Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Special Weekend Mathematical Co-Sale!

21st Century Math Projects + All Things Algebra = ONE MEGA SALE!

Hello there, fellow math loves!

I hope the back to school dust has started to settle and the summer-to-school transition has been a smooth one.  Now that we are in the daily groove, I wanted to let you know of a MEGA sale and introduce you to a fellow secondary math seller with stellar resources.

Clint from 21st Century Projects and I are having a Special Weekend Mathematical Co-Sale!

If you aren't already following Clint, you need to be!!  Click this:

What's so awesome about Clint?  Clint has found a way to create projects that incorporate critical thinking, problem solving, real world rigor, and relevant pop culture that students can relate to.  Clint’s CSI Projects draw the attention of even the most reluctant learners.  They are excited, engaged, and motivated to learn and apply concepts so that they can be the ones to “solve the mystery.”  Clint also brings social awareness and makes interdisciplinary connections through his “Person Puzzles.”  These are AWESOME- for me, they are the perfect warm-up to review skills, all while learning about the background and contributions of a significant figure.  Clint is incredibly talented, and if you haven’t browsed his store, definitely head on over there now.  You will be very impressed by his creativity.

CO-SALE DETAILS!!!! Clint and I are both putting our individual items on sale for 20% off this weekend and our monster bundles at 10% off (since they are already wicked sweet deals already).

For those that have purchased my materials and have left such wonderful feedback, I wanted to stop and say thank you.  Your support and kind words motivate me to keep creating and improving.  If you ever have questions or requests, email me anytime,

Thank you!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School Bonanza!

Ah yes, it's BACK TO SCHOOL time!  I am so happy to be participating in 2 Peas and a Dog's fabulous Back To School Bonanza Blog Hop & Giveaway!  I have joined up with all the awesome middle school bloggers below to provide some tips (and freebies!) to cheer up your back to school blues.  After reading through the participating blogs, make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

It was difficult to come up with just one back to school tip, so typical me decided to put together a bulleted list of some tricks and tips I have used that have helped me stay organized. 
  • Create a "Back to School" file to hold all those papers that seem to flood your mailbox during those first two weeks.  It's so nice to have schedules, locker combos, attendance procedures, textbook and calculator inventories, and all that other super important back to school stuff at your finger tips so you can grab it quickly when you need it!  I created a "teacher binder" for this stuff last year but just abandoned it after a few weeks.  I may give it a go again this year.

  • Print your seating charts on a bright colored paper!  I can't tell you how many times I have set it down, and walked circles around my room sifting through papers trying to find it so I knew who was who.  If it's on bright colored paper, it's so much easier to spot!

  • Send home a parent info sheet the very first day.  Most importantly, ask for email addresses!  It's difficult to find time to make phone calls, and unless it's a super major discipline issue, I tend to send emails with concerns or kudos.  I also create a parent group email (I BCC so they cant see each other's emails), so I can send announcements of review sessions, upcoming exams, etc.  I get A LOT of kids that come to my review sessions because "my mom made me."  Heck, I'll take it! :)

  • For my last tip, it's FREEBIE TIME! I believe that students need to have some sort of warm-up everyday, even the first day of school.  I needed something that was mathy (of course!) and not too complicated so all students could work on the activity while I stood at the doorway to greet students during the first five minutes.  I created this Number Challenge where students use the digits 0-9 once only to make each number sentence true.  Here's a picture of what it looks like:
 I placed them on each desk inside a pocket transparency with a marker and small cloth.  It worked PERFECT for a first day warm-up, and I will be using them again this year.  Click here to download the Number Challenge Freebie!

Want More Back to School Goodies?

Enter our AMAZING back to school giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Sweet Giveaway!

Yay for a Back to School Giveaway!! :)

I am so happy to be a part of a fantastic giveaway that Krystal, at Lessons From The Middle, is hosting to celebrate Back to School. There are over $400 worth of prizes to be won, including:

~ Multiple TPT shopping sprees in sellers' stores to help you get all stocked up for a new school year
~ $10 Starbucks gift certificate to get the year started on the right foot
~ $75 gift certificate at WiseDecor to make your classroom even more inviting for your students with beautiful wall decals
~$25 gift certificate at Black Rafter Soap Works to pamper yourself a little bit after the first big week back
~Cool Duo Binders to get you organized easily
~An awesome tote from Thirty-One - who doesn't love a new bag?

There are FOUR Prize Packages to be won! Make sure to enter to win each of the prize packages - they're all fantastic and you don't want to miss out! This giveaway runs August 10th-14th.
Prize Package #1 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Package #2 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Package #3 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize Package #4 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!!! :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Math is Real Life! Just ask my husband!

When are we EVER going to use THIS?!”  This statement… this one little statement has caused fear and panic to run through MANY a math teacher’s veins!  It’s not like you won’t use math in the real world… but sometimes as soon as that question is uttered we have a mind-melting-moment and cannot come up with just the right words to say.  Many times, I have thought of something perfect to respond with, but hours after the class has left the room.
So to help give you some real world, possibly out of the box thinking type ideas, I am thrilled to join this amazing link-up hosted by Miss Math Dork, 4mulafun, Fourth Grade Studio, and Teaching to Inspire in 5th!
We (I mean my husband) is currently building a new shed in our backyard.  I turned to him for this post because I knew he has used math extensively in this process.  We are on a beach vacation right now, so his reply was fairly short, but thankfully I have pictures to share!
He told me that the process required a lot of measurement.  He needed to determine how much material he needed, making sure he stayed within the 200-foot city square footage requirement, using the Pythagorean Theorem to ensure perfect right angles, and measuring and cutting accurately to ensure minimal waste.  Here are pictures he sent to me to update me of the shed status:

Almost done!  He just needs to finish up with trim and paint.

I'm sure he's thrilled that I included this one of him! :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Secondary Math - A New Year for New Ideas!

I know how it is, the summer is winding down, (*tear), and we are starting to turn to Pinterest for ideas to try in our classroom this year. We want to get organized, decorate our classrooms, start new classroom routines, and find lesson ideas to motivate and excite our students.   My goals this year are to incorporate more music in my classroom, refine my homework policy, and survive a year of teaching a brand new prep for me (Geometry- AHH!!). 

What better way to share new ideas, then to start a
link-up?  Please share blog posts, pins on pinterest,
your latest TpT products, or any other neat idea that
you think will be cool to try out this year for the
secondary math classroom.  Then, please leave a
comment with your goals for this upcoming year!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A SMARTer Seating Chart

I started making my seating chart in Smart Notebook a few years ago, and it has saved me so much time and allowed for me to change seats more frequently.  I used to rarely change seats just because I hated having to erase and pencil in names.   I would frequently make changes in the room, but not on my seating chart because I didn't have time to re-do it all.  Then it dawned on me that it would be super simple if I could just make a template in Notebook, and just drag their names around whenever I wanted. 

So here's what I did!  First I created the main layout of my room using the shapes tool.  Once I got all the desks in place, I locked the desks down.  That's important because you just want to drag names around, and not the desks.  (You can unlock them if you want to change your layout though). 

To lock, just select all the items, right click, and you will see the locking option.
Then create a text box that says "Student Name".  Copy and Paste this enough times to fill up your desks.
After that, duplicate the page for however many classes you have.  I teach four classes.  Click on the pages tab (it's on the upper right side).  Right click on the page and click "Clone Page."
You can rename the pages to the names of your class too.  Just right click on that page, click "Rename", and change the titles.  Mine are Block 1A, Block 3A, Block 1B, and Block 3B as I teach on an A-Day/B-Day schedule.
Then, when you get your class rosters at the beginning of the year, just type in the "Student Name" text boxes to replace them.  Do this for all your classes and then you're done for the year!  Just open up the file and make changes by dragging the names around.  You can always add or delete names as well as students come and go.  You can stand at your Smart Board and do it if you want to see the big picture.  Sometimes I even let the kids do it :) And it's easy to print for your records and substitutes as well! Just select "Full Page" printing and it will print one page per sheet.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Translating Walk-About Activity

Now that it's halfway through summer, I've started looking back at my September files to see if I could tweak anything for next year.   I came across this walk-about activity I do with my students to practice translating and just had to share it! I know many of you also teach this topic during your first unit.

There are 9 expressions/equations/inequalities that you post around the room.  These are the ones that I use:

n – 11
2n + 6
n/-3 + 7
-5n –  1
3(n + 7) = 2
n/2 – 6 = 8
9n + 1 = n –  4
n ≥  18
n 65

It's ideal if you have a lot of whiteboard space because students will be writing below them. If not, just place a big sheet of poster paper below them.   Divide the students into teams of 3-4 and give each team a different color marker (this way you can see what each team wrote) So let's say a group starts at this one:


They have to translate it into words.  So they may write something like  "A number minus 11".  Then, I have them rotate, and the next group has to read what's there and translate it a different way.  After a few rounds, this is what it may look like:

It gets more and more difficult as they travel from card to card because they have to read what everyone has written before them, and come up with a new way of writing.

Here's another example using an inequality card:

1) "A number is less than or equal to 65"
2) "A number is no more than 65"
3) "A number is at maximum 65"
4) "A number is at most 65"
5) "A number can not exceed 65"
6) "The speed limit on the highway is 65 mph"

After the students have completed all 9 rounds, they sit down in their seats and I read off what's written below each card. We decide if we agree or disagree with what's there and make changes if necessary.

Here is what the full set looks like:

If you are interested in this walk-about activity and want
to use my cards,
you can download them here for free!!
I wish everyone going back to school at the beginning of August a smooth transition.  I will be joining you in early September!

Monday, May 27, 2013

17 Secondary Teachers to Follow on Pinterest

Why 17?  Because it's a sweet number! Secondary teachers can often feel very isolated, but have so much to offer! These teachers below are so kind to share their ideas and resources through their blogs and Pinterest. Check it out!

The Tutor House
Bio:  Hi!  I'm Adrianne from The Tutor House.  I love tutoring and creating engaging lessons for math in reading for grades 3-8!  If you've ever thought about starting your own tutoring business, you should come on over to The Tutor House!

Follow Adrianne of The Tutor House on Pinterest.

TeachitWritelogo photo chalkboard-apple2_zps1805ea76.png
Bio: Welcome! I am Connie from Teach it Write. I am a retired English teacher and I’m thrilled to now write curriculum full time that I love to share on my site My book, The House of Comprehension, shows how the elements of literature form the structure of any fiction or non-fiction text. Check it out on my blog site or on

Follow Connie of Teach it Write on Pinterest.

2PeasAndADog Blog
Bio:  Hi Everyone! It's Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog. I am a Canadian middle school teacher who loves to pin and blog about things related to Grades 6 and up.

Follow Kristy of 2 Peas and a Dog on Pinterest.

Bio:  Hiya there!  I'm Jamie but you may know me as MissMathDork! I am a lover of all things mathematical!  Patterns, sequences, geometric shapes, if it's mathematical, I'll find a way to make it fun!  Want to see some of my ideas? Check out my ideas and pictures at!  You won't be disappointed!

Follow Jaime of Miss Math Dork on Pinterest.

Bio:  Hello, there. I’m Charlene Tess from Simple Steps to Sentence Sense. Grammar is my specialty. I have always loved taking sentences apart and putting them back together, and I successfully taught my students using the simple steps method for over three decades. Visit my blog to get helpful tips on grammar, usage, and writing.

Follow Charlene of Simple Steps to Sentence Sense on Pinterest.

Tammy Manor!

Bio:  Hi my name is Tammy and I've been teaching high school English for 13 years now. I know that teaching can be very stressful. My school is constantly changing the book list and I've taught every grade 6-12 as well. As a result I have unit plans for a large variety of novels, plays and memoirs. Come check out my store on TpT for a variety of ELA materials. Follow my blog for teaching related posts.

Follow Tammy on Pinterest.  

Bio:  Meet Sabrina, author of A Space to Create.  Find teaching resources for art teachers and classroom teachers alike. My art lessons teach students the creative process enabling them to build confidence and have amazing results.  Come visit my blog A Space to Create! (K-12)

Follow Sabrina of A Space to Create on Pinterest.

All Things Algebra

Bio: Hi there!  I'm Gina from All Things Algebra.  I have taught Algebra and Pre-Algebra for seven years and have a passion for creating activites and games that engage my students.  If you are interested in finding ways to have more fun in math class, head on over and check out my blog!

Follow Gina of All Things Algebra on Pinterest.

Bio:  Hi there!  My name is Amy Brown and I write a blog called "Science Stuff."  I am a 29-year teaching veteran of biology, chemistry and AP biology.  I love science and I love kids, so I have the best job in the world!  Hopefully, I have passed my love of nature and the environment on to many students.  My blog has tips and tricks for teaching science as well as a lot of free science teaching materials.  I hope to see you there!

Follow Amy of Science Stuff on Pinterest.

Numbers Rule My World
Bio: Hi! I’m Krystina from Numbers Rule My World. I love incorporating hands-on activities and technology into the classroom for Math: grades 7-9. If you’re looking for great ideas about math then you should come on over and check it out at Numbers Rule My World!

Follow Krystina of Numbers Rule My World on Pinterest.

4mulaFun Blog Fan
Bio:  Hello, my name is Jennifer Smith-Sloane. I am a Middle School Math and Special Education teacher. I have a strong passion for differentiated instruction to meet the needs of each learner in and out of my classroom. I love seeing the light in a student's eyes when something finally clicks and I do everything that I can to make that happen as often as it can.  Visit my blog 4mulaFun!

Follow Jennifer of 4mulaFun on Pinterest.

Innovative Connections
Bio:  Hey! I am Ann Marie from Innovative Connections. I enjoy blogging about various topics: Projects and lessons going on in my classroom, ideas I've learned or ideas I've thought of at the most random of moments (At 2 a.m. when I can't sleep, I can come up with some stellar ideas), teaching resources I find beneficial to fellow teachers and/or bloggers. Due to the wide range of grades I've had the pleasure of teaching, Innovative Connections caters mostly to language arts but loves to share and collaborate with teachers/bloggers of various grade levels.

Follow Ann Marie of Innovative Connections on Pinterest.

Bio:  This is Madame Aiello, author of Teaching FSL. Although I've taught other subjects as well, French as a Second Language has always been my passion. My focus is the higher grades, since I taught high school originally but teach grade 7 & 8 since six years ago. I share lots of resources, blog about second language teacher specific topics as well as those that apply to all teachers.

Follow Madame Aiello of Teaching FSL on Pinterest.

Liz's Lessons
Bio:  Bonjour! Hola! I'm Liz from Liz's Lessons. Languages are one of my passions, and I love teaching with technology. I create fun lessons for teaching secondary French, and Spanish. I also make formative assessments and technology activities in English, that can be used in any secondary classroom. If you are looking for some engaging activities for your classes, be sure to stop by Liz's Lessons!

Follow Liz of Liz's Lessons on Pinterest.

For the Love of Teaching Math
Bio: I'm Andrea Kerr from For the Love of Teaching Math. It is my mission to change traditional math classrooms one game and activity at a time. If you like to incorporate hands-on, group activities and games into your classroom, check out For the Love of Teaching Math!

Follow Andrea of For the Love of Teaching Math on Pinterest.

Addie Education – Teacher Talk
 I'm a middle / high-school teacher and I love to create ELA, Social Studies and Geography related resources.  I blog at Addie Education - Teacher Talk... come on by and see some of the fun things I do with my students.

Follow Addie Education on Pinterest.

Bio:  I'm a high school English teacher in a 1:1 school who loves books and fostering creativity. My blogs are Mrs. Orman's Classroom and Hunger Games Lessons. I share my teaching resources on TeachersPayTeachers.

Follow Tracee Orman on Pinterest.

Bio:  Hi! I'm Kim from Teaching Math by Hart. I am forever planning and thinking of new and innovative ways to teach math to my students. Why, you ask? Believe it or not, I think learning Math should be FUN and it should be REAL! If you are looking for some ideas to engage your students in math class, come check out Teaching Math by Hart - in the middle years classroom!

Follow Kim of Teaching Math by Hart on Pinterest.

Are you a secondary teacher pinner, too? Leave your pinterest link in the comments so I can follow you, too!