Thursday, February 28, 2013

Running out of gas.

Are you ready for a break.  I am!  The kids need a break, too.  My classroom needs a break so the germs that are causing a nasty cough can clear out.  Why is it taking so long to get here?  Only six school days to go!

Hang in there!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Only five days left  to join February Photo Challenge.  It's an excellent chance to hook up with a photo of something you are loving in your classroom this month.  The best part is that by joining the link, you can enter a chance to win a $10 TPT gift certificate.  All you need is LOVE! 

Speaking of love........I love Jess at  I {Heart} Recess' 100 Follower Giveaway!  You may remember me writing about Jess' blog in this post.  I am so excited that she is well on her way to her 2013 goal of 200 followers!  You can win a $20 TPT gift certificate from me and Jess, plus many other awesome prizes.  Stop by and check it out!

As for me, I am headed to the Houston Teacher Blogger's Meet Up today with two of my best teaching buddies, Megan from I Teach. What's Your Super Power? and Kristin from Teach 'n Tex.  

I can't wait to tell you all about it!  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Houston, We Have A Teacher-Blog Meet-Up!

Hello out there!  Are you from the Houston, TX area?  Lindsay from My Life As A Third Grade Teacher is planning a Teacher-Blogger Meet-Up!  

If you are the greater Houston area, we would love for you to join us!  If you can make it, hop on over to Lindsay's blog and let her know that you are coming. 

am so excited!  I can't wait to meet my teacher-blog neighbors!  
Hope to see you then!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Building Higher Level Thinking Skills

One of my favorite tools for building higher level thinking skills in math is Marcy Cook Math Tiles.  Marcy has taught every grade level in classrooms around the world.  Her math activities are very innovative and require the children to think.  They also have to strategize to solve the problems.  

We work on Math Tiles for 30 minutes once a week.  We are usually working on 4 different math activities at one time.  The students are each given tiles that have the numbers 0 through 9 on them.

Each activity has 20 different task cards.  The challenges start easy and get progressively harder.  Here are a few of my favorites for third graders.

Addition Balance Tiles - The top and bottom lines give the students hints on what numbers to use.  For example, the balance at the left of the top line tells the student that the number sentence on either side of the equal sign will equal 10.  Once the top and bottom equations are solved, they are left with 4 number tiles, in this case 4, 6, 7, and 8.  The last part of their task is to arrange these 4 numbers to make the equation true.

Renaming Tiles - This group is more challenging.  There are two addition and two subtraction problems, with and without regrouping.  When we first started working on these, the students would often get stuck.  Now that we've been working on them for over a month, they have developed the strategies to solve this task. 

They can't wait to show that they have solved it all by themselves! Try this one!
Completing Math Tiles is a great opportunity to involve parent-volunteers in your classroom.  They help to work with the children and check to see if their answers are correct.  The parents love it!

We are fortunate that our school has invested in this tool and we have many of the Math Tile activities.  However, they are very affordable at $15.00 per activity.  Tiling Task Card Packets include 20 unique task cards on card stock, 3 backdrop cards, tracking sheets, suggestions and answer sheets.  These are contained in a printed manila envelope for convenient storing.  A set of number tiles 0 - 9 is  needed for each task card.
Click HERE to see Marcy Cook recommendations for those who are buying Math Tiles for the first time.  

Do you use Marcy Cook Math Tiles?  I'd love to hear about how you use them in your classroom!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Could you use a $10 TPT Gift Certificate?

Are you feeling the love in February?  Has cupid's arrow hit your classroom?  

Over the past few weeks I have read lots is blogs that have written and photographed the things they LOVE in their classroom.  The "February Photo Challenge" is the perfect link party to share the love that is happening in your classroom.  

To join, click on the graphic above or click HERE.   

The best part is that, joining the the February Photo Challenge makes you eligible to win a $10 TPT Gift Certificate.  

I can't wait to see what you are lovin'!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When I am 100 years old....

Check out  this adorable little project my third graders completed to celebrate our 100th day of school.  

First, we brainstormed a list of activities that the students like to do now, while they are 8 years old.  Then we closed our eyes and imagined what we might look like doing our favorite activity when we are 100 years old.  That sure got them chuckling!  Their assignment was to draw a picture of themselves at 100 years old still doing an activity that they love while they are 8 years old.

I was introduced to the project by one of my team members.  She has done it many times and promised that the results would be adorable.  She was so right!  

Here are a few examples.  They will bring a smile to your face!

I love how I am in the wheel chair!  

Check out the blue hair!

Grandma Rocks!

 That would be amazing!

......if video games still exist by then!

She's got her cane to help her!

The writing on the stairs says, "Steps for Senior Citizens".  

A gold medal performance!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

An Extraordinary Woman

Dr. Temple Grandin 
Meet Dr. Temple Grandin.  You may have heard of her, or maybe not.  I had the honor of a hearing her present today.  

Dr. Grandin is autistic.  Despite this, she has learned how to succeed and thrive in her career and personal life.  In 2010, HBO made a movie about her that bears her name, starring Claire Daines. She has also been included in TIME Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world in the "Heroes" category.  If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it.

Dr. Grandin is amazing in that she is able to describe why her brain is different and how she has compensated for the missing functions of her brain.  Her insight into the autism spectrum is revolutionary.  

Below is a video which is a shortened version of what I learned today.  It's about 20 minutes long, but well worth it. 

In the era of "inclusion", I find myself hungry to learn more about children on the autism spectrum.  Who better to learn from than Dr. Grandin, who has written several books about autism?  Today she was very excited to tell us about her new book coming out in May.  I can't wait.

One of the messages that I came away with today is to focus on what autistic children CAN do and make sure that their fixation or talent is molded somehow into a meaningful job for the future.  

Dr. Grandin's presentation was very directive.  If your child is autistic:

  • Focus on nurturing their talents and giving them as many life experiences as you can.  
  • Determine and understand the limitations of their learning style. 
  • Push them outside of their comfort zones, but do so a little at a time.   
  • Expect that they adhere to  a schedule and learn how to live in a non-autistic world (table manners, taking turns, not touching things that don't belong to you, etc.).  
  • Severely limit video games (they do nothing to nurture their talents, unless it is educational or promotes fitness).  
  • Administer consequences to unwanted behaviors.  
  • Promote social acceptance by getting your child involved in activities that match their special interests.  

If you want to learn more about Dr. Grandin or know a parent that could benefit from this information, visit her website Temple Grandin

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I "LOVE" Multiplication!

Is there something that you are doing or have experienced in your classroom that has warmed your heart with that loving feeling?  Then take a picture of it and join the February Photo Challenge (read more about it HERE!)  All who Link Up are eligible win a $10 TPT gift certificate! Now that is something to love!

Right now, I am loving my Multiplication Facts visual tracking board in my classroom.  I wanted to find a way for my students to visually track their progress in learning the multiplication facts, but not in a way that their pace would discourage them.  Here it is......

Multiplication Tracking Board

Each student decorated their own person so they know who they are, but others may not.  As they pass a fact mastery test, they grab their person and move them to the next "fact club".  They love celebrating their progress this way!  It also helps me know how many are practicing a certain fact so I can plan my Daily Five routine (part of my current Daily 5 routine includes fact practicing in groups by fact).   

We had our Parent Open House this week and many of the parents commented how they loved the system!  They agree that a student should be measuring themselves against the class's progress, not another individual's progress.  

You can find a freebie child template HERE.

See you at the February Photo Challenge Linky Party!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Photo Challenge!

Welcome to the first "Teaching with Moxie" Monthly Photo Challenge!

It's simple!  Link up with a photo of something that fits the monthly theme.  For February, the theme is "Love"!  The picture can be anything that fits the theme and is teaching-related.  Then, write a brief post about the picture, why you chose it, and Link Up!  

Here's the BEST part!  Each month, one lucky person who participates in the photo challenge will win a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers.  

Be sure to visit the entries to see what everyone one is "lovin'"!

So, get your camera out and join the fun!  Don't forget to come back next month for a new challenge!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2/5/13 Update - I got this lovely email from a follower who wanted to link up, but doesn't have a blog.  Here you go Michelle!  They are beautiful!  We will label you Entry "A"!      ~Diane

Hi Diane!

I follow your blog through email because I do not have a blog.  I am not sure if I am supposed to have my own blog in order to participate in this challenge, but I wanted to share some LOVE that my little firsties made anyways (even if I cannot participate in the challenge).

Our inspiration came from Deep Space Sparkle.  They absolutely fell in love with creating their own hearts.  I am very proud of how they turned out.

Michelle Jaquillard

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