Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hot Off the PRESS:::Nothing BUT LOVE for RATIOS

Literally. Right off of the presses. I have a few projects and in the works and this one was the first one to I just had to complete and take off of my to-do list. Because let's face it, that list is a mile (or two) long... 

SO RATIOS! Are we ratio-ed out? Can we be ratio-ed out? NEVER. I don't think it could ever happen. Here is what we have going on. I've been itching to create these for quite sometime. 
RATIO TASK MATS (math mats, work mats...I use all THE NAMEs).
 THESE are one page each... 

These mats include all things RATIOS. 
Unit Rate. Equivalent Ratios. Tables. Word Problems.

Why one page????...I actually have a whole post devoted to that but...here's a sneak peek...

YOU can print them like this...

Or this...

Or this...

Or this...

Oh, and baby ones too!

So they are completely versatile! Great for stations, when working with a group of kids...or to create small versions for task cards, or smaller versions for whatever makes your skirt fly up. If you wear skirts. ALSO. You can use as many sheets of paper as you want or as few as you want. AMEN.

 I also included two different number formats. One fancy pants pdf has each category numbered 1-10 so you can use them as::::::: Stations:::::::Teach as you go:::::::Centers:::::::And whatever makes you happy! That's always a good thing! And because sometimes I don't want 50 of something---so maybe someone else out there in the abyss of the internet is a crazy ratio teaching teacher like me.

The OTHER format has all 50 numbered 1-50 so it's the perfect SCOOT. Like perfect y'all.

You can find all the ratios you need and more HERE 

Anyways, keep an eye out, follow me, because there is something SWEET COMING up next!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


In light of all the RATIO happiness that there is on the blog I figured I'd post one happy homework assignment that I give my kiddos--and in class activity. I love to do math stations--"current" stations, math review stations, math fact stations (because let's be honest, after the summer I am like...WHAT IS 8 x 7...I need a review myself), and a station where my kiddos work with me. I love to have them involved in some of the stations--because they are more invested and it's easier for me...ha!

SO RATIOS. I have my students bring their own ratio--HENCE the name CREATE YOUR OWN RATIO. It can be in lowest terms OR it can be larger than that. All of the contents just have to fit in a brown paper bag and be completely school appropriate (if it is food...it must be wrapped). It could be a recipe. Pencils and crayons, game board pieces. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT.

Students fill out their info sheet on their ratio:

Also my students fill out a little form (there are 4 per page--but they only get one) with the answers to their question--What is the ratio of _____ to ______? They fill in what the ratio is, three different ways to write it, and 3 equivalent ratios. Boom! I send this home as homework or have them fill it out when they come to school--I've done it both ways and I don't really have a preference. You might and that's cool! And the bonus is is that the answers are done for you. I sometimes have my students leave it facedown beside their ratio :)

Here's my awesome example. I always make examples to show my kids--it's cheesy and silly but I have a fond appreciation for examples and making sure that kiddos are on the right path!

So this is what your students have filled out prior to beginning the stations ^^^

Then my students go around the room and fill out this handy dandy sheet on ratios and answer the following questions. When it's a station they simply do 5 ratios but I've also done a whole class session--where they do 10 or 20. Either during or after they rotate they can check their answers with the students who brought the ratio. It's fun. It's simple. It's REAL LIFE. AND it's such a good way to get them involved and invested in math...which are two really important words in my book.

It's an easy peasy way to review, practice, or just have fun with RATIOS!

If you need this and are in a pinch just leave your email below and I'll pass it along---working on adding the pdf later on this week! :)


Over and out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Currently Reading (Dos)

I love reading YA Literature in my free time--which there isn't a lot of these days. BUT one of my friends recommended Anna and the French Kiss--would definitely NOT recommend it for 6th graders but it's a fun read so far. I have a stack of books I've been reviewing and even though I love them I like to have a book of my own...or a cookbook...or people magazine. It's hard being an adult sometimes! Anyways---Think of a book written by Nicolas Sparks' daughter plus lots of teenageisms in-between and this is it.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

One Eye Punch!

This week and was perusing Walmart and spied this one hole punch and it was instant love. AND at 97 cents--super duper real love. So go and get yourself one. They are perfect for task cards and any thing that just requires one hole punch. YOU WON'T Regret it.

I was working on this project using a product from my store. It's what I call a scaffolding activity because each card build upon itself. I provide my students with flip strips (below) of metric conversion charts like below and they have to fill in the miss unit values. As the strips progress they catch onto the pattern (don't worry...we've talked about the why) and it becomes easier and easier for them to successfully convert metric units. 

Aren't these fun little metric fans? My favorite comment on this product is this...

"I wish I would have started with this when teaching the Metric System. This helped lightbulbs come on....
Thanks so much..this was beyond amazing."

Can't wait to use my metric task cards like this and your students will LOVE these!!! These are available in my TPT store HERE!

Over and out!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Whether you teach ratios at the beginning of the year or the end...I THINK THEY ARE SWEET! Plus students always seem to love them and everyone could always use a review.  Here are TWO activities for you that make it easy (and the perfect excuse) to STOP. DROP. and REVIEW.

How stinking fun are these FRUITOMINOES (yes, that's the real name!)?????

 I LOVE these for ratio's because students are comparing two different things (rather than dots...even though I love regular dominos too). This is part of my FRUIT SALAD station. Every perfect fruit salad has the right amount of strawberries, not too many bananas, and lots of oranges (at least in my book)! I LOVE this station for writing ratios and having students find equivalent ratios. You can purchase FRUITOMINOS HERE.

Ratios are SWEET aren't they. I'm currently smack dab in the middle of this product and this picture is a #roughdraft of it all. So if you see a spelling error, help a sister out! BUT I've posted this below so grab a copy if you are up a creek without a paddle--or ya just need a quick center! Thanks for reading my blog!

I call these babies "FLIP STRIPS". Print punch and keep together with a ring or brad (like in the picture above). AND you can just keep them plain as well (no judgement here!) #dowhatyougottado. It's a quick and sweet center. 

 Here are some handy dandy recording pages

AND in case you want to throw some proportions in there too (graphs, tables, tape diagrams, pictures, you name it) I have a recording sheet with a what if column so students have to APPLY their knowledge of ratios. This is great for differentiation too--and great if you have some kiddos that just need to focus simply on ratios themselves without throwing in proportions.

Save and Print with the PDF below!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Doodle Space!

Now that I have a few years of teaching under my belt I've found that I've been able to have to time to create things that I have always always wanted. A few years ago I had a class with a few students that dreaded recess and some of the had legitimate reasons to take a breather from the social aspects of school.

I was totally thrown for a loop because who dreads recess??? One student, in particular, usually needed a break from other classmates, my other students needed a break from this student, but I also needed my recess time to prep activities (and I kind of needed a 10 minute break too...not gonna lie!). Our grade level shared a teacher helper and she was fantastic at calming this student down and talking with him and prepping things for me. Together we came up with some ideas on how to help this students decompress and gear up for the rest of the day.

In came the doodling...this student LOVED to draw so I started making these doodle pages to allow him to be creative and have a mental recess from lots of social stressors he was facing during the day. My teacher helper would have this all prepared for him to doodle and calm down and give him a beak from the social pressures that he faced day in and day out. It was perfect. He did something he loved, I had prep time, and it was a positive thing that all of my students took notice too. My other students loove these too--so when they are too sick to go out for recess that have an easy and relaxing activity that helps them feel like they are getting a break without leaving the classroom.

They are simple and fun. I printed them task card size and let students use dry erase crayons on them. I also have a file of them on hand too. These have also come in handy with parent teacher conferences (a task for younger siblings), subs, Friday afternoons around 2:00, testing, and those weird moments when you are waiting for an assembly. And then you have beautiful art for your class!

Here are few samples of the 50 that are included---feel free to print for your own use. 

 Seriously. What could you draw out of this? How could you incorporate it into a scene? My imagination is already running wild

When I saw this I thought--CANDY STORE. Ribbons of candy, licorice, and swirls of ice cream. But you might think of something healthier...and for that you deserve a pat on the back.

They aren't all abstract and doodly. Is it a road? A zipper? What kind of doodle is it?? LOVE. and my students loves these too!

 These puppies are up in my store (and I am hurriedly working on another set). Feel free to print some of the sample ones that I posted (just click, save, and print) if you are in a bind and need a doodling activity. I have 55 posted up in my teacherspayteachers store and you can find them HERE!
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Back n' Happy!

Hey Y'all! I hope your long weekend was fabulous. I got a lot done. Not much that was on my list but I feel like these long weekends are so good to relax. Because three days weekends don't come around very often. My husband has a big test, my toddler and I spent some time at the beach, and I took a lot of naps...because I could.

Also, I know it's fall and everyone is busting out pumpkin spice and everything nice, but I'm just hanging on to summer for another week before I bust out my candles and fall leaves. I LOVE watching the butterflies float around these beauties all day. It's always summer outside in Florida so we are pretty festive on the inside. Hope you all are taking care and having a great first day back. You've got this!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Why I Don't Take Late Math Homework and How I Value It

That right I don't take it...late math homework. After two years of teaching I was so over playing "Chase the Paper Trail" game with my students (and parents) over homework. Typically my homework assignments were short--less than 20 problems (normally hovered in the 10-15 range) and it was more for me to see are they actually understanding what I taught and a responsibility issue. I was so so frustrated at the end of each term having students (and parents) begging for past math homework assignments and me attempting to teach, plan, get ready for parent conferences, and then have to re-assign already assigned assignments on top of everything else going on in my life, and then wait until the very last minute to enter grades--and even prolonging the grading period.


Before my third year of teaching I wanted to change something but I didn't know where to start. I still wanted homework to have a meaning but I realized I did tons of self-assessment, formal assessment, and informal assessments at school that the "assessing" value of homework to me probably wasn't as high as those. I also attended a district training where they encouraged teachers to give less homework (and by less they meant, don't give 40 problems, which I didn't do). This really struck a chord because why should a student need to do 40 problems that they already understand and why should a student that is struggling be given the task to do 40 problems they don't understand? Catching my drift.

I decided to slash my homework problems to 5-10 each night and aim for 5. I also decided to value my in class assessments more (not that  I didn't but this was where all of my important data came from). Think about how much time you spend checking homework! I knew this would cut down on class time that we spent checking homework and taking questions. Also I implemented a new and easy way to keep track of grades that made it a piece of cake and at the end of the day I didn't have stacks of homework to input grades into the computer.

After deciding to slash homework, I evaluated my paper issue of late work. I decided that I would not take late math homework (gasp!). Here is what I came up with to guide me, my students, and my parents:

I assigned so few problems that my students could easy finish during the school day. Also, if they needed to take it home it was a quick finish for them once they got home. Part of my homework policy is if your child is once your child has spent 30 minutes on it parents can sign it or jot me a note saying "HELP!" to let me know that their students just isn't getting it. Because I don't want my students to have anxiety build up over proportions or exponents and I don't want their to be math frustration (I totally had this problem as a student). I have to tell you this only happened TWICE out of 34 students during the entire year!

I valued my in class assessments more...those gave me more authentic information. Homework could be scribbled out or even done by a parent--so I wasn't getting accurate information that would even let me know if a child needed help or had holes in their understanding. My walk arounds, small groups, task cards, games, quizzes, tests, my favorite no's, check-it's, that is where I get all of my information.

Also, I valued my time to teach more than having students self check their work 
(and my time too--I would rather spend it planning)...they still self check but we spend considerably less time doing so. I felt like I spent a chunk of time checking homework when that wasn't and isn't the most important thing. LEARNING is the most important thing. Plus I hate grading--more so inputing grades ha! I do! So this not only helped my students but it helped my sanity!

And just to be a stick in the mud...my 6th grade math teacher didn't take late homework. I feel like we are totally willing to give into kids sometimes (and parents especially, if they are intimidating enough). However, sometimes in life if you miss the boat, you just miss the boat! You snooze, you lose! Insert all cute and real life statements here. I valued my students learning responsibility and taking responsibility on their own. Students would see that if they skipped homework once or twice--it wasn't a big deal. But if they made it a pattern it quickly impacted their grade (and one term of this was all it took!). Also, my parents LOVED this because it was solely their child's responsibility and we were ALL on the same page from the get go. Parents didn't have to bother asking for homework because it's all a done deal!

The day after the nights previous homework loses it's value. I've already done assessments (my favorite no, walk arounds, practice, partner teaching, etc.) the following day, during the week our quizzes provide more information for me, and after a test over the standard I am able to see if my students understood it. So at the end of the term the value of late homework decreases for me and for the student (they've already mastered the task and I've assessed so much).

If I assigned my students homework on Monday it was due at the end of the day Tuesday. Meaning they have recess, lunch, and any free time to get it done on BOTH MONDAY AND TUESDAY.  There was a grace period so I'm not the witchiest teacher ever. Family emergencies are automatic excuses for these things because I completely understand hospital stays, deaths, and illnesses. Parents take a huge sigh of relief on this because when family matters come up the last thing I want them to worry about (and my students) is homework!

My absent policy is you have how every many days were missed plus one more. I hate to have students still not feeling well and rushing through assignments and sometimes the first day back is draining enough. I've been there, have you? I know when I return from being sick the first day back is so hard and I'm totally wiped out!

At the end of the year my students are ready for junior high. They've mastered RESPONSIBILITY and TIME MANAGEMENT. We talk a lot about when to do homework and how it's best to just get. it. done.

Stay tuned because I am going to talk about more of the POSITIVE impacts it had on my students and WHY my parents LOVED my homework policy! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Currently Reading

I had to finish up the Selection Series...I love love love YA fiction and the selection series was seriously so easy breezy and a great brain break. HOWEVER, I am so excited to be in the first few pages of...FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

I love it already! Have you read it!? Is it a tear-jerjker? I feel like it's going to be! Do you feel like you know so many students that have floated, pushed, and struggled through school just like Ally? I DO! And it breaks my heart but I love the story and can't wait to finish it!
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