Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hip! Hip! ARRAY!

I love arrays.  They are so neat and orderly, symmetric and geometric.  Every thing in it's odd man out.  Marching bands, boxes of chocolates, crates of oranges, cartons of eggs, calendars.....the all make order of chaos.  

Teaching the learner about arrays takes them beyond the concrete examples of groups to the pictorial (visual) representation of multiplication.  The strategy of arrays beautifully demonstrates the efficiency of multiplication.  Here are some ways we work with arrays in my classroom.

Searching for Authentic Examples

We went on an "in school" field trip to look for examples of arrays lurking within the walls of our school.  Each student had to find one example and take a picture of it with an iPad.  We then took all the pictures and put them in a booklet.  Each student was given a booklet and had to write a multiplication sentence for each picture.  Here are some of the pictures we found:

For more authentic examples, follow my Pinterest board called Arrays - Real World Examples.  

Tech Project

With the help of our amazingly, wonderful Tech teacher, the students created a grid full of arrays.  Using Excel, the students chose their own variety of multiplication facts, arranged them on the page, colored and labeled them.  

"I Spy Arrays" Game

I discovered this fun game at Step into Second Grade.  It comes with 18 different arrays that you can hide around your classroom.  The students have to find all of them and record "___ rows of ___" and the multiplication sentence on their "I Spy Arrays" worksheet (see below).

The kiddos love to move around and I always hide one or two of the rays really well.  Click on the picture above to find this freebie in Amy's TPT Store. 

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S.  Visit Looking From Third to Fourth to an array lesson inspired by this post!  Very cool!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Need a Kitchen Aid Mixer?

Have you heard about this awesome giveaway for teachers?  

It's from Texas Sweet who is sponsoring an educational program targeting elementary school children to promote Texas grapefruit and its nutritional benefits.   Twenty classrooms will win a Kitchen Aid Mixer, hand juicers for each child in their class, a box of Rio Star Grapefruit, fun cups, straws, and napkins to have a juicing party in class, pencils and bookmarks. Click on the picture below for more details.  

The deadline to enter is February 22, 2013.  If you win, send me a grapefruit!

(This blog is not receiving any type of compensation for this post.  I am sharing in case you want to win a mixer, like I do!)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Earth is Changing!

If you teach a unit about the Earth and how its surface changes, you are going to love these ideas.  I can't take credit for most of them as they were blogs, Pinterest and TPT.  But there is no denying that they were super successful!

First, we made a model of Earth with clay.  I saw this idea at Meet the Dubiens who completed their model with Playdoh.  

Our third graders made their models with VanAken Plastalina modeling clay.  As long as you keep it in a baggie, it will never dry out.  My son still has his Earth Model from 5 years ago! 

To begin, you start in the center, then keep building the layers of the Earth with the different colors.  The last full layer is blue for the oceans.  Then the students get  bit of green to place the continents in the proper areas.  Don't forget a tiny piece of white for Antarctica!  To cut the model open, use a piece of very strong thread.  A knife may "smoosh" the model too much.  You will love the Ooooo's and Awww's when their model is dissected.  

Next we studied landforms and a Landforms Salt Map Project was assigned to be completed at home.  I will have pictures of them later this week!

For our Science Notebooks, we completed a Landforms Flip book created by Ginger Snaps Treats for Teachers (click on this link to get a free copy).  

I adapted it for the landforms that we were required to teach.  The kids loved making it and it gave them the perspective of elevation. Once finished, we glued it into our Science Notebook.  

Next we discussed weathering and made a foldable to go in our Science Notebooks.  The little pictures are from a Mailbox Magazine worksheet that was shrunk down to fit the foldable. 

Next, we set up hands-on Weathering Stations for each of the ways Earth is weathered.

Station 1 -  The students hammered a rock (inside a zip lock bag) while wearing goggles to demonstrate weathering by living things.  I recommend using sandstone as it breaks easily.

Station 2 -  The students weathered their rock piece by rubbing it   
with a 2" x 2" piece of sandpaper.  This simulated the wind driving sand against a rock of a long period of time.

Station 3 - Each student took turns shaking two rocks together in a container to show weathering by moving water.  
When the shaking was done, the rocks were smoother and rounded.  We also observed sediment on the bottom of the jar to show the bits of rock that had weathered away.  

Station 4 - The day before this lesson, you need to completely fill a glass bottle with water, place it in a plastic bag, and freeze it.   When we took ours out of the freezer, the lid was forced off and the water had frozen in a column coming through where the cap was.  The expanding ice broke out the bottle of the bottle, too.  There were also noticeable cracks in the bottle from the expansion of ice.  Because broken glass was involved, I walked around with the bag to allow each table group to view it.  

How do you demonstrate these topics in your classroom?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Check out more successfully implemented Pinterest projects at 
Learning in Wonderland and join the Linky Party to share your Pinterest success!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Envelope please......

Teaching With Moxie's 200 Follower Giveaway has ended and the winners have been chosen.   May I have the envelope please.........

The winners are............

Congratulations!  Ladies, check your email as your prizes have already been sent to you.

Thank you to all that entered!  I love all my followers and visitors!

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Must Haves

Darling Little Learners

I am hooking up with Jennifer at Darling Little Learners to list my "Must Haves of 2012".  

#1    Downton Abbey

This show has been the best diversion a teacher could ask for!  Two years ago, I was scrolling through Netflix and found this British series on Masterpiece Theatre.  I was instantly hooked.  It is now it's third season, but if you haven't seen it, be sure to watch it from the beginning.  You can watch it for free at Hulu.  You can thank me later!

#2   First in Math

My principal brought this Math Program to our school and it has been a HUGE success.  Our staff and students have really embraced it. I encompasses all math concepts by grade level.  Students earn stickers as they progress through the skills.  Each class has a "Player of the Day" who is rewarded by wearing a "Player of the Day" lanyard.  The students progress through levels that go from "Rookie" to "Mathematician".  I require my students to earn 100 stickers per week as homework.  Our school is currently #3 in Texas (1,530 stickers per student) and #87 in the entire country.  

#3   All My Apples....
I can not lived without all my Apple products.  This is my latest addition and it is soooooo fast.  Call me a tech geek, but Apple has made my life so much easier.  I create, communicate, record, photograph, research, calculate, blog, listen, learn, etc....... all with ease thanks to Apple.  If my house was on fire, I would grab my family, my pets, and my that order!

#4    Ink Joy Pens by Papermate

I love these pens!  I am very particular about my writing tools, especially with all the grading I do.  These pens are as smooth as they advertise and never leak out extra ink.  They come in so many vibrant colors!  I prefer not to grade with red.  And my students know that the white pens belong to me! 


1st Row, Second Adult from Left, my Grandmother
2nd Row, Second from Left, my Grandfather
2nd Row, 3d from Right, my Grandmother's brother (killed in WWII)
2nd Row, Second from Right, my Grandfather's brother
I highly recommend exploring your family history.   I use Ancestry, but there are tons of free resources out there.  I'm close with my family, but there have been many things that have discovered that I would have never known with out the research resources provided by ancestry.  Once of the coolest things I discovered is that I am related to Lou Hoover, former First Lady.  Also, that my ancestors were among the first pioneer families that settled Ohio. They received a land grant as a reward for fighting in the Revolutionary War.  What will you find?

Just a quick reminder.....

My 200 Follower Giveaway ends today!  Don't miss your chance to enter!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Support Sandy Hook!

I got a wonderful surprise in the mail today.  A friend from Newtown, Connecticut sent me this bracelet.  

She explained that the bracelets were being given out in Newtown and, knowing that I'm a teacher, she wanted me to have one.  I was very touched. I noticed that the bag it came in said "Wristband Connections", so I decided to look them up online.  Here's what I discovered....


This Angels of Sandy Hook wristband was designed by one of our customers who gave out thousands all over Newtown. Since then he has been overwhelmed with order requests. We have been asked to sell & distribute all of the orders through our site so that everyone who wants one anywhere in the country can have one. Since this is our specialty, we are happy to do so.

All of the proceeds beyond the cost of the bands, shipping envelope and our time
will be donated to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. A system of checks and balances will be used to confirm all the donations are being sent from these sales and we will keep you up to date on our Facebook page as to where you can see that each week. We appreciate all your requests and support in having us take on this task.

If you'd like to learn how to get one or to donate directly to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, click on the link below the picture.  I am so proud to wear it to remember the little angels and in memory of the teachers who were heroes that day.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Celebration Freebie!

I love celebrations!   So let's continue my 200 Followers Celebration with a Freebie!

When we return to school next week, my third graders will need some math review to help clean the cobwebs out of their heads. One of the skills that we need to review is 3-digit subtraction with regrouping and across zeros.  Therefore, I put together an independent activity that will be used as seat work during our Math Stations next week. 

This activity also gives the students practice in rewriting a horizontal equation to a vertical equation, a new skill for third graders.  This is important practice for lining up the numbers in the correct place values and copying the numbers accurately.

You can find your free copy HERE.

To print a copy, click HERE.

There's still time to enter my 200 Follower Giveaway!  

Click HERE to enter the Giveaway!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 4, 2013

200 Follower Giveaway Begins Today!

I am on a roll!  It's been a VERY eventful week for my blog and I am going to end it with a "BANG" to celebrate!

Teaching With Moxie has reached 200 wonderful, fabulous, awesome followers!  I am feeling the love and want to give it back.  So it's time to have a 


This Giveaway has two AWESOME prizes!  The first is a $25 Gift Certificate to shop at Erin Condren.Com.  If you haven't heard about her Teacher Planner, check it out!  It is on my wish list!

The second prize is a $10 gift certificate for Teachers Pay Teachers.  With so many wonderful products to choose from, who couldn't use this!

Thank you, again, to all my followers! Goodluck to you all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My 5 Minutes of Fame

Last week I was contacted by the website, Teacher Certification Degrees.  It was a pleasant surprise to learn that they had checked out my blog and wanted to interview me for their website.  Teacher Certification Degrees is a wonderful resource for those seeking information about becoming a teacher.  They also provide resources for current teachers.  Their website hosts a list of the Top 50 Teacher Blogs in several categories.  I aspire to be on that list someday!  Here is part of my interview:

Interview with Diane Hubacz, 

Texas Third Grade Teacher

We recently had the chance to interview Diane Hubacz, a Texas educator who teaches math, science and social studies to third-grade students. Diane’s been a teacher for ten years, having also previously taught second and fourth grades. Diane attended Ohio State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Early & Middle Childhood Education. For eleven years, Diane took a career break so that she could stay at home to raise her two sons, but during that time she remained active in the schools as a PTO and PTA President. She received a School Volunteer Recognition Award and Distinguished Friend of Education Award from the Connecticut Association of Schools for her volunteer efforts. During our interview, Diane detailed what an average teaching day is like for her and also articulated the most challenging and rewarding characteristics of her job.
Please describe what a typical day looks like for you.
It is important to me to start the day with solid lesson plans and to be as prepared as possible when the students arrive. I have created my own lesson plan template, which helps me to remember everything I need to do for each day of the week. Years ago, I attended time management training; I still use the techniques I learned then as the CEO of my classroom today.
As the students arrive, I greet them at the door. It is important to me to find connections and build a relationship of trust with each student. I spend a lot of time going over expectations for everything that we do in the classroom. I believe in positive behavior management and learning from our mistakes. Most of my lessons are designed to begin as whole group lessons. We then break into independent activities, which are differentiated to meet the needs of my students. This allows me to pull individual students or small groups to review or re-teach. Each year this changes a bit based upon the current group of students.
I have fifty minutes of planning time each day and most of it is devoted to team planning meetings. I love team planning as it keeps us all on track, allows us to evaluate what worked and what didn’t work, and share a variety of ideas. I work with a very experienced group of teachers and love learning from them.
Once the students leave for the day, I go through my list of ‘to dos’ for the next day, answer parent emails, prepare materials, tidy up, etc. I do most of my grading at home.
What aspects of your job are the most challenging and what do you do to overcome them?
The most challenging part of teaching is managing the ever-growing demands placed on educators. As with many businesses, teaching jobs are being eliminated and responsibilities are shifting. Teachers wear many hats and we are often asked to add one more. The key is to be adaptive and flexible while trying not to stress over things for which you have no control.
What do you most enjoy about being a teacher?
I most enjoy the children. They make me smile and warm my heart in the most satisfying way. There is nothing more important to me than making a difference in each of my students’ lives. I strive to help them do their best and get the most out of their year with me. I want them to be as well prepared as possible for their next level of education.
I find teaching to be a tremendously rewarding job. It is music to my ears to hear a former student tell me that I helped them succeed. That’s what it’s all about!
To read more of the interview, click HERE.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing this exciting news with me!

My Marvelous Makeover!

Ta! Da!  I am beyond excited to unveil my "Teaching With Moxie" blog-makeover!  

When I started blogging last summer, the last thing I was concerned about was my blog's appearance.  I picked a pre-made template and loaded it myself.  It was cute and fit my needs at the time.

But in the last couple of months, I began to feel like I wanted the window to my world to better fit me and my personality.  I'm bright and sparkly, not lacey and flowery (like my old design). It took me weeks to search for the perfect elements.  I'm a good shopper, but not a great designer.  That's when Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs came to my rescue. 

A Bird in Hand Blog Design

Megan in not only a talented designer and fabulous teacher (visit her blog at I Teach. What's Your Superpower?), she is also my very dear friend and teaching partner.  Earlier today, we got together to discuss the makeover.  Once she had a plan, I sat back and witnessed her amazing talent and creative genius.  At one point I mentioned that I really wanted a picket fence, but couldn't find one to purchase.  "No problem", she said, and proceeded to create one on her computer.....just like that! Amazing! 

If you are in need of a blog design, I highly recommend Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs.  She will leave no stone unturned in putting your design together. Knowing her as well as I do, I can promise that she will not be happy until you are. 

Megan and Diane
Megan, thank you so much!  You have brightened my world in more ways that I can count!  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Before I jump into 2013 with both feet, I want to stop and thank all my followers and blogging friends for their encouragement and support of my blog in 2012.

I especially want to thank the following blogs.  Aside from Google and Pinterest, they are the top referring sites and/or URL's that influenced people to visit my blog in 2012.  I'm sending each of them a BIG virtual hug!

I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

Bunting Books and Bainbridge

I'm so excited that my blog is approaching 200 followers.  Look for my 200 Follower Giveaway soon!

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