Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Made It...February Edition!

I finally was able to link up with Tara over at 4th Grade's been a few months since I have had my %$@! together enough to participate in this worthy and worthwhile endeavor.  I have to say, when I don't do this, I kinda miss it!

Working with my crew on the beginnings of THE DREADED LONG DIVISION UNIT!  I love teaching this to my students...and really want to holla when those lightbulbs finally go on and they truly GET IT!  (This is one of my favorite parts of teaching...and I feel sorta guilty that I get to experience this...If other folks knew about this magic and how great it feels to be a part of it, wouldn't everyone want to be a teacher?)

My wonderful friend and colleague, "The Wonderful Linda," and I are looking to change things up a bit and do more with mini lessons and group work/stations during this unit.  I have quite a few stations put together, but was looking to create something that allows for some flexibility while my students put their new division skills into practice.

I was also feeling a bit LOVEY DOVEY, and wanted to put a Valentine/Heart motif to the whole center activity...anywho...this leads me to the introduction of my newest center:  Division Love Triangles!  ( great is this?)  

I need to give a shout out to Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics.  This really began as her idea...but she did this with letters as a word work station for her "Fourthies."  I decided to change things up by taking Tara's idea and moving it over towards the math side with division as the focus.

I love it, and I hope my kiddos will too as they are my guinea pigs this week!

The specifics:
  • Got my little heart tub, ribbon and small plastic hearts at Hobby Lobby. 
  • If you can't find these babies at Hobby Lobby because there is St. Patty's stuff crowdin' the aisle, then make your own little hearts out of construction paper and label them with your numbers instead.  There's always a way to improvise any center, right?
  • You could use a white paint pen to label these hearts.  I went to my scrapbookin' stash and found my white "Souffle" pen.  (Sakura)  It dries puffy and dark and was perfect for this project.
  • I labelled each heart with a number:  1 through 9.  I also put 5 zeroes into the mix...just enough to spice stuff up but not enough to make things too easy for my kiddos!
  • In addition to the cute heart-filled tub, I have created a handout that includes directions.  I am going to back the directions page up with red construction paper and laminate it so that it can go with the center.  The instructions also include a sample so that students can refer to it while working through the center.
  • The recording pages can either be laminated or put into a clear plastic sleeve and written on with Vis-a-Vis markers or they can be run off as a 2-sided copy if you want your students to hand these in.  Your call...
I'm including the link to the instructions and recording pages FREE!!!  (Gosh, I love the free stuff, don't you?)  All I ask is that you include the copyright on the bottom of the page to give me credit for my Intellectual Property.  

Yodel to let me know how you used these pages or this learning center!

Don't forget...Sharing is Caring!  Do pass this on to a beloved colleague, a new teacher who could use an idea or two or even someone who has been teaching forever...New ideas are always welcome and...who in the heck couldn't use some freshening in the month of February?

The next part isn't so much a "Made It" as a "Finished It."  

My Fourth/Fifth Grade Team and I have been working with our kids on a Reader's Workshop the last two years.  If you haven't read Leslie Blauman's book, you really should.  Do put it on your next Book Study'll be glad you did!

Anywho...the Reader's Workshop Model revolves around a student-created piece called a "Book Lovers Book."  Our kiddos record the books they read in their BLBs and are always looking for someone to recommend a book to.  Because of the way we "book talk" in our classrooms, they are really "in tune" with their classmates and what they are reading, so they are constantly finishing books and leaving the books on another student's desk with a little note attached, letting the recipient know how great the book is and why they are recommending it to them.

I try to model this often, and I can't wait to go to school tomorrow and share the book I just finished:  The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate.  It's a really quick read and is beautiful in it's elegance and simplicity.  The message is clear and stunning...and it is truly deserving of its' most recent honor:  The Newbery Award!

Now...I just have to figure out who's desk to leave it on!  This should be fun!

Have a wonderful week and thanks for allowing me to join in on all the fun!



  1. Thanks for the shout out Nikki:) I love those little hearts:) I was going to order that book and now I know I will! Can't wait to read it:) Thanks for linking up and sharing:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. Enjoying your blog! Hope that you will check mine out as well, I'm currently having a giveaway... you should enter!

    Martha :)