Monday, June 12, 2017

13 Colonies Unit - Social Studies

Good morning! I hope at this point everyone is on Summer Break!  There is just something so relaxing knowing on Sunday night, you do not have to get up early on Monday morning!  

I recently completed a unit which I have been working on for several months.  It is a huge, detailed unit about the British 13 colonies in North America.  I have taught about the 13 colonies for many years and have already made a 13 colonies interactive notebook.   The unit I just completed compliments the interactive notebook.

This newest unit includes reading passages, assessments, activities, research projects, worksheets, coloring pages, photos of all 3 regions: New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern, a vocabulary booklet, a word wall, and much more! 
The description of the 13 colonies unit listed in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop has a complete Table of Contents of items included.  Simply click on any of the images below to see this product and details in my store.  



History does not need to be boring.  I have included many items that keep students interested and involved!


Use everything or pick and chose what you want to use.  There are so many items to chose from!  


I have included many reading passages.  School systems today often have no textbooks, making detailed reading passages a must!  The reading passages below are just a few samples.


I take my teaching very seriously and tried to include everything that needed to be learned about each region of the colonies.  This included the people, education, economy, occupations, religions, climate, geography, and natural resources.  I do not believe you will find a more detailed and complete unit about the 13 colonies.

If you would like to view the interactive notebook that compliments my new 13 colonies unit, I have included a picture below.  (It is sold separately from the 13 Colonies Mega Unit).  Simply click on the picture and you will be taken to the 13 Colonies Interactive Notebook:





Monday, April 3, 2017

I Love My Printer!



How is everyone doing this morning?  After a beautiful weekend, it is now storming here in Northwest Georgia with tornadoes just south of us. 

I just wanted to share with you a review of a printer I purchased last year.  I'm in love with it!  I am a "hard copy" type of person.  Even when I create a 700-800 page product for my store on Teachers Pay Teachers, I always print off a hard copy of the product when I start the editing process.  There's just something comforting to me in having the printed version to look at.  Needless to say, I go through  a lot of ink.  I have made the mistake more than a couple of times of purchasing a cheaper printer and then spending a small fortune replacing ink cartridges.

Last year, at the end of March, my printer stopped printing so I headed to the office supply store to buy another printer.  I dreaded it since I knew I would also be buying all new ink cartridges that would more than likely cost as much or more than the new printer.  When I entered the store I noticed a printer sitting on the end of the isle with an advertisement that you could print over 11,000 black/white copies with one bottle of ink and 8,500 colored copies.  (Yes, I did say "bottle" instead of cartridge.)  The sign above the printer also claimed the bottled ink cost much, much less than ink cartridges.  The "bottle" thing didn't interest me.  So, instead of paying much attention to it, I let a very talkative sales associate almost persuade me to buy a unnecessarily large printer that was on clearance.  My husband kept mentioning the fact that I did not have enough space in my office for the dinosaur of a printer.  I didn't care.  It was on sale and had all kinds of fancy buttons and displays!  In fact, I had pretty much made up my mind to purchase the printer until my husband asked the sales associate a most important question, "How much is the ink and how many copies can be made with the ink cartridges?"  I wish I could tell you what the sales associate answered but, I can't.  The price of the ink cartridges was so outrageous and the amount of copies that could be printed was so low, that all thoughts left me!  I do know that one set of ink cartridges cost more than the printer did.  I also realized that I would be buying cartridges quite often.

I think we irritated the sales associate.  He went from being very involved with us and our purchase to suddenly having to go check on something.  As we continued to look, another sales associate came up to us and wanted to show us the printer we had initially looked at when we walked into the store (the one that used "bottles" of ink).  It was an Epson ET-4550.  It was quite a bit more than the gi-normous printer that I originally thought about buying and apparently has more plastic parts that other printers (I was told by the first sales associate that plastic means the printer is not made as well as other printers made with less plastic.)  I never knew this fact and I really didn't care.  The printer was originally $499.00, but was marked down to $487.98.  (That type of savings is almost an insult.)  However, the ink to fill the ink tanks was so reasonable that I made the sales associate walk me to the ink bottles and show me the price.  For a large bottle of ink, it costs $19.99.  The bottle of ink is more than is needed to fill the ink tank.  So, you can use it again, although it may not be enough ink to fill the tank completely the second time around.  My husband and I did the math and let me tell you, we decided that even if the Epson printer didn't last but a couple of years (because of the dreaded plastic buttons) we would still be better off buying it than any other printer in the store!  The only thing that scared me was filling ink tanks instead of quickly replacing a cartridge.

I have used and abused this Epson printer for over a year now and it is going strong!  I have never had one issue with it.  I don't know for sure if it makes as many copies as it advertises because I have never counted the copies, but I doubt it does.  I do know, however, that it makes copy after copy and I rarely have to refill the ink tanks.  The other really good thing about this printer is that it does not use any of the colored ink when you print in black/white.   This is a big savings on ink also.

I think the Epson ET-4550 is a good-looking printer and the size doesn't overwhelm the room.  






The plastic parts the salesman pointed out are primarily the buttons on the front.  I have never had one problem with the plastic buttons.  



This a receipt from purchasing a bottle of black ink.  
I rarely have to buy ink for this printer.  




My printer came with a starter pack of ink bottles.  You will be surprised how long these starter bottles last!  



This large bottle of ink costs $19.99, 
and lasts and lasts!



The ink tanks are on the side of the printer.  
You add ink to the fill line and you are done.  
This is the worst part of owning a ink tank printer though.  It is messy.  The printer even comes with plastic to lay down when filling the tanks.  I usually only have to fill the black ink tank though.  I wear plastic gloves and place a towel underneath the printer and surrounding areas.  (My shelves are white and I want them to stay that way. :) )  Actually, it was much easier and less stressful to fill after the first time. 





I also like the fact that I can visually view the ink levels at anytime I want.


      I purchased my Epson ET-4550 from Office Depot. The item number from Office Depot is 222692.  It still costs $499.00.  However, if you are an Amazon kind of person, they sell a couple of types of Epson printers similar to the one I bought.  Office Depot also has some less expensive Epson printers now that claim many of the same advantages as this printer.  However, I have not tried those printers and do not know if they are as good as the one I purchased.    

Pros:
  • Ink is much less expensive
  • Ink lasts much longer than expensive ink cartridges
  • Connects wirelessly from a smartphone, table, or computer
  • Copy, scan, and fax directly from the control panel (You know, the control panel with the "plastic" buttons.) lol
  • 150 sheet tray  (I have owned printers in the past that didn't hold very much paper at all, making 150 sheet tray a definite pro for me.)
  • Good size, not overwhelming

Cons:
  • Printer costs more than many other printers
  • Filling the ink tanks can be messy...and a little stressful
  • More plastic than some other printers (I don't personally count that as a con.)
I do love this printer!  It has been extremely dependable and easy to use!  The printer has already more than paid for itself with savings from ink cartridges.  

Just for the record, I am not associated with Epson or any of the stores listed in this blog post.  I simply bought a printer that I love and wanted to share this information and opinion with others.  Have a great week and happy printing!


Lisa

Monday, March 27, 2017

Multiplication Facts Unit / Bundle (0-12)

How's everyone doing?  I know some of you are probably experiencing Spring Break this week.  Our county has Spring Break next week...right before testing, of course.  

I have been busy, busy, busy working on my new multiplication unit!  I have worked diligently on it since November of last year.  (Whew!)  I wanted to get it just right and to make sure that I had included everything I felt was needed to help students...and their poor, worn out teachers...to learn, practice, and record their multiplication facts 0-12 with as much organization as possible.    

I have taught math a long time in both elementary and middle school.  It is such a shame that many students still do not know that facts by the time they are in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.  I know it's a struggle every single year.  However, we can't give up the good fight because those multiplication facts are so important to easing the burden of other math standards these kids will need to learn throughout their school years, not to mention it's a practical life necessity.  

How can you learn and practice division without knowing multiplication facts?  How can you do many fractions standards, such as reducing fractions without the use of multiplication?  I could go on and on about the standards that require multiplication as a prerequisite.  So, even though the struggle is real, multiplication facts must be practiced! 

My new multiplication unit/bundle is not a magical potion for students to learn their facts.  (Let me know if you ever come across that magical unit!) lol  This unit allows multiple ways to practice and review multiplication facts in an organized manner.  I firmly believe that practice of basic skills is necessary!  This unit spends a lot of time on multiplication fact families 0-12 first, followed by mixed multiplication facts practice.




 The following are descriptions of the majority of items in this multiplication bundle:


Assessments (Timed Tests)

I have included two levels, A & B, for every type of assessment except for the cumulative assessments.  This means there are less problems on the B assessments than the A assessments.  This way, everyone takes the assessment and has a fighting chance to do well.  For example, a mixed fact assessment A will have 60 problems, whereas the B assessment will have 30 problems.  Some students are simply not in the same place as others, for various reasons, and do not need to be overwhelmed by the number of problems. Answer Keys are included.

 The included assessments, (timed tests) are as follows:
~ Fact Families 0-12 (5 assessments each of both Levels A & B.  Level A = 20 problems. Level B = 13 problems.
~ Mixed Multiplication Facts Review 0-12 (4 assessments each of both Levels A & B.  Level A = 60 problems.  Level B = 30 problems.
~ Cumulative Review 0-12 (2 assessments with 100  problems on each assessment. There is no Level A or B.)  


EXAMPLE OF LEVEL A MIXED FACT ASSESSMENTS 



    EXAMPLE OF LEVEL B MIXED FACT ASSESSMENTS



EXAMPLE OF LEVEL A "FACT FAMILY" ASSESSMENTS
(There are two of the same assessment per page.)




EXAMPLE OF LEVEL B "FACT FAMILY" ASSESSMENTS
(There are two of the same assessment per page.)




EXAMPLE OF THE CUMULATIVE ASSESSMENTS
(There are two of the same assessment per page.)




The fact family assessments have storage pockets for each individual fact family.  An option is to place the pockets in an interactive notebook if they are used in the classroom.  You can chose from a colored or black & white version of the pockets.


Data Collection / Progress Monitoring

I didn't stop there though.  Since collection data and progress monitoring have increasingly become important in the classroom in the last few years, I have included data collection/progress monitoring for both teachers and students for recording information about the assessments.  




Worksheets

For practice and review I have included practice worksheets for facts 1-12.  There are 5 worksheets for each fact family 1-12.  Each worksheet includes 4 sections.  Of course, all worksheets include answer keys.


EXAMPLES OF FACT FAMILY WORKSHEETS



This unit also includes Fact Family Houses (for practicing separate fact families and Fact Family Neighborhoods (for practicing mixed facts). 

 EXAMPLES OF FACT FAMILY HOUSES & 
FACT FAMILY NEIGHBORHOODS
FUN STUFF / INCENTIVES / REWARDS

I like to mix things up for my students so they do not become bored. Because I want them to look forward to learning their facts, I have included multiplication fact family puzzles, cootie catchers (fortune tellers), bookmarks to complete, and key ring cards.
There are punch cards and brag tags for recognizing and rewarding good scores on their multiplication fact assessments.

The puzzle pieces include a pocket for storing the pieces.  Yes...the pocket can be placed in an interactive notebook, if desired. lol
There are two cooties catchers per multiplication fact family.  Because of the structure of the cootie catcher, not all facts, 0-12 can be represented on just one.  Therefore, there are two cootie catchers per fact family.  This also works out well because instead of one cootie catcher per partner set, each partner will have his own cootie catcher to cut out, color, and fold.  No idle hands!  Directions are included.

There are brags tags for individual fact family assessments, 0-12, and brag tags for each of the mixed review and cumulative assessments.






ANCHOR CHART POSTERS

There are anchors chart posters in both color and black & white.  (The black/white anchor charts are a bit smaller so they can fit into a standard-sized spiral interactive notebook.  Can you tell I like interactive notebooks?)  The individual anchor charts include Properties of Multiplication, Vocabulary, Learning Fact Families, Even Number Products, Real Life Examples and anchor chart posters listing Multiplication Strategies for individual fact family. (There is a choice of two different color versions of the Multiplication Strategies, as well as a black & white version.)   There is also a color version and black & white version of a multiplication chart and a color version of Word Wall Cards.  




Of course, what multiplication unit would be complete without a set of flashcards 0-12, with a pocket to hold flashcards that have been learned, and a pocket for flashcards that still need to be practiced.  Obviously, you know by now that the pockets can be placed in an interactive notebook if desired. :)
Each section of this huge bundle (815 pages) comes with cover pages.  There is also a Table of Contents that lists each section, along with page numbers. There are other items, such as a letter to parents about reassessments, a table for coloring in products as they are learned, and a study record for parents to sign.  If you are in need of a comprehensive, organized multiplication unit, simply click on any of the pictures in this post, or the link below, and it will take you to my store, Mrs. C's Classroom, on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Have a great week! 
Lisa

MULTIPLICATION FACTS BUNDLE - FACTS 1-12