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June 28, 2014

New Blog for Guided Math

There's a new blog in the blogosphere that I am really excited about.  It's called Adventures in Guided Math.

I've been dabbling with guided math for a couple years and finally jumped in whole-heartedly this past year while I had a student teacher.

It wasn't easy or perfect, but I loved it and so did the kids.

I'm still trying to figure out what will work best for me and the kids so I plan on visiting this blog often for great ideas and inspiration.

If you are already doing guided math or just thinking about it, you should too!

June 20, 2014

Organizing TpT Purchases

OMGosh!  I have to do better about keeping up with this blog.  My summer goal is to post once a week.  We'll see if I can do it.

I've cut back on blog design work so I can actually have a life during the summer and spend more time with family and friends.  I'll post more about my inspiration behind that decision later.

I've been on vacation for two weeks now and we've had rain and thunderstorms every day except one or two.  I actually love thunderstorms and listening to it rain!  Plus, I've read four books!  FOUR!!

However, my planters are still empty and my yard is in serious need of some work.  But isn't summer all about "I can do it tomorrow!"??

I've also caught up on some blog stalking.  Whew!  Those were some late nights let me tell you!

Somewhere, I don't recall where, I saw this awesome idea of creating secret Pinterest boards to organize your TpT or TN purchases.  Brilliant I say!!

Can't tell you how many times I've tried to find a specific item to download at home or school and can't....without scrolling through way.too.many purchases to mention!  :)

So this week, I set out to organize my stuff on secret boards.


1.  Open your Pinterest account and scroll way down to the end of your boards until you see this and click on "Create a secret board":

2.  Set up boards for every category you want.  (You can see some of mine above.)

3.  Next go to your TpT or TN account and open your purchases.

4.  Open each separate purchase and pin it to the appropriate secret board you created.

Do NOT create a new board while in the pin it part of Pinterest (like in the image below) because it won't be created as a "secret" board...although you probably can change that later.

Now your pins will take you right to the product you purchased!

Absolutely brilliant!

If you know the amazing blogger who figured this out please let me know...I'd like to send her flowers or at least a virtual hug!

UPDATE:  This is where I may have seen this - Pawsitively Teaching's Made It Monday/Tried It Tuesday - so I'm sending a virtual hug & flowers to Pawsitively right now!!

It is so simple and easy...just time consuming if you have a purchase list like I do!  Give it a try today or soon...I promise you won't regret it!

March 01, 2014

More Super Improver Tags

Here are the next few Super Improver tags to use on "brag tag" necklaces as requested by Paula.

My kids simply cannot get enough of these.  I've actually had to make more of them than I ever imagined...way beyond what the typical Super Improver Wall had on it.  It tickles me to see the kids get so excited about what the next tag says and has for an image on it.  It's the little things in life, right?!

To Print: Just download the PNG, save to your computer, right click on the file 
and choose Print from the drop down menu. 
I do full page photo and print them on white cardstock


How is the snow accumulation going in your neck of the woods?  We are fifth on the list of cities in the US with the most snow.  GRRRRRR!  The forecast says up to 16 more inches this weekend.  Currently we have three times our winter average.  I've had enough thank.you.very.much!  

The below zero temperatures that keep us inside all day (for days on end) are the worst!!  The kids go crazy no matter how many brain breaks we take and the colds and crud keep getting passed around no matter how much we clean and sterilize.  And the SMELL!

This photo shows us at recess standing on a pile of snow next to one of the basketball hoops...yep, that's my head higher than the top of highest hoop! 

September 29, 2013

Super Improvers Wall ( or Not)

I love Whole Brain Teaching.

Last year I had a Super Improvers Wall.  I had the levels (thanks to Teacher on the Loose)

and each of my students had a colored card with their name on it to put their stickers on...except I used gems instead of stickers.  Who doesn't like a little bling!

I get these at Joanne's in a variety of colors.  And the kids LOVE them!  Occasionally I'll buy some that are a little larger just to mix it up....but only because I'm crazy like that....or they are out of the smaller size.  Take your pick.

It was a great success!  I loved it and the kids loved it.  Win-Win!!

Flash forward to a shopping trip near the end of the school year for more gems.  The clerk asked what I was making with so many packages of gems.  I told her about the Super Improver Wall and she suggested if it was something they could wear and collect all year it would be even better.  I agreed and we brainstormed a little about how it could be done.


Then while stalking a favorite blog over the summer aka Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera!  I fell in love with her behavior beads and purchased just about every set she has.

As I was printing set after set out the light bulb went off....click!

Super Improvers Wall....that they can wear!

The kids love these!

Here are the first three tags for you to download and use.

Free Graphics from Phillip Martin

I'll be adding others as I make them.
I hope your kids like these as much as mine do.

September 14, 2013

Attention Please!


You are busy working with a student one-on-one or with a small group and the interruptions just keep coming, right?!

"How do you spell cousin?"

"What am I supposed to do on this one?"

"Did you know it's thirty-eight days until my birthday?"

Really??  You interrupted me for that!

How do you make the madness end?????

Train your kids.  What do you do if _______ happens and I'm busy?  Role-play.  (Kids love that!)

I admit I've not done this well enough many years and it made working with someone or a small group PaInFuL!

I've tried the "Ask 3 Before Me" sign, the crown on my head, etc. to signal no interruptions.

Those all worked to a point but there was something missing.

This year part of training my class included this little miracle.

Sorry it's a little blurry.
Each of the kids gets a stick with their number on it.  (Right now they are all in the container as you can see.) Love the numbers because it makes it possible for me to use the sticks for many years to come.  =)

Then while I work with a child or small group, if someone needs help or attention they quietly walk over and put their stick in the can.  It's important to teach what is a good reason to seek attention before hand so you won't get the birthday countdown info....usually.

When I have a minute between groups or kids, I pull a stick and call that child over so I can help with what they needed and give them their stick back.  Often times the kids will solve their own issue and sneak back over and remove their own stick while I am still working with someone.

Ah, bliss!


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