Saturday, March 30, 2013

Educents, 48 Hours, and New Cabinets

I just stumbled across this new site for teachers called Educents. It looks like they'll be having "flash sales" of teaching resources with deep discounts, up to 90% off. I'm always on the lookout for cheap school stuff, so I'm kind of excited to see what they'll have! The site goes live on Tuesday. Has anyone else heard of this?

The site says if you register before Tuesday, they'll send you a $10 gift card to use once they go live. Hmm... $10 in free teacher stuff? I like it! I wonder if you'll have to pay shipping or tax... Guess I'll wait and see.

Well, in 48 hours, I'll be standing in front of my class once again (sitting actually, in my blue chair that I use for whole group reading on the rug). Spring break is almost officially over... waaaaaahh!  It went by way too fast! But I am quite pleased with what I did during this past week. I refinished the cabinets in BOTH bathrooms! That's right...all by myself.

First of all, let me tell you how they used to look. Think original 1981 builder's grade cabinets. Yeah, that bad. They were almond formica with hideous faux oak doors and big, square wood knobs. Absolutely wretched! I found this kit called Cabinet Transformations by Rust-o-leum at Home Depot. It was $75 (way cheaper than new cabinets!) and decided to give it a try after doing some research online. It was actually pretty darn easy and they look FAB-U-LOUS! I used the espresso color which is a very dark brown. I can't stop going into the bathroom just to look at them. I'm thinking I might actually tackle the kitchen next. It's even uglier than the bathrooms were but it's big... 23 cabinets! And I'm not sure what to do about the gigantic faux oak bar where the kids sit to eat but I'll deal with that later.

Happy spring break to anyone who is having it now or is still looking forward to it!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Math Game Freebie & Spring Break Secret Sale

Happy spring break!!  What a wonderfully relaxing day it has been, made even better by the fact that I DON'T HAVE TO GET UP EARLY TOMORROW!!! So to celebrate, here's a new freebie from my TpT store...

and I'm throwing a "Secret Sale" just for my followers.

Feel free to share the link with your friends but I'm not going to advertise it on pinterest or anywhere else. It's just for you!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

We Have A Winner...Math Journals

First, I want to congratulate the 4 winners of my 100 Follower Giveaway! They won some incredible items. Thank you to everyone who entered. Hopefully you discovered some new sellers that you didn't know about before or some new resources to use with your class.

My students have been struggling with problem solving in math. They are GREAT at adding and subtracting but boy, when you put it into words, they suddenly have no idea what to do. It's been frustrating but I *think* I may have found a solution.... math journals! Now I really have no idea how to really do math journals, I mean the official way (is there one?). I just pulled this idea together one day, purely out of frustration, and it seemed to work. So, I kept doing it and it kept working. Here's what it looks like...

Here's how it works:  I write an answer on the board and they copy it into their notebooks (The answer is...). Then the students have to come up with a problem to go with it. On the top half of the paper, they draw it and on the bottom, they write it out. They started out with very simple problems but now they are creating two and three-step ones that involve addition, subtraction, and even some multiplication (from my higher kids). We do this every, single day and it is making a world of difference! Now when we have assessments with story problems, almost all of them can figure out what operation to use and get the right solution. Next year I plan to start using journals from day one!