Peek at My Week

I'm sitting here at school in a big mess! I've recently changed some small groups around and need to get myself far more organized! Luckily my BFF Target has so many cute things to help me accomplish that! :)
I haven't linked up in awhile, but I'm going to today!

        In Math, we are continuing learning division facts through fact families. Our next couple of lessons included word problems. My kids struggle so much with word problems! They can never seem to figure out which operation to use! Any suggestions?! On Thursday and Friday, we do review groups. Where 2 groups are in a center, and 2 groups are with teachers (myself and my coteacher) for reteaching and enrichment. I hope to get some new activities made today for my groups. I'm thinking an I have, Who has? game and some QR codes!
          In Reading, our basal has an expository nonfiction text called If You Made a Million. In small groups, I will be using the leveled readers and doing some math related things. It's quite a difficult text for 3rd graders!
         In Science we're continuing to learn about adaptations. I think I'm going to assign students an animal and have them research that animal in the computer lab and library books and write a paragraph on the animal.
          In Social Studies, we're almost finished with our Unit 2 presentations on geography and how it affects communities.
           We will also be doing a fun project for our school carnival's auction.
A great example of a classroom project! All students participating, each students fingerprint identified in the key below, creating a contemporary, universally appealing piece with a whole lot of sentiment!   "Kindergarten Class Auction Project - Chicago Skyline -- finished!"
I found this class auction idea on Pinterest. It is of the Chicago skyline. I want to use a landmark in our town...
I can't wait to see how it turns out!

We started a new month for our Homework Club(read all about that here)...check out how many kiddos get a punch for week 1!
11 out of 21! Including 1 student who did not have a single week last month! Compare that to week 1 last month...
8 out of 22!

We're improving! :) Remember you have through today to enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of my newest product!

Have a wonderful week!


Homework Motivation...Join the Club!

If you teach upper elementary or higher, you have struggled with getting students to turn in their homework assignments in on time, or even at all!
My students have spelling homework every week, 30 minutes of independent reading at home, and usually 1-2 math assignments.
In math, they usually have 15 minutes after the lesson to work on the assignment. Then, most days they have an additional 20 minutes or so to work on it during their free work time. If they don't finish it, then it is homework and due the next day.
I have yet to have every person turn in spelling homework. I don't think I've had any week where it has been more than 60% turning it in. 
During mid term, I send home progress reports and it is SO frustrating seeing all of the students' missing assignments! 
I decided SOMETHING needed to be done! But I wasn't exactly sure what. So I turned to Pinterest and blogs to look for ideas. I saw Homework Monopoly and Homework Club ideas. After a lot of searching, I decided to make my own punch cards. I decided students need to turn ALL assignments in on time, each week for 10 weeks.
I quickly learned that 10 weeks was simply too much to ask for. Last week marked week 4, and I only have one student who has gotten 4 punches. UGH!
So, I needed to revamp. Since 4 weeks is about a month, I decided that was our new goal. I also decided that I need to be more understanding of when kids have an OOPS! moment and forget to do it, or forget it at home. So I introduced OOPS! coupons, too. 
This Friday we're having our first reward for being a member of the homework club. Obviously, I have the one student who truly earned it, then 6 students who had an OOPS week, so I gave them oops for the weeks they missed. We will be enjoying pizza for lunch!
I gave my class new punch cards today, and oops coupons. Since I want to use this ALL of next year, I decided to create holiday/seasonal punch cards and then I needed OOPS! coupons, too. So I bundled all of these things together, and you can pick up your own set at my store, here.
I hope that after students see that they can earn a pizza lunch with me, they will try harder. I already have 10 students who will be getting a punch for week 1 of March if they turn in their math assignment for tomorrow. I'll blog about how it goes in the beginning of April!

I'd like to give 2 copies of Homework Club away! So enter the Giveaway below! You have through Sunday to enter, and I will announce on Monday! :)


Organizing Math Materials

I had a nice 4 day weekend! Not spring break...that is in April...this was just a random 4 day break!
This week will be short, not only because of the 4 days, but also because Wednesday is an early out!

I wanted to blog a lot more last week, but it was my birthday Wednesday and I just had lots going on!

Today I wanted to let you know how I recently organized my math materials. This is my 1st year in 3rd grade, and the district got a new math textbook. Pearson enVision Math Common Core. Each chapter, or "topic" is color coded to fit into one of the 5 domains under 3rd grade Common Core, Bright Blue is Numbers and Operations in Base Ten, Orange is Measurement and Data, Pink is Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Light Blue is Numbers and Operations Fractions, and Purple is Geometry.

Now, as someone who makes a lot of supplemental activities and purchases a lot from TpT, I really needed something to help me organize all of my stuff. Especially when I create a TON of new things this summer.

Recently, I was contacted by Creative Teaching Press to try out some of their products. One of the things I chose to try was their Book Buddy Bags. I had no intention of using them for their purpose though...
I have built in closets that have double doors. I started by opening a door and placing 16 small Command hooks in the center with about 2 inches between each one.
I then labeled 16 of my bags, one for each topic, in the given color.

I realized my handles were too thick to hang on the hooks, so I simply looped a rubber band around the handle. Perfect!

I then started putting task cards, games, center activities, in each of their designated bags.
VOILA! Organized!

Now, I can't see each of the labels, since they overlap, but I could easily add little notes on the side. However, since I'm not going to be hopping topics every day, it will still be pretty easy to locate what I need. I'm curious to see how the bags will hold up when I add more and more to it. I love that the bags are clear and large enough to hold full size papers. If I have a lot of things for a chapter, I can easily add more bags to other doors. 
BIG thank you to CTP for letting me try out the bags! I have a lot more of their products to try out and blog about!
Tomorrow...all about homework and how I'm motivating my 3rd graders!

Feel free to pin the image below!


March Currently & Pencil Sharpener Winner!

Happy March 1st everyone! :) 

It's time for Currently with Farley @ Oh Boy 4th Grade! She has a new blog design that is just too cute! 
Beware, there is a bit of venting when it comes to "loving".

Listening: I'm a sucker for Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2, so I must watch the "Being" specials. Tyler and Catelynn are my favorite and I actually cried at the end of the episode. I just want them to get married already! Ugh.

Loving: I took advantage of the 3 million teachers strong TpT sale and got lots of awesome things! Including all KB fonts by Khrys Bosland. 111 fonts for less that $14! WOO! I also purchased an item from a store that I will NOT be purchasing from again. I will not let you what the product was or the seller, but I did spend $12 on it. I rated the product a 4.0 because of it's content and overall practicality. However, it was from a Canadian teacher and she used colour and favourite in the product. The British spelling will confuse my students, and I mentioned in the comment that I wish both spellings were available. The seller replied with the fact that she simply explains to her students that some places spell things differently. She then added that because the US is the only one who used the -or spelling, her products aim towards the greater population. She then asked how I deal with regional spellings and that she only sees US spellings in my store. 

WHAT?!!?! First of all, horrible customer service. I did NOT give her a poor rating based on something that I would have liked to see. How hard is it to make a duplicate page and change the words to American spelling? Also, I'm the one who purchased an item from HER store. I do only have American spelling in my store, seeings how I use all of my products in my own classroom, but in order for her to know that, she would have to go through all of my products individually and PURCHASE them to do so. Also, if a buyer came to me with the suggestion/request of having an alternative spelling I would GLADLY take a few minutes to add that, because after all, the customer is always right!

Then, to make matters more frustrating, I had a buyer rate my first ever product uploaded to Teachers Pay Teachers a 3.0. It is a free item, and it was for an assignment for a Science Methods class in college. It is a science in a box experiment. It is not cutesy, it does not have clipart, it does not have cutesy font. It is plain and straight forward. Within 7 minutes of the above seller replying to my feedback, I received feedback on the science in the box experiment that stated "Unprofessional design". I'm not accusing anyone of anything, but the timing seems a bit FISHY to me.

Isn't the point of TpT to share things that are working for us to other teachers to use? It was a bit frustrating, and I will not be back to that store because of the poor customer service.

Thinking: I'm in the process of creating some math games for my class. I changed how I do math a while ago and now I have to create lots of math games. I teach 2-3 lessons at the beginning of the week and on Thursday and Friday I have my students in groups, 2 groups are playing games, at least 1 using our classroom iPad, and the other 2 groups are with teachers doing either enriching or reteaching work to help meet individual needs. We just finished a chapter Friday, so we're ready to move on to a new chapter, so I need to make some new games!

Wanting: I'm so over winter! We're getting 3-6 more inches of snow this weekend. I'm ready for spring.

Needing: Cheerleading is over, but our winter sports banquet is tomorrow and I have to start on their gifts...oopsies!

???: Guess your questions in the comments! Maybe I'll have a special treat for anyone who guesses the question to "Pajama party!"

And I picked the winner of a pencil sharpener from classroom friendly supplies!
Congratulations Jonelle! I emailed you! :)

I will be back later this week for some exciting news! :) STAY TUNED!

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