I Heart Math Holiday Hop

Image Map

 Note: Use this image to help you “hop” around. The advent calendar has a link to each day of the month HOWEVER, just like a real advent calendar, the posts do not “unlock” until 9 pm EST the night before the calendar date.


I can’t believe we have been hopping along for 17 days already and have filled your stockings not only wtih ideas on giving back and tips for holiday math but also a slew of freebies! Well today isn’t going to let you down because I have more in store for you.

Stocking Stuffer #1- Giving Back Idea

stocking stuffer 1

When I was in school, and even while I was in the classroom teaching, I was very aware of adopting an Angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree. There came a time when I wasn’t able to adopt an angel by myself and I missed doing so. This year however my husband and I found multiple ways to give back and we plan to continue to do so.

First of all we had a friend who was in need. She and her two sons had not only become homeless but she was also going through a divorce. A house fire took everything they owned and we couldn’t let the boys not have anything to their name much less for her to not be able to afford Christmas for them. The hubby and I took pleasure in stocking the closets for the boys (shirts, jeans, a jacket and even some underwear) as well as buyng each of them a Nerf Gun. Yes, all boys need a Nerf gun!

Thankfully our friend (my friend since childhood) wears roughly the same size that I do and I decided to do an early purge through my closet and send it all her way. My mom did the same thing and sent them over to her so that she would have some professional outfits as well since she was getting back into the work force.

We decided to not stop there and move on and we adopted two angels from the Angel Tree at our local mall. Hubby and I each picked out one and I sure hope that Jessica and Jorge have a blessed Christmas. We have an awesome Salvation Army around here and while I was worried about clothing not fitting for a 13 year old girl (inbetween sizes) they informed me that they have an exchange closet that they can come and exchange like items when they don’t fit. They don’t worry about the cost, they just swap pants for pants, shirts for shirts, etc. I think that is awesome and makes me want to help out our Salvation Army even more.

Well, hubby was at a doctor appointment earlier this week and they had an Angel Tree as well for a few people at a local shelter and as of Tuesday nothing had been brought in. They were coming on Friday and we just couldn’t let that happen so we went off to Target and took care of Miguel. Another Nerf gun was definitely in store for him as he was 8 years and simply asked for toys. Grabbed him some Lego kits as well.

Moral of these stories are to do what you can when youc an. We have been truly blessed this year and hubby and I have made it a mission to give back each month in some way. Give when you can and you will be blessed.

Stocking Stuffer #2- A Holiday Math Tip

stocking stuffer 2

As many of you are heading into that final stretch (or already have hit it), it is so important to manage those chunks of time in your classroom. Don’t let a minute go by when your kids don’t have something planned because that is when havoc can break loose. Keep your students engaged and working throughout the class period (even if it is an exam day) and you won’t have to fret about classroom management those last few days before the holidays.

A Special Gift for You…

special gift for you

And to help you get through those last few days, or even those first few days back, I have created a new item JUST FOR YOU!  This Hidden Message Riddle Me This covers Percent Proportions and is a perfect time filler! This puzzle will not only get your students to answer ten problems to find the percent of a number but also solve a riddle as well.


Thank you for catching up with me today. Be sure to tune in everyday during the month of December to read each blog post. By clicking on the header above, you will return to the starting point of our blog hop. Tomorrow Jen Smith (nope, not related) will provide you with wonderful holiday tips and a special gift.

Beyond Traditional Math

Giving Back to Teachers Near and Far

Giving Back

As we wrap up 2014 and head into the new year I would like to take today to give back. Today, Sunday, December 14th, 2014 I will be giving 25% of my sales to projects on Donors Choose to complete them before Christmas! This is a win-win because you will get my products to use in your classroom and other teachers will get their Donors Choose  projects completed in time for Christmas and hopefully get their products as they get back from Winter Break.

I will be totalling the sales in my Teachers Pay Teachers store and my blog store together and completing as many projects as I can on Monday.

Some of the projects I am hoping to complete are…


This teacher needs pencils for her classroom… heck yea we can help out


This classroom wants to conserve their notebook paper and start doing more work on Dry Erase Boards.


and  this Deaf Ed class wtih #noexcuses wants to start communicating with an iPad.

I can’t wait to see how many teachers we can help out!

And don’t forget to check out the other teachers who are joining in to GIVE BACK!

Proportions are my FAVORITE thing!

Recently I asked on my Facebook page what teachers favorite thing to teach were and while the answers were as varied as those who responded, I got a lot of questions about why proportions were my FAVORITE thing to teach.Teaching Proportions in Middle School

When I began teaching middle school I was reminded of the fun of proportions. I seriously felt that if I could teach proportions for an entire year (and not just one unit) I definitely would do so. I’m serious, they are FUN!

Why do proportions freak students out?

1. They look like (and basically are) equivalent fractions. Fractions are the F word in math and many students (and teachers) fear them. Don’t… if you understand how to multiply/divide you can master equivalent fractions.

2. Proportions have a variable. Algebraic reasoning is scary for some and throwing the alphabet in math is just nuts!

3. Multi-step problems, duh! Student’s wan the easy way out and proportions make you work through mulitple steps.

How can we change this mindset?

As teachers it is our job to help build the mindset of our students in our classroom. When I was introduced to teaching a strategy known as WKU for proportions (Word Ratio, Known Ratio and Unknown Ratio) it just clicked for so many students. There were of course those times that they felt it was silly and I still had them do it but it made sure they didn’t  make any mistakes! No longer were they worried about the alphabet but they were solving a puzzle and who doesnt love a good puzzle!

Another part that I made sure to do when working on proportions was to relate them to real life. We use proportions ALL the time (baking, sewing, planning parties, and so much more) and these are easily things that we can write problems about ot help our students learn.

The photo above is just one of many flippables and interactivities in my 7th Grade Ratios Proportional Reasoning Interactive Notebook and you can grab it today!

7th Grade Ratios and Proportional Reasoning for Interactive Notebooks

You can also grab the WKU Poster and Flippables by itself!

WKU Poster and Flippable- Word, Known and Unknown Ratios

Are you Nerdy? Linky Party

Do you remember doing Mad Libs when you were younger? I sure do and I loved them!

My good friends Mel and Gerdy over at Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy have started a new weekly linky party that I am so happy to have joined in on and I hope you will too.


So without further ado….


Well, that really is a day for me. Waking up at 42 is about right because I never wake up at the same time anymore and I love that! Everyday I start with my beloved Keurig making me a new cup of coffee (or two). Yoga pants (or pajama pants) are my typical wardrobe and if I must get out I am out and about in our mini van. Hey, I may not have children but that thing holds a TON!

Starbucks is a regular occurrence although they really need to get some coconut milk or almond milk in the store instead of just soy. I might just start driving to Dunkin Donuts for my latte’s instead.

And of course, who isn’t perusing Facebook when they are sitting at their desk! Shh, we can keep it our secret!

Plethora of Resources for Teachers!

There’s two great websites for teachers that I want to make sure you all know about – Super Teacher Worksheets and Modern Chalkboard.

Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets is a website with printable resources for elementary school teachers. They have over 10,000 printable activities on their website, and not just worksheets. They have hundreds of free resources that anyone can download (no membership or login required).  However, members are able to access all 10,000+ PDFs for only $19.95 a year, or $300 for a school site license! Even though the word “worksheets” is in their name, they offer much more.  They have reading comprehension passages, games, word sheets, station activities, reward sheets, STEM materials and experiments, and soooo much more! Most of their printables are Common Core aligned.  To see Common Core standards associated with any file, you just click the apple core icon below the description. Membership prices are very affordable – for only $20 you’re basically getting one massive library of resources to pull out whenever you find yourself in a pinch.

Modern Chalkboard Free Smarboard Notebook Lessons

The other site, Modern Chalkboard, is one of the largest resources of FREE Smartboard Notebook lessons. For someone who attended school when DOS and then Windows 95 were the top of technology at the time, Smartboards seem like something straight out of the Jetsons. These days, more and more schools are adding them to the classroom – and teachers are hungry for resources to use the Smartboards in their classrooms! These free lessons are sure to get you started with a Smartboard in your classroom.

Have you already used these websites before? If not, go check out Super Teacher Worksheets and Modern Chalkboard – and let me know what you think!

Note: This is a sponsored post, but the statements are my own. 

21 Holiday Resources to Survive December!

21 Holiday Resources to Survive December

It’s time for another round up of resources – this time we’re covering the Holiday Season! December is one of the hardest months to survive, even though we get a small vacation! The kids know vacation is coming, so their minds aren’t where they should be. All the better reason to embrace their current fascination with the Holidays, but sneak in educational nuggets that they might not notice ;) Best of all, none of these involve that scary elf.

A Christmas Story Solve and Snip Decimals Math

Love the movie “A Christmas Story”? Your kids will love these Solve and Snips to practice their decimals!

Peel and stick for a December Math Journal! Interactive too!

Peel and stick for a December Math Journal! Interactive too!

“If I were trapped in a snow globe…” writing prompts

This is a popular activity on Pinterest – “If I were trapped in a snow globe…” writing prompts! These would make a great board display too!

Christmas Grid Games

These Christmas Grid Games are great for practicing basic math skills.

Tic Tac Toe Holiday Freebie

These Tic-Tac-Toe Boards are great for grades 6 through 10, and FREE!

A Christmas Carol Flip Book

You know I love interactivity, so of course I love this pop-up flip book for A Christmas Carol!

A Christmas Story ELA Unit

Take the “A Christmas Story” theme into ELA with this pack!

Dr Seuss Tree

How awesome is this? A Dr. Seuss Tree for the classroom or library! You could take that word strip idea and use it on any book-themed tree… maybe a train one for The Polar Express?

Christmas Activities

Here’s ten great Christmas Activities for little hands. I love those coffee filter trees!

Christmas Projects

This 26-page Christmas Project is great for covering all areas of learning, including Art!

Christmas Writing Prompts for Teens

We could ALWAYS need more writing prompts, here’s some that are Christmas themed! Not just about elves and reindeer – but the ideas of traditions, giving, and free choice! Just about every type of writing prompt is covered.

Free Christmas Writing Papers

Make their writing assignments a bit more fun with these free winter writing papers!

Math Mystery Picture Christmas

Kids LOVE these Math Mystery Pictures! They definitely will share the Grinch’s grin if you assign them this little activity.

Christmas STEAM Advent

December has already started, but that doesn’t mean you’re too late to start this Christmas STEAM Advent Calendar of activities!!

Around the World Christmas Interactive Notebook

It’s important to include multiple traditions in your lessons on the Holiday Season. I love this “Around the World” INB for the Holidays!

Christmas Math Stations

These math stations are genius!!! Your kids really will be “jingling” all the way to Christmas if you send them off to winter break after doing these activities!

Here’s some books on the Holiday Season and the different religious and cultural aspects of why this time of year is important to so many people:

Celebrate Diwali Celebrate Chinese New Year
Celebrate Christmas Celebrate Hanukkah
Celebrate Kwanzaa

That’s it for this 4mulaFun Educational Resources Round Up! What would you like to see in January??

Pin to remember:
21 Holiday Educational Resources to Survive December

Math in Real Life during Thanksgiving

It’s the first Wednesday of December which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!! If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!

If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs – feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!



A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by

4mulaFun, The Teacher Studio, Teaching to Inspire in 5th, AND MissMathDork,


Every year at this time it seems as if we each are cooking and baking up a storm. I did just that last week for Thanksgiving and I had to use a bit of math in my calculations as the original servings for the recipe weren’t enough to feed the 15 guests at our table. This recipe is one of many that I have on my Paleo Recipes Pinterest board and definitely what hubby and I needed for the holidays as we are always looking for more ways to get in some protein!

Math Is Real Life during Thanksgiving

Knowing that I wanted to increase my recipe, I printed it out so I could do all of the math to double it right on the recipe. I started with cutting sweet potatoesthe four sweet potatoes that had to be cut into chunks. I will tell you that this was probably the hardest part as the sweet potatoes weren’t soft. I took time to do this the night before and just put them in the refrigerator so they could easily be prepped and cooked the next day.

making the sauce


Preparing the “sauce” was actually quite easy. I grabbed our largest sauce pan and put in the ingredients as directed. I worried that there wasn’t going to be enough for the sheer amount of sweet potatoes but it worked out great.


mixing sweet potatoesMixing up all of the sweet potatoes in the sauce pan had to be done in two different batches but it worked really well. Honestly at this point I was a bit worried about the chili powder in the recipe.


laying out the baconAfter cutting the bacon in half I filled my cutting board with bacon. I kind of got a bit competitive at this point to see how many slices of bacon I could fit on the board at a time.

rolling sweet potatoes

Rolling the sweet potatoes proved that you do need smaller chunks for the rolling on the bacon. And putting toothpicks through HARD sweet potatoes… what a chore!

preparing sweet potatoesI started lining them all up in the foil pans that we had purchased (easier to travel with- wouldn’t have used these at home) as I was assembling them. They sure didn’t look pretty at this point.

I started to then try and play with how many I could fit into each row and column hoping ot get the most area of the pan covered without wasting space, much like a game of tetris.ready to bake

I can’t stress how important flipping them over during cooking is. If you don’t you will not have crispy bacon on both sides as they will be laying in bacon grease. final outcome


Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below! Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!