Friday, January 30, 2015

Freebie Friday {January 30, 2015}

Welcome back for another Freebie Friday!  I'm linking up with Teaching Blog Addict today to bring you another freebie!

Last week, I featured "Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators Task Cards" so this week I'm going to feature a great companion product..."Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators." 

This product is perfect for students below 5th grade who are just learning about adding with like denominators OR it can be perfect to differentiate for 5th grade students who need a little more practice with this concept.  I've also used them to help students remember the process before moving into the more complex task of adding and subtracting with unlike denominators.

If you click the picture, it'll take you to my TpT store where you can download this resource for free!!


Five for Friday {January 30, 2015}

I can't believe that it's already Friday again!  Seriously, where does the week go?!  We have an inservice day today and we're talking about Smarter Balanced Assessments.

I'm liking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching again for Five for Friday!

First a foremost, I am so excited about the new blog design that went up this week!  I had it custom designed by Dreamlike Magic Designs.  Alicia created my friend's blog and I have loved her blog for years.  She came highly recommended and she did not disappoint me in any way!  She created exactly what I wanted and gave me control over details within my navigation bar, sidebars, and social media icons.  I really couldn't be happier with the look and feel of my blog.  It completely fits who I am and I just want to share this new gorgeous design with everyone!

I've had a few compliments on my blog name so I want to share with you where the name came from.  Of course, I teach 5th grade.  I hope that part is obvious.  ;)  I have always favored 5th grade and I am incredibly lucky to be in my ideal grade level.  However, the "Keep Calm and..." part came from a different part of my life.  I have been a part of a summer camp in London for the past 5 years (and a year before at UPenn in the states).  I direct the camp for the majority of my summer break.  I have had a long-standing love affair with the UK and all things British.  Needless to say, the "Keep Calm and Carry On" image has found its way onto far too many of my personal belongings.  This blog is no different...I just put my own spin on it!  :)

We were really into art this week!  We completed and hung two posters for Black History Month on Thursday afternoon.  We also have one more in the works and a 4th planned for when that one is finished.  Here are the two that are up right  now.

Don't they look great?!  Art With Jenny K. is one of my favorite stores on TeachersPayTeachers and my students are constantly begging me for new projects.  We also started some pop-art Valentine's Day hearts but I'll save those for another post!  They're cute!

We had a test this week on adding and subtracting fractions.  Boy, was it hard!  Check out this question...

"Lila decided to make more baked goods for the bake sale.  She used 1/8 lb less flour to make bread than to make cookies.  She used 1/4 lb more flour to make cookies than to make brownies.  If she used 1/2 lb of flour to make the bread, how much flour did she use to make the brownies?  Explain your answer using a diagram, numbers, and words."

Really, my 5th graders had to solve that.  They worked so hard and everyone gave it their best shot! I'll have to grade the tests today to see how they did.  I'm always proud of how much effort they put into their work.  They are the hardest workers!  They always give it a go, even if they're not sure.

After our test, we decompressed with some fractions coloring sheets.  Yes, I said it!  Coloring sheets.  They needed the brain break after all of that hard work!  Especially because we also retested our computational fluency this week too.  We used some coloring sheets by Coloring Squared.  The students enjoyed the change for the day.  We completed the pig picture to support students' ability to find equivalent fractions (a huge skill when adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators).

I hope that you'll join Five for Friday and share your week with me!  Also, leave a comment, I love to respond and chat with other teachers!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Equivalent Fractions & Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

I'm back with some new anchor charts today!  We're moving right along with our fractions unit!  Here's an anchor chart that I made for adding fractions with unlike denominators.  This takes the students step-by-step through using a model to represent the addition of fractions with unlike denominators.

The anchor chart below shows how to create equivalent fractions using both a picture model and with multiplication.  Some students connect more to the visual model and some will use the multiplication only.  This fits multiple types of learners very well.

I hope these anchor charts are helpful for you as you're teaching fractions!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Best Seller Saturday!

I'm excited to link up with The Hickman Five for Best Seller Saturday!

The theme for today are your best sellers in either free or paid products!  I'm going to go ahead and post my best product in both categories!  

Hands down, my best selling product this week was my math vocabulary posters for Math Module 4. These vocabulary posters are colorful and help keep important math key terms in front of students' eyes at all times.  I printed and laminated a set for each module and I change them out as needed.  They keep my walls colorful and provide great visuals for ELL students.  Click the picture to check out the product file!

This is one of my first products.  I've been meaning to go in an do a product cover overhaul in my store but I just haven't set aside time for it yet. It really needs to happen.

My best selling free product was my task card set for adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators.  This thing has been dowloaded like crazy since I uploaded it...just three days ago!  It's one the top 3rd highest downloaded product in my store.  Fractions are so fun and I love teaching fraction units!  Click the picture to download the file!

Thanks for reading my post for Best Seller Saturday!  Leave a comment so I can chat with you!

Payday Sale on TpT All Weekend

Everything on Keep Calm and Teach 5th Grade is on sale this weekend!  Check it out!

Friday, January 23, 2015


I love Fridays.  I also love Fridays when it's Payday Friday.  Do you know what I love more than that?  A Freebie Friday on Payday Friday.  Oh yea...

I'm linking up with Teaching Blog Addict today for Freebie Friday!

Here's a new freebie that went up on my store last night...Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators Task Cards.

These cards will give your students practice with this in a non-threatening way.  Go them.  I also have adding and subtracting with like denominators for free on my store if you need a simpler activity for lower grade levels!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New freebie up on my TpT store!


I am excited to share with you a new freebie on my store!  I just added task cards for adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators!  It includes 40 task cards, an answer key and an answer recording sheet!

Check it out here!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Getting Ready for Fractions!

We're kicking off our unit on fractions today!  Hooray!  I think that fractions are very fun.  I'm not sure that my students are on board, though.  I want to share some of the changes to my classroom as we get ready to embark on our fraction adventure!

Here are my math goal posters to keep us on track throughout the unit!

Here's an anchor chart for representing fractions.  Of course, students should be coming in with this background knowledge but just in case they don't remember, I have some ideas here to jog their memories!

Again, they should have some basis for comparing fractions.  This poster should help them remember some of these concepts as we move forward.

Here are my math vocabulary and key terms posters for the students!  

Lastly, this is a fraction model anchor chart that some students helped me prepare during read aloud!  I love it!  It's so colorful!

I think we're all set to get started today!  What are you teaching today?

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's MLK day!

So grateful for Martin Luther King Jr. every single day. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Area Model Anchor Chart

I love anchor charts!  I try to make them for most of my concepts.  Right now, as we get ready to head into a new unit, I'm considering having my students go through a competition to make the anchor charts for me.  The best anchor chart (visually and descriptively) will be put up in the room for the unit.  I haven't tried it yet but I might as we start our fractions unit.  :)

Anyway, here's an anchor chart that I have up right now for area model multiplication.  Some of my students actually solve multiplication exclusively using this model.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I love JoAnn's!

If you know me then you know that I am obsessed with Snapware. Use it for everything. I have Snapware in my bathroom to organze my make up collection. I have Snapwear in my fridge for leftovers. I pack my my lunch in Snapware. I have Snapware in my home office to organize all my miscellaneous items. It's no surprise that I also use Snapware to organize my classroom.

I've been needing some more Snapware to organize miscellaneous items that are popping up in my classroom but I haven't a found a good sale. Luckily, I live really close to a JoAnn's and I can pop in regularly to look for good organizational items and sales. 

Tonight, I was bored so I headed into the store and....SALE TIME!  

I picked up the perfect items for my needs. 

The first thing on my list was something to organize my EngageNY math curriculum. I've been trying to store my modules and items to go with it to no avail. I have task card sets that go with each module's topic, master copies of my problem set booklets, answer keys for my homework packets, my application problem booklets, the application problem answer booklets, pictures of my anchor charts in sheet protectors, etc. 

I picked up this item on the far right for that...

I figure that each of the large boxes will hold two modules so this stack is perfect. You can also stack multiple packs of Snapware so I can add more later when I need it!  Yay!  

The item on the left is for my ELA resources. I have lots of vocab cards and task cards that I'll bag up (ziplock sets inside a large ziplock to keep them contained together) and then place into those containers by quarters. I can also add more stacks to this when I'm ready. 

The smallest box is actually for the shelf behind my desk. All my little items look really messy. I have via packets, k cups, forks, all kinds of nonsense piled up there. This will make it look much nicer. 

The best part of it is...I only spent $30!!  Woohoo. 

Here's another pic. 

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mental Division Strategies Anchor Chart

Here's an anchor chart that I recently posted for mental division strategies. This chart helps students think of ways to estimate and decompose to create easier problems.

I teach using the EngageNY curriculum for 5th grade so this poster correlates directly to what's taught there but it can be used for any classroom and curriculum. 

The T-Charts on the side help students pick correct estimations and help students divide correctly but they often forget their basic facts. 

My Superhero Themed Classroom!

I started my classroom from scratch this year. I am incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful classroom space to work with. I had a lot of fun decorating my classroom in a superhero theme. With a room of 20 boys and only 10 girls, the theme is perfect for my learners. Plus, I love superheroes. I think that it's important for teachers to feel comfortable in their classroom and love the space they're in because we spend so much of our lives in that room. Here are pictures of my classroom this year.