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Fractions can be one of the trickiest skills for young learners to master. Before diving into our fraction unit each year, I like introducing fractions using readalouds. Children are able to better understand mathematical concepts when they're applied to real-life situations. I have a few favorite fraction books that I use to introduce the skill and the vocabulary associated with it.


1. Fraction Fun by David A. Adler

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Fractions are made easy in this simple and hands-on math concept book. You'll learn what the top and bottom numbers are called, and what they mean. You will also find out how to recognize and compare different fractions. Just follow the clear instructions and you will learn the most important thing of all -- that fractions can be fun!

2. Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds

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Miss Bloom runs the Strawberry Inn, and she loves visitors. All through the day she welcomes a cast of hilarious characters until all the rooms are taken. It’s a full house! But in the middle of the night, Miss Bloom senses that something is amiss — and sure enough, the guests are all downstairs eating dessert. Readers will be inspired to do the math and discover that one delicious cake divided by five hungry guests and one doting hostess equals a perfect midnight snack at the Strawberry Inn. Piece of cake!

3. If You Were a Fraction by Trisha Speed Shaskan

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If you were a fraction, you be part of a whole. You could be part of a pizza or part of pie. You could be part of an apple or part of a pear. What else could you be if you were a fraction? This colorful picture book describes fractions in a way that makes learning math fun!

4. My Half Day by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed

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The wacky fun continues as a young boy awakens to find a half-head of hair. After chugging down his glass of milk that s two-thirds gooey paste, he and his friend are off to camp for a day of fraction fun and an out-of-this world soccer game.

5. Whole-Y Cow by Taryn Souders

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Using one very entertaining cow, math teacher Taryn Souders has devised a very clever (and fun) way of explaining fractions to beginning learners. One whole cow, calmly eating hay, decided to act differently on this particular day. One whole cow - what should we do? I know! Let's paint one half blue! Prompted by a poem and a visual clue, students are asked to answer what fraction is illustrated in the cow's antics, starting with halves and progressing into thirds, fourths, eighths, and tenths.

6. The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins

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Each ring of the doorbell brings more friends to share the delicious cookies Ma has made in this beloved classic.

7. Spaghetti and Meatballs for All by Marilyn Burns

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Mr. and Mrs. Comfort are having a family reunion! Mr. Comfort starts cooking up his famous spaghetti and meatballs, while Mrs. Comfort carefully arranges eight tables and thirty-two chairs so that everyone will have a seat. The tables look lovely, the food is ready, and here come the guests--with their own seating plans!

8. Fractions in Disguise by Edward Einhorn

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When a valuable fraction goes missing, George Cornelius Factor (a.k.a. GCF) vows to track it down. Knowing that the villainous Dr. Brok likes to disguise his ill-gotten fractions, GCF invents a Reducer—half ray gun, half calculator— that strips away the disguise, reducing the fraction to its lowest common denominator and revealing its true form. With the Reducer in hand, George seeks out Dr. Brok in hopes of retrieving the missing fraction. 

9. A Fraction's Goal- Parts of a Whole by Brian P. Cleary

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In this fun-filled look at fractions, Brian P. Cleary and Brian Gable demonstrate how fractions work by splitting whole objects into parts.

10. Give me Half by Stuart J Murphey

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How do you share a pizza? You split it in half! Two siblings split a yummy lunch and discover that using fractions can be messy. 




With every new year comes lots of reflecting and goal setting. But who says goal setting is just for adults? Just like the grown ups, kiddos are more likely to succeed when they reflect on previous experiences, set goals, and track their progress.

 Student Goal Setting & Data Tracking

 Student leadership notebooks are the perfect way to hold your students accountable this year. They can reflect on previous quarters, set new quarterly goals, and track their academic progress throughout the months. This is also a great place for students to graph in their assessment data and monitor which areas they need growth in // which areas demonstrate strength. 
Once your kiddos are independent enough to understand their progress, they'll be able to share it with others through student-led conferences. These conferences are designed to encourage students to speak about their progress with their teachers, parents, and/or guardians. They'll be able to showcase work they're proud of, discuss academic and personal milestones, and elaborate on their goals. 
 Students can now track data virtually! This resource includes both printable AND digital versions of the Leadership Notebook.

 Want to try out the quarterly goals tracking sheet? You can grab the freebie below! 


 Whole Group Data Tracking 

Some students perform better when they're held accountable as a whole-group. Aside from individual leadership notebooks, I also incorporate data tracking posters in the classroom. We talk about taking ownership over our learning and how we can track assessment data as a whole. Each week, two student leaders help fill out the class average for our reading and math assessments. We also track our iReady lessons! 


 "Dear Future Self" Writing Prompt 

The 'Dear Future Self' writing prompt is great for a new year activity, but can also be used as an end of year writing prompt. Before writing, we discuss how we envision ourselves in ten years. We talk about personal and career goals. Students then write a letter to themselves which explains what they believe their life will look like in ten years. Some students go home and create a time capsule for their letters. They put keepsakes inside from the current year and store it away to open in ten years. (This can turn into a whole class new year activity as well!) 
 Grab the free writing template below.


If you're looking to instill a student leadership culture in your classroom this year, these activities will help you get started.

Wishing you the best year ever!

xoxo,
Yari


 Our family grew by one this year! Capri will be a month old this Christmas and i'm beyond excited about starting new Christmas traditions as a family of three! (well, four with Buddy)

 I asked you guys to share some of the unique traditions in your family and you all had so many good ideas. I know many mommas are out there brainstorming ways to make the holidays extra special for their littles. I've complied a list of 15 holiday traditions that will make Christmas time extra magical for your family. 


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Scroll to the bottom of the page to shop items mentioned throughout the post.

1. Twelve Days of Christmas Books

Wrap up twelve books and place them under the Christmas tree. Each night leading up to Christmas (starting December 13th), unwrap a book and read it by the tree or fireplace!

Here are some of my favorite Christmas themed books:
(Click the image to checkout the books + descriptions!)

2. Memorable Ornament

Each year, gift your kids an ornament to represent their year. It can represent a hobby, family vacation, favorite food, milestone, etc!


You can also grab a clear plastic ornament and fill it with something special from that year. (EX: hospital bracelets to symbolize baby's birth)


3. Christmas PJs + Movie the Night Before Christmas

Wear matching PJs the night before Christmas. Curl up on the couch with some hot chocolate and watch a holiday classic.

4. Santa's Breakfast

Surprise your kiddos one morning in December with a decorated breakfast table filled with Santa's favorite breakfast items. 

Here are some ideas:

- Gingerbread Waffles

- Santa Pancakes

-Snowman Hot Chocolate

-Reindeer Donuts

>>> Check out these fun Christmas breakfast ideas kids will love

5. Spread Joy to those in Need

Gather as many family members as you can and prepare lunch bags filled with homemade sandwiches, chips, water bottles, and a mini hand sanitizer. Drive around town handing out bags to those in need during the holiday season.

6. Holiday Charcuterie Board

Host an annual holiday charcuterie board night! Stock up on holiday snacks and sweets (Trader Joes has a great selection of themed treats!) Each child is in charge of designing a mini charcuterie board.
Here are some inspo pics:

7. Handprint Ornament

Create an ornament with your child's handprint each year and engrave the year on the back. Compare the handprint sizes each year to watch how much they're grown!

8. Donuts & Christmas Lights

Put on your family PJs, jump in the car, stop at your local Dunkin' Donuts to grab some hot chocolate & donuts, and drive around your neighborhood to enjoy the Christmas lights.

9. Show your Appreciation

Show your appreciation for delivery workers during the holiday season by setting up a 'Thank You' station in your front porch. Fill up goody bags with snacks and add some water bottles.

The sign is a freebie designed by @TheAmyGroesbeck 
(Check out her Instagram to get access to the link!)

10. Winter Bucket List

Create a winter bucket list with your kids. Jot down each idea on a slip of paper and place them inside of a jar. Each day (or weekend!), take out a slip and enjoy the activity with your family! 

11. Carrots for Santa's Reindeer

Leaving cookies out for Santa on Christmas eve? Don't forget about his helpers! Add some carrots to your plate for Santa's Reindeer.

12. A Day at the Christmas Tree Farm

Spend the day at the Christmas tree farm. Pack some lunch, set up a picnic, and pick out your family Christmas tree.

13. Light it Up Bicycle Ride

Add some garland and string lights to your bicyles and take a ride around the neighborhood. Want to make it an extra special ride? Bring a small speaker and play Christmas music as you tour the neighborhood with your family.

14. Hot Chocolate Bar + Decorating

Surprise your kiddos with a hot cocoa bar stocked with Christmas mugs, marshmallows, gingerbread cookies, sprinkles, peppermint sticks, and anything else you can find to fit the theme! Decorate your home while sipping on some warm chocolate. 


>>> Read more on how to set up a hot chocolate bar

15. Pizza Night

A nontraditional spin to Christmas dinner-- homemade pizzas on Christmas day!

16. Cookie Decorating Contest


Host an annual Christmas decorting contest with your family and friends. Pick a theme each year and set up all the decorating goodies! You'll need cookie cutters, icing, sprinkles, candy, etc. Have some boxes ready so that your guests can take some cookies home. 

 Here are some cookie theme ideas: 

 + Gingerbread Men

+ Christmas Trees

+ Santa 

+ Snowmen 

 + Ornaments

     + Reindeer

17. Pack Shoeboxes for Kids

Tis' the season for giving. Pack a shoebox filled with toys and goodies for kids in need. Learn more about packing a shoebox here.

18. Design Ugly Sweaters

Design your own ugly Christmas sweaters. Grab some white sweatshirts, craft paint, gemstones, patches and see which family member can come up with the most creative design.

19. Holiday Campout

If the weather permits, camp out in your backyard. Wear Christmas PJs, read Christmas stories, and munch on holiday snacks.

20. Surprise your Neighbors

Fill small stockings with treats and hang them on your neighbors' doorknobs.

21. Kindness Advent Calendar

Instead of an advent calendar containing treats inside, how about a calendar filled with kindness acts? Fill each date with a slip of paper containing a random act of kindness. 


Here are some ideas: 

 + Pay for someone's coffee 

 + Spread kindness post-it notes around the grocery store 

+ Write a letter to the mail carrier thanking them 

 + Shovel snow for a neighbor

 + Donate food to a food bank 

 + Drop donuts off at the local fire station 

 + Take coloring books to the children's hospital


22. Christmas Tree in Every Room

Set up a themed Christmas tree in every room of the house. Let your kiddos choose the theme for their bedroom tree every year and help DIY ornaments to match.

23. Santa's Magic

Leave a trail of 'Santa's Magic' (glitter) and footprints around the house on Christmas day. 


23. Set up an Animal Toy Drive

Many animals are in need during the holiday season and the local animal shelter is always accepting donations! Design flyers to place around the neighborhood letting your neighbors know that you'll be collecting items to drop off at the shelter. 

Here are some items that are usually needed: 

 (Check with your local animal shelter for a more specific list) 

 + Dog & Cat Food

 + Snacks 

 + Toys 

 + Blankets


24. Twenty-Five Days of Gratitude Tree

Have each family member share something they are grateful for each day in December. Write down each response on a cutout ornament and place it on the 'Gratitude Tree'. 


25. Christmas Memory Book

Include special memories, traditions, and photos to represent the holidays throughout the years.


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I hope these traditions make the holidays extra special for your family and little ones!



xoxo,

Yari


Teaching the four main types of sentences is essential when developing young writers. If you're working with lower elementary students, you might be reviewing command, statement, exclamation, and question. Upper elementary students might be diving into the fancier terms: interrogative, declarative, exclamatory, imperative.

Regardless of which wording you choose to review, having students understand the difference amongst these four sentences is KEY. Students will develop an understanding of sentence purpose--- does this sentence give an order? Does it ask a question or express excitement? Once students have developed that understanding of sentence types, they'll become more fluent readers and writers.

Looking to dive into the four sentence types with your elementary students, but don't know where to start? I've created these engaging printables that can be used with any first, second, or third grade students. These activities are hands-on activities designed to be used during whole-group OR small-group time. All the resources below are part of the Types of Sentences Activity Pack.

Types of Sentences Task Cards & Board Game

This game can be used during an ELA center or during your small group station. Students will read each card and decide what kind of sentence it is, come up with their own sentence, or determine the correct punctuation mark. If they answer correctly, they roll the die and move down the game board. 

Punctuation Mark Sort

Students can work with a partner or small group to decide which type of sentence is written on each strip. Then, they'll sort them based on which punctuation mark belongs at the end of each sentence. This can be done by having students glue the strips onto an anchor chart paper or simply sorting them underneath the correct header.

    Interactive Notebook Printables for Grammar Notebook

The resource includes several interactive notebook pages and flap books that students can reference throughout the school year whenever they need to refresh on their types of sentences. Students will fill in each page using their own examples and definitions. 

You can grab the pages above as a freebie by clicking the button below! 

Types of Sentences Popcorn Craft

This activity can be used as a fun way to review the four types of sentences- (commands, statements, exclamations, and questions) right before assessment. This can also be glued into students' grammar notebooks for future reference.


Assessment Printable Worksheets

The resource also includes printable worksheets to review the sentence types and punctuation marks. These can be used as independent activities or assessments.
Click here to check out a preview of the resource and see all of the other goodies included inside! 

Paperless Ideas to Review the Four Types of Sentences

Here are some other fun ideas to review sentence types that involve zero printables!

Sentence Charades: 
Students can work in small groups to plan and act out any scene they'd like without talking. The audience members must provide four sentences to describe the scene.

For example:
Small Group: 
Students act out decorating a Christmas tree and drinking hot chocolate. 
Audience
Statement: "I am decorating the Christmas tree"
Command: "Bring me the Christmas lights."
Question: "Where are the ornaments?"
Exclamation: "I just love Christmas!"

Four Sentences, Four Corners: 
Place four corners around the room using the signs 'Statement', 'Command', 'Exclamation', 'Question'. Call out random sentences and have students walk to the correct corner to represent the sentence.

Alternate idea: Once students are in the corner, pick on a corner and ask them to give you a sentence about a specific topic.

For Example:
"Question corner, give me an interrogative sentence about Christmas."

Hope these ideas were helpful! If you do decide to use any of them with your students, feel free to share on Social Media and tag me! @SweetToothTeaching 





Struggling with Student Loans?

Student loans can be a pain, especially when you feel like the payments you're making are just going towards the interest rather than the principal. In August of 2020, I shared with ya'll that I had stumbled across Chipper, a student loan automation company that specializes in helping student loan borrowers qualify for income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness programs. 


You guys, Jessica from Chipper was a LIFE SAVER. She explained the different repayment options that fit my specific situation. She also introduced me to Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness-- two options that I didn't even know existed! After taking a look at my student loan scenario, she encouraged me to apply for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program. Since I owed less than $30,000 in loans at the time and had been making payments throughout the last five years while working for a Title 1 school, this was the perfect choice for me. 


Applying was so easy with Jessica's help. She told me exactly what form I needed to print, sign, and send in. I sent my application straight through my loan service provider’s website. A few weeks later, I received a letter in the mail indicating that they had received my request. I kept in constant communication with Chipper throughout the process just to ensure that I wasn't skipping any steps or missing out on any important details. Unfortunately, 99% of people that apply for student loan forgiveness are denied because they fill out the application incorrectly and/or miss a step along the way. Chipper helps their members be part of that 1% who do get approved!3

I got forgiven $5,000 off my student loans!

About a month after I applied, I received a letter in the mail from my loan service company. I had been approved for $5,000 off of my student loan debt! I checked my student loan account and the $5,000 had been applied toward my outstanding balance. I am beyond thrilled! 


As many of you all know, our family is growing by one tiny human in November of 2020. This is $5,000 that our family doesn't have to worry about paying off! This is definitely a motivation to continue making payments toward paying off the little debt that is left.


If you're looking to learn more about your student loan repayment options or are interested in applying for student loan forgiveness, Chipper is there to help! Discover your student loan repayment and forgiveness options through Chipper's FREE services.



 

If you know me, you know I love all things organization! Whether that be investing in a good planner, organizing the pantry, or color-coding our closets. I just received two 1THRIVE command centers for our house and I am head over heels in love. If you're an organizational freak like me, you're going to swoon over this!

 

The 1THRIVE command centers are designed to help keep everything organized and in one spot, while still managing to be aesthetically pleasing. They have so many different pre-designed command centers to choose from! It was definitely difficult to decide which one to get! I ended up deciding on two — The Susan for my home office and The Rachel for our kitchen area.

 

Okay, let me tell you that setting up my command centers was the easiest and most satisfying thing EVER. I usually have my husband build all the things around the house. I assumed he would need to help me ‘build’ these. 

 

Nope.

 

All of the components include metal hooks and can be placed anywhere on the command center. You can customize the look of your command center to fit your needs. The little buckets on the side are perfect for storing materials and adding a cute decor/statement piece, such as a succulent or flowers. A set of two liquid chalk markers are included with each command center, too!

The Susan is more of a horizontal look which worked best in my home office. I use the calendar for all things business! It helps me keep track of blog deadlines, plan out weekly content, and create weekly to-do lists. I love that my command center is right in front of my desk, which allows me to see what needs to get done as I'm working. 


We decided to get a second command center for our family and it has been a game changer! Although it's just Curt and I (for now!), sometimes it's hard to keep track of appointments and family events. The Rachel is a vertical command center that fit perfectly in our kitchen area, and I opted for the add-on of the Medium Weekly Blackboard. (It also compliments our rustic/boho decor.) We use the calendar to write down important dates, events, etc. This time around we won't miss bulk trash day! #winning

Every Monday we plan out our weekly meals using the days-of-the-week board. It's so nice to not have to brainstorm what to make for dinner every day. It helps with grocery shopping too! Once we know what we're making, we can grab what we need for the week.

 

If you're looking for a command center that will help everyone in the family stay organized, I definitely recommend getting a 1THRIVE like I did! They also have Family Packs for those looking to set up a command center for the family and a second (or third!) for kids.

 

You can get 10% off any command center or family pack using the code 'SWEETTOOTHTEACHING10' at checkout!

 

Click here to check out all of the different command centers and pick the one that works best for you.

 

Partnered with 1THRIVE.

Happy Fall Ya'll!
It's officially the most wonderful time of the year. Give me all the fall colors, pumpkins, and sweaters. Today i'm sharing 10 FREE Fall resources you can use with your students this season!

1. Free Halloween Themed Telling Time to the Quarter Hour Digital Task Cards (Boom Cards) by Sweet Tooth Teaching

Engage your students during distance learning with these Free Halloween themed Boom Cards. The set includes 20 digital task cards to review telling time to the quarter hour. Digital task cards can also be used during whole group lessons or technology centers.


2. Fall Shades of Meaning Vocabulary Activities by Around the Kampfire
This cut & paste activity helps students understand shades of meaning by using fall-themed vocabulary. This is the perfect hands-on resource for 2nd-3rd grade students.

3. Fall Place Value Game by Sara J Creations

This fun and low-prep activity is great for a fall-themed math center. Add some fall leaves and pumpkins to your station to spice it up! (Dollar Tree has great finds during this time of year)

4. ELA Fall-Themed Morning Slides by Sweet Tooth Teaching
Engage your students during virtual learning with these ELA morning work slides. They can also be projected on the Smart Board to review 3rd-4th grade skills before starting a reading lesson.


5. Witch Themed Noun & Adjective Sorting Activity by The Clutter Free Classroom
Looking to review adjectives and nouns with your students? This sorting activity can be used during an ELA  Halloween center or as an independent activity. Add some witch hats to your center and make the magic come to life!

Hands-on cut & paste activities to help older students review multi-digit multiplication. A perfect fall activity for 4th and 5th grade math centers.

7. Halloween Brain Break Cards by Second Story Window
We all know how important brain breaks are for kids and adults. These interactive brain break cards can be picked up at any moment during virtual or in-person teaching to help kiddos recharge & refocus!

Five engaging printable that can be used during any Halloween themed center! Includes book companion activities for 'The Spider and the Fly' and 'Creepy Carrots'. These activities target upper elementary students (3rd-5th) and review inferencing, summarizing, writing skills, point-of-view, and much more!


10. Fall Reading & Grammar Morning Work by Sweet Tooth Teaching
Grab these free fall morning work printables targeting 3rd-4th grade ELA standards. Includes fall-themed review activities for figurative language, abbreviations, subjects and predicates, and collective nouns.



10. Candy Corn Math & STEM Activities- by Teaching with Jennifer Findley
Find FREE number comparison printables for older students and fun hands-on candy corn STEM activities!

+ Bonus Freebie: Spider Irregular Plural Matching Game by Sweet Tooth Teaching

Hope these resources are useful during this fall season!


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