Where did the year go?

Every year about this time I start wondering where did the school year go. It never ceases to amaze me the things that we can fit into the last few weeks, or even days, to keep our students engaged. I’ve been doing some blog and TpT stalking and have found some activities I am sure that you (and your students) will LOVE!

Getting Ready For Summer

Each of these products have a certain place in your classroom and are very easy to implement because we all know at this time of the year you have NO TIME TO WASTE!


These Summer Word Problems are great for 3rd-5th graders to help polish up their word problem skills as they finish off the year. They are totally themed with various things that are perfect for the season to keep students engaged while they are showing their work!


If you are anything like me, you are always looking for something to review measurement, time and all things real-world with your students. The Length of a School Year Project is a perfect culmination of reviewing skills from the entire school year all in one great project. With the graphic organizers, calendars and more you have everything you need all ready!


Do you need to create something that can be differentiated for each of your groups? The Beach Bum Relay is perfect for using with any topic and will keep your students engaged while also creating an adorable beach themed picture.


All kiddos LOVE to color and by creating different activities to allow them to show off their skills in the I Love Math Coloring Activity, you can create a slew of posters to decorate your walls, hallway and more!


And if you are looking for your students to reflect on their school year to remember beyond when they leave your doors, grab the Outside the Box Project for students to “Box Up their Year” in a fun and engaging way!

How many days do you have left to keep your students engaged and on task? Yep, we all know it’s like herding cattle some days when the kiddos are ready for summer! :)

Five for Friday: May Edition

Five for Friday

It has been quite awhile since I have done a Five For Friday and caught people up on the regular weekly shenanigans around here so I figured it was about time to do some catching up.

Starbucks is Talking

Sunday we were headed to my aunt’s for Mother’s Day (my mom and aunt are twins) and I grabbed Starbucks on the way. Crazy at it seems, my sleeve was speaking to me! I have had a fire lit under me this past week and it definitely is pushing me toward fulfilling my purpose.

New Home

Hubby and I have been looking for a new place to rent for about 4 months now. We are looking to move about 60 miles from where we are now and I won’t be east of Dallas but rather east of Fort Worth in Arlington. We have both been searching every site imaginable to look for houses to look at daily and this one came up on Sunday. Hubby approved of it and I called the guy after Mother’s Day lunch. He called me back a bit later and we were on our way to view it. Needless to say, we really liked it and completed the application while we were there! We get to pick up our keys tomorrow and start moving in. Who is going to be my first guest?

Modeling Equality Activity 3

Remember that fire that has been lit? I’ve been working on the final unit for the 6th Grade Interactive Notebook which is Equations and Inequalities. While I have been working on this it has sparked some new products as well. One of those is the FREEBIE I shared earlier this week on the blog, Modeling Equality, which can be used in so many different grade levels to different extents.

iPad Inequalities

Another new product is iPad Inequalities and I created this based on the fact that in my years of teaching I never really got to teach inequalities and so I was loving creating items for the Interactive Notebook and had more ideas left over that had to be used!

30 Day Challenge

This week hubby and I started a 30 day challenge. We recently bought mountain bikes and I love mine. It’s turquoise and so cute! Yes, I know that’s not the reason to pick a bike but that is how I picked it and hubby approved of it’s specs. I will tell you that Day 1 and 2 (1 mile and 1.31 miles) were KILLER! I thought I was going to die. Day 3 we went for 1.5 miles and actually hit 1.78 miles and that is where the smile above came from. I’m getting better for sure. We both want to get out and get on them daily but things do happen and we are already learning that. I’m posting daily selfies (or #healthies) on Instagram and Facebook to share the progress.

Fill Er Up!

And then the crazy amazing deal this week was getting gas for $2.98 a gallon! It just so happened we showed up at the right time because we found out that 3 hours later they bumped it back up to $3.35. Needless to say we filled up both cars despite just having filled up the Beast (hubby’s truck) the day before.

So what’s new in your world? Have you summarized your week and share it on your blog? Link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and let others come and check out your week!

Interactive Notebooks: What About an Absent Student?

A question that I get asked regularly via email or workshops and session is, “What do you do about students who are absent? How do they follow along with their Interactive Notebooks?”

Interactive Notebook Absent Student

In my classroom I had a create with hanging file folders labeled 1-31. In each of these folders were the extra handout from each day in class. A student knew that when they came in after an absence they were to pull the items for the day they missed, sign up for a tutoring time so they could get their mini lesson and make up their Interactive Notebook pages.

Extras and Graded Papers

I always took snapshots of my pages in my Interactive Notebook and posted them on my classroom blog. This blog was able to be subscribed to by parents and students and receive daily updates so they would stay on top of everything that happened in the classroom.

Recently it was asked, “What about students who don’t have internet access?” and through collaboration with the awesome Mrs. Dubrava I’ve created a FREEBIE just for you as a blog reader!

So You Were Absent Example


This is a completely EDITABLE file that you can create text boxes to add in information as well as drag and drop a picture (or pictures) for students to see exactly what they have missed. This is perfect to insert into the crate option that I used above.

There is room for the students name, date, objective in an I Can format and room for the assignment for students to complete which makes this so easy for you to keep up with daily absences in a quick and easy format.

Absent Freebie

So for those of you who are using Interactive Notebooks in your classroom and want to make sure that your students are staying on track, grab this freebie by clicking on the picture above or jump over to this link!

I hope you enjoy this to make your classroom management of absences a bit easier!

Modeling Equality for Algebraic Reasoning

Modeling Equality Activity

While working on the final Sixth Grade Interactive Notebook Unit on Equation and Inequalities I started thinking about the algebraic reasoning skills that I would, in an ideal world, LOVE for my students to know coming to me. Modeling equality is the first thing that came to me as in my experience students have a difficulty showing that two sides of an equal sign must balance when you start throwing in variables.

Modeling equations starts as early as first and second grade when students are learning fact families and showing that despite numbers being in different places in the equation they are still equal.

Modeling Equality Activity 1

To help students understand the Addition or Subtraction Property of Equality, work in a small group of students (or even as an entire class under the document camera) and display one of the cards.

Modeling Equality Activity 2

Using a scale level students should model each side of the equation with similar objects. This can also be done on white boards or with an actual balance and unifix cubes.

Modeling Equality Activity 3

One way that many students will show that sides are equal is building a group of ten on each side (if possible) and then counting the extra objects to determine that each have the same.

Modeling Equality Activity 4

Another method that students might take is to add the same amount to each side to make them equal. You can see that with this one the blocks were added to make the pictures similar.

Modeling Equality Activiy 5

Subtracting on a balance is a little bit different. Students should model the subtrahend on both sides of the balance.

Modeling Equality Activity 6


Then by subtracting the minuend from each side students can easily see the amount left they can see that both sides of the equation are equal.

These cards (and 22 others) are in the Modeling Equality FREEBIE in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. Click on the picture below and grab it today to use in your classroom.


Linky Party: May Success in Secondary

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 blog post or FREEBIE. Yep, I’m changing the game a bit and making it One for One!

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!

Math in Real Life: Preparing for a Conference

It’s the first Wednesday of May 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
   ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ What a crazy month it has been for me and LOTS of math has been involved for sure! Last night I got home from Arkansas Association of Middle Level Educators Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas where I met a couple of hundred wonderful teachers from all over Arkansas!
To get ready for the conference where I would be presenting and exhibiting there were a few different things that had to get done.
Preparing to Bag
My dining room started to look quite crazy as we were nearing the week before the conference. Each of the boxes contained goodies from the teachers being represented at the table and they each had their special space.
Stamping Bags
Stamping bags was a labor of love for about two weeks. Hubby and I worked each night and got all 300 bags done! Broke it down into groups of 25 so we could see progress.
Boxing Bags
Finding a way to transport the bags that was economical as well as was able to fit as many as possible without being too heavy was a chore. Hubby and I grabbed boxes from Home Depot and I was able to fit in 84 bags, or 4 layers of 21, in each box. Since I needed to take 300 bags with me I had quite a few boxes to fill and then fit in my car. Quite a bit of playing Tetris.
Booth Set Up
Every conference is different and the booth size at this conference was 8′ by 8′. I was provided with a 6′ table  and knew that I needed more room than that to display all the great stuff from the teachers participating. I added in two 5′ tables and it turned out great. I might have mapped it out on some graph paper before I went.
Chatting with Teachers
And last, but certainly NOT LEAST, making connections with other teachers added great people to my network of teachers. The three educators above were talking about Unthinkable by Live.Love.Math where students work on their vocabulary in a game format.
I had a great time at the conference and look forward to the next one that I have coming up in Tulsa, Oklahoma followed by New Orleans, Louisiana.

5 Reasons Why I Haven’t Been Around to Blog

I know it’s been awhile since I have blogged and I promise I’ve some great excuses reasons. Just a little catch up as the crazy busy week continues.

Meet Buddy

Meet Buddy the newest member of our family. He is 3 months old today and so much fun. We rescued him from a local rescue organization where he was with his 4 litter mates. Buddy is a Basset/Beagle mix otherwise known as a Bagle. The last 10 days have been full of crate training, puppy pads, chewing on things appropriate (and inappropriate), daily nap time and so much more.

The girls are getting used to him and they see him as their brother. They are at the tolerating point right now and still jealous over affection.

photo 2

So the same day that we adopted Buddy we also bought new mountain bikes to start getting some exercise. Well of course you get to test your bike before you buy it. I didn’t know the bike store was in the plans or I would have planned a better outfit for sure. Needless to say when I was taking my test ride I was trying to turn at the end of the driveway and my sandal slipped a bit so while trying to get it back on I ran into a concrete ramp, the bike fell over and of course I tried to catch myself. All I thought was that it was some scrapes on my arm and leg but the next day we decided that a splint was in order because of the lack of motion in my wrist.

Now that it has been 10 days I’m trying to have more time without the splint but I still have to take it easy. Hubby keeps teasing me that my middle name should have been Grace.

Notebook Workshop

I’ve been also doing a lot of work to get ready for Arkansas Association of Middle Level Educators (#AAMLE14) where I will not only be presenting next week but ALSO exhibiting! I am so excited and can’t wait to present this new session.

Booth Banner

Lots of work has been happening to get my booth stuff ready and one of those things is the banner above. I cut out the burlap using a stencil I created with KG Flavor and Frames Four. Someone should have told me the tricks of burlap before cutting because I had to go back and spray starch and iron every piece before painting the letters on. Hot Glue was my friend to get the pennants on the jute rope before I tied on the fabric in between each letter. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

Conference Chaos

Yep, more conference prep. The table is where I am working on prepping goody bags before my back gives out for good, boxes of goodies from fellow teachers I am marketing for at #AAMLE. Tubs full of marketing books, task card samples, session supplies and so much more. I tell you it is organized and I understand the chaos that it entails.

So now you can see I’ve been a bit busy and away from the computer. My goals for when I return from Arkansas next week are to get back to finishing the last of the two units (one for 6th grade and one for 8th grade) to complete the Interactive Notebook Bundles. Once those are complete samples will be started and added.

And a TEASE for my Texas Peeps! I just finished getting the alignment done for the Common Core to NEW MATH TEKS for 6th-8th grade and I will be creating a completely TEKS aligned Interactive Notebook just for you! Goal is to have it up and running before CAMT in July so that I can have it there for you to purchase!