Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Addition and Subtraction Strategy Playbook

If you've followed me for some time, you might already know that I'm a sucker for a good theme! I created my Addition and Subtraction Strategies {A Math Playbook} product with a football theme in mind to get my kiddos excited and keep them engaged while learning about addition and subtraction strategies! It also didn't hurt that I blasted the NFL theme song at the beginning of every lesson! HA! 

Here's how it all went down in my classroom...

I introduced one strategy a day {hundreds chart, number line, make a model, break apart}. I used the posters included in this product as my teaching tool by displaying them on the projector. Students recorded notes for each strategy in their Addition and Subtraction Strategy Playbook.

After I taught the strategy for the day, my students completed an interactive journal page to show their understanding. 

After doing a quick check of their journal pages, I was able to see who needed extra reinforcement. While my other kids worked in their daily math centers, I worked with my struggling students to complete an additional practice handout.

At the end of the week, we played a game to review the strategies.

I spread green butcher paper on their tables for them to use as a workspace to solve their problems. After the game, I felt confident that my kiddos were ready to rock their test! I think they did too!

This product is on sale for 50% off until 1:00 PM tomorrow {Wednesday, December 30th). You can find it here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

parent/teacher conferences

Yes, it's that time of year again! It's parent/teacher conference time! Now that my conferences have come and gone, I wanted to pop in and share a little bit about how my conferences went this year. To do that, I'm linking up with Ashley and Angie in their #2getherwearebetter link up!

For starters, at my school we use Sign-Up Genius to schedule conferences. If you haven't tried Sign-Up Genius yet, you better get on that! It is seriously super easy and it can be used for more than just conferences. In the past I've used Sign-Up Genius to organize class parties, Mystery Readers, and supply donations. What I love most about using Sign-Up Genius for conferences is that it puts the responsibility of scheduling conferences in the hands of the parents. All you do as a teacher is set your dates and times. Like I said, super easy right?! For parents that did not sign-up online, I sent home a conference reminder form with a date/time slot that I had available. 

To prepare for conferences, along with completing report cards, I also sat down to write individual comments on each one of my kiddos. I made one copy of the comments form for my parents and one for myself. This way parents have a record of what was discussed at conferences and I can stay on track with the information I want to share. Our conferences are only twenty minutes, so I have to make sure I'm spending that time wisely! 

I also had my kiddos complete a self-evaluation that I gave to their parents at the conference. I always find it so interesting to read what my kids think of their performance in school! It usually matches up with what I think too! 

As parents arrived, they saw a table set up outside my classroom with mints, student work, and a class book.

It is very important to me to create a warm and welcoming environment. To do this, I used my lamps for soft lighting and I also gave parents a small bottle of water. 

Making everything you need for conferences easily accessible is a must! I like to keep my student data binder close by just in case I need to pull out specific work samples to address a concern or to answer a question. It always helps to be prepared!

 If you would like any of the forms/printables pictured, you can grab those here. You can grab my editable comments form here.

Overall, conferences went well! It also doesn't hurt that our PTSA caters lunch for us during conference week!

Have you had conferences yet? If so, how did they go?

Friday, October 30, 2015

halloween decor

Every once and awhile I will be sharing a little bit of my personal side because, well, teachers have other interest too! Am I right?! Ha! Can I just tell y'all how much I love decorating my house and crafting? I seriously love.it. I decorate for EVERY holiday and I'm constantly changing out my decor every month. Crazy right? But I love it! 

Today I wanted to post a few pictures of how I decorate my home for Halloween. 

I made the garland out of black and orange tulle from Hobby Lobby. I just tied the tulle to a black ribbon. The glass bottles and black netting are from The Dollar Tree.

The wooden pumpkins and black crow are from a little boutique in my town.

The owl is from Target, the spell books are from Hobby Lobby, and the wooden crows are from Michaels.  

I made this wreath out of orange mesh from Hobby Lobby. The ribbon and the "Boo" letters are also from Hobby Lobby.

This is my buffet in my dining room. I covered it with burlap and placed all kinds of random pumpkins/Jack-O-Lanterns on it. The big pumpkin is from Hobby Lobby, the chicken wire pumpkins are from Target, and the Jack-O-Lantern candle holders are from Target. The light up Jack-O-Lantern is actually made from a real gourd. The company that makes them is called Meadowbrooke Gourds. They have all sorts of gourd type decor. I also have a witch. They are too cute! The branch Jack-O-Lanterns are from Nordstrom. 

This is what I have on my front porch. The Jack-O-Lantern buckets are from Target and the scarecrow and big Jack-O-Lantern are from Hobby Lobby.

If you can't already tell, I love me some Target and Hobby Lobby! I also don't do scary Halloween! That's just not my style. I get too freaked out for that. Ha!

I just had to throw in a picture of the crafts my little man did at his "school". I mean... look at all that cuteness! His teachers are amazing!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Fun {with Freebies}

Lately I've been trying to incorporate as many Halloween themed activities as I can into our daily lessons. I feel that kids are better able to make connections to the material when units of study are thematic. One way I incorporate themes into my classroom is through holidays. Since we've been learning about addition strategies, I used Frankenstein to make a "Frankenline" for our number line strategy and googly eyes to count with for our make a model strategy. Being able to incorporate a theme into my content is a win/win in my book!

You can find the "Frankenline" here and the Monster Addition handout here.

Last month I shared this picture on Instagram...

If you would like to snag this tag you can find it here.

This month, I wanted to give little man's teachers another small gift to show just how much we appreciate all that they do. 

A student gave me this cute Frankenstein treat one day and I knew I just had to make my own for little man's teachers.

I mean...how stinkin' cute are these?! I used green grapes for the body and marshmallows and chocolate chips for the eyes. So simple!

I also filled a small, plastic bucket from Target with a cute notepad, Halloween pencils, and chocolate {What teacher couldn't use chocolate right?!}. The pencils, notepad, and bucket were all from the Target Dollar Spot. To make the bucket even more festive, I added black tissue paper, shredded Halloween paper from Michaels, and this tag. 

Make sure you follow me on Instagram, at Teach Dream Inspire, so you don't ever miss an idea! Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Back to School Series: Read Alouds

 One of my favorite things to do each month is to read aloud some of my favorite seasonal themed books to my kiddos! I try to read some of these books throughout our day whenever there may be a couple of minutes of "down time" before we move to a new activity. I keep a basket full of monthly themed books next to my chair for easy grab-and-go access.

Here are some of my favorite books to read to my kids throughout August and September. If you click on the title of the book, the link will take you to Amazon.


Wemberly Worried

First Day Jitters

Pirates Go to School

Cam Jansen and the First Day of School Mystery

Some of these books are about manners, rules, procedures, etc... I break out these books whenever my friends need little reminders throughout the year.

What are your favorite Back to School Books?

Thank you for joining me for my Back to School blogging series! Check back soon for more ideas and to see what we're up to during the month of October!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Back to School Series: Sneak a Peek

It was completely my intention to have this blog post up and running... oh about... three weeks ago. Then life happened! So, this might just be a pinable {Is that even a word?!} post for you to tuck away in your back to school arsenal for next year.

Sneak a Peek {or Meet the Teacher} can either be really stressful or run perfectly smooth. I prefer the later. How about you? I've found that the key to a perfectly smooth Sneak a Peek is organization, organization, organization! 

Completed forms have a place, sign-up sheets have a place, supplies have a place... everything has a place!

Is it just me or does the thought of bags upon bags of supplies coming in all at once cause you to have a slight panic attack?! My OCD starts to run wild! I knew this year I had to try something different, so I had students sort supplies while parents completed paperwork. It worked out perfectly! The big supplies went in big boxes in the front of the room until I had a chance to store them and small supplies went in clear plastic shoe boxes purchased from Dollar Tree. If you'd like the supply labels for the big boxes, you can download those here.

Each student has a plastic box that they use to keep their extra supplies in for the year. {By "extra" I mean the supplies that aren't currently in their pencil box for daily use.}

Here is what those boxes look like full of supplies. The boxes are labeled with student numbers.

At every seat I placed a folder with a checklist, forms to be completed, and a class information flip book. Every student also got a little treat! You can find the "Welcome Aboard!" tags here.

I'm still working on uploading different themed flip books to my Teachers Pay Teachers shop, but if you're looking for a kid theme or a Hollywood theme flip book, you can find those here and here.

Here is a close up look at some of the forms that I created for my parents to complete...

If you'd like these forms, you can get them here. They are editable in Power Point.

Thanks for reading friends! I'll be back tomorrow for my last Back to School series post!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Back to School Series: Back to School Dinner

Each month we get together with some close friends of ours for a monthly dinner party. It just so happens that there are three teachers in our dinner party group. When it's our turn to host, I love to center my dinner party around a theme. Last year we celebrated back to school with an Italian night. This year I thought why not celebrate back to school with a back to school theme dinner! 

I tried to find as many things as I could around the house to use as my decorations {old books, school supplies, mason jars, etc...}.

I made the flashcard garland using ribbon from Michaels and flashcards from The Dollar Tree.

The sunflowers came from Hobby Lobby.

I found this subway art here.

I bought these letters from Hobby Lobby and glued scrapbook paper to them using Mod Podge.

The placemats are sheets of scrapbook paper that I laminated and taped together.

Our food was even centered around a back to school theme, with apples being the main focus. We served applewood rub pork tenderloin, apple pie, and this delicious spinach salad with bits of apples and poppyseed dressing.

You can find the recipe for the poppyseed dressing here.

Follow me on Pinterest for more Back to School party ideas!