Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin

 Winston Breem loves solving puzzles and stumping others with them.  When his sister Katie finds some mysterious strips of wood in an old wooden box, Winston can't help himself.  He must get involved.  Soon it becomes clear that others with impure motives are interested in these wooden strips.  Will Winston solve the puzzles ahead of the villains?
I also read the second book in this series.  Winston and his friends spend a weekend at a famous piano player's mansion.  The pianist sets up puzzle weekends to entertain his friends.  Soon, Winston is faced with a real mystery when items begin to disappear.


For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Worlds Colliding

A few weeks ago I was standing on the sidewalk outside of school monitoring the students as they get into cars, when a student asked me about my missing goldfish.  I was puzzled a moment and then realized that his teacher must have found and used The Case of the Missing Goldfish.  He told me about how he used the picture clues to solve the mystery.  His teacher, my colleague, found it on Pinterest.

When I first started blogging, I felt weird about having colleagues read my work.  I never tried to hide it, but I didn't advertise either. The longer I blog, the more people in my real life notice my online one. 

This year at an all district training several colleagues told me they had looked at my Teachers Pay Teachers store and seen my work on Pinterest.  They wondered if I was making millions of dollars yet.

Um, no...more like pizza money.

One of the first grade teachers at my school finds teaching materials from Classroom Freebies and Classroom Freebies Too and posts them on Facebook.  I don't think she realized that I contribute to Classroom Freebies Too until she had downloaded one of my products. 

I must be getting more comfortable with all of this.  This fall at Parent Night, I mentioned I had a teaching blog to share ideas and book reviews.  No one seemed surprised.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quote of the Week -- November 23, 2014

"It is never safe to look into the future with eyes of fear." - E. H. Harriman

Have a great week,

Don't forget to enter the MobyMax giveaway, November 20-24. Today is the last day to enter.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fractions of a Group

When I solve a problem in my classroom, I assume others might have the same problem.  I know the trend is to have students solve rigorous problems with lots of vocabulary, but sometimes I just want to know if my students understand how to manipulate the numbers.

Last year I created a series of  short math quizzes for different aspects of fractions.  The first set I posted last spring called: Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators.  This week I want to share Fractions of a Group. 

This document from my Google Drive has three short quizzes with answer keys.  I can use them for monitoring the progress of my students.  I like having three for pretest, mid-unit, and posttest.

Next week I will share Converting Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions and Back.

Don't forget to enter the MobyMax giveaway, November 20-24.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Thursday, November 20, 2014

MobyMax Giveaway

I am excited to giveaway a year-long subscription to MobyMax.  They contacted me a few weeks ago to offer me a free subscription and one to a reader.  I am already using it this year, because our district paid for our subscriptions.  MobyMax was still happy to give one away to one of you.

Originally I had the idea that MobyMax was just for learning support.  Our learning support teacher (LAP, Title, whatever you call it at your school) introduced it to her students.

When we went district-wide, I could see the potential.  At our school, we have students from the neighborhood who qualify for free and reduced lunch.  We also have the highly capable/gifted program.  Everyone is using MobyMax at their level.  Students can access their accounts from school, home, the public library or anywhere else they have access to a computer.

My students started with the math placement test and now they are working through the lessons.  We have started exploring the other subjects available.  All the content is aligned to Common Core.

I wanted to make this giveaway simple for everyone.  Just write a comment about how you would use this subscription in your classroom.  I love new readers and followers, but that isn't a requirement for this giveaway. 

This contest is now closed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

This is the first book in the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.  Alina discovers that she is a Sun Summoner with enormous power.  She captures the attention of the Darkling who brings her to the royal court to be trained to use her gifts.

Alina is told that she will overcome the Shadow Fold, a dark unsea which divides the kingdom.  As she begins training for this battle, she learns the truth about many things.

For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Reading Strategies Pinterest Board

When I first started teaching, I was a substitute for several years.  I loved visiting other classrooms and collecting ideas for my future classroom.  This was before computers in every room, no internet, and no Pinterest.  (I could never go back to that.)

Lately, I have been collecting and creating anchor charts and graphic organizers to teach and practice reading comprehension. I have collected far more ideas than I will ever use. While a few of the items are paid products (full disclosure here), many are free downloads or amazing charts created by some talented teachers.

Follow Mary Bauer's board Reading Strategies on Pinterest.

I would love to have you visit my board and maybe find a strategy or two that will work for you.

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