Monday, December 17, 2012

Prayers for Sandy Hook Elementary

As a teacher and mother of a 7 year old, I am still trying to process the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary Friday, December 14, 2012.  I wondered how I was going to talk to my students about it today. How am I going to talk to my 7 year old about it?
As I read my devotion this morning, it made me realize that I find myself asking Why God? a lot more than I should... Who am I to question Him anyway?
Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life - a Daily Devotional 
 Why We Ask 'Why?'

Do you ever find yourself in a tragic situation and asked God, 'Why? Why is this happening to me?'

For one moment, let's imagine that God actually answered that question. Would His explanation change anything? The effects of the tragedy would still be with you, and the pain would be just as severe as it was before. What would you have learned?

When we ask God that question, I think the real questions we're asking are: 'God, do You love me? Will You take care of me in my sorrow and pain? You won't leave me alone, will You?' Is it possible that, because we're afraid God doesn't truly care about us, we ask for explanations?

Instead, we must learn to say: 'Lord, I believe. I don't understand, and I'll probably never grasp all the reasons bad things happen, but I know for certain that You love me and are with me, always.'

I believe it often takes more faith to go through something victoriously than to be delivered from it. Put your faith in God and you'll come out stronger on the other side.

Prayer Starter: God, I believe in You, even when circumstances try to fill my mind with doubt. Help me to remember Your love for me and to put my faith in You, no matter what happens. 
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 NIV
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

 Please take a minute and pray for the families to find peace and healing through God's love.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Ok so I found the cutest 12-12-12 activity yesterday to do with my 6th graders involving the 12 Days of Christmas. For the life of me, I can't remember which site I found it on. I am pretty sure it was a blog that I if you know, please post a comment so I can give proper credit. On to the show...

The Cost Of The 12 Days Of Christmas 

Materials needed: pencil, paper,and a computer
website:  PNC Christmas Price Index
The students take a virtual trip around the world collecting prices of each item in the 12 Days of Christmas song. Some prices have increased since last year, so they must figure the percent of increase and add it to the original price. Also they have to multiply by how many items they have. The cost of each golden ring is multiplied by 5. 

This is great for decimal/percent conversion, multiplying decimals, adding decimals, and several other objectives. 

The students colored the corresponding picture for which day of Christmas I assigned them.
They also found the total cost of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

My hall decorations for Christmas. 

The students made a factor Christmas tree this week while reviewing for 9 weeks test.  They all had different numbers on the star and they had to prime factor the number and use exponential form on the trunk. They had so much fun decorating once they factored their trees.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Math and Culture Lesson: Making Fry Bread!!!

I never heard of Fry Bread until I came to work with the Choctaws. I didn't know what I had been missing out on!! My assistant created a lesson on how to make fry bread and incorporated using the Choctaw language for the ingredients.  I threw in a little math having some of the students help me measure how many of their milk cartons would fill up the gallon pitcher.  They estimated because several didn't know their facts...Some were WAY off! I hope they will remember now that there are 16 cups in a gallon.

Fry bread is enjoyed several different ways.  My favorite is an Indian Taco or the dessert fry bread topped with powdered sugar and grape jelly! YUMMY!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

God's Beauty

You know it's going to be a good day when you step out of your car in the school parking lot and see a full rainbow!
 Just had to share.  Hope you have a wonderful day!!! :)

Master Classroom in Math Facts with Renaissance Learning

Congrats to my 5th and 6th grade classes for achieving Model and Master class in Math Facts with Renaissance Learning! Grades 2nd-6th at our school have reached Model status making SPES a Model School. As a matter of fact...while I'm bragging...We are the only certified school in the state of Mississippi! :) WooHoo!!! Way to go kids!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wall Ball with Vocabulary Review

I'm going to try to use more down time in useful review.  I found a way to use vocabulary in a fun way! Using a soft ball the students toss the ball at the Math Word Wall and whatever the closest word is the student tells me the definition, draws an example, or communicates in some way to me that they understand what the word means.  I am adapting this from one of the consultants that visits my school in math. She never had any down time in her classroom.  Even having the groups to line up by answering a math problem. For example: "If you are in the group that is 24/12, you can line up, the next group that can line up is the number that is not prime or composite..."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fractions & a Sugar Rush!!!!

Like the kids haven't had enough candy...I did an activity today using Lifesavers and Smarties.  Basically the same lesson just a little different. Both focused on fractions. (equivalence, comparing, adding, simplifying, etc.)

Smarties Fractions Lesson

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Science Hands-On Activities!!

Here are some pictures from our 5th grade Science Grade Level meeting last week. We learned several fun activities that I know my students will LOVE! Cootie catchers, pipe cleaner art, vocabulary in pictures, bioglyphs, food chains, food, food, and did I mention FOOD! :)

Cootie Catchers Printables

Oreo Phases of the Moon Lesson Plan

Plate Tectonics Lesson Plan

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Layers of the Earth's Crust with CANDY!!!!!

We all can be bribed to pay attention with CANDY!!!! Or at least I can! I attended a science grade level meeting yesterday and I just LOVE our consultant!! She always does hands-on activities with us that we can bring back to the classroom and she always finds a way to incorporate food. 

I had just started the layers of the Earth with my students this week. Our consultant gave us an activity with Peanut M&M candies to use with this lesson.  Be sure to check on peanut allergies before doing this lesson. The students carefully bit the peanut M&M candy in half. The outer chocolate shell represents the crust, the inner milk chocolate represents the mantle, and the peanut represents the core. Cute way to remember the layers!
Student showing her model of the Layers of the Earth

M&M Layers of the Earth

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Subtracting with Magic 9 and Top & Bottom Division

We discussed some teaching strategies on numbers and operations at our grade level meeting today.

In sharing, we discussed the Magic 9 subtraction method. I don't know how it works, but it does every time if you follow the steps correctly. Once the kids get the hang of it, they just go with it.  I hope you can read the steps from the picture I posted. If not, someone please let me know and I will do another post with the steps for you.

Our consultant shared a new division technique with us that I call the Top & Bottom Method. Have the students list the numbers 0-9 and draw a line under it. Then they list the multiples of the divisor. They can use skip counting or repeated addition if they have trouble listing multiples from memory (or if it is a large divisor).
This lesson also incorporates function tables, estimation, factors, multiples, AND division!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The digestive tract: A science and math connection

Thursday of last week we did a math/science activity using a variety of objectives. We have been studying the different body systems in science this nine weeks. A fellow teacher told me about measuring the length of the digestive tract, so I googled it and found the lesson to use. On, I found The Digestive Tract lesson plan I used.
I asked the students how far it was from my mouth to my stomach. Using a meter stick they measured the length from my mouth to my stomach. Then we discussed all the parts of your body the food passes through. They decided it was longer than what they measured on me if it had to go through all those places...
Each pair of students got a part of the digestive tract to make the length with yarn. A student estimated using the measurements from the lesson plan page to get an estimation of the length of the digestive tract. After each group measured and cut their yarn, they actually measured it. Then the students tied each part together, stretched it out, and measured the whole length. They found their estimate was pretty close. One student said the yarn was stretchy, so the measurement couldn't be exact.  (Good Thinking!)
I shared this lesson with a few other teachers and showed them our looonnnnggg digestive tract we made with yarn. They were amazed at how long it actually is!
Estimating the length of the digestive tract.
Measuring and cutting the yarn.
How long does it need to be???
This is your esophagus!
That's a long way for your food to travel!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My nerd...

Not related to teaching, but my cute little "nerd" won Nerd Day in his class during Homecoming week. If he would just study like a nerd... 😊

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Function Tables with Manipulatives

I started function tables with 6th grade today. As an introduction to function tables, I used pattern blocks and let them create a table using input (x) as the number of blocks and the output (y) as the number of sides. They started with one block, then two, then three, etc. After they realized the pattern, I gave them bonus numbers like 82 and 1024 to see if they could figure them out by plugging the input into the rule.
This was a low skill to start with, but this class needed the scaffolding and use of manipulatives.

This group used the triangle or 3 as the rule.

This group used the square or 4 for the rule.

This group used a hexagon or 6 for the rule.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blog looker... Guilty...

I recently read a blog and really related with what she had to say. I am guilty. I find these fabulous ideas on different blogs I follow, then fail to comment. I was looking at my dashboard and saw where so many people looked at a certain post, but there were no comments.
This makes me wonder... Is anyone using my ideas, are they bad or good, or if anyone even enjoys my page... Just wondering. I technically set this blog up as a sort of digital scrapbook for myself. A place where i could go back and look at previous lessons, but it has become so much more. I have talked to teachers from New York to Texas and several places in between. Thats really what it's all about, collaboration! I love getting emails from other teachers wanting ideas or wanting to share ideas.
Are you a Blog Looker? I am guilty of the very same thing and from now on I am going to comment on a blog if I like the idea or plan to use it in my room, or even if I have a suggestion.

To all the blogs I stalk for your fabulous ideas, I am sorry and I will do better!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tagxedo: Word Clouds with Style
Found this neat website and wanted to share! This apple I created acutally came from all the words on this blog! Great way to show main idea in a fun way. Apparently, my blog is mostly about numbers! :)
Thinking this would be great for sections in my science book!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Equations and Algebra Tiles

1.  Represent the problem

2.  Make zero pairs

3.  Distribute the total to each variable.
This morning I used algebra tiles for the first time to explain how to work a two-step equation. The students really enjoyed the manipulatives. When I was in school, I just remember learning the steps and not ever questioning why things were done that way. I really like how these manipulatives allow the student to understand why each step takes place. As the students were using the manipulatives, I was showing them each step on the Smartboard.  They can always go back to doing the steps, but now they have an understanding of WHY?? things are done that way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rollin' Place Value

I gave the students a worksheet I created and gave them number cubes to make the numbers they were going to work with. They worked in groups to generate numbers that they were to compare and write word form and expanded form with. They had fun doing this as a group! Cooperative learning is a big part of CCSS because of the listening and speaking element This activity worked much better for my students than a boring worksheet with the numbers already on it.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Started out the cell unit with the students sketching the animal cell and plant cells.
Showed a cute video called "The Living Cell" that I found on Discovery United Streaming. The students on the video play tic tac toe with the organelles of a cell.