Powered by Blogger.

Using Weekly Homework: Why I Made the Change,.

Thinking back to last year and my first year of teaching, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with the amount of homework I had to look over each week after assigning two things each day! You could never see the bottom of my desk or guided reading table because I was always so behind in checking and giving back homework. Honestly, sometimes I would just secretly throw away some of the less important assignments just because I had no time to get through them all. I sat in my room at the end of the year thinking that their had to be a better way to handle homework that was less work for and less stress for my students and their families that were all so busy with after school activities. Then it hit me, I could give homework at the beginning of the week and make it due at the end of the week!

I spent the summer coming up with my new homework plan. From reflecting on what my previous students struggled with the most, which was retaining skills they had previously learned in other grades or just earlier in the year.  I concluded that spiral review homework should be a big part of my weekly homework. I developed my Spiral Review Weekly homework sheets for both Math and Language Arts. Each week my students have four questions for language arts and four for math every day Monday-Thursday. I don't require them complete the questions on the assigned day. They have all week to answer all of the questions and pack is due Friday morning. 

The second piece of my weekly homework, is a word study packet. At my school we use Words Their Way, so I have several spelling lists between all of my students. The way I handle word study homework is by giving all of the students the same three assignments to complete with their own spelling lists. I suggest a day that the students should complete each assignment, but they can pick when they want to complete each assignment as long as the packet is turned in Friday morning.

The final piece of my weekly homework is a Reading Log. The students are to read for 20 minutes each night and record what they read. Then the students have a list of questions for fiction and non fiction and they pick one to answer about what they read each night. This log is turned in Friday morning with the rest of the homework. 

My Word Study and Spiral Review Homework is available in my store:

I use a Freebie from Third in Hollywood for my Reading Log. It can be found here.

Guided Math in Action Summer Book Study: Chapters 2 and 3

Welcome back to my summer book study on Guided Math in Action! Sorry for the delay in this post. I've had a crazy few weeks with vacations getting extended and extra travel, but I finally got the time to sit down and write about these chapters. 

Chapter 2: Guided Math in a Numerate Environment discusses why Guided Math is important and how it works well with a workshop model as well as explains each part of the workshop model. There is a huge emphasis on no matter what format Guided Math is presented in, that the atmosphere should be filled with talking making mathematical sense. Teachers should have students ready to hear phrases like "Prove It" or "Show me what you know". 

Dr. Niki Newton describes the different parts and elements of a Math Workshop and how Guided Math fits into this format. Personally this is the format I use for Math in my classroom.  She explains that a home base is needed in the math workshop. It is a dedicated space in the room where mathematical supports are in place, many tools are available and all thinking is recorded. It is also where the whole group mini lesson typically takes place. 

The graphic I created shows the different parts of the Math Workshop model and how long each part should last. The Guided Math portion happens at the same time as Centers and can have between 1 and 3 rotations where each rotation runs 12-15 minutes. 

Chapter 3: Managing the Math Workshop focuses on how to successfully run Guided Math and the Math Workshop model. Dr. Newton has a huge emphasis on how important it is to spend the first week of school establishing the rules, consequences and rewards that will be in place for the rest of the year. Creating Anchor Charts that display rules, expectations and consequences for Math Workshop time are a great way to discuss and record thoughts the first week on how you expect them to work during the Math block. It is also important to have the schedule and rotation order posted as well whether it be a poster, bulletin board or something projected to a smart board. 

The second half of the chapter shows emphasis on how each place that Math Workshop happens in the classroom should be fully stocked and ready for the center or guided math lesson that will be happening there! The big key to guided math is a having a good start with it at the beginning of the year. Students need a lot of practice to have Guided Math be extremely effective for them and always need to have clear guidelines of what is expected of them. 

For these chapters, I created a freebie with Guided Math Prompts. These can be displayed in your room to remind students of what they should be thinking about during math or can be used as cue cards at a guided math table. The uses are essentially endless for these! You find the freebie in my TPT store with the following link: Guided Math in Action Chapters 2 and 3 Freebies.

Check back here on Wednesday for Chapters 4 and 5. 

Guided Math in Action Summer Book Study Chapter 1

Welcome to my summer book study on Guided Math in Action. I really hope you have a great time studying this book with me over the course of the summer and learn a lot about how to implement and use Guided Math in your classroom. 

Today I will be covering Chapter 1: Guided Math An Introduction. I've created some fun visuals that highlight what I think are the most important details of the chapter and will include a freebie I've created that supports the content in the Chapter!

Chapter 1 provides a general overview to what Guided Math is and how it works in the classroom. The chapter opens with an overview of a Guided Math Lesson in Action and describes each part. 

The author describes how a typical guided math lesson would work, including that it would take place at a kidney shape table in a leveled group. 

The first part of the guided math lesson is the Introduction. The Introduction is the part of the lesson where the mini lesson is housed as well as guided practice time. It is key to the teacher to tap into prior knowledge of the students, so you can really grab the students attention and bring them into the new lesson being presented. It is also important at this time to make sure the students have a pretty clear understanding on the important vocabulary, so they can describe their thinking in math language. The teacher then present the topic for the lesson and model as the students are following along. After the initial modeling, the teacher will prompt the students and have them describe what they should be doing and modeling. 

The second part of the guided math lesson is the Student Work Period. This is the time of the lesson  where the students work on problems by themselves, or they can work in pairs. It is to give them a chance to have some independent practice after the guided, but still while they are sitting and can be supported by the teacher. It gives the teacher time to check in with each student, take anecdotal records and ask the students questions. During this time each student has two problems that they need to solve (I do this by giving each student two different problems so they can't copy off each other). When they finish, they share the problems they solved with the group. 

The final part of the guided lesson is the Share period. This is a very crucial part of the lesson. It is a time for the teacher to facilitate more discussion about the math concepts, strategies and ideas that have been worked on and to clear up any confusions the students might have. At the end of the Share period, the teacher will give directions about the center work, as well as differentiated homework that is specific to the group she is working with. Once everyone in the group may ask some questions to wrap up the lesson. 

Once the lesson is over, the teacher may choose to watch the students work at center, take anecdotal records for students she selected that day, or have math interviews with students. 

The second half of the chapter focuses on the Beliefs about Teaching and Learning Mathematics That Frame Guided Math. 

To support planning a guided math lesson with all of the needed parts, I have made a free resource for my readers that supports Chapter 1. For Chapter 1 I created a lesson plan template for a Guided Math lesson. The lesson plan template comes in both a PDF and a editable power point version. The template can be found at the following link. 


Each chapter provides a few reflection questions that have you think about what you are already doing in the classroom and how you can work towards doing what the chapter says. I'll post the reflection questions here and then tonight at 8 PM EST I'll be on Facebook Live at my business page reflecting on the chapter and answering these reflection questions. 

1. Currently, do all the students in your class feel that they can learn math?
2. What do you do with the students who are frustrated?
3. Does everyone participate in mathematical conversations? Who does, how, and under what terms?
4. How do you promote perseverance in your classroom?

Here is the schedule for when I will be posting the rest of the summer. I have moved my book study day to Wednesday, instead of Fridays. Also please note there will be no post next week. I will be on vacation and will pick up after that!

Teacher Throwback Thursday June 23rd, 2016

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new weekly linky party!

I started this new linky party so teachers can reflect and share past idea, projects, lessons, projects, units, crafts, etc and link up with others and see what they have done in the past as well. This will be a weekly linky party that you have until the next Thursday to link up with. Then a new linky party will be posted for the next Thursday!

Start by downloading the image about and including it in the post!

There are two options for posting. You can either recap a previous post and post a link of your old post on your throwback, so you don't have to retype all of the details or if you never blogged about your throwback before, you can type up a blog post about what you did in the past and link it up. After you write your blog post, come back here and link it up at the bottom of this post! Then go explore what others are sharing in the linkup!


For my first Teacher Throwback Thursday, I am sharing a post/product that I am very fond of and is one of the my favorite projects I ever created for my students. When I was student teaching, I wanted my students to start practicing research skills and I decided to implement this skill into Social Studies, by having each student select a state, research the state and create an informational book about the state. I created a template of what I wanted the students to include in their books. After I did this unit with my students, I posted it in my TPT store and it has become one of my best selling products. Follow the link below to read all the details about one of my favorite projects I did this year  with my students!


Spiral Review Weekly Homework--Why I Use It

So when I started teaching third grade this January, one of the first things I noticed was how my students were not able to recall how to use skills they had learned earlier in the year in both Language Arts and Math. We started to get into test prep season and I found myself reteaching every basic skill that they had been taught in previous grades or even just at the beginning of the year! I sat down and thought about what I could do to help my students this year, to keep the skills we are learning fresh in their minds! The thought came to me that I could use my math warmup time to do daily spiral review questions. And that is how this whole line of products started to come to be. This year, I used powerpoints with 4 questions a day. This worked really well and after about only two weeks of doing this with my students, they were starting to remember and easily recall the skills they had previously learned! 

I started to then plan ahead of what I could do better in terms of keeping skills fresh for my students in the next school year, and it dawned on me! I could incorporate spiral review as a small portion of my students homework! This product line has been in the works since around March and the first set is officially released and ready! My students struggled in remembering important skills in both Language Arts and Math, so I knew I wanted them to review both subjects daily! I came up with the concept that I wanted to keep it short, so each day Monday-Thursday the students will have 4 Language Arts and 4 Math Spiral Review questions to complete. The sheets will build on each other, so skills will be added as the students learn each one. 

I have just published the first installments in this line in my store! I have a few different packaging options for these products. The homework is split up in months. Since many schools start at the end of August, I made the first packs August/September packs so they include 5 weeks of homework. Every other month, each pack will include homework for 4 weeks. 

If you would like to preview what comes in these homework sets, you can download two weeks of homework at the following links:

Each individual  Language Arts and Math Weekly Homework Pack (each month) will be available in my store for $4.00 each. I will also be putting together a few bundles as well. I currently have a bundle already posted in my store that is a Year Long bundle for both Language Arts and Math. It is a growing bundle, so the price will rise every time that I add new products to the bundle. This bundle is 20% off the list price of the individual homework sets. I will also be adding Year Long Language Arts and Math Individual Bundles as well. These will be posted once the October sets are completed. You can find these products at the links below:

New Layout and a New Linky!

Hi everyone! I am here today to show off my new blog/brand layout and also bring you an awesome and fun linky party I have come up with! 

So to start, how to you like my new layout for my blog/my new brand images? I am in love with them! I had my layout done by Rachel at Rachel A Tall Drink of Water. She did such an amazing job and was really great to work with. She is very professional and very helpful! She gives you exactly what you need! If you are thinking of redoing your brand or website layout, you need to check her out! She is currently running some awesome deals on her blogger layouts and marketing packages this month and she is very reasonably priced! 

The second half of this post is all about the new linky's I am starting up! First off, right now I am having an Instagram linky where you share what your teacher summer reading list is this summer! You can use the image below to participate on Instagram! 

I am also starting two linkys that I am hosting now on my blog. The first one will be happening every Thursday on my blog and will be a throwback linky to your favorite products, lessons, ideas, projects etch. I will post all of the complete info for that this Thursday!

The third linky I am creating is going to be a monthly linky where we will all share our personal and professional goals for the month, such as workout goals, product goals, business goals, etc. This will be starting July 1st, so be on the lookout for that one!

Finally, My book study for Guide Math in Action will officially get started this Friday. I am very sorry for the delay in getting this started, but I got crazy busy last week with the last week of school and didn't get to finish up my freebies for chapter one! I will post about chapter one this Friday, as well as a reading schedule for the rest of the chapters! There is still time to get the book and join in. Follow the link below to get the book from Amazon! 

I really hope you all join me in some of my projects this summer! 

Guided Math in Action Book Study!

I am going to flip flop my plans for today and tomorrow, so I can finalize a few more details with my Spiral Review sets tonight! Today is going to be a short post where I am just going to bring some details about my upcoming summer book study. 

This summer I will be hosting a book study about the book Guided Math in Action by Dr. Niki Newton! I originally purchased this book in November when I was finishing up student teaching and was thinking about what teaching styles and methods I wanted to try out and I fell in love with it! The first time I read through it was pretty quick since I was hired for a mid year teaching position, but now am ready to really go into detail with it over the summer! I would love for you to read along with me!

Each week starting next Friday, I will be posting a review/summary/my thoughts on each chapter. I will also be creating some freebies that go along with the chapters, based on what I find helpful in each chapter to share with my readers. This book is a really easy read and I would love to have as many people as possible join in reading it with me!

If you would like to purchase the book, you can find it here:

If you use the Amazon link I provide, I receive a small stipend from the link! It is a great deal for such a useful book that I will use for many years to come! I hope you all will join me. I'll be here next Friday with the first post about chapter 1!

If you haven't already make sure that you are entered in my amazing giveaway that end Friday night and also make sure that you have signed up for my newsletter to stay updated and receive some awesome Freebies each month!

Also as a special thank you for following me through my blog launch my store will be 20% off from now until Sunday Night! Stock up on some great deals!
Back to Top