Word Problem Freebie

Hello! Halle here!

I have a freebie to share with you today :)

Around this time of year, my students are moving on to more difficult word problems. Be it multiplication, division, two-step, or missing/extra information, these more intense problems are always tough at first. Which is why I like to provide a lot of extra opportunities for extra practice.

I decided to whip-up a little spring-themed extra/missing information center. Use it in your math tubs rotation, as an early finisher activity, or with small groups.

Just click the picture to download.

I hope it helps your kiddos over the hurdle of these more intense word problems!


Technology in the Class: Plickers

Hey everyone!

I've seen other teachers post about this lately and I am here to say that I love Plickers too!

I created my class list and printed out the Plickers cards for my class. Whomever last used the copy machine left green paper in it, so now my Plickesr cards look like something from Minecraft lol. It actually makes them easier for the kids to find, so it was a happy mistake.

I put all of the kids' names on the backs. This one happens to be mine, because I wanted to be part of the fun too!

I wanted to start off easy, to get the kids used to this. The first question was what was their favorite color, next was favorite specials, do you like math, and then favorite flavor of ice cream.

All they had to do was rotate their paper to either A, B, C, or D, and then I used the free app on my phone to scan their cards.

I love that their name pops up with the letter choice right there! And then I could could use my app to just swipe to the question from my phone and presto, it changed on the computer!

There are two nice features with this program. You can see who hasn't voted where it says "students" , or you can have it on graph, like on the picture below. If it's something that you want to have a correct answer, you can program that in too and then reveal the correct answer after all kids have entered their answer.

And I had 6 kids absent this day (day before their spring break!)
I plan on using Plickers for math or reading questions. A quick way to assess students and a great way for me to save data, paperless! I can't wait to see how this turns out for the rest of the school year too. I'd have to say that at conferences, 98% of my kids included this in their conference, because they loved it so much.

Lucky TIEKS Giveaway


EEK!  Have you heard of TIEKS??  So many teachers love these super comfy, yet stylish ballet flats!

They are made of the finest Italian leather and designed to fold and fit in your purse.  But, it's not likely you'll be taking them off!  They are made to be super comfy - wearable all day, every day!  Sounds like a teacher's dream, right?

Here's what a few of our very own Owls have to say about their Tieks -

Take a look at that gorgeous packaging Rachel is talking about...

Who wouldn't want THAT showing up on their doorstep? 

Well, the Owl girls have joined together for an amazing giveaway that will make one teacher the LUCKY recipient of her very own choice of classic TIEKS!

How do you enter?  Just hop over to any of our Instagram accounts and look for the picture below.

You can start at my account if you'd like!  You can find me at @teachingmaddeneess - https://instagram.com/teachingmaddeness/ 
Good luck! 

H(array) for St. Patrick's Day!

H(array) it's almost St. Patrick's day! It's Linda from 
Around the Kampfire here with one more glorious 
day of Spring Break then it's back to school to buckle 
down for the home stretch! I thought I'd share this 
free printable my little leprechauns will be using this week.

St Patricks Day free printable math practice
Before our break we did some St. Patrick's Day writing about 
how to capture a leprechaun and the wishes he would have to 
grant in order to be set free!

St Patricks Day craft

We defined a leprechaun and learned about the
history of St. Patrick's Day then made these pots o' gold!

You can find another quick lesson for arrays, along with
free printable over at my home blog, Around the Kampfire!

My little leprechauns think they'll get to pinch me on Tuesday
but I'm ready with this adorable shirt from Teacher T-shirts!

How do you keep from getting pinched on St. Patrick's day?

Raving Over Reading - Bookflix LOVE!

One of my most favorite resources for Reading is Bookflix!

Have you tried it?!

I love that it offers both fiction and nonfiction texts.  The kids can watch videos of the books or have them read aloud.  Either way, they can follow along with the text.  It's perfect!

One of our latest lessons was comparing and contrasting characters from two texts.  We compared "Duck on a Bike" and "Curious George Rides a Bike."  

We created a Venn diagram together:

The kiddos made their own and used it to write their own story comparing and contrasting the two characters.  We're working through the writing process now.  I'm beyond excited to see their published pieces!

Here's a copy of the Venn diagram if you're interested:

What are some ways you use Bookflix in your classroom?
Feel free to share below in the comments!

Dear National Geographic, I Love You

Hey y’all! It’s Megan from I Teach. What’s Your Super Power? sharing one of my faaaaaavorite reading resources with you.
Isn’t it beautiful?  I started using National Geographic Explorer years ago with my second graders.  This is the classroom edition and not the regular kids edition.  I like it better than some of the other classroom magazines because it’s just articles.  That’s it.  Not little graphs stuck in, comics, random mini articles-just three good, solid articles.  That makes it perfect for reading groups.  And the photography is amazing.

I mean, look at these pictures.  What kid wouldn’t get sucked into these articles?
I order a set of 10 to use with my small groups (that’s the smallest number you can order).  I like them because I can use them differently with my small groups despite the differences in reading ability.  With my second grade friends, I give a lot more support.  We stop and discuss often and spend longer on an article.  With my third grade friends, we can get through an article more quickly and focus on some higher level comprehension skills.  I lead the discussion less and ask more open ended questions.

Each set comes with an extra copy for the teacher, a two sided poster, and an activity for each article.  There are great support resources online, too.  There’s an extensive teacher guide on the website and digital resources available for computers or iPads.

The best part is that the kids love them.  We are reading “Call of the Wildflowers” this week, and they’re already begging to read “Spinosaurs!” next week.  You couldn’t hope for a better response than that!

Reading Choices: Daily 5, SSR, & Homework

Do you find that your students check out the same types of books at the library?  If so, it is time to expand their horizons on the Reading Highway!  
You can incorporate the Reading Highway with:
  • Daily 5
  • D.E.A.R. time
  • SSR
  • Reading homework
  • Genre unit
  • Social Studies
  • Geography
  • Read Across America
It is an easy way to document your students' free reading at school or home.  The added bonus is you are integrating reading and social studies.  Too often, social studies is a subject that is takes a backseat to other subjects because of standardized testing.  With a little planning and integration, you can expand your students' reading horizons.
Too often, when we visit the library we naturally gravitate to books that we love.  It wasn't until I joined a book club that more structured than most, that I changed my philosophy on adding a little structure to my students' free reading choices.  I joined a book club that read a book from a different genre each month.  One month the selection for my book club was non-fiction.  I have never been a fan of non-fiction.  In fact, if I buy something new, I am more apt to try to put it together without reading the direction first.  I do not recommend this policy!  Our selection for the non-fiction month was Malcom Gladwell's, The Tipping Point.
Oh!  My gosh!  I was completely hooked from the first chapter.  As a teacher, I have always looked for these type of things - tipping points.  What are the tipping points, the changes or tweaks that I can make that can have a ripple effect on my students' reading achievement, improved behavior, and less paperwork?  Gladwell's style of writing makes it hard to put down his books.  I now buy all of his books as soon as they come out.   I don't even wait for the paperback!
After my experience with my book club, I was bound and determined to expand my students' horizons, too!  I told my class what had happened to me.  I also explained that I didn't necessarily love every single genre that I tried, but it is a little like food.  You have to try several before you know for sure that you don't like it.   You can read more about my book club experience and pick up a FREEBIE by clicking HERE.
I have structured my students' free reading time different ways.  Some times I have a genre focus.  Other times I divided my class into groups and each group had a different genre to focus on for that month and then we rotated genres each month.  At the end of the month, groups gave a mini report about the genre.  It was like a commercial for that genre.
Another way I have structured free reading time is by integrating social studies and reading.  Students have to read books from different states or regions.  
I found my students were more motivated when I used this visual.  Students names were on a car and the students put the cars on the state to show the setting of the book they were reading.  Each time they changed books, they moved their car.  My students loved to watch their classmates' travels on the Reading Highway.  It was one of those "oh, this is why I became a teacher moments" when I heard when my students comparing details from their stories about the climate and terrain plus other details from the story that showed me my students were becoming more aware of geography and how it impacted the story .  These were snatches of things I heard when we were lining up for specials and lunch.  Love it when a lesson spills over into their conversations.  You should have seen how many times my students were crowded around the map!  I bought a map at Costco several years ago that was really large and was already laminated.  I hot glued it to my wall where we lined up.  It was a great investment.
If you want to structure using the region program, I would recommend that you put your students in region groups.  I found it easiest to have tubs of books sorted by regions.  You can also ask your librarian to sort a few for you before your class goes to the library.
I have a Pinterest board with links to book lists, books, and other resources that are helpful.  Click on the picture below if you'd like to check these out.
I also have a FREE sample of my Reading Highway packet for you.

You are invited to pop over to my blog.  I love to share tips and free stuff.
Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE. Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.
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