Thursday, September 25, 2014

I LOVE a Good Bundle!

This summer, ten teachers from Teachers Pay Teachers joined together to compile an EXCLUSIVE bundle of math resources for 3rd - 9th grade math. The value of all of these resources is over $125 and you can grab it for only $25 - 80% off! There is a very limited quantity - once we are sold out, it is gone forever! Grab your copy at

Find out more about the participating teachers and their products at and hop along this linky party!

The product that I have in this bundle is valued at $15 on its own!

This is one of my best sellers and my most used resource in my own classroom!

I just know you will love it in addition to all of the other great goodies, too!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Take on Interactive Notebooks

Happy Friday Eve! Doesn't that sound a lot better than dreary old Thursday?? After the week I have had...I need Saturday to be here stat! I always love to escape after a long day and reflect on something great that is happening amid all the other stuff that can make you crazy if you let it. For me, that is using Interactive Notebooks in my math classes.

I am linking up with several other like-minded teachers who are great consumers of interactive notebooks in their own classrooms. I am thrilled to be part of the same blog hop hosted by 4mulafun!

Let me first start by telling you what INBs are NOT: I was in a professional development hosted by my regional service center here about this time last year. I was so excited to see composition notebooks on the tables when we walked in and were told to take one. I was even MORE excited to find that mine had grid paper inside. Am I a nerd or what? I was the only person stoked to be at a PD at 7:30 AM on a random Thursday. Because of grid paper. It really is the little things. Anyhow, long story short, all we did was glue random worksheets that we did in our notebook. I feel like it would have been better suited for a folder.

Or a trash can.

Needless to say, I didn't keep that notebook long. I like spirals better anyhow!

So, let me tell you what works in my classroom. And let me also state FOR THE RECORD that just because something works in my room doesn't mean that it will be a best fit for you and vice versa. Only you know your kids and what will work. I will tell you what DOES work for every classroom if the budget allows it--and that, my friends, is colored paper. Oh, mylanta. When the kids see that they get SO EXCITED. For real. One student said to me just today, "I just want to thank you for making our foldables on colored paper. It makes me look forward to your class."

They almost had to pick me up off of the floor.

Colored paper was the trigger. This, of course, I already knew. I mean, I love colored paper, so why wouldn't they?! But, I digress.

The point is that you have to find something that kids will look forward to each day. Something that keeps them on their toes.

We are just 8 days into the school year, and we are going strong with our notebooks. I have 6th grade regular math and 7th grade Pre-AP math this year, so I am keeping a notebook for each class. I am going to share with you what we have done so far in 7th grade so you can get an idea of how I set up my notebooks at the beginning of the year.
First page is always the table of contents. I printed all year on one legal size sheet of paper to save time each day.

Next, I had them put their syllabus in so that they have it to reference.

We are a goal-setting campus! Students can set anywhere from 3-5 math goals for the year, but they must follow up each one with an action plan. I was so proud of how serious they were with their goals. We have a big conversation about making them reasonable as well as attainable.

So, unfortunately, my Pre-AP babies didn't come to me with all of the skills that they need to be successful. Some did, some didn't. It depended on their placement last year. SO--we made some cheat sheets that they can reference. I know that this is way more teacher input than output, but sometimes curriculum pacing guides don't allow time for reflection or student output for everything!

Actually, giving them these cheat sheets has made them accountable for pre-requisite skills and they have already deemed their notebooks as their math bibles! A teacher's dream :)

We start every unit with vocabulary. The first unit, I model how I want them to do it, and then for subsequent units, they come up with the way that they want to display it themselves. In this case, I chose a simple tab foldable. Underneath, students write a definition and provide examples. 

This one here...I am particularly proud of! We had to classify numbers and although it seems like an easy task, I could tell by conversation the previous day that this was going to be an issue for some. This solved it all, and it was so easy to do! Layering the circles helped the students see which groups the values belonged to.

These are just SOME examples that I have used this week in my class. Stay tuned throughout the year to see more ideas. Whatever you do, the key here is to make it interactive. The best thing is when you see students pull out their notebooks instead of asking you a question. Not that I don't like the questions, but sometimes it gives me (as well as the student) so much more pleasure to find the answer themselves. 

One other thing that I love the INBs for is organization. In order for it to be truly useful for the kiddos, I try to make things easy to find. I LOVE these tabs:

Doesn't that just make you want to go to math class?!?

Check out these awesome posts for more ideas:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Educents Bundle of Middle School Math Goodies!

Wow! Can we just say that the beginning of this year is way harder than previous years? I simply cannot get it together. And, for those who know me, know that I cannot be unorganized. I was lucky to go to school with matching outfits last week. I feel like I am swimming in paperwork, new content standards,  more paperwork, beginning of year stuff, and more paperwork. I think I could save the rainforest if we just did away with paperwork!

So, I would have loved to share with you some of the fun things that I have been doing in class, but I can't because we were so busy being so super engaged in everything that we were doing we just simply couldn't get any photos. It just couldn't be helped! No, really, I just forgot. But, it was probably because of the high level of engagement. Just smile and nod. It has been one of those days/weeks/months. Yes, I am aware it is only the third day of the month.

So, let's get on with the real reason that I am posting today. Four other TPT sellers/bloggers have teamed up to put together a FANTASTIC bundle of Middle School Math Resources for you! It is just about that time of year that we are scrambling to stay ahead in our lesson plans, and this is just the ticket. This has 16 resources that you can use in your classroom throughout the year. Just take a look:  

Here are my products that are included in the bundle:

But that's not all... the bundle covers to following topics that you will need to teach this year:

      Multiplying and Dividing Fractions and Mixed Numbers
      Long Division with Remainders 
•      Algebraic Properties & Expressions
      Fractions, Decimals, & Percents
      Place Value  through the Millions
      Word Problems
      Order of Operations
      Number Lines
      Composite Figures, Complex and Irregular Shapes
      Mean, Median, and Mode

      Pythagorean Theorem

For a limited time it is $10.99 from Educents which is about 75% off!  16 instant downloads for your middle school math learners that are sure to engage.  And 220 pages of materials ready for you to use - there is sure to be tons you will love!

I hope you have the best beginning of the year!

Check out the other amazing products included below: