You know you are a teacher when....

Okay, that sentence can be finished countless ways, but this week I am ending it with .... you think more about a classroom and virtual birthday celebration than a real one!
My 30th (yikes!) birthday is in a few days and I am ready to get this PARTY started! I am going out to lunch today with some friends (pasta makes me happy), so don't worry. I will celebrate in real life too.

First things first....classroom celebration! Our classroom kindness elf, Elvin D. Elf, will be making a guest appearance Tuesday morning. My kiddos had such a hard time saying goodbye to him this winter I had to find a way to bring him back. Elvin created an email account and has been emailing with my kids the last few weeks. He sends them encouraging notes and reminds them to be good. They LOVE emailing him back. He is currently working as a Birthday Monitor and traveling the world recording when new babies are born...because clearly, Santa needs an updated list so he knows how many boys and girls to give gifts too. Ha! (P.S. This was all my sweet boyfriends idea and he takes care of the typing for Elvin. I really am spoiled!). I will be sure to post pictures of the shenanigans Elvin helps prepare for my kids this week.
Now on to the virtual celebration! I will be posting special deals (flash freebies, giveaways, and discounts) throughout the week so be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook to grab them all.

If you know me, you know that I LOVE to save money and get a good deal. My friends call me the coupon-queen and depend on me to go out and get all of the gifts we need at work for things like baby showers, birthdays, and weddings.

In honor of one of my favorite things, my sweet teacher friends are going to help me celebrate with Dollar Deals! These products are great for getting through the rest of the school year with both sanity and savings :)
I am including 4 of my favorites for this time of year and I hope you enjoy them too.

These special deals will be good from now until Tuesday evening. Happy Shopping and thank you for helping me celebrate this special day.
I had a blast today writing over on the Who's Who and Who's New Blog. And guess what? I wrote about one of my all time favorite topics- books! Come read how I use mentor texts as inspiration for young writers. I even bet you have some of these fun books in your own library.

See you there! 
P.S. Happy Friday :)

Spring is in the air! Here in North Carolina we tend to go from 30 degrees to 80 in one week (sometimes in one day), so I am forced to embrace Spring. March is a short month for us due to spring break but jammed packed with St. Patrick's Day, Easter, and all other things warm and sunshiney! This month I am excited to share a few of my favorite Spring Math ideas for primary grades. 

 Shoebox Word Problems: 
My kids still need plenty of practice solving word problems. Many can now go beyond adding to 20 and we are working on adding double digits and multiples of ten.
Rather than simply solving word problems on paper, I created this simple shoebox center. First I covered a shoebox with brown construction paper, wrapped like a gift. Then I cut some grass fringe and added it to the top. Finally I cut some slits in the top of the box to slide my laminated carrot cards into. This is a simple center you can create with any problems of your choice, or you can find my Collecting Carrots Center here

Addition & Subtraction:
I don't know about you, but I have TONS of scrapbooking paper lying around. I always tell myself I will do something with it, but let's be honest....I probably won't any time soon! So, I decided to use what I had to make a super quick and easy math center. I cut out the shape of a flower and glued it onto a big piece of paper. Then I cut out leaves. I wrote numbers on the flowers and a variety of ways to represent that number using addition and subtraction. Finally, I laminated it all. Instant center! Students simply match the petals to the correct flower. 

 Napkin Book Word Problems:
If you know me or have spent time in my classroom, you know that I LOVE napkin books! Basically I staple blank paper into different themed napkins. The napkins act as "book" covers. Normally I use these little guys in my writing station but this month I am using them in math too. Students can write their own word problems and solve them, or solve problems in a partner's book. If you want to control more of what the students solve you could also print word problems onto sticky labels and allow students to attach to their pages. Or, you could type word problems on 1/4 sheets and staple inside. 
 Easter Egg Math:
I LOVE using Easter Eggs this time of year in my math stations, and more importantly, my students love them too! Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them in my first grade class. These ideas can also be adapted to fit your needs. 
 Write numbers on egg halves using a sharpie. If it smudges, you can always put a coat of clear nail polish on top of the writing to help it stay put. You can have students skip count by 2's, 5's, 10's, or whatever other number pattern you are working on. Students can then record their answers on paper or in an Easter napkin book.

 Instead of using egg halves, you can also use the whole egg for matching games. You could write addition or subtraction facts on one side and then the sum or difference on the bottom. I like to use them for place value matching with base ten blocks and numbers (or expanded form).

While Easter eggs are on sale, I stock up! I like buying the different themed eggs (sports, cars, etc.) and keep them for activities throughout the year. I have a Sports Day at the end of the year that these eggs work great for. I write math problems on small slips of paper and put them inside each egg. Students go on an egg hunt and solve the problems inside.

We also compare numbers. Simply write a number on each egg (any theme, regular Easter eggs work fine) and put them into a basket. Students will pull out two eggs and compare them. Use a <, >, or = sign to compare numbers and record.

I hope you have a great month and enjoy Spring! For more fun math ideas be sure to check out these other great posts!

Math Tip Monday

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