September in Summary Tarheelstate Teacher

Confession: I beat myself up a lot! I have such a big to do list, new ideas come my way to add to the to-do list, and then life is going on all around me, and I beat myself up for what I did not accomplish.

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Well, I have to tell you, this monthly blogging routine of looking back on all that I have accomplished in the past month has become really cathartic. After spending week after week moving one action item to the next week and realizing that EVERYTHING takes longer than I expect it to, it's really nice to stop and review all that I have accomplished. A lot of time when I am writing these posts and going back through my blog feed and tpt store, I think, "Wow, I really did that this month?" because it feels like so much longer ago.

Time flies by in a blur and I can't believe where I am at this moment. That happens in the classroom too, right? Time starts to fly. I mean it is October ya'll. And once you get the candy corn out of your teeth, you will be gearing up for turkeys and all things holiday. IN NO TIME!  Don't forget to take time to enjoy those moments. Stop teaching (yes, you who are like me and always say "I don't do class parties.") Take time and figure out something academically okay that you can do to have a fun time with your kiddos.

Life is about making memories and we need to model that for our students. 

In October, I like to do my Pumpkin Personalities/Adjectives writing project, and last Thanksgiving, I did a Book Tasting that was one of my absolute favorite events of the year. {It was one of those I invited the principal to ;) If you like the Pumpkin Personalities (which you can do as jack-o-lanterns or just stick with fall and have them be pumpkins), I also have a snowman personalities writing project. I always thought these projects were a great way to take a break from essay writing, narratives, etc. and give the kids some "creative writing" time.

If you have subscribed to my newsletter, God bless you :) I'm going to be working on something very special for you next week. Think, pouring my heart out a little, inspiring your teaching life, and sharing some freebies! My newsletter (that I have yet to get rolling) is one of those priorities that keeps getting moved down the list because of #allthethings and this life I'm living and trying to enjoy.

And, before I recap what happened this month, I want to leave you with some advice one of my friends wisely shared this week. It went something like this, "A student who finishes 19 problems out of 20 does not cry over the one they have not done. They are happy that they finished 19." Or at least I think this is what most of us would teach our students to focus on. I'd pat that kid on the dang back and say "You are good, my friend!" As teachers, we seem to always look towards what we have left to do, what has not yet been done, and we really let that get us down. I'd like to encourage us all to look more at what we HAVE accomplished and to celebrate that. I've even sat down in the past and written a list of all the things I HAVE accomplished for my classroom when I was feeling down. It's a real eye-opener and it's very hard to feel like a failure when you see all that you have done in black and white (or sparkly gel pen and astrobrights, whatever your flavor!)

I worked really hard to update more of my math task cards. I focused in on my Around the USA Number and Operations in Base 10 sets. I used United States data on various topics to make these task cards engaging and real-world kind of meaningful for math time. I've updated 3 out of 4 (see there goes that me thinking about the one I haven't finished yet. STOP!) When I do get that final update finished, I'm going to put these in a bundle. The rounding set is more for 3rd grade, the one that still needs an update is challenging for 4th and perfect for 5th, but depending on your grade level, you may see a need for all of these as you differentiate for your classroom. Here's the math focus for each set of my Around the USA task cards:

 Real World Math Task Cards Number and Operations in Base 10

Rounding to Tens, Hundreds, Thousands 3NBT1

3rd Grade: Students practice rounding with data on the highest mountain peaks in each state in the US. (orange cards)

Place Value and Comparing Powers in Numbers 5NBT1 5NBT2 5NBT3a: Students practice working with Patterns in Place Value and comparing the value of digits in different place values. I couldn't find task cards that I thought were really hitting 5.NBT1 or 5.NBT2 very well (long ago when Common Core was first implemented), so I made these based on United States population data and the lengths of rivers. (red/green cards)

Read Write Compare and Round Decimals with Different Number Forms: Students practice reading and writing numbers in different forms, comparing, and rounding (pink/green cards)

Multistep Word Problems for 5th Grade Task Cards

This one is the B-E-A-Uty that needs an update. Nothing really bad about it, but I wrote the exponents with a carrot. Yes, a carrot, because when I made them, seriously in 2013, I did not know how to use a superscript to make an exponent. (I also fixed this issue in some of the task cards above, so if you own them, one, I love you, and two, you need to redownload from your tpt purchases to get the best version). Now, these multi-step word problems are amazing. They make your kiddos do some good multi-step math work AND they use real-world data. Each task card is a PAGE with 6-15 connected questions on each task card. (They are obviously not meant to be done at the speed of most task cards, but are perfect for problem solving station or your fast finishers.)

UPDATE: Multi-Step Word Problems for 5th Grade are now revised!

All of my Around the USA Task cards can be found in this bundle

 Building a Reading Life Readers Worskhop Launch Kit

OH MY GOODNESS! In other news, if you have purchased my Building a Reading Life Reader's Workshop Launch Kit, The MEGA LITERACY BUNDLE, or the Reading & Writing Bundle, you are going to want to redownload ASAP. I have updated the Reading Life file to included a 10 day outline for Launching reader's workshop, a list of behaviors to teach, and my First Day Love of Reading Minilesson in pdf form so that it is easy for you to access. If you don't have my Building a Reading Life resource, you can still access that minilesson here for free.

Differentiated 4th Grade Fractions Tests

Earlier this month, I finally got my 4th Grade Fractions Differentiated Assessments polished and uploaded. I was seeing fractions for days. Ya'll as much as fractions are my passion. It was a little much. Haha, good thing I'm working on Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying and Dividing Decimals for 5th grade right now, because when those are finished, my plan is to go right back to fractions to create the 5th Grade Differentiated Fractions set.

Here's what's included in the 4th Grade Fractions Set:

#itsallthestandards #allthethings #nowonderittookforevah!

♦ Fraction Equivalence and Reducing to Lowest Terms

♦ Equivalence with Mixed Numbers and Improper Fractions

♦ Comparing and Ordering Fractions

♦ Decomposing Fractions

♦ Adding and Subtracting Fractions

♦ Adding and Subtracting Fractions Word Problems (with 30 problems with 3 different real-world, cohesive themes)

♦ Multiplying with Fractions

♦ Multiplying with Fractions Word Problems (with 30 problems with 3 different real-world, cohesive themes)

♦ Decimal Notation for Fractions

♦ Comparing and Ordering Decimal Fractions

♦ Building Blocks, Goals, and Stretching Beyond Summative Assessments for Fractions Concepts & adding and subtracting fractions AND Decimal Fractions

4th grade standards based assessments common core

Don't forget that I've already created a bundle for my 4th Grade Differentiated Assessments. If you've bought one of the 4th grade sets, you can actually get a refund of that cost if you buy the bundle. TPT is amazing ya'll!

And, you know what, I decided this month that if you want to use these assessments as a grade-level, the extra licenses would only be $3. That is a steal, ya'll. All of my differentiated/leveled assessment sets are right at 100 pages. I've put the extra license for the bundle at just $10 additional dollars per teacher. THAT'S FOR MATH ASSESSMENTS FOR THE WHOLE YEAR IN 4TH GRADE?!?!?!?!?!

When I finished 4th Grade Fractions, I turned my attention to 5th grade Place Value. (Umm, YAY 5th grade!!!) So excited to get 5th grade rolling because, don't tell, but it's my favorite grade level to teach. The 5th grade Place Value set that's focused on Patterns in Place Value, Rounding, and Comparing is all set for ya. Anyone else struggle with 5.NBT.1 and 5.NBT.2?!?!?! Well, I struggled with how to present it the whole time I was making the assessment, but I think I included enough versions and enough variety that you will have just what you need to assess, practice, review, and post-test your students.

Here's what you get in 5th Grade Place Value:


♦ Word Form, Recognizing that a Digit in 1 Place Represents 10 times as much as it represents to its right and 1/10 of what it represents to its left

♦ Describe the new value of a number when it is increased or decreased by powers of 10

♦ Change the Value of a Number by Multiplying or Dividing by a Power of 10


♦ Multiply or Divide by powers of 10, Explain Patterns that Occur in the number of zeros, and Explain how the decimal moves when a number is multiplied or divided by a power of 10


♦ Write Decimal Numbers in Word Form, Expanded Form, Base 10 Numeral Form


♦ Comparing the value of the same numeral in another number that is in a different place

♦ Identifying Place Values to Compare two Numbers

ROUNDING to the nearest whole, tenth, hundredth, and thousandth

Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying, and Dividing with decimals are in the works right now! And I'm having tons of fun writing the word problems! Did I just say that out loud?!? 

If you've been busy this month {like I know you have}, make sure you didn't miss any of these posts from September.

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The hustle quote above is something I posted this week as well as this sweaty picture of myself after the gym. I'm going to be cranking it up on instagram, and honestly, it's my favorite form of social media. I'd love to have you friends following me over there!

Cheers to you! Don't forget to live, enjoy the life, and take a break from the hustle sometimes!