Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nacho Math and a 28% Sale on TPT!

I don't know what it is about getting a good deal, but IT IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS! I know I will be stocking up on some great resources for this busy holiday season! I have also linked up with my buddies over at Blog Hoppin' and the amazing 3 A.M. Teacher so that you can browse the best of the best at Teachers Pay Teachers!

If you are looking for a couple of fun new anchor activities for your classroom, you should check out my new Nacho Stand Math Activities! Who doesn't love nachos?! I can't wait to use these in my classroom.

Another one of my recent favorites is my Holiday Dinner Party Pack! I used some of these challenging and engaging activities before Thanksgiving, and am saving the recipe pages for challenge work before Winter Break begins! I hope your students love them as much as mine did!

My store will be 20% for Cyber Monday and Tuesday!! Enjoy!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday and a Nomination...

It's BLACK FRIDAY, PEOPLE! AHHHH!!!!! I have to say, I have been perfectly content sitting in my jammies on my comfy couch with my warm coffee this morning...
Last year, I had the oh-so-intelligent idea of going to Kohls for their Black Friday deals at midnight. For the first time. By myself. Without a snack. I am sure you can see where this story is heading. Our Kohls is part of a shopping mall, and the line to get in stretched the full length of the mall. There were three cop cars poised to handle crazed shoppers. SERIOUSLY?! For some reason, I stayed. I ended up getting my deals, but I will never go again without a buddy and my own shopping bag! I fancy online shopping these days during the more insane times of year. There is no use getting into a fist fight over the last princess castle for my cousin. I'll let daytime television be in charge of that stuff! I have enough drama going in the hallways of my 5th grade building. :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for all that has been given to  me and the wonderful resources that I find on such fabulous teaching blogs! Sometimes, though, it is hard to get started with a post. It seems like I am writing to no one- empty cyberspace! I always become little girl-excited when I see a comment on my posts. :) I was so pleased when Heather stopped by from The Wild Rumpus to nominate me for a new blogger award! Thanks, Heather!!

According to Heather, the Liebster Blog Award is given to up-and-coming bloggers (less than 200 followers), by established bloggers, in order to recognize them, let them know they are appreciated, and to spread the word about new blogs. How nice!

The rules of the nomination are:

-You must post 11 random things about yourself.
-Answer the questions that the nominators set for you.
-Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
-Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
-No tag back, (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster Post so that I can learn more about you!)


11 Random Facts About Lauren:

1. I did NOT eat paste as a child, and do not plan to do so in the future.
2. I watch FRIENDS episodes while I grade. It is the only show I know so well that I can actually get work accomplished while I watch. And yes, I still laugh out loud sometimes.
3. I am a homebody, and love having people to my house. :)
4. Movies for kids are so much better than movies for adults.
5. I am the eldest child in my family.
6. I consider banana bread a fruit and carrot cake a veggie. (I DO love the real stuff, too!)
7. I like to cook on the weekends.
8. I have a Cat named Caroline Catfish, after one of my favorite children's books. She is queen and rules the house.
9. I try very hard not to be, but I am messy. Very messy.
10. I am not afraid to act silly to make a lesson great!
11. I have taught third, fourth and fifth grade. I loved all of them!

Questions From Heather At The Wild Rumpus:

What is your best teaching memory? I love feeling successful as a teacher, and that comes by seeing my students succeed. I think my favorite was the first time I hosted an "Author's Tea." This was my very first year of teaching, and my students were so excited to show their families and reading buddies their 'published' work. I was so proud of them.

What is your worst teaching memory? I have dealt with some very difficult behavior from students very early in my career. These are tough for me to remember because, although I worked with these students in the best way I knew how, I felt very inexperienced. These situations sparked my curiosity for a variety of behavior management techniques in my classroom.

What made you decide to start a blog? After joining Teacher Pay Teachers and seeing the amazing blogs of my colleagues, I wanted to get in on the action! I love seeing and reading about all of the wonderful ideas and resources, as well as sharing mine!

What's your favorite season and why? I love fall. I love the way the air smells and the temperature is perfect. If it weren't for allergies, I would take it all year 'round!!

Do you have a teaching idol? Who and why? I'm not sure I could pick just one. I have been in so many different teaching situations that have exposed me to examples of fantastic teaching. I learn something new every day! I love learning from veteran teachers, and pull energy from the newbies!

Do you have any hobbies, and, if so, what's your favorite? When I have time, I like to do crafty things like scrapbook and make jewelry. Lately, my creative outlet has been my teaching resources for TPT!

Coffee or Tea? BOTH!!!
Dessert: chocolate or other? I like fruity dessert! Cobbler is yummy!

Snack: sweet or salty (Can you tell I haven't eaten yet this morning?!) Salty!

What were you prior to becoming a teacher? I was a college student and waitress/babysitter/office assistant! A part-time princess!

If you hadn't become a teacher, what would you have been? I could see myself being a sign-language interpreter (my minor) or another creative outlet.

11 Questions For My Nominees:
1.  You have a PLAN-FREE Saturday. What will you do?
2.  If you could only shop at ONE store for the next ten years, what would it be?
3.  Favorite school supply in/on your teacher desk?
4.  3 p.m. slump! What do you reach for?
5.  What is your favorite holiday?
6.  What is your favorite subject to teach, and why?
7.  What helped you most when you were a new teacher?
8.  What is one favorite classroom management tool that you use?
9.  Where is your favorite place to vacation?
10. Favorite kid quote?
11. What is the number one thing about teaching that they should have taught us in college?

AND THE NOMINEES ARE....(Drum roll, please.)
1.  Fumbling Through Fifth
2. Teaching in an Organized Mess
3. Tales from a 4th (and 5th) Grade Teacher
4. Miss A's Class Ideas
5. The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher
6. Tales of This Fourth Grade Teacher
7. Math-n-spire
8. Mrs. McDonald's 4th Grade
9. From Behind the Lavender Door
10. Fabulously Fifth
11. Keepin' Afloat in 5th Grade

I am looking forward to your links and comments!
Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My class has been reviewing place value and rounding this week, in preparation for learning about decimals! We DEFINITELY needed some practice! This FREEBIE is a practice sheet that my students completed while rounding large numbers. The place value chart was so helpful! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Turkey Trot: Multi-Digit Subtraction

It's that time of year...our students need some SERIOUS movement activities! With the holiday break itch creeping up, I love any activity that offers a kinesthetic approach! This is tough when we are currently working on multi-digit subtraction and number sense...

I created this scoot-style activity called Turkey Trot Subtraction to offer my students a chance to practice their subtraction skills while getting to move around the classroom! During the activity, student use the included recording sheet to answer twelve multi-digit subtraction problems off of task cards hung around the room. I love finding random places in the room to put these- I even had one on the ceiling for them to find!
I have included the task cards in two sizes. The larger size is great for hanging around the room as the "scoot" activity, and the smaller size changes the activity to a great task card or center activity! My fifth graders worked really well with this activity- and was great to leave for my substitute plans during a BORING day of data professional development! I hope you find this to be a fun and useful activity in your classroom!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Last-Minute Halloween Fun FREEBIE and Candy Hangover Activities!

Looking for a cute last-minute treat for your kiddos tomorrow?I am giving my ghouls and boys a night off from homework! :)
I don't normally give my students a heavy amount of homework, but I am consistent with it. I think continual practice is key. They deserve a break!
Check out my Homework Pass FREEBIE on TeachersPayTeachers!
While you are there, check out my other Halloween activities! I will be using a few of these to keep my students engaged during their "Candy Hangover" that they will surely be suffering from on Thursday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dealing with the Paper Flow

Hello Blogging World!
What a busy start to the school year it has been! The month of September has flown by- in a whirl of paperwork and meetings! Sometimes, I even get to teach! :) As things settle into a routine, I wanted to share a few of my favorite additions to my classroom this year.
I am always looking for great new organizational ideas and classroom management procedures. In mid-August, I featured some of my new organizational buys from IKEA on my amazing friend Lisa's blog: Check out my post HERE.
One of my biggest struggles, as it is for many teachers, is dealing with "Paper Flow." We are currently working on piloting a new version of our math series, and so I now have even more resources to store. Our student workbooks are important to have each day, and so I have my  students store them in the classroom. This summer, I scored two amazing rotating literature stands from a second-hand office sale. My crazy teacher self drove to Northern Kentucky, strapped them into my car, and bumbled back to Cincy like a member of the Clampett Family.

This picture is very similar to my drive, minus three people...and the gun.

After a bit of a face lift and paint, these were a heavy mess to get into the classroom. TOTALLY WORTH IT! I am using one of these rotating beauties for our workbooks, and the other for our extension and anchor activities.
Each of my students are numbered, and each of my three blocks are color-coded (yellow, green, and blue). These have been a wonderful resource.
To keep MY paper flow under control, I pulled some Pinterest magic...
I  bought the larger 12x12 scrapbooking drawers from Target, which is great for holding my larger groups of student papers. For the labels, I simply used cut scrapbook paper and my trusty glue gun! Simple and cute!
(I'm not going to lie- I was pretty proud of myself.)
 If you are looking for some GREAT tips for paperwork organization (whether you actually follow them, or not...) check out one of my favorite websites: Simple Organized Living.
Have you had any crafty classroom fun, lately?
Please share! :)
Have a great week!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back-to-School Sale!!!

If you know me, you know I LOVE a good deal. In fact, I LIVE FOR THEM.

I have linked up with a wonderful group of teacher-authors to advertise a great back-to-school sale on Teachers Pay If you haven't been on this amazing website, GO. GO NOW. Do NOT pass go, do NOT collect $200...TPT is resource HEAVEN.

Don't forget to check out my own store, TastesLikePaste. I have added some new resources, and my ENTIRE store will be 20% off for the next two days! With the TPT sale discount, that will be up to 28% off! Happy Shopping! :)

Back To School "Nesting"...

Does this situation look familiar??

What is it about the beginning of the school that puts teachers in the same “nesting” frenzy that is brought on by the expected arrival of a new baby?

Now, don’t get me wrong…I don’t have any babies in my home. However, every August (and sometimes a bit before), I find myself attracted to every cute classroom decoration idea, organizational technique, and behavior plan under the sun. At the end of each summer, I make a list of dozens of “TO TRY” ideas that I am somehow sure will all come to fruition within the first month of school.

What causes this magnetic craziness? Who knows. I will come to my senses sometime in the next couple of weeks, but for now...

I am deep in the thick of it this week, and Pinterest isn’t helping. So many cool ideas…a teacher could spend all of her time just looking through the examples and never even get into her classroom!

One of my favorite pieces of advice given to me by a trusted mentor, a veteran teacher, is to never attempt to incorporate more than three new "projects" (organizational systems, behavior plans, etc.) within the same school year. Of course this depends on the size of the project, but when you juggle too many new things, they become harder to manage. :) Besides, you tackle those new projects to make your life EASIER, correct?

Which of those PINTEREST ideas have you tackled for your upcoming school year??

Happy Pinning! :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Post!

Another one of my favorite projects is up and running on TPT!

I spent a great deal of time on this powerpoint project, and my kiddos loved it! It was a great way to use the classroom blog that I had set up on, especially since it is such an exciting tool!

This one includes a rubric, step-by-step instructions, and room for adaptation! Please know that this is a project for use with PowerPoint 2003, which is still in many schools. Please let me know if you would be interested in a 2010 version!

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My First Freebie!

Hey New Friends! Head on over to my store and check out my VERY FIRST Freebie Download! I have uploaded a great resource for assessing or practicing Factors, Multiples, and Perfect Squares. SO EXCITING! Enjoy!

Just the beginning...

Well, I'm finally going to do it. I've been wanting to set up this blog for five years now, and here it is! I have been teaching for five years, and have picked up some great resources along the way. (Not to mention some great stories.) I hope they provide you with some helpful ideas and comedy relief.
:) Enjoy!