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Christmas Distributive Property Project

Teaching the Distributive Property of Multiplication to 3rd graders is tough. Students struggle with understanding the concept (associative property too!). I always begin our work with area models so students can visually see the model being decomposed into smaller groups. I have an in-depth blog post that shows how I introduce the Distributive Property of Multiplication using area models that walks through my lesson step-by-step. After that initial introduction, I work with larger numbers than

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How to Catch an Elf Display

How to Catch an Elf

Last year, I found the book How to Catch an Elf through Scholastic and fell in love with it immediately!  If you don’t know it, the elves and Santa go through various contraptions that are set in an effort to catch them.  After reading it, I was inspired to create a fun, thematic, procedural writing unit with the book as the jumping point.  If you aren’t familiar with the book, you can find it on

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Christmas Parent Gifts with art inspiration

Art Inspired Christmas Parent Gifts

I work at an arts integrated magnet school, and I’m always looking for meaningful ways to incorporate the arts into our day.  I love using art in our parent gifts throughout the year, and Christmas is no different.  Because I’m looping with my class for 3 years, I want to make sure to keep our Christmas gifts for parents fresh each year, so I was on the hunt for some new ideas.  I’m really happy

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December in our Classroom

Is there a teacher out there who breezes through December?  If so, I need her tips because December kicks my butt every year.  This year, things seemed to be crazier than normal.  As a Fine Arts magnet school each grade level gets a month each year to showcase what we’ve been learning and applying it to the fine arts.  It’s amazing.  I wish I had photos to show you of our planning and projects and

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Holiday Gift Giving

This time of year I’m always on the hunt for the perfect gift.  I tend to stress about giving gifts because I want them to be perfect.  I want the receiver to know I put a lot of thought into them and I want the gift to be something meaningful to them.  That’s why we give gifts anyway, right?  Here are ideas for gifts for the people in your lives. Gifts for Students $1 books

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