Thursday, December 19, 2013

Amazing Opportunity for Teachers!

If you teach United States history, keep reading!  I wanted to let my teacher friends know about this incredible opportunity to attend the six day Colonial Williamsburg Teachers' Institute in Williamsburg, Virginia this summer 2014.

Learn More!

Our family loves Colonial Williamsburg!  We have visited there on two separate week-long vacations - spring break and Christmas.  Some people have said, "Oh, we went there for a day."  Our family loves history!  We spent the whole week there on both occasions.  We went in every building, read, listened to as many costumed characters, at in period restaurants, and watched plays and events of the time.  Our Christmas trip was magical!  There were lighted candles in every window and unique wreaths on every door in the town.  For history buffs like us, it was a week of immersion into the past that we loved.

Colonial Williamsburg is offering scholarships to attend their teacher institute.  This is an amazing chance for teachers in Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

If you teach U.S. history, check it out!

Enjoy the season!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas is a Time for Math, Language & Geography Fun & Skill Building

Students are getting excited about Christmas but have no fear!  Focus their excitement on essential skills like grammar, math concepts, and geography with these fun lessons designed to keep them on-task and learning each day!

This is a popular favorite! Students figure our the cost of the gifts given 
in the song, "The 12 Days of Christmas."
12 Days of Christmas Gift Giving Dilemma
FUN, YouTube & SMART Board Format
also in Non-SMART Board Format 

After students figure out HOW many gifts were given, 
they figure out the COST of the gifts!  
Yikes!  Math is everywhere.   :)
What's the Cost of the Christmas Gifts?  

12 Days of Math, Language & Geography Daily Starters
5 Worksheets with Answer Keys
Differentiated to challenge every student!

12 Days of Christmas Math Problems
Also in SMART Board Format

Word Grid Vocabulary Fun for Christmas Centers
5 Worksheets

Keep them FOCUSED and LEARNING at Christmas time!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Teach the Vocabulary of Math

Students today are faced with Common Core State Standards that set the bar higher than ever before.  Now, more than ever before, it is important to teach the language of math so students can be successful showing what they know on the standardized tests they will face each year.

My fourth grade team had an "ah ha" moment when we focused our data team work on improving math vocabulary.  We gave a pre-test and realized many of our students did not understand what we considered common knowledge for words like "row" and "column".  These words were essential to solving math tasks and we set to work to improve our teaching.

I created math posters that have been INVALUABLE!  The posters are posted at the top of the room and are visible from all the way across the classroom.  We refer to the vocabulary posters with examples constantly during math instruction.  It's simple to point to and look at the poster and you will notice your students use them all the time.

The post and slideshow sets help my students achieve tremendous growth on their yearly math exams.

I created two versions of math poster sets:

  • One set includes posters aligned the CCSS-M with extra supporting words included.  
  • The other set in more interactive and in PowerPoint slideshow format so you can choose a word and have it be the "Word of the Day".  The slideshow set also includes the printable posters.
On Cyber Monday & Tuesday (December 2 & 3) both versions of the poster sets are on sale for 20% off AND Teachers pay Teachers is giving an ADDITIONAL 8%.  All of the sets allow you to purchase licenses for your teaching partners for half off!  Now THAT'S a deal!

You won't find a better price on this mega set packed with content!  



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale!

Everyone loves a sale and there's a BIG one coming to my TpT store Dec. 2 & 3 only!

Mrs. Renz' Class Products ON SALE!

Everything in my store is 20% off AND Teachers pay Teachers is giving you and EXTRA 8% off so all of my work is 28% off for TWO days only!

The sale runs from Dec. 2-3 (12:01 am ET to 12/4 3:00 am ET)

Get your wish list started now!  Thanks for shopping!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Activities

What are you thankful for?  I'm thankful for so many things. Health, family, friends, loving what I do . . .

Thanksgiving is coming and it's a great time to sneak in some essential skills with themed fun with students in grades 3-5!  Students eagerly work on these activities, and what teacher doesn't love that?
12 pages of skill-building fun
I created these over the years teaching and love to use them during the week leading up to Thanksgiving.  It's a great excuse to review math facts, reinforce and review essential grammar skills, and throw in a little geography in a fun way!  Students will be thankful they are receiving such a great eduction in your classroom!
  • Grammar Acrostic Game:  Students will review how to use common & proper nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in this grammar game.  This could be used as a center activity or class game.
  • Grammar Helper:  A grammar resource that instructs students and gives Thanksgiving themed examples of how to use nouns (common and proper), verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. This can be used to play the grammar acrostic game.
  • Multiplication BINGO Game:  A class BINGO game that reinforces multiplication basic facts.
  • Geography & Math Acrostic:  Geography and math are reviewed with a fun acrostic (with answer key).
  • Teacher Note Paper:  And for you . . . there's a fun "Message from the Teacher" note paper set with 4 designs.  

Check out these activities and add them to your holiday-themed lessons that sneak in important skills in a fun way.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another cool pattern!

I can't stop finding patterns!  Today at 9:10 am on 11-12-13 I snapped this photo on my phone.  9-10-11-12-13!  How cool is that?

That's all for now.  I just had to share the moment!  Happy pattern hunting!

11-12-13 . . . Finding Patterns Everywhere!

I just LOVE math!  I don't know about you, but I notice patterns everywhere!  Challenge your students to notice the patterns everywhere.  Patterns help build a sense of algebraic thinking and I also happen to LOVE teaching Algebra!  It was my favorite middle school math class to teach.

November 12th, 2013 is a cool date!  Today is 11-12-13.  Make sure to ask students what is special about today?  What do they notice about today? When is the next time that will happen?  Will it happen during 2013?  (Answer at the bottom of the page - no peeking without thinking first!)

Here's another one.  How often does your car turn to 123,456?   Our daughter's super observant boyfriend snapped this photo at JUST the right time.   How lucky is that?

Finding patterns helps students generate rules and predict the next number in a sequence like finding multiples or figuring out functions.   Take time to notice patterns and encourage a pattern hunt in your students.  

Here's a fun website for students to practice finding patterns.

Answer:  The next day we will have a cool date like 11-12-13 will be on 12-13-14.  I can't wait for the time 10:11 am on 12-13-14.   So the next question is . . .  when will it occur after that?  I'll leave you to ponder that.

Monday, November 11, 2013

11:11 on 11-11

Patterns are everywhere!  It's November 11, Veterans Day, and the time is 11:11 a.m.  How cool is that?  Math is all around us!

I just had to share that with you all!  So the question for you is . . . when will we have another pattern like that?

Have a great day and don't forget to thank a veteran!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thank a Veteran

Veterans Day is nearly here and it's time to remember the sacrifice made by so many to protect us all.  November 11th is not a day off of school.  It's a day of remembrance.

Use authentic writing to capture students' feelings, poems, thank you letters, or reflections of family members who have or are serving in the military right now.

This is a FREE 16-page set of writing papers.  Line spacing is wide for younger writers and narrower for mature writers and there's also unlined papers.

When you see a service member in uniform or one who has served . . . take a moment to say thank you.

Click to download this FREE 16 page set of papers.  Enjoy!

Happy Veterans Day!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Welcome to my blog!

Many teachers have connected with me in the the past years through my website,   I'm excited to be beginning my blog and hope to reconnect with teachers.  For the past 13+ years, I've shared my work, teaching ideas, and projects on my website.  If I had to guess at how many emails I got over the years since beginning my Mrs Renz Class website in the year 2000, I would say well over 10,000 teachers. I LOVE connecting and helping other teachers.  It is a passion of mine.  Now, I am continuing to share with teachers around the world in a BIG way.

I must say, when the website called Teachers pay Teachers got started, I resisted the thought that teachers would sell their ideas.  I have ALWAYS shared my materials and creations and believe that teachers have a really hard job and we're all trying to do the same thing . . . create amazing lessons that our engage and capture the imagination and light the fire in our students.  We all need to share what works with kids.  I've spent more hours than I can say in the past year writing up in great detail and turning what's been in my head to share with teachers. I am having a blast, too!

One day last year, I finally broke down and created an account on TpT in order to buy some super cute teaching fonts.  While exploring the depth of materials on the site, I had a change of heart.  I decided to become a contributing teacher and decided to share my lessons, activities, projects, and years of experience with other teachers.

Now, I have 121 teaching products I've created posted to TpT.  My materials are aimed to make YOUR job easier.  I include everything but the kitchen sink in the hopes to save you time.

In the coming weeks and months as I get this blog up and running, I plan to share with teachers in the hopes of reaching out to help from afar.

So stay tuned and follow me on this journey of sharing and helping.
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