October 2012Tales from Outside the Classroom: October 2012

Happy Halloween

I'm spending this evening with my favorite munchkins and I'm sure most of you are as well!  To keep things simple, I thought I'd share a great freebie linky for you.  No tricks, just treats!  :)  Enjoy!

A Sale! And More Place Value Fun

The other day I was sharing some resources I am going to start of with using next week with my third grade math kids.  Since I was home most of the day today I thought I'd get a head start on what I can use with them after. I really, really like my Rocking Out with the Hundreds Chart unit.

So I decided to create a matching one that goes up to 999,999 that we can use after.
It has three different centers activity all tiered to different levels of difficulty.  It's perfect for differentiation or if you want to use it at different times throughout the year.  All of the activities work on numbers to 1,000, then numbers to 10,000, and then numbers to 999,999.  It gives you 10 centers that you can use throughout your number sense studies!  This is 62 pages of ready-to-go centers!  All you need to do is print and laminate and you're set!  You can combine different skills to ensure students are really understanding the differences between each position.  I'm hoping we're ready to move onto this in just a few weeks.

If you want to check it out for yourself, you can head to my TpT store or my TN shop.

I also created a freebie and put it in my stores.  It is the full set of pages of the Tens Columns.  That's 36 cards that can be used at a center for free!  You can download the freebie by clicking either link below or the picture to head straight to it in my TpT store.
TpT store or TN shop

Also, I'm joining up with some fantastic bloggers for a sale this weekend.  Both of my stores are 20% off through Sunday!  Check out their stores in the linky below!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Critical Thinking, Hundreds Charts and Freebies

I'm excited to be on Fall Break!  We get two days off and it always seems to come at the perfect time.  Right when you think you can't handle anymore, we get a two day break.  It's just long enough that it's a great mental refresher, but short enough that you don't freak about going back to work.

I'm spending some time trying to plan what I'm going to do with my RtI students at the end of next week.  We're meeting to come up with a gameplan for our students, so I can't plan too far in advance.  But I know we're going to move some students around and I know I can plan for them.

This week, with my third graders, I was really focusing on critical thinking with them.  Their low level comprehension is pretty good.  While they are missing some phonics skills, I know a good portion of my time with them is going to have to be spent analyzing reading, inferring, and doing some critical thinking.

I used this FANTASTIC unit from Creekside Teacher Tales!

The unit has short passages describing a dog that would like to be adopted.  It also includes three pet adoption applications.  Students read to decide which family would be the best for the dog.  There is only "best" family to adopt the pet, but it isn't perfectly clear.

With my students, we weighed the pros and cons of each family to compare and contrast who would be best.  We were talking about who would be the best family, and we ran out of time.  I HATE when that happens!  Especially when we have so many days off!  When we go back, we'll revisit Ernie and decide what family will be best.  Then we'll write acceptance letters explaining why we chose them.

Next week, I'll also be taking some of these same third graders for an intervention group focusing on number sense.  These kiddos have made it through the years without really strengthening their number sense and they're running into a lot of problems.  So, we'll be doing a lot of different hundreds chart activities.

I just created these Haunted Hundreds Charts *freebies* that I'll use at the end of next week to get a quick gauge on them.  I want to see how quickly they're able to figure out the missing numbers, and I want to see the strategies they use to complete it.  Do they go straight down the line?  Do they do them in order but counting along the way?  I think it'll be an easy way for me to get to know them as math students.
You can download them from my TpT store here or my TN shop here.

I also have my Gearing up with Number Grids sets in my stores for free as well.
You can get it from your TpT store here or my TN shop here.

I'm also going to be getting my Rocking Out the Numbers Chart unit ready.
This one isn't free but you can get it in my TpT store and TN shop too.

And, because it's my Fall Break and I'm making sure I don't work too hard, I spent some time watching this awesome video today.  I hope you like it!

Woo Hooo Wednesday with FREEBIES!

It's time for another Woo Hoo Wednesday!  I'm so far behind on blogging, creating, lesson planning, cleaning, life, etc.

But.....today starts my fall break!!!!  It's only two extra days off but I have BIG plans for those two days.
(We'll see how much I get done!)

First up, I have set all my Rafflecopters to announce the winners of my 1,000 follower (x2) giveaways.  Thank you so much for entering and thank you so much to all those wonderful people who donated their fantastic products!

Second, my first DonorsChoose project has been set up!  I'm so excited about it!  If you want to check it out, you can see it at http://www.donorschoose.org/tmaguire

Today, I want to keep things pretty quick.  So, I compiled a list of AWESOME freebies that I think you'll enjoy.  Click each link to go check them out!








Mrs Wheelers First Grade





Sour Apple Studio

and a cute Thanksgiving Color by Word from

*Click on her blog button to go to the freebie. I wasn't able to get a picture.*

Happy Fall Break!!

Woo-Hoo Wednesday

One week until Fall Break!!!!!!  Woo hoooo!

My FALLing into learning bunting/banner that was part of the Fall Freebie Frenzy is now available as a freebie on my Facebook page.  Just click on the Fan Only Freebies tab.  Click the picture below to head there and download it for yourself!

I'm part of a new, fantastic collaborative blog!  I've not gotten around to posting there yet, but there are some phenomenal bloggers contributing!  Check it out!
Tips for Top Teachers: A Smorgasboard of Teaching Resources

Have you seen the new blog dedicated to freebies for Pk-1?  It's adorable and I want to collaborate on this one.  PLEASE!

One week to Fall Break!  {I know I already said it.  I'm just looking forward to it THAT much!}

Have a great rest of your week!

One thousand times two!

It's been a full week since I've posted and this might be the world's longest post!  I've been spending so much time at work lately.  I feel like it's just a few things I need to get done, and then I'll get all caught up, and will be able to keep up.  Unfortunately, I haven't gotten caught up to know!  Good news, though!  Our building's construction has been on hold since mid-August.  We added about 100 new students and didn't really have room for all of them.  There have been 6 people operating out of our room and while my desk is in that room, I've been meeting with students in a closet.  Yes, a closet.  It's where we charge our laptop carts.  We've made it work and I honestly don't mind it too much other than sitting on the floor.  Well, we finally received our long awaited permit.  They're finishing pieces daily.  One person gets to move into her room this weekend.  Things are coming together nicely!

I made some achievements this week while I was busy working!  On Tuesday, I passed 1,000 Followers in my TpT store.  On Wednesday, I passed 1,000 Followers on my blog.  Shnikey!  When I started this blog in February I was so excited to have 3 followers the first weekend.  I can't believe there are 1,000 people that want to hear what I say and see what I do.  Truly, I'm in awe.  I know I just finished my 700 follower giveaway but I put together a GIGANTIC giveaway to celebrate reaching 1,000.  Keep reading :)

I spent all of my rainy, gloomy, fall Saturday at school working.  I got a lot done!  First thing I did was get my new laminator set up!  MyBinding.com sent me this awesome little laminator to try out and I'm in love!  I've never had my own before and I'm pretty sure it's going to change my life.  It's the Papermonster 12" Laminator, though they do have a smaller 9" one.

It comes with a few different stickers so that you can personalize it.
 The cord stores inside itself!  I hate dealing with cords and keeping things neat is so hard when they are loosely wrapped around.  This keeps it neatly organized.
 I had some 12" sleeves and so I was able to laminate construction paper!  I love not having to worry about it fitting only a piece of paper.  I used it to laminate my Nike Set poster from The Reading Olympians program.  I'm starting the roots program with my 5-7 graders to hopefully help their spelling, decoding, and comprehension.
 I also used it to laminate word cards from my H-owl-oween Tricks game.  The game has word cards that include short vowels, long vowels including magic e, blends, and vowel digraphs.  You can choose which cards you'd like to use.  I am going to play the game with my third graders using words from every set.  They are struggling with identifying when a word is short or long and I'm hoping this fun review will help.

Do you see how small it is?  It fits on the corner of a desk and is so lightweight.  It seriously could be transported back and forth, but I wouldn't do that because I'd be guaranteed to crumple my pouches.
The machine grabs the pages and pulls them through on their own and then out the back.  When it's done, it stops and is ready for you to grab it out.  It also doesn't leave that gross plastic-y smell in the air as it's working, which is so nice when you laminate a bajillion pages!
You can check out my H-owl-oween Tricks & Treats unit, including adorable H-owl-oween bunting (banner) and certificates by clicking the picture below and heading to my TpT store.  And, you can keep reading and win your own!
On my way home I stopped at Wal-Mart and picked up this jack-o-lantern bucket for only a dollar!  Score!  It'll be the perfect thing to put the cards for my game in to have students draw from!
I also used it to laminate the Oh-So-Scary Sentences center from Queen of the First Grade Jungle.  I told you I was at work all day long!  Her adorable unit is in her TpT store here.  You can also win it below.  Keep reading...

I wasn't kidding when I said that this laminator changed my life.  There's so many things I want to create now.  It's also convincing me that I need to buy myself my own laser color printer at home so that I'm not using up all the ink at school.  Let's face it, you don't want to laminate something that's black and white.  You want it cute!  Do you want to win one of the laminator's for yourself?  Of course you do!  Just enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway