Monday, March 28, 2016

Fraction Fun

One of my favorite units in my math curriculum to teach is fractions.
It's easy to apply the concepts to the real world and show students it is a important life long skill.
Students come into 3rd grade with a basic understanding of what a fraction is: part of a whole.
From there I can jump right into teaching fraction equivalency.
With spring in the air, I have the perfect project to drive home fraction equivalency in a concrete, visual way. Equivalent Fraction Kites , as seen below, model fractions that equal the same: 4/16 is equivalent to 1/4 and 8/16 is equivalent to 1/2. Students have so much fun designing them and in the process own the meaning of equivalency. This project is available in my TPT store.



I also have some other valuable resources to share with you that I incorporate into my fraction unit study.

This video helps build background needed on equivalent fractions.

Another handy tool is this manipulative fraction bar number line model from the site Math is Fun
It visually shows fractions with the same value.

I have a set of fraction task cards that my class uses with the fraction bar interactive model.

You can get them in my TPT store



The Illuminations site has an interactive tool that allows students to create equivalent fractions by dividing and shading either squares or circles and to see the position on a number line.

Happy teaching
~Denise

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Classroom Resources for Martin Luther King



My class is focusing on biographies right now and I've compiled resources over the years on my blog for Martin Luther King. I hope you find something useful to use in your own classroom.

My newest find is an online MLK reader.


The following links are from my past blog posts






Stay in touch

~Denise




Sunday, November 15, 2015

Elements of Genre

I'm reading aloud James and the Giant Peach to my class right now.
It's one of my favorites to introduce the genre of fantasy.
On Friday, we stopped at the chapter where the bugs, floating in the ocean on the peach, were certain they were going to be eaten by sharks unless James figured out a plan to save them all.
I introduced the idea of finding elements of realistic events within a fantasy book by doing this writing frame.
To begin with, students identify the story as realistic or fantasy and provide evidence from the text.

For instance, the writing below states, "One event that is fantasy is a peach that is big as an elephant."
"Something else that happens in the story that is fantasy is an insect that is the size of a human."


If the story is a fantasy, then students continue on and find examples of realistic events from the text.



You can enjoy this freebie in your classroom too.
It can be used with any book.
Grab it from my TPT store.


~Denise


Find me at:







Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quality Counts Board

It's about this time of year that students get antsy and don't always put forth their personal best.
I find myself saying over and over, "Is this your best work?" or "Did you rush?"
So, this week I'm bringing out my trusty Quality Counts Board.
I ordered a large size car magnet from Vista Print a few years ago titled "Quality Work". When needed, I simply display it on my white board. Then every so often I will pick a few model work samples to hang underneath it.
The work I pick has to show quality effort. If I pick a student's work he then gets to write with a special pen until I replace their work with someone else's. It works like a charm and saves some of my teacher sanity as the "holiday-itis" sets in.





~Denise

Find me at:







Saturday, September 5, 2015

September 11th Read Aloud

I recently added the book The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein to my classroom collection.
It tells the true story of the Frenchman, Philippe Petit's, tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers in 1974.  The theme of perseverance is a great point of discussion after reading this book. As I was preparing my lesson, I located this wonderful craftivity over at The Best Childrens' Books website.
Students work on goal setting, as Philippe Petit did with his tightrope feat.

Here's my rendition of the craftivity:



Other just as useful resources for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers can be found over at Scholastic. Resources include lessons on analyzing the character traits of Philippe Petit.

Will you be doing lessons to honor September 11th? I'd love you to share your ideas.

~Denise

TPT Store
Pinterest



Saturday, August 29, 2015

Start the School Year with Kindness

As I start each school year I promote the idea of Bucket Filling.
I recently was introduced to a story, Each Kindness, that would be a great discussion starter for older students which covers the consequences of bullying.

The story introduces us to Maya, the new girl at school who is not accepted by the others.
She wears second hand clothes and eats weird food and her efforts at forming friendships are all but ignored. Then one day she is no longer at the school and the teacher shares a lesson on kindness to the class. Each student drops a rock in a bowl of water and witnesses the ripple which is like each little kindness we show towards others. This book doesn't have a happily ever after ending, which is a great lesson to discuss with students. It  can make them realize that we don't always get a second chance to make things right and that behaviors and choices have consequences.

After reading this book you might even want to keep a bowl of water and rocks to drop in to show ripples of kindness towards classmates.



~Denise

Stop by and visit



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Name Tag Magic

I've been back to school for just over a week. If you are one of the lucky ones still enjoying summer vacation I envy you. But I'm popping in with a neat nametag trick. This year I printed my name tags on the printer with a cursive font since I teach third grade. They turned out so neat, clean and uniform looking. Once you get the line up the way it looks best on your particular name tag design it easy to print up your whole class set. Give it a try!




TPT is having a Boost Day Back to School sale August 19th. Don't miss out on great savings.
All my products, even my money saving bundles, will be 20% off. Plus you can get an additional discount at checkout using the code MORE15. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Yearn-To-Learn


Be sure to share your classroom "Monday Made Its" over at Tara's blog.
http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/2015/08/monday-made-it-classroom-reveal-2015.html


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Five for Friday

http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/2015/07/five-for-friday-linky-party-july-10th.html




I've been a busy reader on my summer break. Here are my most recent reads. I really enjoyed Whistling Past the Graveyard. What have you been reading?  I need more ideas.








I've been enjoying my time with Harley too this summer. Just as the school year was ending he had to have his 2nd surgery this year. He's quickly becoming one pricey dog! He had a huge mass/swelling under his neck area that seemed to appear overnight. Surgery was done to get to the bottom of the issue. The vet thought it might be his salivary gland or cancer. After a biopsy, it showed that it wasn't cancer and just a huge infection of the salivary area. Now a side effect of Harley's surgery is one side of his lip hangs low and he can't control his drooling, so as a good mama I'm wiping his mouth several times a day. I wouldn't trade it for any other option though.  I even got this decorative pillow at Kohl's that has the cutest quote:  All you need is love and a dog.




I'm joining in with many other sellers to have a TPT Christmas in July sale.  You can certainly grab some great deals.  I've put my most popular bundles on sale with even greater discounts than the typical TPT sitewide sales. Shop on July 13th and 14th and search on TPT using the phrases:
ChristmasinJuly or #ChristmasinJuly (no spaces).

http://yearn4learning.blogspot.com/2015/07/its-christmas-in-july-with-tpt-sale.html




Any goose down pillow lovers out there? I've had them since a child and never considered anything else, but my current ones were getting a bit raggedy. I made the switch to a latex pillow my mom suggested and I'm pretty happy with it.


No soda for me since school ended and to be honest I haven't really missed it. I've been drinking lots of water and iced tea with no added sugar. For my water I've used a diffuser and have flavored the water with sliced lemons and grapefruit.  What other combinations would be good? Let me know.



Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store

Thursday, June 4, 2015

It's June and Five for Friday







My niece and her husband have been in town the last two weeks as they await their roadtrip to Alaska. They will live there for the next 3 years as her husband is in the Army. Most of their stuff will be shipped from their current base in Georgia, but they will be hauling this trailer along with two dogs. The trailer was in my driveway until they left on Monday. Safe travels to them and sad faces for the rest of the family having to say goodbye.

 While in town, my niece made birthday cupcakes for Shane (her husband). She shared a few with me. Wow, these Oreo Cupcakes were so delicious.

Some of the family also spent the day at Knott's Berry Farm and I have to tell you that a ride at Camp Snoopy (did I say Camp Snoopy-the kid zone) just about did me in! It was the rollercoaster The Sierra Sidewinder. I know my limits and DO NOT go on crazy rollercoaster rides, but since it was at Camp Snoopy I thought  that it couldn't be that bad. I was totally shocked with the speed and spinning teacup action on this rollercoaster. I was seated with my twin sister and we were both a mess. I should have known something not so kid friendly was up when we noticed a camera in each seat. They film you while on it and you can see yourself afterwards. Boy, my brother in law was so disappointed that me and my sister's video camera was broken and did not capture our screaming antics. You can take a peek at some other random strangers on the ride if you are not familiar with it.







I planted some basil and have been using it regularly to my scrambled eggs in the morning. YUM.




 My basil kick continues. This was a dinner one night this week. Tomatoes topped with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, basil and olive oil and then baked. Light, fresh and easy!


Today, two weeks after the last day of school, our school staff is having a goodbye celebration for our principal. After being our leader for 12 years she is taking a district level position. Yay for her, but bittersweet for the staff. We will be starting the school year in August with a new principal. I look at it as a time to celebrate change and new beginnings!



Share your Five for Friday over at Doodle Bugs Linky.

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Office Space


I'm about two weeks into my summer vacation and have been occupied with some home "catch up" cleaning. I've worked on spiffing up things I've neglected during the school year....dusting, cleaning windows (YUCK), organizing cupboards and so on.  So when I saw this fun share your office space linky I knew it was right up my alley.

I have a whole spare room office. I use it mainly for storage of all my teacher junk. I keep my paper cutter, laminator and all sorts of disorganized piles of nonsense inside the closet that I did not take a picture of. So on the bright side of things it looks like my office is neat as can be.



Even though my office has plenty of desk space, I find I do not do any of my computer work for grading, lesson planning or TPT creating there. I much prefer sitting at my dining room table to do all that, with my dog, Harley, lounging under the table at my feet usually.


Harley is my work buddy. He's a big ol lab and he just has to crowd into my work space.



So what does your home work space look like? Link on up and share along with Schroeder's Shenaningans in Second Grade and Lucky Little Learners.


Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store


Pin It button on image hover