Turn Trash Into Treasure

Friday, June 29, 2012
Turn trash into treasure??  Really?! No, but you can turn trash into a fun craft and it's cheap!

Do you remember Shrinky Dinks from the good ole days?  You can still find them in some places but they can be too expensive to buy for a whole class.  I have a cheaper alternative that will have you dumpster diving like a pro.

All you need are some permanent markers, an oven (in my case, a toaster oven), and some #6 plastic with this symbol on it:
I have a good source for this plastic.  The cafeteria at my school uses it for salad containers. I enjoy eating salads but I eat them more often because I need the plastic so my kiddos can make their own Shrinky Dinks.   I've been known to dig through the trash to get more (embarassing, I know).
All you need to do is draw on small pieces of plastic with a permanent marker and cut around the design.  If you plan to turn your Shrinky Dink into a charm for a necklace or bracelet, you'll need to punch a hole in it with a regular paper hole punch.  To shrink the plastic, put it in an oven preheated to about 275-300 degrees.  It only takes a couple of minutes for the plastic to shrink so don't wander off.  During the shrinking process it will curl up and look like it is ruined but then it lays down flat again.

For Mother's Day my class made their mothers a Shrinky Dink key chain.  I gave them some clip art heart samples for them to trace.  Once the plastic shrunk I added a jump ring and some key chain hardware that I found at Walmart.  I think they turned out really cute.
Before you go, let me share some other news...
My friends at Second Grade Smartypants are having a huge 100 follower giveaway.  Yay! If you haven't already, please drop by and check it out.

A Giveaway and a Freebie

Thursday, June 28, 2012
First for the giveaway...
Amanda at Teaching Maddeness has reached 300 followers in a super short time and is having an awesome giveaway.  Yay!

Cheack out the goodies:

Teacher's Clubhouse 
is donating
 (If you're an intermediate teacher you can select units from Lightbulb Minds)
  and I'm also giving away
$25 Macy's Giftcard
$5 Starbucks Giftcard 

Click on her button to drop by and enter.

Teaching Maddeness

And now for the freebie...
I found this cute sign on Pinterest the other day and decided I HAD to have it!  I wish I had had this last year; it would have become my battle cry. 

The blog it originally came from has been deleted, so I ended up creating my own with the help of some KPM Doodles clip art.  After looking at it for awhile, I decided to try a different version

I left it plain around the edges because I plan to put it in a bright green frame before hanging it in my classroom.  Click on the picture above if you want need one of these too.

Rounding Cheer

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Rounding numbers is one of those things we struggle with every year.  Sigh.  One of my wonderful partners-in-crime, Diane Chevalier, went the extra mile and performed a cheer for the entire 3rd grade.  She even made her own cheerleading uniform and wore it all day at school. It was tough to get the little boogers all stuffed into one room sardine style but they had a BLAST!

Please excuse the video quality.  I did this with my little point-and-shoot camera.

I found the original cheer in Mailbox a gazillion years ago and we (my teaching buddies and I) changed up the words a bit to suit us.  Here are the words if you're interested:

Estimate, About, Round.
Estimate, About, Round.
Find your number,
Look next door.
4 or less,
Let it rest.
5 or more raise the score!

I teach the kids that "find your number" means to underline the place they are rounding to.  They draw an arrow to the digit to the right of the underlined number on "look next door". 

This cheer provides a great opportunity for the kids to get up and move around during math class.  We spend a lot of time doing this cheer because I want the process to stick with them.  Of course, we teach the underlying concepts before we get to the rote practice.

Do you have any math chants that you do?

1st Blog Award

Monday, June 25, 2012

Woohoo - I got an award!!  I'm soooo excited. The lovely ladies from Where Seconds Count and Teach on a Limb gave me this award and I thank them.

Teach on a Limb
Where Seconds Count

Once you receive the award, you must follow 3 rules:
1.  Follow the person that gave you the award.
2.  Link back to the person that gave you the award.
3.  Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers.

I'm having trouble finding 15 bloggers who don't already have this wonderful award.  I'm going to keep searching and add to the list as I find them.  Please drop by their blogs and check them out.

Rock & Teach

Measurement Task Cards

I love freebies!  Don't you?  Well, here's one for ya...

One of the weaknesses my kiddos have each year is measuring when fractions are involved.  To help with this ongoing problem I have started creating games and task cards to use for next year.  This is my latest project and it's yours for the taking.  Just click on one of the pictures below to pick this up from my TPT store.  Let me know what you think.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

My kids always need a lot of hands-on measurement experiences. Do you have any special strategies for helping kids master measurement?

Faux Fish Sticks

Sunday, June 24, 2012
 As an encouragement to get everyone to do their reading homework, we have a celebration on Fridays.  My compadres and I each pick a different activity to host in our classrooms.  The kids who reach their goals get to sign up for the activity they like best. Any activity having to do with food fills up fast.  I got this cute idea from Family Fun.  Click on the picture below to find more faux food recipes.

I'll be the first to admit that cooking is not my forte.  I told the kids how bad I am at cooking and that we were going to use MY recipe which might be different than their parents' recipe.  I never let on that these weren't typical fish sticks even though it was quite obvious that they weren't.  The kids had a blast and played right along with me.

 This a picture of the fish sticks that one of my kiddos made. 

Here's Family Fun's recipe:
  • Cornflakes
  • Sugar wafer cookies
  • Peanut butter
  • Green taffy candy (we used green apple AirHeads)
  • Seedless strawberry jam
  1. For the fish sticks, place a couple of handfuls of cornflakes in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Cover 2 sugar wafer cookies with peanut butter, then toss them in the cornflake crumbs to coat.
  2. For the peas, tear off and roll small pieces of the taffy candy into balls. If the taffy is too stiff to work with, microwave it for about 6 seconds.
  3. For the ketchup, use a fork to stir a few teaspoons of the jam until it's smooth. 

I'm always looking for new ways to get the kids excited about learning.  What do you do that gets the kiddos motivated? 

    Number Line Behavior

    Saturday, June 23, 2012
    One of these days I'll post about something other than math.  Right now I'm on a math kick and I gotta just roll with it.

    I came across a new site (well, new to me) when I was reading Stephanie's blog 3rd Grade Thoughts.

    It's the Teaching Channel.  I love being able to go into other people's classrooms and see how they do things.  I always get good ideas that way.  The problem is I'm always teaching when they are so I don't get to visit very often.

    I found this video that shows how to incorporate math into classroom management.  I teach 3rd grade so my kiddos don't learn about negative numbers.  However, a big push lately has been to find fractions on a number line and my kiddos definitely need more practice.  I thought about  using this idea to work on that skill.  I still need to give this idea some thought but I'm thinking about awarding fractional points for their behavior (fourth a point,half point, etc).  Of course, I would need to do A LOT of modeling.  Any suggestions?

    No Monkey Business Giveaway

    Friday, June 22, 2012
    There's a lot of excitement in the blogging world right now.  Lots of fellow teachers are reaching significant milestones on their blogs.  Michelle at No Monkey Business just reached 300 followers.  To check out her blog and enter the giveaway, click on her button below. 


    If your students are like mine, they need to have better fact fluency.  I'm constantly trying to think of ways to sneak in more practice.  BOOM! is a game I use in my classroom.  The kids like the novelty of the game and are able to work on basic facts even if we're short on time.

    To make this game, I take a used but CLEAN Pringles can and cover it with red contact paper.  Then I cut a small hole in the lid.  I stick a small brown pipe cleaner through the hole and tape it to the bottom so it doesn't come out.  Now I have a firecracker to hold math facts.

    Most of my educational games are stored in plain baggies so the kids get a kick out of something a little different.  I'm currently working on different types of container games to keep things interesting.  I have a free set of addition cards to go inside your firecrackers in my TPT store.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

    For International Blog Hopping Day, I'm linking up with Crystal from Kreative in Kinder.  I'm also linking up with Erin from First with Franklin for her 100 Freebies Linky Party.  Drop by both blogs to get some really great freebies.  You can NEVER have too many!

    Follow for Freebies

    First with Franklin


    Thursday, June 21, 2012
     The last 3 years I've been going crazy for foldables! Dinah Zike is the queen of foldables. If you have not been to Dinah Zike's website, you definitely need to check it out.  She has lots of ideas and wonderful instructions on how to get started.

    Notebook Foldables (above) was the first of Dinah's books that I purchased and I've gotten a lot of great ideas from it.  Now I have almost the whole collection and I still can't get enough!  Dinah has written books for every subject.  If you're into math then you need this one:

    I LOVE this one for anything related to Language Arts:

    There are so many ideas in Dinah's books that my head spins!

    Teaching Maddeness

    Teaching Maddeness is having a 100 follower give away.  Wow!  She was able to get 100 followers just in one week of being "live".   Hurry on over for your chance to sign up before it's too late.

    Teaching Maddeness

    Teacher's Clubhouse 
    is donating
    ...wait for it....{for the first time ever}
    EVERYTHING in one of their classroom theme categories (your choice of theme)!
    Wait - that's not it!  Also, 
    a $25 giftcard from Barnes & Noble!!

    Math Journals

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012
    I have used math journals in my classroom for 3 years now and I ab-so-lute-ly love them!  I started off slow and I've gradually added a journal for virtually every subject I teach.  Since I teach in a self-contained class, that's a bunch of journals!

    I've been going through my old journals this summer and looking for ways to improve them.   I always make one with the kids each year.  This is a sample of what I did with money in my journal. 

    The kids quickly learn the folds and cuts but I like to start off with premade flaps in the beginning.  I recently updated my flaps.

    The flaps definitely look better in color.
    I even created a flap book to use as an assessment of what the kids have learned. 
    It's a FREEBIE! If you would like to give journals a try, you can get these flaps at my Teacher's Pay Teachers store.


    Hello My Name is... Hooty (well not really).  I decided to take the plunge into blogging, or at least get my feet wet.  I love blog hopping and seeing everyone's wonderful ideas.  It's time for me to jump in and join the party.  I must admit it's a little SCARY!  I hope you find some interesting ideas and I encourage you to comment and be the voice of reason when I come up with a harebrained idea - which happens more than I would care to admit.

    Thanks for visiting!


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