Thursday, October 15, 2015

I Was a Guest Blogger!

For the first time I had the opportunity to be a guest blogger for another educator.  How fun!  I was asked to think about my homeschooling views, and give teacher tips for struggling learners.  I gave this a lot of thought, so I thought I would share it with you.  And a big thank you to Bekki at A Better Way to Homeschool for the opportunity!  Here goes...

I have always known I would be a teacher.  I remember lining up my dolls and stuffed animals as a child and diligently teaching them their ABCs every Saturday.  While others worried about their career paths, I had an inner calm already knowing my purpose.  And I was right.  Twenty years out of college I can look back and see the many students whose lives I touched.  More importantly, so many of them touched me.  I have worked with infants through college, Deaf Education, Special Education, and Regular Education.  I have had students that are adults now find me on Facebook and tell me how much I helped them.  Several have become teachers themselves and give me some credit for making that decision.  And yet…

Without a doubt the students I loved teaching the most are my own twin daughters, now age 19.  They are one week from graduating high school and I couldn’t be more proud.  They both have learning disabilities, so school was a long hard battle for them as well as me.  Their first grade teacher said Megan and Katie needed to repeat that grade, so they did.  With me.  I homeschooled them to the dismay of several public school teacher friends.  We did not follow the typical public or private school curriculum.  I saw how they learned.  I knew where the gaps were and decided to focus on that alone.  We did reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic, with an emphasis on reading.  By the end of the semester, Megan, who entered homeschool as a non-reader, was now reading on a second grade level.  We had gained two and a half years in one semester.  Talk about miracles!

The next time we decided to homeschool was during the terrifying Middle School years.  I took a break from teaching other students to focus on my own.  We had the joy of homeschooling 6th – 8th grades.  There were many reasons behind this, but the main one was we wanted to draw them closer to our family unit.  This is such a risky time when so many choices have life-long consequences, either good or bad.  My daughter Katie has since come to me and admitted that if we had not homeschooled her during middle school, we might very well had lost her.  She has already declared that she will be doing the same when she has children of her own.

While homeschooling my own children, I pulled so much information from my training and experience as a professional teacher.  I have been on both sides of the tracks.  I fully support any family that wants to homeschool their children.  Just as I heard dismay from public school teachers when I let them know of my plans to teach at home, I saw the wringing hands of homeschool families when we decided to put them back in public school.  I have never understood why there are opposite “camps” on this issue.  I think that at times there can be a benefit to both sides.  As a professional teacher I have had the opportunity to try new things with a variety of students and happily tuck away the successful ones for future use.  Here are a few ideas I have used when my students are struggling.

1.       One of the most difficult skills a good teacher MUST learn to do is break down information into smaller bites.  WE know the information already, but our children do not.  Think from the child’s perspective.  Break the information down into small steps.  Do not go to step two until they understand step one.  This takes a lot more time, but it is so worth it in the end.

2.      Don’t be afraid of silence.  When you ask your child a question, wait.  And wait.  Aaaand wait.  The fancy word for this is latency, but the purpose is the same.  We already know the information, and the fact that we were going to ask it.  Your child does not have that knowledge.  Plus, if it is a child who is struggling, they may need longer time to process that information.

3.      Variety is the spice of life.  It is also the spice to teaching.  When you are teaching something new, talk about it, read about it, youtube about it, make something about it… Make sure your child has the opportunity to see it, hear it, visualize it, and experience it.  The more opportunities they have to learn in different ways, the better they will internalize the information.

4.      Wash, rinse, repeat.  Repetition is critical for a struggling learner.  Research has shown that young readers need to hear a story read to them up to 20 times in order to internalize it.  It’s the same with any new information.  Go back to information you have already taught and review it from time to time.  After you’ve taught the concept, let them take a turn to be the teacher and explain it to you or a younger sibling. 

Random Teacher/Mommy Handwriting Hack:

When you are working with a child that has atrocious handwriting, try writing what you want them to practice with a yellow highlighter first.  They can copy the highlighted letters and get a feel for how they move.  This will give them more confidence when they write on their own.

My freebie:

Two other items:

Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Melissa Jenkins, aka My Broken Bootstraps

Monday, May 11, 2015

Cute Counting Turtles!

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  I had to pick up my daughter, Megan, and husband at the airport.  They had spent the weekend in South Carolina house-hunting.  Before I could get them, however, I had to get the SNOW off of my windshield!  How crazy is that?

I have a friend who is going back into teaching after several years off.  She is overwhelmed by how to make all of the math and language centers she is going to need, so I decided to help her out.  I started by making this cute math matching game for numbers.  There are so many ways you could use it.

  • You could make two copies of each page, cut them out and let the students play Memory with the cards.
  • Layout cards with a missing number and let the student find the correct number.  (Example ___, 4, 5 and have the student search for the 3).
  • Give them the set of turtles mixed up and have them place them in order.
  • Make this into a file folder game.  Glue the number cards onto the inside of a file folder.  Cut out the number words and have the student match them to the numbers attached to the file folder.
This freebie will be part of a packet I plan to make and sell in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  The complete packet will include zero and ten, as well as counting dots, simple addition facts and tallies.  It will be in both color as well as black and white.  Click on the picture below to get your free sample!

Now to a fellow Teachers Pay Teachers Freebie.  With the end of the school year in mind hclark has a perfect activity that will keep your students writing.  Click on the picture below to see her freebie craftivity that has students remembering all of the good things that happened throughout the year!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Where Has the Time Gone?

Whew!  I blinked, and could not believe how many weeks have passed.  I think life is finally settling for a little while and it is time to pick this blog back up.  We've had serious illnesses in the family, as well as remodeling our house and putting it on the market.  If anyone wants a beautiful place to live in Colorado Springs, let me know.  We are a military family and our next move is to Columbia, South Carolina.  I am excited because we will be much closer to our family and the beach!  As spectacular as Colorado is, I am a water girl at heart.

I'm also hoping to get a classroom in South Carolina, which I hope will help this blog with creative ideas.  Summer is quickly approaching so I thought I would share a freebie that gives parents as well as teachers a helping hand.

The ideas are all fun but there is real learning involved as well.  Research as shown that when students return from summer vacation, they have lost anywhere from one to three months worth of learning (Dr. Harris Cooper, University of Missouri-Columbia).  Let's all do our part to keep the students engaged in learning throughout the summer and ready to move on when the school bell rings again!  There are ideas for every Monday through Friday in a calendar format.  In no way am I expecting you to follow a schedule, it's just a simple way to showcase ideas and help you see how quickly the days are passing.  Just click on the picture above for a free download.  Enjoy!

Now on to sharing another great freebie from a Teachers Pay Teachers seller.  This week we have
Elementary Matters sharing her game Par 3.  Inspired by golf, this math game practices adding three addends. It works like Bingo.  Directions are included, as well as 3 playing boards.  Just click on the picture below to get the free download.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Adding to Anchor Charts...Doubles!

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter!  The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I love that we turn out of our street and face Pike's Peak.  The snow capped mountains are stunning.  We will be leaving them soon and I cannot believe how much I am going to miss them.  I am not going to miss the altitude, however.  I am back on oxygen for now and hate being trapped by a 50 foot cord.  That being said, it does give me some time to work on classroom activities.  I am continuing my Anchor Chart activities with a new pack...

These charts have one doubles addition fact on each page.  Use this as a classroom tool to go along with the free anchor chart you can find here.  Just click on the picture for a free download.

I found a fun activity to go along with this skill at The Kindergarten Smorgasboard.  Check it out for some laughs and extra practice!

Now on to today's Teachers Pay Teachers Freebie.  Joyful Rigor With Ms. Jones has an instructional book to show subtraction with regrouping.  You can click on the picture below to visit her store and get a free download.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Adding to the Math Journals

First I need to apologize for not posting the past two weeks.  We had the virus that never ends passed from family member to family member.  When I got it, I thought I might die.  My husband Wayne (who didn't get it, so we all kind of hate him right now) would poke his head in and ask if I needed anything, I would beg him to shoot me.  He wouldn't, so here I am!  This stupid bug has a death grip on my ears right now, so I will be going BACK to the doctor again to hopefully get some antibiotics for an ear infection.  Then maybe I will feel human again and be able to stay on course with this blog!

If you have been following me from the beginning, (and I thank you!), you know I started with some math journals that were so helpful with my first graders.  I have these free fantastic covers you might want to check out if you missed them, and then instructional anchor charts to help build math skills as well as independence.  I mentioned I wanted to go further with each of these charts and how I would use them in my classroom and attach a math center game to go with them.  So I am starting a new series on adding to the Math Journals.  (If you would like to see the twenty or so free math anchor charts, click here).

I am starting with Friends of 10.  For a refresher, I will show it below.  This anchor chart will be included in the free game pack I will describe in a moment.

I would use this anchor chart to show the connections of numbers whose sums are 10.  Have the children take turns picking one color from the rainbow and discover how adding those two matching numbers will always result in ten.  Use manipulatives if necessary.  Then show them if they flip the numbers, the sum will still remain ten.  Let them pick their favorite color and write the sums to prove they add to ten.  This is a very important skill, so you need a lot of repetition with this. 

I have a fun game for the kids to play and reinforce learning which numbers make ten. Use the anchor chart to be certain they have a reference they get into the habit of using.  Once you have played a few of these games with the anchor chart always as a reference, put this anchor chart into their math journals.  The students will be so used to referring to it, you will be amazed at their independence to refer to it on their own once it is in their journal.

For this game of two players, cut out the addition flashcards, mix them up and place them face down.  Make sure each student has an answer sheet.  The first student picks a card and decides if it is a “Friend of 10”.  If the sum is 10, they write the problem with the answer in the column under the rainbow.  If it is any other sum than 10, they write the problem with the answer under the crying boy.  The first one that completes the rainbow column wins!

I suggest you print this on cardstock and laminate for durability.  The answer sheets can be written with a wipe off or dry erase marker again and again.  I would put the cards in a recloseable baggie and slide the anchor chart with the answer sheets inside a file folder for storage.
Think about making several copies.  This would be a fun game to send home for students to play with their parents or siblings instead of a simple worksheet for homework practice.

This center (other than the anchor chart), has both a color and black and white version.

Onto my next Freebie Monday!  I have collaborated with some fantastic teachers at Teachers Pay Teachers store and I am proud to introduce this week's Freebie!

Brittany Washburn has a wide variety of products in her store, and many involve technology.  She has given us a fantastic set of "I Can" statements that are for K, 1st, and 2nd.  This is a sampler that can be downloaded for free at her store, then you might want to stay around and shop for more things for your class.  Enjoy!  Click on the picture below to go to her store for the free download!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Day At the Farm

I wanted to give a review of a product I was able to test with a preschooler this week.  Kathryn at Teaching Talking has one of the nicest websites I've been to.  She let me pick which Interactive Vocabulary packet I wanted to try, and I went with On The Farm.  Best. Decision. Ever.

This packet of 5 interactive activities will help you to reinforce theme based vocabulary for PreK & Kindergarten students.
★ Activity 1 – A fun craftivity and foldable
★ Activity 2 – Foldable Mini Books
★ Activity 3 – Write the Room
★ Activity 4 – Counting Syllables
★ Activity 5 – Interactive vocabulary scene (use for barrier games, following directions etc.)
The first 4 activities focus on 8 key vocabulary terms. The 5th activity allows extension work for more able students.
♥ All activities are available in color and blacklines.

I work one on one with a hearing impaired preschool student, and this packet has given me many days worth of engaging learning to do with this child.  It is colorful and has lots of different things for the students to manipulate.  I will admit that I would probably do all of the cutting if I had an entire class of students, but the foldable book is precious and my little cutie wanted to read it to me again and again.  I plan to use the Interactive Vocabulary Scene with her next week with a focus on positional words.  That is another great thing about this product.  It really lends itself to differentiated learning.  I have been impressed with this set and plan to go back for more. 

If you would like more information about this product, simply click on the picture above and it will send you the Teaching Talking website!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

I Need an Intervention!

Somebody help me.  I just did a Makeover on my Makeover for this blog.  Seriously, last Monday I was so excited about this improvement...

And it was a big improvement.  But I'm like an addict now, so I worked for hours (I'm NOT going to say how many) on my new header.  I. Can't. Stop. But enough of my first world problems.  I am ready to share this Monday's Freebie.  In honor of St. Patrick's Day (Honestly, do you know the history behind it?  It's pretty amazing.), I am saving America's classroom children from the pain and humiliation of pinching.
These "No Pinching" bracelets can simply be taped around the wrists of the students that forgot to wear green.  Now there should be no tears and bruises from that tradition.  You are very welcome.  Simply click on the picture above to get your free download.  There is also a black and white page if you need it, just color it in.
For some of the older students, they may appreciate some funny St. Paddy's Day jokes.  I cannot write or tell a joke to save my life, so these are not from me.  They are from the Happy Home Fairy and she has so many creative Saint Patrick's Day ideas, you need to check out her blog!  For now, enjoy the joke page.
Continuing the Saint Patrick's Day theme, I am also sharing a Freebie from a colleague at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Sandra Naufal  has a cute Saint Patrick's Day card freebie, available in both color and black and white.  Click below for a direct link to this free item!

Sunday, March 1, 2015


I spent about 4 hours yesterday trying to customize a header for this blog, and I am really pleased with how well it turned. out.  What do you think?  Leave a comment below with your email address through Monday, March 2 only, and I will send you one item of your choice from my TPT store for FREE!  How's that for a Monday freebie!

Why am I giving so much away?  My twin daughters turned 19 today and I wanted to do something in their honor.  They are AMAZING, and I'm not just saying it because I'm their mom.  At the very impressionable age of 14 they had to deal with their dad overseas fighting in a war, their mom fighting a debilitating cancer, and a widowed older grandmother moving in while recovering from serious heart surgery.  With all of that on their shoulders, there were two options.  Give up and rebel, or grow up an excel.  They chose the latter and are two of the most compassionate, funny, mature 19 year olds I know.

I normally don't post their pictures, but I have to brag.  On top of everything, they are gorgeous!

This is Megan.  My firstborn.  She is hysterical and loves to laugh.  Her compassion runs deep and she works so hard to make everyone around her happy.  I could go on and on, but I will save it for a different time.

And my Katie.  Excuse me, Kathleen.  She arrived one minute after her sister.  I gotta tell you, this one is going places.  She is creative and spunky with a tender heart all rolled into one.

So in honor of their giving hearts, I am giving away one free item of your choice if you leave a comment about how my new blog looks. Click here or on my Teachers Pay Teachers widget in the upper right column and look at my products to decide.  While you are there and if you like what you see, click on the green "Follow Me" star above and you will be notified of new products, sales, giveaways and more.  Then come back and leave a comment with your email and the item of your choice and I will happily send it to you! 

Now for the second part of my Monday Freebies.  I LOVE to work with the other teachers at TPT and get quality freebies to share with you.  Kamp Kindergarten has many cute products in her store.  The freebie we are showcasing involves Spelling the Room with CVC words.  This resource contains one activity with 10 cards and a recording page.  Click on the picture below to grab this one!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Snow Day!

Good Morning!  It's a lovely 5 degrees with about 9 inches of gorgeous snow this morning.  Needless to say, it was a snow day and I got to sleep in.  Pure bliss!  So my post is a little later than usual, but it will be worth it.

First of all, I finally get to mention a secret.  Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a sale this Wednesday! (NOTE:  IT HAS BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH THURSDAY!)  Many stores will be participating (me included), and you have a chance to save up to 28%!  It will be the full 28% at my little store.  Think about all of those bundles that have already been marked down, and you will be saving even more!  Simply enter the promo code HEROES at check out, and you will be thrilled!  Click on the banner below to start shopping wishlisting, then buy the products this Wednesday and Thursday!

I put a cute Counting Flies to Ten in my store.  It's a quick center that only costs $1.00.  I made a companion worksheet for it to put here.  It also works well as a stand alone practice sheet.  So here is this week's Monday Freebie!
Also on Mondays I like to collaborate with other sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers.  It allows me to share different Freebies with you!  Camp Kindergarten has a counting 11 - 20 freebie using ten frames.  So together we are a complete 1 - 20 skills practice set!  This has over 2,000 downloads with a 4.0 rating, so I know I will be trying it with my kids as well!  Click on the picture below for your Freebie!

Monday, February 16, 2015

When I Grow Up...

When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a teacher.  My mom had a friend who was a teacher, and at the end of the school year she gave me her used attendance and gradebook that still had a few blank pages in the back.  That was one of the best gifts I ever received!  I dutifully lined up all of my dolls and stuffed animals and entered their names in the gradebook.  Pepper, Snuggles, Big Ben, and Sunshine all had their grades and tardies meticulously recorded, and I held school religiously throughout that summer.  I am one of the lucky ones.  I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and my dream became my passionate reality. 

In that same spirit, I made a precious packet of "When I Grow Up" for my Teachers Pay Teacher store.  I do not want this blog to turn into one giant commercial of products, but I did want to make a companion product here for free.  That leads us into today's Monday Freebie...
A set of five coloring sheets!  They include photographer, artist, chef, singer, and of course, teacher!  Just click on the picture above to download your free copy.  Hope you enjoy!

I also like to include free quality work from my colleagues at Teachers Pay Teachers.  This week's gem is from Sunny and Bright in First Grade, and includes fun, highly engaging activities for teaching your students the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill.  Click on the picture below to get a free download!

Monday, February 9, 2015

That's Amore!

As it gets closer and closer to Valentine's Day, I get more excited about what my sweet hubby is going to do as a tribute of his love for me.  Flowers?  No.  Chocolate?  No.  Candy?  He knows better.  This year I am asking for silverware!  As a military family, we move all the time and I do not know why, but Christmas ornaments and silverware never make it unscathed.  We are down to mostly salad forks and even then I have to wash some by hand before dinnertime. 

On to today's Monday Freebie.  I have so much fun making holiday centers because it brings something new to the class.  Today I have a quick shape matching center.  Simply print, laminate, and cut and you are ready to go!  This is both in color as well as black and white.  Just click on the picture below to get your free download!  If you have time, please share your Valentine wishes in the comments below.  I'm looking for ideas for next year!

 Now on to my guest freebie!  Josie's Place gave me permission to post this Behavior Poster.  Once you click on the picture, it will take you to her store where she has a sweet lesson to go with it.  It's a great visual for little ones!  Enjoy.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Love Is In the Air!

It' getting closer to Valentine's Day, and I know this is a big holiday in the elementary school crowd.  If it's not puppy love, it's candy!  I know some kids haven't thought of a gift for their mom or dad, but I have.  This quick little mini book will allow students to have a gift to share with their parents or guardians.  Check it out below!
Here are the inside pages!
They also come in black and white.  If you would like a free download, simply click on any of the pictures and it will take you to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  Enjoy!!!
I also have a new Monday Freebie from a Teachers Pay Teachers colleague.  This is a set of two 20-card memory matching games covering addition and subtraction vocabulary, geared for 1st - 3rd grade.   Click on the picture below to download this one!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Number Match to 50

Better late than never, I hope!  I try to get my Monday freebies out earlier in the day, but there was a terrible car wreck on our street.  A car slammed into a utility pole that, of course, disrupted internet service.  It's back on, and I can now present today's Monday Freebie!
Ta Da!  This one helps students practice numbers, number words, place value, and expanded notation through the number 50.


The actual PDF is much clearer.  Just print, laminate, and cut out the pieces.  The students will match the ice cream scoops to the cones.  Of course you can leave out certain scoops for certain students -- I love it when centers can be differentiated.  This is a skill the students really need to practice in order to internalize. The cherry is optional, of course, but that seems to be the favorite part!  If you would like a free download, simply click on the top picture and enjoy!
Now for my Monday Freebie from Teachers Pay Teachers.  Eugenia's Learning Tools has a cute Winter Freebie with 2 separate Graphic Organizers.  They are engaging and perfect to help students break down their thinking into manageable pieces.  I actually thought of taking the snowman to help organize some of my blogging ideas!  Be sure to click on the picture below to grab this freebie while it's cold!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pre-Primer Sight Word List 1/8

I have had a pretty rough week.  I have struggled against, and WON, two different types of cancer.  This week I had a follow up test on thyroid cancer.  You never know how important a thyroid is until it's gone.  For this test I had to get two shots to make the medication that helps substitute my thyroid inactive.  This means I spent the week with extreme fatigue.  I went to work, somehow made it through, then came home and collapsed.  I will get the result tomorrow, but I already know it's going to be a good report.

During this down time, I worked on a new freebie I am really excited about.  I have made a set of activities to use with the Pre-Primer Sight Words.  There are 40 in the list, but I have separated them into 8 different sets.  The first set is free!  Each set will have 5 words and as the list of words grow, so will the activities.

Here are some fun things in Set 1:

Instead of watches I have seen that are difficult to cut out, I made "bracelets".

Love the bookmarks!

Color by Sight Word is a good way to reinforce reading skills.

These little flip books will be used over and over again.

Each word has a worksheet that covers a variety of skills.
This first set covers the words a, and, away, big, blue.
If you would like to download a free copy of this first set, just click on the picture below!
Does your school teach these words in a specific order?  Leave a comment below with your email address and I will happily change the order of some of the words. 

Because I want to make Monday a happy day, I started a series last week where I am featuring a free Teachers Pay Teachers product.  I love K's Kreations because her freebie is a quick center that is cute and a great review.  Simply print, laminate, cut and go.  It's a matching number word with the numbers to 20 with a tenframe. Please note it does not include every number between 1 - 20.  You should check out her store because she has other great things there as well!  Click on the picture below to grab this freebie!

Monday, January 12, 2015

My New Obsession

As you can tell by the fancy widget on the right, I have a Teachers Pay Teachers store.  I do not want this blog to become a giant advertisement, but I have to let you know the positive impact it is making.  But first, my Monday Freebie!

Ta da!  This is one of my favorite writing tools I used in my classroom.  It has a secret weapon I will explain in a minute.  The purpose of this template is to have students organize thoughts for a paragraph.  The students put their main idea in the "cloud" on top.  Then they write three supporting ideas in the boxes below.  Finally, they write their conclusion sentence in the cloud on the right.  The conclusion is meant to restate the main idea, so that is why they are basically the same shape.
Now for the secret weapon.  In standardized testing, students are given a blank page to prewrite their thoughts before drafting and the final draft.  Soooo, after a few weeks and the students are comfortable with the first page, I give them this...

And then this...

 Until we reach this...
The students visually remember the template and slowly I take away some of the support so they can have a clearly organized paragraph independently!  If you would like the free download, click on the first picture or click here.
On to my new obsession!  What has amazed me about Teachers Pay Teachers is the community of support.  There is no feel of competition between stores.  You can ask for feedback on the forums and receive well thought out responses that help make your products even better.  Teachers Pay Teachers requires each store to upload a free product in order for teachers to see the quality of their work.  Many teachers give much more than that.
I plan to link a Teachers Pay Teachers product I think might be helpful every Monday as well.  The first one is created by 180 Days of Reading.  This is a quick and easy game that can go into center time in a flash!  It has 6 templates covering all of the short vowel sounds as well as a page that mixes it up for a challenge.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 5, 2015

I Have, Who Has ABCs

Aaaaand, we're back!  Most teachers I know went back to school today.  Although we love our students, there is something about coming back after a long break that creates some anxiety.  Or is that just me?  Anxiety could be too strong of a word.  It's hard to get the students back into a routine after a couple of weeks completely off schedule.  Anyway, it's a good Monday for a Freebie pick me up!

I love these "I Have, Who Has" cards because they are so versatile.  If you check out my previous post, you will find the "I Have, Who Has" number versions.  I hope you find these useful. 
I would love to help any teacher with some printables.  If you are reading this, you are one of the very few, and this could be your lucky day!  Leave a comment with your email address and a request of what you would like, and I would be happy to accommodate!  Just remember I am primarily a PreK - 2nd grade teacher for now.

Hoping all my teacher friends find 2015 full of learning adventures!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!

Happy 2015!  I am expecting big things this year.  I am cancer free after thyroid and uterine cancer diagnoses, and am feeling better than I have in years.  I had to quit my fulltime classroom job a year and a half ago because I was so weak.  Now I am hopeful I might get a classroom back next school year!  In the meantime I am working one-on-one with hearing impaired students throughout the state.  They are ages 3 - 17, so I have a huge variety of ages to work with.

Today I wanted to share a Math Center I made for my younger students.  I personally think it is a win - win because it takes a little time and the students are always begging for more.  I was inspired after a trip to Lowe's.

I despise Lowe's because my husband could spend all day there.  So, as a teacher I will look at an item and think "OK, what can I do with this?"

I think you might be getting an idea of where I am going with this!

Genius!  I bought the largest screws I could find and numbered them 6 - 10.  Then I bought several matching nuts for each screw.  I put different math combinations using price tags on each screw, and voila!  A fun math center that the kids love to visit!

And there you have it!  My mind began racing with all of the variations you could make.  Think about putting a letter of the alphabet on each screw and words with initial sounds on the nuts.  (like pair the screw "P" with nuts that have "pig", "pet", and "pan" on the screws.  Once I start thinking like this, my mind is spinning for days!

Hope this inspires you.  Please check my blog every Monday.  That's when I make Freebies to share.