TpT – I now have a store

I have begun adding items that I have created to Teachers pay Teachers.  Some items are free, some are for a small price.  I do not think that anything I have is extraordinary, but time is valuable and most teachers do not have the time to make activities that would benefit their classroom and students.  If something that I have would be helpful, then I am grateful to help other educators out there.

With the new Math TEKS in the state of Texas, some of the items I have created in the past, no longer correlate to the new TEKS for the previous grade levels.  However, the new grade can use it and the past grades can use it as a review activity.

If there is something that you are looking for, but cannot find exactly it, let me know.  Maybe I have it or can make it for you instead of you spending your valuable time becoming frustrated (either searching or trying to create it yourself).  Just let me know.

See what is there and follow me at Teachers Pay Teachers.

The new school year is almost here, Good luck to everyone out there!



My flipped classroom experience: Old School / New School

I’m going to flip my classroom this next year.


“My experience with the flipped classroom – How do you implement?”

Each year, I make it a point to try something totally new and challenging in my classroom. Last year, my new activity was the flipped classroom. It was exciting; I was the only teacher in the district that tried this new approach to teaching. It was very well received by the students! I was fortunate in the fact that my school has a mobile laptop cart that very few teachers use, so I had access to it in my classroom for an extended period of time. This made much of the logistics simpler; any student who did not or could not view the video at home could come to my room at lunch or study hall time to view the video. Very few of the students had to make use of this; even the students who consistently avoided homework took the…

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Have you seen Kahoot!?  My students love Kahoot!  No, I mean my students LOVE!!!!! Kahoot!  Students who would drag their feet getting to class now are the first ones in class ready to start.

It’s really easy to use and they get to use their own devices in class.  Go to to sign up and get your own FREE account and start making Kahoots!  There are videos on the website showing you how make it work and use it.

Here are some ideas of how/when you could use it in class.

  • warm-up/bell ringer
  • exit ticket
  • practice with new skill
  • review a previous skill
  • to grade an assignment (have them work problems on a sheet – needs to be multiple choice, when everyone is done, then have them get out their device.  The question would be pg___#1, they enter the answer they have selected on their paper.  Once done, you can export the results and get a grade and see the answer each person chose.)

The options are unlimited.  Share your ideas with the rest of us!

Some drawbacks that I see is that you are limited in the number of characters you can use in your question, so you just have to be creative sometimes.  Also, their first answer is their answer.  so they have to be careful to not hit the screen until they are ready.

Back to Blogging

This school year has been crazy hectic!  I have not had time to write anything, or even think about anything.

This week, the first week after school is out for the summer, I have spent two days presenting at our summer curriculum conference for my district about the changes in the math TEKS that are happening this next year state wide.  This has caused some anxiety for some teachers because you all know how much we love change.  So I want to help out those who would like it as much as possible.  I am going to share with anyone who wants ideas that I come up with or find here as well as maybe post some videos of lessons or anything else I think would be helpful as we take on this journey this next year.

So please follow my blog so we can help each other.  Send me ideas or questions and I will see how I can help out.  Good luck to you all!


Sub Plans

Wow!  It has been a while since I have had time to sit down and blog about anything.  This school year started out with a bang and I have been going non stop ever since.  I have already had to use sub plans for a few meetings that I have had to miss class for and one more next week is coming up. 

This summer I was reading on Twitter and saw a post about having the students teach the sub (or something like that).  So I thought I would try it. 

Now I teach 5th grade math and had to really think this through.  So here is what I did. 

I wrote 10 questions that had multiple parts to each problem and assigned each student a problem (one problem per page).  Depending on the size of the class, two to three students had the same problem.  This was toward the end of the first six weeks, so the questions were also a review of the topics we have covered so far. 

The directions to the sub were to give the students their problem (I had written each students name of a problem that I wanted them to work) and let them work individually for 5 to 6 minutes. 
The next step was to let them get in their groups to work together on their problem and discuss how they would present the problem to the class.  They had directions that stated they were to explain HOW to solve the problems, but not to give any answers.  They had to about 15 minutes to prepare their presentation.

Next the sub had a packet with all 10 problems on it and instructed everyone to go back to their seats.  Each student got a packet and were told to work all the problems after they heard from the presenters on how to solve the problem.  Of course they did not finish in the one day I was out.  But I am actually glad.  When I returned, they continued their presentations and I was able to hear some of them and it really was interesting to hear their explanations on how to solve some of the problems.

Next week I am going to be out again for another meeting.  So I took those same problems and tweaked them a little and the students will have them to work on that day.  I am using this as one last evaluation of their knowledge of the concepts that I have taught so far this year. 

My main goal any time I am out of the classroom is that I do not want them to just sit there and do busy work.  I want them to be working on math and it is not always easy to find a good sub that feels comfortable teaching that subject.  So I have to find things that they can do that keeps them occupied on the current topics.

I am going to make this this week and start using them and all the different ideas given. Great idea!!!

I Speak Math

I loved new blogger Bruce’s post “My Name is 6 x 7” where each student wears a multiplication fact (say 12 x 6) on a name tag.  Then, everyone calls that person 72 for the whole time they are wearing their multiplication name tag.  As soon as I read this, I knew I had to try it with my 6th graders!   Most of them are still having trouble with 9’s and 12’s facts.  My problem is they are only in math for 1 hour a day, so for this to be effective, they would need to wear their facts for a few days in a row in my class.  Since I didn’t want to use up 32 name tags a day (labels can get expensive), I came up with a dry-erase nametag solution.

Nora gave me the great idea in a comment on my Math Stations post about…

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Math Centers – this is all new to me

So this year has begun and we just finished week 2.  This is going to be a great year!

The new thing I am doing this year is “CENTERS”.  I have never done anything like this before.  I have always had a more traditional classroom.

This last week we were working on Place Value.  In 5th grade it is our beginning topic, but it is mainly review for the students and it is a supporting standard in our TEKS.  We add on to their knowledge by bringing in the Billions and going down to the thousandths.  So instead of direct teaching, I put the students into four different groups and gave each group a different task on the topic and let them go.  I was amazed!  All of the students were engaged in mathematical talk and work almost the entire time.  No one was falling asleep from boredom 🙂 and I mainly facilitated the room.

From what the kids were telling me, they enjoyed it and at times were getting so into their activities that I had to ask them to quiet down so other groups could concentrate.  We still had whole group discussion and a little note taking to make sure everyone was on the same page and understood how to do it all correctly.  But that only took about 10 or 15 minutes of the 90 minute class.

I still have some bugs to work out of the system, and I will be learning all year myself on the best practices for centers, but this is a winner.  If you have any great activities for 5th grade math lessons, I would greatly appreciate the ideas.

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Math Coach's Corner

Heather Simmons


Searching for the answers to education excellence

Megan Hayes-Golding

Still learning.

I Speak Math

Integrating Technology and Mathematics