Monday, October 15, 2012

I need YOUR help, please!

This is a totally unrelated to education post, but I would really appreciate your help. I have entered baby girl in the Parents magazine photo contest (yes, I am THAT parent). 

Please follow the link below and vote for her, I promise it will only take a minute. Thank you in advance :)

I am taking pictures of my classroom today to post later this week, I am sorry I have fallen behind. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Goodbye!! And hello!

Wellll there no stopping it now. Summer is gone and a new school year arrives.

Summer 2012 was definitely an unforgettable, life changing one for us. I've included 4 pictures to summarize it-
Our beautiful healthy almost 2 month old baby girl Arianna, such a blessing!
Alexander holding his baby sister like the proud and lovable big brother that he is.
Alexander and Me at his 1st grade meet the teacher, gosh can't believe how big he is!
Last but not least my wonderful husband and me closing the summer off with style at the Enrique and JLo concert.

Hope everyone had a great one filled with amazon memories as well.

Now for the hello. Hello 2012-2013 school year! I can't even put in words how excited I am about this year. Its my 3rd year in 3rd grade. I'm working with an AMAZING team! We have so many plans and ideas already that it's sure to be a year to remember. Love these gals!

Heres a look at my board outside my room. Our school theme is reading so we all have different book covers represented. We are also embracing technology this year so I combined them :)

Wish everyone a great first day back and a GREAT school year!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Math "Toolbox" Update-Mailing list

I have done my best at responding to all comments today regarding the teacher binder and the math toolbox, if I missed you please forgive me and feel free to contact me. A very popular question/request was "Where do you find your printables? Can you share them?" 

My main source for these printables is our curriculum, CSCOPE. If you have access to this go ahead and dive in! There is a ton of paper-pencil activities that are easily turned into hands on activities for your toolboxes. I unfortunately CANNOT share these due to copyright laws. Ask your principal maybe your campus has access to it. 

My second huge source is PINTEREST! Everyone has access to this so if you do not already have an account, go make one NOW! It's super addictive but oh the resources you'll find. I found the "Gallon Land" printable there (lessonplandiva)

Many of you amazing followers asked if I could email anything I had to share, I would LOVE to! Since I have let my comments accumulate for a couple of weeks I would hate to miss someones email address. 

Therefore this is what I think we should do- if you would like me to email you any printables I come across for this following year please leave me your name and email address in a comment below. This way I will have a mailing list all in one place :)

Hope this helps all of us out! Thank you for the interest and hope to be back soon with new ideas.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

She's here!

Arianna Caelin Rivera
7.1lbs 18in. Born June 30 at 3:29am

So this ladies and gentlemen is my precious bundle of joy! As you can imagine we are over the moon happy and in love with her. 
With all this happiness also comes sleepless nights and busy on and off napping/feeding days ;) In other words, I've been too busy to log on. Its been a forced but much needed "break". I apologize for not responding to questions and comments. I have seen them and promise to respond soon. I will also begin posting new ideas I've come across during my 3am sleepless nights. 
Thank you so much for continuing to check out my blog and the wonderful feedback. Hope everyone's enjoying the summer!
Now back to my baby girl...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Mathness!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: the amazing gallon land sheet shown in this post, that many of you have asked about, is not originally mine. I apologize if I made it seem like it was. This printable was found on pinterest, original creator-lessonplandiva. Check her out for more amazing ideas. Like I mentioned in my other post, I find my printables online and from our curriculum CSCOPE, which unfortunately I cannot share. 
Our Math "toolbox"
The composition book, who knew such a common school supply item could be so useful? Our class has what we call our "Math Toolbox", it holds our notes, key words, diagrams, definitions and any math related "tool" that could help us learn our 3rd grade material.

Rounding with color coding :) 
This gives us a place for all those math reminders that come with our curriculum but most importantly student created definitions, diagrams and hands on activities that will allow them a connection with the material. Below are a couple of pages from our toolbox. Check it out!
Visual of Base Ten Blocks- Vocabulary to go along with Place Value (Simplified definitions created by students)

More rounding reminders-Making "friendly numbers"

Patterns (Each student drew their own at the bottom)-2D Figures Definitions
3D Key words and visuals of each
Our Favorite Colors in a variety of forms (Data collection)
Our "Land of Gallon" story for capacity Unit 

Visual reminder for capacity

Updates I plan on doing for next school year:
  • Table of Contents with page numbers for easy reference
  • What do you think? Suggestions? Comments?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

TGI...Th! (+, - Game)

Thank goodness it's Thursday!!! I have survived my first week of summer school (ok ok we only went 2 days this week but still!) I am really enjoying it, the kids are so sweet and excited to be learning "3rd grade material" before all their other classmates :) Some of these students will end up being my kiddos next year so I am very excited about getting to know them, I have to admit that's one reason I truly enjoy teaching summer school.

 Most of these students are aware that we learn multiplication facts in 3rd grade and boy are they eager to start! During summer school I like to focus on addition and subtraction facts and strategies. The better fundamental base they have of these the better they will do in multiplication and division.
Ok time to share!! Today we played a game called "Off the Grid". It is a very simple, adaptable, and competitive game that covers both addition and subtraction. I will be no means take credit for the idea, I came across it on pinterest. It took me to this amazing blog that explains the game further. I did modify it a bit to fit my students needs...and my budget ;)

# grid game
This is from that amazing blog-not my adaptation. I forgot to take pictures of mine but will soon.
 I did not use a cookie sheet or magnets. I simply got a couple hundreds charts from an amazing kinder teacher willing to share (she printed and laminated). For markers I used clear colored counting chips, this allowed my students to see the number even when their piece was on it. For dice I used another pinterest idea; dice in a little clear container to keep the dice from rolling all over the room and driving me crazy. 

Picked these cute little containers up at Staples for $2

I apologize for not having original pictures of my adaptation, I will make sure to get some on Monday and update. I really liked that this game allowed them to add and subtract in one game. Since the game was just introduced today I only put one number die and the add/subtract die per box. This allowed them to add or subtract up to 6. Monday I will substitute the # die for a "friendly number" die (a die that has 2, 5, 10). I will eventually end the game with two # dice so the students have to add their dice first then add on the game board. I think this makes it easier to adapt for students depending on their level :) The kids really seemed to enjoy this game and asked to play it several times. Check it out!

Chips and 100 chart I used.

Sunday, June 3, 2012



It's finally here! Time to relax, relieve stress, chill by the pool, soak up the sun and...PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR! :) 

Don't kid yourself, you know you've started throwing ideas around in your head, or in your classroom. 

I have no choice but to buckle down and get as much done as possible as soon as possible. Remember, baby Arianna will be here in July. I have taken this weekend to relax as much as possible, I will work on nursery a bit Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday, I am back in teacher mode! So hold on!! 

I will begin teaching summer school Wednesday and working on my room as well (ok not going to lie I already kind of started lol). I will post pics of progress and things I come across I believe are worth sharing...

please don't give up on my blog, promise to continue sharing ideas! Keep the comments and ideas coming!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Math Key Word Charts

Problem solving takes a whole new level in 3rd grade for students. As teachers we try and guide our students to a variety of "real life" high level problem solving strategies. Not all students are ready for that kind of "out of the box" thinking therefore we also offer them strategies such as "key words".

We keep a -Math Toolbox- journal in my class (I'll post that next) where we place our math vocabulary and strategies. These "key words" usually go in the the toolbox for reference and that's it. This year I decided to give them more of a visual and ownership over them.

Think they stand out enough? ;)
Wal mart has these nice and bright poster boards that I used to cut out the math signs. The kids instantly LOVED how big and bright they were.   I put one sign up at a time on the board and simply asked "what helps me know when to ______?" The room was instantly taken over by math words. We added what we could think of at the moment and then hung them up. Whenever a new word came to their mind while working we stopped and added it to our class poster. I think this really gave them ownership and a connection with the words. Hope they remember their "key words" tomorrow (STAAR test)!


Addition words and diagrams

Division words

Subtraction key words

An inexpensive and effective activity, hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Representing Data-Math

A couple of months ago when I announced to my students I was having a baby they immediately became excited and wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl. A couple of weeks later I had my appointment to find out and figured-why not turn this into a math lesson?!? So we did :)

We began by raising our hands and voting who thought it was a girl, and who thought it was a boy. We wrote down the voters actual name under each column. We then discussed-"what other ways can we show this same information?"-as you can see we went in various directions.

The kids loved this activity! Try felt ownership over the ideas being put down on paper and involved in the discussion. I think having REAL data rather then a pre-made problem helped fueled the enthusiasm.

We hung the poster up and I'm happy to report my students still use it and refer to it when we come upon any of the graphs brought up that day.

Quick and easy activity that was also fun and successful!

By the's a girl!!! (kids LOVED seeing who was right!)

Baby Announcement

6 months late but still love sharing it! Proud big brother, Alexander.

Thank you!

Wow you all know how to make someone feel appreciated!
I admit, I've been MIA from my blog for some time (I blame Pinterest, which has given me new ideas to share) but seeeing all my new followers and comments when I logged on, well I was floored!!

I am very excited to have more than obligated family members as followers! Like mentioned above I have come across new ideas that I can't wait to share.

This year has kind of been a blur professionally, I mean my second year has just flown by.  Personally things have changed too ;) I am now Jennifer Rivera and we are expecting the arrival of our little princess this summer. Very exciting things have happen and ARE happening.

So let's get started!!