to try it!  Check out her review of it – click the pic or here!

Thanks Doodle Bug’s for hosting – click the pic to join the party!


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Five For Friday Linky and Slim-Down Saturday Linky!

Even though it’s Saturday, I’m linking up with Doodle Bug’s Five for Friday Linky!  Here are some random things from this week (and some older stuff that I just want to share!).


Back in December, we taught a Rainforest Animal Research Unit.  Along with a written report, students had to create a visual aid.  It could be as simple or elaborate as students wanted.  Here was a conversation I had with a student.

Student:  Mrs. McDonald…my project is probably like 16 feet long!

Me: {thinking…okay, that is an exaggeration}  Oh wow!  I don’t know how we’ll display a 16 foot         project! {thinking…he must be confusing feet with inches}

(fast forward a week later)

Me: {jaw drops as mom brings the anaconda project into classroom}….

Anaconda Door Decoration

I didn’t know how I was going to display it!  Last year, I did the whole tree and vines around my door.  As I was visualizing that display, I thought I could rig it up outside the door!  I used trusty 3M hooks and string!  You can imagine what all the students’ reactions were as they walked down the hall and saw it!


The week before Winter Break, I was out sick for 3 days with pneumonia…yuck!  I wanted to share this funny post-it that a student wrote while I was gone.  I can always count on someone in the room to report the major offenses while I am out!

Funny Student Note


Have you heard of these fabulous little inventions?  Pen-Pals!!  Not the kind you write letters to.


 I found them at Office Depot or Office Max…can’t remember which one.  They were $0.99 each.  You can probably find them even cheaper online.  They have an adhesive back and I stuck one to each desk.  For kids that like to pick and peel things off their desks, they will come off.  If they come off I use Crazy Glue (shhhhhh…don’t tell our custodian).  Try peeling that off now kiddo {muah ha ha ha}!


This week we tackled strategies for all our basic facts!  When we got to the 9s, I wanted to show them the finger trick.  As I was awkwardly trying to show my hands to them and describe what I was doing, I decided to quickly trace my hand and cut it out…sooooooo much easier to show them and explain!

Learning 9s Facts


This week we continued our country study in Reader’s Workshop.  We learned how to use an index to find specific information and on Friday we focused on finding information about their Country’s history.  After students jotted history facts on post-its, they attempted (keyword: attempted) to put their facts in order like a timeline.  It didn’t go that well…but that’s okay!  Reading about history is hard unless you have a lot of background knowledge (which they don’t).  I  was happy that they could use the index!

Creating Timelines

Click  here or the image below to join the linky and share 5 things from your classroom!


I am also linking up with Gina over at Third Grade Tidbits for Slim-Down Saturday!  Here’s how my week went:

Slim-Down Saturday

Come join us and stay focused with your health goals!  Click here or the picture below to take part!


I am off to make a late dinner!

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Monday Math Linky – How to Differentiate with Math Games!

snow day

Enter to win 1 product from my TPT store (your choice)!  Ends Sunday, 2/21 at  11:59pm!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Monday!  I am linking up with Jess over at I Heart Recess for Mathematical Monday!  What are you doing in Math this week?  Click here or on the image to head over and link-up!

monday math linky

Before I share the most engaging game I have ever taught my students, let me show you the Math Center area of our room.  I attempt to differentiate everyday…it doesn’t always happen, but I try!

Math Centers Area

Every room in our building has a super loud and super huge vent (the white thing in the picture).  However, they are magnetic!  So, it isn’t a total waste of space!  I pushed my file cabinets up against it to make an even bigger magnetic area (and to hide the ugly things).  I also covered the back of the library shelf in purple paper and hooked up the red file folder wall pocket thingy with 3M hooks (I couldn’t live without these things!).  A few years ago, someone was giving away the two wooden benches!!  SCORE!!  As you can see, I am also in love with plastic drawers!  They are perfect for storing manipulatives, cards, and other math tools.

Put it all together and I have a lovely little Math area – complete with a Math vocabulary wall!  We use Math Expressions and I’ve created my own vocab cards for some of the units.  Click here to visit my TPT store and grab them for free – they are organized by unit in my store!  Here are some snapshots of the vocab cards – if you snag them, leave me some feedback love on TPT!  You may even want to grab my Vocabulary Graphic Organizer!

FREE Math Vocabulary Cards

Academic Vocabulary Graphic Organizer

Everything on the vent in my classroom is magnetic and easily moveable.  I put either magnetic tape or magnetic dots on the back of all my vocab cards.

Since this is Math post, here is an equation for you:


Let me tell you how this all works in a perfect world!  Every student has a magnetic name tag that I move around daily (eh…every other day-ish…).

Math Differentiation

Our Math time is split.  We have the first chunk from 11:45-12:40 and then we come back after lunch for a 20-minute chunk.  This is when we have “Math Centers”.  I usually move their names while they are at lunch.  When they come back, they know where to go.  They are assigned to one of four places.  Many are moved to a game.  I pre-teach all my games (often during Morning Meeting).  Most of the games focus on basic fact fluency or multi-digit addition or subtraction.

Math Differentiation Games

Students that don’t need fact practice and have their adding and subtracting down are assigned to a challenge packet.

Math Differentiation

I keep the challenge packets in that magnetic pocket (see the gold packets near the bottom?).  I put together challenge packets with whatever resources I can find.  I also created Think Tinks!  Theses could be used as a challenge activity – even though they aren’t technically math…they encourage flexible and out-of-the box thinking!

Think Tinks

Click the links below to view all 3 volumes of Think Tinks:

Think Tinks – Starter Pack (pages #1-#6)
Think Tinks – Volume Two (pages #7-12)
Think Tinks – Volume Three (pages #13-18)

Students that need extra support meet in a group with me.  I have spots for 2 groups, but I often only get to 1 in a day (especially in winter when it takes them a bajillion minutes to get their winter gear on and off).

Math Differentiation

Finally, if students need to finish class worksheets or if I want them to continue practice with a certain skill via a worksheet, there name goes under A, B, or C.  These letters coordinate with a slot in the red file folder pocket.  Students know that if their name is under “A”, then they need to complete the worksheet in pocket “A”.

Math Differentiation

What games to I play?  I find lots of games online or I create my own!  Bullseye is a class favorite!  Other favs are Something BigBig Difference, and Skyscraper!  I have a few of them in my TPT store – with more coming soon – follow my blog and TPT store for updates!  Click here to read about how I have students organize and store all their game boards!

Differentiated Math Games

There is one game that is like no other!  Students will be screaming with excitement (literally) as they play.  Let me introduce you to…3-WAY!!!!!!!  This game is super engaging and practices a pretty high level skill – finding unknown factors (or addends).  It can be played addition-style or multiplication-style!  Here are the rules!  Click here to grab a FREE PDF of the rules or to project in your classroom to teach the game!  I plan to introduce this game (multiplication-style) this week!


I hope you enjoy this game!  Click the pic or here to download the directions for FREE!  What are your favorite Math games?

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