Powered by Blogger.

Happy Holiday Close Reading Text

Happy Holiday Close Reading Text
One of my favorite things that I have created for my class is my close reading texts. I know that I've talked about them here are there, but here are the goals I had when I was creating these texts for my students.
Happy Holiday Close Reading Text
I wanted something short and high-interest. If I was going to ask my students to go back into the text multiple times, it had to be interesting! My students really enjoy these topics, and some of the discussions that we've had were pretty amazing!
Happy Holiday Close Reading Text
Related to that, I wanted purposeful follow-up activities that focused on specific skills. And any opportunity that I give my students to write on the text and use highlighters is well-received!
Differentiated levels of Happy Holiday Close Reading Text
I wanted all of my students to get the same information, and I didn't want it to be obvious that students were reading different levels. I discreetly marked the texts with different symbols that they didn't really notice. I also made the follow-up activities work with all of the levels.
As part of this collaboration, I'm giving you one topic from my December set of texts. {Click here} to sign up for my mailing list and gain access to the Happy Holidays text that discusses Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Before you leave, I'm also giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Happy Holiday Close Reading Text - free sample


FREE Multiples "Cheat Sheet" for Division

Free multiples cheat sheet to help with long division
Probably one of the hardest skills of the standard algorithm for long division is deciding which number to use for "how many times ____ goes into ____." One way to help students experience immediate success with long division is to help them come up with the multiples of the divisor.
  Free multiples cheat sheet to help with long division 
So in the example above (4297 ÷ 61), we start out by noticing that 61 won't divide 4 or 42 (when using whole numbers, obviously). We do know that it is enough to make groups of 61, but many of my students don't have a clue about what to do next. We talk about compatible numbers and estimating and all those strategies, but there are students who still don't quite understand how to come up with that number.

So another strategy that we use is to figure out multiples of 61 until we go over 429. They have these "cheat sheets" in page protectors so they can use them with dry erase markers. For students who really struggle, we write the multiples together so that we are all working with the same numbers and there are no addition mistakes.

You can download your copy for free by clicking the image above. If you would like access to my entire Google Drive of free resources, enter your information below!

Get easy access to all of my free resources and subscribe to my mailing list!

* indicates required



Free multiples cheat sheet to help with long division

FREE Order of Operations Resource

Free order of operations flapbook
This is just a quick flapbook to help students understand the order of operations. I made it for their binders, but you could easily just use the top two layers in your interactive notebooks.
Free order of operations flapbook
They color code the top flaps.
Free order of operations flapbook
Then they add the visual clues in the same colors they used on the top flaps.
Free order of operations flapbook
Finally, work through the problem by highlighting the operations in the order they are done.

You can download your copy for free by clicking the product images above. If you would like access to my entire Google Drive of free resources, enter your information below!
Get easy access to all of my free resources and subscribe to my mailing list!




FREE Math Resource Sheets

Free math resource sheets for multiplication chart, numbers as words, place value, number forms, and equivalent fractions.
I find that when my anxiety gets really bad while watching sports on TV (I'm looking at you, Chicago Cubs...), it's a good time to refocus my nervous energy into something more productive.

I decided to make the math resource sheet for my students' binders that I've been wanting to do for a while now. I needed a multiplication chart that went up to 12 since my handheld ones have been slowly disappearing. I normally write the spelling of numbers on the whiteboard for reference, so I went ahead and added those here, too.
Free math resource sheets for multiplication chart, numbers as words, place value, number forms, and equivalent fractions.
On the back, I did place value names and those pesky 10x/÷10 relationships. Number forms are something else that students never seem to keep straight. Finally, I included fraction bars to show equivalent fractions. (Note: This picture was taken before my students pointed out that the fractions near the bottom weren't equal-sized and I redid the whole chart LOL)
Free math resource sheets for multiplication chart, numbers as words, place value, number forms, and equivalent fractions.
You can download your copy for free by clicking the image above. A grayscale version is also included. If you would like access to my entire Google Drive of free resources, enter your information below!

Get easy access to all of my free resources and subscribe to my mailing list!



Free math resource sheets for multiplication chart, numbers as words, place value, number forms, and equivalent fractions.



Sensory/Calm Down Bottles

Rainbow water beads and blue, green, and purple glitter sensory bottles
As the summer is winding down, I'm finishing up a few easy projects. These sensory bottles were really fun to make (even though I detest glitter) and relaxing to watch. (Note: Affiliate links will be used in this post. Using my affiliate link will not cost you anything, but it will give me a few cents to use towards maintaining this website.)
Blue, green, and purple "mermaid tail" sensory bottle
For the mermaid tail bottle, I used the following:
- VOSS plastic water bottle (I used 330mL bottles because everyone in the free world, or at least the people who shop at my Target, uses the 850mL size. I actually like how the smaller size fits in my hand. Peel off the labels.)
- boiling water
- blue glitter glue
- various sizes of glitter in greens, blues, and purples (I bought this body glitter and it was the perfect size for one bottle. In retrospect, it made for a moderately expensive sensory bottle. Oops.)
- blue food coloring
- super glue

For the 330mL size, whisk together 3/4 cup boiling hot water with about an ounce of the blue glitter glue in a large measuring cup. Pour the mixture into the water bottle. Using a funnel, pour in the glitter into the bottle. Add 1-2 drops of blue food coloring. Add blue glitter glue, water, and more glitter until satisfied with the look and the bottle is full. More glue will make the glitter settle more slowly. Leave very little air. After testing it out with the lid on, use super glue on the threads of the lid to make it permanent.

This is how much glue was left in my new 6 oz. bottle.
Blue glitter glue

Water bottle containing rainbow colored water beads
For the rainbow bottle, I used the following:
VOSS plastic water bottle
- water beads in assorted colors

Soak the water beads according to the directions. Fill the bottle as desired. Add water. Easy peasy!
Water beads sorted by color
Note: I saw someone say that it was easier to sort the colors out of the package rather than after they were full-size. I tried both ways and I thought that it was easier after soaking. It was also easier to see the difference in color.
Rainbow water beads and blue, green, and purple glitter sensory bottles


Tic Tac Booyah

Tic Tac Booyah is a fun and engaging review game!
I will start off by saying that this was NOT my original idea. A member of one of the fifth grade/upper elementary Facebook groups I'm in shared it with us, and many in the group had success with it!

I'm sure that there are many variations of it, but here is how I adapted it for my class.

Object of the Game
Students compete as teams to answer questions. When they answer a question correctly, they claim a square. Teams try to get as many three-in-a-row groupings as possible.

Set Up
I decided to make teams of 3 students. I wanted to do this for math, so I printed off multiple sets of fraction word problems so that there was one set per team. Task cards were perfect for this because the groups answer one question at a time. I quickly color-coded each set so that I knew which group got which questions. (This will make more sense later.) Finally, I cut apart the problems.
Tic Tac Booyah is a fun and engaging review game!
Since this was something that I felt like I would probably do again, I created a game board to be projected on my white board. You can get a copy of the Google Slide by clicking the image below. (NOTE: It isn't editable because the text and grid are pictures. If you want to change things, you'll have to delete the picture and add your own text boxes. Or cover up rows and columns with white boxes.)
Tic Tac Booyah is a fun and engaging review game!
Each team will also need something to write their answers on to bring to you, like a whiteboard or scratch paper.

How to Play
After dividing students into their teams of 3, I gave each team a question face-down. I gave Team 1 a question from the red stack, Team 2 from the orange stack, and so on. When I give the signal, all teams flip over the problem and work on solving it.

When they have a solution, one team member brings their question slip and answer and stands in line for me to check it. If they get it right, they get to mark a square with their team number. I give them a new problem from their color stack to solve. If they don't get it right, I give them the option to either take it back to their team to revise or trade it in for a new problem.
Tic Tac Booyah is a fun and engaging review game!
When a team gets three in a row, they circle their tic-tac-toe. After a predetermined amount of time, whoever has the most tic-tac-toes wins!

Get easy access to all of my free resources and subscribe to my mailing list!

* indicates required


Tic Tac Booyah is a fun and engaging review game!

Recycled Chihuly-Inspired Wall Art

Recycled Chihuly-inspired art using water bottles and markers
I'm just fascinated by the work of Dale Chihuly. I think that the first piece of his that I saw was in the lobby of the Bellagio in Vegas.
When I was putzing around Pinterest, I saw some cool projects that others did with coloring plastics to get the Chihuly look. Since I'm also into recycling, I had to figure out how I could do something similar for my classroom.

During testing week, I gave my students single-use water bottles with this project in mind. Our art teacher is collecting caps for a school-wide mural, so we were able to use both parts of the bottle for art.

This is an interesting video that I showed my students prior to the project so that they would know the "look".
Then I divided my permanent markers into a warm color basket and a cool color basket. I told my students that they could do any pattern they chose but only use markers from one basket.

Then we took the bottles and cut off the bottoms along the seam. If you buy the water bottles with the really thin plastic, i.e. the store brand water, then the students should be able to cut the plastic okay. If the plastic is too thick, then you'll have to start it for them. You could reuse the bottoms to make into flowers. My {saved Insta stories} have some of the in-progress shots since I forgot to take actual pictures during that part.

Starting from the bottom, spiral cut the bottle. Thicker spirals create a more rigid shape, which I ended up preferring for a wall installation. If you want to do a chandelier or something hanging from above, you might want a thinner spiral so they're longer.

Next, I took a rectangle of chicken wire and started feeding the bottle openings through the holes. I used hot glue to keep them in place since the chicken wire holes were slightly larger that the bottle openings.
Recycled Chihuly-inspired art using water bottles and markers Recycled Chihuly-inspired art using water bottles and markers
Now this step is optional. Some of the spirals were kind of floppy, so I used a heat gun to make them melt and twist a bit to make them a little more rigid. This is the heat gun I used (affiliate link):
I ended up trimming some of the longer ones and hot-gluing the pieces to fill in holes to make it look more full. The final step was to trim off all of the extra chicken wire and hang it!
Recycled Chihuly-inspired art using water bottles and markers Recycled Chihuly-inspired art using water bottles and markersRecycled Chihuly-inspired art using water bottles and markers

Here's a peek at some suncatchers that we also made by coloring on clear Solo cups and putting them in a 350˚F oven for less than a minute until they just start to collapse. Then I quick pulled them out and used an oven mitt to crush them down the rest of the way. If you leave them in longer, then the clear plastic turns white. (Melting plastic probably isn't the most eco-friendly thing in the world, in retrospect.) Then I hot-glued them to a very thin fishing line to hang in the window.
Recycled Chihuly-inspired art using clear Solo cups and markers
Recycled Chihuly-inspired art using water bottles and markers

Back to Top