Left, Right, Answer Review from Live, Love, Math

Hello there! I’m Danielle from Live Love Math and I am so excited to share my review of 4mulaFun’s super cool twist on using task cards in the classroom. About a month ago, I was on spring break and like many teachers, was thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the year. I remember being on Facebook when Jennifer posted this awesome product and just thought to myself, “I HAVE to have that!”

Left, Right, Answer- A New Take on Using Task Cards in you
I may have actually said it outloud. Jennifer must have heard me, because she asked if I would try in my classroom—um, “DUH!” I said. After all, everything of hers that I have bought and used in the classroom has been a smash hit.
Here is the basic premise: You divide your kids into groups (I did groups of 3-4 students…any more than that and I think it would not have worked as well). Print out a set of task cards for each group. You can have them work on the same set or you can differentiate and give a different set based on the needs of that group. I chose to have them all use the same set since this was review for a test. I chose to use my Probability of Compound Events Task Cards.
The directions for both students and teachers are included in the pack as well as several versions of the dice that you can have the kids use. I used the standard 6 sided die, but I may try the 4 sided one next time. I had my 1st period kiddos put the dice together, but in hindsight, I probably should have done this myself—8th graders are not as particular as I am about taping! Then, all that was left was to give each kid a recording sheet (with the directions on the sheet for easy reference!) and a set of the cards. My recommendation the first time that you use this is to physically pass the cards out to each student. They were so excited to get started that they just started rolling and no one had any cards!

After giving instructions again and reminding students to FIRST deal out all the cards evenly, they were ready to go! I would recommend giving an even number of task cards to each group that is easily divisible. I used a set that had 24 cards so I could group them in 3, 4, or even 6 people and no one would complain that someone started out with less than another student.

I loved that they helped each other with the questions that they had to answer. This question was tricky for this student and the rest of her group jumped in to help! Even though they originally loved the idea of not having to solve every card, most groups ended up solving every card anyway since they all worked together. Cooperative learning at its finest!

 I did have a few instances throughout the day where I saw a sheet like this. The student “just happened to” land on “left” or “right” each time, so I instituted a new rule that the die had to actually “flip” in the air before it landed on the desk or the floor. That took care of any intentional non-answering! Wouldn’t you know, the next roll, this student had to answer a question. Her group mates were overjoyed! 

 One thing I forgot to mention was how to keep the cards that have been answered separated from the cards that are still in play. There is this super-cute sheet called the “Task Card Graveyard” that the kids place the cards on. When all of the cards have been answered, the game is over. In some classes, the games were still going strong with 10 minutes left in class. I had those classes stop the game and answer any cards in their possession. This gave us some time to go over the answers before their test the next day. Overall, I
was so pleased with the result of this activity in class. I will definitely be
using this again! I think it would be perfect to review for semester exams with a larger set of questions…maybe 48 or so. It definitely kept my kids engaged and in middle school on a Friday, that is the ULTIMATE goal!

Thanks to Danielle for sharing how she used Left, Right, Answer in her classroom. Feel free to check out her blog or her Teachers Pay Teachers store to learn more about her and her middle school math classroom.

I am in the giving mood and would love to give away a copy to one lucky follower who leave a comment on this blog post.

Leave a comment on this blog post by Saturday, April 19th at MIDNIGHT about how you would use this in your classroom and I will pick a LUCKY winner on Sunday and send Left, Right, Answer your way!

Sent out an email to ALL who left a comment! ENJOY!


Linky Party: Success in Secondary April 2014

Success in Secondary Linky Party

I love being able to share resources with other Secondary teachers when I am out doing workshops and online. I don’t have time to go and research all of those on my own so this is your time to shine!

Rules are pretty simple… You MAY link up an unlimited number of blog posts and freebies (current and meaningful). You MAY link up one product for every 2 blog post/freebie links. So in essence it’s a rule of three!

Now, on top of that please take time to leave a comment on other blog posts so that we can share the love on each others blogs.

If you are here to find new resources, leave a comment and let me know what resources you are looking for and I can nag ask some friends to come on over and link them up for you!

Check, Check, Double Check!

If you are anything like me in your classroom you survive by checklists! Yes, everything must have a checklists so I can make sure that I don’t leave off one little details. And the things I forget and I still get done… they of course get added to the checklist so I can easily mark them off as done!

How Checklists Work

In true organization style I have always enjoyed using a checklist of the given standards that I was supposed to teach for different reasons. At any given time I have one printed out for each class period as well as in my lesson plan book. Crazy right?

How often are you planning and you want to see of you have covered a standard or not? *save a copy in your lesson planning notebook and mark with dates of when they are taught/assessed*

Where are my students coming from? Where do they need to go next year? *checklists are grouped in three grade levels for easy access of prerequisites and future standards*

How far has this student progressed in their RTI and/or tutoring goals? *three columns next to each standard allow for updating*

And even more importantly, with my middle school students many of them have their own copies to track their progress in certain areas as they work to master the standards. I’ve even provided lower grade levels for my students with IEPs so that they have correlated standards to mark for progress.

Texas has adopted NEW Math TEKS that schools will be implementing fully next year and so I have created a brand new set of standards based checklists for you.

Checklists for Math TEKS

Are you looking for Common Core Checklists? Check out my blogging bestie, MissMathDork, for her Math Checklists.

When you take a moment and grab either of our checklists, please take time to leave feedback. Feedback on freebies help support your TpT teachers and you never know when you can make someone’s day turn around. :)

Math in Real Life… On A Date

It’s the first Wednesday of April April 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
For the past several months I have been participating in MissMathDork’s Math In Real Life Linky Party. Sadly, last week I just wasn’t there with something to share. Yes, I use math ALL the time but I wanted to share something that was meaningful and I just couldn’t get motivated to write about one of the ways I use math daily.
photo 1 (1)
This weekend while I was away celebrating my 5th anniversary with the hubby down in Austin, I used math in a new way! Hubby taught me how to play darts. (I do apologize for the advertisement…. we were meeting a friend where she works.)
Dart Scoreboard
Not sure how many of you have played Cricket before. You have to shoot at the board and try to hit the areas from 15 to 20 or the Bullseye. When you have hit that area successfully three time you have closed out that number. If you are the first person to close out that number then you can start to score points. Once the other player has closed out that number then neither of you can score points for that area. That took me awhile to realize and hence the HUGE gap in points.
photo 2
Had to show off my best shot of the night… two 18′s and a 17.  Maybe next time I will have some better shots in me and I might be able to close the gap between the hubs and I.
And to top it off… I am trying to figure out how to use darts in the classroom. Any ideas?


Currently in April

It’s been awhile since I have participated in the Currently Linky with Farley over at Oh’ Boy 4th Grade so I thought today would be a great one!


Listening- Yes, I am addicted and catching up on seasons past. Already have caught up on Pretty Little Liars during Spring Break.

Loving- This Friday the hubby and I will celebrate our 5 year anniversary. We are headed out of town for the weekend and I’ve already set up my away message for my email while I’m gone! :)

Thinking- Yesterday I sat down with my April calendar and put deadlines for some products that I want to get out this month and completed. Also added in some times for getting all the goody bags together for the AAMLE conference the first week of May.

Wanting- Yes, I am always wanting a massage and hubs doesn’t do them very well. Guess I should make an appointment sometime soon.

Needing- Allergies are just the bane of my existence. Every morning I wake up with eyes that are caked together as if they have been taped shut with Duct Tape. Then of course they are watery beyond belief the rest of the day. My poor furbaby Sookie joins in the misery of allergies with me.

Hours and Last Day- I’m typically in my office to work from 9am to 6pm (when hubby gets home). I rarely take a day off but will sometimes fluctuate my schedule depending on what needs to be done personally. At least half of my day is spent answering emails, working on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) and the like. Making sure my communication lines are open with you is the first goal I have everyday.

Speaking of that… I thought I would update you on the plans for this month so YOU can hold me accountable! Each of these dates are TARGETED deadlines!

April 3- 8th Grade Linear Functions to Proofreader

April 9- 6th Grade Numbers and Opposites to Proofreader

April 11- 7th Grade Probability to Proofreader

April 16- Samples for Linear Functions and Numbers and Opposites Complete

April 18- Probability Samples Complete

April 22- 8th Grade Linear Models and Tables to Proofreader

April 25- 6th Grade Equations and Inequalities to Proofreader

April 29- Samples for Linear Models Complete

April 30- Samples for Equations and Inequalities Complete

WHEW! That’s a lot and I totally hope that it can happen as well as all the other things that I have planned in this month.

Have you participated in the Currently Linky? Leave a comment as I would LOVE to come on over and check yours out as well. :)

Testing Time Around Here!

Preparing for Testing

I’m not sure about the other states but I know that right now in Texas we are in full force testing time! In fact this week is the first round of testing for many different grades and subjects. GOOD LUCK to all of you!

For those of you who are still gearing up for your state testing to come I have been searching high and low for some great resources (4mulaFun approved) that you can use in your classroom to help your students prepare during final review time. And for my Texas friends, this is great for the time AFTER testing when you are still wanting to engage students and keep them preparing for the next grade level. Many of you still have final exams coming up.

4mula For Test Prep Pinterest Board

Click on over and check out the Pinterest board. I would love for you to follow along as well. If you have some great tips that you have blogged about or have seen, please leave a link in the comments below and I will check it out to add to the board!

Using Diagrams in Interactive Notebooks

Diagrams in Interactive Notebooks


Are you looking for some new ideas on including diagrams and charts in your Interactive Notebooks? Today over at All Things Elementary I am sharing a new idea on including those necessary diagrams to facilitate student memory. Not only are they colorful and creative but they are complete and add to the depth of students knowledge by having it right there at their hands.

I would love for you to pop on over to my Facebook Fan Page and leave a comment on how you include diagrams in your Interactive Notebooks as well!