Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hunting for Multiplication

This year, I am teaching a remedial math class, in addition to my 6 science classes.  And when I say remedial, I do mean remedial - like we are still working (after 9 days) on regrouping with adding, in the 6th grade.  But, hopefully, we will master this, subtraction, and our multiplication tables.  I do have a few that are a bit speedier in this class and I wanted something cool for them to do. 

I have always liked the overpriced shakers with the toys inside that the kids hunt for, so I decided to make my own.  Every minute of my day must be academic, so my little shaker is all about multiplication.  Here is how I made my shaker out of ingredients that I had at the house!

So, without further ado, this is how you do it!

Rubbing Alcohol
Food Coloring
Recycled OJ Bottle
Multiplication cards
Cookie trays

So, first up, I dyed the rice.  I put about two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol in a gallon sized plastic bag and added 5 or so drops of food coloring.  (My mother hates when I don't measure - sorry mom!)  I mixed them up really well and added a bag of rice.  I tossed until it was completely colored. 
When it was the color I wanted, I dumped it on a cookie tray lined with foil to dry.  Because I am cheap environmentally friendly, I reused the same plastic bag for the next three colors.  I just rinsed and washed it out.  No need to waste bags on colored rice!

After it dried, I dumped it all in a new gallon bag and mixed it up.  I let mine dry overnight, partially  because I started this project really late at night, and part because I forgot to pull it in from the backyard Tennessee outdoor dryer before I went to bed.  I pulled my multiplication facts from Super Teacher Worksheets.  They have great printables and multiplication flash cards.  I wanted mine really small, so I printed them two to a page on cardstock.  I cut them out and trimmed off the equals sign and question mark. 

I added a little rice, a few cards, a little more rice, a few more cards, and did this until it is almost all the way full.  I left room at the top so that I could shake the cards around and there would be plenty of room for movement. 

The only thing I have left to finish to put a sticker or something on the front.  Despite my best efforts, I cannot seem to get the adhesive completely off.  I don't know what Kroger used - super glue?  I can't wait to use it in my classroom.  I am thinking about making one for each of my units in science with vocabulary words... what do you think?

Monday, August 20, 2012

S'mores For Teachers

One of my (many) jobs at school this year is to continue to help the new teachers to our school and the profession "adjust" to life in the public school system.  My primary coping method is providing snacks and cute treats in their mailbox.  (I am there for actual support too... for the record).  Over the summer, we had a beginning of the year kick-off where other teachers in the school came to visit and share expertise about various and sundry topics - the new writing program, special ed, TAP, etc. 

I know that each one of these lovely ladies came in on their spare time and it was certainly appreciated!  As a little token of our thanks, we handed out "S'more Kits" to all of our presenters.  They turned out super cute - with a tag that said "We Need S'More Teachers LikeYou!"

What do you think?

Here is the patten for the paper tag.  If you want the PDF, feel free to email me and I will send it off to you!
Have a fabulous week!  I'll be back with more tomorrow!