My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things ...
Favorite Christmas Activity
I love giving gifts!  I try to make a list for family members throughout the year, as I have an inspiration of what they may like.  But sometimes I have a blank near their name - I am clueless on the 'perfect gift'.  Well that's where the Gift Card appears!  Then they can get what they really want or need.

What's your favorite GIFT?  Win this Visa Gift Card so you can choose your own favorite thing!
(Keep reading to find out how to enter.)

Favorite Christmas Tradition
Baking Gingerbread Cookies with my grandchildren
has become my favorite Christmas Tradition!
First, we start with a story ('cause this grandma is a teacher ;))

The kids are readers now - so I get to enjoy hearing them read to me ---Sweet!
Next, we read the recipe.  Yep, gotta make them from scratch!  and guess where I found that..... Pinterest!  Just click on those cute little guys 
and find this yummy recipe.
Then we get all of our ingredients, measuring cups, measuring spoons, bowls, etc.  So many authentic opportunities for math here - measuring - fractions - I love it!
You can see Papa is enjoying this tradition also!  And Sam - he loves the gingerbread cookie cutters!  
Lastly, we enjoy them!
YUM!  YUM!

Favorite Restaurant
We enjoy the ambiance and menu at the Macaroni Grill!  
It's usually our date-night spot of choice!
We enjoy with our grandkids too!

Where else can you play tic-tac-toe right on the table?!

Favorite Store
We love shopping at Trader Joe's!  Great produce, yummy food, happy & helpful store employees, free samples, fresh flowers, great wine, fun art on the walls, and low prices!  I hope you all have a Trader Joe's near you!

I have a few of my favorite things at my TpT shop 
on sale for you!

What's your favorite thing?  Win this Visa Gift Card so you can choose your own favorite thing!

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Snowy Day Data

This fun 'Snowy Day Data' Sampler and it is sure to delight your students!  It's perfect for this time of year to review/teach data collecting on a tally chart and creating bar graphs.
This Sampler has 5 snowy days to collect and graph data from... and a fun 'Tally the Snowballs'!
    
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his sampler is part of a larger pack, 'Snowy Day Data Printables and Task Cards'  It includes Task Cards, Vocabulary Poster, Student Data Guide cover, and more data pages.  If you are looking for more - just click on the picture below to find the complete pack.
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What Shall We Give Him?

That is the question we asked ourselves!  After all it is His birthday - so what gift can we give to Him?

We read this precious story of Papa Panov who also wanted to give Jesus a gift.
He discovered the truth from Matthew 25:37-40 
The people asked ...when had they...
fed Him 
or given Him drink, 
or invited Him in, 
or clothed Him, 
or taken care of Him when He was sick, 
or visited Him in prison?

He answered them - 
'I tell you the truth, 
just as you did it for one of the least of these 
brothers or sisters of mine, 
you did it for me."

So we knew how to give Him a gift for His birthday!  
Give to the poor...
(I had requested 10 Christmas catalogues from World Vision knowing where this lesson was going to go.)
We partnered up and went through the catalogue looking for gifts to give.
This changed all our hearts!
Here they are looking at pictures of children with so much less than they have and having empathy and compassion toward them!
They took the catalogues home and asked their parents how they could earn money to give.
We collected our money for a few weeks.  Then on our Christmas party day, we counted all our money.
Once we knew how much we had to spend - we went back to our World Vision catalogue with a partner.  We found 1 - 3 things that we would like to give and cut it out of the catalogue.
Then we shared what we wanted to give and why we thought that gift was important.  Let's just say, my eyes were not dry as the kids explained why their choice was important. 
When all had shared - we voted as a class!
We gave Him a gift!  A gift we know He would love!
medicine
blankets
soccer balls
education
safety for children
share of a well for a village
share of a home for orphans
clothing

That class gave me a gift also!
I love goats!  This little goat went to a poor family in Africa - in my name.  
Best gift I ever received from a class!

You may not teach in a Christian school, but you could still do a project like this with World Vision or Samaritan's Purse.  
It's a great family project too!
It definitely promotes Kindness, Caring, Empathy and so much more!
World Vision


Samaritan's Purse

What are you giving Him this Christmas?



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Facts or Opinions?

Here is the winter edition of my Facts & Opinion.  It is such an important skill I made one for each season!  If you would like this freebie click on the picture below.






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3 Tips to Build Math Fact Fluency

Addition and Subtraction Facts Math Fact Fluency
First, let's talk about WHY we need to help our students become fluent in basic math facts.  
"Math facts fluency leads to higher order mathematics.  
Through automaticity students free up their working memory and can devoted it to problems solving and learning new concepts and skills (Geary, 1994).

Quite simply, a lack of fluency in basic math facts will significantly hinder a child's subsequent progress in problem-solving, algebra, and higher order math concepts.  Math fact fluency not only affects our students' future success in math, but also in science and geography.
For these, and probably a zillion more, the Common Core Standards 
require us to teach Math Fact Fluency:
addition and subtraction facts

math fact fluency

addition and subtraction facts

addition and subtraction facts
So we know the WHY - let's talk about the HOW!  
Here are 3 Tips to make math fact fluency teaching and practice more effective.
addition and subtraction facts
Addition and Subtraction Facts
I had a huge 'aha' moment years ago, when I had moved from teaching Kinders for years to 2nd grade. The students were taking a timed math facts test so I could assess their level of mastery, and I thought I should know how long it would take me to complete the page of math facts.  So I took it.  I was amazed at how I was thinking as I was answering - I did not have many of the facts memorized, but I was using the mental math strategies to derive the answers!  WOW!  I was super fast, did not have them memorized, but I understood the relationships so I knew the answer almost 'automatically'!  

And of course, research bears this out - students who are taught mental math strategies are quicker in computing than students who are taught to 'memorize it'. 
Addition and Subtraction Facts
"To build math fact fluency, the most effective strategy is to give students 10-15 minutes per day to practice using what are called derived facts strategies (DFS).  Essentially, DSF's are using facts you know to solve facts yu don't know."  Sam Strother, Associate Director Developing Mathematical Thinking Institute.

I love that term- Derived Facts Strategies because it describes the process - we derive from what we know to a new fact.  We, as teachers MUST make time in our already packed day to provide this 10-15 minutes practice per day.  Gone are the days when we can tell the parents to teach it at home.  Most parents don't have the time, or the mathematical understanding to teach using Mental Math Strategies - or DSF.
Addition and Subtraction Facts

We know from experience and research that students learn best when they feel safe and are engaged in a fun activity - enter math games, student goal setting, and cooperative learning activities!

 I have developed activities that are:
   1) based on the Mental Math Strategies
   2) can be done in 10-15 minutes per day
   3) are super engaging!

And....... NO PAPERS TO GRADE ..... ANY DAY!  
Can I hear a 'Hip, Hip, Hooray!' ?

I used these super cute and engaging Super Hero graphics in all these
Addition and Subtraction Fluency Resources.
Math Fact Fluency
Addition and Subtraction Facts
Addition and Subtraction Facts
I included a small strategy poster for each game,
and put the directions on the other side.
Addition and Subtraction Facts

Addition and Subtraction Facts
Primary Math Fact Automaticacy

Addition and Subtraction Facts
Addition and Subtraction Facts

I have been using these engaging activities in my classroom for years and I know from experience that my students got 'Fast as a Flash' with addition and subtraction math facts.
I hope I have inspired you with my 3 tips!
Addition and Subtraction Facts




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