Friday, December 5, 2014

Holidays In the Classroom

I created this activity on TpT for Thanksgiving and Christmas and my students and I LOVE them! The Thanksgiving dinner activity lets the students create their own thanksgiving dinner where they invite anyone they want. I let my students walk around the room and "invite" people to their dinner and ask them what they want to eat off of the Thanksgiving menu. They record what they want to eat and how much each item is. They then have to calculate how much they spent on all of the food total...but they have to stay under a $75 budget!







The students LOVED walking around and calculating how much each persons total cost was! I let my students use a calculator, it was great practice! I found that many of my 4th graders had no idea that they had to type in the decimal point when adding with the calculator! They kept asking me if they had to type the dot in! So this lesson allowed me to teach a quick and very important mini lesson about decimal points!



The Santa's Christmas Budget is just like the Thanksgiving dinner activity but the children are to pick out gifts that they want! I again let my students walk around and let them ask their friends what they want for christmas! This time they are to stay under $650 per person and spend no more than $4,000 total.  I also created a paper that looks exactly the same as the Christmas Santa list but says donation list for those children that do not celebrate Christmas but still want to participate in the activity! I know the child I had that didn't celebrate was very happy that she was still able to join in the fun when I showed her the alternative paper!

Both the Thanksgiving and Christmas activity comes with multi-step word problems for the students to solve!

I hope that you find a use for them, they really are great to use the week before holiday breaks!! Fun and educational!

Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Math Balloon Pop!

So I saw something like this on line and had to try it! I am trying to think of fun ways to practice double digit multiplication with my 4th graders and this activity was PERFECT!!!

I wrote answers to double digit questions on balloons and hung them up all over the classroom. I did it while my class was gone and when they came back from specials they were so excited just because of the balloons! I set out strict rules on behavior while playing this game, which I highly suggest because the kids...being kids...do get pretty excited! 



I had the students work in their table teams which is their center groups. I put a question on the projector and as a team they had to solve the problem. For example group one had the problem first and I only gave them one minute to solve the problem. They had to work together and agree on an answer, I made it very clear that they had to be a team and agree before they told me the answer. If they got the question correct TWO members from that group got up from their seats to find the balloon with that answer. Who ever found it first could pop the balloon by themselves or they could decide to pop it together somehow. It was SO COOL to see the children working together, getting along being in charge of their teams, work and feelings. After the team popped the balloon the next question went to group number 2 and they followed the same directions.

If the team got the question wrong or did not answer in the one minute time limit the same question would go to the next team and they would have a chance to answer the question. I can tell you that I had EVERY student working and solving the questions because they wanted to be ready just incase the team before them got the question wrong! It was AMAZING to see! And I am telling you I have never seen my entire class working as a team so well before! It is amazing what a few balloons can do!

My students came up with fun creative ways to pop the balloons which was so funny! Some just jumped on them, some sat on them, some squeezed them with their partner.

Just remember to set up clear rules and expectations for behavior, remind them that they are allowed to laugh and  have a great time but they also need to show self control too! It is a blast, give it a try! And it can be done with so many other lessons! Not just math!! The options are endless!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Like my Facebook Page to WIN!!!

I'm trying to share my items and ideas with more people so I want to try to do a give away! If you click on the "fb" icon on my blog page it will take to you to my facebook page! Like the page and then like the post that gives away the 4.NBT.4 Subtracting activity! It is Halloween themed! There are 8 headstones with the date of birth and death of a famous person in history. There is a blurb of information about that famous person too! The students are to take the years of the persons birth and death and subtract them to find out how how they were when they died!

My students LOVED this activity! Hope yours do too! If you don't end up winning this activity then you can get it from my Teacher Pay Teacher store!!!

I will pick a winner next week!!




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Best Surprise EVER!

I dropped my students off at lunch on Friday and came quickly back to my room to get my lunch. I had left over pizza and was super excited about it! haha normally I just have yogurt and vegetables for lunch! Well when I walked to my door I saw a figure in the dark in my room. I walked in and turned the light on and there was my boy friend standing in my reading area! I said "What are you doing here!!!" He said, "I have a question to ask you" his chin starting quivering, he got down on one knee and said, "I love you so much, and I want to be your husband, Tess, will you marry me?"

I got down and hugged him around the neck and just cried and cried and kept saying, "I can't believe you just did that!" While hugging him I did say YES! He took my hand and put on the most beautiful ring! It is so shiny and just perfect! He picked it out all by himself and did an AMAZING job! I couldn't  have picked out anything better. He knows me so well!

I went out in the hallway and was just squealing with excitement! The teachers in the hallway and my team members were so happy for me! They couldn't believe he came to the school and didn't tell anyone what he was about to do! Word traveled through the school QUICK! teachers were coming to the door to see us, my principal and assistant principal came down to my room to congratulate us. Students in the hallway spread the news to all the kids in the cafeteria! By the time I picked up my students they were filled with excitement and wanted to see my ring and meet James! My students were so happy for me! James stayed for about an hour (my students had specials after lunch) and we called my family and told them our exciting news! James finally had to leave to go back to work but not until I had him take a multiplication timed test with my students!

The students were super hyper after James left! I finished teaching my lesson for the day and let them watch a Magic School Bus video for the last 30min of school! While the students were packing up they all starting singing, "Happy Marriage to you..." (The birthday song tune) They are the sweetest!!!
A little background on James and I! We met when we were 16 in biology class. We remained friends through high school. We went out a couple times but nothing too serious. I adored him in high school by the way!! We both went to different colleges across the state from one another and we both dated other people while in college. He would come to my college and visit friends and every time he came my heart would just skip a beat...still just crazy about him. My last semester of college I became single after a 3 year relationship. James was also single and told me that he has always been crazy about me all these years since high school! I told him I have always felt the same and we have been together ever since! 3 of the 4 years of our relationship were long distance and it was very hard at times, but we made it work! He is my best friend and the love of my life! We are so lucky to have one another! I can't wait to see what is next as we enter this next chapter in our lives!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

4.NBT Task Cards!

I've made another set of task cards for all of the 4.NBT strands!!! You can get them from my Teacher Pay Teacher store. Each set has 20 task cards and a worksheet form of the task cards. They also have a 20 question assessment and a 10 question coloring page all for just $3! Below you can find the links to each set of task cards! I also have put ALL of the task cards, worksheets, assessments and coloring pages into one bundle and is sold at a discount price of $9.... that is buy three get three FREE!!

4.NBT.1 Identify and Compare Place Value Task Cards, Worksheets, Assessments and Coloring page

4.NBT.2 Expanded/Word/Standard Form and Compare Numbers Task Cards, Worksheets, Assessment and Coloring Pages

4.NBT.3 Rounding Task Cards, Worksheet, Assessments and Coloring Page

4.NBT.4 Adding & Subtracting Task Cards, Worksheets, Assessment and Coloring Page

4.NBT.5 Multi-Digit Multiplication Task Cards, Worksheets, Assessments and Coloring Page

4.NBT.6 Division Task Cards, Worksheets, Assessments and Coloring Page


Bundle of ALL the NBT Task Cards, Worksheets, Assessments and Coloring Pages!  Buy 3 get 3 FREE!!

Talbert Lottery

I have not written in forever! I went on a couple trips this summer after I started my blog and when I came back in town it was time for school to start! As most of you teachers know, once school starts life just gets crazy and time flies! Can't believe it is already October! Well better late than never!

Here is something I've made during the summer and use as a reward system in my classroom and my students LOVE it! Here is how you make lottery tickets and what you'll need!

- Clear contact Paper
- Card Stock
- Glue
- 2 parts metallic silver paint (Could do any color, silver just looks more like a real lottery ticket)
- 1 part dish soap

Stir together 2 parts paint and 1 part soap! I used a table spoon of soap and 2 table spoons of paint! Use a paint brush or form brush to paint on the clear contact paper. (The foam brush works better I think, and covers more area than this little brush I used) I have learned the best way to do this is to paint a big piece of contact paper all at once and then cut it in to the sizes you need. You will need to do a few layers of paint on the contact paper. I have learned that if you add too much soap, it has a very hard time drying. It is normal for the the paint mixture to feel a little tacky when it is dry, but this batch I made was a bit too tacky and some of the paint peeled off when I stacked the cards on top of each other. Lesson learned!

Once you paint the contact paper a few times and it has dried, (let it dry about an hour) you can cut it in any way you want! I just cut mine in thin rectangle pieces to cover up the name of my prizes.
Peel off the paper on the contact paper and cover up the reward on your ticket! DONE! That simple! They are adorable and so fun for the kids! I do not give these out very often, these are a special reward! Also, every card is a winner, just some prizes are better than others! Here is a list of my class lottery rewards!

- Tablet time during AR
- Lunch with a friend
- Recess with a friend
- Movie during lunch with teacher and a friend
- Shoes off in the class
- Move desk for the day
- Sit at teachers desk for the day

Some how I did not take a picture of my final product! I'll take one at school and post it! Till then you can get the idea of what it would look like once the contact paper is on the lottery ticket! Hope you get some good ideas on how you could use this in your classroom!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bottle Top Games for the Classroom!

I love to have activities for centers that are simple to set up, simple to make and of course educational! I started collecting bottle tops from water, soda, juice, milk...pretty much anything that had a top! I have become bottle top crazy actually, I look everywhere for bottle tops and have even gone through the recycle bin at my grandparents house for these tops! I have my family and my boyfriends family now all collecting them for me too! I have found a convenient way to store the tops while I'm waiting to get enough to create the game. Once I get a top I wash it and then place it in the baggy on the fridge! 
Once I get about 60-65 tops I create the game! I use the stickers that are used at yard sales to write the questions on. The question is on the on the top of the cap and the answer is on the inside of the cap. I use the three different colors as different point levels. The green are 1 point, yellow 2 points and pink 3 points. I like doing this because my students are older and love to be competitive. This game also allows the students to select questions that they want to solve, they can choose "easier" ones if they are still struggling with the skill or they can choose more "challenging" ones for the higher points. Either way the students should have fun and feel confident while playing and learning! 
This set of bottle top games are multi-digit multiplication. I created another one that is in a different pencil box that was basic multiplication. I am collecting more tops right now to create division questions. Eventually I'd like to have some for simplifying fractions, adding fractions...the possibilities are endless and it is so easy and CHEAP to make!!! I hold the tops in pencils boxes from Target, they are only 99 cents, I store them in my classroom for easy access!!! 

Directions to play!
Students will take out all the tops and spread them out top side up!
Taking turns, a student will pick a top that they would like to solve, if they get it correct they keep the top and write down the points earned from the top.
If a student gets the question wrong they have to put the top back.
At the end of center time, the students add up their points and find the winner!

You can either have the students check each others work to make sure the person got their question right, or you could have the center leader in charge of a calculator to check their answer. 

Hope you get some good ideas from this and are able to make it work in your classroom!! It really is so easy and fun AND a money saver! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I Love Task Cards!

I LOVE Task Cards! I use them in my centers all the time to either practice skills or review skills! They are wonderful to have on hand for students that finish work early and need extra practice, or for tutoring! I will even put them under my projector and solve them as a class on teams and make a game using them! They are just WONDERFUL and my students LOVE them too!

I finally finished a set of task cards I've been working on for Operations and Algebraic Thinking (4.OA.1-4.OA.5)! During my summer off I'm making items for my students to use in the classroom and I'm adding them to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to share with others too! I teach 4th grade math so these task cards are obviously for 4th grade! I hope to to make a set of 20 task cards to go with each strand in math! I would love to eventually make some for each strand for other grades. Since I'm just getting started with my TpT store and blogging, I'm going to work on 4th grade first, might be a while before I get to the other grades! Here is what I've made so far! Click on the pictures to share on Pinterest and check them out at my store! I printed all 100 task cards out and had my boyfriend help me cut them, glue them on card stock and and laminate them! They are BEAUTIFUL! I can't WAIT to use them through out the year!

Here are 20 task cards for each strand 4.OA.1 to 4.OA.5! I created a worksheet version with the same questions as the task cards so you can choose how you want the students to review this skill. Included in this product are answer keys and a recording sheet for the students task cards. Also in this document are black and white copies for those that like to save their ink!


4.OA.1- Write multiplication equations and create multiplication word problems.


4.OA.2.- Multiply & divide word problems to solve for the unknown


4.OA.3.- Solve multi-step word problems that involve adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. 


4.OA.4- Identify the numbers 1-100 as prime or composite and list all factors

4.OA.5- Generate number and shape patterns, state the rule and find relationships among numbers.

Or purchase ALL 5 sets above in one set!!! Buy 3 get 2 FREE!!! It has 100 task cards, worksheets, recording sheets and answer keys! And yes, the black and white pages too!







Friday, June 27, 2014

My New Classroom!


So I had to switch classrooms this year. It was a pain, but I feel like a "real teacher" now because of it! I always hear about how teachers were in their room for x amount of years and had to move, and  that always made me think they were important veteran teachers! I don't know why...strange how I think of things! Anyway...moving was a hassle but it went very smooth with all of my students eager to help and my team members helping me!

Im going to show you a couple pictures and explain how I use these displays to help my organization in the classroom! Please know that my classroom is not completely put together, so excuse any mess you may see in the pictures!

Below you will see my FAVORITE display in the classroom! This will be in every classroom until I retire! I use this to display my centers! Before I started using this my center routine was so confusing and stressful! I don't know how my students and I managed! So here is how it works!

I put my students in groups and assign them a group number. The group number is on the stars on the top of the bulletin board. On the left side, the colored paper is labeled, Rotation 1, Rotation 2, Rotation 3 and Rotation 4. You may need more or less center rotations, 4 works best for me! I usually spend about 15min per center. So if you look at the board you can see that group one goes to teacher table during the first rotation. After the timer goes off on the SmartBoard, they then will go back to their seats (they sit with their center group) and work on the yellow star center activity until the timer goes off. Next they would complete a page in their workbook or text book and finally they would complete the pink star center activity. And this works for all the groups! They are in charge of following the chart and completing their center work.
On the teal pages is where I write the activity I want them to complete. All I did was take card stock and laminate it! You can easily write on it with a dry erase marker and it erases pretty easy! If you notice, each group completes all centers every day! I like this system because it allows me to work with all the students in small group! When ever I ask the students what they like best about my class, they always say they like working with me at teacher table the most! They told me they like it best because they feel safe to ask questions when sometimes they are shy to in front of the whole class, and they say that they have fun talking with me! I LOVE that my students have told me that because I feel the same way!

Below is how I keep track of the students ready to take and AR test and go to the library. All of my students are numbered, their number is on the teal numbers on the bottom of the chart. To make these I just typed them and put a rounded rectangle around the number. Once I cut them out I laminated them and put a magnet on the back. I teach my students on the first day of school that if they are ready for an AR test they are to take their number and put it on the Read for AR test section. Once they see a computer free they move their number to the Taking an AR test section and move the rest of the people waiting for an AR test up in line. Once they are done with their test they can either put their number on Ready for Library or back down at the bottom. The kids do a really good job moving the numbers, keeping everyone in the correct order while waiting for an AR test. They are also really good at telling who ever is next in line that their is a computer open if they don't notice. This system allows me to be in the hall way greeting students as they come in and monitor behavior. When I get back to my classroom I will label the small little squares in each section with numbers in a metallic marker. There will be up to 6 students waiting for an AR test and 2 people taking a test (I only have 2 computers). To make the chart, I just used the Scotch Expressions tape! So easy! I got mine at Target! I used colorful duct tape in my old classroom!
I love my new bulletin boarders! They seem clean yet colorful to me! Below is a picture of my calendar and another board where I keep my students Frog Money. The students are rewarded with one frog dollar a day if they complete their homework. They can also earn frog money for making good choices! Each envelope is labeled with their number! The envelopes next to the calendar are where I keep popsicle stickes...with the students number for who my helpers are that week.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Here we go!

I guess the best way to start a blog is to begin by telling a little about myself. If you haven't already guessed  by the name of my blog, I am from the south, North Carolina! I went to East Carolina University and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Elementary Education. I have just finished my 3rd  year teaching, teaching 4th grade all 3 years. I teach in a small town full of farms, sweet students, caring parents and amazing teachers! I am very close with my family and have a wonderful boyfriend of 4 years. They all support me unconditionally! I am truly blessed!


I am creating this blog to share my teachings! I wish I would have started this 3 years ago like my mom said. I know I would have had great stories and lessons to share these past 3 years, oh well...I'm starting now! Currently it is summer and I am out of school till August. Although school is out, I am working on school stuff! I started selling items on my Teachers Pay Teachers account back in November. I am using the summer to create more products for my classroom and to share with other teachers! I hope that you are able to get some ideas from me and learn as I continue to learn how to improve my classroom/lessons!