Sunday, June 30, 2013

I Can't Believe it is July! (almost)

Seriously, where did the time go!? It seems like just last week I was getting out of school and packing up my room. This happens every year and summer just needs to SLOW. DOWN. I mean, I don't even have any notion of a tan, yet!

That being said, I have had A LOT of time this summer to find new bloggers to stalk follow, especially through bloglovin, that I stumbled upon the link for Farley's Currently Link Up. Seriously, like 75% of the blog posts I have to read today are linked up with her, and I don't like being left out of a good party, so here I am!

My husband and I are both teachers. Therefore, we are both off for the summer at the same time. He likes to relax by playing video games with friends...I can't stand it, solely because of the noises that emanate from his computer! It's ridiculous, and I seriously don't wish it on anyone. For reals.

SUMMERTIME! I have not done near as many fun things that I had hoped for already (Let's be real, I have spent a TON of time on my classroom for next year--one of my favorite things to do in the summer!), but I did get to have a fun girls night at the New Kids on the Block CONCERT! Also in attendance were Boys 2 Men and 98 Degrees...It was awesome!

Also - can I just say how much I am LOVING the giveaways going on at The School Supply Addict's blog?? Simply ah-mazing, and today is the last get on over there to enter!

There is something so wonderful about teaching in that you get a new group of kids each year, a clean slate, if you will. I have the opportunity of teaching a new grade level on a new campus, so it is almost like the first year of teaching all over again - you know, without the learning curve! There are so many new things I want to implement in my new room that I have overflowing lists all over the house! I can't wait to really get started...after the summer, of course!

Seriously, I never get sick. I mean the last time I was sick had to have been over 3 years ago, before my husband and I even got engaged...until now. I have had this cold that has gotten progressively worse since Wednesday, so we are going on DAY 5! I should buy stock in Kleenex. And vitamin C. I HATE not being able to breathe.

My plan this summer was to deep clean one area of the house each day so that it would be uncluttered and neat. I technically am not failing at this task because I haven't started, right? Tomorrow--that sounds like a good time to start!

How do you get over summer colds? Help me out by leaving a comment below--I am desperate!

Have a great Sunday,

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ten Math Pin Linky Party!

This is the first time I am "linking up" with another blogger...because I couldn't resist that the theme of these one was to share your 10 favorite pinterest pins related to math! Let me clarify that I am a middle school math teacher, and most of the other posts I am seeing are for mine look a bit different that others. So, here goes!

**Disclaimer--I seriously have no idea what other people are doing when they "link up" so if I did it wrong or look like an idiot...please tell me!:) **

Ok, now we are ready:

1. I love this way to store dice for a game. I did this last summer (it did take me FOREVER to find the perfect size containers), BUT it ended up being fabulous for classroom management when kids were playing games and I no longer had dice flying throughout the room--remember--middle school!?

2. I LOVE the idea of a "movie trailer" to show before you introduce a new unit. I have only previewed a few...but it is worth a look, right?

3. If you know me at all, you know I (as well as my students this year) LOVE to play Bazinga...Of course, I use it for math--but it is general enough that you can use it for any subject since you create the questions you want to review your kids with. The Bazinga board part is just a way to keep them engaged:)

4. The next thing I love is this word wall. This blows away the one that I made myself...need to purchase!

5. If you use interactive notebooks in your classroom, you need this...anytime a student would ask, "Do I have to write this down???" I would just respond with, "What is Rule #6?" By October, the kids would answer that question for me. They own their work when they have their own notes and things to refer to. This goes on the inside front cover of their notebooks and they sign it the first week of school.

6. I saw these at the training I attended this week. LOVE them. These are for pre-algebra, but they also have a set for basic facts as well...let me warn you--these puppies are not cheap! I actually found them cheaper on is a very kinesthetic alternative to flashcards and the kids love it.

7. Like many of you, I have purchased Jen Runde's Interactive Math Journal from is phenomenal for incorporating more writing in the math classroom as well as facilitating good note-taking. Here is a pin that leads to her blog with tons of good ideas!

8. This is a poster that I have in my classroom - and I love it!

9. I have already blogged about these...but I don't care. I can't wait to use these--would be GREAT for sub plans!

10. And, last but not least...task card organization!

I hope you find some of these pins interesting!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Incorporating History in the Math Classroom

In my opinion, number sense is something that I feel all children need to be successful in my math class. The ability to check their answer for reasonableness is something that seems so natural for me, and less and less each year for my students. I have made it my mission this summer to find something to use throughout the year next year to battle this so that my kids leave my class READY for Algebra in high school. (I will be teaching the 8th grade math class for those students who aren't on the advanced math track).

Incorporating other courses into the math classroom has always been a struggle of mine, but something I always strive to do. I am currently in a Pre-Algebra training at Rice University and one of our activities was to solve a "This Day in History Problem" that looked like this:

**Sorry for the terrible image!**

Anyhow, there are several things that I love about a problem like this:

  1. It reinforces place value...something that gets so lost along the way.
  2. It reinforces reasonableness...obviously you can have a discussion about what kind of book that was and infer that it was written prior to 2000, thus making it absolute that the thousands place must be 1!
  3. It reinforces math vocabulary that the kids should be using but they don't--and although this seems brash--it's probably because their teachers stopped using it somewhere along the way.
  4. It teaches kids things about a time period before they were born (for most of the problems) and a lot of it is fun trivia!
You can see that I am in love with these types of problems. I know you are on the edge of your seat wondering where you can buy this awesome book...but wait, there's more! Not only is this a book of 365 days of warm-ups (I know some of you teach summer school!), but there are 2 problems for each day! So, this makes the title of the book pretty fitting:

Front Cover

To be clear...I am in no way shape or form affiliated with the authors or anything having to do with this book...I just couldn't wait to order it this afternoon and wanted to share it with the rest of you! 

What great discovery have you made this summer that you can't wait to implement in the fall?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Follow my blog with bloglovin'!

Just a quick note to let you know that you can now follow my blog with bloglovin'! If you haven't done so already, go ahead and import all of the blogs you follow into bloglovin'! Journey of a Substitute Teacher has a great tutorial of how to do this that can be found here.

After you import all of your blogs into bloglovin' (how cool is it that it takes like 5 seconds!?), be sure to keep following this blog through bloglovin' by clicking the button below :)

Follow on Bloglovin 

I am also linked up with Teachingisagift, and Teacher without a class on a blog hop! Visit their blogs if you would like to join in, and be sure to link up below to keep it collaborative!

Have a great day!

Excited for August

I know I am not alone--there have got to be some other teachers that start planning their first units before they go back for professional development at the end of the summer. I actually am teaching a new grade level before at a new I HAVE to start planning now so I don't get overwhelmed. Because it is a newer school (only 2 years old), there aren't near as many students as I am used to. That being said, there also aren't near as many teachers as I am used to.

I have always planned on a team and this year I won't have anyone but myself to rely on--oh, and my favorite stores on TpT!

There aren't very many secondary sellers on TpT (yet), but when you find a good can't help but want to buy all of their stuff! Enter Jennifer Lamb from Teaching High School Math! She has some great products for Pre-Algebra and Algebra that I cannot wait to use with the kids in the fall! Let me show you a few things that I have recently acquired:
It's actually a BUNDLE of Pre-Algebra Super Secret Number Puzzles! Right now there are 8 puzzles, and I am sure Jennifer has a few more in the works to add to the bundle. I purchased it when it was $3 to get all future products added to the bundle FOR FREE...Love it when I get a good deal. This was actually a special request that Jennifer did for me because I felt like the Algebra bundle would be too difficult for my kids...I am super happy I have this in my toolbox for next year!

I also just got these Angle Measurement Task Cards with QR Codes:
And I have already printed them out on cardstock to use! There are several reasons why these are great--
  1. These are not your average, run of the mill textbook-type questions. There is a reason why there are only 10 task cards...some of these are H-A-R-D and will make the kids think! Always a plus :)
  2. It incorporates Algebra into Geometry - literally my two favorite strands of math!
  3. QR CODES! Need I say more?? These are now self-checking and kids can assess where there mistakes are--PLUS, they are instantly engaged because they get to pull their phones out in class (strictly for instructional use...but still pretty taboo all the same!)
What great products/ideas have you discovered that you cannot wait to use in the fall? Comment below and leave some links for us to visit!

Have a great week,

Saturday, June 22, 2013

This is What Happens When I Get Bored in the Summer...

I know, I's summer! How could I possibly get bored? Well, we've spent the better part of the last week lounging around not doing a whole lot. I did get several new products uploaded to my TpT Store that I am rather excited about and presented at our district's technology conference so I guess I didn't completely waste away the week!

But, this brings me to my new "obsession"...creating fonts! I have always been in awe of people who create their own fonts that look so professional. I love several sellers' fonts on TpT (Cara Carroll, Kimberly Geswein just to name a few!) and I have often wondered "how the heck do they do that!?"

So, I sat down this afternoon while the hubs set off to read take a nap to do some research on how to exactly create a font. Sure, I knew how to do it online at sites like this one, where you print off the template and create each letter with black pen or marker, scan it back onto your computer and upload the file to the site. From there, your font is converted into your very own TTF--ready to be installed on your computer! Super cool, right? Only I knew there HAD to be an easier way that didn't require all of those extra steps...I know, first world problems, right??

Enter this app for iPad:

Yes, the iFontmaker app. DREAM COME TRUE!

So, while catching up on my favorite TV shows this afternoon, I knocked out these seven bad boys and put them up for sale on TpT:

Not only did I post them here on TpT, but I made them available as a LIFETIME LICENSE bundle with no additional license necessary to use for either personal or commercial use! In addition, no credit is required when selling products that you create with these fonts! 

There are currently 7 fonts in the bundle priced at a LOW $1.50, but as I add more fonts, the price will go up. If you jump on this deal NOW, you will be able to download all additional fonts FREE OF CHARGE!

Feel free to ask me any questions before you purchase, either in the comments below, or on TpT. 

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Woohoo, it's SUMMER!

I am officially a week and a half into summer, and it feels so good! Really, the first three days didn't feel like summer at all since I had professional development, but the past few days have been GREAT. I literally haven't left my house since Sunday to celebrate Father's Day. My creative juices started flowing again and I finally finished the last product in a 3-part series: My BACK TO SCHOOL MATH ACTIVITIES for grades 6-8!

My End of Year Activities for 6th Grade Math were such a hit, that I thought I would start early to be ready for Back to School! I am really excited to use the 8th grade ones in my classroom this fall. Click each picture below to see the description and a preview on Teachers pay Teachers!

What are you most excited about accomplishing this summer now that school is out? I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great week,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lots of Lasts

The last days of school came and went. This was my last day to drive to work with my husband, the last day of school at my current school, and the last day of teaching 6th and 7th grade for the foreseeable future. Lots of lasts. But that also means that August will bring a whole slew of firsts!

As I closed the lights in my classroom on Friday for the seventh year in a row, I was so excited to bring my few (thirty-something) boxes to my new campus. Who knew I had accumulated so many things in seven years?! Well, secretly I know I have a school supply hoarding about half of the boxes were supplies that I have hoarded from crazy back to school sales from Office Max and Office Depot. My husband had banned me from those sales for this year--we will see if that stops me 😄

For now, I will enjoy summer and the several professional developments that I have scheduled throughout June, July, and August. Oh, and of course, creating all of the things I will need to get my new classroom in tip top shape! Oh how I love a blank canvas to work with!

Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I LOVE a Good Giveaway!

To celebrate Kelsea's birthday over at Teacher Gems, she is hosting a huge giveaway! There are 3 prize packs to enter to win: K-3, 4-6, and a pack of clip art JUST for TpT sellers! Hop on over and visit her blog to enter--because the contest opens tonight at midnight! Click the button below to be taken to the giveaway!

Good luck!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

The End is Near!

Well, ladies and gents, the last week of school has arrived! I am trying to push on the brakes, but this last month has definitely FLOWN by! I have been at my current school since my teaching career started (7 years ago) and this is my last week there. I am excited for the new opportunities that my new campus will bring, but NOTHING can replace the great friendships I have made over these last few years. Did I mention I met my husband while teaching here?? As you can see...lots of memories that I will never forget!

Don't get me wrong, it is my choice to leave. I am looking forward to teaching 8th grade next year (right now I teach 6th and 7th) and instead of working with a team, I will be on my own since 8th graders either take 8th grade math (with me) or Algebra with the teacher next door. It definitely will be interesting!

The past week or so, there has been a fundraiser for the teachers affected by the Moore, Oklahoma tornado that destroyed the town on May 20. I am grateful to have been able to donate one of my popular products to the cause, and with the sales of the 4 bundles, TPT has raised over $25,000! That is amazing! There is still one more day to purchase these bundles here.

In other news, I have added some new task cards to my TpT store, including this FREE set! Grab it and let me know what you think :).

For those of you who are out of school...enjoy the summer! And for those of you still in school, don't worry--the end is near!

Happy Sunday,