$3, $2, $1 Math Sale

Hey everyone!

This weekend Saturday (May 31st) I am hosting a $3, $2, $1 Math Sale to help celebrate our first chapter of our book study. We are so excited to share our thoughts and ideas on the first chapter of Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction by Laney Sammons.


2nd grade GoMath Test Item Analysis for the entire year. ($13)
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April showers Bring May Flowers ($5)
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Haunted Multiplication Game and Task Cards

Monster Addition War


Build the Biggest Ice Cream Games ($2)
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Build the Biggest Ice Cream Cone: Addition

Build the Biggest Ice Cream Cone: Division

Build the Biggest Ice Cream Cone: Multiplication

Division Scoot: iPhones

Ghosts Multiplication/ Division Matchup

I currently have 11 math activities on sale! Click the sale sign to see all 10.

Check out the other bloggers who are having a sale to celebrate the Guided Math Book Study!

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Guided Math Book Study: Chapter 1

Chapter 1

I am really excited to be part of this Math Study Group on the book Guided Math, by Laney Sammons that Primary Gal has put together. I don’t know how Primary Gal does all of the things that she does!

I love math! Math is a touchy subject, you either love it or hate it. In my first few years of teaching, I was a literacy person. I even have my masters with a concentration in Reading. I was planning on becoming a reading teacher back then. Then things changed. Somewhere along the way, wait for it…I became a Math person. I can’t really put my finger on when it happened, it just did.

Chapter 1a

After reading Laney Sammons book, I started to feel good about my math time again. I recently moved to new school where they are just beginning to introduce math groups into their instruction.

So, I started to reflect on what aspects of my current math instruction are successful. I definitely have a classroom that is math-rich. There is my math wall, my anchor charts, and tons of manipulatives.

My kiddos have math journals, or as we call them yellow notebooks where they solve math problems, create math problems, complete activities, and write about math.

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According to Laney, whole group instruction is a great way to introduce a concept or to review mastered concepts. I start each lesson with a short teach, or whole group instruction. I have an 80 minute block for math so sometimes my teach part is a little longer than I plan on, especially when my kids are so excited and are talking.
My teach is usually about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the concept. This includes my teach part and an active engagement. Pardon me if I use some Teacher’s College from Lucy Calkins terms. That’s just how my brain works after using The Teacher’s College Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop for 10 years (boy do I miss it!!)

Then my kids break up into groups. I have 3 groups right now. There is my struggling group (pink or A), my on level group (green or B), and my more proficient or above level group (blue or C.)
Each group is given activities based on what I notice during the lesson.

Everyday I walk around with a checklist and I mark if the students answered the Quick Check questions correctly or incorrectly (We use GoMath.) Based on what I observe, the students move their clothespins to the group they are assigned to. Then my kids move into their groups. WARNING!! IT DOES GET NOISY!!!!!!

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I color coded the clothes pins just so they could find their names easily.

I float around the room, checking to see if the students are in the correct group and sometimes make adjustments.

Chapter 1b

Reflection time
Looking back at my math time, there are some aspects that I do not love. Sometimes you get caught up and run out of time. I am that teacher who is always rushing to pack up at the end of the day or the last class to get to the lunchroom.

I have a beautiful math board with the calendar and daily activities for the students to work on. There are posters for writing numbers in different ways, adding ones or tens, and other daily routine activities. Pay no attention to the word wall, it wasn’t set up yet when I took this picture. 🙂
SHAME ON ME! I almost never do them! It’s not that I don’t want to, I do. We started off really well in September. The kids were so excited about the math wall. But after about a month, I just couldn’t find the time. I tried doing it in the morning, after lunch, before packing up to go home but for some reason, it never seemed to work.

This is one area that I definitely need to work on for next year. According to Laney, the kids should be doing a daily warm up with math activities. I agree and really, really want to have my kids work on the daily routines. So my goal over the summer is to figure out a way to get it done.

Another area that I have been struggling with this year is pulling pre-planned guided math groups based on my data. I have tons of data. I start of each week with pre-planned groups based on the data from exit slips or from different assessments. I get to pull maybe one or two pre-planned groups. The rest of the time I seem to work with my struggling students. I often have to review the concept with my struggling students every day. It is because of this that I do not always get to meet with all of my groups. I have become content if I meet with my other groups twice a week.
Meeting with my on level and above level students more is another goal for next year.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. What are some aspects that are going well for you in your math class? What are some aspects that are not going well for you?

Don’t forget to come back next week to join us for our discussion on chapter 2 of Guided Math by Laney Sammons.
Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win some goodies!

What is going well for you in your math instruction? What aspects of your math instruction are you struggling with?


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Wordless Wednesday

Hi everyone.
I’m linking up with Miss Decarbo for Wordless Wednesday.

I did it, but I shouldn’t have. I splurged!!! I’ve been looking at this Michael Kors bag forever. I couldn’t justify spending that much money on a bag. But, with a little bit (or a lot 🙂 ) of pushing by my mom… I bought it and it felt great! Just the kind of motivation to get me through my last 22 days left of school.


What have you splurged on lately?
How many days of school do you have left or are you out for the summer already?

Head back to her blog to check out some other fabulous posts.
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28 Days Left and a Freebie!

Hey everyone!

I have 28 days left until freedom, I mean summer vacation. I have to tell you I am so jealous of all of you who have ended or who are ending soon. It’s time to start working on my end of year gift. I just haven’t decided on what to do yet. I guess with so many days, I just keep putting it off. There’s nothing like procrastination!!
I’m thinking of sunglasses with a tag that says, “Your future is so bright you have to wear shades.” or a jar of bubbles with the saying, “You blew me away this year!” Hmmm… decisions, decisions.

What are you giving your kiddos or what have you given in the past?

To celebrate the coming of summer and to get me in the summer time mood, I am offering a freebie that is only available through my blog. What better way to get ready for summer than with ice-cream cones.

Click below to download Build The Biggest Ice-Cream Cone: Subtraction
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If you download the game, kindly leave a comment below. I need some motivation to get through the last 28 days of school. I still need to have one observation and my kiddos think it’s already summer. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!

Wordless Wednesday

Hi everyone.
I’m linking up with Miss Decarbo for Wordless Wednesday.


Sometimes you get the sweetest notes from your kids. After a long day, it makes you realize that you have made a difference. This note was from one of my kiddos from last year. It made my heart melt. 🙂

Have you gotten any great notes from your current or old kids?

Head back to her blog to check out some other fabulous posts.
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It Feels So Good to Be Bad

Sometimes it feels so good to be bad.
I must confess…lately I feel like my class is so boring. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are always laughing (usually at me, which might or might not be a good thing!)

It’s so hard to find the time to do fun things in the classroom anymore. Everything needs to be “rigorous” and graded with a rubric. What happened to having art in the class? What happened to reading for enjoyment? Since the introduction of the Common Core, it seems like people have gone off the deep end.

Why can’t I hang art work up without student writing? Why do I have to have a rubric with a grade on every single piece of work? Why do I need to include a self reflection and a peer reflection on EVERYTHiNG?

I have to confess, I have a whole stack of papers that I would love to hang up in the room but I do not have all of the necessary paperwork to go with it!

So this week, I had my kids do portraits of a character. We read A Chair for My Mother (part of ReadyGen reading program) and Something Special for Me by Vera B. Williams. I had the students whip out their crayons and markers and draw a portrait of Rosa. It was so nice to see the kids excited.

The first question my kiddos asked, “Do we have to write a paragraph on Rosa?” I had to think for a minute about keeping it fun. Of course my kids love poetry, who doesn’t? I had them write any type of poem they wanted as long as they described Rosa. They were thrilled. Hey, it’s still Common Core right??? (RL.2.7)

After the kids left for the day, I hung up their portraits of Rosa. NO RUBRIC, NO SELF REFLECTIONS, NO PEER REFLECTIONS, NO GLOWS AND GROWS, NO COMMENTS!!
You know what? It felt good. No, it felt great! My kids came in the next day and saw all of their work (the good, the bad, and the ugly.)
You know what I mean 🙂

I felt like a rebel. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone. Take a look at some of their portraits of Rosa.

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I love how she spelled intelligent (antelegent)

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What have you done in your class lately that has made you feel like a rebel?

Teacher Appreciation


Welcome to the “Best for the Best”
Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop/Giveaway.
Have you ever felt unappreciated? I know I have!!
Well, we are about to change all that! Just to let you know, I appreciate all that you do for your kids. All of the late nights, early mornings, no Sundays, the trips to Target and the Dollar Tree, and the tons of your own money that you spend.

Let’s just say that I have been called Queen of the Spreadsheets or the Data Queen just a few times. I have a spreadsheet or a checklist for everything. Not only do I have checklists or spreadsheets for everything, I love to color code things. It makes some of my coworkers a little nutty, but I love it.

This is a picture of my math data. I do this for every test for all of my 32 kids. I love the colors!
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Anywho…Today I want to share a checklist that I use daily. This is my Running Records Checklist.
Running Records Checklist

I use this checklist to assess my students’ reading behaviors, retelling skills, and comprehension. I made this while my school was using Teacher’s College so it is aligned to Fountas & Pinnell and Teachers College Reading Writing Program (TCRWP.) It includes 4 checklists for the different levels for Levels A through Z. The checklists have the characteristics for A-D, E-G, H-K, and L-Z.


As I listen to my kids read aloud to me, I check off the reading behaviors that I notice. This checklist includes levels L-Z but my students are currently levels L-N. I shaded in the characteristics that I was not observing because they are for higher levels.
After asking both literal and inferential comprehension questions based on the story the students read, I give their level a low, medium, or high.

After I assess the students, I make my groups or my individual conferences. I like to use the checklist to preplan my groups or individual conferences, but it doesn’t always happen. 🙂

As I said, I am the Queen of Checklists. I want to share another checklist that I use with my kids. This checklist is based on oral reading behaviors and I usually use it for my struggling students. Surprise, surprise! It is color coded! I did include a black and white version of the checklist for you also. I know not everyone is nutty like me.

Click the picture to get the checklist for free. If you download it, please leave feedback!
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Thanks for stopping by to say hi!
Don’t forget to hop through the rest of the blogs and enter the giveaway.

Continue on The Best for the Best Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop by clicking the picture below.

A big thanks to Amy from Teaching in Blue Jeans for putting this amazing blog hop together. Click here to go back to her blog.


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May The Fourth Be With You!

May the 4th Be With You Sale

Hey everyone I am super excited to be part of this linky party hosted by Amanda at the Primary Gal! May The Fourth Be With You is a sale we are having on our top four selling items from TpT. IT IS A ONE DAY SALE ONLY!!!

I am glad you stopped by to visit me.
Take a look at my 4 top sellers. All 4 of my top selling products will be 30% I MEAN 50% OFF!

My top selling product is my Running Records Checklist. I use this checklist all year long! I use it to keep track of my students’ strengths and weaknesses. I also use it to form guided reading, small groups, or independent conferences. It just makes my life easier!
Running Records Checklist

My kids absolutely love the iphone Reward Cards. Not only do the kids love them, but they save me tons of money! There are 38 different rewards so they work with all different grade levels.

iPhone Reward Cards


My kids love playing addition games. This is scary fun! The kids have so much fun that they forget they are learning. I use the Ghostly Missing Addends throughout the entire year in centers or in small groups. The only problem with this game, are the ghost noises I get as the kids play or sometimes all day long! (BOOOOO!) But hey, whatever it takes to keep my kiddos engaged!
Ghostly Missing Addends


And…last but not least is Multiplication Scoot 4 digit x 1 digit. What better way to practice multiplication than with a Scoot game. I think all kids love moving around the room. Let’s be honest, they all need practice with multiplication. It seems to be one of those skills that the kids can never remember!

Multiplication Scoot

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!


Free Bowling!!

Hey everyone!

I know this has nothing to do with teaching but I wanted to share a free bowling program with you. Many of you are getting closer to summer and the kids will be out of school. (I’m so jealous! 😉 )If you haven’t heard, Kids Bowl Free offers free bowling to kids during the summer. All you have to do is sign up!

My husband and I took advantage of this last year and my son loved it! It is available throughout the U.S and in Canada.

They even offer a family pass for parents to bowl for the summer for under $30.

Kids Bowl Free


Teacher Gifts

So as we know, Teacher Appreciation Week is fast approaching. I can honestly say that in my 16 years of teaching, I think I may have gotten one card from a student for Teacher Appreciation. Don’t get me wrong, I receive cards, gifts, and tons of chocolate throughout the year. But for some reason…There never seems to be any recognition during Teacher Appreciation Week. There have been years that it has passed and I didn’t even realize it!

This year, my son decided he wanted to choose his own gift to give to his two teachers. I showed him all different things, all different prices and he couldn’t find anything that he thought was just right.

Finally after over a week of searching for possible gifts, I found a website that sold personalized gifts. He looked through the website and decided on keychains. PERFECT!!

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They are similar to buttons you can make with the kit. My son, Alex was so excited when they arrived at the house and he can’t wait to give them to his teachers.

What do you give to your child’s teacher for Teacher Appreciation or what is the best way someone has shown that your were appreciated?

If you want to take a look at the website, here it is.
Mother's Day