Math Mazes (Addition and Subtraction)

Math fact fluency has been something my second graders have always needed to practice, but I was tired of them practicing in the same, boring ways.  I was looking for a way to keep things fresh and exciting, but still provide a way for meaningful practice.  I decided to combine their love for mazes with math fact practice.  That's when I created a set of math mazes!

 There are 10 addition and 10 subtraction mazes for students to use.  You can choose the set of facts you want your students to practice.  No matter the page, students must determine whether each math fact is true or false.  The goal is for the students to find their way from start to finish by following the true math facts.
Students can complete these pages in different ways.  The easiest way is to print and give to your students to complete.  They can use crayons or colored pencils and color the boxes in along as they discover the correct path.  This makes the pages easy to use in class or to send home for additional practice.

You could also print the pages onto cardstock and slip inside a sheet protector (or laminate).  One of the benefits to this is that the pages can be reused many times and you can save your copies.  These work great in a center or for fast finishers.

Each page comes with an answer key:

If you choose to use the sheet protectors, slip the answer key into the sheet protector, on top of the student's page.  Then you'll be able to see whether the two paths match or not.

You can find all of these mazes here:

This pack is 20% off today as part of the Teachers Pay Teachers sale.  If you remember to use the code CELEBRATE, you'll save an additional 10%!

Happy Teaching!

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Is Your Wish List Ready?

Teacher Appreciation Week is upon us.  I don't know about you, but I'm ready to show some appreciation to my fellow teachers by making some purchases during the upcoming Teachers Pay Teachers sale (May 3rd & 4th).  I thought it would be fun to join in with some teacher friends and let you know the top wishlisted items from my store. 

First up is Math Mania.  This is a pack that I have used with great success with my second graders at the beginning of the school year.  It could also be used with first graders in the spring.  Included are five math centers that target addition and subtraction facts, telling time, counting coin combinations, and comparing coin totals.  You can learn more about Math Mania here.

My next most wishlisted item is my pack of Book Tub Labels.  The labels in this pack come in four different colors (blue, green, purple, and pink).  There are a variety of labels included for primary classrooms including popular book series, authors, and leveled books, but the best part of all is these labels are editable so you can add any book labels you need to match the set.  You can learn more about my Book Tub Labels here

The third most wishlisted item in my store is the Magic Tree House Bundle for books #1 - #8.  If you teach primary students, they have probably enjoyed reading about Jack and Annie's adventures.  This bundle includes book companions for the first eight books in the series.  Each book companion contains comprehension questions for each chapter, graphic organizers, and other extras.  You can learn more about this Magic Tree House Bundle here

Don't forget to head over to Teaching in the Tongass to see the items other teachers are adding to their wishlists.  So, make sure you are up-to-date on your feedback, load up your cart, and get ready to grab some great deals!

Happy Shopping!

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Fraction Foldable Freebie

Are you teaching fractions?  With our math curriculum, fractions are just lightly touched upon.  This puts a lot of burden on our third grade teachers.  Here's a little fraction foldable I created for a teacher friend.  She wanted her students to have a handy reference tool for fractions.  I thought I would share it here because you might be able to use it, too:

Click here to get the fraction foldable. 
Happy Teaching!

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Creative Ways to Say Thank You {Pinterest Style}

Not only is Teacher Appreciation Week quickly approaching, but so is the end of the school year.  That can mean only one thing.....time to thank those who have worked with your child all year long. This includes teachers, school staff, volunteers, and more!

  As a teacher, I have always appreciated a hand-written thank you note the most.  My daughter and I will both be writing notes to her teachers this year, but we also want to give a small gift of appreciation for all they have done this year.  I've been scouring Pinterest to find a creative way to say thank you and thought I would share some of my favorite ideas here.

 If you know the teacher's favorite color, why not brighten their day with a few fun surprises?  Just place all of the items in a matching basket or gift bag, and voila - colorful fun!

Here's what you can do with yellow:

Here's a way to incorporate teal:

I have seen these done with almost every color of the rainbow and most of these ideas come with printable tags to save you time!

We know that everyone has to eat and drink sometime, right?  Consider researching the teacher's favorite drink, sweet tooth indulgence, or food.  Just make sure you are aware of any pesky allergies!

Perhaps you aren't sure about food likes and dislikes.  Maybe you should consider a more useful and practical gift.  Anyone who works with kids is constantly washing their hands.  Here's a cute tag to attach to hand soap:
(source: Eighteen 25)

Teachers are spending oodles of money from their own pockets on school supplies.  You might consider providing some of those supplies as a gift:

If your teacher loves flowers and gardening, then a gift that grows is a great choice.  I love the personal touches on these two planters:
 (sources: Snippets of Creations and Real Housewives Clip Coupons)

Or you could give a gardening kit with some seeds to plant:
(sources: The Neighborhood Moms and Skip to My Lou/U-Create Crafts)

If you're feeling crafty, here's a handmade gift your child can help with:
(source: Caramel Potatoes)

Handmade gifts can also include a drawing or piece of artwork your child has made.  That might include a drawing, a painting, or a paper collage.  Just let your child be the guide!

Whole class gifts take more time and planning, but they are certainly worth it!  Photo gifts are definitely treasures that will be remembered long after the students have grown:
(sources: Tutus & Turtles and Angela Maiers)

Another way to capture the littles for years to come is with their tiny fingerprints:
(sources: Paging Fun Mums and Pink Please)

Another option that would be great is to combine thank you notes from all of the students to create one beautiful flower:

I hope one of these ideas will work for you.  Whatever you decide, remember this:

You can find these ideas and more on my Pinterest board:

What are some of your favorite ways to thank others?
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Sequence of Events Practice Using The Three Little Pigs

Once upon a time, there was a teacher who had a small group of students struggling with retelling a story with the events in sequential order.  After speaking with her fairy godmother (aka Literacy Coach), they worked on a plan to get these kids to the ball.

The teacher and her fairy godmother did their chores first.  They selected familiar texts (fairy tales) that were below level.  By doing this, they could completely focus on the task at hand: sequencing!  After days and days of endless chores (practice), the kids were ready for the ball (hands-on learning)!

The teacher took the role of the Big, Bad Wolf and blew on the story of The Three Little Pigs until all of the events of the story were out of order.  Each student received a copy of the mixed-up tale:
 Teacher Tip: I gave each student in my small group a copy on a different color of paper because I didn't want their paper strips to get mixed up and cause even more confusion!

Then each student cut apart the story events:

The students began to piece the story back together.  We looked for key words that told the sequence (first, second, etc.)  By having paper strips, the students could easily manipulate the story, read, and make changes, as needed until the story made sense.

Once the story made sense, the students began to glue the events in order on the recording sheet.

You can grab this sequencing practice here.

 In case you were wondering, the teacher lived happily ever after as she walked her students out to the buses for dismissal.
Happy Teaching!

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Snack Time {Pros and Cons}

In all my years of teaching, I don't think I have ever done things the same way twice.  This includes the decision about having a dedicated snack time or going without.  I can't speak for the masses, so today I'm here to share the pros and the cons of having snack time in my classroom.

Before you make your decision, there are a few things you need to check out:
What is your district or building policy about snacks or food in the classroom?
Do any of your students have allergies?

If you have researched these two things and still have the green light for snack time, here are some great reasons to include snack into your daily routine:

Snack time can be short and the kids need the quick break.

It's a great time to observe the social behaviors of your students.

Many students are rushed during lunch time and don't finish their meal.

Food can fuel the brain.

It's hard to learn when your tummy is grumbling and you know a handful of your students didn't eat breakfast!

On the flip side, here are some of the reasons I have skipped snack time in the past: 

Individual Snacks
Kids forget or their family cannot afford to send in snack!

Kids start eating their lunch early and then get hungry late in the school day.

Kids bring candy (and it's usually the kids who don't need the extra sugar).

Whole Class Snacks
Families don't send in snack once a month so the same 5 families end up sending in snack more frequently, which isn't fair.

Kids are picky eaters and some snack goes to waste.

No matter how many times you explain how to check the labels for safety, you end up with snacks you cannot serve because of allergies to peanuts or dairy.

Little Critters
Kids are messy and crumbs that aren't cleaned up properly can invite ants into the room.  There is nothing worse than being on the custodian's naughty list!

What are your thoughts on snack in the classroom?
Happy Teaching!

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Geometry Foldable Freebie

My friend asked me to help create a little Geometry foldable for her class.  I did and thought some of you might be able to use it, too.

Print the first two pages on colored cardstock paper, back-to-back.  Then print the third page on regular white paper.  Each shape has two examples: the basic shape and a real-world example.  Students will glue the examples under each flap.  Then students will fill in the blanks to identify the number of faces, edges, and vertices.

Click here to grab your own copy.  I hope you'll be able to use it!
Happy Teaching!

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