Introducing Fractions

Monday, November 03, 2014

We used Legos and our new Boogie Boards to write fractions 3 ways.

Prime & Composite Numbers

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Grade 5s learned about Prime and Composite Numbers this week.  Here are a few photos of the activities they did:

QR Code Activities are always a hit with my kids.

A whole class activity.  Each student was assigned a set of numbers and they had to decide which of their assigned numbers were prime and which were composite.  We used pink stickies for the prime numbers and yellow for the composite.  This is a great visual in the classroom.

A simple sorting activity.  I wrote random numbers up to 100 on milk jug caps.  I asked the small groups to sort the caps, then I challenged them to do it as fast as they could.

Who doesn't love making an avatar and teaching their friends about prime and composite numbers?
This free app was a real crowd pleaser.

O Canada!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Grade 5 class knew very little about Canada's geography when we started the year.  We did a carousel activity the opening week where they made lists of the provinces/territories, cities in Canada, bodies of water, and so on.  There were more wrong answers than right.  

Another teacher and myself came up with a Canada map puzzle project. Students were given pieces of the country that they needed to assemble.  This lead to a lot of discussion among the students about where things should go.  I liked hearing the students say the actual names of the provinces/territories, as well as directional words like east and west.  After the puzzle was assembled, they simply coloured the provinces and territories.  We did a few side activities on the provinces/territories and their capitals before they returned to their maps to label.  

There are six geographical regions that we need to cover, so we started on the east coast with the Atlantic/Appalachian region.  Students recorded what they think they know about the region's climate, vegetation, natural resources, bodies of water, animals, and landforms on little pieces of paper attached to toothpicks. I was pleasantly surprised with their comments.  Most responses were bang on with the region, so maybe they were paying attention when I showed them a Canada film the first week of school.  After learning about the region, we'll return to the map and add new learning with different coloured paper and taller toothpicks, so they stand out a bit more.

I'm excited to see the final product.

Boogie Boards

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I'm excited to give Boogie Boards a try with my Grade 5 math class.  I've been saving my Scholastic bonus money and have my fourth Boogie Board on its way. My kids will be thrilled to use the boards at one of the math centres.

Is It Friday Yet?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This was how I felt all day!  Anyone else?

Magnets + Math = Much Loved Lesson

Thursday, October 09, 2014

I was at the Dollar Store picking up some prizes for my husband's classroom store last night when these number magnets caught my eye.  I bought a few cookie sheets while I was there & just like that I had a math lesson ready to go.  I was a little worried that my Grade 5 students would think the lesson was a little "babyish", but they surprised me.  Everyone made a positive comment about it!  The lesson was a review on rounding.  I gave the students a number, and they used the magnets to show the number rounded to the nearest 10, 100, or 1 000.  


Monday, August 18, 2014

Here is what I've been up to the last couple weeks:

  • Our house sold!  After only 2 weeks on the market, we were thrilled to put the SOLD sign up.
  • We went on a whirlwind trip to South Dakota & Yellowstone last week.  My kids were so excited to visit Flintstone Park in Custer, SD.
  • We met with a new builder and are happy with the progress we've made so far.
  • I have not done one thing in my classroom & I'm kinda starting to panic.
  • I am nearly finished my 70 page digital album from the west coast trip my family took at the beginning of July.
  • I finished another TPT product & have put it up for sale on MONDAY, AUGUST 18th only.  20% off!!

I'm looking forward to this week.  Here's what I'll be doing:

  • Family photos tomorrow morning.  Sooo happy I booked an appointment to get my make-up done.
  • 3 days with my extended family at a nearby provincial park.  Luckily, we'll be staying in the condos & not tenting.
Have a great week everyone!

TPT Sale On Now!!

Monday, August 04, 2014

It has been crazy around here.  We put our house up for sale two weeks ago, and it has been non-stop cleaning, prepping, organizing, and staging the house during the day.  It's so much harder with a two and five year old to work around.  I'll get one room cleaned and turn around and have to clean the room the kids were just in.  At night and into the wee hours of the morning, I've been getting ready for the big TeachersPayTeachers sale.  I've changed up the covers on a few products, and I LOVE how they turned out!  

I've added a few NEW products, too.

The TPT Sale is on NOW until August 5th.  My entire store is 20% off.  Make sure to use the promo code BTS14 for an additional discount.  Who doesn't love saving 28%?  I still need to go shopping, but it'll have to wait until tonight.  I have a house to sell!

Happy Shopping!

Linky Party

Friday, August 01, 2014

Thank you for hosting a Linky Party.  I don't participate in too many because I never know if I'm doing things right.

Right Now

Monday, July 21, 2014

I'm 3 weeks into summer holidays & here's what I've been up to:

1. I celebrated my 13th wedding anniversary today.  Hubby & I went to the new Cameron Diaz movie Sex Tape!

2. We have been working our tails off the last 5 days getting our house ready to put on the market.  Today we met with the realtor & the FOR SALE sign is on the front lawn!

3. I am trying to complete my biggest TpT product ever!!  I planned it all out on the drive home from Vegas & each night I try get some work done on it.  It's a slow process

TpT Vegas!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I am finally home after being on the road for 18 days with the family.  We drove down the Oregon & California coast, then back home through Vegas.  I planned the trip so we'd be in Vegas for the first ever TpT Conference on July 11th.  I was totally blown away by the whole experience - the energy, the creativity, the expertise, and the TpT celebrities.

Here are my 5 take-aways from TpT Vegas:

1) NETWORK - I need to get my store name out there.  I noticed a lot people had super cute business cards that they were handing out.  What an awesome idea! 

2) Larger Products - The majority of my products can be completed in one class, but one speaker suggested creating larger products.  I started working on a 2 week product last night.  I'm excited for this new challenge.

3) Believe - Everyone has a TpT story.  I want mine to be awesome.  I can do this!

4) You can write several blog posts at once & then set a schedule for when you want them to go live on your blog.  I did not know this!  How cool is that?

5) Set Goals!  I am a list maker & goal setter.  I love crossing things off a list.  For some reason I never posted clear TpT goals in a place I could see every day.  This I am going to do.

It sounds like there will be another TpT conference next summer in Vegas.  I've got a lot of work to do before then.  

Bike Sketches

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We finished up a three week bike unit a few days ago.  Every morning over half the school got on their bikes and rode around the neighbourhood and paths along the river.  What a great start to the day!  On our last day, the students biked about 11 km to a nearby park.  Since the bikes were parked at the school for several days, I incorporated them into an art lesson.  I gave each student seven different-sized pieces of paper, a pencil, and an eraser.  They had to sketch different parts of their bike, but it had to be a "zoomed in" view.  After the drawings were complete, the students arranged them on a piece of black construction paper.  

Here are a few pictures:

A Month To Go

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It's still business like usual in Canada.  Our last day of school is one month from today - June 27th!  

My Grade 4s started learning about fractions last week.  Here are couple activities we did.

For the whole and half activity, I had my students use Jot Thoughts (a Kagan strategy).  I challenged them to create as many fractions that were equal to one whole in one minute.  Then I repeated the process with 1/2 fractions.

Underneath each flap is a picture showing the fraction.

An Oldie, But A Goodie

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Don't you love when you can pull out a classic lesson that you know will be a hit with your students?

My fourth graders loved making their Area Robots.  Every year I tweak the activity a little bit.  This time around, I provided the students with a typed question and answer form to attach beside their robot. Here are a couple finished pieces.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

I just about forgot to mention the big TpT Sale coming up.  Everything in my store is 15% off during the site-wide sale.  Happy Shopping!!

Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

If you're from southern Alberta, then you've heard of Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.  If you haven't had the chance to visit this part of Canada, then you gotta go. Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a place where First Nations people hunted buffalo.  It's the oldest and most preserved buffalo jump and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As part of our First Nations News Broadcast activity, my Grade 4 students had to create a model of Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.  I gave them only one class to complete it.  Here are a couple of their creations:

Guess What We're Learning About In Math ...

Monday, April 28, 2014

The first day after a long Easter break is done, and I'm exhausted!  Can we start counting down til summer holidays yet? 

This week in math, my Grade 4 class will be attacking perimeter and area.  As soon as I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I had to put it on my classroom door.  Doesn't it catch your attention?

It's a little hard to see in the photo, but on the outside blue trim, I wrote "Perimeter is the distance around a 2D object". I think my students will benefit from this visual.

I'd love to hear about your favourite perimeter and area activities.  Please share!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

After trying and trying and trying some more, I think I might have figured this post signature thing out. What is easy-peasy to one person is NOT easy-peasy to all.  I guess this is how some of my students feel at times.  A good reminder to not assume and slow down when introducing new concepts.

Back To School

Easter break is over and it's back to school tomorrow.  I am excited to try this little math review activity from with my kids.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Have a fantastic Monday!

Alberta Map Work

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My students finished their Alberta maps before Easter holidays. 

Step 1
 - Make a wooden frame.  Ok, get your hubby to make a wooden frame. :)
The triangle piece is separate.

Step 2 - Cover all the wood with tin foil.  I tried wax paper and plastic wrap before settling with tin foil.  I like that I left the tin foil bumpy along the longer side of the triangular piece.  When the Plaster of Paris dries, it looks like the rugged Rocky Mountains.

 Step 3 - Pour Plaster of Paris into frame.  It sets pretty quick, so don't mix too much up at once.

 Step 4 - Plan, Etch, and Paint!

 Step 5 - Finished map with compass rose and legend.

The kids really enjoyed this project.  I had students working in groups of 2, which was successful.  My one group of 3 had a trickier time painting the map at the same time.  I decided to do this project after the students had studied the six geographical regions of Alberta.  Maybe it would be a good introduction project next time?

Liebster Award

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Thank you to The Purple Teacher for nominating me for the Liebster award. Since I'm a new blogger, I was a perfect candidate.  Now you get to learn a bit more about me. 

Here are the 11 questions Purple Teacher asked me and my responses:

1 - When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?  What made you pursue this career?

Ok.  This is any easy starter question.  Both my parents are retired teachers/principals, so I had wonderful examples to follow.  I have very fond memories of playing school with my two sisters.  I think I was a bossy teacher back then. :)

2 - What is your proudest moment as a teacher?

I love hearing from former students.  I'm always happy and proud when I get a wedding invite.  To me, that's pretty special.  

3 - What is one tip you would give new teachers today?

Don't reinvent the wheel!

4 - What's the best TPT resource you have ever purchased?

This is a tough one.  I LOVE TpT and there are a lot of amazing resources available! I found this adorable clipart last fall and used it as my inspiration when I decorated my classroom. Check it out: Autumn Garden Clipart

5 - Describe your teaching style.

I'm all about engagement!  I've done a lot of training with Kagan, as well as Tribes and Instructional Intelligence, and I'm slowly working on my WBT certification.  I like to keep my students moving with interactive and fun activities.  If I'm bored planning the lesson, then chances are the kids will be, too.

6 - If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I grew up in Saskatchewan and moved to southern Alberta after attending university in North Dakota.  I love the prairies!  Now that I have a family of my own, I appreciate that we are close to relatives.  I've always dreamed of taking 6 months to a year off from teaching and moving the family to Europe to live and learn.  Maybe when my kids are a bit older.

7 - What is your favourite meal?

I'm not a fan of eating out, so my favourite meal would be something that I make myself. I'm more of a dessert person, so I always make sure I leave room for the sweets at the end.  

8 - If you had a magic lamp, what would you wish for?

A permanent contract!!  I have had to give up two permanent contracts with two different school districts in my career, and now I'm starting over AGAIN.  I would love the security of a permanent full-time contract.  I think I'm dreaming for this year though.

9 - What is your favourite colour and why?

I had a student ask me this just the other day.  I colour-code the clothes in my closet (please don't judge) and blue and black are pretty prominent.

10 - Who is your inspiration?

My kids. 

11 - What motivated you to start a blog?

3 Reasons: 

1) I thought writing a blog would be a good way to document activities I've done with my students.
2) I like that a blog challenges me to come up with new teaching ideas that I can share with my followers (yep, all 3 of them).
3) And if it helps with my TpT sales, that would be a bonus. :)

11 Random Facts About Me:

  • I do not own a coffee maker because I don't drink coffee.
  • I graduated high school with pretty much the same 12 kids I started Kindergarten with.
  • I love Disneyland!
  • I am NOT a morning person.
  • I am a middle child.
  • My first teaching assignment was Grade 9, even though I had interviewed for the Kindergarten position.  I ended up teaching junior high for eight years.
  • I wish I could whistle with my fingers.
  • I love Nicholas Sparks' books.
  • I could spend my entire summer eating raspberries and strawberries.
  • I am working on Project Life.  This is the third time I've scrapbooked a 365 album.
  • I went through 2 labours with absolutely no painkillers.  Not even a Tylenol.
Thank you to The Purple Teacher for this opportunity!

Get Crackin'

Friday, April 11, 2014

I forgot to post this activity from yesterday's math class.  Each plastic egg had a long division
problem that the students had to solve.  A little more exciting than a worksheet, I think.

Check out my TpT Store for this product:

Derek Whitson Visits!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

We were so lucky to have Derek Whitson visit the school today and show off his bronze medal from the Sochi Paralympics.  His girlfriend visited the school back in February before they left for Russia and gave us a crash course on sledge hockey. We asked her if she'd bring Derek to the school after the Paralympics with his medal, and she did!  He gave an inspiring talk about overcoming obstacles and working hard towards your goal.  We were very lucky he was able to stop by!

I was surprised at how big and heavy the medal was.

Division Fun!

This is sooo much better than a worksheet:

I punched the numbers from foam sheets and kept them coloured-coded so it was easier for the kids to find what they needed.  We used a bendy straw for the division symbol.  I thought it was cute to see some kids using pencils and erasers for the subtract symbol, bring down arrow, and subtraction line.

A Remainder of One

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

My Grade 4 students were introduced to long division a few days ago.  I found this little gem at the public library and shared it with them to help explain the concept of remainders.

My Grade 4 students were introduced to long division a few days ago.  I found this little gem at the public library and shared it with them to help explain the concept of remainders.  As we read about Joe's bad luck with his army troop, the students showed the different long division statements on a simple handout I put together.

Spring Is In The Air

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Mother Nature finally decided to smarten up today.  We hit a high of 24, and I was in heaven.  I took full advantage of the nice weather with my students, too.  First thing in the morning we headed outside for a little hopscotch with a math twist.  Before class, I drew several hopscotch designs on the playground pad and filled in the spaces with division and multiplication facts.  I had the students partner up.  One person hopped through and said the answer out loud.  The other person checked and helped if needed.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did.  Towards the end, I gave the students a challenge to see how quickly they could scoot through one of the hopscotches.  They loved this!

Next time I might have the students create their own hopscotch