What a different and fun linky party to get us all a little out of the realm of teaching in our blog posts. God knows how hard it is to get out of teachery mode in real life....so it's nice to take a break in the online life too! Deirdre from A Burst of First and Molly from Lucky to Be in First started a new weekly link up called Sunday Funday. It's just all about anything we've done during the week that makes us normal human beings... ;) 

The only reason I am out of bed and doing this so early is because I'm waiting on a kid to come for tutoring. Who loves prepping kids for state exams!?! ;)

So...just like Deirdre, I had the whole week off too. In some parts of the Northeast, there is this magical thing called midwinter break. And then we also get spring break! It cannot come fast enough. I didn't do any of the productive things I wanted to do around the house..as usual. The bags of clothes to sort through and donate have been sitting in the hallway since December break. But I did do a handful of or relatively productive not teaching related things. 

I was doing a blog hop this weekend and came across Life Over C's post about a sticky wall. Well I had to go get that contact paper right away. And this is an amazing thing to keep a toddler busy! Tape it on the wall sticky side out and you get a faux magnetic wall. I shouldn't have used felt because that's all I had but I am going to get foam from the store..and that should  not leave any residue behind. 
Does this count as fun yet?

Ok next I did some online shopping and ordered a stainless steel K Cup for the Keurig. My Keurig and I are pretty much best friends. So when I read all these posts this week about how dangerous the heat and the plastic of the cup can be for future health, I felt like I shouldn't do that anymore. Thank god for this reusable one because actually I'm not sure I would have stopped if I didn't have an alternative. Anyway, let's see how it goes when it comes in this week! Gotta love Amazon Prime. Yay to online fun.

I went to a sushi restaurant because we had a Groupon. I don't even think that I processed the taste of the food because I was so busy trying to keep my toddler busy and non destructive. During the dinner, I gave her a fork to eat rice..not realizing that IT HAD LEFTOVER WASABI RESIDUE ON IT! My poooor baby...I mean...it was funny afterwards I guess. She didn't laugh. 

Ok this counts as the most fun for me this weekend. Yesterday I went to the mall and saw...

That's Christopher from Project Runway and Project Runway All Stars. He was my favorite. And I don't know what happens to me if I see someone even pseudo famous. I get a weird feeling like that is the most amazing thing in the world and I can't stop talking about it for the rest of the day. Before my brain could actually convince me that it was really him, he and his posse had walked away. But a second later I would have totally run up to him. This 32 year old would have!! But then I realized I'm 32...so I stopped myself. I didn't want him to see my giddiness..haha. 

Alright, after reading this post, I need to tell myself to actually have real fun sometimes! :) :)
Remember to link up with Deirdre and Molly!!

This is the first time I get to participate in a  blog hop and it's a great one! A bunch of us bloggers have gotten together to present to you different math ideas to use in the classroom.

Today I am going to share with you how I combine a management system with money practice.

I usually introduce this behavior management system during the money chapter in Math, and then I keep it for the rest of the year. It works well with other systems I have like Class Dojo.

Students can earn money to make it to reward parties. I usually do Friday parties every 2 to 3 weeks. Students have that amount of time to save up their money. Now how do they earn money? It depends on certain behaviors. I put up a chart that tells students what behaviors and actions can earn money and which ones will lose money. All the categories have different amounts that they can earn or lose. I like to give a full dollar if they come to school on time. Then they have opportunities during the rest of the day to earn their money. Please see  below for the behaviors they can earn money for during the day.

Of course, they can also lose money for the following behaviors.

I usually designate a time for them to collect money for routine items like attendance and homework. If they end up losing money, I get it from them right away. 
Either way, earning or losing, they get practice counting and keeping track of how much they have. I let them know which party we are earning for using headers on the display area where the other posters for this system already are.

They know they can only make it to the party if they have at least $5.00 for the entrance fee. Once they enter the party, they can use their money to buy additional items. Again, they practice counting money and getting change back. 

Once the party is over, you can choose to reset them all back to zero, or you can let them keep their leftover money to roll over for extra items for the next party.

How do they keep track of the money? Last year I had them keep real play money in zip lock bags. Well, all my dollar bills became really crumpled and kids lost the pretend coins. So this year, I have printed out money on colored paper. I also got them file folders from the dollar spot at Target to keep miscellaneous items, and their money can go in there. It is their responsibility to keep track of their money. If they lose it, they lose it. I don't give them the difference. Oh hey, responsibility is thrown in here too!

You can go to my TPT store and see the pack for yourselves. In it I have included what you see above, plus different versions of the party posters. You can choose to use the versions I have with the money amounts or you can write in your own money amount after you laminate it. You can also create your own party type because there is a blank poster. There is pretend money for a dollar all the way to 20 dollars (students can trade in when they have equal amounts), and coins all the way to half dollar. 

Download the PREVIEW from the TPT product link to get my blog hop freebie. It is a freebie poster for the movie party and the entrance tickets for the movie party, plus dollar bill templates you can copy and hand out. Please click HERE to take you to the item...remember...download the preview.

Now, hop on over to THE EVIL MATH WIZARD for the next awesome math idea!!

Ok, it is 9:36 and I still have time to link up with Coast to Coast Kinder for Wednesday Wow Science and Social Studies Edition. I  may or may not have put my toddler in front of Dora in order to get this done..as well as when I have to get other things done. Let's just say she's memorized the dialogue to one episode. And so have I.Learn about the continents with this 3D Globe Project FREEBIE
I'm going to share a project I have done in the past to have students learn the continents, oceans, and their places on a globe. We spend a lot of time just memorizing the names of the continents and oceans and what the continents look like. They know which continents are next to which, etc. But I wanted to have them learn the placements relative to a round object rather than a flat map.  So, the pictures I am going to share are of the project I plan to do next week, but have done a few times in the years past. 

Let's start backwards. The end result looks like this:

So here's how we start. The first step is learning and practicing where the continents and oceans go in other lessons. We learn the 7 continents from the song that has the tune of "I've got the whole world in my hands." I only teach Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic oceans. My S.S. series doesn't include Southern, so I leave it out too. Once you think the kids have a good handle on it, for assessment, this is a perfect project. 

On day 1, give students a Styrofoam ball. I got the pack of 6 that you can get from Michael's for 5 dollars. I had to buy 5 packs for my class. ***There is a coupon out this week that is 25 percent off total purchase...perfect time to get this.***
I also got some blue acrylic paint - the small bottle is 99 cents and a couple should do for a class. Also, get those cheap foam brushes because they are much faster than the regular paint brushes. So anyway, on day 1, have students paint the globe blue with the foam brush. It can get messy because they have to turn the globe around in their hands, so you can choose for them to wear gloves. But the paint is pretty easy to come off. Let the globes dry overnight. 

The next day when the globes are dried, give students a printout of the continents and the oceans. Have students color all the continents green and leave the ocean circles white. Then they have to cut them out and glue them on the Styrofoam globe in the places they should go. Now, I would say use Tacky Glue, because it holds the best on the Styrofoam with minimum falling off. You can try to use regular Elmer's Glue, but students may have trouble with it staying. But you can try a sample first and see if it works!

Ok the next part I realized I forgot to do in my sample of taking pics, but I am going to have students do this. I will give them a piece of red yarn or a pipe cleaner, or even a strip of red thin paper, to glue around the globe to represent the equator. 

After the globe is completed, the optional parts come next. If you have ceilings you can hang things from, a great idea is to put an open paper clip in one end of the Styrofoam, attach a long string, and attach the other end of the string to another open paperclip or something that can hang from the ceiling. 

Or you can do what I've done here. Take a popsicle stick and a foam or plastic cup. Stick the stick inside the ball. Push it through a cup's bottom (you'll have to cut the opening), and then pull down the ball onto the cup so it rests on top. You MAY have to cut off some of the stick so that it can be even with the bottom of the cup and the cup will be stable.  Finally, wrap the continent song paper strip around the cup, so the kids have an easy visual and the song to remember the continents!

Just for my wonderful blog readers, I am giving you guys this small file for the continent/ocean pieces, and the song to wrap around the cup if you go that route. I outlined the continents so it is easier for students to cut. Please click HERE to get the file!

Hope you love it!

I've been working really hard with my second graders on their descriptive writing. I need to move them away from going from fact to fact when they are writing and really stop and linger on each "small moment," in their writing so that they can create a picture in the reader's mind about what is happening. I've seen the small moment and big moment activity idea on some wonderful teachers' blogs and while I was thinking about how best to introduce it to my class, I came up with the following idea. 

I described each "big moment," as a cloud, and the tiny small moments as the "raindrops." The cloud has the general topic and the raindrops are the small descriptions of things that happened. 

After introducing this concept, I proceeded to show the students two stories of how I got hurt. One was very general such as, "One day I was riding my bike. I hit a rock and I fell. I got hurt and I was sad." The second story was much more descriptive in nature. I explained when and where I was riding my bike, how and why I hit the rock and the feeling associated with seeing the danger in my pathway but not knowing how to stop, etc. I "showed" them through my words how I fell, how I got hurt, what it felt like, what I did afterwards, etc. They obviously liked the second story better. I let them know that I just told them about a ton of small moments in the one big moment of riding a bike and getting hurt. 

Next, I put up my three laminated clouds that had a big moment written on them (getting hurt, going to an amusement park, and going to a birthday party). I gave them all an individual raindrop and told them they had to pick one big moment they liked the best or had the most to tell about, and then write about only one thing they did or that happened during that big moment. Then afterwards, they each got to come up to the class, read their small moment, and stick it on the board under their big moment cloud. I loved how one child chose how he had to wait for an hour in line for pizza at the amusement park and when he finally got up to the register, they told him that they had to wait another half hour to get the pizza, so instead he got Mac 'n Cheese. That definitely was much better than just saying, "I got Mac 'n Cheese at the amusement park." 

The next day, I had them revisit their small moment. Then, I gave them a graphic organizer where they wrote the same big moment in the middle cloud. But this time they had to brainstorm four small moments that happened instead of just one. Once they jotted down notes, they started their rough drafts.

I checked their writing after each small moment, before they moved on to the next raindrop. This assured me that they were giving me great details for each raindrop before moving on to the next item. I was even able to explain to some of my advanced students that this is where they could break up their writing - by making each raindrop into a new paragraph. 

So here is the best part. You can grab the templates to everything above for FREE! Just click HERE or on the first picture to get to my TPT shop and download. Please leave some love if you do!!
Hope it helps you all!

I am loving doing color coded proving your answers thingamajigs! Students who are reluctant to go back and find their answers before answering comprehension questions, are more willing to do so when they get to make it colorful. This strategy has been working out quite effectively!

I am working on having students expand on their descriptive writing details. Many of them will just list facts after facts, with  little to no explanation and description. So I came up with this big moment vs. small moment activity which you can read more about AND grab the freebie file HERE. Basically, they got to choose a big moment (cloud) such as "going to an amusement park." Then, they each got a raindrop to write a small description about ONE thing that they did or happened there. They got to come up and put their small idea droplets under the big idea cloud. 

 Anchor charts that include candy on them are always a big hit..lol. I was happy that the gum has lasted on the chart paper and has not "disappeared." 

Here I'm just sharing two tips for classroom use. The top picture has student book bags hanging on the wall on Command hooks. These bags were from the dollar spot at Target last year and I think this stuff is going to be coming back soon to Target. I printed the student numbers on sticker paper and just attached them to the wall next to each hook. The second picture is how I hang student work on walls that don't have bulletin boards and are too stubborn to allow staples or thumbtacks to go in them. I hot glued the bulletin paper to the wall and then I hot glued the clothespins to the paper. I'm sharing these pics because this stuff has lasted me half year so far, so it's an "it really does work," moment. 

LOVEEEE ALL THE TEACHER IDEAS ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLACES...don't know where I would be without it all. 

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