DIY Trophy Pencil Awards

Hey, ya'll! I was looking for something very special to give my students who can answer 50 math facts in a minute...and I think I found it!

My adorable mother-in-law is visiting us from Argentina, so we made a special visit to Party City so she could stock up on Star Wars accessories for my nephew's upcoming birthday party. Party City is very dangerous for us teachers! All that cheap, shiny plastic just begging to be used in our classrooms. So I did give in and buy a few things. I also found the perfect math facts prize.

I bought a pack of 12 pencils and a pack of 12 mini trophies. I tried hot glue, E6000 (AKA cancer) glue, and then finally Krazy glue. Krazy glue seemed to be the winner!

We'll see how long they last. I keep them in a bucket by my laptop in front of the classroom and my students have been talking a lot more about how they are going to practice their facts so they can win. I'm all about bribery...aren't we all!

Hope you having a super fantastic week!!!

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Around the World Review Game (Upgraded Version)

 Hey, ya'll! It's the first Bright Ideas Blog Hop of 2015! :) I'm going to share with you my take on a classic game that my students have really been enjoying this month.

You've probably heard of the review game "Around the World." I played it in school and have used it in my classroom. If you haven't, here's how it goes:

1) Start at one side of the classroom and have the first student stand beside the next student who is still seated (or standing as they get too excited to stay seated :P).

2) Show them a card with some sort of review question (math facts, alphabet letters, etc.).
3) The first student to say the answer on the card correctly gets to move on to the next student.
4) When a student loses, they sit in the seat of their opponent who is moving on to the next student.
5) The first student to make it back to their original seat wins.

This game has always stressed me out because of several reasons: 1) Having to move around with the students to show the cards and not being able to really monitor the whole class. 2) Students shouting out a bunch of different answers just to try to be first. 3) Having to wait so long until a student finally makes it back to their original seat.

So, here's how I've tweaked it:

1) Thankfully I have a camera projector, so I just show the card (we've been practicing measurement facts this month) on the projector for the whole class to see. All students have been much more engaged because they can all see the question and mentally try to answer it. And I don't have to run around the whole classroom with the cards wearing myself out.

2) The rule when answering is this - students may only answer once. If they are incorrect, that gives the other student a great opportunity to think and answer correctly. If they both answer incorrectly, I do a new card. This rule prevents students from just blurting out mindless answers.

3) I changed the goal of the game. When a student answers first correctly, I hand them a very small marble (These are from Dollar Tree. I have very well-mannered children. If you don't, I would consider passing out circle markers, pennies, etc. that don't make much noise. You just want something small that can fit in their hand as they go around the classroom.)

The goal now is to have the most marbles when I decide to stop the game. That way I don't have to wait until a student wins 20+ times. Whenever I stop the game, they count their marbles, and the person with the most marbles wins.

My kids are loving this game, and it's great when we only have 5 minutes or so left in the day. I plan on reviewing math facts and Spanish vocabulary throughout the rest of the year with this format.

Well, thank you so much for being here! If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, please connect with me at my TpT store, Facebook, and YouTube for more. :)

For more Bright Ideas from a ton of teacher bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade that interests you. Thanks for your visit! Have a great year!

Editable Owl QR Code Task Cards Template FREEBIE

Hey, teacher friends! Hope your year 2015 is off to a great start! I was actually pretty productive yesterday and uploaded a new YouTube video along with a freebie. I've created some QR code task card templates that I'm pretty excited about. Not only will they make my life easier when I need to create a quick review activity, but they also use technology and are self-checking which my students will love. Matter of fact, I am thinking of maybe having them create their own QR code task cards, so they can take more ownership of their learning (and so I can sit back and relax, lol! Just kidding!).

So here's the video that shows how they work and how easy they are to edit:

Editable Owl QR Code Task Cards Template FREEBIE

And here is the download for the freebie templates:

If you're new to QR codes and would like to learn more about them, just check out my QR code tutorial page.

And if you love owls, be sure to check out my owl freebie page with over 10 classroom freebies!

And if you enjoy this QR code task cards template freebie, be sure to check out the whole bundle.

Hope you enjoy the freebie and let me know if you create something with it!

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Martin Luther King Jr. Rounding QR Code Center FREEBIE

Hey, ya'll! It's my last day in Argentina with my hubz - very sad! I've enjoyed being with his amazing family and brushing up on my Argentinian Spanish. But I have jury duty on Tuesday and students on Wednesday, so I guess it's time to say goodbye to Christmas break!

To make the transition back into the classroom a bit easier, I've created another set of QR code printables for January. Here I have a freebie center that not only celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr., but also allows students to practice their rounding skills in a self-checking, 21st century format. This center actually is the timeless game of Tic-Tac-Toe, so you have very little explaining or preparing to do. Click here or on the image for this freebie.

This freebie is included in my new set of QR code printables for the month of January. You can check that out here.

I may have bit off more than I can chew, but I've decided to created a QR code printables pack for nearly every month. If this is something that interests you (meaning you think you would purchase every set), check this bundle out, so you can save a lot and receive a lot of QR code goodness!

Hope you had a great holiday break! And I hope 2015 is the best year yet for you! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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