Fit for some FLAIR!

Do you remember growing up and seeing the waiters and waitresses at TGI Friday’s who wore suspenders filled with flair? And then when Facebook originally started there was an app that you could add flair to each others wall? Yep, I’m a little ADDICTED to flair and I love to have some quirky flair in my life!

Math Button Bundle

For the recent Conference for the Advancement of Math Teachers I created 5 new buttons that I had never before created for other conferences. I ended up having some extras and wanted to let others that have a LOVE of FLAIR enjoy them in their lives as well… this means YOU!

Gee Im A Tree Buttons

There is a style for just about everyone!  Just click on any of the pics and you will be directed to my Teachers Pay Teachers store where you can grab some today. Each button is 1″ in diameter and looks cute attached to your lanyard, on a bulletin board, or even with a magnet added to the back and added to your board!

Inspired Math Buttons

Nerd 4 Life Buttons

Pirate Buttons

This Girl Loves Math Buttons

Grab some for you, for a friend or for a fellow teacher buddy! They are the perfect little gift.

Shh, but I may just be bringing some to my Judson workshop next week to giveaway!

Setting Goals for the New School Year

Goal Setting in the Classroom

Every year growing up I remember setting goals in my classes to help guide me through the school year. I don’t remember taking time to reflect on these goals often growing up but when I started with my own classroom it was the first thing that I wanted to continue. Not only did I want to continue to make goals but I wanted to use them to help communicate with my students and parents.

During the first week of school I always talk with my students about the importance of goals. Setting goals give us a direction to follow for the year. As a teacher these goals allow me to see into my student’s minds a bit more. Where do they want to succeed? Where do they see that they might need that extra PUSH this school year?

My students use part of their first few pages of their Interactive Notebooks to do this activity. I want them to be able to refer to them through the year. After reading through students goals it gives me some insight into them as well as the ability to conference with them throughout the year. If I see something slipping I can easily bring this up as a goal that they set in the beginning of the year and then create an action plan for them to help bring them back on track.

For me it is all about letting the students make the choices and helping guide them in the right direction. Do you let your students set goals in your classroom? How do you follow through with them? 

Book Study: Good Questions for Math Teaching- Algebraic Thinking, Data Analysis and Measurement

jamie and jenn

I’m excited to be back this week to share with you more about Good Questions for Math Teaching: Why Ask Them and What to Ask in Grades 5-8 by Lainie Schuster and Nancy Canavan Anderson (link below on picture of book).

If you missed my last post covering What Are Good Questions and How Do We Create Them, check it out first! Also, if you haven’t ready Jamie’s post from last week on Fractions, Decimals and Percents mixed with Geometry check it out as well!

Chapter 9 is all about Algebraic Thinking and starts with a pretty profound statement, “When we ask students to think algebraically, we are asking them to formalize patterns, analyze change, understand functions and move fluently between multiple representations of data sets.”  Doesn’t that relate to all areas of math? We are always formalizing patterns and representations of data whether we formally realize we are doing it or not.

Having students make predictions in all areas of math is a form of algebraic thinking that doesn’t force them into a formal algebra lesson or activity. When we as teachers ask the “good questions” we spark their want to dive further. Computational practice is important but it is even more important to have our students understand the meaning behind what they are doing.

Mathematical processing standards guide our students to justify their thinking and connect their thinking to prior knowledge. THis can be done at any and all grade levels if done systematically.

Chapter 10 related Data Analysis and Probability with appropriate questioning. Why are good questions important when students are discovering the concepts of Data and Probability? Students must reflect on the actions that are occurring to be able to understand the probability (or chance) in their daily lives.

Data Analysis and Probability is EXTREMELY visual! Not only should students be drawing their thoughts via charts, graphs or number lines but also writing out their thinking. This is where open-ended questions that truly make students think are important.

Incorporating manipulatives is important to help build the visuals in students minds as well… dice, dominoes, marbles, number tiles, spinners, decks of cards and so much more can be used.

And finally we come to Chapter 11 which covers one of the most important areas (in my opinion) that we as teachers need to cover with students. Measurement is a struggle for many and it continues to be a weakness for students throughout the years no matter what grade I have taught.

Questions for measurement need to not only require students to measure but also make connections to what they are measuring and prior knowledge. Measurement can easily be connected to geometry, number systems and analyzing data and therefore we can continue to enforce other skills.

So as to not give too much away, I would suggest that you all grab this book if you are looking for some solid foundations on building on concepts in your 5th-8th grade classroom. The last 5 chapters cover the different strands of mathematics and give strategies on how to stimulate these concepts to be understood with students in your classroom.

Book Study Questions

Don’t miss out on this book. It has definitely changed some of my thinking on how to guide my students to achieve their own success through asking the right questions.

book study large

Guest Post: Tanya Villacis for Earth Science Notebooks

 Today I am bringing you a guest post by a NEW blogging friend of mine. Tanya Villacis has become so excited about integrating Interactive Notebooks with her students that she has spent a great deal of time creating new flippables to make this year go so much smoother for her kiddos! Sit back, enjoy some coffee and read about her secrets to a great year!


Well it’s that time of year. Brand new pencils needing to be sharpened…freshly cut fabric sitting in the back of our cars for bulletin boards….new work outfits hanging in our closets. Back to school is among us. Summer is coming to a close and that twinge in our stomach is starting to set in. It’s not the sensation of sadness because we can longer sleep in till 9:00 (….okay maybe a little), but more the prospect of starting anew. A new school year calls for reflecting on the year before. There are always the grand successes and the unfortunate blunders that force educators to make decisions for the new batch of kiddos coming in. I’m still not over my colossal fail of a science experiment with butter and 44 students. Need I say more?

One new addition that I implemented to my teaching style this past year was flippables. THESE ARE MY RIDE OR DIE. I’ve used interactive notebooks for a few years now, but just recently dove into flippables.

What’s the secret to cutting doors and gluing paper that makes learning so much more fun for students? Whether it’s the flippable fairies sprinkling “engagement dust” on their little heads or the fluorescent cardstock I insist on using that is hypnotizing them, my students enjoy flippables. From my perspective they are more apt to take notes when using them and can really digest the massive amounts of knowledge I shovel down their little throats (thanks standardized testing).

I had great fun purchasing already made flippables on TPT throughout the school year when needed; however I reached a road block when teaching Earth’s rotation in science. OK….anyone who has taught Earth’s revolution and rotation knows my pain. Why do the curriculum gods insist on teaching such abstract concepts to 9 and 10 years old? I needed way more resources than the science textbook offered, but couldn’t find anything online.

Enter the lovely Jennifer and her IMPRESSIVE pack of flippables. This pack has EVERYTHING you could ever want. With extensive formats and options, making your own foldables tailored to your students’ needs, while aligned to your state’s curriculum (WOW, THAT’S A MOUTH FULL) is just a few clicks away.

It took me literally 30 minutes to put together 3 foldables for my students. With them we were able to really grasp the concept of Earth’s rotation and the connection to the seasons.

Earths Rotation and Revolution

*Click on the picture above to learn more about this resource*



  Of course there was also a hands-on component to strengthen understanding. I found squishy balls at Dollar Tree with a globe pattern. We poked a push pin on Florida and then took flashlights (representing the Sun) and modeled the rotation of Earth. SUCCESS. Mental light bulbs were going off all around my room that science lesson…or maybe it was all the flashlights that made it appear so bright.

Since that glorious science lesson I have made flippables for other various topics and subjects…Like these little guys…



You can find these products in my TpT store by clicking the images.

Be sure to check out Jennifer’s pack of templates. Thanks Jen for making our lives easier with your templates and thank you for giving me the opportunity to guest post.

Have a great 2014-2015 school year!


Math in Real Life: Where Does the Time Go?

It’s the first Wednesday of July 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
   ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Do you ever wonder where the time goes? Seriously I could have sworn it was just May and everyone was getting out of school and now it is August and everyone is getting ready for a new school year. What’s with that?Well I guess this summer has been quite busy and I’ve done quite a bit.Boxes Everywhere Summer started with a move across town which took us over two weeks from packing to the almost daily multiple trips. Subway Bathroom Art Got to spend some time this summer crafting it up and decorating the new house. Can’t wait to continue to do more of that as well. All Things Interactive Notebook Webinar Recordings Provided my FIRST of many webinars to all of my followers! Thank you all for attending and continuing to watch the recordings. TpT Peeps Met some amazing peeps (Ciera, Brenda, Amanda and I) at the SDE Conference in Louisiana. Met Deanna as well but that’s for another picture! :) Hospital Had a blast in Vegas until I had to come home early because of a Kidney Stone. Ended up having surgery to remove the stone that was blocking all access to my left kidney. MUCH BETTER NOW! CAMT Presentation Presented at Conference for the Advancement of Math Teachers on the Enhancing Student’s Achievement with Interactive Notebooks. By far the biggest and best conference yet! Met with roughly 400 teachers in my two sessions and over 5,000 teachers in the course of three days at the booth. 5thGradeINB And now back on the road to creating amazing new units just for the teachers that I love! Wow, I guess I really did get a lot accomplished this summer. What about you? How about asking your students what they did over the course of the summer and letting them create it as a story problem. The discovering the fractional part of the summer they spent on various things, or even ratios and proportions…. the possibilities are ENDLESS!

Alignment to 2014-2015 Math TEKS

Not a day goes by where I am not asked about my Interactive Notebook resources being aligned to the NEW 2014-2015 Math Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). I am here to give you some GOOD news!

Aligning to Common Core and More

I originally had contemplated creating all new bundles that were separate from those that I have currently in my store that were originally created to be aligned to the Common Core. I can tell you that they alone took me the better part of a school year to create and I didn’t want to not have these units ready for you to start the school year since I have been a bit busy this Summer.

After some serious thought (and basically a light bulb at CAMT), I have decided to ADD TO the current units and bundles that I have available. What does that mean for you? If you have purchased, or planned to purchase, the Interactive Notebook units and bundles you will receive all of the additional content as well!

I have already gone through from Kindergarten through Eighth Grade and aligned the new 2014-2015 TEKS to Common Core so I see the overlap as well as the NEEDS to be addressed areas. This task alone was a daunting one and a compatibility chart might be coming to a store near you soon!

What is the timeline for this adventure?


Kindergarten, First and Second Grade are pretty well covered and will probably be the last that I look at adding to over the course of this school year.


Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade are being created in tandem. That means that as I am creating them RIGHT NOW they are being aligned to both TEKS and Common Core to benefit you! Predicted dates for coming units are listed in the description of the bundle.


Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grade will be added to significantly over the course of the year as there are quite a wide variety of additional items that will need to be added. As these items are added the units and overall bundle will increase in price so it is best to purchase it now before the price increases.


Algebra 1 is also being created to be aligned to both the NEW TEKS as well as Common Core Standards for Coordinate Algebra. Predicted dates for coming units are listed in the description of the bundle.

What does all of this mean for you?

A WHOLE LOT of new products coming your way for the 2014-2015 school year!

Back to School Blow Out Sale at EduCents!


 I am so excited to announce that is having a HUGE back-to-school blowout sale and I am going to be featured in one of the curriculum bundles! From July 30 – August 2 (Wednesday – Saturday), they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year!Take a peek into what is on sale! Tell your friends, because there is something for everyone who teaches children in Pre K – 8th grade!

Preschool Full-Year Curriculum Bundle – 72% OFF


Kindergarten Full-Year Curriculum Bundle – 75% OFF


K-2 The Write Stuff ELA Bundle – 68% OFF


First Grade Literacy Bundle – 74% OFF


School Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 2-3) – 74% OFF


Poetry Curriculum & Activities Bundle (Grades 2-6) – 75% OFF


Tricky Math Curriculum Bundle (Grades 3-5) – 69% OFF


Complete Full-Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 6-8) – 77% OFF

6-8 Grade Bundle
**This one has 2 of my bundles in it! My Data and Graphs Bundle as well as my Probability Bundle which alone are a $17 value!

Management, Decor & Organization Bundle – 76% OFF


Don’t Miss It!