The Week before Christmas (Star Notes Freebie)

Phew! So, between my husband's citizenship ceremony and all the craziness of it being the last week before Christmas, I've been a little internet MIA (which is probably not a bad thing!). Here are some pictures of the gifts I gave and some math groups we did on measurement conversions.

 For my students, I purchased these finger lights from and affixed them to some star notes I made - "¡Gracias por hacer este año tan brillante!" ("Thanks for making this year so bright!").

 You can download these star cards for FREE in English and Spanish here (TpT) or here (Currclick) (a blank template is also provided).

 I prepared these Coke bottles for my immersion team with Feliz Navidad stickers on top.

  Here are some gift card purses with Starbucks cards inside that I gave to my 4th grade team.

Now for the learning piece this week! One day we did small group rotations covering mainly measurement conversions with US units and the metric system.

 Cookie Conversion Center Game

 Capacity Paper Quizzers (this game and the above cookie game can be found at my TpT store or my Currclick store).

 Division Facts Bottle Caps (You can download the labels for FREE at TpT or Currclick.).

 Talk Point Buttons Center (Students copied Spanish sentences about Christmas and then translated them into English. You can read more about how I incorporate Talk Point buttons in my classroom at the Organized Classroom Blog.).

So, that was my week in a snapshot. I hope you all had an amazing week with your students. What did you do?

New Blog "My Green Classroom" and Freebie!!

I am so excited!!! My new blog, "The Green Classroom," is finally up and running! How did I come up with the idea to do this blog?

Well, last summer I watch the documentary "Bag It" just by accident really. I was laying on the couch with my hubby being lazy and it just happened to be on. Well, Like seriously. To the point where I began to refuse straws at restaurants (and if I forget, I keep them afterwards, disgusting, I know!), got depressed when I forgot to bring reusable bags at Walmart, and even grabbed plastic bottles out of a colleague's trashcan to put in the recycling bin when she wasn't in her room (I'm a little shady, sorry!)

So, I've always been soooo nonchalant about school communities, but this year, before school even started, I went up to Sra. Shealy (a.k.a. the Green Queen or la Reina de Reciclaje), and I asked to be put on the school's green team. There I have come into contact with several amazing teachers who are showing me the ropes of what it really means to be green. I have so much to learn, but it's really all about just taking one step at a time in the right direction. You don't have to start off sprinting.

I don't want to preach, but it really is ridiculous the enormity of plastic we are using here in the US for no dang good reason! And from what I've heard, many things we think are recyclable actually aren't. Or they barely are, and they get shipped off to China so women and children can do our dirty work.

Oh my goodness, I'm preaching! I live in the South, so ya'll will have to forgive me. Anyways, the whole point of this bunny trail post is that we as teachers can make a difference! It really is important! If you have seen the light about the necessity of being green like I have, then you are probably already trying to actively reuse materials in your classroom and educate your students on the important of taking care of the earth.

There are so many teachers already doing just that, so The Green Classroom blog is really just a database for teachers to share their green ideas or find ones they need for specific materials or subject areas. I hope that you will stop by, become a follower, and even contribute! That would make my day. And I think the earth might even smile a bit! :P

Oh, and the freebie. Go to the Organized Classroom blog, and there you will find a free title for making cupcake number word lids. There are no real cupcakes involved. Sorry!

Thanks for reading! Happy Teaching!

Measurement Paper Quizzers (Cootie Catchers)

My kids and I had a blast today with these metric system paper quizzers (cootie catchers). At first I was going to have them play with partners and see who answered 5 correctly first. But what my students ended up doing was going to one student and doing a couple of questions back and forth and then finding another friend to do the same thing with that person (I have amazing kids. Normally this would not work for me, but with this group of kids it turned out to be fun, active learning with lots of movement).

I have also made paper quizzes on US capacity units and US length units. They are included in my Merry Measurement Conversion pack that is full of fun, holiday-themed activities to help students master measurement facts and how to convert among them. Click here to see the title at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Frosty wishes you a Merry Christmas!

Recycling Activities LINK PARTY!!! I need your help!

Christmas Spanish Vocabulary FREEBIE

¡Hola everybody! I've kind of slacked on creating Spanish freebies. I've been totally stuck in math mode. So, here's a freebie to anyone who needs something cute and fun to practice Spanish vocabulary during the holiday season. ¡Espero que disfruten!

Did you hear about my Multiplication Paper Quizzers freebie? Click on the title and read the title description at TpT for details.

Happy Teaching!

Paper Quizzers (Cootie Catchers) FREEBIE

Lately I have really gotten excited about using cootie catchers (fortune tellers) in my classroom. I had actually thought that I had come up with the idea of using them in the classroom, but no, they're all over the place! I just had never hear of the phrase "cootie catcher," and maybe I have a degenerated mind but that name sounds a little off to me, so I use the name "paper quizzers."

First, I created some to practice measurement conversions (You can find them in my Merry Measurement Conversions title here).

My kids have had fun with that, so now I've created some multiplication paper quizzers. At first I had all the students make one and play with partners. They kept score and the first to 5 points would win the game. But it really seemed like a waste of  paper and loss of time having all the students make one. So, now I've created a paper quizzers notebook.

Early finishers can pull out one to play with, and I can direct students who need extra reinforcement in a skill to the notebook (I teach Spanish immersion so the photos show the Spanish templates).

I label quizzers inside one of the petals so students know where to return it afterwards.

I think there are a lot of possibilities with this activity:
  • Spelling words
  • Vocabulary words
  • Foreign language vocabulary and expressions
  • math problems
And I also created a blank template for 8 problems or for 16 problems, so quizzers can be created for any skill needed.

And a green side note - You can print these on the back side of paper that has already been printed on since all the text is on one side.

So, I would love for you to have the multiplication paper quizzers for free. All I ask is that if you aren't already, that you become a follower of my TpT store. If you aren't one yet, just click here and click on "Follow me" beside my photo (you need a TpT account, but it is free and easy).

Then just email me at to let me know you are following me at my TpT store.

Here is the link for the multiplication paper quizzers title to see if you are interested.

Happy Teaching!

Oreo Moon Phases (Fases de la Luna)

I'm not sure exactly where this idea originated first, but I've seen it floating around on Pinterest (I've finally joined, yeah! Click here for my profile.) and Facebook and had to give it a try. It's not the most healthy activity, but it was a whole lot of fun and definitely a keeper in my lesson plans.

All you need is a plate, 8 Oreos, and a Sharpie marker (I apologize for using Styrofoam plates. I don't what I was thinking. Paper plates would have been the better choice since they will end up in the trash afterwards). My students were also allowed to use a diagram in our science book. I had students work in pairs, each one doing four of the eight phases and then labeling them.

Once pairs finished the moon phase plate, I took a picture of it. I am now printing the pictures out (on the other side of used paper), grading them according to accuracy, teamwork, and completing the activity in Spanish. Then I will send the pictures home to parents.

I have such a sweet bunch of kids. One student said, "¡Gracias por hacer este buen proyecto!" (Thanks for doing this great project!) I'm not used to such appreciative kids! They are really amazing.

Math Fact Label Winners

Here are the winning numbers to my math fact label giveaways. I am emailing the winners now for which labels they would like. THANK YOU so much for all that participated. If it didn't cost time and money, I would send you all some labels.

Remember to shop the Cyber Monday sales at TpT and Currclick. Here is my store links if interested:

My Random Number is

My Random Number is

Wendy Pate


My Random Number is


My Random Number is

Holiday Titles, Elf Puzzle Freebie, and 30% off for Cyber Monday!

Last year was my first year to teach 4th grade math and a certain curriculum whose name will go unmentioned had next to nothing for me on how to teach measurement conversions with U.S. customary units and the metric system.

After researching with fellow veteran teachers, I came up with a packet of holiday-themed activities that goes in-depth with measurement unit facts, conversions, and unit abbreviations.

Here's an overview:

For a more in-depth preview, you can check it out at:

Now remember, tomorrow, November 28th, all my titles are 30% off at Teachers Pay Teachers and at Currclick. At TpT, you will also need to add promo code CMS28.

Here are some other holiday titles that might interest you:

Merry Multiplication Bingo

Cookie Sum Math Center

Counting Cookies Math Center

Now for my latest FREEBIE. Here are 3 pages of elf-themed puzzle templates that you can tailor for whatever you wish in your classroom

So, don't forget to check your wish list and make sure you stock up for Cyber Monday. Ooooh, wait, I'm so disappointed, but I have a super adorable Christmas lapbook coming out, but it won't be ready for the sale. I will still put it on sale for one day as soon as I get it ready. Here's a sneak peek!

Happy Holidays! Let me know if you have any questions about the titles above!

Math Facts Bottle Cap Labels Giveaway!

Have you seen my math facts bottle cap recycling activity? It's free, fun, and will get your kiddos practicing those facts. Check it out here.


I am going to mail one operation set (add., sub., mult., or div.) of these bottle cap labels to four winners. If you win, you choose which operation set you would like. All you have to do is gather up some bottle caps, stick the labels on, and you'll be set! To participate:

1) Share this blog post somewhere - on your blog, pin it, on FB, etc.
2) Post a comment telling me where you posted it and please leave your email address!

Feel free to share this post in multiple places and leave multiple comments on this post for a greater chance of winning. Four of you will win! Thanks in advance for participating!

Contest ends Sunday, November 27th, at midnight (est).


Math Facts Bottle Cap Recycling Activity

Hey guys! Happy America Recycles Day! I am super excited to finally have this post and title together to share with you. My students and I have been recycling bottle caps this year, and we have been using them to master our math facts in all four operations. Let me explain how.

Using Avery 5408 labels, I created math facts labels and placed them on bottle caps (problem on top, answer on the inside). Using timers, my students practice how many they can do in a minute, and they graph those results. We have a goal in the classroom that we all want to reach, and students earn classroom dollars when they reach that goal.

This activity is also great for individual students who need extra practice. I am tutoring a 2nd grader, so I made her a set of addition facts for her to take home with her to practice.

There is something about bottle caps - all the colors, the way they are handled - that just makes practicing math facts a lot of fun. My students have been practicing these BC facts during math stations since September, and they are still excited about them. I even have students doing this during indoor recess!

Not to mention the recycling aspect. Students are much more conscientious about throwing away things that we could recycle or reuse since the beginning of the year, and I'd like to think this activity has helped.

Well, I'm rambling again! Here is the download. It includes 42 Avery label templates, a graph, and labels for your containers. Please send me a pic if you attempt this activity. I will send you a free title of mine in return.

*** I'm giving away four sets of labels. Click here for details!

Happy recycling!

"Tickle the Turkey" Decimals Smart Board Activity

I just made a free decimals Smart Board activity with a fall theme. It came in really handy today for an observation. I love my job as a Spanish immersion teacher, but we get LOTS of observations from outside people, the community, and today I was observed by future teachers of the immersion program. Uh oh, that means my Spanish has to be legit because these people actually know what I'm saying!

So anyways, I used this decimals SB activity today. The students drew lines to make four sections on individual white boards, and they answered the four questions on each page. Then they checked their answers with a partner and had to come to an agreement if any answers differed. Lastly, I called on students to "dale cosquillas al pavo" or "tickle the turkey." If the turkey moved, they were right. If it didn't, someone else came up to try. In the image above, the students erase to see the correct answers.

Let me quit talking about it, and let you download it. That will make a lot more sense than my rambling at this moment :P.

I'd love to hear what you think!

For English, click here.

For Spanish, click here.

Turkey Tickle Time Activity & Freebie

Teaching elapsed time is a SC 4th grade standard and at times a not so easy one to teach. Here is an activity I implemented this past week in small groups to help my students with this skill. It's similar to my Pumpkin Poke freebie that you may or may not have downloaded.

First, I printed out these cards, laminated, and hole-punched underneath each answer (ok, I lie. A helpful parent did all of that :P.)

Then, I circled the hole on the back of the card that belonged to the right answer. The objective is for students to point the tip of a pencil or some kind of safe pointed tip (floral sticks, coffee stirrers) into the hole of the correct answer.

For the Turkey Tickle activity, the objective is to read the time and calculate how many more minutes are needed to reach the next hour. For example, if the time is 9:09, how many more minutes are needed until 10:00?

Students calculate the answer and "tickle the turkey" by inserting the tip into the correct hole of the answer.

In small groups, I explained this objective to my students and that in order to do this, they need to either calculate 9 + ? = 60 or 60 - ? = 0. I encouraged those who were struggling to use to use the counting up method: 9 + ? = 10 (answer - 1) and 10 + ? = 60 (answer - 50). Add the two answers together to achieve the final answer - 51.

Once students got the hang of it, they continued to grab cards, showing me the back of the card for me to check for accuracy and so forth. If students answered incorrectly, I was able to help them in the moment and also make mental notes of who seemed to be having difficulty with the concept. Once all the cards were taken, the students counted how many cards they had completed. This motivated them to not only make the calculations but to work as fast as possible to win more cards. Now I will place this game in math centers for extra practice.

This game, along with other elapsed time and telling time activities, are available at my TpT store (click here) and my Currclick store (click here).

If you'd like a sample freebie, click here to download a page of 12 elapsed time Turkey Tickle cards at TpT (click here) or Currclick (click here).

Happy November!

Multiplication Ball for $1.50

I came across those Clever Catch balls recently and really loved the idea but couldn't afford the price. So, yesterday at my within-walking-distance Dollar General in SC, I came across these small segmented balls for $1.50.

With just a Sharpie marker, I turned them into a not so professional but just as effective multiplication catch ball.

I plan on having students toss them to each other, having to answer whatever fact is under their left or right thumb.

As you may have noticed, I bought three balls because there are so many ways I am sure I will want to use these in my classroom. Maybe place value by writing numbers and underlining a certain digit whose place value students must name. We are now discussing decimals, so I might write decimals and have students name the equivalent fraction or vice versa. I might also use them for Spanish vocabulary and/or verb conjugation. Or I might go to Clever Catch Balls' website and "steal" some of their ideas.

But first I'd better make sure this game doesn't end up becoming more of a dodgeball game than a learning game. We shall see!

Pumpkin Multiplication Coloring Sheet Freebie

I'm back from New York! It was great to spend time with my family, but now it's time to get back in the groove. But sometimes that's not so easy, especially during the holidays.

Here's a freebie that will give you a few moments to get back into that groove while also continuing the learning in your classroom (I'm not the only teacher who doesn't always have it all together, right?).

Hope you enjoy!

(New store followers and positive feedback make me warm and fuzzy inside!)

(Same here!)

20% Off Sale at my TpT Store through October 25th!

Looking for elementary math, Spanish, or early childhood activities? I might have something that would interest you and it's on sale now through Tuesday.

Click the button below for my store:

Click this button for math titles:

Click this button for early elementary titles:

And click this button for Spanish titles:

And don't forget the freebies that are always on sale!

Inches, Feet, & Yards Conversions Poke Game

In small groups today, I worked on making conversions among inches, feet, and yards using some "Poke Game" cards, and I have to say, it was a lot of fun! I am still not great at teaching this skill because our math curriculum offers no resources or lessons, but today, with this game, I feel like we were headed in the right direction.

If you aren't familiar with poke cards, they are cards that have a problem along with several punched holes and answer choices above them. Students use a pencil to poke the right answer. On the back of the card, the hole punch with the right answer has a circle around it, so students can self-check or partner-check while playing.

I actually checked the students today, and it helped me have an idea of where each student was at with regards to this skill.

A little side note - instead of using pencils, I actually used some plastic flower sticks from a bouquet I had. They are safer than pencils, and students seemed to enjoy using them.

I just posted these 60 cards in English and in Spanish for just $1.

Happy Teaching!