Thursday, September 22, 2011


So...I need to vent a little, and ask for some help from some 4th grade Math teachers.  This is my 2nd year teaching 4th grade.  Last year, I followed the pacing guide that our county had created.  1st nine weeks we were teaching Place Value, Addition and Multiplication Properties, reviewed multiplication/division facts, and started double digit multiplication.  2nd nine weeks, was mostly long division.  3rd nine weeks we learned fractions and decimals, and 4th nine weeks was our algebra and graphs.  This worked well....I felt like things moved a sequential pace, and it allowed for me to have time to go back and review previous skills when we came to something new. (We do a daily spiral anyways, but you get the idea).

So this summer, apparently someone thought it would be a good idea to change our pacing guide.  So now in the 1st nine weeks, we have taught Place Value, and now we are working on fractions.  My kiddos understood the benchmark fractions, and writing a fraction for a problem, but when we got to equivalent fractions and simplest form, they lost it.  They are stressing out like no other, and freaking out...and I can't blame them. Their little minds aren't ready for this...first of all, they are coming off of summer...we need to review their multiplication and division before they can start manipulating fractions! And the pacing guide doesn't have us teaching that until 2nd nine weeks, and then we don't even go over the properties until the 3rd nine weeks! It just isn't sequential...and I don't want my kiddos getting all upset over fractions, and feeling defeated this early in the game...that just sets the mood for the rest of the year.

What do y'all think? What is the order that y'all teach these things? Like I said, they understood the benchmark fractions, and writing a fraction from a problem (this many people share this many slices, what fraction does each person get?)...and they can probably understand the adding of fractions with like denominators.  But changing denominators, and reducing fractions...I just feel like we need to do division first...since after all, fractions are division!

Friday, August 26, 2011

2nd Day of School: Hurricane Day!

Well, we got an email yesterday at school telling us that TODAY would be an early release thanks to Hurricane Irene.  Then we got a call about 9:30 last night telling us schools would be closed and that teachers had an optional day til noon.  The winds were expected to start around noon, so they knew buses couldn't get onto the beaches.  So here I am, 12:30 in the afternoon sitting on my couch watching the Weather Channel to see exactly what this storm is going to do! On a brighter note, I got to get my plans finished for next week, as well as a couple of lessons on my SMART board :) The gusts have picked up, so I'm going to cozy up and get ready for a long nap during this thing!

If any of you live on the coast and are expecting this storm, STAY SAFE!! I'll probably be without power for a bit during/after, so I'll post results/pictures when I can!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Day of School!!!

Well, today was the first day for the kiddos! It was a pretty good day! My class make up is definitely different than last year, but all in all it was good! My teammate and I switched after lunch so we could go over rules and procedures with both classes.  WOW what a difference that was! This is my first year team teaching, and after planning and working thru the day, I honestly think I am going to LOVE IT! It was soooo nice to only plan for 2 subjects, which is basically the morning, and then just repeat it again in the afternoon!

Anyways, I haven't gotten around to posting finished pictures of my classroom, so here they are!! Hope you enjoy! I got the stool idea and the "where are we" idea from Pinkture Perfect.  I got the polka dot stuff on the walls from Teaching in Flip Flops.
Front of Class...LOVE my Smart Board :)

 My personal area...
 Computer Area
 Table in Math Center...with Awesome Bucket Seats!
 Math Games!
 Math Manipulatives
 Where Are We? Sign-Out Board
 SS Center.  I will post labels under the symbols once we study them!
 Student Desks
 View From Door

Hope everyone has/had a GREAT first day back!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Do you like cartoons?

Hey guys! Sorry I've been MIA for a bit.  Went and worked in my room last week (almost finished!) and then the sis-in-law came to town this weekend so we relaxed on the beach!!

So, do you like cartoons? Not necessarily the ones on TV, but like cartoons in the newspaper? Check out TOON DOO if you do :)  I wanted to share this fun website to use in your classroom this year.  A teacher in the county shared it with me, and the kids REALLY enjoy them!! We used them to create characters last year that they can use in their power points, but they also created cartoons to show that they understood a topic we were working on, or even to share a book report! The possibilities are endless!! Hope you find it useful!!

If you use toon doo in your class, how do you use it? 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I have been following Pinkture Perfect's blog for a little while now.  She always has some really cute stuff that she has made on there! Last week she posted a DIY project making stools out of buckets!! I was beyond impressed! I wanted to get some of those "stools/storage" things, but didn't want to pay the money for them.  But when I saw this, I knew I had to make them! Check them out here.

That is my neice Maddi posing with the buckets.  My sister helped me with these because she is the proud owner of the staple gun! Maddi was way excited, and wants one for her room! I made 4 altogether, but I have enough material left over so I think I may make a few more.  I did all green/blue this time, so I may do the purpleish ones next.  I'm just excited I got my storage/stools! Thanks so much Ashley for the great idea!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm BACK!!

Well hubby and I are back from vacation! We went to Williamsburg for the week, and we LOVED it! I'm on history overload though :)  However, if you haven't been to Busch Gardens lately and ridden The Griffon, I suggest you go! A-MAZ-ING! I'll admit I was scared and almost chickened out, but hubby made me get on and I am so glad I did! It was fun!
Anyways, since hubby has Mondays off, I dragged him to school today to help me move the heavy furniture, and to carry a couple of bookcases and a bench.  We pretty much got the furniture accomplished, except I have to finish painting 2 bookcases (if I didn't get them there today, I would never get them there, so I will just paint them at school this week!) I hope to finish getting everything up on the walls and bulletin boards this week so I can focus on organization (thanks to The Organized Classroom!) and finishing my first week lesson plans!!

It's a work in progress...I will post more when I am finished! For now, I am off to cut the BILLIONS of things I got off of Teaching in Flip Flops blog with polka dots! She ROCKS! If you haven't checked out her blog yet, do so now! You won't be disappointed :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

FAVOR! Please help if you can!

Hi all out there in blogger world! A close friend of mine, Rose, will be going on a year long missions trip to Uganda soon.  She has to go to a conference in Chicago the week of August 21st, and is hoping to leave straight from there to fly to Uganda.  She is going with Engineering Ministries, and will be working out of the office in Uganda to help design and build projects that will be Christian based.  To leave in August, she has to have about 17,000 raised, and right now she is around 10-11,000.  We are trusting in God for this, and know that he will provide, but I wanted to share with y'all what she is doing, in case you want to support her!!  She has a blog that she will be updating while she is there, but you can check it out now to learn more about Rose and EMI. 

Thanks y'all! I'm off for vacation this week to Williamsburg, but will post some projects I've been working on when I get back :)