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Perusing the local public library book sale earlier, I found these gems.




Talk about childhood memories! I can't believe that almost 20 years after reading them, I can recall both plot lines. I even remembered the cover art as soon as I saw it. Isn't it amazing what a powerful impact a book can have on a young reader?

Pencil Sharpeners

Seriously, I don't know about you, but I have struggled to find a pencil sharpener hardy enough to survive in my classroom. As it turns out, 5th graders are tough on stuff! The electric ones get jammed up, and the manual one we had broke long ago. What's a girl to do? The heavy duty pencil sharpeners I see at Staples are expensive! What do you use in your classroom?


After going back and forth for a few months about whether or not I should join the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), I finally decided to do it. I happened to send a tweet a few days ago asking for opinions on joining, and I mentioned @NCTM. Much to my surprise, they read the tweet and responded with a discount code for new members! I was happy to see that they were interested in new members, and excitedly took them up on their offer. Can't wait to read their monthly journal, Teaching Children Mathematics, for some new instructional ideas.

No Homework Binder




New year, new goals. This year, my students are going to be working on improving their study skills and discovering what will make them better students.  To help them with this, I've decided to implement the "no homework binder."

No Homework


Each student has a page with their own name on it and a table that lists date, assignment name, and reason that the homework was not done. Every time a student does not have his homework, he will have to find his page in the binder and complete the table. Over time , we will be able to find out if there are patterns in the student's homework completion. For instance, a student who habitually forgets to turn in his weeklong math worksheet will see  this and work on remembering to complete it on Fridays. Love this for personal accountability! It's also a great tool to pull out at parent teacher conferences.
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