Unitizing? Yes! It’s an Important Big Math Idea

Unitizing is not only a mathematical term, but it’s also a business term.  Have you ever wondered when businesses ship hundreds of boxes, how do they keep track? By unitizing!  The shipping company will unitize…

Common Core Based Homework Project Using Literature

After ending the Folktale Unit with my class, it was time for a culminating homework project.  Each student received a five-page template to create an iFolktale. What’s an iFolktale?  Just a template that looks like a…

Class Research Project – A Funny Thing Happened. . .

Teachers know that even the best thought out plans and projects can run into unforeseen problems or situations.  That recently happened to me.  As my class is nearing the end of the science unit on…

Distributive Property of Multiplication – How To Break It Down

Did you ever think that as a third-grade teacher or even as an elementary teacher you would be teaching the Distributive Property of Multiplication?  When I started teaching over 30 years ago, there weren’t even…

Energize Your Classroom With an Interactive Digital Notebook Part 3

My previous posts in this series (Part 1 and Part 2) explained the reasons why I have made the switch to a Digital Notebook because they are colorful, paperless and media rich.  I also gave…

Technology, For Sure! But Don’t Forget Old Fashion Creativity!

My class just recently finished with our Solar System Unit.  In my district, which is in California, we are still operating under the old California Science Standards and still using a very outdated textbook.  Nevertheless,…

What to do With Google Slides in an Elementary Classroom

So you want to start using Google Slides with your elementary students?  But don’t know where to get started?  Here are 5 quick ways to get started with Google Slides! This is not a How-To…

How to Use Gerald McDermott’s Books to Compare and Contrast

As you may have read in an earlier post, Gerald McDermott is one of my favorite and go to authors to use for read alouds and for teaching.  He has a huge collection of diverse…

Quick Guide to Using Gerald McDermott Books in Your Classroom

Do you enjoy using Gerald McDermott’s books in your classroom as much as I do?  I have been using his stories for at least 10 years since I discovered them.  He is the Caldecott Award…

Getting Smart with the Distributive Property Ninja Style

Soon my students will be taking the Math portion of the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) in May.  So I thought we should revisit the Distributive Property of Multiplication (DPM) since it’s been awhile since we…

5 Test Preps To Do Before SBAC or PAARC Testing!

It’s coming or it’s already here!  Testing with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) or Partnership for Assessment of College Readiness and Careers (PAARC) has begun or will begin for most students this Spring.  My…

How I Continue to Develop and Better the Close Reading Procedure

Current Close Reading Procedure in my Class I have continued teaching my students to read closely without using symbols for annotation.  Our usual procedure is for me to project a page from out social studies…

Is close reading just a fad?  Is it just annotating with symbols?  Is it something more?  Recently, my grade level team and I were in a Data Reflection Session (DRS) with our principal.  We started…

How I Taught Point of View

Let me start off by saying, that I didn’t want this blog to turn into one big informercial for products I’m selling over at TpT.  However, for this standard, I really could NOT find any…

How I Teach Character Analysis in the Common Core

Teaching character analysis is nothing new for California teachers, as it has always been in our ELA standards.  But the new Common Core standards take character analysis to a whole new level.  This is the…