Rotations, Reflections, and Translations - Math Art!!

When I saw this on Pinterest, (source HERE) I got SOOOOO excited!  We had just gone over rotations, reflections, and translations in Math and I knew this would be the perfect activity to wrap it all up.
We used 4 x 6 blank index cards.  The kids divided them into 4 squares. 
1st box - first letter of their name
2nd box - 90 degree rotation
3rd box - reflection
4th box - translation
They loved doing this activity.  I put it in Math Workshop as their At Your Seat rotation.  It did take a couple of days for them to finish. (our rotations are only 13 - 15 minutes)

Some of my kiddos, depending on their letter, had a hard time with reflection....they were doing a 180 degree rotation instead of a reflection.  It really helped them understand the difference and "see" the different transformations.  I think it's hard for some kids to visualize the different moves.
When they were all done, it made an awesome bulletin board:)
I'll be posting another Math and Art project we are finishing up soon:)
Have a great rest of your weekend!
Be blessed!


Math Workshop...So GLAD I Went There!!!

I am linking up super, duper late to Holly's:
I have been wanting to join this for a while BUT I have been so stinkin busy!!!
Crazy busy I tell you!
So, Tried it Tuesday is sharing about something you tried and whether it worked or didn't work, you get the idea:)
My Tried It:  Math Workshop
This year, I bit the bullet and changed the entire way I teach Math.
I taught Math this year in a workshop/rotation format.
Thanks to my super good friend Elizabeth, Fun in Room 4B, talking me through the whole process, encouraging me not to give up, and sharing lots of ideas for it, I am so glad I did it and once I got the hang of it I haven't looked back:)
This is my rotations board at the beginning of the year.
This is my board now:)   Very similar to a "Daily 5", just for math instead.  I am a huge fan of working with the kids in small groups:)
My kids are grouped based on assessments and ability.  I have 3 rotations a day.  I think the "traditional" math workshop calls for 4 but I don't have that time, so I switch one out based on our lesson.  My rotations are:
Teacher Time = small group lesson instruction with me
At your Seat = Usually a worksheet or page from the lesson the day before.  Sometimes other work/review.
Math Facts = Anything to practice math fact fluency.  I have Mathsharks, Ipad, computers, flashcards in teams, bottle caps.....lots of options
Hands On = different activities the coincide with the lesson, usually with manipulatives
Teacher Time and Math Facts I do for sure daily.  I switch back and forth between the other 2:)
What I Love about Math Workshop:
- I love working with the kids in smaller groups.  I have their attention and there's not a lot of room for drifting off or day dreaming, like you sometimes see in whole group.  I feel a much better connection with the kids in small group.
- By working in the smaller groups, you can quickly see who gets it and who doesn't
- Students get extra time if they don't really get the lesson
- Kids that totally get it can move on in the rotations so I have more time with the ones who really need it
- Based on classroom assessments and district tests, I have seen huge growth with my kiddos this year.  I feel like they are way further along than my group last year.
What I Don't Love about Math Workshop:
- I can honestly say that once I got the "hang of it" and it started to flow, there is nothing that I don't love!  Well, there is one Math block is not long enough!!!!
I have no control over that, so have to make it work for me:)
What Can I do Differently?:
- There are many things I can do differently.  I want to really work on activities this summer to add to my workshop rotations. 
- I want to be a little more organized with my set up and rotations.
- I want to try to use the assessments even more to drive my groups and instruction.
All in all, I have loved using this format this year and so have the kids.  Do I do rotations every single day?  No.....that depends on the lesson.  If it's a really tough one that I think most will struggle with, I will do whole group instruction.  Can I tell ya how spoiled my kiddos are though?  They get totally bummed if we aren't doing workshop:)
This is just the tip of the iceberg for teaching in a math workshop format.  You really need to check out Elizabeth's posts on this.  She is the math master at doing this:)))
Do you teach math in a workshop format?
Do you like it?
Do you have any great ideas for me?  Love to hear what works for you:)
I am always looking to tweak things:))


Early Earth Day Fun!!!

Our state testing is over.....
happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!!!

Today it was time for some FUN!!!!
We literally did dance......I WISH I had they were all working quietly at their desks, I had a random, spaz moment and started the top of my lungs......
"Everybody dance now!"
People....they all (but 2) stood up and I kept was a riot!
Then I said STOP and they sat down and got back to work:)
So we had several random dance moments today:) 
Hilarious and fun!!!
My kiddos worked their tails off this week, so I decided we were going to celebrate with starting some Earth Day fun a little early!

I made them Earth Day pop treats!

These were super easy to make and so fun!!
The kids just loved them:)
- large marshmallows
- little wooden skewers
- almond bark
- green and blue sugar sprinkles
Just melt the almond bark in a bowl in the microwave.
Then stick a marshmallow on the little stick and swirl it in the almond bark.
Sprinkle in the sugar and let them cool/harden:)
I've never made these before.....they started looking better as I went along:)
Fun little treat and so quick and easy:)
We also made a mini Earth Day poster quilt:)
I gave each of my students a large blank notecard.
Their assignment was to make a mini poster for Earth Day and include a promise to the Earth:) 
The quilt above is all of their cards taped together. (I still want to add a title or something)
They all did a great job!
Some of them were so creative:)

Love this's a light creative:)

The kids really enjoyed doing this and it was a great wind down after a long week of testing.
We also started a really fun non-fiction text project I'll be posting about later:)
Have a great weekend everyone!!


Pick Some Pre-Test Positivity!

3 days down, 1 to go for our state testing!!!! 
What a week:)
I wanted to share a little idea I did in our classroom.
The other day I blogged about my Shine On! motivational notes.
The kids have been loving getting these, BUT
I wanted them to take part in the "spreading some positive, pre-test love" too!
We have started our Book Recommendation Tree again this year!
(Thanks Molly, Lessons with Laughter, check out her adorable tree!!!)
BUT, for the big test, my room has to be completely dullsville!!!!
So, had to take all the tags off the tree......
it looked so naked, and sad, and ugh.....
then the Post It Positivity Tree was born:)

I gave each of the kiddos a little post it and had them write an encouraging note and then we taped them to the tree.  The next morning, as they came in, each student picked a post it to encourage them for testing:)

They absolutely LOVED this.  I have even noticed that a few take that little note out each morning and read it again:)  Love that:)
I also had to share this note of love I got from one of my kiddos:)
Teachers like to get positive notes too!!! 
Happy hump day everyone!!!


Winners and Prayers!

Hello all!
Quick post to show the winners:
I goofed and hit pick a winner 4 times so I have 4 winners!
Ladies, please leave your email in a comment and I will pop the Shine On notes in an email to you:)
I am sick over what is happening in Boston!
Praying for ALL involved!
Be Blessed

Pre-test Motivating Notes Giveaway

Happy Sunday everyone!
I had a beautiful day on Siesta Key all day yesterday watching my girl play in the
Fiesta at Siesta college beach tourney:)
Fun day!
Today, I'm gearing up.......
For what, you ask?????
Tomorrow our state tests start!!!
(I won't get on my soap box about how unfair I think they are....:/)
I have seen several ADORABLE test motivators and notes out there.
They are super cute......SUPER cute but most of them call for a treat of some sort....
we have a wellness policy that doesn't like, I know!
I kinda bent the rules Friday with the FCAT Eat a Donut test!
Shhhhhh!  Don't tell!
One dose of sugar this month is all they need!!!
Tomorrow morning will be quiet, peaceful, and classical music playing to
hopefully invoke major focus!!!
My kiddos have worked super hard this year:) 
I wanted to leave a note each morning this week for my kiddies to let them know they can do it and I am so proud of them.  So my Shine On! set was created:)
It has 4 different notes, color and black and white (for most)
There are also some blank ones if you want to add your own personal touch:)
Click on the pic if you would like to read more about it.
I would love to give away 3 sets chosen by rafflecopter:)
Enter below:)  Since my testing starts tomorrow, this is a one day contest:) 
Ends at 11:59 tonight:)
If you have testing this week, GOOD LUCK:)

Perspectives in Life and the Classroom

Hello and happy Friday to everyone!
It's time to link up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday.
Warning: Short personal story ahead....
The word has many meanings and I have dealt with a couple this week!
I had a pretty dismal perspective Wednesday when I received a phone call that my mammogram had come back abnormal.  I should have gotten one a long time ago BUT, kept putting it off and putting it off.....Then, my girl Farley posted about getting one and I turn. 
So, when I got the news.....Yes, I freaked, yes, I was scared BUT I am surrounded by some pretty amazing friends who prayed for me when I reached out.
Yesterday I was able to go get more tests run and I am so happy to report that I got back normal results and all the concerns they had before were gone!
This little 24 hour roller coaster ride really helped me put some things into perspective in my life as I was reminded God comes first, my family next, then friends, and then my job.
Don't get me wrong.......I LOVE my job but can you believe I was apologizing to my principal about the bad timing of this because our state tests are next week.  Yes, I love my job but my wonderful principal reminded me my health and peace came first! 
Now, on to perspectives in the classroom....
Perspectives in the classroom were a blast!
After I explained and modeled perspectives, I put the kids in groups.
They each got some cubes and had to build each of the different models that were in the book.  After they built it and I checked it, they drew the top and side perspectives.
They LOVED this.  We really had fun and they got it WAY better than I thought they would:)
(sometimes it's hard to think 3 dimensionally)
Due to my 24 hour life roller coaster, the plans I had for making super cute little test motivators went right out the window:/  I was really bummed because I had a few ideas in mind but no time.
Then I got a great email from Joanne at Head Over Heals for Teaching.
Perfect timing!! (You can read more about it HERE)
Our state test is called the FCAT.  I'm sure most tests are the same with lengthy rules and scripts that have to be read before the know.....
"All you should have on your desk is a number 2 pencil"
"I will tell you when there is 10 minutes left to complete your test"
Well she had a script exactly like that BUT the test was eating a glazed donut!
It was hilarious people!
All I had to do was pop in to Dunkins this morning.  After recess, I told them they were having a test and started reading the script......they roared!
It was a blast and I am so thankful Joanne sent that to me:)
I can't believe my first season of coaching GOTR is almost over!
We have out 5K run at the end of April:)  I have a great group of girls and we have had a blast learning and going through this program together:)  I'm pretty sure I will do it again next year:)
Thank you lovely state test for making my room droopy poopy ville!!!!
Oh Daily 5 rotations!!!!  Where are you???
Nothing like blank walls and boards......NOT!

Love how many times I have tripped trying to travel through the maze that is now my classroom!

I took down a lot of things BUT one of my team mates was using Dollar Tree plastic table cloths to cover some things.  Great idea:)  Then you don't have to take everything down!

My kids are working hard to get their 40 books in so wanted to leave this up:)
Covering it means less work for me:)  Rip down the table cloth when testing is over:)
My Autism Awareness Spirit bracelet came!!!
Look at this yummy box!!!
LOVE IT!  I got it from Stella and Dot at Creating and Teachings blog:)
Have a great weekend everyone!  My baby turns 17 so we will be doing some celebrating:)
Photo: My 2 fave people everrrrr!  Fam night:)  Momma is so happy!!

Monday Made It April! - Necklaces, Test Prep, Awards, and Organization

Hello everyone!
It's Monday Made It time!!

I've got lots to share so let's get to it.....
Classroom Made It #1
These 2 items weren't a MADE but a
buy, print, laminate, and cut out!
We are one week.......ONE WEEK from our state tests!  So this week is review, review, review! 
I have purchased several sets!  I can't wait to use these
small groups with my kids this week!
I also picked up these awesome Context Clue Task Cards from
 Teaching With a Mountain View!  I'll be using these in small groups
too for last minute reviews:)
Classroom Made It #2
I found these great little poly zip files with a pocket at Staples.
You can't see the pocket in the pic, but it's there and I love it.
These will help keep my math centers organized.
The cover page goes in the front pocket, then the
rest goes in the zip.
With the cover in the pocket, you can see right away
what set it is:)  Love this!  I'll finally be all organized....
about the time school is!
Classroom Made It #3
One of my classroom management systems is play money....
the kids earn money and then once a month we have a classroom
store.  Well, I made these for my store.
I think they will be a huge hit!
I used the same bottle caps items that I made my magnets with
but added the necklaces and small magnets (oh my word are they strong!)
The bottle caps can change because of the magnets:)
Classroom Made It #4
Our 4th grade team has decided to have some friendly AR reading competitions.
(Thanks 3rd grade for the great idea)
We are going to recognize the top 5 readers in the grade level
and the top class.  Trying to fire them up at the end of the
school year with this contest.
I made these awards using Krista from Creative Clips
adorable ribbons!  Our top 5 will get their pics put on these and hung in
the hallway.  We will be changing out every 2 weeks!
I bought some fun, bright ribbons to hang them with:)
Classroom Made It #5
I finally printed this set for some math review practice.
I'm such a spaz.....half the time, I forget to print myself a
copy of my own item!!!  This will be a perfect refresher
for right before the test:)
Ok....I think that should wrap it up for me:)
Please oh please link up your creativity:)
Don't forget to grab my button
and don't forget, this linky will be open all month!
I will even be back later this week (hopefully) to link up
again with my own 

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