Sunday, November 22, 2015

All I want for... BLACK FRIDAY!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING BREAK! Are you off for the entire week? I hate to brag but... I AM! WOOT! If you're not, I'm so sorry. May the kids be QUIET, the week FLY BY and you have plenty of REST and GRUB on your days off!

Today I'm liking up with The Primary Pack  for a fun Black Friday linky! 
I'm not really a Black Friday shopper. I'm a lay in bed and eat leftover Thanksgiving food type of girl. I will do online shopping though. And MAYBE if I've had a lot of coffee, I might stop by Target. Buuuuut... That's not likely. It's more likely I'll eat pumpkin pie for breakfast, a turkey sandwich with a moist maker for lunch (any Friends fans out there?? lol) and then have "Leftovers" with the family on Friday night. "Leftovers" gets a capital letter because it is an official event with my family. We heat up all the leftovers and re-do Thanksgiving - no decorations this time though, and we use paper plates..... And no fancy clothes, just elastic pants... My family is a bunch of FOODIES, y'all! Haha. I can't wait!

Enough food talk. Back to shopping. My own personal Black Friday list consists of two things. New pots and pans and EVERYTHING HUNGER GAMES. I just KNOW there will be some online shopping deals on pots and pans.... There HAS to be.... Why the need?? You see, I was watching a Bill Nye video the other day with my class. He told me that if the non-stick coating on your pots and pans have cuts in it, when you cook with them all the chemicals that make it a non-stick get released into your food... and like everything else, THAT CAN CAUSE CANCER. I swear, I haven't cooked with my pots and pans since I saw that (well, really, I just haven't cooked because I hate cooking... Take out menus, please?). Anyway, I NEED NEW COOKING THANGS.
Also, I NEED all of the Hunger Games movies. I'm not a big movie person. Like, I'll watch one every once in a while, but there are only a few I can sit down and watch all the time. Over and over. Again and again. Hunger Games is one of them. I LOVE KATNISS. I don't understand why she can't be real so we can be besties....

For my classroom Black Friday wish list, I have a few FANTASTIC items on it. They should really be on your wish list too (don't worry, I'll link them so you can put them on there).
 If I had a Million Dollars Project by 4MulaFun. Jennifer is SO STINKIN' AWESOME. Love her products. Recently, I've let my students do more PBL type of learning' and it has been AMAZING. This is the next project I want to do with my class!
- Reader's Notebook Response Pages by the Thinker Builder. THANK YOU PINTEREST for helping me find Michael. Everything he makes is AWESOME. He completely changed the way I take notes for Guided Reading Groups. I NEED these response pages!!
- Christmas Labs by the Science Penguin. Why do kids love science? BECAUSE IT'S SO COOL. My kids are going to LOVE me when I bust out with all this awesome Christmas science!

Now, here are some fun things Christmas items from my TPT store - I'd love for YOU to put on YOUR Black Friday TPT wish list!

- Design a Christmas Tree is HOT OFF THE PRESS! I just created this activity after my students LOVED my Thanksgiving Meal Planning project. In this set, you will get 4 pages of "store ads". Students will shop the store ads and purchase items for their dream Christmas Tree. There's a lot of math included in this set but it's disguised as FUN. The kids won't even know how much learning they're doing! HEHE! I've included some problem solving questions as well. It's only $1.50 right now... GO GET IT!
- Snowman Math Glyph is a favorite of my kiddos EVERY YEAR. This is actually the first math glyph I made. All sorts of skills are included in this - what makes this so awesome is each answer has the kiddos coloring their snowman a certain way. My students loved it so much, it's inspired a ton more Math Glyphs!! Go check them all out!
- Looking for a way to give students or coworkers a cute and low cost holiday gift? Go get my Holiday Gift Tags! These cute little signs fit on a snack sized baggie. Then pop in a few sweet treats and BOOM, Christmas shopping is done, son!
- My Christmas Activity Pack and Winter Activity Pack are perfect for your holiday party day to keep the kiddos occupied... ;) SO much fun inside both of them!

Oooohwee! All this shopping talk is making me EXCITED!
Want to join this link? YOU SHOULD! Get over to the Primary Pack's blog and LINK UP and ENTER to win like, a TON of fabulous items.

Whatever you do this holiday, I hope it is full of FUN, FRIENDS and FAMILY.
Wishing you tons of Thanksgiving blessings!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Autobiographies, Biographies and "The Story of Me"

The countdown has started!! FOUR days until Thanksgiving Break. YIPEE!
Only problem is as the holidays grow closer, the kiddos start showing their wild[er] side... So I've been trying to come up with QUIET yet PURPOSEFUL and ENGAGING activities. 

This week we started Biographies & Autobiographies. It's pretty easy to find books and selections that are biographies, but I've found it kind of tricky to find autobiographies... So I decided to make my students the authors! 

Side note: I did use The Story of Ruby Bridges and Through My Eyes (by Ruby Bridges) to introduce biographies and autobiographies. We used a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the story elements.

Back to my student authors! Each student got an autobiography template. Here's what we did with them. 
- On the front, students drew a self portrait. They turned out SO CUTE. 

--->On the inside, there was a blank time line and a map. On the timeline, I had students write the year of their birth, then we filled in dates all of the students shared (start of Pre-K, Kinder, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc). I then modeled how to sequence specific and important life events and record on the timeline. Students added a few dates that were meaningful to them. On the map, students marked where they were born, grew up and now live. 
--->I then had students write an autobiography. I provided them with sentence stems they had to include in their composition. They included:
      - My name is…
      - I was born on…. in…
      - I [now] live in….
      - I started ____ grade in…
      - An important live event was

--->My kiddos SERIOUSLY loved making their books. Once the autobiographies were finished, I paired students with a partner. They read each other’s autobiographies and then wrote a short biography on their partner. I then let them present their biography on their partner to the class!

Would you like your own FREE copy of "The Story of ME"? I've made it a Facebook Follower EXCLUSIVE! All you have to do is go to my Facebook page, LIKE IT :) then scroll down to the bottom left and click on the Freebies for Followers button! SO EASY! 

Enjoy!! And thank you for reading and following!! xo

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dia de los Muertos & Inferencing

I cannot believe it's November! So many things going on this month: my husband is growing a mustache for Movember (it's a serious thing in the fire department, y'all, so I'm going along with it), Mocking Jay Part 2 comes out (OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH) and most importantly: THANKSGIVING BREEEEAAAK!

November also means Dia de los Muertos, one of my favorite holidays to teach my students about. This year we started our Day of the Dead learning with (drum roll please) INFERENCING! Have you caught on that we're working on inferencing BIG TIME in my classroom??

Y'all. I had the best dad in the whole world. I know a lot of people think that about their dad, so you can understand where I'm coming from. He was SO kind, wise, funny, UNIQUE and my number one fan. And I miss him LIKE CRAZY. He passed away last year and not a day goes by I don't think about him. I wanted to share his memory with my students, so for this Dia de los Muertos, I made an altar honoring my sweet daddy.

I included pictures of my dad and his brothers as children (wearing cowboy hats), a few pictures of my family at our family ranch from my childhood (my dad was holding a cowboy hat in one and a baby longhorn in the other) and a recent photo of the whole fam.

My food offering included Oreos, M&Ms, and all the leftover chocolate Halloween candy I could find in my house!

I decorated the altar with battery operated candles, sugar skulls, mini paper picadors and yellow daisies. The finished product made me so happy. I enjoyed creating this tribute to my dad and only cried twice!

I took the altar to school on Monday and let my students know they'd be making inferences about my dad's life based on what I included on the alter. I gave my students a graphic organizer that had them write down three observations from which they would draw one inference. We focused on the photos and the food.

For the photos, I asked them to write down who they saw in the photographs (family), the setting (outside, on a farm, by a barn), and the other items they saw (horses, cowboy hats, fence, cow).
Can you guess what their inference was? They inferred my dad was a COWBOY! And gosh, they were right! My dad raised Texas Longhorns. He had a passion for the business and had a beautiful herd. Check out his hard work on his website,!

For the food, I asked my students to write down three different types of food they saw. Answers included Oreos, M&Ms, Almond Joy's, Whoppers, and Reeses. The students inferred my dad liked CHOCOLATE!!! And boy did he! I shared how my pops would always sneak a tiny corner out of the cake at family get togethers because he just couldn't wait until we cut the dessert! He definitely could have been the poster child for choco-holics!

Guys - my students were SO into this lesson and when I told them it was in honor of my dad, they had so many sweet questions and connections. I was so impressed with their maturity and respect for my memories and feelings. Have I mentioned how awesome my class is??

Do you celebrate Day of the Dead in your classroom? I'd love to hear about your activities! Comment below! 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Currently

Hey all!

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade again for a November Currently!

Yesterday was my birthday, and my family SPOILED me! Brunch, family time, trick-or-treating (and possibly scaring a few trick or treaters) and a new Nespresso machine has made me one happy lady! 

To share the happiness that I'm feeling, I'm throwing a SALE in my TPT store! Everything is 20% off and bundles are 50% off! WOOT! Sale ends tomorrow :) 

Have a BLESSED November! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Math Misconceptions

Howdy, peeps!

I have a confession to make... I was not a great math student... At all.
Math was awful for me. A painful subject that I was forced to take for what felt like 87 years....
I think that's why I LOVE teaching it.
I don't EVEREVEREVER want my students to feel like I did. I try to give them a REASON we do the maths. STEPS for the maths. And I try to make my students PROBLEM SOLVERS and MISTAKE FINDERS.

That's when my "Math Misconceptions" pack was born! I wanted to find a way for students to not only solve a problem and find the correct answer, but to also identify common mistakes that are made.

So far I've made three sets: Place Value, Addition and Subtraction with Whole Numbers and Multiplication. I have plans to make more but.... there are also like 20 other ideas floating around in my head. So... yeah. Stay tuned?

Each misconception pack includes 5 math problems. Each problem is solved by 2-3 people - "He", "She" and sometimes "Pup". Each of the characters solve the problem a different way, but only one is right. Students identify the correct person and justify why they're correct. THEN, they identify where the incorrect person/people messed up. It's AWESOME to see my students catch the common mistakes! The discussion these problems stir up is AWESOME. My students can be reluctant to talk about how they solve math problems... but once I got these baby out I couldn't get them to zip it!

Anyway, here are some pics of my students using the Multiplication Misconceptions. Guys, they LOVED it. They BEGGED to do another... I tried to stay calm, "We'll do another tomorrow, guys" but inside I was JUMPING for JOY!

SO IMPRESSED by my hard working kiddos!!

Do you address the incorrect answers along with the correct answers? I'd love to hear about how you deal with math misconceptions in your classroom!

Saturday, October 3, 2015


My sweet 4th graders are really having a hard time wrapping their head around inferences. 
And I felt my self turing into an inferencing GRUMP. "What can you INFER, guys?? LOOK FOR CLUES!!" 
I knew there needed to be a change....  

Every morning, our school has us write a Morning Message to our kiddos. As they walk in, they grab their breakfast (we eat breakfast in our rooms... so weird, I know) and check out what's on the board. Not going to lie, my first thought when I heard we have to put up a Morning Message was, "Seriously??? One more thing to do??" but I have realized I LOVE morning messages. And by golly, if there's a day I forget to write one my kiddos ask for it!! So I decided to combine inferencing with our morning message. 

I defined an inference, gave the kiddos a scenario, had a bag of evidence and was ready to watch my kids ROCK OUT INFERENCING!! (Side note: Not pictured is the sentence stem, "I can infer that your BFF is _________ because ___________ .)

I just knew the dirty kleenexes, the Mucus relief medicine (we discussed what mucus was) and the Vitamin C (and the fact that they knew I was sick -they had all been asking me if I was ok the day before when they heard my sick voice - they are ANGELS, y'all) was going to lead to light bulbs in their sweet little brains and inferencing would be a problem of the past!!

My plan halfway worked. The kids were SO STOKED to check out the inferencing bag. I heard their excited whispers as they wrote down their inference. I heard angels singing from the heavens. I picked up their sticky notes and began reading......... and the angels stopped singing. 
"I can infer that your BFF is nice because she's your friend"
"I can infer that your BFF is funny because she tells jokes"
Y'all, out of 23 kids, 3 inferred that my friend was sick. I was so bummed. Another inferencing FAIL! 

I went home to my hubby and retold the story. He told me my inference bag contained too much of an inference. HUH. He told me my evidence needed to be WAAAY more obvious. At first I hesitated because UH HELLO, what does he know - he's not a teacher AND it's not like the kid's state test at the end of the year would contain an obvious inference... But I tried it anyway. 

I totally forgot to take a pic, but I grabbed everything orange, black and halloween themed that I could find and put it into a gallon size bag (pumpkin cookie cutters, halloween pencils, a ghost with an orange and black outfit, a black and orange halloween bag). The next day we tried again. The board read, "Yesterday I decorated my house for an upcoming holiday. Make an inference about what holiday I decorated for. STEM: I can infer you decorated for ______ because _______." Kids read it, giggled at the bag, wrote on their sticky note and BOOM! 21/23 made a correct inference. HALLOWEEN! A few kids still weren't getting it but I was making progress! 

Now, EVERY THURSDAY is "Think about it Thursday" and I give my kiddos a scenario that requires them to make an inference. This Thursday I put a receipt and some change in a bag. MY LITTLE BOOS MADE FANTASTIC INFERENCES!
"I can infer that you went to the store because there's a recet (receipt)."
"I can infer that you went grocery shopping because there's a recit (receipt) and money."
23/23 had it, y'all!! WOOOOOT! And now I know we need to work on spelling receipt!! 

I hope you love this idea! Do you think it could be something you use in your classroom? Do you already use something like this in your classroom? Do you have ideas for what else I can include in my bags? Help a teacher out! I'm running low on ideas.... 

I also want to encourage you to do a Morning Message for your kiddos!! They other day we were working on poetry and my message was something like "Sometimes poems have a rhyming pattern. Give me example of rhyming words." It was a TOTALLY last minute message but I was able to see that 3 kids in my class don't know what rhyming words are. It's SUCH an easy way to pinpoint gaps in your kiddos learning!! 


Thursday, October 1, 2015


Linking up with Farley (a fellow Texan - woot!) for an October Currently!

I haven't done a Currently in years (I'm an awful blogger... EEK) but I saw this October themed one and OMG I HAD TO!

I love Farley, love Currently-s and LOVE OCTOBER! (and not just because it's my birthday month!

Be sure to link up with your own currently HERE!