Math Mats for grades 3-5 (freebie for a short time!)

Happy Monday!  Only 3 left in this school year!  However, I can't get excited about the end of the school year until state testing is over this week.  Our state test comes in two phases.  The first phase was back in March.  It was the written application in math, reading and writing.  This phase is on the computer.  You can only imagine what happened today when an entire state of 3rd-8th grade students tried to log on to the test.  Yep... computers crashed, froze, etc.  My students don't take their first test until tomorrow.  That is if they can figure out the computer issue.  Can't believe someone didn't see this one coming!!

One way I help students review math concepts that I've taught is through workstation activities.  I love workstation time because I can differentiate and work with small groups.  Not all students have to working on the same concepts.  I try to change the stations with each math topic but like to have a few activities that are always available for students.  This is why I came up with Math Mats.  I made a primary set last week for a first grade teacher in my building.  This weekend I spent hours making mats for grades 3-5.  The mats are aligned with the Common Core Standards. Some of the topics that are reviewed are basic operations, factors, multiples, fractions, estimating, rounding, money and many more.  There is a total of 31 different mats from which students can choose.
When laminated, the mats are dry erase boards for students to use over and over.  If you would like to check out Math Mats, you can see them at my TpT store and TN store.
Of course you can get it for free for the next 15 minutes at my TpT store.  Please just leave feedback to let me know what you think.  I would also love it if you would pin it!!  Thanks so much!

Five for Friday (already)!!!

I'm not complaining but this week seemed to fly by!!  I can't believe it's already Friday and you know what that means... Five for Friday.  I'm linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs for her weekly linky party.
1. This sweet little puppy is chewing everything!  Everything except his toys!!  It's been years since I have trained a puppy.  Talk about a full time job!  

2. A WONDERFUL teacher at my building is retiring this year, so I'm painting a table for her.  I usually don't get around to painting until summer.  I forgot how much I enjoy making a plain piece of furniture come to life!  Here's a sneak peak...

3. I got the chance to go and see my classroom for next year.  Right now it is being used for our corporation's weekly high ability pull out program.  It's such a huge room and a blank canvas!  I can't wait to decorate!

4. I'm almost finished with my Math Mats for grades 3-5.  Hopefully I'll have it ready to go by the end of the weekend.  Stay tuned!

5. Last but not least... we have 19 days of school left!!  I must be getting old because this has been the fastest school year yet!  How many days do you have left?

Two great giveaways!!

There are two great giveaways going on right now that you need to enter!!  Megan at I Teach. What's Your Superpower? is having a 700 follower giveaway.
Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads All the Way Home is having a 150 follower giveaway.

How to remember the school year! Freebie!

A few weeks ago I made a memory book for my students to complete as the school year comes to an end.  I showed my students the book and we began talking about the school year.  Students couldn't believe that we had less than 30 days left.  What I couldn't believe was they couldn't remember much from the first half of the year!  Students could recall the big moments (holiday parties and field trips) but not many of the day to day activities.  I had groups create mind maps of the school year and they were able to recall more when they brainstormed together.  One of my students said that we should have written down what we did each day and then we would have remembered.  What a great idea!  That's when I came up with, you guessed it, a jar!  My "A Jar Full of Memories" helps students record their memories throughout the school year.  Memories can be written daily (I'll probably make it a job next school year, the recorder!) or as you see fit.  Simply jot down a sentence or two on a note card and place it in the memory jar.  I figured we can pull out memories during the year when we have an extra moment.  At the end of the school year students can read through all the memories and have lots of ideas for their memory book!  I know it's jumping the gun for next school year but I was afraid I would forget by the time August rolled around!

You can see A Jar Full of Memories in my TpT store or TN store.  As usual, it's free for the next few minutes at my TpT store.  Just leave some feedback and let me know what you think!!

Math Mats for Math Workstations (and it's free for a short time!)

My students love math workstation time.  I really think they feel like they're getting an extra recess!  Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with new and engaging activities for all learners.  I'm always brainstorming ideas and came up with Math Mats.  My first set of Mats are for grades K-2 (grade 3-5 coming soon!).  There are 19 mats included in the packet.  Students can choose from number order, number form, number patterns, number names, fact families for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, basic operations, place value, odd and even, money, more or less, and greater than, less than!
Mats are used like dry erase boards.  Students choose numbers from a baggie or jar (of course!) and use those numbers to complete the task.  Mats can be erased and used over and over again.  
The mats can be printed in color or black and white.  I know some like their activities to be colorful and inviting, while others don't have access to color printers or don't want the extra expense.
You can check the Math Mats out in my TpT store and TN store.
And... it's free in my TpT store for the next 15ish minutes or so!!  Please leave some feedback and let me know what you think!

Five for Friday

Here's a quick look at my week...
1. I've spent a lot of my down time loving on this little sweetie!  He really seems to like his new bed.

2.  We are studying Plant Growth and Development in science.  Our school system uses Foss kits that are sent to us four times a year.  My students really enjoy all the hands on activities that the kits include.  This week we observed dry bees.  I don't know if you ever smelled dry bees but they stink!  Students had to glue their bee on a toothpick for observation.  Several girls were scared to death of the bees.  I assured them that they wouldn't come to life and sting them.  Here are our dried bees on a stick!

3.  This week my class went to see The Hundred Dresses at our local theatre.  Two of my students had parts in the play, so it was fun to watch them act.  The girls did a wonderful job.  One of them had a lead role as Peggy.  She was amazing!  She is in the yellow dress.
Every student that went to see the play was given a copy of the book.  The Hundred Dresses is a great book to read when addressing bullying with your students.
4.  I've been working on a math workstation activity for a first grade teacher in my building.  It should be finished this weekend.  They're called Math Mats.  Here's a sneak preview!

5.  This will be me tomorrow morning...

My daughter has a soccer game at 7:30 in the morning.  This means we will have to leave home around 5 am.  It is expected to be in the low 30s at game time.  I am not looking forward to it!!

This is what I've been up to this week!  Head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up with Kacey and give us your Five for Friday!

Are you ready for a Hold-Up? It's FREE (for a short time)

How do you do whole group test prep or skill review?  How do you make sure each student participates?  I use Hold-Ups.  Each student is given a pack of cards that include a,b,c,d 1,2,3,4 yes, no true, false.  I ask a question and students hold-up their response.  Hold-Ups can also be used in cooperative groups where students have to work collaboratively to come up with an answer or at the guided reading table.  You can use them in all subject areas.  Students love to review skills this way!  In the packet I have included three sizes of cards.  The small cards (3.5x4) can be laminated and tape to a large popsicle type stick.  The medium size cards are 4.75x7.25 and the large cards are regular paper size 8.5x11.  These two sizes can be laminated for students to hold up.

I have it listed in my TpT and TN stores.
Of course... it's free in my TpT store 15ish minutes!  If you do download it, please leave me some feedback and let me know what you think!!  Thanks!

Also, sweet Moby is doing wonderful!  Thanks so much for all the oohs and aahs!!  Here's a Moby photo for today.  He's resting during the rain delay at my daughter's soccer game!!  It's tough work being a puppy!

Introducing the newest member of our family...

My busy life just got busier!  Look who joined our family today.
How sweet is he!  We've named him Moby. He's 7 weeks old and has such a sweet personality.  I'm off to play with the puppy but will be back tomorrow with a new product.  Here's a sneak peak...
(which means it will be free for a short time)

Busy Weekend, Giveaways and a New Product (which means it's free for a short time!)

Soccer season has started so my weekends just got a lot busier!  My daughter plays over an hour away, so when she has a game it's an all day event.
I am happy to be a part of two great giveaways that are happening right now.  Jessica at Ideas by Jivey is having a 300 follower giveaway.
Kelly at Thirsty Firsties is having a 100 follower giveaway.
Head to their blogs and enter their giveaways!!
Now to my newest product.  I made an end of the year memory book for two reasons.  First, I wanted a fun activity for my students to do the last week of school.  Second, I wanted to use the cute camera clipart from Ashley Hughes.  Here it is and of course it's free at my TpT store for the next 15 minutes (or so)!  Please leave some feedback and let me know what you think!
It is also in my TN store!

Read the Room Detective Jar....FREE for a short time!!

It has been a wonderful week back at school!  I'm not sure if it's the weather, the fact that I started running again, or the fact that I found out that I got my DREAM job for next school year!!  I applied a few weeks ago for a new position at our gifted and talented school for next fall.  I found out over spring break that I got one of the three positions!!  I will be teaching a 3rd/4th grade split of high ability students.  I do have to get certification in high ability added to my license which is 4 classes but I couldn't be happier.  Both of my daughters go to the lab school right now and it's a wonderful program.

On another note, as promised I am making my latest product free for the next 30 minutes!  It is a Read the Room Detective Jar for Word Work.  It's a lot like my Book Detective Jar.  Students choose a card from the jar and read the clue.  They then must search the room for words that fit the clue.  There is a worksheet provided for students to write their response.  I've included blank cards in case you would like to add your own clues.
It is listed in my TpT and TN stores.  You can get it free for a short time in my TpT store.  I would be thrilled if you would leave some feedback and ecstatic if you would pin it!  Thanks so much!!

Rainy Day Over Spring Break= New Products (and a quick freebie for you!)

What does a teacher do in Orlando during Spring Break if it's raining??  She creates new products!  Last Thursday was our only rainy day while on vacation.  I took advantage of the rain and made two new workstation jars that have been on my to do list for a while.  The first jar is for writing workstation.

It's a creative writing activity called "Story in a Jar".  Students choose pictures from the jar and write a story incorporating the pictures.  I differentiated the jar for primary grades as well.  Students can choose pictures and write a sentence about the picture.  I think my students will enjoy this activity as another option.  They do lots of prompt writing.  This will allow them to use their imagination and come up with a creative story on their own!

You can check it out in my TpT or TN stores!
Of course as a big thank you for following my blog, you can download it for free for the next 15 minutes in my TpT store (please leave some feedback if you would!!).
Stay tuned tomorrow for my other new product and a chance to download it for free as well!