Friday, October 19, 2018

Election Math Activities

Are you ready for the November Elections? 

Do you want to incorporate the Elections into Math and Social Studies? 

Are you ready for this year's elections? The Elections held in November will be important for the United States. These Election NO PREP Math Activities are great for a Math or Social Studies class with your students! This packet teaches students about elections in the United States, how to count electoral votes, and applications of elections math facts.


*7 different Engaging Math & Science Activities

*NO PREP, Print & GO Activities! (Only materials needed: Red and Blue colored crayons or markers, paper clips, and a pencil).

*FUN & rigorous activities centered on math and social studies elementary math curriculum


*Topics covered: Operations with Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division, United States Map, Pictographs, and Graphing on a Coordinate Plane.

Activities Included:
-Election Math {2 versions with answer key}
-Class Election {2 versions}
-Electoral College {with answer key}
-Election Equations {2 versions with answer key}
-Spin & Vote! {2 versions with answer key}
-Find the Ballot Box & Voting Booth {game, graphing on coordinate plane}
-Number Puzzle {with answer key}

Engage your students in Elections activities this year. Make memories for students by holding a classroom election. You can vote for a new food in the cafeteria (as in the packet), vote for a class pet, vote for a class president, or let your students be creative about what they want to vote for! Learning about how Social Studies and Math are integrated to make our democracy is important. Have fun this election season with math. 

Happy Teaching!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Why I don't grade papers after school

Do you find yourself grading all the time?

Do you want to know a secret? I stopped grading papers after hours and am always the first teacher to sign out grades before the end of each quarter.

How do I do it? I plan for it. Follow these 3 guidelines for grading and you will be a pro at leaving grading at school and having more personal time outside of school.

1. Plan 

What are you grading? For each subject you are grading, think of the categories it can be broken down into such as classwork, homework, and tests.  

Why are you grading it? For each category, think about why you're grading it. Does it need to be graded? If yes keep the category, if no do not grade it. 

Does it have an academic value? If there is no academic value to the work, then don't grade it! This is the most important step in planning to grade. If there is no academic value in an assignment and it cannot be tied to a standard, then the students should not be held accountable for completing it. 

Can you narrow down your assignments? My rule of thumb is 9 to 10 assignments for homework (1 per week of each quarter) is graded. 1 test for each chapter, which is about 2-3 tests each quarter. 5-6 classwork assignments each quarter. So I only assign and grade 16 to 19 assignments each quarter per student. I pre-plan these on a calendar and display it in the classroom for students to see and will email it to parents who need it to help their students turn in assignments on time.  

Also I love my EZ grader! If you don't have one, you need to get one. It's my favorite gift to give student teachers or first year teachers. It calculates the grades for you every time. (Affiliate link included).

2. Follow Through

Now that you've thought about your categories for grading, list the assignments on a calendar. When and how many are you going to assign? List them on the calendar and follow through with assigning and grading a limited amount. When I write them on a calendar ahead of time I might not have a specific assignment name already, so I just pre-plan and write "Assignment 1" and so on. This helps me plan when to grade at school.

Another strategy for only grading at school is having other do it for you. I have used the "trade and grade" method for small quizzes and homework. I have also used student assistants to grade homework assignments. It's helpful in that most of the work is done, but you will still probably need to glance at each assignment to make sure it's completed to your specifications.

Do you have students who do not perform well on tests the first time? Do you like to give them opportunities to retry or makeup the work? I found a strategy that helps with test retakes. It also helps me with less grading, and students earn higher test scores. It's a win win in my book! Check out the video below about using test retakes to help your students achieve higher results.

3. Reflect 

Did you stick to your goals? Did you not bring home any grading? Did you leave when your teacher duty day was done? If you YES, then you are well on your way to starting a successful habit of not grading after hours. You need a break. You deserve a break. Let yourself have the time after school to rest, relax, and enjoy your family and friends. 

These suggestions and ideas are meant to be reflective of your grading practices. When we reflect as teachers on what we are doing in the classroom, we continue to grow and mature into better teachers. Think about how you currently grade, what you currently grade, the time it takes you to grade, and how you could make the process more efficient. My favorite motto for teaching is "Work smarter, not harder." There is so much on our plates as teachers, let's simplify the process of grading and make it more efficient.

Happy Teaching!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

$100 TpT Gift Card Giveaway

What would you do with a $100 TpT Gift Card?

Prize: $100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 10/13/18 and is open worldwide.
This month we have 2 chances to win!  Head on over here for a second chance!

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

October & Halloween Children's Book List

Fall is a great time to pick up a book and read with a child.

Do you have favorite October or Halloween books?

I've included a list of five books from Amazon (my affiliate link is included). CLICK on the book to view it. My children read these books throughout the month of October. We honestly love all 5 of these books and hope your children enjoy them too! Here are our favorites:

1. The Gruffalo. When Mouse takes a stroll through the woods, he meets a fox, an owl, and a snake who all want to eat him! So Mouse invents a gruffalo, a monster with "terrible tusks and terrible claws, terrible teeth, and terrible jaws." But will Mouse's frightful description be enough to scare off his foes? After all, there's no such thing as a gruffalo . . . is there? 

2. How Many Pumpkin Seeds? Mr. Tiffin and his students explore skip counting and estimation in a fun pumpkin-themed classroom experiment! This book makes a wonderful read-aloud companion to any math or science curriculum, and it's a fun way to reinforce counting skills at home.

3. Room On The Broom. The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch's hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?

4. From Seed to Pumpkin. In the fall, pumpkins are everywhere: in the garden, in the supermarkets, and on doorsteps. But do you know how they grow from a tiny yellow seed to a pumpkin? This is a Level 1 Let's-Read-and-Find-Out, which means the book explores introductory concepts perfect for children in the primary grades and supports the Common Core Learning Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

5. Big Pumpkin. The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can't get it off the vine.
It's so big the ghost can't move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there'll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day.
How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You'll be surprised!

Fall is one of our favorite times to engage in reading a good book. We have a book area set up in our home classroom for easy reading opportunities. We read at least 20 minutes a day and log all of our books in our October reading logs.
After reading for 20 minutes we fill out our reading log daily. Click HERE to download the Fall Reading Logs, Posters, & Prompts.  These reading logs help keep us on track to completing our monthly reading goals. We display the poster to show our accomplishment of reaching our monthly reading goal.

These reading tools can help your students be successful in setting and attaining monthly reading goals. Readers are leaders!

Happy Teaching!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Halloween Middle School Math Activities

Are your students celebrating Halloween? 

Are you looking for Halloween math resources to engage students?

These Halloween Middle School Math Activities are NO PREP and ready to keep your sixth, seventh, and eighth graders engaged! These middle school math activities are for students to apply real world applications with a Halloween theme. Not only is it PACKED with grade level common core math problems, it also gives students fun coloring, puzzles, and problem solving. 


*7 different Engaging Math Activities

*FUN activities and puzzles centered on reviewing math curriculum.

*Packed with 6th, 7th, 8th grade common core math problems for review and practice. 


*Topics covered: Operations with 1-Step & 2-Step Equations, Operations with Money, Operations with Percents, Operations with Decimals, and Operations with Integers
Activities Included:

-Halloween Math (2 Different Versions with answer key)

-Create a Halloween Infographic (rubric only)

-Trick or Treat (answer key)

-Halloween Money (answer key)

-Halloween Equations (answer key)

-Spin & Boo! (answer key)

-Integers Number Puzzle (answer key)

Halloween is a great time of year to engage students in real world applications of math. Get students thinking about the math of Halloween and review key skills for middle school. Making math memorable for students is important in their learning process. 

Happy Teaching!