Sunday, July 29, 2012


Ever heard of it?
It's basically Facebook for the classroom.
See, it even looks like Facebook. And the REALLY cool thing (to me) is that there is an app. So kids could access from their mobile device. 

I'm curious if any of you actually use this in your classrooms and how you use it. It seems really cool, but I'd love your input!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I don't know about you, but I love using different fonts when I am making something in Word. I have downloaded TONS of them over the years. I think my most favorite (FREE) site is

A couple years ago I seriously made a 15-20 page document with a sample of each of the fonts I had loaded on my computer. Some how over that summer, I lost it... and quite frankly just never had the energy to do it again.

Well, folks. Guess what I just found? A website that does it for you in like 1.2 seconds! Have you heard of it?  It takes all your loaded fonts and shows you a sample of each...AND there is a place at the top where you can type in your word so you can see what it would look like!

Here is a sample.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Giant Wanted

Another Math Activity from...
This lesson starts out with the teacher telling a story. You tell your kids that you came into your classroom and it was trashed! Tables/ desks knocked over, papers everywhere, etc. The only thing the mystery person left behind was a handprint and we must use that handprint to find our person. 

Then you would give each group a hand print. (Ours was 26in long from palm to finger hand print per poster board) You would tell your students to use their handprint to make a description of the person (aka GIANT) and then a wanted poster so we can all be looking for him/ her. The wanted poster had to include a picture and a detailed description. (measurements)

What the kids will be doing is working with proportions. Since this isn't a tested objected for me, I think I will tweak it a little and make it more of a measuring activity. (but definitely will use the correct vocabulary so that I can expose them to proportions) 

My group measured one of our hands (7in) and decided it was about 4 times smaller than the giants. So, we took measurements of our eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc and multiplied it by 4 to find out how big the giants would be. The big face below was ours. (disregard our artistic skills, lol) But, I will say that face is true to size! :)

Here are some of the wanted posters we made this week. Again, this project was SO FUN and I know my kids would love it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ratios with Michael Jordan

Ratios and Proportions.
I LOVED this activity, but unfortunately, it's not something we do in 5th grade. goal is to try and work it in at the end of the year with my kids. :)

We started by looking at this picture of Michael Jordan's hand. WOW. I put my hand on top of it and it was just crazy how big that man's hand is!!! 
Then we measured with a ruler (cm) his hand and then mine. 
MJ's hand was 24 cm and mine was 17cm
ratio = 0.708 or 71%

Our goal here was to see what Michael Jordan must feel like when he holds a pop can and when he grips a basketball. So using our measurements we began to create objects proportional to our hands. We used this to help us create the objects. 
It's kind of hard to read...but it's just telling you that the distance around a pop can is 20.9 cm and it's height is 12.2cm. To scale the can down to my size I multiplied both of these numbers by my 71%. Then I got a piece of paper and measured it out, taped it up and walla...a miniature pop can. :)
(You do the same thing for the basketball, 74cm) 

Here is my hand holding a can of pop. It felt so funny...and SMALL
Then we used a balloon to represent our basketball. Isn't it just crazy how small the ball looks?!? (Mine has a circumference of 52.5cm and a normal one is 74cm!!) No wonder he could hold the ball over his head, through his leg, spin in a circle and dunk! Haha..just kidding. 
This little activity was so fun and really got us thinking about our hands in compassion to his (ratio) and then we were able to construct ideas proportional to Michael Jordan. How neat!!!

Although it did cross my mind that kids these dats are probably more and more going to be asking "Who is Michael Jordan?!?" So I was thinking this would be really cool if we could get the hand print of a modern day player. (Possibly from my team, OKC Thunder!!!) So if anyone out there reading this runs into Kevin Durrant or Russell Westbrook, just ask them for a hand print and send it my way. 
'Preciate ya! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Estimation Jar

When you think Estimation Jar, you usually think younger grades. Or at least I did. This last week at the Creative Mathematics Math Camp, I learned how valuable this is in the 5th, 6th and 7th grade classroom. Estimation is something that kids struggle with a lot! Probably a great deal of this comes from the fact that our curriculum teaches it in a matter of a week or two during the school year.... and that's it!

Estimation is something that should be taught weekly if not daily. And how in the world do we have time to do that you ask?!? With an Estimation Jar. Each week, there is a poster giving the problem along with the jar.  Of course the problems are more complexed with the older guys and not your basic "How many pieces do you think are in this jar?" questions. 

I know this is close to impossible to read (thank you, iPhone) but it says:
Estimating Jar
Estimate the total number of continents on the globes in the jar.
and then this was the jar. 
so the kids are doing a multi-step question. 
1st: Estimating the amount of globes they think are in the jar
2nd: Multiplying that number by the amount of continents on the globe

The way it was explained (and I plan on doing this the same way next year) is that the Estimating Jar will be introduced on Tuesday. I will have a poster up with the question and the jar in front of it. Students will get to problem solve and estimate Tuesday, (and Wednesday) place their estimations on post it notes and post to the board. Thursday we will take some time to go over the students estimates and strategies on possible ways to get to the correct answer. Estimating Jar and Problem of the Week (a blog to come) will take the place of my warm up activities. It will take about the first 10-15 minutes of each class and will be something the kids can come in and begin on their own. I am really excited about the new structure of my math class next year. 

I leave you with pictures galore! We each brought in a sample Estimating Jar this week with a question.  I hope this gets the ball rolling in your head and sparks some ideas like it did for me. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Math Camp

For the last four days, I've been attending probably one of the best workshops I've ever seen! 
Math Camp 2012
I'm a big fan of Kim Sutton! I've been to 2 of her workshops so they are always sending me emails when they come to Texas. In the small case you've never heard of Kim should definitely find out who she is. (Or click the picture below) She's like a Marilyn Burns or Debbie Diller.  The way she teaches math is unbelievable. Just about all the math teachers at my school use her ideas, activities, or products, and they are so beneficial in our classrooms. If you ever get the opportunity to go to anything put on by Creative Mathematics (her company) DO IT! ...and no, no one told me to say this. It's just my and a million others opinion. :)

Like I've said, I've been to 2 other Kim Sutton workshops. When signing up for Math Camp, I was a little bummed that my grade level was with another teacher and I wasn't able to be with Kim. BUT...the minute we started I knew why this guy was traveling with Kim Sutton. I loved my teacher, Paul Agranoff.

 The ideas and strategies he gave us were phenomenal!! I am so excited to start getting all my new ideas together...and "Katie-ify" them. :) Over the next few days/ weeks I have blogs planned sharing ideas we learned at camp. I did get Paul's permission to share his please take what you want and continue to share them. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

100 Best Web Resources for Educators

About a week ago I received an email from Online Masters in Education letting me know my blog had been nominated as one of the 100 Best Web Resources for Educators. They're a website catering to current and prospective educators who service many accredited colleges and universities across the US. To be completely honest, this was a total shock to me especially since my last post was, uhh....May 21st. Whoops! No way would I ever make the final cut.

Well, today I received word that through their research and evaluating factors such as peer recommendations, web presence and content quality Katie Lately was chosen as one of the 100! *blink, blink* You read it, they chose my blog as one of the 100 Best Web Resources for Educators!

I think I am most excited at the fact there is a list of 100 great blogs all in one place. I am so excited to go through all the elementary (maybe some middle) school blogs and get some great ideas myself! I recognized a lot of the great ones I already follow, CONGRATS ladies!!

If you don't have time now, please bookmark this article and come back to it later. For real, this is some great, valuable, AMAZING stuff!!!!

There is now an apple (like the one above) on my sidebar. If you click the apple, it will take you straight to the article...for future reference. Thank you to the people who nominated Katie Lately and the committee who chose it to be on the final list! I am very grateful of this honor. :) Get ready folks...some great teacher ideas coming to a blog near you SOON, I promise!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm Here, I'm Here

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth...I'm here! So sorry for the rather long hiatus, I guess my brain is on summer vacation too. :) I am currently attending a 4 day Math Camp put on by Creative Mathematics <---AMAZING! ...and I'm already (day 1) so excited to share some ideas that I plan on using this next year. Stay turned for more to come...