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Saturday, August 31, 2013

8 Math Strategies

Have you been to some back to school meetings where you spent more time doodling on your paper than paying attention? My hand is up for that question! I usually dread it when my principal says, "Oh you're going to LOVE this speaker!"

But this year she was right!

We got to hear from a trainer from Strategic Intervention Solutions.  

She is Shannon Samulski and she is a real teacher. . . and from Canton, Michigan. . . . not one who taught years ago, but as recent as last year. She has taken a sabitical for a year to present for SDE. She was in Las Vegas recently for the kindergarten conference for any of you that were also there.

She has been a reading teacher for quite a while but more recently has been working on math strategies. Today she was to teach us about math and help us become better at teaching them to our students. 

She talked about the 8 standards for Mathematical Practice. Do you know them?

 I wasn't so sure. . . . I wasn't raising my hand on that one. 

I've been teaching math for over 30 years. . .  
why weren't they coming to my head instantly. 
Truthfully, I wasn't alone. There were about 30 others in that room 
that also didn't raise their hands. 

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make sure of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
Do they sound familiar now?

We spent time dissecting them so that we knew what those words meant to each of our grade levels. We put them in kid friendly terms. (Why don't they just write them that way to begin with?)

Then she shared with us some free things on her website. Click on Free Resources on the left side.  Try playing the 9 Hole Strategy game with any age student (or even adults!)
It's a lot like Tic Tac Toe, but you can keep moving until someone wins. Instead of putting your marker on the space, you put it on the intersection! Pretty clever huh?

Now try the Bump game. We've all seen this before, but it's a great way to teach kids to think differently. These games also have different levels so you can make it tougher for your stronger students. 

Then she gave us another tip: Google Math Task Bank. The first link that comes up is APS RDA Math Performance Task Bank. This website has some great short assessments or practices for your students to think outside the box. 

You need to teach your students to keep working until they figure out the answers. (We have been way too lenient and given the answers way too quickly in the past! Students need to build up their stamina to keep on trying!) 

Teach them how to draw the problem to find the answer, or how to use manipulatives to find the answers.

She also sells some of her products and keeps up a blog of her own. It's called Interventions on the Go

This is not an advertisement for her and I'm not getting paid for it. I'm just super excited about finding out this information and I figured IF I'M THRILLED TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW, maybe YOU are too!

I hope you look at it and see if it's something you'd like to find out more about.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Thankful, Helpful, and Beautiful

It's Friday. 

I have been at school for 3 days that I had to be there and 2 days that I chose to be there. . . 
and I'm not ready yet. . . . 
So I'll be back there on Monday.

Here's what I have to be thankful for:
  • We have Air Conditioning. I know so many Michigan (and other states) that don't have air conditioned classrooms and I feel so sorry for them. I know you can't be productive if you can't breathe, move, think, or be happy when sweat is running down between your boobs. 
  • At our back to school welcome, our administration did a pretty good job of highlighting the positives our district has been doing and that we are going in the right direction. (I've heard of other districts that gave downer  "Welcome Back" speeches.
  • I say, "pretty good" because the one thing our Superintendent "forgot" to mention is that our building, our little building of only 150 kids was given the award of a "reward school." We are the only one in our county! In Michigan they rate you from top to bottom and last year we were at the 37 percentile. This year we are at the 94%. I'd say that's quite an achievement. . . So sad that he forgot to announce that!
  • I have 25 kids in my class as of today. Next week that could be a different story.
  • I'm glad that I'm going back to teaching this year. When I thought long and hard about whether I should or not after my mom passed away, I just wasn't sure. But now I am. It's a great way to keep my mind busy and I really do love my job!
  • My bathroom remodel is done. . . of course, I'm going to share some pictures with you. . . hang on a bit.
I also want to highlight two helpful things I bought during the Back To School sale that you might want to see. 

First I bought What's My Job? By Jeanie Hunter. 

She has a blog called The 2nd Grade Surprise!

You can click on the picture to go to her store.

There are cards that go along with these pictures. The cards have statements on them that give clues to which person is being described.  I will use this to read one card at a time to help my students see how good descriptive clues can help your reader get a better picture of what you're writing.

Aren't they so cute!

The next thing I bought is by Deana Kahlenberg 
from Primary Punch

I love Deana!

I'm sorry this picture is so blurry. This actually was a set of Theme cards for 4th grade. . . but I truly thought it would fit my 2nd graders too. My plan is to have students identify the theme of the stories we read this year by looking at this bulletin board and reading the qualities each theme would have.  There are many other activities that she created to go along with this, but for now this is how I plan to use it. You can click on the picture to go to her store.

She also has a free game that is played like the game called Hedbanz.  You can grab that by clicking this picture below.

And finally, I thought you might like to see 
an update on my beautiful bathroom remodel. 
If you want to see the before pictures click here

Keep in mind that it's a little bathroom.  Making it into a bigger bathroom wasn't an option.

I can now show you pictures of the finished bathroom. 
I love it. I feel like a queen every morning. . . 
or like I'm taking a shower in a fancy hotel.  
 The ONLY thing that isn't new in this bathroom is the Toilet! We had purchased that a couple years ago and didn't think it needed to be replaced yet.

 You can see the new door in the reflection. We also put these same doors on the bedrooms. They were brown before, but I'm lovin the white better!

That's all for now. I have to wrap my head around my lesson plans for this next week. Thank goodness we have a half day on Tuesday and then really only 3 days the first week. That's a nice way to ease into working full days after a great summer.

Thanks for hanging in there with me (if you're still here reading this!)


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Reading Goals REWHINED

I'm not so sure that I added my google doc right for my post yesterday. So if you'd like to try again, you can no click HERE to grab it! 

I'm so sorry.

I guess I hadn't made one lately and
 I guess I forgot how to do that! 

Does it sound like I'm whining? 

Or maybe groveling? 

This is the link for the post from yesterday.

Thanks for your patience!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reading Goals FREETASTIC!

At our school we like to post the goals for our reading levels. It helps parents continually know where their child should be aiming for. They are all over our building, in the hallways and the classrooms so parents AND students can see where they are trying to be at the end of the year.
We use the DRA2 system for now. ... 

I say for now, because I know that others don't LOVE it, and it just may be changed sometime soon. 

I wanted to share this with you in case you have the same goals that we have. It's free and you can grab it here.

Just leave me a comment or two so I know that it is something you would like.  I'd even be willing to change the numbers if you'd like it to fit yours. But it needs to be something simple, please. Email me at prutenbar@sturgisps.org. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Late Night Reminder of BOGOF

The clock is clicking, and ticking, and tocking, and winding down.

In fact, I almost forgot to go shopping! 

I know! 

That is just wrong!

I was busy unpacking from my week with my dad and my mom's memorial service. . ... 

and trying to put the things back in my new bathroom. . .

(Stay tuned on another day for updates on that!)

That I almost forgot to shop myself!

But I did!


So this is my last minute warning for you. . . 

Especially those of you who live on the West Coast 
or other parts of the world. . . . .

If you want to take part in my BOGOF, then you need to work fast!

If you didn't read about it before, be sure to click on the red word above to find out the deets!

Here's a hint: 

and then this:

That's it! 

Good Night!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Buy One Get One FREE!

I know 
That YOU know
That today



Are big sale days for Teachers Pay Teachers. 


I want to sweeten the pot!

For anyone who buys my Apple Addition Splits

I will send you the Gumball Subtraction Splits


Yup, that's right. . .


all you have to do is to leave me a comment here with your name that you use to purchase from TPT and your email address.

Or you can email me at pjrbar@charter.net 

I will check my store to see that you really did buy it and then I will email it to you.


You must buy it on Sunday or Monday. . . .
August 18th or 19th.

That's all.

What are you waiting for? Get shopping for this deal!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back To School SALE

Christina is up to it again!
She is just always thinking!
And I like the way she thinks!
She is hosting a linky party to showcase some of our best for the sale this weekend. You remember your high school year book? And those shots of The Most Likely to Succeed, The Most Athletic, The Cutest Couple, The Sweetest Smile, etc.

Her linky will showcase our favorite activity, the one that we think will give you the most success, and the cutest couple of activities that go together.

Check out mine, and then if you'd like any of them,
 you can get them at my store.
My Teacher's Pet is Words in Context. The Most Likely to Help Your Child Succeed is Vowel Teams Sweep. My Cutest Couple is Apple Addition Splits and Subtraction Gumball Splits.

THEN, you need to go back to Christina's Blog and see who else is showcasing their Year Book Best.

I wasn't one of any of those things in high school. But I was good friends with many who were. . . Does that count?

Don't forget to check out my store on Sunday and Monday. You'll get 28% off your order and if you're like me, you want to catch every bargain that you are allowed! Have fun shopping for Back To School!

Don't forget to use the code: BTS13 at the end of your shopping so you get the discount!

Click on this picture above to go to my store.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

$hopping Time I$ Here!

It'$ HERE!! It'$ TIME! Let'$ Go $hopping!
Click this picture below to go to my store and start making your wish lists.

Then come back on $unday and Monday
to ca$h in on the big $aving$!
I'm out of here to go make my wish lists too!
Don't forget to use the code BTS13 at the end to take advantage of the savings!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fabulous Feedback Linky. . . Are These YOURS?

It's time. . . again. . . for 

This is how it works. . . . 

If you have left some fabulous feedback for something you bought, maybe you got picked to receive an extra gift! 

Read my choices, if one of them is yours, then you are a lucky person. Then click on Christina's link above, and check out the other blogs to see who else is also giving something away for fabulous feedback. 

It's pretty easy and kind of fun too. 

My first one is: 

My second one is: 

If you are Nicole or Joanne, (or if you know them), you need to email me at pjrbar@charter.net. You will be able to pick anything from my store and it's yours. 

Now don't you wish you had left some fabulous feedback and that person was doing this linky party?

The feedback graphics and fonts on this post are from Ashley Hughes, Christina Bainbridge, Lovin Lit,  and Joy of Teaching.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Grieving My Mom

This is a gentle warning. 

This post is not teacher related or back to school or anything. It's all about family. And since I consider many of you "family" I feel the need to share.

I feel that I'm mainly writing this for a journal aspect to keep for my own records. You do not need to stick around if you don't want to. I won't be offended and I understand completely.  

So you can either click on move on or stay and read on. . . You choose.

My family.

My family unit has changed this week. My mom passed away peacefully on Tuesday August 6, 2013 around 6:50 in the morning. 

My baby sister and my dad were with her. My sister Jackie, was up with her all night. A Hospice nurse was there to comfort her. . . but we never dreamed this would be the day.

But it was.

I had a great chat with my mom on Sunday on Skype. She looked great and sounded great! She and my husband were joking about the Tigers and their recent trades to get better players. We spoke about the newest great grandchild, Emily, who arrived around noon that day. She was happy to know that Emily arrived. It was the last time I spoke to her or saw her alive. I won't forget it either.

She had a great life. . . nearly 70 years with Dad. . . 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren. She loved life, loved having us all around her, loved sharing her time, her cooking, her space, her knowledge for life. 

I was blessed to have the summer off and to have been told that her time on this earth was limited. I was able to be up there every week for a few days. I have 4 siblings who also spent as much time up there as they could. I have no regrets. We talked, we remembered, we were able to love each other deeply. I know she's ok. She gave us a sign. I believe it was truly a sign from her that she is ok. 

I have hesitated whether to share this here or to just move on. So many of you have reached out to me, so I felt the need to let you know. I appreciate all of the prayers and heartfelt comments that I have already received. They gave me strength and hope for a peaceful goodbye. Our faces may be strange to each other, but many of your names are in my heart and I know you care. 

We will have a memorial service on Saturday, August 17th.  It will be a memorable day filled with friends, family, and (something our family does best,) Food! I am so thankful to be able to hold my kids in my arms at this time. I need to feel them close. {My daughter is flying home for it and that warms my heart!}

My dad says he will be fine. He's two months short of 92. He still drives (fairly well), can shop, cook, clean, and take care of himself. It's the "lonely" part that concerns me. But he's an independent soul and we'll do our best to visit him weekly to keep him in good shape. {4 of us live in the same county about 2 and a half hours south of him} We told him he was welcome to come down with us, but he said, "I was born in this house, and I will die in this house!" Don't cha love his stubbornness!!!

As for blogging. . . I'm feeling real numb right now. I still read yours and I love the bargains, linky's, and sales going on. . . I just am having trouble getting back into the swing of things. 

I'll return. I know I will because I do love it and it has become a good hobby for me. 

If you are still here reading, thanks for hanging in there with me. Moral of the story. . . spend time with your family. Whether you know their time is limited or they should be taken from you suddenly, you'll want to know that the last thing you said or did was a good thing for each other. 

Blessing to all of you, 


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Another Give Away For You to Enter. (and hopefully win!)

Sally at Elementary Matters is having a Give Away and I just bet you'd love to win some of this stuff. You just better click on this picture below and head on over to her blog. 

Among the many things that others are giving, you can win my Apple Addition Splits activity. It's great for a center or a 
small group led by an adult. 

And if you like that (or if you WIN that!) You might want to check out this subtraction set that compliments it. 

(If you click on either picture it will take you to my store.)

Get going now, I want one of you to win this!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Look What I Found Out Today!

I am pretty excited and I knew all of you would want to be excited with me! 

Right? You will won't you?

Today I found out that an activity that I sold to DJ Inkers
 is  now for sale on their webpage! 

It's such a good feeling to think that they like my work! 

I hope you'll take a peak and see if you like it.  
You can see it here.

This set comes in color and black and white so you can choose how you want to print it. 

If you want to see this and any of their other items on sale you can click on this picture below.