I am linking up with the fabulous The Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop!

Ok so I have a super busy week ahead of me!!
Ok so the haves. The 3 things I have to do. Our fridge is empty. I mean yes, there is the half jar of strawberry jelly from God knows when, and a jar of sweet pickles, but besides that--BARE!! So, in my defense, 3 out of 4 of my children are playing baseball. Practice for them started about 2 weeks ago. We have eaten out (like fast food or subs or pizza) for the past probably 10 out of 12 nights! Terrible I know!! But when you work full-time and don't get home until 30 mins before you have to leave again to head to practice 5 out of 7 nights a week, well you do what you gotta do!! So I gotta get to the grocery store!
Second of all, I have to put away laundry. It's done, and mostly folded, but I have to put it away. As I sit here typing, the two buckets of endless clean laundry sit here staring at me!! UGH I just can't bring myself to do it, not today anyway! LOL :)
Third on my have to do list, pay bills! I swear, I'm sure you all feel my pain, but it feels like as soon as I get paid, they money is gone to bills (student loans, mortgage, insurance, electricity, internet/phone, trash, dish network)!!

So now for hopes :) The two things I hope to do.

Well roll your eyes if you want, but I'm a Walking Dead fan! I know it's completely ridiculous, but I can't help it, seriously!!! So hopefully I get to watch it tonight, and if not, it'll be DVRed so I can watch it whenever :)
After my kiddos go to bed tonight, I have a couple TpT products that I have ideas for, but have yet to work on them. So I would love a swift kick in the rear, to give me the motivation to get started. Believe me, I have no trouble completing a quick project, but the TpT products that are larger, that take me a while to complete, it just takes me some motivation to want to work on it!

So the 1 thing I am happy to do is to RELAX!! I am on SPRING BREAK through April 6th!! :) I am loving this mini vacation from school! Now, my own children have school, but Christopher and Alexa are not in school yet, so I will get to hang out with them all day long!

I will ask that you say a little prayer for my baby girl Alexa, she is having surgery (adenoids and tubes in ears) on Monday morning. So of course, I will be worrying like crazy!!

Happy Week to all! :)

So for those of you who are required to teach common core, or a curriculum that is somewhat similar, how do you reach those standards that are not considered 'major' standards, but more of a minor.

Such is the case with 1.MD.4 which is the graphing standard. Unfortunately I did not get to take a full week to teach it. Instead I got about 1 1/2 days!!

With having the students at the carpet, I got them interested or engaged, with posing the question--what kind of ice cream do you like?

They got super excited, they were telling each other, "Ohhh, I like chocolate chip cookie dough" and "I LOVE cherry vanilla" They were already excited! So after having a few of them share out, I told them that today we would be talking about which flavor we would choose, if we have 4 options.

The four options I gave the kiddos were green mint chip, vanilla, chocolate, and cotton candy. I then, row-by-row, gave them a half a post-it note to place in the row of the kind of ice cream they would choose. After everyone had voted their decision and posted their post-its, I asked them, what do you notice about our data? How many people like chocolate? How many like cotton candy? I then asked some comparing questions (which they have been exposed to as warm-up word problems we do daily)-- How many more people like green mint chip than vanilla? The visual of the graph helped them to see the 'extras' and that's how they figured out how many more!

I then sent them back to their seats to complete the activity sheet--which was basically everything we already talked about, but I think it's important for them to write it out as well.

I also have this pack, which is also bundled with some graphing task cards for sale in my store, you can find it here: Graph All About it Lessons, Task Cards, and printables on TpT

Take care!!

Hello! Happy Wednesday, today I am linking up with Adventures of a Schoolmarm for Worship Wednesday!
Ok, so don't get me wrong, I love spring. I love the warmth the sun gives off! I love the fact that my kids and I can go outside and play. I love the birds chirping and bees buzzing (well not so much the bees), but you get the idea. However, with spring comes baseball season...

In case you weren't aware, I have 4 small people that call me Mom :) I have been abundantly blessed by our Gracious Lord. But when spring starts, so does their baseball season. Oh yeah, I love going and watching my babes play. It makes my heart proud to see them take part in team activities and grow. But....with all that comes practice. Practice 5 nights a week. 3 of them on 2 different teams. Last week, we had practice every.single.night. So do you feel my pain?!? I feel guilty that I am not enjoying every moment with my babies, but sometimes, I just want me time---whether that's doing laundry, veggie out in front of the tv, surfing the net, creating a product for TpT, or just enjoying a cup of coffee. But all that makes me feel so guilty!

Anyway, last Saturday after Karter's practice, I was stressing. The joy of winter to me, is that I get to sit in the warmth of my house and cook or bake or clean, or do whatever, and stay warm! The craziness of running around 7 days a week, when I work full time, just stresses me out. The laundry is piled high to begin with, but when I have to run to practices at night, it gets pushed even further to the back burner. And sometimes, I hate to admit it, I take my frustrations out on my kiddos. When I sit and reflect on my day, I think, 'Man, I should not have snapped at him/her, they were just trying to tell me something'. Again, feeling guilty!

ANYWHO....so on our way home, I stop at Redbox, and get my kiddos a movie--Annie. Now call me crazy, but I had never seen the original. I thought this new Annie was very cute!

There was a song on Annie that really struck a nerve with me, "Who am I"

(Cameron Diaz)
Who am I, what have I become?
Do I stand for something, or for money?
Who am I, where's my good girl gone?
You know I had a good heart once, you see.
(Jamie Foxx)
Who am I, now that my armor's gone
You gave me what I didn't know I needed.
Who am I, now that my heart is won?
I didn't know I need....anyone.
(Chorus Both)
But I've got today, I've got to make,
The best I can of it.
'Cause yesterday is dead and gone,
And me along with it.
I want to start again, so I'll look within
Remember what I wanted.
'Cause I don't know who I've become
But I will trust in it. (2x)
Who am I to spend my life alone?
Forever looking for some place to call home.
Who am I, about to meet myself?
This should feel right but something don't.
(Chorus 2nd Half Repeat (Everyone) (Bridge/Chorus)
I want to start again, so I'll look within
Remember what I wanted.
'Cause I don't know who I've become
I will trust in it (10x)
But today, I've got to make,
The best I can of it.
'Cause yesterday is dead and gone
And me along with it
I want to start again (spoken and sung)

The whole idea that tomorrow is finished and today is a new day, it just spoke volumes to me. Even though we have made mistakes and no one is perfect, we all are sinners, Jesus Christ died for us. At any moment, you, YES YOU, can call upon him and take him into your heart. He loves you that much!  
Believe me, I am far from perfect. At times, I feel so guilty that I could be a better mother, wife, daughter, teacher, friend, granddaughter, Christian!! I mean fill in the blank, and I could be better at it! But that is the amazing thing about our Lord, we can call upon him, pray about, have faith, and he will make amazing things happen! 
We can start today :)

God Bless!!

So third marking period is winding down. It's kind of crazy to think we are 75% through this school year! I teach in a departmentalized classroom, and each marking period I teach a different subject to our 1st grade lovelies!

This marking period was my favorite subject to teach, Math!! For me, math is super fun to teach. I love seeing the kids make those connections, and seeing them get excited about applying what they've learned to new situations. I am a 'math mind' and I think that's why I love to teach it.

I thought I'd take the time today to show you how I teach math.

This is what my lesson plan looks like when I introduce a new topic or standard:

When introducing a new topic, I make some sort of anchor chart. With the standard I was teaching in this lesson, 1.NBT.6, kiddos have to subtract multiples of 10s from multiples of 10s (60-40 or 80-30).

So I started out by showing them this on my anchor chart:
They immediately tell me, "4!", and I will say, "well how do you know it's four?" then one of them says, "well I know my math facts, and 4+5=9, so 9-5=4"

So then I will ask, "ok, so what's 90-50?" and it's like a light bulb went off! Hands shot up---"Ohhhh, ohhhh, 40!!!"

I then showed them a practice sheet, and explained them what to do. I gave them tens rods to use to help them solve. I also modeled drawing 10s and crossing out the tens we were subtracting.

I spend about 2 weeks or 10 days on a standard. The first day I introduce it, like the lesson outlined above. The rest of the days, I will introduce and play games that reinforce that skill or concept. I will do little check-ins or exit or entrance tickets---then I will pull small groups based off how they do on those assessments, while the others are playing those games, either with a partner or by themselves. The lesson plans for those days are differentiated by group. Our top performing student group, normally will all get the standard within 5 to 6 days, so the other days I will push them to a 2nd grade skill.

Next marking period I will be teaching FUNdations, our phonics program, along with pulling small groups for reading. I will be posting those lesson plans when I start teaching that :)

Take care!!
 I know that no matter where you teach, you probably have the same problem as me---dry erase markers!?! Do they make you crazy?! Do your kiddos forget to put the caps on? Are they constantly pushing the points in?!? Do they go through them faster than pencils?!? MINE DO!!! I should buy stock in EXPO because of all the dry erase markers I buy.

 Now, I know it's not like they are just purposefully taking the caps off. I know they are using them to play games and it makes their learning engaging.
 And they love the colored markers! Especially the smelly ones that smell like apple or blueberry!
 They love drawing a picture to show their math thinking on their whiteboards. It keeps them engaged!
 They feel confident writing with them, because they can easily wipe off any mistakes and quickly correct.
So how do we solve this marker issue without spending a fortune? I asked this question on my instagram account @ebersmel. Some said to give each student two and keep it along with an eraser in their desk. That way they will take care of 'their own' stuff better than community supplies. Another person said she will loan students dry erase markers in exchange for something else--until they bring in new dry erase markers.  Another person said she only uses dry erase in small group instruction. All these are great tips!! Feel free to comment with any suggestions on how to cut down on the dry erase marker issue!!

Thank you!
Do your kiddos get tired of the same old sight word practice? I have a new idea that your kiddos will love!!

Domino sight words! My kiddos love it, they even ask to play it at indoor recess!! Played just like regular dominoes that kids match the sight words, and while doing this, it helps them build that word recognition required with sight words. You can add it to your word work. I would recommend printing it on card stock and laminating for longer durability. You can check it out here: Domino Dolch Sight Words

Take care!
Mental Math. WE all know what it is. To do math in your mind, without the use of any tools. But how do you get 6 or 7 year old to understand and use it? How can you help them become successful to build those foundational skill? I have a couple suggestions that may help you! Feel free to comment below, any helpful hints you have found as well!

I teach in a school with common core. The past 1 or so we have been working on standard 1.NBT.5 which states "Mentally add or subtract 10 from any 2 digit number and explain reasoning why."

So to start this off we worked with the hundreds chart. They made the connection that +10 was just the number directly below and -10 was the number directly above. We did a lot of work and practice with this.

I had the students do some mental math with +1. I posed different questions, "what's 3+1" they excitedly wanted to be the one to answer. So we went through all the +1 facts up to 10. Then I asked them, "Why was that so easy for us." They all respond, well +1 is just the next number.
I then used this chart and colors for tens and ones to help them make connections. I said a ten is just like 1 ten. Then I asked what is 3 tens plus 1 more ten. They said "oh 4 tens". I saw that magical light bulb go on for some of them!

I gave them many different opportunities to work with +10/-10 from a two digit number. We used dice, spinners, game boards, partner and individual games. I gave them entry tickets some days and exit tickets other days. I immediately used that data to see who need what! If one of them did not do well on the entry ticket, i pulled them that day for a small group to reinforce the skill. If it was an exit ticket they did not perform well on, I knew they would be the first one I would pull the next day.

This is a short video of one of my friends who struggled with making that connection. I had him building the numbers with tens frames. Then practicing taking a 10 away or adding a 10. He worked so hard and I was so proud of him!

I think it is super important to provide your students multiple opportunities to practice the skill. And even though the standard states to 'mentally' solve these problems, that will come in time. I think as first graders, it is important to build that fluency so they are able to make those connections to be able to solve it mentally. I also think it's important to revisit the skill many times throughout the course of the year, so they have that continued practice.

If you need some ideas or common core items, feel free to head over to my store, you may find something you like or would work in your classroom! Momma with a Teaching Mission on TpT
Happy Wednesday you all ! I look forward to Wednesdays for one simple reason---Worship Wednesday with my girl Beth over at Adventures of a Schoolmarm.

This week has been a crazy week. My youngest, Alexa, has been sick on and off with ear infections and runny noses since October. It's like she's always on antibiotics, so her pediatrician referred her to an ENT specialist. So we had that appointment Monday, and the doctor suggests that she gets tubes put in her ears and her adenoids taken out. Then for the adenoid part, they have to put a tube down her throat for anesthetics. Super scary!!

I've been super fortunate with the health of my children. None of them, except for Alexa, has had an ear infection or any kind of serious illnesses. So all evening Monday I worried and thought and worried. I goggled the procedure and read all about it. I know doctors everywhere perform the procedure daily, but it still freaks me out to have my child put under. Then I came across this...

Cast your cares onto the LORD and he will sustain you. Of course he will. I know this, but in the hard moments of life I think sometimes we forget to pray, to turn to him. So immediately I prayed about it. I gave GOD my worries, my cares. I woke up the next morning and felt better. I know this procedure is what's best for our little Lexaboo's health. So now I challenge you--what worries or cares are you caring around on your shoulders? Pray about it. Turn to our LORD. He loves you and cares about you. He wants you to turn to him. He will sustain you!

God Bless!!

Ok so there's no trick here. No magic spell :) But if you are wondering how to get your students to do exactly what you want. I have my experience to share with you.

You have probably heard it a hundred times over--MODEL, MODEL, MODEL. Those little babies are not going to know what to expect if you don't show them how to answer the question or solve the problem. It all starts with the modeling. When I introduce a new concept or standard, I will do it and model it for them, then we will do it together, then I will send them on their own to try their hand at tackling it on their own. This also gives me time to pull small groups for those students I see just aren't getting it when we are doing the 'we do' part.
 Here is a perfect example of my model. I call the tens units "tens rods" and the ones units "baby ones". I relate to this, and I feel like as 1st graders my students relate to this as well. When I modeled the writing part of this answer I didn't say "baby ones", I did however say everything else. My little student added the 'baby' to ones in her answer :)
 Here is another student, I modeled for his class how to answer, and he was able to take my model and us it in his own words on his answer.
Ok, so keep in mind, this answer is one of the top 1st graders in my school. As you can see the directions didn't say explain your thinking. He went above and beyond and made those connections and put it into words. I was so proud when I checked this!

If my students aren't successful at something, I reflect on my teaching--what didn't I do?! Could I have modeled the concept more efficiently. The answer more than likely is YES! Next time your students aren't getting it, whatever the concept may be, reflect on your teaching. Did you model it thoroughly enough for them? No one ever said you can't go back and do it again--SO DO IT!!
I'm going to leave you with that quote--The difference between try and triumph is a little umph. Seriously how perfect is that quote for you and I as teachers!? If we all put that little extra umph in our teaching, OH MY our students would triumph.

Happy Teaching!
I am linking up with my girl from Adventures of a Schoolmarm for another Worship Wednesday.

If you follow me on instagram (@ebersmel) you have seen this post. But it was just oo good of a verse NOT to post for Worship Wednesday!
So this verse comes from Philippians 4:4-7. I'm sure you have seen the post on facebook, "What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for yesterday."

Every night I pray with my kids. We do the same routine. Read a chapter of our book. I sing You are my sunshine. Then we pray. I normally start the prayer, then one of my babes will take over. It's so funny, because I guess I pray for the same things every night, that it is now to the point where Katie (age 7) and Christopher (age 5) will pray for those things they've heard me say over and over again.

It's so easy in the world that we live to worry. I worry every single second of every day. I worry about the strangest things. I worry about my children. I worry about my parents. I worry about my husband. I worry about my grandparents, my brother, and sister. I worry about my friends who I haven't seen in years. I worry about the children that I teach. I worry about my school. I worry about my country, and the president, and the soldiers that I don't even know who are risking their lives to protect our country.

None of these things are in my control. So I pray about it. We pray about it. I have taught my children to pray about it. I thank God for all the blessing he has given me.

I have always prayed for 4 children. After Christopher, when I decided to go back to school, I knew it would be a few years until I finished my degree, when we would be able to try for another child. During my student teaching I found out I was pregnant. I was so happy!! Only to find out I had miscarried 6 weeks into the pregnancy. I prayed, thanked God for the children I had, but didn't understand why I had lost my baby. Quickly, I got pregnant again, only to miscarriage for a 2nd time in 4 months. I was scared to try again. I continued to pray, yet confused as to why or what was wrong with me. In March of 2013 I found out I was pregnant again. I was scared to take a pregnancy test, or call the doctor to make my first appointment, in fear and superstitious that this would somehow cause me to miscarry. Ridiculous I know, but I couldn't explain why I had miscarried twice before. It wasn't until my college graduation at the end of May (when I was around 20 weeks) that my husband and I told family members. I did take a pregnancy test, and go to the doctor. I continued to faithfully pray that this pregnancy would deliver a healthy baby. To be honest, my entire pregnancy I really tried to brace myself for the worst. I worried. I should have put my faith in God. In November 2013, I delivered a perfect baby girl. Alexa Grace is now 15 months old. I know that God sent her to me. She is an angel. I also know that one day I will meet my other babies in heaven.

I pray everyday. I pray for the things God has blessed me with. I also ask God to bless my family. I pray for the things I worry about. I try to not worry about the things that are out of my control. I try to give them to God and let it be. God knows the purpose. God knows why you are going through what you are going through. I encourage you to have a conversation with God. Talk to him, he will listen.

God Bless YOU!

How do you assess your students? Do you give them formal tests or quizzes? Do you a form of a transfer task? Have you given your students choice?

Do I have a freebie for you!! I actually created this for a sub to use while I was out. I had the sub read the Math Start book The Penny Pot. She then spoke with the class about a budget. What is a budget? Why is it important? Then the students got the printable. They talked about what they noticed. That they had a specific amount to spend and that each item cost money. The students were told they couldn't go over the amounts they were given.

There are also differentiated amounts for students at different levels. Students have either $5, $10, $15, $20 to spend at the grocery store.

Come check it out!! Let's Go Grocery Shopping Freebie

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