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April 5, 2024

How to Integrate Music Into Your Math Lessons

Need to capture your students' attention? Try enhancing your lessons with music! Music stimulates various parts of the brain making it a great tool for education.

1. Play Classical Music During Arrival and Dismissal

Create a playlist of classical music as students enter the classroom. Classical music could lead to a calm dismissal too!

2. Make Math Chants

Encourage students to make up rhythmic math chants for multiplication facts. Have them work in small groups and share with the class.

3. Create Word Problems

Using popular songs or artists, have each student create a word problem for classmates to solve. Include guidelines in your directions such as numbers must be 2 or 3 digits, no zeros, etc. Students can write their problems on an index card and trade cards with a partner and solve them.

4. Math Rock Bands

Divide students into groups. Each group creates a song or rap about a math concept. Hold a Math Rock Band concert!

5. Musical Math

Prepare a review worksheet. Place a worksheet on each student's desk. Play some music. While the music plays, students move and dance about the room. Pause the music and students stop and work on the problems at any desk. Start the music back up and students move and dance again. Repeat until the worksheets are complete. Go over the answers.

Try this place value review worksheet for only $1.25:

Integrating music into math lessons can improve engagement and retention!

With faith and friendship,

March 27, 2024

21 Whole-Class Rewards

Your class has just filled the marble jar! Now what?  

Here are 21 ideas for whole-class rewards for elementary school students:

1. Extra Recess Time
2. Movie and Popcorn Party
3. Board Game Day
4. Card Game Day
5. Pizza Party
6. Classroom Picnic
7. Dance Party
8. Stuffed Animal Day
9. Make a Craft
10. Pajama Day
11. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
12. Talent Show
13. Science Experiment
14. Computer/Tablet Time
15. Class Karaoke
16. Flashlight and Blanket Reading 
17. Cooking Activity
18. Dress Up Day (fancy, superhero, etc.)
19. Mini Field Day
20. Camping Day
21. Teacher - Student Swap Day

These rewards can create a positive class environment, encourage teamwork, and provide opportunities for fun, memorable experiences for students!

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With faith and friendship,

March 13, 2024

2024 Solar Eclipse for Kids

The next solar eclipse will occur in North America on April 8, 2024. This event will surely spark curiosity in your students. Check out a few ways to make the solar eclipse a remarkable learning experience!

1. Safety First

Students must be instructed to not look at the sun even during a solar eclipse. Explain that there are special glasses to be worn (not regular sunglasses.) For the 2017 solar eclipse, our local libraries gave away solar eclipse viewing glasses for free. It may be worth checking out in your area.

2. Model a Solar Eclipse.

Use a flashlight (sun), a globe (earth), and a ball (moon) to demonstrate what happens during a solar eclipse.  Have one student hold the globe. Another student shines the flashlight on the earth. The third student moves the moon in between the globe and the flashlight. The "moon" is blocking the "sun's" light from reaching the earth. This is called a solar eclipse.

3. Invite an Astronomer to Class.

Contact local colleges to see if an astronomy professor would be willing to visit and share some info with the kids. 

4. The Passage and Timing

Check out this page for specific information on the 2024 solar eclipse:

Great American Eclipse

Will you be in school?

5. Visit Nasa's Website.

NASA has a great page for kids.

NASA Space Place

6. Make a Fun Craft.

Your students will love making this solar eclipse craft:

2024  Solar Eclipse Craftivity 

The 2024 Solar Eclipse is a unique opportunity for learning and discovery. You may even spark a lifelong interest in science! 

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 With faith and friendship,

February 8, 2024

2024 Big Game and Taylor Swift Ideas for the Classroom

Are your students talking about the Big Game? Football has a different level of appeal now that Taylor Swift plans to attend!

Here are 5 ideas to integrate a Big Game/Taylor Swift theme into your lessons:

1. Creative Writing

Have students write a story where they get to attend the Big Game. Provide time for students to share their stories.

2. Character Education

Set up a station where students can make friendship bracelets for others. Students can use inspirational and good sportsmanship words. 

3. Biographies

This station will include books about football players and musicians. Check your school library and the children's section at your local library for books. Thrift shops are another option! Here are a few you may consider:

Who Was Peyton Manning? by Kirsten Anderson

Who Is Tom Brady? by James Buckley Jr.

Who Is Taylor Swift? by Kirsten Anderson

Who Was Louis Armstrong? by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Who Were the Beatles? by Geoff Edgers

Students can complete a mini biography book report after they read.

4. Cultural Connections

Students research Tokyo and complete a mini-report.

5. Puzzles

Students can complete word searches and other puzzles relating to Taylor Swift and football. For an extra challenge, provide blank grid paper for students to create their own.

6. Math Word Problems

Students can practice various math skills by completing math problems related to the singer and the big game! A scoot setup would work perfectly! Place one task card on each desk. Play some Taylor Swift music as students roam about the room. When the music stops, students go to a desk and complete the problem on the card. Go over the answers. 

Save time and grab a Taylor Swift + Big Game lesson set here:

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With faith and friendship,

January 5, 2024

National 4th Graders Day - 4 More Ideas!

4th Grade is worth celebrating!

Here are 4 more ideas to celebrate National 4th Graders Day!

1. Have a 4 of Everything Day.

Use the number 4 all day long. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Participate in 4 Brain Breaks

Complete 4 Math Problems

Tell 4 Jokes

Complete 4 Exercises

Show 4 Acts of Kindness

Eat 4 Cookies

Read 4 Short Stories

Write 4 Sentences

Draw 4 Pictures

Sing 4 Songs

Locate 4 Countries

Complete a 4-Step Science Experiment

2. Make a craft activity.

This disco ball 4th Grade Era resource is print and go!

3. Play Connect 4.

4. Play 4 Corners!

Need an educational 4 Corners game?

Try this popular one:

4th Grade Rocks!

Click HERE for more National 4th Graders Day ideas!

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With faith and friendship,


December 26, 2023

Teacher Travel: How I Learned to Fly Free!

Are you a teacher looking to travel while stretching your dollars this summer? It's possible to fly without paying for a single ticket! From points to free companion passes, there are many ways to save money and take advantage of great travel deals.

What I DIDN'T do: 

  • I didn't sign up for a bunch of credit cards I didn't need. 
  • I didn't buy any products or services I wasn't planning to buy.

What I DID:

  • I signed up for Families Fly Free in April 2023 and started learning. My cost was $1,595 at the time.
  • I received my individual travel rewards plan in May 2023.
  • I flew round trip from Phila to Orlando in July 2023 for free. (savings of $400)
  • My daughter and I flew round trip from Phila to Orlando in December 2023 (savings of $800)
  • My daughter and I flew round trip from Phila to Orlando in March 2024 (savings of $800)

Total Savings in 1 year: $2,000

As you can see, the membership pays for itself!

At Families Fly Free, you'll learn different ways to get free flights, travel discounts, and much, much more! Lyn and her team work with you to make your travel dreams come true, and your investment is guaranteed. Make traveling a reality for your family today!

Click For More Information! (This is an affiliate link which means that if you sign up, I receive a commission at no extra cost to you.)

In case you're wondering why the trips to Florida...I have family there! This membership will enable me to visit family AND fly free to other destinations!

December 1, 2023

7 Easy Ways For Teachers To Save Money - Maximize Your Resources

As the cost of living increases, it can be challenging to find ways to save money. You may find a few ideas here you have yet to try!

1. Save on Groceries.

Look in your fridge and cabinets for items before shopping. There's less to buy (and put away!) when you use what you already have.

Make meals that result in leftovers such as spaghetti and meatballs, beef stew, and casseroles.

Buy generic. Nearly everything I buy is generic. That is, except the cereal that tasted like cardboard. 

Take advantage of sales and digital coupons. Check your grocery apps for coupons regularly. 

Order online. My local store provides a free shopping service for orders over $35. I find that I spend less if I order online because I know exactly how much to spend, and I'm less likely to throw a family-size bag of Hershey Kisses in my cart!

Use cash-back apps such as Ibotta. (Referal link which means I'll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!) I earn about $100 each year from this app without much effort. Right now you can get an extra $5 just for signing up and giving it a try! 

Ibotta Sign Up

2. Play at Home.

Instead of buying tickets to the next event, dust off those toys and games. It's a great way to save on entertainment.

3. Get Cash Back When You Shop.

Buy nothing weeks are great, but eventually you will need to buy something. Use a cash-back app such as Rakuten (formerly Ebates) when you shop. This link is an affiliate link as well. I average about $100 back each year on this site.

Try stacking discounts when you need to shop. For example, if I'm purchasing a gift from Pandora, I will use Rakuten (for cash back), the Southwest shopping portal (for travel points), and a credit card that offers cash back or travel points. My favorite travel points credit card is Chase Saphire Preferred. The points transfer to Southwest and before you know it, you can fly free! Referral links:

Chase Saphire Preferred

Rakuten Sign Up

4. Ask for Discounts.

Ask for Teacher Discounts, AAA Card Members Discounts, Senior Discounts, Military Discounts, or whatever may apply to you discount! Ask even if you don't think a discount is offered. While eating at Planet Hollywood recently, I asked about a AAA discount. Our server asked and said, "We don't offer a AAA discount, but the manager is giving you a 20% discount anyway." It doesn't hurt to ask! Try restaurants, craft stores, clothing stores, entertainment venues, etc. 

Ask for a discount if an item you purchase goes on sale shortly after you purchase it. My daughter bought a jacket on Stitch Fix. It went on sale for 25% off. She sent an email politely asking for a price adjustment, and they gave to her right away.

Speaking of Stich Fix...I've got a referral link for that one too! At this time we will both get a $25 credit if you sign up! Sign Up for Stitch Fix I love Stitch Fix for the convenience of home shopping, quick shipping, easy returns, customer service, and styling! I've opened up my mind to different styles and color combinations. Freestyle is my favorite way to shop, but I've tried a couple of style boxes as well. It's so much fun to see what your stylist picks out for you and returns are a snap. Try Stich Fix

5. Be Strategic with Take-Out. 

Take-out can get expensive, but it sure is a nice treat once in a while! Try taking advantage of special promotions from local restaurants, making your order last for 2 days, and even ordering from the children's menu. 

6. Cut Cable.

Save money by streaming if you aren't already! 

7. Ask for Free Parts.

This is a new discovery for me. We have a leaky faucet and Delta is sending out free replacement parts. Although this repair will require a plumber, we will save money by providing the parts from the company. The faucet is over 10 years old btw! 

These ideas can help you stretch your dollars! Challenge yourself to save money right now!

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With faith and friendship,