Sunday, October 6, 2013

Playing Catch Up: What We've Been Up To PLUS Place Value, States of Matter, and Language Arts Products I LOVE!

Hi! I bet you're surprised to me pop up on your blog roll! 

I swear I am still alive and still teaching!  Life has just been crazy! After three years of only teaching language arts, diving back into math and science has been so much fun, but a lot of work! I’m enjoying every minute of it, but this little ol’ blog of mine has had to take a backseat.

I miss blogging and having the opportunity to look back over what we’ve done and share the things I’ve really enjoyed. So, because I have so much lost time to make up for, I’m going to attempt to hit the highlights over the last month. To make it a bit easier to navigate, I’ll divide up the sections into math, science, and language arts so you can jump right to a section that interests you and you can skip all the rest!


I am absolutely in LOVE with teaching math! It’s a nice break from the world of language arts and my kiddos love it.

Several weeks ago we began our place value unit. We are now on to addition and subtraction, but I want to share a few things that I loved.

First up, to wrap up what we learned about place value, the kids went car shopping! I gave them newspaper ads for cars and they chose the car they wanted. Then they filled out this sheet to hit all those place value skills. The kids learned just how expensive cars are and some kids even expressed how surprised they were. This activity was a hit and one that we could repeat again. Click  HERE to get the recording sheet!

I also created a little place value review that we worked on before our unit test. I printed out the slides, hung them around the room, and the kids went on a scavenger hunt around the room to complete all the problems. If you are interested in this, send me an e-mail and I will send it to you! My internet is not letting me upload this and it's driving me nuts! 

I have some kiddos who were in need of a challenge. This Place Value Detectives Activity 
from Teaching With a Mountain View kept my kids challenged for several days. It was one of my favorite activities!

We have also been getting LOTS of use out of my Place Value Quiz Quiz Trade Cards  to review word form, standard form, and expanded form.


Oh how I love teaching science!! I have been jealously observing the other teachers on my team for the last three years and anxiously awaited the day I would be able to teach it again! It has been so much fun!

We started out with a review of the states of matter. We used Hope King's As a Matter of Fact bundle and the kids ate it up!

We also did viscosity races one day to explore the property of viscosity. This wasn’t in Hope’s unit, but was great to add to our exploration!

And the highlight to wrap up the unit was the gas fireworks from Hope’s unit. I was shocked to see just how high that soda shot up in the air!!

Language Arts

I have been blessed with a class full of thinkers this year who just devour books. I have yet to have a class who loves reading the way that they do. It’s so refreshing, but challenging to find activities that will keep them engaged and thinking critically. Thankfully, I have my trusty Amanda Nickerson from One Extra Degree to help with this!

We have been using her Just Glue It!  journal prompts to respond to our reading and the kids have been doing a fabulous job. I love how the prompts are multi-question and use all of those higher-level thinking skills most products and activities lack. If you’re looking for a way to get some juicy responses from your kids, this is what you need!

I wish I would have taken pictures of some of the kids’ entries. They just made me smile! They especially enjoyed writing a letter to Prudy from Prudy’s Problem and How She Solved It (it’s in our Reading Street series) and giving her some “friendly advice.” She collected everything and eventually her room exploded from all the clutter! She solved her problem by creating a museum to showcase her collections, but to hear what the kids had to say to her about her choices to collect dog hair and gum wrappers just cracked me right up! I loved that the prompt also made them give Prudy credit for her good decisions, too. J

We have been knee-deep in our fiction unit and we've been using pieces from Nicole Shelby’s Interactive Reading Notebook and Interactive Language Notebook. The added element of cutting, gluing and coloring has done wonders for engagement! The kids actually look forward to taking notes when there's a little somethin' to glue in first!! 

 I didn’t even touch writing or social studies, but those things will have to wait for another day! My internet is really testing my patience! I have so much more things to share with you!!! 

I’m going to try to be better about blogging more often. I really do miss it, but my kiddos and my classroom have to come first! Hopefully I can find a way to better organize my time so that I actually have some time to blog! Suggestions anyone??! Any advice would be much appreciated!

I hope you all have had an amazing first of the year! I’ll be back soon (fingers crossed)!! 


  1. So glad to see a post from you! After reading it I understand how busy you've been with school. Loved your math and science ideas! I'm definitely giving the buying a car one a try to practice their place value. I'd love a copy of the scavenger hunt - my email is My kiddos need all the place value practice they can get. I understand your frustration in trying to get organized and manage your time ... I'm struggling with that myself. Making a written To Do list helps me to stay on track. Best of luck to you - just don't stop blogging - I love reading your posts!

  2. I LOVE the buying a car activity. I will be using that in math workshop to review place value. I would also love a copt of the scavenger hunt. My email is
    Thank you so much for sharing all of your super great ideas!

  3. I would like a copy of the scavenger hunt. My email is Thank you so much.


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