Monday Made It!- Interactive Math Notebook

I'm back with another Monday Made it with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics!  

Last week I spent a lot of time working on math.  I teach 2 periods of ELA to my homeroom and then 3 sections of math everyday.  This year on top of adopting the Common Core we are going to be working on a new digital math program.  As I stated before, I'm still in a love/hate phase with it.  This week I focused on preparing my Interactive notebook for my kiddos.  I got a TON of ideas from Sarah at Everybody is a Genius.  I just found her blog and can I tell you how FABULOUS it is for middle and high school teachers!  Please check her out.
This week I made my interactive notebook cover.  
I am going to assign this to my students as a homework assignment on the first day I meet them.  I made the directions sheet to send home and I cut out all of the numbers that will go on the front.  I also made a rules sheet for the math notebook so my students know my expectations up front.

Thank you Ladybug's Teacher Files for the numbers!!
Please leave a comment if you use interactive notebooks!  I am just learning and I would love to hear what you do with this!!
Don't forget to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics and share what you made!



Lesson Planning and Procrastinating

So I have about 2 weeks before my sixth grade friends join me in Middle School Mayhem.  I am really looking forward to meeting my new friends, but it is going to be a challenging year.  We have finally adopted the Common Core Standards, which in itself if not a big to do, but we also adopted a new digital math program to teach it.  I am currently in a love-hate relationship with this program.  It is good-- it will be good-- no it will be AWESOME once I wrap my brain around how to use it!  It is all online. EVERYTHING!  Lesson planning, lessons, the whole shabang.-- Minus a workbook the kids will use in class. 
I'm in love with all of the things this program will do.  It gives more examples than I can come up with.  It provides data data data which being a math- geek- matician I LOVE.  But I am in the hate stage right now.  MUST FIND MY HAPPY PLACE! and Dunkin coffee.. Must find Dunkin coffee!
Happy Place

It's taking me FOREVER to learn how to go through one lesson.  3-- THREE hours today for just one lesson.  I am going to use an interactive math notebook as well.  So I am going through, learning the lesson and pace, finding all the vocab I will need and checking the foldables if any are needed.  MIND BENDING!-- {Boy I love CAPS today don't I. <hee hee>}
Anyway it feels like it is taking a long long long time and this is making me want to PROCRASTINATE because this is the learning part that is NOT fun.
Anyone have any advice to share about using digital math programs?  Any ins or outs that would make life easier for me?
How about advice about Interactive Notebooks-  what does yours have at the beginning besides the obvious Table of Contents?
Any and all comments appreciated!



Monday Made It: Back to School Math Activity


Another MONDAY MADE IT!! Woot woot!  I have been busy this week  making a Back to School Activity for my math kiddos. 

Made It #1:  Length of the School Year: Back to School Math Activity

 I got this idea from Runde's Rooms' The Length of the School Year activity set.  I bought it during the TpT sale a week or so ago.  She gives you a bunch of ideas for math questions you can have your students figure out about the length of their school year.  She also did one for summer.  This activity gave me just the push I needed for a Back to School activity.  I took Runde's questions, added a few of my own and printed them on labels I found at the thrift store for $1.00.  Don't you just LOVE a bargain.  They are diskette labels.. a whole pack... my daughter didn't even know what a diskette was.. HA.  ANYWHOO  I put the labels on cardstock and will laminate them when I get to school.  I'm going to give them to small groups to find the answers the first few days of school and then put their answers on a bulletin board for Open House... kinda of Phineas and Ferb like.. You know "76 Days of Summer Vacation and School Comes Along Just to End it".  I'll post a picture when I finally get it up and running.

Made it #2: Daily 5 Bookmarks

I posted more about these below-- yes I know mine are only 4-- at this point I can't quite figure out the listening one for sixth graders and 84 minutes of ELA.

Made it #3:  Wire basket labels

I'm going to attach these to the wire baskets I use in my classroom to collect papers.  I love the font and the flipped lettering.   They are editable basket labels from Ladybug's Teacher Files.

Don't forget to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics and share what you have made!



2.5 weeks and counting and Daily 5

I can't believe I have about 2.5 weeks to go before school begins! We don't start school until after Labor Day and I am not able to get into my classroom until the day the teacher's report!  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!  They have had to do a lot of rewiring in our building this year, remove asbestos and replace my carpet which I think has been on the floor since like 1975.  Needless to say I am super worried about being prepared for my sixth grade friends.  I am making a list of items I can complete before I get there, but the list is LONG.  Miles and miles LONG.  I haven't even started on my planbook, let alone worked on actual PLANning.  Pinterest has kept me plenty busy and starting this blog and reading others is giving me great ideas.. I just need to organize them and put them in motion!!  One thing I have been thinking about is the Daily 5.  I re-read this great book over the summer, and I think I am ready to head back into the trenches and work this program.  A bit modified, but the general concept will be there.  First off, I'm going to focus on 4 instead of 5.  I took out Listening at the moment.  I'm not equipped for the kids to do this, plus as sixth graders, it is difficult to work through.  I have a few ideas, but haven't thought through them enough to implement that part.

Over the last week or so I made these Daily 5 bookmarks.  I found the idea from Mrs. Randalls' Learning Library.  I used her printable and modified it to make my own bookmarks. 

 I'm going to also have a bucket to put them in and have the kids choose a bookmark to work through the Daily "4".  I'm still going to work each section individually the first few weeks to build stamina. But as I get going, I am hoping these bookmarks will give my class a little flexibility.

Will you comment and share with me?  How do you find Daily 5 to work in your classroom?  If you teach an upper grade level, how much time do you get per day for reading?  We only have 84 minutes, very little time for A LOT of information.
Thank you for sharing.



TpT Back to School Blog Hop!

It has been so exciting to recently learn about the Teachers Pay Teachers store online.  I came across it while reading some fabulous blogs that I have discovered.  Have you heard of Teachers Pay Teachers?  It's an online store FULL of stuff that teachers LOVE! Worksheets, clip art, lessons, Powerpoints.  You need it?  I bet you could find it there.
I'm not a seller yet, but I have done a ton of browsing and buying!
Take a look at a fabulous find I got over the weekend when TpT had their sale!  I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin to check out tons of goodies!


medium-290620-1.jpgI didn't have a TON of time over the weekend-- TpT would keep me on the computer for HOURS!  There are so many things.  But the one thing I COULD NOT pass up was Runde's Room:  The Length of the School Year Activity Set.   She had a ton of ideas to use in here which gave me just the start a needed to create something for my math classes during the first few days of school. I'll post that once it's finished in the next week or so.

What did you find at TpT that is worth sharing?

:)   Michele


Harry Potter

OK my teacher friends.. I know that many of you have started back to school or are getting ready to go back next week.  I am one of those lucky ones who doesn't go back until after Labor Day.  I am loving this time frame this year because I get a chance to see all of my favorite bloggers set up their classrooms and of course I can beg and borrow  steal their best ideas.  One thing I have been thinking a lot about this year is how to start my first set of ELA lessons.  I am going with a modified Daily 5 program this year.  Really doing what I call a Big 4~ Read to Self; Work on Writing; Word Work and Spelling.  But, I like to set routine with my sixth graders and use whole group reading the first week or so.  Usually, they are so overwhelmed with the whole locker, class movement and cafeteria, they don't remember much of anything else.
"24 and I Loved the Butter Beer Slushie in Hogsmeade"
To get to my POINT-- I visited Universal Studios earlier this summer with my fam, and we went to Harry Potter for the first time.  My daughter (I'll call her two-four- it's her sports thing) and I are HUGE Potter fans,

"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends."  ~ Albus Dumbledore-- FABULOUS MONTRA for Middle Schoolers!!

and ANYWAY I was thinking about a reading piece I used to do with my classes when I was the building reading teacher.  This was back when HP had just gotten big.  A chapter in the first book describes HP's first Hogwarts experience, how big the school is and how scared Harry was.  I used to read that with my students and then brainstorm how their first days were similar to Harry's.  They would do a poetry writing piece about this called Walking into Ray (which is the name of my school) where they would then describe how they felt about our school using their 5 senses.  

What I'm wondering is, how relevant would the Harry Potter reference still be?  It has been awhile since the books and movies have come out, and although it is still popular, I'm unsure if it would have the same affect.  Any thoughts on the topic?

My First Monday Made It! LOCKER SMARTIES!

Morning all!  I know, I know it is really Tuesday but I wanted to hook up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics and try out her Monday Made It Linky Party.   Bear with me, I'm new at this bloggy stuff, so anyone that is willing to offer some help, it would be greatly appreciated my Teacher Friends!  Like someone help me figure out how to get a blog button!!! 

Anyways~  A few weeks ago on Pinterest I saw that someone had pinned a SMARTIE pants award they had given students before taking end of the year assessments.  I put my own flair on them and created something to give to my sixth graders on the first day.  Sixth grade is a HUGE.. I MEAN HUGE transition for our students.  They have to learn how to follow a schedule, open a locker and find friends in the cafeteria, so they come in pretty nervous and excited.  I made these "Smarties" as cards to help them remember their locker numbers and combos.  When I get my HR list I'll fill in the students' name, locker number and combo and add the Smartie.  I don't go back to school until after Labor Day.  On the first day the kids can put them in the pocket in the back of their Agendas until they memorize the combo and then put them in a safe place at home to help their parent if they are sick from school.

Thanks to all for allowing me to share!!

Happy Teaching All


Hello-- How's it going?-- Nice to meet ya!

Morning all! Today is the day-I'm going to publish this, my very first blog post for Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans.  Shouldn't there be a drum roll? or birds singing?  Anyway,  I am hoping this journey will allow me to share a few of the ideas I have had in my 19 years of teaching in public school.  I am also hoping it will give me a chance to learn from the thousands of teachers out there who also have incredible ideas about their craft.  So grab your favorite 'cuppa and visit often.
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