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Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Made It : 2 AWESOME Etsy stores!

Full disclosure.... I don't have a classroom this year - I have (or will have - it isn't ready yet) an office.  Because of this, I have found myself being less crafty this summer.  In some ways this makes me sad, in other ways.... I've found some awesome Etsy stores that have made me some AMAZING pieces for my 14-15 school year (kiddos come today by the way! EEP!)

I knew I wanted to have a math theme in my office (remember the artwork from this MMI? - yes it's still FREE!) and I knew I wanted a unique piece that only I had.... so I started scouring Etsy and found  Letters of Love Design.  I really enjoyed what I saw on her front page (see below) and I sent her an email.
In my message, I asked her if she could spell out the word MATHEMATICS in very geometric shapes.  In no time at all, she sent me multiple options.  I asked to change one letter out for one that I liked a bit more and then I sent payment.  Nikki was wonderful to work with and made sure to keep in contact with me as she went through her process.  A few weeks later, I came home from CAMT with an odd shaped box at the door and I knew EXACTLY what was in it!

Nikki took great care to package and wrap my sign!  
Dozer was very curious as to what was happening and enjoyed chewing on the box later in the evening.
Ahhh!  My first view!  LOOOOVE it!
Here's a close up of the MATH portion.  LOVE how angular those letters are!
And here is an idea of how long my sign is.  Final measurement was  37 inches wide x 5 1/2 inches tall.  It will be PERFECT for my office wall once I get in ! 
You can also find Letters of Love Designs on Facebook HERE
My second Etsy store that I want to share with you is a VERY NEW store!  My adorable friend Tabatha Carro (you may know her as FlapJack Education).  She recently opened an Etsy store called Little Buwo where she sells the MOST adorable little cards!  As soon as she posted a sample on Facebook, I jumped on the chance to order!  
Once the package had arrived, I quickly opened it to find adorable packing on the inside too!
I had two sets of cards made up (and personalized) First the "a note from" cards.  I had half of them say Mrs. Riggs and half say Jamie so I could use them with teachers AND students.
My second order were "thank you" cards that I also double personalized.  These owls are so stinkin' cute!! I cannot wait to give them to someone!  If you look close you can see that each card has a 3-dimensional aspect to it as well (bows above and flowers below).  TOO cute, Tabatha!  
You can follow Little Buwo on Facebook HERE

As always, a HUGE THANK YOU to Tara for her WONDERFUL link up!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Math IS Real Life - August 2014 Edition - it's been a whole year!

It's the first Wednesday of July which means it's time for our monthly linky - Math IS Real Life!!  If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!  
If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs - feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!

A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by

This past month has been a bit crazy!  You can probably tell by my lack of blog posts! (sorry about that!) Anyway in the span of 10 days I did a lot of traveling.... well, a lot for me!  My first trip was to fly to Texas for the CAMT conference!  If you follow my Facebook page or Instagram you probably saw some of the fun I was having.  If not, here is a quick collage of pics that may bring a smile to your face :)

You may or may not recognize some faces in these pictures.... Bottom right me dressed up as my MissMathDork avatar :) and Jennifer from 4mulaFun.  Top right Donna from Math Coach's Corner. Bottom right Elizabeth from Hodges Herald.  It was soooooo fun to meet and hang out with each of these ladies!  I met Danielle from Live.Love.Math too, but I think she has that photo!

Once I got back from Dalles/Fort Worth on Thursday, I left again Friday night for "College Girl" weekend.  This is when my 3 college roomies and I all flock to one central location for a weekend each summer.  I was exhausted from CAMT, but was soooo excited to see my girls.

By now, you are probably asking yourself.... when is she getting to the math part?!  While I could get into the cost of traveling, or the altitude of my plane, or the time / mileage spent, I'm going to opt to talk about TOLL BOOTHS and lack of cash!

When I headed to Texas, I made sure to take some cash with me... not a ton, $80 to be exact.  I spent it on a midnight donut, an awesome math tee-shirt (that should be arriving any day now!), and on airport tolls ($4.80 going towards Dulless Airport in the non-rush hours).  I ended up having $5 left to my name when I came home.  I didn't really think much about it until I was driving to "College Girl" weekend.

As I hit the last leg of my road trip to see my girls, I hit a toll road.  "No problem" I thought to myself, and I reached for my credit card.  As I approached and looked at the lanes I had a sudden pit in my stomach.

My options were exact change, EZPass, or Full - service cash.  (Note... no, I didn't take these pictures while I was driving, I grabbed a few from Google.... I was too spastic to think about using my toll debacle as an MIRL post at the time!)

Okay.... so.... EXPass - nope, don't have it.  Cash... yikes?! I just don't carry it.... oh wait!  I have the $5 left over from CAMT.  At this point the pit in my stomach goes away and I pull into the Full Service lane.  I hand the lady $5, she sneers at me a bit because the toll is $0.70 (yes... not 75 cents which is an EASY amount of exact change to have....) and hands me my $4.30 in changes.  I drive along my way and don't think anything more of it.  Actually, I was a bit relieved because driving to Dulless airport the toll was MUCH more expensive at $4.80.  My $5.00 would have covered that...but still, I'm feeling relieved.

Well... I was feeling relieved.  About 5 miles down the road, I hit ANOTHER toll booth.  Again 3 options.... 

As I had $4.30, I wasn't able to jump into the "exact" lane so I went to the full service lane again, and this time paid $0.75.  Now I have $0.30 + $3.25.  I'm pretty sure I'm home free with tolls as my GPS says I'm 4 miles away from my friend's house.... but no, there is ANOTHER toll as I take her exit ramp.  My $0.55 in change still won't allow me to go through the "exact" lane, so again, I go full service and pay my $0.70.  Now I have  $0.55 + $2.30.  E-gads....  I spent $2.15 in tolls on the way there.  Okay, not nearly as bad as going to the airport.... but I know to hold onto my cash for the trip back.  

On the way back home, another friend called and asked that I meet her downtown in Richmond.  No problem!  I'm already here, I might as well make the most out of the 4 hour commute!  So I go through the tolls backwards.  I'm able to pay for one of the tolls with "exact" change and end up with $0.70 left.  To get to my location in down town Richmond, I needed to take 3 more tolls.... 

So this month I learned a lesson - Either I need to get an EZPass for "just in case" times.... or I need to make sure to have cash in the car!  Not every place takes credit card for tolls.  I get it... using a credit card for $0.70 is silly but I just can't imagine what would have happened had I not had cash.  (In all actuality, they apparently give you a "ticket" to go home and pay via mail.  Still, there is an extra processing fee for this and it's a pain.... so bring cash on road trips! AND better yet, small bills so you don't get snarled at in the full service lane!)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Meet the Secondary Class of '14-'15!!

Have you heard?! TpT is having it's BACK TO SCHOOL SALE this coming Monday and Tuesday! Some of my favorite Secondary Sellers are joining in the FUN!  I want to introduce to you the Secondary Yearbook "class of 14-15"!

Check out those Senior pictures (with a few kindergarten ones thrown in!)!!  Woooo we are a GOOD-LOOKING BUNCH!  

Make sure to take the time to check out some of these amazing Secondary Sellers!!  Hopefully you'll find a new face to follow!  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BTS Educents sale - there truly is something for EVERYONE! Check it out!


 I am so excited to announce that is having a HUGE back-to-school blowout sale and I am going to be featured in one of the curriculum bundles! From July 30 - August 2 (Wednesday - Saturday), they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year! Take a peak into what is on sale! Tell your friends, because there is something for everyone who teaches children in PreK-8th grade!

Preschool Full-Year Curriculum Bundle - 72% OFF


Kindergarten Full-Year Curriculum Bundle - 75% OFF


K-2 The Write Stuff ELA Bundle - 68% OFF


First Grade Literacy Bundle - 74% OFF


School Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 2-3) - 74% OFF


Poetry Curriculum & Activities Bundle (Grades 2-6) - 75% OFF


Tricky Math Curriculum Bundle (Grades 3-5) - 69% OFF


Complete Full-Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 6-8) - 77% OFF


I'm in the 6-8 bundle with my Area and Perimeter of Irregular Figures bundle!  .. here's a fun write-up by 4mulaFun who used them with her 7th grade Sped class!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Good Questions for Math Teaching 5-8 week 8

I hope you've been following along with our Summer 2014 Double Book Study so far.  If not, here are the links to get caught up before you scroll down and see what I have to say about Fractions/Decimals/Percents and Geometric Reasoning

Week 9: 5-8 Book with Jennifer Smith-Sloane Section Algebraic Reasoning, Data Analysis/Probability and Measurement (coming next Tuesday!)

Okay, all caught up?  Good... let's rock and roll then!

Last time I wrote about this book, I spoke about relationships.  I have found that many students struggle in math because they cannot make the connections between the concepts.  FDP and Geometry are MEANT to go together!!  

When you are working with FDP you HAVE to make connections to the physical model AND while you are doing so, why not pull in geometric reasoning!

7 Fractions/Decimals/Percents & 8 Geometry

One of my favorite math manipulatives to use with fractions is pattern blocks! I loved that they were represented in the book with many examples.  What I think makes pattern blocks so versatile is that you can reunitize them so easily.  If the yellow hexagon is considered "the whole" then the green triangle is equivalent to 1/6.  However, if you use a double hexagon as "the whole" then a green triangle is now 1/12.  This is not an easy concept for kiddos to pick up on, but if you keep working with them and making the connections the geometric space that is being used, they will become more flexible in their thinking. 

With the pattern blocks you can add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions!  You just might have to be a little bit more selective about what problems you choose to make sure that each fraction can be represented with the manipulative. Again, remember you can reunitize!

The authors also speak about making the FDP and Geometry REAL to students.  I couldn't agree more!  In my last edition of Math IS Real Life I connected cooking, to fractions, to geometric serving sizes! Make sure to click over and read about it AND collect the FREEBIE that I made for your students.  It's a perfect way to connect fractions and geometric reasoning early in the school year AND to up the math talk in your classroom!

What manipulatives do you use when teaching fractions?
Do you find your students make more sense of FDP and geometry when you connect the two concepts?

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