Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crusade for Safety

This little teaching blog has been such a blessing to me. A few years ago, I decided to share a piece of my heart with you. I wanted to bring awareness to topic that was very important to me. It's time for my fourth annual Crusade for Safety.

They say time heals all wounds. I wish that were true. 16 years ago, my life changed forever. Sometimes, a song on the radio can bring me back to that day. Or even the months and years that followed that we continue to struggle. All of the surgeries and other issues that arise for a traumatic event...I can be brought back to that in an instant. I think that the fact that I couldn't remember for so long, left a huge void in the healing process. It's like knowing something happened, but not being able to remember it was so difficult. Now, I remember most of that horrific time.  And I wish I never remembered any of it. Turns out, not knowing is better than knowing in this case.

 I lost a childhood friend that morning.  He was a good guy and always had something funny to say. The way that boy could make me laugh, I'll never forget it. The hardest part now, is being an adult who has experienced marriage, children, a career and life...realizing that he never got that chance. 

AAA  put out a great article earlier this year. I think the biggest thing I could stress, is that if you have newly licensed teens, think about how many people are in the car with them. Chances of a fatal crash go up significantly with each passenger that is in the car. Cell phones are a HUGE issue that we did not have in 1999. Now, parents have to add more to the list of things to discuss with teens and safe driving. PUT THE PHONE DOWN! Teens are on their phones all the time. Just remember "IT CAN WAIT"!!! I know some adults that could use that reminder (including myself). 

 I'm using our experience to help others. If sharing this story helps ONE family sit down and discuss how their teen is driving, who is in the car, where the cell phone is, etc...than I'm happy. I can't bring my friend back or change the past, but I can bring awareness to this issue. I firmly believe everyone has their day, and I firmly believe we also have experiences that can be avoided. Take the time to talk to your kids, at least they will be LESS likely to experience this type of tragedy first hand if they follow a few simple guidelines. 

For more stats and information on teenage driving, check out DoSomething.Org

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Win A Chance To Capture Summer

Hey friends! A long, LONG time ago, I made the dive and purchased a really nice camera. What a great investment that was! I've been able to capture some of my families more precious moments! A few of my teacher blogger friends got together and decided to give our awesome readers a chance to have the SAME thing! This is reminding me to brush off the dust get out my camera and #capturesummer!

The Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Work It Wednesday

Yay! Summer is here, and you know what that means! Shorts, and bathing suits! Time to slim down! I'm thankful for Katie King for hosting this linky party! 
I'd love to start this post saying that I've always been a gym rat and in the best shape of my life. That's just not true. 

I struggle just like everyone else..ever heard of the term STRESS EATER? That's me. When things get rough, I get my large milkshake from Sonic with some mozzerella sticks. Yeah, I'm THAT girl. About two and half years ago, I thought, I am just not taking care of myself. I watched cancer destroy my father and thought WHAT AM I PUTTING IN MY BODY? Is it HELPING, FUELING or BUILDING anything? The only thing the food I was putting my mouth was building, was fat. That's it! So we jumped on the eating clean bandwagon in our house. For the most part, we've stayed on it. I fell off a few times, with experiencing multiple deaths in the family in a short time, and just stress of life. 

My first change was drinking ONLY water or my little mixture I like. I loved soda, I was a huge Dr. Pepper drinker! That was the FIRST change to go!  This mixture helps me if I get bored with water. It's 75% water, 20% DIET Cranberry Juice, and a splash of lemon juice or a few slices of lemons. I love this drink and it's healthy! Hydration is so important because it helps you cleanse the body. I have also used  another gentle cleanse to help jump start my weightless! This was so easy to do and you could still function while doing it! That's a WIN WIN! 

For step 3, find a protein shake that you love! For me, it's this chocolate one! I LOVE chocolate, so it's perfect. I just it for breakfast or the I need a milkshake time frame that life sometimes throws at me! A few months ago, my sweet friend, Katie King, introduced me to Advocare. It was just what I needed to get back on track. I've lost 12 lbs since she introduced me to it and am happy to keep going.  

Would you like to try these shakes? Click here to check them out! They are SO yummy AND affordable! 

I think another important step is to find a buddy to go with you. It's so much easier when you have someone that motivates you. I have a few different buddies, but in this picture, you will see my silly husband! I also use Instagram to talk to my virtual gym buddies haha!!

I also started a heavy workout routine. I'm doing something different right now. I'm SO a weight girl. I LOVE lifting weights, and HEAVY weights. Right now my workouts consist of different cardio workouts. I'm doing this routing for two-three weeks, then I'll pick my weights back up. I'm just trying something different. I've found, it's good to shake up your work outs different. Plus, I just recently recovered from an illness and doctor said no weights for three weeks! Grr! 

No matter WHAT you do, do SOMETHING. Everyone starts somewhere. I first started by walking around my neighborhood in the evenings. I still love to do this! It's a fun way to get outside and get MOVING! It's a balance, a journey, a fight, and I'm determined to win it! My number one question I ask myself before I put anything in my mouth is "How is this going to HELP my body?".  Do you have any favorite questions or tips to help you stay on track? I'd love to hear them

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Math Intervention

Hey friends! I don't know about y'all but the end is near! We have about 5 weeks left of school..FIVE! Seems like the year has just flown by.

I wanted to share with you some math interventions I've used this year. As y'all know, I follow a guided math model in my classroom. My student are working in math stations or centers while I'm working with student who struggle in the target  skill. With some of my students, I practiced number sense all.year.long. It has helped them grow into strong little math stars! 
We've used this Math Intervention Binder this year and it's been a huge help. Best part is, there's very little prep! I just printed it and stuck it in page protectors. It's so great for small group or one on one instruction. My favorite thing about this binder, is that when it comes to data, I always had a list of the interventions I've tried. The neat thing about teachers, is that we ALL do interventions and we all have our own little tricks that help. So I feel like you can never have enough because you never know what will work for each little friend.

The binder is divided up into 6 sections: 
Number Sense, Place Value, Addition Strategies, Subtraction Strategies, Time and Money! I started at beginning of the binder and worked my way through each page with my RTI students. This way I have direct documentation to specific interventions I've used. It makes data collection SO much easier!

This activity is so helpful because the students can visually see the number and the different ways we can break it down. The great thing is, you can use ANY number you want! I have used a variety of manipulative for this, but by far, my kids love using the big buttons. I have no idea why, but hey, it works so I use it!!  In this activity, we practiced building the number 7 in a variety of ways. I wanted my friend to see all of the different ways we can make the number seven. Using two different color manipulatives helps too. 

I want my students to develop a very strong sense of numbers. They should be able to explain what each number means and the different ways you can create it.I like to let them use their imagination on how many different ways we can get the same number. Let them talk, and let them explain what each number means!!  Once they get this, they are able to blossom in the other strands of math. 

The activity above is great because we combine reading with math. Before this binder, my students always struggle with reading and writing number words. We start these activities in the beginning and they are consistently using these skills throughout the year!! 

The point and say activities are great because of the variety of numbers included. Reading numbers is so important to developing a strong understanding of number sense.

The counting pages are also so helpful! It's nice to have everything in one spot and to be able to decide the pages you want to use.

Addition strategies are my favorite! My kiddos LOVED these! 


*Number sense- breaking down numbers and understanding what numbers mean, counting, recogizing and identifying numbers, writing numerals to 10, writing numbers to 20, 30, 50, and 100, describing numbers, skip counting by 2's, 5's, 10's (31 pages)

*Place Value- Hundreds, Tens and Ones number practice (9 pages)

*Addition Strategies~ Zero's the name, Addition Allie, Draw it!, Doubles, Doubles plus one (20 pages)

*Subtraction Strategies~ Subtraction Sam, Number Line is All Mine, and Draw it (10 pages)

*Counting Coins~ Coin posters, coin match ups, individual counting mats, individual coin counting, combination coin counting, and more! (25 pages) 

 The money section includes 25 pages.  The visual aides and desk references are great for students who need a lot of visual cues and support. 

I used this in the binder AND as a desk reference for some of my kiddos.

We practiced counting coins nearly ALL year long. Next year, this will be a skill I start right away instead of waiting until after Christmas. I thought  that by starting after Christmas I would still be ahead of the pacing guide, so my kids would have more time to practice..but I think they would benefit from starting at the beginning of the year to give them more time with this difficult concept. 

*Telling Time~ Students have a variety of ways to practice telling time and a fun little story to go along with your intervention groups!

and it's GROWING! I'm adding a section on Shapes and more activities to the other sections! 

Click HERE or any picture to go check out the binder while it's on SALE! It's growing so it's a great time to get it and put it to use! 

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Teaching Money

Hey friends! The past few weeks we've been working on counting money. I wanted to share a few strategies that really helped my kiddos!

I gave a pre-assessment from my sweet friend Reagan's Coin Crew Unit.

I started out by introducing the coin value by using this printable read aloud!


We used Cara's unit for the next activity. The kids had  hard time understanding how different combinations of coins could equal the same thing. Cara's packet provides a really fun game to practice this! 

For another center, I just added coin stickers to a pink pig. The kids LOVED this! I also added dots for touch money. This REALLY helps with kids who struggle with changing how they count money (from 10's to 5s)

Another strategy I used was the one shown below. I hot glued different amounts of coins to a craft stick. I used these at our teacher table for students to count. Next week, we will use these as a center and they will record the amounts in their math journals. I have about 6 different sets. I color coded and numbered the sticks for center purposes so I would know which stick the student is recording. I would carry these sticks and if we had down time in the hall or waiting for a resource, I'd pull one out and point to a kiddo to tell me the amount. I also ask them to give me another way to make the SAME amount of money. 

We also used a few centers from my April Math Packet. This packet has 12 centers for Spring and is currently 50% off! 

Here are a few other center ideas from my Ultimate Math Center Packet

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Number Sense 101

Hey friends! I wanted to take a moment to catch up what my firsts have been up to! Our curriculum is big on spiral review. We touch on number sense at the beginning of the year but really dive deep in Jan/Feb. Our math benchmark test ALWAYS hits on number sense, so I feel like my kids are ALWAYS doing number sense activities! 

We started working on Place Value right away. This is a skill we will continue to work on the rest of the school year. The kids loved making these little books

These little books are perfect for homework or center work! After I taught the kiddos how to use them, they were able to complete them independently! 

The books focus on expanded form, word form and recognizing numerals. Once we made a one together, my firsts were able to do these for morning work or during guided math.
This activity for a whole group lesson or a review! 

We typically do a whole group lesson on Monday with Guided Math the rest of the week. Our guided math routine looks like this. I have four tables. Instead of the kiddos rotating, the baskets rotate. I pick a helper at the beginning of every two week period. The helpers are responsible for overlooking the baskets to make sure everything is in it's place. Then, the helpers rotate the baskets upon my command. This runs like a well oiled machine. The kids know EXACTLY what to do. The centers are a great way to prepare for our end of the year assessment because they cover skills taught all year long!

The students work with each math tub for 15-20 minutes a day..depending on my schedule that day. I plan all of my centers out for the week using my Guided Math Binder

I try to include as many hands on things as I can. However, sometimes, real world sets in. I use math word searches to minimize prep work. I use these as printable. I've also ran a set that is laminated and the kids use as wipe on/off mats. For differentiation, some students will use each word in a meaningful sentence. This can be challenging, but I encourage my students to try to demonstrate that they understand the meaning of each word.

This is how my math tubs look prior to rotating.  This is counting center where students have to correctly count the number of objects. 

One of my kids favorite activities is Skip Counting Puzzles! I created this little FREEBIE for you!

Just click HERE to get your FREEBIE!

The centers shown come from my  Number Sense BUNDLE! This bundle includes SO many activities to help get your kiddos ready for benchmarks or number sense assessments!

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