Teaching Addition and Subtraction with Regrouping

Hey, y'all! We are loving math stations around here. Research has shown over and over how worksheets don't grow dendrites, and how educational games produce better understandings of concepts than drill and kill activities. This is why our math stations are so successful in our classroom.

I had a student say that these are "way harder" than the district curriculum used last year in her first grade classroom, but she like them "way more." :) Could it be because they get to move around and don't have to listen to me drone on and on during math time, and that they get to construct knowledge about different concepts? I think so. :) To see the original post about how math stations are structured, click here.

This math unit is set up so that students get practice in addition and subtraction with regrouping for two whole weeks before moving on to subtraction. I've found when students master this task first, the subtraction part becomes much easier. And you can always lengthen or condense these units depending on your students' needs.

The 3rd and 4th weeks cover subtraction with regrouping at length. If you're finding your students need to practice longer than the time designed for it, you can always leave the games out for students to practice with when they complete their other work.

Weeks 5 and 6 cover mixed practice addition and subtraction. The first week just uses the numbers and the second week focuses on word problems.

Each week includes lesson plans, station activities, whole group lessons, games, interactive notebook pages, and student direction cards. No more, "What are we supposed to do?" because it's right there on the instruction cards! (Can we say, "problem solvers?!")

The beautiful color by number page below is included in this unit as well, along with two other similar pages. But you can get a copy of these pages for free by clicking here.  

The whole unit is designed to last 6 weeks, but can be adjusted as needed. It's over 150 pages of resources to help you grow strong, independent mathematicians. To check out the whole unit, click here, and for more units like this, click here. Your students are going to love them!

Stay tuned for more seriously awesome resources coming your way soon and have a wonderful week!

Stay sweet,

Hygge in the Classroom

Hey, y'all! Have you heard of hygge yet? In short, hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish word describing the feeling of coziness and togetherness. It's warm drinks, fuzzy socks, cozy blankets, a roaring fire, and great company. It's all the things that make a cold winters' day comfortable and warm.

So how do you get this feeling in the classroom? It's not like we can light up the fireplace in our classrooms, but there are a few ways we can make our rooms cozy and warm, and make it feel a little homier throughout the winter months.

1. Use cozy lighting.
This cold be lamps, string lights, fairy lights. opening the blinds on the windows, using LED candles, etc. Using soft yellow lights is much cozier than using the harsh white lights. Your students will be calmer, too. It's hard to be super hyper crazy when the lights are turned down low.

2. Youtube a crackling fireplace.
My students absolutely love when I "turn on the fireplace." Especially when it's rainy or snowy outside. Many of them even choose to work on the floor in front of it. And I LOVE the eye rolls I get when they come in from recess freezing and I tell them to warm up by the "fire."

3. Get comfortable. 
Hygge is all about coziness. Wear your favorite sweater. Have a "shoes off/fuzzy socks" day. Have a pajama day, or a "bring a blanket" day. Lay on the floor to read together. Add some comfy pillows to your library area. However you you choose to do it, make it a point to get comfy.

4. Enjoy the good times.
Read a book together, allowing students to lay down or get comfortable in their own way. Play games together. Laugh. Take time to enjoy your students and each of their quirky personalities.

This week, I startled one of my students while playing a group game. His reaction had the entire class (including myself) rolling with laughter. I could have told the class to settle down, but the shared joy was such a bonding experience for all of us, it would have done my students a disservice to squash their excitement.

5. Play music in the background. 
Music is a powerful tool in setting the mood. There are so many different online music streaming tools that there is no doubt you can find just the right one to set the mood for your classroom. Our current favorite is Amazon Prime Music's Calm Down Kids playlist. It brings the voice level down by several decibels. I'm also a fan of the nature sounds and holiday instrumental music. (Although with the nature sounds, anything with rain or flowing water will make everyone need to use the restroom!)

However you choose to do it, adding a little hygge into your daily routine can pay big dividends. Your students (and you) will be calmer and happier. You will have more time to get learning done and bond with each other. You will leave work with more satisfaction, and you'll be better able to handle the stressed that come your way from parents, admin, and the like.

What other ways can you add hygge into your classroom? Leave your thoughts in the comments and stay tuned for more great resources coming soon.

Stay sweet,

Teaching Measurement in 2nd Grade

Hey y'all! We are rolling right along here with our math stations and the kids are loving them. I asked one of my littles how she likes the stations we use. She said that they are "way harder" than the curriculum used last year in first grade, but she likes it so much more. #meltmyheart

This two week measurement unit that we have coming up is perfect for any time of the school year. The first week is spent measuring objects using inches. The second week, students learn about the metric system and when to use different types of measurement tools.

Each station has direction cards so students know what to do and recording sheets for math notebooks. Stations are our favorite times of the day by far.

And, as always, direction cards, lesson plans, task cards, games, and recording sheets are included.

You can check out the entire unit here. Stay tuned for more great resources coming soon and have a wonderful week!

Stay sweet,

Bulletin Boards Made Simple

Bulletin Boards Made Simple

Hey y'all! Raise your hand if you absolutely LOVE changing out bulletin boards. Whether your hand went up or not, we can probably all agree that changing out our boards can be time consuming. Well no more!

I have two bulletin boards in the hallway and one the classroom that I change out regularly. Sometimes they have other class work, but mostly I use these seasonal boards because they're so quick to flip.

These pics were taken for Teachers Pay Teachers. In real life, I have a string going across the bulletin board with clips on it. The kids can easily take down their old writing prompt and put up the new one. All I have to do is change out the letters.

Each month's bulletin board has a writing prompt to go with it and a blank template you could use for just about any prompt you choose.

With all the different boards to choose from, there is no shortage of ideas.

I especially love adding embellishments like glitter on the reindeer noses or on the pumpkin stems. 

Your students could also give their snowmen or hearts a few extra "accessories" with scarves and hats or stickers and glitter.

I just love the simplicity of each set. The writing prompts are simple enough to do with a sub, or to slip in to any extra time you have one day.

And of course the kids love seeing their work highlighted and on display, no matter how easy it was to put together.

In addition to seasonal boards, I have a few growth mindset/mindfulness sets as well. The unicorn bulletin board goes great with book Thelma the Unicorn, which teaches about loving yourself just the way you are.

The keep moving forward set focuses on growth mindset and overcoming obstacles. Of course, you could always use the blank writing page to have your students write about what they're excited about for next year, too. Kind of a graduation type bulletin board. 

And the fireflies are perfect for your end-of-the-year camping unit. I'm putting this one on my classroom door with students' names on each of the bugs. Check Instagram soon for the final result. ;)

To check out any of the bulletin boards pictured, simply click on the image. You can also pick up the entire year's worth of bulletin boards by clicking here. The bundle is a steal!

Anyway, I hope you got some new ideas for decorating your classroom. Have a wonderful week and stay sweet!

Teacher Self-Care Ideas

Hey y'all. Happy October! This time of year is usually high on the list of many teachers because of the cooler weather, the pumpkin everything, and all the exciting holidays. It's also the most depressing time of year for teachers as far as the school year goes. (Really--research has proven it!)

We're excited about all the things happening, but the reality of the school demands, testing, student behaviors, conferences, pressures from admin and everything else builds up, leaving many of us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. We are entering the disillusionment phase of the school year, but  there are ways you can combat these feelings.

Taking time to take care of yourself is critical this month. The spring semester will fly by. September was a whirlwind of expectations and beginning of the year testing. NOW is the time to take care of you!

To make it even easier, I've already put together a calendar for you. And it's printable! Just click the image (or here) to download your own. My idea doesn't work for you on that day? Switch it with another one or make up one of your own. And if you're taking pictures of your self-care journey, feel free to tag me so we can share in your rejuvenation. 

I hope this helps you take time for yourself this month and gets you through this crazy time of the year. Have a wonderful week and stay sweet!