Monday, April 29, 2013

Monthly Goals Linky and Geo Creations

 Setting goals for myself is something I don't do often enough.  My goals mostly feel like a never-ending to-do list.  So I jumped at the chance to join Jess at I {Heart} Recess's May Goals Linky! 

Here's mine..... 

Personal:  This is a big month for my baby boy (who is 17).  He has AP Exams, Senior Prom, and the coup de gras, graduation.
(Please pass the tissues.  Sniff.  Sniff.)   Family is coming to celebrate with us and I've got to get everything ready for his graduation party. Where does time go?  I can't resist showing you  my "baby".  He will be attending Texas A & M in the fall.  

Health:  This was a no-brainer.  I need sleep.  During the school year, I get by on very little sleep.  But by May, it starts to catch up with me.  It's time to replenish my energy reserve!

Blogging:  Blogging has been such an unexpected joy in my life.  I really don't have any major goals other than to have the time to post more often.  I never want blogging to feel like work.  I love that blogging can be whatever I want it to be.  It's so liberating!  

School:  I LOVE this time of the year.  I feel like all my stress was packed up in the boxes along with the STAAR Test.  I'm back to loving my job and enjoying my students.  This is also the time of year I like to make notes about what worked and what didn't during the year.  Since this was my first year in third grade, I had a big learning curve.  Reflection is the spring board to improvement and I always consider myself to be a work in progress. 

Fun:  I have a looonnng list of fun things I want to do this summer. 
But at the top of my list is to go home to see my parents.  I miss them so much.  They live in Ohio and it's nice to get away from the Texas heat!

That was fun!  

Now for the Geo-creations pictures I promised and blogged about here.  They turned out great!  So creative!

Puppy Pup

Rocket Man

Princess Bed

Jet Plane

Soccer Goals

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Geo-Man Lives!

My third grade team shared an awesome geometry project with me this week.  My kids have enjoyed it so much that I want to share it with you.  It's called Geo-man (or woman)!

First, you'll need to copy a set of the following geometry 'nets' on card stock for each student.  You can find FREE net templates for 3D foldable shapes at Vintage Teacher's TPT Store.  I recommend copying each net shape on a different color card stock.  It will help the students identify the 3D shapes more easily.  Here is the list to make the figure shown above:

1 cube
1 cone
1 square pyramid
1 cylinder
2 short rectangular prisms
2 long rectangular prisms 

Next, students cut out each net.  Remind them to be very neat and to cut along the "perimeter" of the net.  Do not cut off the tabs because they will help to keep the 3D shape together. I gave each of my students a gallon ziplock baggie to store all their parts as this took us more than one class period.  

Once everything is cut out, we began to fold.  The side without lines should be facing their desk.  Each shape must be folded with a sharp crease on every solid or dotted line.  This is a great opportunity to point out the 2D shapes of all the faces and to show congruency by folding up like faces.  For example, fold all sides of the cube so only one square is showing.  

Once you start putting the faces into place to make the 3D shape, some students may experience a little frustration.  I try to guide them through it without doing it for them.  If poor cutting is preventing the shape from coming together, you might need to do a little "surgery" to help it fit correctly.  

Now it is time to GLUE!  There are lots of ways of doing this, but you will know the best way for your class.  My students seem to over-do-it with glue.  So, I divided them into partners and they shared a paper plate with a little puddle of glue.  The glue was applied with Q-Tips. This worked very well. One of my team members has the students use glue bottles; another uses glue sticks.  You could also use tape or glue dots.  

The final step is to put the figure together.  This is best achieved with a glue gun used by the teacher.  Once the figure is put together, the students can decorate the Geo-man (or woman) as they wish.  Decorating items might include googly eyes, yarn, sequins, raffia, scraps of fabric, etc.  

A variation of the project is to have the students create their own figure using the nets they have been given.  If you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them!

Most of my class's figures will be done this week.  I will take some pictures and post them.  

Have a great week!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thank you, TPT Customers!

Thank you to all my TPT customers who have helped me launch my store!  I am having so much fun creating.  I don't know why I waited so long to get going.

One of my most popular products is Secret Agent Math.  Today I  added a fourth product in the series:  Practicing 1 x 2 Digit Multiplication.

To celebrate and say "THANK YOU!", I am offering any of my Secret Agent Math products for FREE for the first five of my blog followers who comment on this post.  Please leave your email address and which Secret Agent Math product you would like from my TPT store.  

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Shout out to my Texas peeps!!!

Anybody else dealing with sympathy-butterflies tonight?  

I hope all of my fellow Texas teacher-blog buddies have smooth testing days this week.  I'm praying that there are no tears, no throw up, no fire drills, no bubbling-mishaps, and no testing anomalies what-so-ev'a!  

We all know that they are as ready as they will ever be.  So, goodluck, keep calm, and rock the STAAR!  


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Headstone for Ruby

Fundraiser for Ruby's Headstone

This story really pulled at my heartstrings. 

Abby, at  Third Grade Bookworm, wrote a post about her student, Ruby, who passed away a year ago after a five year battle with Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  She recently discovered that Ruby's parents can't afford a headstone for her as they are struggling to pay Ruby's medical bill debt.  

Abby to the rescue!  She organized a fundraiser for the parents to put money towards the headstone.  

To read more about this, please follow this link.  If you are able to donate $20, Abby will send you $130 worth of TPT products that have been generously donated by TPT Sellers (too many to list!)  You can find the list by following the link above. 

Only teachers would understand the special bond we have with our students.  Please consider helping this family create a place for peace.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Introducing.....Secret Agent Math!

Introducing a super, fun math activity called Secret Agent Around the World.  
Secret Agent Math is one of my students' favorites.  It is a round-robin activity in which the students practice a specific skill.  As Secret Agents, the students travel around the world to different countries collecting clues (math problems) and solving them.  Each solution will lead them to a clue in another country. Once they've solved all the clues, they have accomplished their mission.  To make it extra-fun, have the students choose a secret agent name and use it when communicating with them.  

The following is an example of two locations the "Secret Agents" will visit to solve the math clues.  It shows a stop in Canada with a subtraction clue to solve.  The solution will take the "Secret Agent" to the next location, which is Mexico. 

The best part of the activity is that it gets the students up and moving around the classroom, yet they have a specific task to accomplish.   

Secret Agent Math makes an awesome Math Center or Guided Math Station.  Here are the directions that come with each set.

I've placed two Secret Agent Math activities in my TPT store:  Subtraction with 0's and Polygon Attributes.   Look for additional math skills to be added in the future.  Do you have any suggestions for math skills you would like to see?  I would love it if you would comment with your suggestions.  As always, I love reading your feedback!   

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