Flash Freebie!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

We have a winner! Congrats to Tiffany B. for winning the 100 follower giveaway!!  I appreciate everyone who participated in this giveaway.  To show my gratitude I’m having a flash freebie.
My students need all the practice they can get when it comes to rounding numbers so I created KAPOW! Rounding.  It is similar to my BOOM! Addition game for those who are familiar with that game.  What makes this game novel is that the game cards are stored in an used, but clean, frosting can.

Students take turns drawing a card out of the can.  If they round the number correctly, they get to keep the card.  Play continues until someone pulls out the KAPOW! card.  Whoever has the most cards is the winner.  KAPOW! Rounding includes two sets of cards for a total of 52 rounding cards. The blue set is for rounding to the nearest ten and the red set is for rounding to the nearest hundred. You can combine the sets or use them separately depending on the skill level of your students.

To snag your own copy of this game, click on the picture above to go to my TPT store.  This game will be free until 5:00 p.m. (CST) on Monday, then it goes back to its regular price.  I hope your class enjoys it as much as my class does. 
Thanks for visiting – I appreciate you!!!

Rate Your Writing Chart

Friday, July 27, 2012
This summer is flying by and I’m starting to feel a little panicky even though school doesn’t start until the last week of August.  It’s time to get crackin’ on my to do list. 
I’m sure many of you have seen this rating chart on Pinterest. 

Not only do I love it, but I NEED it!  The only problem is that it’s geared towards 1st grade.  I decided to create my own to use with my 3rd graders. My kiddos still need a visual of what good writing can look like.  Even though they should be writing more lengthy stories, I decided to keep my samples shorter so that my poster wouldn’t be too big.  My emphasis with this poster will be on word choice.  I haven’t finished putting mine together yet but this is how it will look.
I haven’t decided  if I want to start with the 4 sample on top or the 1 sample.  I just hate making decisions some times!  I used the stars from Zeek’s Zoo which is a free download if you want to go grab them.  If this poster set is something you can use in your classroom, you can download it for free by clicking here or on the picture above.  I think this visual will be really good for kids.  Let me know what you think.  Do you use a rating anchor chart that works well for your class?

Freebie Fridays

Rockin’ Resources Linky

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I’m linking up with Kelley from Teacher Idea Factory to share some classroom resources that I can live without.

Kelley has already shared the Creative Mathematics books from Kim Sutton.  These are my go to books for meaningful math practice activities.  Here are two of my favorites:

Another Kim Sutton product that I love is her dice.  These place value decahedron dice are my faves!  These dice are awesome for practicing expanded notation.  Each color die represents a different place value and go up through the hundred thousands place.

I also LOVE anything by Dinah Zike!!  I have nearly every book she’s published that applies to 3rd grade.  I even have some that don’t because her ideas can be modified for any grade.  These are my favorites:

There are so many things you can do with foldables. Here are some pix I took at the Dinah Zike booth at a recent math convention.  I hope the pictures don’t make you dizzy.  I was juggling a 50 lb. backpack while I was taking these pictures with my phone.

Kelley at Teacher Idea Factory is having a giveaway with her favorite classroom items.  Go check it out and enter for a chance to win some awesome stuff.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway if you haven’t already.

100 Follower Giveaway!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I am so thrilled to have reached the 100 follower milestone and I have decided to celebrate with a giveaway.  I think I might be the only blogger who hasn’t had a giveaway this summer.

I’m giving away an autographed book by Jerry Pallotta, 2 Smart Pals (one pink and one yellow), and a Math Through Language workbook.

Melissa  from More Time 2 Teach is donating her adorable 2012-2013 calendar set.
Maria from Kinder-Craze is graciously letting the winner pick an item from her TPT store.  Drop by her TPT store and check out her goodies.

Katie & Lisen from Second Grade Smartypants are giving away their Back to School Common Core Math Centers.

The giveaway ends Saturday night.  Please spread the word around to all your bloggy friends.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Woohoo times 2!

Sunday, July 22, 2012
I have two reasons to be doubly excited.  First, I hit 100 followers just before I ran off to my big math conference.  I’m absolutely amazed!  I’m going to have a giveaway next week to celebrate.  If anyone wants to join in on the giveaway fun, send me an email at hootyshomeroom at gmail dot com.  I’m hoping to get it up and running by tomorrow morning.

I’m also excited because I just scored a good deal on a laminator.  I’ve been having the laminator blues and have been considering getting my own.  I almost bought one last night and I’m sure glad that I didn’t. This morning Amazon had a lightning deal this morning on THE same laminator I’ve been itching to buy.  I love it when things work out like that!
Scotch Thermal Laminator Combo Pack, Includes Five 8.5 x 11 Inch Pouches, Four 4 x 6 Inch Pouches and Three 3 x 5 Inch Pouches (TL902E)

Browser Themes

Saturday, July 21, 2012
I’ve been using Firefox as my browser for a long time and it has been working very well for me until recently.  Last night I had to switch to Google Chrome to play my favorite FB games because Flash kept crashing while I was using Firefox.  I can’t just leave anything plain so I started searching for the perfect Chrome theme.  I really do have more important things to do, but… I decided it couldn’t be too difficult for me to create my own. This is what I came up with.  I’m not absolutely crazy about it, but I do think it’s cute.

Since we are encouraged to use Chrome at school, I’m going to keep tinkering around with making my own theme.  I can’t decide if I’m going to make a Chrome theme to match my classroom theme or if I’m going to create one with our school mascot.  Hmm…so many possibilities!

I have found two easy ways to create a Chrome theme if you are interested in giving this a try.  The easiest theme creator I found was My Chrome Theme from the Google Chrome store.  It is super easy to use but it doesn’t offer many options.  I ended up using Theme Creator from ChromeTheme.net.  Theme Creator has basic features similar to My Chrome Theme, but it also has an advanced tab that gives you more options to work with. CNET has a wonderful tutorial on using Theme Creator if you need help.

I’m off to create more themes!  Let me know if you decide to create your own Google Chrome theme.  I would love to see what you come up with.

Math Conference

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm getting ready to head out to my favorite teacher conference - CAMT.  It's the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching and I go EVERY year because it's awesome.  The conference rotates through three different Texas cities - Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.  In addition to learning some great strategies for teaching math, it's like a mini vacation.  Some of my favorite speakers are Dinah Zike, Kim Sutton, and Greg Tang.  I always learn something new each time I go.  This year we get see Flatland 2 - Sphereland.  That should be exciting!

Have you heard of Sumdog?  Sumdog offers students a fun way to practice math skills in an online gaming atmosphere.  There are a bunch of games to choose from and the best part is...it's FREE!  Students get to create their own avatar.  As kids play games and get answers correct, they earn coins they can use to buy new clothes and accessories for their avatars.  If you know of someone who needs a little extra math practice, go check it out by clicking on the picture below.
Have a great week - I'll see you when I get back.

Painted Teacher Stool

Monday, July 16, 2012

It’s another edition of Monday Made It!  I’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest this summer drooling over all the cute ideas.  I know, we all have!  Well, I finally got away from my computer and got something accomplished.  I was originally inspired by this:

There is no way I could do all of that painting.  I’m not artistic enough and I’m certainly not patient enough.  Even though I love the stool, I was intimidated by it.  Then I came across this stool:

This stool has fabric mod-podged onto the top.  I love to sew so I’m more comfortable working with fabric.  The tutorial for this one can be found on The Crafting Chicks website and is super easy to follow.
Because I felt safe with trying the technique in the 2nd picture, I decided to make a red version.  One thing led to another and I ended up with a mixture of the 2 pictures. 
Here’s what my stool looked like before I began.

I started off by spray painting it red.  Then I traced a plate to make a template for the fabric circle.  I used my handy dandy sewing tools to cut out the circle and I printed a D from my computer to use as a template.

Here’s what the top looked like at after I glued my fabric on.  I punched holes out of construction paper so I could see what it would look like with added details.  I ended up painting larger dots around the edge.
Once again, I decided to add fabric instead of painting.  In this picture I’m wrapping fabric around each leg brace.  I applied a liberal amount of Mod Podge and it looks like it’ll hold up pretty well.

Ta-da!  The final product:

I think my next project will be to make new curtains for my classroom.  I like my old ones but I’m tired of them and I would like a new look.

I'm linking up with with Mrs. G at Teach on a Limb for her Mod Podge Mania linky.  If you have a Mod Podge project, go link up.  The big question is...How do you prevent bubbles when working with Mod Podge?  Inquiring minds want to know!  I must admit that I also ended up with bubbles, but only on the top of the stool and not on the leg braces.  Hubs seems to think my big butt will flatten them out when I sit on the stool.  He is so not funny!!

Science Academy

Thursday, July 12, 2012
Today I attended day 2 of a 3 day science academy.  The 1st day we spent a lot time talking about why science is important and looking at different elements of the curriculum.  It was important stuff but just not as exciting as playing with the science toys.  Today we spent our day working through energy stations for K-3.  I’m exhausted but I came away with a lot of great ideas.  One station I really enjoyed was a kindergarten activity.  To practice exploring sound energy we shook the different plastic eggs and then guessed what was inside each.  We then placed the egg on top of the appropriate item in the ice tray. I think if I modify this one for 3rd grade I’ll use an egg carton instead.

Another one of my favorite stations was also geared towards kindergarten (I’m starting to notice a pattern here!).  We explored heat energy by melting crayons with a hair dryer.  This activity reminded me of some of the crafts I’ve seen on Pinterest lately.

Tomorrow’s focus will be forces and motion.  I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us.
Blogging tip -
If you haven’t read Jennifer’s post, Blogging Made Simpler, at Delighted in Second, you might want to drop by and check it out.  Blogger appears to be simple enough to use but it seems like I’m always fighting to get the formatting just the way I want it.  I decided to take Jennifer’s advice and this is my 1st post using Windows Live Writer.  Look at how perfectly aligned my pix are!  So far, so good!
Another New Super Blogger -

I’ve come across several more “New Super Bloggers” since my original post.  I’ve starting making a list of blogs I would like to introduce you to.  Today I would like for you to meet Katie from Rock & Teach.  She has a great new blog and I was lucky enough to snag a free copy of her Fantastic Fractions pack.  YAY me!  When you get a chance, go check out her blog and welcome her to the neighborhood.


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