Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: November 2014

On the Third Day of Christmas...

Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher gave to you...

Click on the picture below to grab this these fun brag tags. They are the perfect way to reward students as they work towards long-term goals!

I hope that you enjoy and feedback is always appreciated.

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On the Second Day of Christmas...

Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher gave to you...

Click on the picture below to grab a couple FREE rounding activities for your interactive math notebooks!

Enjoy the freebie and remember that feedback is appreciated.

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On the First Day of Christmas...

Diary of a Wimpy Teacher gave to you...

Click on the picture above to grab these FREE task cards. They are perfect for math centers or for a scoot activity. Feedback is appreciated!

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Shop 'till You Drop Black Friday $1 Deals!

Fess up! Who went out shopping this morning?

I am not much of a morning person so I prefer Internet shopping. If you love a little Internet shopping, like me, then you are going to LOVE my $1 deal for today and tomorrow!

Grab my December math task cards for either 2nd or 3rd grade for $1 today and tomorrow only! Just click on the pics.

I love to use these task cards in my math centers. They help students by spiraling through skills that I have already taught. They can also be used as a scoot with your whole class!

Be sure to check out the other $1 goodies that my bloggy friends have for you.

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12 Gifts for YOU!!!

Get ready for a little gushing and then an amazing announcement...

I can say this with complete sincerity- TpT has forever changed my life and the quality of living for my family. About five years ago, we were penniless and the creditors were calling repeatedly. My husband had just finished nursing school and I was in the middle of my schooling. We had four children ages 5 and under. And we worried about how to feed and clothe them.

Fast forward five years....

This was the view from my lounge chair on the beach in Grand Turk in the Caribbean. My family spent a week cruising the Caribbean last month. I shed a few tears thinking about how incredibly blessed we are.

I owe so much of my success to TpT and to all of my amazing fans and followers! You have encouraged me, pushed me and inspired me to make new and better products. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about how I can help a teacher to inspire a student. I am so grateful that you allow me to come into your classrooms through my resources. That means more to me than the money I make. Thank you for trusting me!

I wanted to give you an amazing Christmas gift. A gift that would express just how much you mean to me. But no one gift would cut it. So I decided to give you TWELVE gifts!

Starting this Friday, I will be releasing a new product every day for 12 days. Each of these products will be FREE! Some will be forever freebies and some will become paid products after the holidays. Be certain that you are following my TpT store and my Facebook page so that you don't miss out on a single one of these awesome gifts!

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5 Ways to Use Task Cards in the Classroom

I LOVE using task cards. They are so much more engaging and versatile than a worksheet! I also love that after prepping them once, they can be used over and over in different ways! Here is a look at five of my favorite ways to use task cards in the classroom.

1. Scoot

I LOVE to do scoots in my classroom! In fact, we do one every Friday. I use task cards and a scoot to assess our weekly language skill. The kids are out of their seat and moving around. This increases the blood flow to the brain! Plus, the kids don't even realize they are doing an assessment.

When I do a scoot, I lay the task cards on desks. I ask students to answer the card closest to them first and then get up and move around the room to answer the rest of the cards. I tell students that they get to get up and move around, but they can't use their voices. If I wasn't using it as a formative assessment, I might let them work in corporative learning groups.

My kids are pros at scooting, so now I can leave them in my sub tub!

2. As a Center

Every month, my students have sets of task cards that they must complete in their math centers. I give them the recording sheets at the start of the month. I put the cards where students can access them. During their independent time, they work on the cards in any order that they choose. Since they are doing this center independently, this is a great time to practice skills from a previous lesson. It the perfect spiral review! And more engaging than a worksheet! It is simple to differentiate by requiring different sets of cards from different math groups.

3. In Interactive Notebooks or Journals

Most task cards will print perfectly in black and white. I like to print some and have students attach them to their notebooks/journals. Each month, my students are given four task cards that ask them to respond to their independent reading. This holds my students accountable during their read-to-self time and it allows us to have a conversation about their books. The same sort of thing can be done  using math journal prompts.

4. Paired with a Board Game

Nearly any popular board game can be paired with math or ELA task cards! Students have to answer the task card question correctly before they can take their turn in the board game. Some of my favorites are Candyland, Checkers, Jenga and Connect Four. You can find these games on sale during the holidays and many can be purchased at garage sales or second-hand stores. I like to use these as a Fun Friday activity!

5. Line-Up Activity

Let's be honest- there is NEVER enough time! We have so much to teach and only a limited time to instruct. I like to use every last minute of our day together. When we have just 5 minutes until specials or release time- this line up activity is PERFECT! I walk around the room showing a task card to each student. If they get it correct, they get to line-up. If not, I come back to them (if time permits). Such a simple way to get some review in!

All of the task cards shown above, and dozens and dozens more, can be found in my TpT store HERE.

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