Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year and Currently Jan.

I'd like to begin this post by wishing you and yours a very happy new year! 

While 2012 brought some really great things, like our new house, blogging and TpT, it also brought some pretty big lows for my we are welcoming 2013 with open arms at our house! 

This year, I'm hoping to be a bit more focused in my blog posts.  For example, sharing recaps of units or focused practice of skills.  So posts might be more scattered here in there but I hope they will provide you with lots of ideas to implement in your own classroom. My posts might be scattered here and there, which is why I would LOVE to have you follow me on Facebook too.  You can check out Fourth and Ten's page {here}.   I plan on posting more day to day things on Fourth and Ten's Facebook page

My precious friend Farley also has January's Currently up! So excited to join in the party since my NYE's celebration includes vegging on the couch with my hubs, pups, and old school SNL (think early 2000s I LOVE Cheri Oteri and Will Ferrell) on Netflix Streaming.  

My OLW for this year is BALANCE.  I have a horrible habit of spreading myself so thin, causing myself to feel stressed and overwhelmed.  I hope to juggle the joys of teaching, blogging, product creating and coaching with the blessings of being a wife, daughter, granddaughter, friend and dog mom a little better this year. :)  Wish me luck! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year, New Goals

Today I'm linking up with Jen to share some of my New Years Resolutions. For some reason, I am not a huge fan of the word "resolution", I prefer to set goals instead. ;)

She's asked us to share one personal goal and one blogging goal, which I think is the perfect amount. Last year, my husband and I made a very adventurous list, and while we did well on somethings, for example saving money to buy a house, we didn't do so well on other things, like keeping a cleaning schedule.  You will find my blogging and personal goals below.
My blogging goal is to be more active on my Facebook Fan Page.  There are lost of times throughout the school year where I get really busy and posting on my blog happens less often.  My fan page is a great way for me to share things with my followers quickly and in a more personable way!  I started this resolution last night and I'm loving the interaction that is happening already! :) I'd love it if you checked out my Facebook page, you can find it {here}

I am also going to take one night a week to ignore my TpT and  classroom projects, my blog, and spend time commenting on all the blogs I love! 

I think I can sum up my personal goal for the New Year best in one little word. 
 This one is so hard for me! I am the type of person who thinks that she can do it all but doing it all wears you out!  This is my mantra for the New Year....

I love blogging, I love creating products for my classroom and sharing with others via Teachers Pay Teachers or Teachers Notebook, I love coaching Girls on the Run, I love being our Student Council sponsor, I love being a dog mom and I love being a wife.  However, that is a LONG list of things on my plate.  This upcoming year, I need to do a better job of scaling back a little bit on some of the extras in my life to fully enjoy the wonderful life I've been blessed with!   

What is a goal that you have for this upcoming year? I'd love to hear it in the comments below!  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fourth Grade Algebra Fun and a Giveaway!

Before I begin this post about algebra fun in my classroom, how awesome is this? :)

A few weeks ago, my students and I went through a wonderful experience together.  I taught them algebra. ;)

Want to blow a fourth graders mind? Drop a few letters in a problem, smile at them and say, "Solve.  Have fun." 

The beginning of our unit produced a lot of blank stares.  Which made me sad because well, I really loved algebra in school.  So while lesson planning, I really tried to remember what my math teachers did in high school to make it so painless.  

One of my favorite high school teachers ever, Mr. Crosby, was a tall man with a mustache who talked in a funny voice and waved at the window whenever he heard a siren.  He made algebra fun.  So one day, I put on a fake mustache and taught them everything Mr. Crosby taught me.  About how neatness is important, to always get the unknown by itself and to check, check your work. Oh my goodness, it worked.  My principal came in for a pop in and asked a student, "Why is your teacher wearing a mustache?"  One of my sweethearts replied, "Oh, we are just learning everything that Mr. Crosby taught her about algebra," and then recited, "neatness is important, get the unknown by itself and always check your work." All while holding his expo marker over his lip like a mustache.  Bless his heart but being silly and making fake mustaches so worked with my kids with this difficult concept!

Once the gears were clicking on the basics of algebra, we were able to play a lot of fun games that my students LOVED.  Most of them are Kagan activities that I can't share with you due to copyrights. 

However, I do have a few tools that made teaching algebra a lot easier and fun for my kiddos. :) One is an algebra word wall! :)  I had a math wall when I taught second grade and my kids used it all the time, so I've been trying to really hard to make them for each unit for my fourth graders.  If you really stress things like this are a tool, they WILL use them. 

My kiddos would often go back to our math wall to help them solve problems, especially with remembering the difference between equations and expressions.  The visuals really helped all my kiddos, especially my strugglers.   If you are interested in using this resource with your kiddos, I have uploaded my algebra math wall to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  :) Just click on the picture above or {here} to check it out!

One of the things my fourth graders needed to do for our end of unit test was to be able to generate equations or expressions for different scenarios.  Think things like "What equation would math this scenario?  A number multiplied by 3 is equal to 9."  Which would be n x 3 = 9.  

I made a four corners review game to use before our test and they LOVED it.  They keep asking to do more four corners games. 

 I displayed the A, B, C and D signs throughout the the room.  Each student had a recording sheet and then I displayed the scenarios included in the file on my Smartboard.   If you don't have a Smartboard, any active board or projector would work too!  My kiddos read through the scenarios and then when I gave them a signal, they moved to the poster that matched their answer.  

They loved getting up and out of their seats and I loved how I could visually see who got it, who didn't and everyone got instant feedback because we talked through the answers together.   If you'd like to use this game with your class, I've uploaded it to my Teachers Pay Teachers store as well.  Just click {here} or on the picture to check it out!

Since today is my blogging anniversary, I'd love to give these two products, or any other two products, of the winners choice from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.   The winner will be the first person who correctly guesses, or tells if you already know, which three grades I have taught! :)

Good luck!  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blasts from the Past {Product Updates}

I started blogging and creating this time last year and boy have I learned a lot.  I've had updating some of my early products on my to do list and since I've been snowed in, today I was able to do so. :)  

For those of you who don't know I taught second grade last year, and one of our science standards had to do with the seasons changing.  When we returned from break last year, we did so many cool things with winter.  My kids and I had so much fun with this little unit!

Last year, my kids LOVED the science experiments, where they experimented the effect of salt on ice and snow, making snow paint snowflakes, and learning about winter animal adaptations.  I went through and cleaned up a lot of the pages today. I added easier to read fonts and different graphics to many of the pages. 

If you already own this unit, please go redownload all the awesome changes! :)  All you need to do is sign into your dashboard on Teachers Pay Teachers and click on My Purchases. Once you find the unit, the click download to download the updated unit for free.  

You can also access my winter unit on Teachers Pay Teachers by clicking {here} or by clicking on  the picture below.


I also updated my Double Digit Addition and Subtraction Scoot.  I love, love, love using scoot in my classroom.  It's amazing what a clip board, a recording sheet, and a set of equation cards can do on a cold winter day when your kiddos have had indoor recess.  :)  My original file had Valentine's Day clip art but I wanted to update my file to have more generic clip art, so it could be used year round! 

Again, it's amazing what an easy to read font and new graphics can do to a product! :)  I love the new look! :) I also included an answer key for easier grading/checking. I hope that your kiddos enjoy this updated pack. I know my kiddos really enjoyed the original last year! I would be including this in my back to school plans next week if I was still teaching second grade. :) If you would like to check it out on TpT, just click {here} or on the picture below!

Updating these products was such a walk down memory lane.  Even though I love my fourth graders a ton, I really enjoyed teaching second grade after January last year, they had matured a lot and I was over my "this isn't third grade anymore" culture shock. 

Before I hit publish, I wanted to remind you that Fourth and Ten has its own fanpage! One of my blogging goals this new year is to be more active on my fan page.  Click on the picture below or {here} to check it out and to follow Fourth and Ten on Facebook! :) 

Off to finish the laundry and catch up on my DVR. I LOVE Christmas break! :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snowed in Sale!

Hello friends! I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas with your families.  I'm currently curled up on my couch in the midst of a blizzard warning, so no day after Christmas shopping for me.  All this snow is beautiful, and my doggies LOVE it.  :)

 I've been going nonstop since break started and I'm thankful for this forced day in to catch up on blogging, emails, and some products I need to create for my classroom in the next few weeks. As well as catching up on some home things like laundry and taking down our Christmas decorations, tear :(.  

I love a good deal and since I can't go shopping today, I'm throwing a sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store! I plan on having my winter graphic organizers up as well as a geometry math wall.  Any products I add today and tomorrow will also be a part of the sale. :)

Just click on the image above or click {here} to check out my sale!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Polar Express Fun for Bigger Kids

Oh my word you guys.  I love, love, love The Polar Express.  Like rounded up a huge group of my friends in college and made them go see the movie with me type of love.  I also, maybe checked out one of our school copies of it almost every week I went to the library in second grade.  I always love reading it to my kiddos during the last few weeks of school before break. 

Although, when I mentioned reading it this year, some of my little ones groaned and moaned.  "We've read it so many times!" they cried.  Knowing they probably have done a lot of the same ole activities with the book in previous years, I got busy creating this past weekend!

In the midst of so much pain and suffering from the events of this past Friday, it brought me so much comfort to create something like this for my students.  I plan on doing activities from this pack on Wednesday and Thursday to have fun and just enjoy my kiddos before break.    I feel that in the testing grades, we don't get to do that as often, and quality time spent as a classroom family is more important than just about anything right now!

On Wednesday, we are reading the story and filling out the included Polar Express sequencing organizer and creating newspaper articles about the boy's journey to the North Pole.  We will also be answering some higher level thinking comprehension questions in a specials Polar Express readers response journal.  

On Thursday, I hope to have a little hot chocolate bar and centers in the morning.  I created some accompanying centers to go along with the comprehension activities in my pack, they focus on ABC order, making words, similies and metaphors, and fact and opinion.  We will also write persuasive pieces on whether hot chocolate is better with marshmallow or whipped toppings.  :)  I plan on using Teri's Hot Chocolate Craft as the topper for this writing.  :) Win, win because I can keep this up after Christmas too! 

If you are interested, I have uploaded my unit to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Click on the picture below to check it out!

I feel horrible that I didn't get this completed sooner, so it and the rest of my Christmas items are 20% off until Wednesday at Midnight! 

If the events of this past Friday taught me anything it is to cherish time with those you love the most.  So I'm off to cuddle my precious puppies and laugh with the hubby while we watch Garfield Christmas, one of my favorite Christmas specials.  Have a wonderful evening friends!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Day of Silence and Remembrance for Sandy Hook


On Monday, many of your students may have questions, especially if you teach older upper elementary students like me who may have been exposed to the news.  I found {this} article very helpful in preparing myself to return work tomorrow.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Geometry Freebie and a Giveaway

I know...what a random post title.  I guess I just have a lot of random things to share. :)

We started our geometry unit the other day.  Even after singing
this song from StudyJams over and over again with hand motions, my little darlings couldn't quite tell the difference between lines, rays and line segments visually.  They got the definitions but couldn't quite tell which was which when looking at examples of all three.  I fell in love with spinner games when I taught second grade, so I started math today with this lines, line segment, rays and points spinner review game.  

  Clipart & Fonts Credits
Teacher's Toolbox
Click on the image above to download. If you download, I'd love for you to follow my blog or leave me a comment below!

Talk about a big difference! Math went so much better today! My kiddos loved playing this game and the extra practice really helped them differentiate the difference between lines, rays, line segments and rays.  I would suggest using a smaller paperclip since the spinner and game grid are close together.  :)

I also wanted to let you know you that you have a chance to win a FREE copy of my Christmas Themed Graphic Organizers!

I am giving away a free copy on my friend Dena's blog as part of her 12 Days of Holiday Giveaway!

Just click on the 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways image below to check out today's fabulous giveaway feature moi and Mandy's Tips for Teachers and Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs.

Well friends, I'm out! Time to curl up with a blanket and a big ole pile of grading! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sneaking in Some Holiday Fun with the Bigger Kids

Hello, friends! I am a bit under the weather today, but I wanted to share with you how my class is sneaking away a couple moments to celebrate the upcoming winter holidays, even though I teach the bigger kids! 

We have already enjoyed a few games of Jingle Jangle in my room! Even though the stocking I bought sheds on the carpet and on my kids, they LOVE that the cards are inside the stocking. :)

Jingle Jangle is available at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  I have a game for the third 100, fourth 100, and fifth 100 fry phrases.  We use the fourth 100 in my classroom. Click on the picture below to check it out. 

I've already been loving having my Christmas Themed Graphic Organizers ready to go for this season! 

 We have already used the inferencing and author's purpose organizer during our studies of those skills this month.  My kiddos have loved the little holiday flair.  Check out {this post} for a freebie from this pack.  I loved having the file ready on my desktop to use for random moments that pop up during the holidays! Last week our school had our annual holiday concert.  Considering 3/4 of my class is in chorus and had to leave early to prepare, the rest of the kids and I read How Santa Got His Job and filled out the cause and effect organizer from the pack. Click on the picture below to check it out on TpT!
During our ELA intervention time, a ten to fifteen minute time period daily,  my kiddos have been loving our Christmas ELA centers.  Luckily I have talented friends and I don't have to reinvent the wheel during this busy, busy time!  

We have been using parts of my sweet friend Amanda's Christmoose Wishes centers.  Click on the pic to check them out on TpT.

We have also been loving Amber's Common Core ELA centers too! Click on the pic to check them out!

I have been feeling really under the weather lately and a bit overwhelmed with two new units starting at once in math and in social studies, so I haven't had a chance to make December math centers for my lovelies.  I hate to disappoint my loyal customers but sometimes life just takes over! :) So I've been loving Molly's Winter Math Centers! Just click on the pic to check them out on TpT!
Oh and this AWESOME pack from Farly has been perfect for early finishers this month! LOVE it! Click on the pic to check it out!

This upcoming week we are starting a Multi Cultural Winter Celebration Unit in ELA and I am so excited to use the following units with my darlings!

Rachel's Christmas Winter Holidays Bundle. I LOVE everything about this pack! I'm teaching Las Posadas and Kwanzaa to three sessions of fourth graders, so this will help so much!

I am also excited to use parts of Latoya's Kwanzaa unit too! Click out the pic below to check it out on TpT!
 Okay, I'm off to tackle my To Do List for the day which is about a mile long! :)  I'll be back soon to recap our algbra unit and our study of author's purpose!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Parent Gift Ideas {freebie}

Hello Friends! How were your Mondays? Mine flew by, and I have an even busier night ahead of me.

Today's is my daddio's birthday, and in honor of his special day,  I thought I would take some time to share with you what my kiddos are doing doing for their parents this year for their parent gift in my class.

This is my sixth year of teaching, and I finally found an idea worth repeating last year.  Thank goodness for Pinterest. Am I right?

This is the ornament we made last year inspired by a post I read on eighteen25

As you can see, some came out a little bit off kilter but most were adorable! The parents and kids loved them!

Instead of using little canvases, we used trading card sized canvas paper, which was much cheaper since I need enough canvases for 25 kiddos. 

I got mine last year at my local teacher store, but you can also find them on Amazon.  They are Strathmore Artist Trading Cards 2 1/2 in. x 3 1/2 in. 300 series Canvas paper Pack 10 cards I used just basic acrylic paints, and we painted the background and snow at the bottom of the ornaments one morning and did the fingerprint snowmen and details the next.  I punched a hole in the top and attached a string, and that was it! 

The parents in my class loved these, and I loved how less fragile they were than the glass ornaments of this idea that I had seen. :) 

Once the ornaments were dry, we placed them in our gift bags, which we made of various sized rectangles. 
I have uploaded the templates for this bag to Google Drive.  Please click {here} to download your own copy!  I did make the To/From tag a tad smaller, so everything should fit on the bag now! :) 

Before I go, I just wanted to let you know that I thought of the coolest container for Jingle Jangle, this month's fry phrase game! I put the cards in a large stocking! The kids LOVED it!

If you'd like to check out this fun way to practice oral reading fluency and sight words for the upper graders, please check it out {here}

Have a great night friends! :) What are you planning on doing for your students' parent gifts?

I linked this post up to my sweet friend Tara's Made It December! I can't wait to see everyone's craftiness! :)  Pinterest has turned me into a bit of a crafter. :) 

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