Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ditching the desk....

I made the big leap this September. I ditched the teacher desk! Well, I wanted to ditch the teacher desk last year but our principal said no. However, our new principal this year was all for it! There are 28 kids and only one of me.... shouldn't we be sharing most of the space?

I never used my desk. It was awkward. Lumpy. Metal. Large. Pointless. It had one giant drawer.... what on earth does someone do with a giant drawer? Fill it with candy? Puppies? Hamsters???? I personally did not want to do any of those things.

I bought tall plastic shelved with a small footprint to keep my supplies in. I found that I actually DOUBLED my storage amount by doing this! These drawers were two for $39 at Walmart and they got delivered right to my school, so not awkward lugging from my car into the building. Basically, for $39 I get to be happier and not staring at an unpleasant piece of furniture.

Now for the evolution of.... THE DESK
My first year teaching (and first day! Ahhh! So young). Look at that big, ugly desk. But look at that beautiful, pink high-heel shoe dispenser! 

Even inspirational signs couldn't help this desk!

Moved some stuff around.... this is now located where the desk is. Yay to smaller, more useful drawers than I don't have to fill with puppies or hamsters! The big cart with drawers is where I put my doc cam. I have a 20 ft projector cord for my computer so I don't awkwardly stand in front of the podium.

My "desk" is my small table now

I sit here all the time anyway for small groups during math and language arts, might as well make it a cozy home :-)

If you haven't done it, I highly recommend it. Have you done this? Do you like it? How do you deal with your belongings?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Visual fraction war... new math center game

I wanted to share a new game that I designed and use as a math center in my classroom... Fraction War! I like this game because the kids enjoy it... happy and engaged students make a happy teacher! I originally used this as a game that we played in small groups at my table, then moved it to a review buddy game.

Now I cannot take credit for this game! There are tons of similar games like this on TPT or that I have seen in other teachers' classrooms, but the games are usually way too easy. I like this one because the fractions are different shapes. They aren't all squares or all circles, which makes the comparison more difficult. Some of the problems require the kids to take out paper and find the common multiple or do the butterfly method. This game takes an extra step than just looking at circular pictures and automatically knowing which one is bigger. I love when my kids think and grow mathematically with a challenge, and this game leads to that. Since it's competitive, students get excited to prove their answer when they know they will beat their partner!

A lot of people use manila envelopes for center games, but I love Ziploc slider bags. They stay looking neat, plus I have a ton (when 28 kids each bring in a giant bag of Ziplocs, you basically have a lifetime supply). I hot glue the title on the front and directions on the back. Easy!

If you're interested in picking up Fraction War, visit my store! Or, you could also make your own. Either way, your kids will love this game.