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A Go Figure Debut for a Californian Who Is New

Lisa has been teaching since 1990! Yes, that’s 33 years. Her favorite part is the kids. She says they love learning especially when she is silly. Her class is Disney inspired with a focus on the Science of Reading. She is what you might call a Disney adult so she has popcorn buckets and things straight from the parks decorating her class. 

She also has a consonant wall and the vowel valley posted for her kids. Lots of tactile activities to make learning fun! She teaches small groups of students who need extra support in reading from kindergarten to third grade. Her hobby is to take walks at Disneyland and enjoy the food! (Since she lives in California, she can do this!) Who doesn’t love a Mickey pretzel?

Lisa is married and has three boys all over the age of 30! None of her kids still live at home, but she does have three dogs. Penny is a chocolate lab; Bella is a maltipoo (a combination of a Maltese and poodle), and Homer is a long haired chihuahua.

Free Item
Lisa has 197 resources in her store called LisaTeachR’s Classroom. (It’s pronounced Lisa Teacher, NOT Lisa teachaaar like a pirate.) Twenty-two of them are free. Her featured free item is entitled Scratch Jr. Slide Deck The basics: Move Blocks. It is for grades PreK to first. Lisa's description of this freebie is as follows:

"Coding with the littles is so much fun! Have fun with this fun, digital resource for Scratch Jr. Scratch Jr. is a wonderful programming language that allows kids ages 5-7 to create stories and games. Kids use blocks to create the code. Your littles will love it."

If you teach this age group, why not download her free item and see if it is something you can use?

Lisa's paid item is close reading guide for Inside Out and Back Again to help you teach close reading this year! Lessons are modeled then gradually released. This wonderful book is written in free verse chronicling Ha's, a ten-year-old girl, journey from war-torn Vietnam to Alabama and her problems as a second language learner and with bullying.

Lisa also has a blog where she writes articles about a variety of things. I love how the blog is set up, the colors she has chosen, and the simplicity of understanding her articles.  Check it out.

It is apparent from her blogs and resources that Lisa's focus is strengthening instruction by sharing best practices for innovative elementary classrooms. Take some time to visit her store.

Using Mathematical Patterns to Problem Solve

In this post, I will present two patterns for you to look at with the hopes that you will try to dissect them and be able to answer a few questions.  Are you ready?  Here is the first one that I call Consecutive Number Series.

What counting pattern do you see in this sequence?  How would you describe the sequence of numbers that are being added?  What pattern do you see in the answers?  Can you figure out the pattern for 8 × 8 and 9 × 9?  Notice this pattern made a triangle.  Do you know what kind it is?

My next pattern I call The Eights, and you will readily see why. It, too, forms a triangle, but a different kind. Do you recognize this triangle as isosceles?  If you take a ruler, you will find that the base is 4" while the sides are both 3".

What do you think will happen if we take this same pattern and add a 0?  Notice that this pattern does not begin with adding an eight.  Can you figure out why?

I use this type of patterns with my remedial math college students because I consider it important to do some problem solving while recognizing and describing patterns.  After all, problem solving is a part of life.  It doesn't occur in a vacuum. Because students must reason about some specific content, I think patterns are a great place to begin.  Problem solving also helps students to make connections to other parts of mathematics and find some relevance to what they are learning.  And did you know, that problem solvers are typically better test takers?  So take these patterns, and create some of your own questions for your students.  Use them in a journal or as a small group activity.  But whatever you do, have fun learning and discovering patterns in math.

FREE February Ebook for All Grade Levels


FREE Resource

Include some Valentine’s Day fun in your regular curriculum with these free lessons by The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative (TBOTEMC)! Download this FREE 20 page resource that has ideas and activities for kindergarten through high school. Check out puzzles, games, math activities and much, much more. Just download the free Ebook and then click on the links to the free lessons that you may use throughout the month. All the members of TBOTEMC send you a heartfelt wish for a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Valentine Rebus Fun - Using Rebus Puzzles to Solve "Heart" Problems

Many of my students love figuring out rebus puzzles. (a visual puzzle in which words are represented by combinations of pictures and individual letters.)  In a nut shell, they are essentially little pictures which cryptically represent a word, phrase, or saying.  Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I decided to have some fun and create 26 rebus puzzles for the month of February.

Hearts and Valentines is resource that features familiar expressions that contain the word "heart". (e.g. "From the Bottom of My Heart" or "Cross My Heart") Each illustration in this 13 page resource uses a picture or symbol to represent a common word or phrase.  Students must use logic and reasoning skills to solve the 26 rebuses. So that you don't have to figure out each one, the answers are included.

Each day during the month of February, put up one "Heart" illustration as a student focus activity, OR, if you choose, place two or three up at one time or all of them up at the same time. Students are to figure out which Heart expression the picture represents. It can be fun, but also a very challenging Valentine's Day activity!  Look at the following images and try to work out what they mean.

The first one is "a heart full of love." Were you able to figure it out?

The second one is a bit more challenging. The answer is "a heavy heart." Did you solve it on your own?

Challenge your students to make some of their own "heart" rebus puzzles. A few in this handout were created by middle school students who prove they can be very creative!