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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Middle School Math MEGA deal!!

It's back to school time!  Now that Labor Day is over, I think it's safe to say we are all back in the groove! I wanted to take a moment out of my usual blog posts to share with you an AMAZING deal!  If you teach middle school math, you can't turn this one down! 

 I have teamed up with Educents with some instant downloads for you! Loaded with great activities like to get your year off to a great start!  

Included in the bundle are activities from MissMathDork,  Jennifer at 4mulaFun, Elizabeth from Hodges Herald, Jameson from Lessons with Coffee and Danielle with Live.Love.Math.  You've seen all of there names on my blog before because I LOVE THESE LADIES!   We've worked together to make a bundle that would be PERFECT for the 6-8 math classroom!  Check out what you get below:
































But that's not all... the bundle covers to following topics that you will need to teach this year:


      Multiplying and Dividing Fractions and Mixed Numbers
      Long Division with Remainders 
•      Algebraic Properties & Expressions
      Exponents
      Fractions, Decimals, & Percents
      Place Value  through the Millions
      Word Problems
      Order of Operations
      Number Lines
      Composite Figures, Complex and Irregular Shapes
      Area
      Mean, Median, and Mode

      Pythagorean Theorem

For a limited time it is $10.99 from Educents which is about 75% off!  16 instant downloads for your middle school math learners that are sure to engage.  And 220 pages of materials ready for you to use - there is sure to be tons you will love!

I do hope you will check out this amazing bundle!  It's such a great deal!!

Check out the other amazing products included below:



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Math IS Real Life September 2014 Edition: Sunday prep cooking

It's the first Wednesday of September 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




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Recently I started trying to eat healthier.... no, not like, 'oh I had a salad for lunch so now I can have a calzone for dinner'.... like, REALLY healthier.  So to start off this healthier trend, I decided to do a cleanse with my MIL.  Cleanse - eek? right... no, not really.  I was a bit skeptical at first, but then my sister, Morgan assured me that I wasn't going to drink myself into oblivion or eat only cabbage or only grapefruit, instead I was going to gradually move myself to a clean eating diet.  The food shift was gradual: first week weaning off of dairy and meat with week 2 weaning off of grains and week 3 fully vegan.  I won't go into great detail because that isn't what this post is really about.

So, what is this post about?  Well, I'll be completely honest - I'm really bad at balancing dinner with school.  My husband and I are notorious for ordering in, or dining out to save time (haha.. right, b/c sitting in a restaurant always ends up being a 2 hour excursion!) and, more importantly, my sanity.  Anyway, because I don't balance nightly cooking well, Morgan convinced me to make a weekly menu and pre-cook on Sunday.

After making my menu for week 2 (below), and then figuring out exactly how much food I needed to buy, I was ready to go grocery shopping.


breakfast and snack for the week
fresh veggies
containers to pack 7 days worth of food into!
prepping breakfast with a photo bomber!
dividing strawberries, blueberries and raspberries across the 7 days
then adding in the peaches and thinking holy heck that is SOOOOO much fruit!
7 days worth of snack and 7 days worth of breakfast prepped and ready to go to the freezer!  P.s. DON'T freeze apples... they thaw and are really, really, REALLY gross!
While prepping the fruit, I multiplied my lunch recipe by 7 and started the quinoa and lentils.
then prepped all the veggies that would accompany the grains. 
then mixed everything together with  some spices
and packed everything up in containers, ready to eat throughout the week!
As I'm writing this, I'm not on day 17 of the 21 day cleanse and I can say that I LOOOOVE Sunday prep days!  I don't know why I never prepped earlier in the week before.  Once the cleanse is over, my husband and I are going to continue the practice of making a weekly menu (we kind of do this now) and then being smarter about placement of foods so that we can prep in larger quantities to making cooking at home more feasible for my sanity on weeknights!

Don't forget to check out the other MIRL posts below!  Check back over the next few days - more will be added!!
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Books that will CHANGE your teaching Blog Hop!

Not going to lie... I'm pretty stoked about this post.  Why? you ask.... well, I FINALLY found a group of mathematical bloggers that have joined up and they want to be active in social media!  This is our first "together endeavor" !!  
So...  here's how this works.  There are 12 posts that are all linked to each other.  You don't have to download anything from each of us, or even find a hidden letter or phrase... NOPE, you just can hop along as you choose and ENTER to WIN a FREE COPY of whatever book we are writing about!  That's the potential to win 12 different books!  WOOO!
The book that I am currently in LOVE with is called Building Powerful Numeracy for Middle and High School Students by Pamela Weber Harris.  (click the link to go to Amazon OR enter to win with the Rafflecopter below!)
As a Math Specialist who works in a 5-8 middle school, the biggest complaint I hear from the teachers I work with is that the students have no number sense!  As a district, we've been working on improving this from the bottom up (lots of work in the elementary schools!) but there has to be something that WE at the middle school can do to help those who don't' have that background knowledge.

As I was reading Harris' introduction, quite a few of her words resonated with me:

"As secondary teachers, we are often frustrated by the lack of number sense in our students.  Students seem to either reach for a calculator or just shrug and say, 'I don't know' when asked simple arithmetic questions.  They seem ill-prepared to learn higher math because they have not memorized basic facts.  Many students make careless errors with nonsensical results, ye do not recognize how far off their answers are.  We are in the age of algebra for all, yet we have students who were obviously never in the arithmetic for all movement." (Harris, xii)

WOW!  Does that not say EXACTLY what we have all been thinking?!  She also says "This book is an attempt to bridge [the number fluency] gap, to bring these insights to the secondary world." (Harris, xiii)

After the introduction, Harris goes into depth with specific examples from 6th grade to Calculus (no really... all the way up to Calculus!) showing examples of how to teach concepts. She focuses her chapters on:

1) Numeracy
2) Addition and Subtraction: Models and Strategies
3) Addition
4) Subtraction
5) Multiplication: Models and Strategies
6) Multiplication
7) Division
8) Decimals, Fractions and Percents: Models and Strategies
9) Decimals and Fractions: Addition and Subtraction
10) Decimals and Fractions: Multiplication and Division

Each chapter not only focuses on a concept, but how that concept builds from upper elementary to middle school to high school.  Harris gives specific examples, models and representations for each concept as well as strategies for how to teach the concepts to your kiddos at a deeper level.

My favorite part is that I can also purchase a Facilitator's guide (Check it out HERE) as well as a book that contains Lessons and Activities (Check it out HERE) to supplement all of the information that was found in the main book.  I am hoping to use this book with each of my teacher's this year as a Book Study in a Professional Development setting.

I do hope that you will check out this book via the links I've provided OR better yet, enter to win your own copy below!!  If you don't win, and are a secondary teacher, this book is WELL WORTH the investment!  Every page is chalked full of great information!

After you enter the giveaway, make sure to stop by my friend Jameson's blog Lessons with Coffee to check out her review of the book "Multiplication Is for White People"

click on the logo to jump straight to Jameson's post!
Wait! Don't leave yet! Make sure to ENTER TO WIN!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

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