Limited Wall Space Simple Tip {A Bright Idea}

Are you ready for some...

My tip this time...

This idea comes from my teaching partner {who is brilliant}.  Let me give you a little background before I begin.

My classroom is T.I.N.Y.  I'm not sure why I made those capital letters except to emphasize that my room is teeny-tiny.  If I really wanted to emphasize how tiny the room is, then I probably should have said that my classroom is tiny.  That's tiny.

It's also shaped like a triangle.  Seriously.  What architect came up with that brilliant idea?  That's certainly not a "Bright Idea".  Do you realize what that does? It cuts down on my wall space.  Yes, instead of 4 great walls for hanging all of our favorite anchor charts, I'm limited to 3 walls.  And of those three walls, one of them is taken by cabinets and cubbies.

This leads me to my co-worker's BRIGHT IDEA.  It's really rather simple and a tip that I know I would still use if my room were HUGE.

Just cut a poster in 1/2.

Told you it was simple, yet brilliant!  I've also had this calendar hanging in that spot for two years.  So, it will last.

Short and simple tip, but it works for us!  I hope you found it helpful!

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Math Menus: All About Angles

Last week, we had state testing.  I sure am glad that is over.

The week before and during some of our "down time" after testing, my students have been busily plugging along on their newest menu:

I decided to split the focus of the geometry skills into two menus.  I left all of the "angle business" to this menu.  I'm glad I did.  I really think by splitting it up into two menus allowed my students to explore angles more in depth.  I was so pleased with the work that I saw with this menu.  This is now our fourth menu, and my students are now experts.

I'd love to share with you some highlights. I make sure I change the variety of the activities for each menu.  For example, this menu didn't have a rap as an option.  Instead, they could write a children's book telling the story of an angle.  Let me tell you...I was amazed at the results.  This is BY FAR the BEST WAY all year long that I've been able to incorporate CREATIVE writing in math.  My students journal all of the time, but to be able to write creatively in math?  Well, this did it!

I'd love to share every story with you, but you'd be here

But, check out this cutie patootie story! (Just click on the picture to enlarge it so that you can read it better.)
One of my groups wrote an entire CHAPTER BOOK!  Here's just a quick peek into the first chapter:

Some other items in the menu included a picture collage of real-world items with angles, trading cards of the four basic types of angles that we studied (acute, obtuse, right, and straight), a picture using only circles where angle turns needed to be labeled (quarter, half, three-quarter, and full turns).

I am so impressed with their work!

For our final menu, I'm going to create an "open-ended" menu where the students will be able to showcase any skill that we covered this year.  I'm sure with that freedom, I will end up with masterpieces!  I can't wait!

And, just as I have done in the past, I'm giving you a chance to Pin It to Win It :)
Just leave me a comment with the URL link to your pin below. You may pin to this blog post or directly to Teachers Pay Teachers at the link {here}.  I'll pick 5 winners on Thursday night!

If you can't wait, I'm going to leave it set to only $2 until Thursday night.  After that, I'll be resetting it to $3.  Thanks everyone!  Have a fantastic week :)

Good luck!


Congratulations to Aimee W., Diane R., Tracie, Fab and Fun in Fourth, and JS.  You should have received an email from me.  If you didn't, email me and let me know :)

Testing, Testing

Today we began our four days of state testing.  And I had to come home and take a nap.

'Nuf said.

But, then...maybe one more little thought for the night.

And one more thought from our students...

Off to bed so that I can do it again tomorrow.

Have you started (or finished) state testing yet?