Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Cleaning Sale!

Well, if you're like me, you could use a little spring cleaning right about now.  Especially at home, since we are trying to move into our new home soon.  But I also love to have a little spring cleaning in my classroom.  So... coming up soon is a

Now we can spring clean our TPT wish lists! Check out my store to find all items on sale and check out the linky hosted by
Georgia Grown Kiddo's

to view lots of other sellers that will also be on sale!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas: Avoiding Junky Student Desks

Hello All! I'm super excited to be a part of this month's Bright Ideas Blog Hop. I love networking with other teachers and collecting tons of great ideas. 

I'd like to share my solution for one of my biggest pet peeves in the classroom - junky student desks. A couple of years ago I decided something had to be done instead of dumping out desks every couple of weeks to find old homework, signed papers, and half-eaten snacks! :) My solution - turn the student desks backward. 

This keeps the junk from piling up and students are no longer fiddling with items in their desk during instructional time. In place of a desk, we use student cubbies to organize our belongings and these are emptied out at the end of each day when we pack up to go home. 

This way I can quickly see who has a mess and have them clean it up before it multiplies! :)

I hope this bright idea helps you out in your classroom!

To keep moving along this blog hop, visit Tori's Teacher Tips with another great idea about using high frequency words to build fluency. Click below to check it out!

For many other great ideas, click below for either K-2 or 3-5 resources. Happy Hopping!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Blog Surprise

I'm super excited to be a part of this next blog hop. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Currently March...Fashionably Late!

I have been snowed in WITHOUT internet access for the last few days, so here I am ... fashionably late to the party!  Before we begin, here are just a couple of "snow day" pictures.  We are now on Snow day #3 this week!  Eternal winter, or so it feels...

And now for my currently March link from

If you think you know the question to my listed answer above, reply with a comment.  The first five correct responders will be entered into a drawing to win a free item of your choice from my TPT store!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Equivalent Fractions with Legos

Right now my 3rd graders and I are working on equivalent fractions. So tough for many of them. Especially those that do not have a grasp on multiplication facts yet. We are mostly focusing on using visual models help find equivalent fractions. We have used several drawings, fraction bars, and fraction cards. I just felt that I needed something a bit more interactive. 

It so happens that with a classroom full of students crazy about Legos, and the release of the recent Lego movie, that I decided to go for an interactive Lego fraction activity. I searched many places but just couldn't put my hands on exactly what I was looking for, so I developed this Equivalent Fraction Lego Centers set.

We started this unit this past week and the students had a great time while learning about making equivalent fractions for 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, and 1/6. Each center contains sorting fraction mats, fraction questions with a provided area to work out the model, an answer slip for each student, and an explore option for the fast finishers.  

I set these centers up to rotate every 15 minutes for a total of an hour and fifteen minute math lesson. What I found was that the students had a great time making the models to find the answers, but they had a blast with the explore option.

I was amazed at the way the students began to start thinking about fractions. Especially when they began adding fractions with unlike denominators and finding the answers. This also gave me an opportunity to have several mini lessons with groups to show them how using multiplication and division can help you find equivalent fractions and allow you find common denominators so you can then add or subtract fractions. We also discussed simplifying fractions. Because of the exploration and mini lessons, each center was extended to about 25 minutes. We actually only got through 3 on the first day. Looks like we will be finishing up the last two centers next week. 

Storage for this center is super simple. I just use a binder clip to secure all paper and a bag of Legos together. This gives me a total of 5 sets that I placed into a plastic container with a damp on lid. Ready to go for the next time I use these centers. 

Hopefully this interactive fraction lesson will be helpful to you and fun for your students. Thanks for stopping by!