Saturday, March 15, 2014

Five For Friday with a Freebie

I'm linking up my Five for Friday - even though I only taught for a day and a half this week.  I took Monday off as a sick day - sinus infection turned bronchitis.  We had a half day on Tuesday due to teacher professional development and then Wednesday and Thursday turned out to be snow days! So, I ended up teaching my Monday lesson plans on Friday.  Yikes, we lost almost an entire week of instruction, but the positive is that I pretty much already have my plans complete for next week!

So, here goes....

#1  Since St. Patty's day is on Monday, and my last name is O'Bryan so we take this holiday pretty seriously, LOL, I created a quick review game for my math students to practice decimal multiplication skills.  I'm excited to share it with you all as a FREEBIE!

#2  Today is the last day of my online facebook Jamberry party. It's been so much fun this past week talking about Jamberry with all my friends and seeing their purchases!  Feel free to check it out if you're interested. The party closes tonight (Saturday) at midnight!

Heehee...... I wanted to make sure to remind you that Missy Crossnoe O'Bryan's party is closing tomorrow at midnight.      Julie Andresen Pieprzyk's photo.

#3  During March is Reading Month, we have a read-in every Friday in our classroom.  Yesterday we had fun listening to books during our read-in using on our iPads.  Listening to books is a great way to engage your struggling readers!  And even your high readers love the chance to listen to a good story once in a while.  You should try it!


#4 My son's hockey team won his tournament on Sunday! 

#5  I used the extra time from Wednesday's snow day to finish Bundling up my decimal centers. I'm so excited to finish cutting and organizing today!

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lucky Leprechaun Decimal Multiplication FREEBIE

Snow Day #ihavelostcount I'm not looking forward to school in mid to late June - but it was nice to have some extra time again today to catch up on grading, lesson planning and creating.  We're wrapping up our unit on multiplying and dividing decimals in math so I created this fun Lucky Leprechaun St. Patrick's Day Decimal Multiplication Roll FREEBIE.

It's a quick game that I'm planning to use on St. Patty's Day to review decimal multiplication before our test on Friday.  You can also play the game with just whole number multiplication.

All you need are recording sheets (included), dice and calculators. You can download, print and play in the same day!  It doesn't get much easier than that!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spring Giveaway and Currently

Yahoo, it's March!  That means spring is coming, right?  I'm not letting the fact that it's snowing outside right this very minute dampen my excitement.  I'm just pretending I don't even see it while I shop for bathing suits and new spring Jamberry wraps online.  I'm refusing to think about winter any longer, from this day forward in my mind, it is spring!  A Michigan girl's gotta do what she must to stay positive after four long, snow covered months....

So, in the spirit of spring, I'm hosting a little "Spring is Coming" giveaway. I'm giving away a copy of my newest product - Common Core Critical Verbs Vocabulary Word Wall Cards. They turned out so cute, I'm printing and laminating them as we "speak."  I hope you'll love them too!

As you know, the Common Core Standards have some pretty tricky verbs in there and we need to be explicitly teaching our kiddos to understand what these verbs are asking them to do.  For example; articulate, analyze, synthesize, paraphrase........

I strongly believe in the intentional, purposeful teaching of vocabulary.  I've mentioned it many times before, but here it goes again, according to Robert Marzano's research, students need exposure to academic vocabulary words up to 26 times before they truly reach understanding. 

Posting these critical verbs is a necessity so you can continually refer to them throughout the year!

If you want a copy of this product, March might be your "lucky" month.  Enter below. Giveaway ends on Wednesday, March 5th at midnight!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lastly, I'm linking up with Farley's Currently because it's spring!  Yahoo!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Need a new read aloud?

I have read some AMAZING books lately and I'd love to share them with you.  I get most of my ideas for read alouds from other's recommendations, so I'm hoping my recommendations might inspire some of you awesome teachers!

#1  2013 Newberry Award Winner - Flora & Ulysses  (My own son who does not enjoy reading actually picked this book up and finished it in 3 days) So to me, this book is a miracle.  And I promise you will love it also.

#2  Out of My Mind - I read this book aloud as part of the 2013 Global Read Aloud project (so much fun) and we are still today talking about Melody and her struggle with cerebral palsy.  This book is also a great companion to Wonder by R.J. Palacio - I know you've all heard of this one.  It was my vote for the 2012 Newberry Award.  August and Melody have many similarities and you will have great conversations comparing and contrasting these two character's responses to the challenges they face.


#3  Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli - This book is confusing at first, and hard for my fifth graders to decipher on their own, but with support as a classroom read aloud - I think kids would hang on every word.  What kid wouldn't want to hear details about a magical world designed just for kids - no adults!  Snowcones, playgrounds, bounce houses, and riding bikes all day long are the kids' favorite past times in Hokey Pokey.  Secretly, I wouldn't mind living there for a day or two myself.  :)

#4  Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library - Where can I begin? This story is a book lover's dream.  The plot line mirrors Charlie & the Chocolate Factory as kids win tickets to the new magical library opening in town.  Once they get in, they spend the rest of the story playing games, solving clues, and working together (or not) to be the first to escape from the library.  The whole book is a game! Who wouldn't love it?  And, the allusions to many of my favorite childhood books that are sprinkled throughout the text were so much fun too.

#5  If you're a high school teacher (or just love reading YA lit as much as I) than #5 is for you - The Fault in our Stars by John Green.  I started this book on a Friday night and finished on Saturday afternoon if that tells you anything.  I absolutely couldn't put it down, and I know many others felt the same way.  It's a tear jerker as you live the life of a 17 year old girl who is dying from cancer.  I finished the book with a new appreciation for "living like you're dying."  What I wouldn't give to be able to read this aloud with a group of age appropriate kids.  We'd all be a crying mess.  Lastly, it's being made into a movie as I type so you must read it before the big screen ruins it.  Oops, that's not what I meant to say.  You must read it, before the big screen makes tons of money off of it.  There - that sounds better!

Happy Presidents Day everyone!  My kiddos are sledding up north with grandma and grandpa so I'm enjoying having a bit of extra time to myself.  It doesn't come often!!

If you're looking for more great read alouds, check out It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day #6 and Decimal Valentine's Day Centers

Well it appears that lately the only time I blog is on snow days.  LOL  With mid-year assessments and report cards I have been swamped.  Thank goodness for a few (6 to be exact) snow and cold days off from work, so I can work on catching up on my work.  Sounds crazy doesn't it!

Anyway, this is just a quick post to say I'm finally finished with my third set of decimal centers. This set is Valentine's Day themed and focuses on multiplying and dividing decimal amounts.

I'm so excited to print these off tonight, organize, laminate at school this week and have my Math Workshop plans all set for next week.  These centers are perfect for those of you who are using a Math Workshop, Guided Math or Small Group type of math instruction.  Though you can also use them whole group or as interventions/extensions to differentiate your instruction.

This set of Valentine's Day Decimal Centers includes 3 task cards centers, one independent work center and one math game center.  All recording sheets, directions, and answer keys are included. Your students can move through these centers throughout the week while you are meeting with small groups.


Targeted skills include:

     * Multiplying decimals by whole numbers and by decimals through thousandths
     * Dividing decimals by whole numbers and by decimals with dividends through thousandths
     * Decimal patterns when multiplying and dividing by powers of ten
     * Finding the missing factor when multiplying decimals
     * Using a calculator to check work, guess and check problem solving strategy, and comparing decimal amounts


I'm off to get started printing and resume work on report cards.  Only 13 comments left to go.  Why is it that I spend hours on report card comments every marking period.  There has got to be a better way!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Newly Updated Common Core Math Assessment Packs - and a Snow Day!

I'm linking up today with Fourth Grade Flipper's Tried it Tuesday, because we have another snow day so I'm 'trying' to update some of my TPT products.  It feels so good to have the gift of time to tackle a few items on the 'to do' list! (Also, she has an AWESOME give away going on over at her blog, if you have some extra snow day time - check it out!)

Don't ya love when you finally have some extra time to update some of those oldies but goodies in your TPT store?  That's what I spent most of yesterday doing (instead of grading papers - such a procrastinator!). I'm so excited about these updates, I can't wait to share them with you.

As you all know, we're in the middle of a 'snowpocalypse' here in Michigan. I didn't believe all the hype, but we do have 7 or so inches already and more is coming overnight.  Plus, we have record low temperatures on the way for Monday night  We've already gotten the 'snow day' call for tomorrow (which was supposed to be our first day back from break) woot woot!  Think we'll get Tuesday also?

Hubby shoveling snow off the deck this morning.
This is turning into the longest break ever! We also started break early with a snow day.  Tomorrow is day 18 off from school.  Part of me is loving all of this extra time, but part of me is missing my kiddos.  We'll definitely be reviewing the first few days back after this long stretch of time off.

In preparation for reviewing, I've revamped my Common Core Math Assessment Packs.  Each pack contains daily formative assessment exit slips and weekly formative assessment quizzes.  Plus vocabulary cards, a review guide and summative unit assessment. I use the packs to guide and organize my unit instruction from start to finish. The assessments offer quick data to inform my teaching as well as grades for the grade book - which are always hard to come by within a workshop.  These packs are a life-saver when it comes to planning, informing your instruction and assessing!  I couldn't teach without them.
Between reviewing concepts with exit slips from my Assessment Packs, and the New Years Decimal Centers I have planned for the upcoming week - I definitely have my math plans complete for the first few weeks back.

Now on to reading and writing plans, but thanks to the 'snowpocalypse' I can wait until tomorrow to work on those!  

Who else has a snow day tomorrow?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Decimal Centers Giveaway and a FREE item of choice from my TPT store!

In honor of one of my New Years resolutions - to be adventurous and try new things - I'm hosting my very first ever giveaway!  I'm super excited and I would love for you to enter.  The giveaway starts now, and ends at midnight on Friday, Jan. 3rd.  Three lucky winners will get a FREE copy of my New Years Decimal Centers and an item of choice from my TPT store!  All you have to do is follow me in a few places, comment on this post with one of your New Years Resolutions and/or blog, pin or tweet about the giveaway!

Lastly, I'm further celebrating the beginning of 2014 with a 20% off sale on ALL items in my TPT store. Enjoy!!!

Happy New Year!

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Button graphics from Ashley Hughes, Graphics From the Pond, and I Teach, What's Your Superpower?

Font from The Learning Tree

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