Friday, May 1, 2015

Rockin' Giveaway!

I'm SO excited. 

Here are a few of the reasons why:
- State testing is OVER
- My blog looks FAB thanks to Blogs Fit for a Queen
- My Instagram has over 1500 followers

So many reasons to celebrate!! So, I've partnered up with AMAZING teachers for a ROCKIN' Giveaway to celebrate and say THANK YOU to YOU!! WOOT!

Fabulous, right??
That didn't even mention the $50 TPT gift card! WHAT WHAT!!
I 'll get to the phonemail giveaway in a minute. First, I want to tell you a few ways I rock out in the classroom!

How do you rock out in the classroom? 
No I'm not talking about rock music. Or mohawks. 
I just mean the awesome things you do day to day to engage your little learners and save your self from going crazy :) 

I work very hard to keep my students engaged. I try to create a rigorous yet FUN learning environment. Basically, YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION THEN WE CAN HAVE A GREAT TIME! It's hard getting kids to pay attention though... 
*Enter the Tricks* 
Here are a few of my faves: 
--->Bingo Dots: (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my post here. It's pretty awesome if I do say so myself! )  
--->Songs & Rhymes: I have a song for everything. Place Value. Numerators and Denominators. Multiples of 6s, 7s, 8s, and 9s. Rounding. Measurement Conversions. We sing quite a lot! At the beginning of the year, the kids looked at me like I'm nuts when I bust out my math jams. You know, they're too cool. All it takes is one to jam-out without inhibitions and the rest are hooked!! Seriously!!  My kids literally BEG me to play the place value (it's pretty snazzy) and they're multiples of 6-9 are fantastic! Check out their skillzzz here!
--->Student Strategies: I try to make my classroom a place where we ALL take part in the teaching. I'm not the only one that knows what's going on. Kids are SMART. And sometimes they put together something that is so smart!! So I name a strategy after them!
Example: Recognizing fractions equivalent to 1/2... As I was teaching this, I had a student who piped in with, "When a fraction is equal to a 1/2, the numerator is always half of the denominator!" You may think DUHHH, but to my kids (and this student who just had a major light-bulb go off), it was an a-ha moment! So now whenever we notice a fraction equivalent to 1/2, we talk about the "*insert student name*'s Strategy"! I have about 5 kids with strategies named after them in each of my classes. It makes their day AND gets other kids working extra hard to put together some awesome thinking so they get a strategy named after them!
--->Candy: DON'T JUDGE. Kids flip for a jellybean. Yes, a jellybean. As in 1. I always have a bag of marshmallows, a bag of jelly beans and maybe a little something chocolate (more for me than them... oops) on hand. Moral in your room down? Kids looking sleepy? Rattle those jelly beans (I have them in a glass candy container), shake those 'mallows and you will see little hands shoot in the air! Boom! Can't give out candy? Again, CHECK OUT MY POSTS ON BINGO DOTS! Or give out a chex! Or a peanut! Kids love food!

There are THREE prizes.

First up: A prize pack for my K-2 Peeps!

Next up: A prize pack for 3-5! 

And.... A $50 TPT GIFT CARD!!!

If you love these prizes, you need to get as many entry points as possible... SO GET TO ENTERING!! GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Product Swap with the FABULOUS Funky in Fourth

I LOVE being a TPT seller and buyer. I love sharing the products that I use in my own classroom and I don't think I EVER plan a lesson without seeing what my colleagues have to offer on TPT!

I didn't think there could be anything that could make TPT even more rockin' until I came across Melissa of Jungle Learners idea for a TPT seller product SWAP! GENIUS!

Melissa partnered me up Cassy over at Funky in Fourth for this product swap -- I follow Cassy on Instagram and her products are awesome. I couldn't wait to go shopping!!

After agonizing over which product to choose, I finally settled on this fantastic Layers of the Earth Unit (I'm uhhh... a bit behind on science lessons in my classroom... state testing had us kinda busy... don't judge!). 

This unit is packed full of goodies!!

- 5 different lessons (Layers of the Earth, Classification of Rocks, Rapid and Slow Land Changes and the Rock Cycle)
- 2 labs
- quizzes
- vocabulary cards
- 20 review cards 

We started with Layers of the Earth - my kids ate it up! Even after two days of brain-frying state testing! They were so excited to do something other than a math worksheet! 

I used the vocabulary cards to make a vocabulary flip book for each kid. I plan to have them add more pages to the book as we go through each lesson! 

I cannot WAIT to move onto all the other goodies in this unit. So. Much. Fun. Learning.   

Want to win this pack for free?? 

I get to give you a copy for FREE (for personal use in your classroom and your classroom only, of course!!), all you have to do is go follow Cassy on some of her social media outlets! SHE ROCKS, so GO DO IT!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Since this was a product SWAP, Cassy decided to choose my Rockin' Number Line set. Check out her post here and enter to win it for FREE!! 

There are tons of other swaps and giveaways happening... GO GET IN ON IT! Just click the links below! 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Staying STRESS FREE in a Testing Grade

Testing. Is. Here. YAY.

There's so much to look forward to during testing season....

The kids love it, too....

During this time, it can be a challenge for teachers AND students to stay stress free. So I'm linking up with the wonderful Fancy Free in Fourth and the fantastic Ramona Recommends  and am sharing a couple things I do for my kiddos and for myself so we don't go CRAZY!

1) EXERCISE! Original, right? Seriously though, I am the LAZIEST person on the planet. I work, work, work all week and then CRASH on Fridays. My friends know to not call me, because "Friday Coma" starts at about 7 on Friday night. You can find me in my comfy bed, dozing in and out of conciseness while watching Shark Tank. ANYWAY, I've been making time to exercise M-W and am loving it. Mondays and Wednesdays, I dance off my stress at Zumba. Tuesdays, I get my yoga on. Turns out.... I'm not that lazy! I actually love my exercise days!!
2) CHOCOLATE. I keep some sort of chocolate with in reach at all times during the school day. It's ok guys, I work it off at Zumba. :)
3) SMILE! LAUGH! Remember that this test DOES NOT DEFINE YOU AS A TEACHER! It's one day. One [stupid] test. YOU ARE FANTASTIC. What happen will happen. So, to quote Elsa, "LET IT GO!"

1) PUMP THEM UP AND HAVE FUN! All last week, my students kept learning and reviewing but in a FUN way. Here's a break down of the FUN and EDUCATIONAL week we had!

Monday: iUseStrategies iPad
On Monday, we reviewed all our strategies we've learned throughout the year. Be sure to download this in my TPT store!

Tuesday: STAAR Jeopardy Game
Tuesday we reviewed with a fabulous Jeopardy Game made by Stephanie McConnell. The students had a BLAST. It's actually made with 3rd grade standards (I teach 4th) BUT I loved that the kids were confident with EVERY question they answered. This goes back to PUMP THEM UP part of staying stress free!

Wednesday: Problem Solving Detectives 
Teaching With a Mountain View made these FANTASTIC math detective cards. I paired them with my Identifying and Correcting Math Errors set, put them in a file folder, and had my little detectives solve math problems and figure out which detective to hire (right answer) and which detective to fire (incorrect answer). AND they gave me a reason to fire the detective. THEY LOVED THIS!

Thursday: Wrestle the STAAR! 
If you ask my kids, this was the BEST. DAY. EVER. 4 teams, 30 questions, 26 masks, and 26 bandanas = PUMPED UP FOURTH GRADE WRESTLERS THAT ROCKED THESE QUESTIONS! So many smiles this day while learning. LOVE! Another fabulous product from Stephanie McConnell!

Friday: Tour of Knowledge
We ended the week with a Tour of Knowledge. I taped 8 posters around the room with titles of math skills the kids have learned throughout the year. Then, I broke the kids into groups of 2-3, and had them write EVERYTHING they know about the topic (strategies, examples of problems, etc). The challenging part was as the kids circled the posters, they were NOT allowed to write anything someone before them had written! Great activity!

One last tip, ENTER THIS FABULOUS GIVEAWAY because you deserve it! The prized are fabulous, and seriously, SHOPPING is another fabulous stress relief!

I hope your testing season is a smooth one! It will all be over SOON! YAY!!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 29, 2015

SPRING is in the air!

Hey Y'all! Excited to be linking up with The Inspired Owl and many other fabulous teacher bloggers for a Spring Linky!

Oh, Spring. I love Spring. 
The weather is getting warmer, state testing is almost over, and summer is right around the corner!!
Just look at how GORGEOUS my sweet little island city is. 

I did not grow up here, I moved here, making me an "IBC" meaning "Islander by Choice". If you're not an IBC, you're a "BOI" which means "Born On the Island". This may seem weird that we classify ourselves... I thought so too when I moved here. Five years later, it is what it is... Lol. I'm proud to be an IBC. After experiencing island life, I'll never leave my little strip of paradise! 

I also dislike Spring... 
Because this season starts to bring out the crazy in my classroom... My sweet little fourth graders start to act more like 5th graders. Behaviors start getting a bit more obnoxious because they sense the year coming to an end. So to combat the cray, I introduce my students to BINGO DOTS.  

What are bingo dots you ask? Well, they're stamps made from bingo daubers. I purchase my bingo daubers at the Dollar Store. $4 and some change later, I'm armed and ready to capture my student's attention and get their behavior back on the straight and narrow. 

All you need are these handy-dandy bingo daubers and a scrap sheet of paper for each students. You're ready! 

I give away bingo dots for EVERYTHING. 
- Working hard in class? Bingo dots.
- Quiet in the hall? Bingo dots. 
- Showing strategies? Bingo dots. 

I also play the "Give me 5 Game"
When the kids are rowdy, or I want them to get ready to switch classes, I say "*insert student name*, Give me 5!" That student gets 5 bingo dots, then walks around to find a quiet classmate to give 4 bingo dots to. The student chosen for 4 bingo dots gets to walk around and find someone to give 3 bingo dots to. Then that students finds someone to give 2 to... All the way down to 1. End result? SILENT CLASS. ALL SITTING PERFECTLY. 

My FAVORITE thing to do though is give away giant amounts of bingo dots.... 
Sometimes I get caught up talking with a teacher, dealing with a student, parent, whatever. YOU KNOW that as soon as the teacher's back is turned, kids think it's a free for all... WHY, I DON'T KNOW. Anyway, while I'm handling a situation and they're acting cray, I simply find one student who's behaving and say, "*insert student name*, 20 bingo dots". DUDES. The way the rest of the kids snap to is simply amazing.  TRY IT!! 

Why are these bingo dots so amazing? Two reasons: 
1) The kids get to stamp themselves. It's thrilling for them. And less work for me :) 
2) Bingo dots EARN REWARDS!

Most teachers have a reward system in their classroom. I have several. 
--> TREASURE BOX (answer "exit tickets" correctly, you get a ticket. Ticket goes into bucket. Draw from bucket for treasure box)
--> EARN A TILE (get a compliment in the hall or from specials/rotation, you get to draw a letter that eventually spells out a classroom reward - check it out in my TPT store for more details)
--> BINGO DOT REWARDS. Students save up their bingo dots and redeem them for rewards.
     5 Bingo Dots: fun eraser
     15 Bingo Dots: piece of candy
     30 Bingo Dots: homework pass  
     40 Bingo Dots: QR Reward Card THEY GO CRAZY FOR THESE!!! Check them out in my TPT store
     50 Bingo Dots: 15 minutes of choice time 

I'm seriousl, y'all. Bingo Dots are THABOMBDOTCOM!!!! You've got to try them. 

Bingo Dot Tips:
- I tell my students keep up with your Bingo Dot papers. If you lose them, too bad so sad. Just get out another piece of paper and start over
- Let the kids stamp themselves. It's a reward in itself. I've only had a few students try to "over stamp" but the other kids kept them honest... They will rat each other out in a heart beat for stealing bingo dots!! 
- Have several different bingo dauber colors. It makes it more fun and HELLO, THEY'RE ONLY $1!! So have a rainbow of 'em! 

I REALLY want you to try out this Bingo Dot Madness in your classroom so you can see how fun it is for you and students... So here's my FREEBIE! Bingo Dot Reward System Templates!!

The product includes the poster I use in my classroom and three editable templates for you to personalize of your own classroom. Just click the link to be taken to my TPT store! PLEASE leave feedback and follow my store while you're there! :) 

Enjoy and PLEASE let me know how they've worked for you!! I love to hear feedback and any upgrades you've made! 

Thanks SO much for reading this post! I hope you've enjoyed. As a reward to yourself for BEING AWESOME, enter the fantastic giveaway below!! YOU DESERVE IT! Happy Spring!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
An InLinkz Link-up

- Katie

Monday, March 23, 2015

Body Angles

If you're a 4th grade Texas teacher, you know that protractors and measuring angles are part of our new TEKS (the equivalent of the CCSS). A lot of the changes in TEKS  have given me a headache... but I actually REALLY enjoyed teaching my students how to measure angles!

I attended CAMT (Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics) last year in Dallas and was lucky enough to sit in on a presentation from some AWESOME teachers with some great ideas for introducing angles. I'm trying to find their names, because this activity was inspired by them!! 

After introducing my students to protractors and how to read them (SHOUT OUT TO GEOSTIX! pictured above), we started a fun project called "Bendy Bones".
- First up: brainstorming angles we see in real life.
- Next: brainstorming angles we can make with our joints.
- After that, students chose 4 joints to create an angle (elbow, knee, neck, etc)

- Then, student pairs took turns making an angle with their joint while the other created the angle with a pipe cleaner and estimating what they thought the angle measurement would be

- Finally, students put the pipe cleaner onto a protractor, measured the angle, and classified the angle as obtuse, acute, or right

My students LOVED this activity! I literally had to PROMISE we would do it again. I love when students LOVE LEARNING!!

I want YOUR students to enjoy this activity, too! So click the pic to be taken to the link and download it!!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

March Blogger Match-Up... LOSER :(

Remember the March Madness Blogger Match-Up I wrote about yesterday?? 
Well.... my team lost!!! *insert crying emojis*
The Whole Wheat Class's team, the Sooners, beat my adorable Albany Great Danes... 

Do you also remember how I said when I LOSE, you WIN?? 
Well.... it's true!! 

For a LIMITED TIME, my Rockin' Math Journals is FREE!! By my clock (in the dirty south), it's 11:35. My freebie will be available until 12:35! This is one of my best selling items. Wether you teach 3rd, 4th, 5th, this pack works for you. SO GO GET IT!!  Just click the picture below to be taken to my TPT store! While you're there, PLEASE follow my store and PLEASE leave feedback!! 


Thursday, March 19, 2015

March Blogger Match-Up!

Do you love basketball? teachers? blogging? FREE STUFF??
If you answered yes to any of the above, you'll LOVE this March MADNESS Blogger Match-Up!

Here's how the awesomeness works: Ashlyn over at The Creative Classroom  linked up SIXTY-FOUR blogger teachers and assigned them a basketball team. If you win, you move on. If you lose, you offer a freebie to your blog followers!! 

So basically, you WIN. And WIN AGAIN. AND AGAIN! SIXTY-FOUR WINS!!! 

I've been assigned Albany. I knew nothing about them, but I know a lot now! 

Here are some fun facts:
- Their mascot is the GREAT DANE. Adorable. 
- Albany is in New York (DON'T JUDGE. I teach math, not geography.... Ha!)  
- Their colors are purple and yellow (Which are the same colors as my son's high school! Go Tors!)
- Their record is 24-8. 

We (I jumped on the bandwagon QUICK) play the Oklahoma Sooners (22-10). 
WISH ME LUCK!!!! I'd love to move on because I'm competitive..... But remember, if I lose, YOU WIN! I'll be giving away my Rockin' Math Journals!

Here's a peak of some of the goodies inside :) 

Make sure you check out all these other amazing bloggers and what team they're supporting (and what goodies they're giving away!!)

Learning with Mrs. Langley cheering on Belmont
Second Grade Stories cheering on Indiana
The Neat and Tidy Classroom cheering on UC Irvine
Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten cheering on Coastal Car.
Miss Johnston's Journey cheering on Maryland
The Creative Classroom cheering on San Diego State
Fifth in the Middle cheering on Wichita State
Lessons with Coffee cheering on Arkansas
The Kinder Garden cheering on Notre Dame
Exploring Elementary cheering on NC State
Inspired Owl's Corner cheering on Oregon
Frampton's Fundamentals cheering on New Mexico State
Learning in the Little Apple cheering on Michigan State
NC Teacher Chick cheering on Utah State
A Tall Drink of Water cheering on Baylor
Sara J Creations cheering on Oklahoma
ELA Everyday cheering on Duke
The Blessed Teacher cheering on Lafayette
Mrs. 3rd Grade cheering on VCU
Rock & Teach cheering on Albany
Create Teach Share cheering on North Dakota State
One Happy Teacher cheering on Gonzaga
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas! cheering on Iowa State
First Grade Roars! cheering on SF Austin
The Learning Chambers cheering on Hampton
Teaching is Sweet cheering on Eastern Washington
Sounds Like Fun cheering on Louisville
Confessions of a Teaching Junkie cheering on Cincinnati
Year2tastic cheering on Kansas
Sparkling in Second cheering on Wyoming
Making Meaning with Melissa cheering on Purdue
One Sassy Teacher cheering on Villanova
Brittany Kiser cheering on Texas
Coach and Teach 24/7 cheering on St. John's
Hardcore Teacher Resources cheering on LSU
The Whole Wheat Class cheering on Oklahoma
Mixing It Up In The Middle! cheering on Mississippi
Teaching Maddeness cheering on UAB
Its Elementary My Dear cheering on Ohio State
Live Love Serve Teach cheering on Providence
 Education Kingdom cheering on North Carolina
A Dab of Glue Will Do cheering on Dayton
Learning to be Awesome cheering on Kentucky
Technology Timeout cheering on Harvard
Kovescence on the Mind cheering on Butler
Blossoms of Blue in 2 cheering on North Eastern
Mrs. D's Corner cheering on Robert Morris
Where the Wild Things Learn cheering on Buffalo
Bright Concepts 4 Teachers cheering on North Iowa (UNI)
A Trendy Teacher cheering on Valparasio
Lucky to Be In First cheering on Wisconsin
O-H So Blessed! cheering on Virginia
Tales of Teaching with Tech cheering on Woffard
Very Perry Classroom cheering on Arizona
A Kindergarten Life for Me cheering on Georgia
First Grade Buddies cheering on Iowa
Miss Case's Classroom cheering on Georgetown
A Grace-Filled Classroom cheering on West Virginia
Third Grade Cupcakes cheering on SMU
The Class Couple cheering on Xavier
More Time 2 Teach cheering on Georgia State
Owl-ways Learning cheering on UCLA