Monday, February 13, 2017

February Favorites and Freebies #resourceswelove

I'm so glad it's February! Fall and the holidays proved to be difficult with family health issues but I'm finally back to share some great free resources with you and an awesome sale! #resourceswelove  


I have shared three favorite items that I love using with my class in February and I've teamed up with ten other teacher-authors who are also sharing their resources. The first two are 50% off thru Valentine's day and the third item is free!  Head over to TpT to check them out using hashtag #resourceswelove or just click the pic. 

I'm passionate about character education and with Kindess week and Random Acts of Kindness also celebrated in Feburary I wanted to have a nice display for my classroom where students could share ways to be kind. This Kindness Counts resource is simple but it also includes a link to great videos and read alouds I've curated on YouTube. 

 my resources

The second resource is a fave of mine because I was able to come up with clever puns or plays on words for these adorable Animal Valentine's Day Cards! Adding the scratch-off part is optional but fun if you want students to have a hand in making these to give as gifts. You can also try the free sampler that features just the cat, before you buy.

Animal Valentine's Day Cards

Finally, my last resource I'm sharing is a freebie that teachers love everywhere. My Candy Hearts Graphing Freebie  has recently been updated and it now includes a sorting mat, tally mark collection pages, and math word problems using addition and subtraction. Please leave feedback if you enjoy this FREEBIE!

 Candy Hearts Graphing Freebie

I hope these resources help you out in the classroom and that you have a happy Valentine's Day!

P.S. Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to access even more exclusive freebies.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

6 Steps to Building Math Fact Fluency

6 Steps to Building Math Fact Fluency

Why is basic fact mastery and memorization so essential for students in younger grades? If you have taught upper elementary or beyond you are probably familiar with a few students who's lack of basic fact mastery slows them down when they are working with bigger numbers or with more difficult concepts like algebra. Often these students make so many simple errors they rarely arrive at a correct answer. The issue is that without automaticity or fact fluency, they fall further behind as it takes them longer to get to their answers. You might see students still using tally marks or drawing out arrays to get their answers when there simply isn't time. After teaching elementary students for over 15 years, with the majority of my time spent in third grade,  I have figured out a couple of tried and true ways to help my students master their facts.

1) Use fact families to build number relationships.

After you have made sure that your students have foundational skills such as understanding visual representations of number sentences through drawings, arrays, part/part whole and the use of hands-on manipulatives it's time to teach number relationships. Use an anchor chart displaying how fact families work. Students can also draw a fact family house. Here is a link to a free fact family resource and you can find more via a simple Google search. When students learn a fact family, they also learn the inverse operation at the same time. Suddenly, learning subtraction after addition or division after multiplication doesn't seem so bad.

2) Have students practice their facts daily by using flash cards in the classroom and sending a set home for homework.

I use these triangle fact family flashcards in my classroom, and my students love them because they are holiday themed! Once printed on cardstock and laminated students get to use them in our math center or if they finish classwork early. Click the pics if you want to get these holiday themed fact family flash cards in multiplication and division. Since my kiddos need to learn their multiplication facts by the end of October and their division facts by the end of December, these work out great!!! I also send home plain, ink-friendly flashcards for use at home like these free ones I made long ago.

 Candy Corn Flash Cards        Christmas Tree Multiplication and DivisionFact Family Flashcards

3) Practice makes perfect goes a long way. Give students practice sheets in class and for homework. 

I use these practice sheets for multiplication and division in my classroom, but I also want to share with you an awesome, free facts practice resource from one of my favorite educators/presenters, Rick Morris.  These can also be used as quizzes if you choose.

4) Quiz students weekly on their facts.

Using the same resource pictured above, I give my students weekly quizzes, usually on Fridays once they have had the whole week to practice and study assigned facts. Students are welcome to take the quizzes over and over again until they pass them. The only thing I require is that they show they have done extra studying before they request to take a quiz again. See the next step below for how I track this.

5) Send home results of quizzes so parents know what facts their student needs to study more.
These are multiplication notes and division notes that I send home so that parents know which facts they didn't pass. Included with the note is another opportunity for students to practice their missed facts using See it, Say it, Write it. Yes, it's rote memorization or drill and kill, but recent research has shown that this old fashioned method is actually more effective than other tricks or memorization strategies taught. I know this technique definitely helped me in school.

6) Use games and rewards to motivate students to learn their facts.

In my class, I use as many different learning games as possible to reinforce skills taught. Not only that students love racing to name answers or missing numbers quickly. Besides playing bingo or using flashcards to do Math Around the World, I have found these games engage more students and keep them accountable for learning.You can check out my newly published Subtraction and Addition Fact Family Mastery Racing Game here or click the pic. You can play this game, as a whole class, or students can work alone or with partners to see how many facts they can name in one minute! A tracking sheet is included, and students are shown how to track their own progress after the game ends. The best part is that it only takes 5 minutes a day to play!

 Addition and Subtraction Fact Family Mastery Racing

I also have students earn an ice-cream sundae and a pizza party for each fact they learn. See this awesome product here or just click the pic. Each time a student passes a fact they get to color in part of their ice-cream sundae ticket!

 Ice Cream Multiplication Incentive

If you are interested in even more resources (free and paid) to help you teach math in your classroom check out my math resources category on TpT.

Now for the awesome TpT gift card giveaway with 12 winners chosen! (Sorry this giveaway has already ended)

Each blog in the hop will be choosing one winner for a $10 gift card with a total of $120 in prizes possible if you chose to enter every raffle. Also so don't forget to fill up your cart in advance of TpTs site-wide Cyber Sale at 28% off that will be this Monday and Tuesday from Nov. 28 thru 29th using code: CYBER2016 Don't forget that many sellers, myself included, will mark down any new products for an additional 50% off for the first 48 hours after publishing. Be sure to follow stores to be notified of these amazing deals.

Finally, please note that when you enter my Rafflecopter your email will automatically be added to my mailing list. I promise to keep your email private and will only use it to send out subscriber exclusive freebies, announce new resources, and future giveaways. I only send out about 6 newsletters a year as I'm just as busy as you are in the classroom. Thank you for participating! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please hop on over to Surfing to Success to view the next blog and for another chance at winning a $10 gift card!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back to School Resources, Sale, and Giveaway!

I am so excited to share a few of my favorite resources that I am using to get my new school year under way, and they are on sale for one day only, on this coming Monday, August 22, 2016 with code: OneDay This sale is all about sharing our #bestresourcever so we help everyone have their #bestyearever this #bts2016 season! My entire store will be on sale tomorrow at 28% off with the code OneDay. In addition to this awesome bonus sale I've partnered with over 30 other awesome teacher-authors for a MEGA HUGE giveaway! Please enter the rafflecopter at the end of this post to have a chance at winning over $300 in prizes.

Last year I set out to revise some of my classroom resources, anchor charts, and posters. After teaching for 15 years I knew it was time for a small makeover. Some of my posters and charts looked dusty, tattered, and plain worn out, not mention some were created with just a couple of markers, and cut out stars. I was also tired of looking at the same old activities and resources I was using, with some even illustrated by hand. I also found beautiful graphics and fonts to update my job chart, parent survey, first day of school survey, welcome banner, birthday chart, 5 star line poster, and other activities.  I hope these resources help you have the #bestfirstweekever like I did! Last week I got to meet my new third graders, and I'm feeling very lucky and blessed to get a break from extreme behaviors after experiencing an exhausting last year.

Welcome poster copyright (c) 2016 by Teacher Ms H Back to School Classroom Resource

Check out this before and after:

 5 star line

Easy Job Chart  by Teacher Ms H Personal Crest 

Here's a look at the whole bundle, sans two direction pages explaining how to glue sheets together to make a larger poster as there are actually 3 different sized posters for the Happy Birthday one and two different sizes for the 5 Star Line poster.

 Back to School Activity Pack

I have a new favorite resource to share with you, but first books. When I taught fourth grade a long time ago, my students had to respond to the quote of the day I wrote on the board, each morning when they came in. I think that inspiring quotes are really valuable for our older grade students as a source of motivation and character development. Not only did my students get writing practice we had awesome discussions centered around each quote's meaning. These are some great books I have used in my own classroom to share quotes.  I really like the first book because it is ordered by positive character traits while the second affiliate link is a great quote book for the classroom as it offers writing prompts and discussion ideas for quotes. Click on the pictures of these books to be taken to my Amazon affiliate links if you are interested in learning more about these books.

I am just in love with all things chalkboard and I now finally have all my favorite quotes in one place with a design I got to choose.  This year I used Scotch Sticky squares to affix my laminated posters to my classroom windows, as the tape I had used before for other posters and mini-anchor charts been near impossible to get off. What I like about these squares is that they make it easy to reposition the posters so that they are straight. There is nothing more annoying to me then something looking topsy-turvy in my classroom when it comes to decor and displays. If you are interested in trying these squares, Amazon has them via my affiliate link. However I can't vouch for their use on other surfaces or how long they will last,  but for now they are doing the job, and they were way easier to use then rolling up tape.  Since my classroom is on the second floor of our building and I have tons more wall space, I only use these windows to display posters and mini-anchor charts for my students to see. 

 Classroom Quotes Chalkboard Themed   Inspirational Classroom Quotes

Classroom Quote Posters

Inspirational Classroom Quotes

Finally for more back to school tips, check out 8 Back to School tips a post I wrote last season. You''ll also want make sure that you are follwing me on Instagram @teachermsh where I host monthly giveaways and by subscribing to my monthly newsletter for even more exclusive freebies and giveaway announcements. This month I'm sending out editable name plates and goodbye cards.

Many thanks to the Whimsical Teacher for helping to organize this great giveaway! 

To enter the MEGA Giveaway use the Rafflecopter below.  For an additional prize please subscribe to my email list and leave a blog comment with an item you would most like to win from my store! Don't forget to include your username before the @ (not the last website part) as it isn't a good idea to post your whole email publicly on the Internet due to spammer software. Using I will select a winner from the comments and will contact the winner via the email they submitted to my list. Thank you for participating!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post contains affiliate links which enable me to maintain this website. Thank you!