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Are you ready for Common Core?  If you are nervous, please don't be.  A variety of teaching ideas will be posted to make the transition to Common Core much easier.  

This blog post provides fun hands-on ideas to teach the Common Core Math Standards and most particularly the Common Core Number and Operations Fractions section of the standards.  CCSS.4.NF.A.1, CCSS.4.NF.A.2,
CCSS.4.NF.B.1, 5.NF.A.1, and more standards.

Many of the Common Core Standards want students to be able to understand math concepts in the visual format as well as the numerical format.  Clothespins and paint sticks are great because students can touch, hold, and see the differences between fractional amounts and improper fractions.

To recreate this, draw a number line on a paint stick.  Each paint stick can be divided into different fractional amounts.  Write different fractions on clothespins.  Include mixed numbers and improper fractions.


Students can then place the clothespin at the appropriate point on the blank number line.

Possible Ideas:
~Students can use paint sticks to add or subtract fractions.
~Use to help students visualize the meaning of mixed numbers or improper fractions.
~Determine which fractional amount is missing on the number line.



Click Here













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flip book addition with regrouping - YouTube

Click the Image to See How It Works


This low-tech method goes back to the basics.  Flipbooks are fun, and they are very creative.  I wondered if I could make a flipbook that did more that show cute pictures.  I wanted it to show how to solve math concepts step-by-step. The result:  my very first flipbook.

It shows how to regroup for addition step by step.  In a world with so much technology, students love this concept, simple animation.

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Literacy & Math Ideas by Literacy & Math Ideas - 3M ago

Greetings!  From my studies on plants to my trip to Poland, it has been so busy, but I am happy to be back.


I have so many interesting posts to share.  The image at the top provides just one clue of one of my upcoming posts.

Check back soon.  I have much to share.
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Literacy & Math Ideas by Literacy & Math Ideas - 3M ago
Hello everyone!  I have been working on so many fun projects that I want to share.  New posts are coming soon!
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Review writing skills with these 22 fun and high-interest writing prompts. Directions, templates, and product examples are also included.


Students create zines, pop-up books, traditional essays and more with these task cards.  Even better, there are templates, examples, and detailed directions to help students make fun zines, mini graphic novels and more using information that they have learned while reading fiction and nonfiction texts.

These high-interest writing activities are versatile, so they can be used with upper elementary students and middle school students.


This is a fun way to incorporate zines into elementary and middle school writing lessons.  A zine is a small booklet that is handmade.  It includes explanations and illustrations.  Zines can be created for any topic.  They are a fun way for students to practice writing without feeling as though they are writing.  This is just one of many of the fun activities that is included with this resource.


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Literacy & Math Ideas by Literacy & Math Ideas - 9M ago


I think I have a new love.  I absolutely LOVE zines.  A zine is a tiny booklet that provides information.  It is a handmade booklet that can be created to describe, persuade, or inform about any topic.

Using Zines in the Classroom

Finding writing center activities that appeal to upper elementary, middle school, and high school students can be challenging.  The goals are to have students practice writing and want to do it.  This is where zines come in to help.  Since zines look like tiny booklets, students do not feel as though they are writing an essay.  Plus, zines enable students to get creative.  They can add artwork,illustrations, plus graphs and charts to their texts.

A few days ago, I stayed up into the wee hours in the morning making math zines.  I needed to review geometry with a student.  Then the idea came to me, create zines!  (Come back to my blog and I will show you the inside of the zines.)

The zines also inspired me to create my latest task cards.  This is an image from inside of the page of my task cards.  Access them here.

The writing task cards contain helpful tips and templates for creating zines too.

The upper elementary students that I worked with one period really made me smile.  I introduced them to the idea of making zines and they LOVED it.  The students did not want to move on to the next activity.  We explored how we could create zines as an alternative to flashcards in order to review concepts in all subjects.


This is an example of my primary writing paper.  It is wonderful for primary students, but it something different is needed for older students.  

Check back soon.  I will share more images.



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Literacy & Math Ideas by Literacy & Math Ideas - 9M ago

Freebies are great!  Try out these free nonfiction task cards from my store.  They are leveled and they keep score.Click Here

Nonfiction passages are included.  The questions cover main idea, inferences, and more.

The task cards are a great free test pep resource for resource.  Use them to review for state tests or to review close reading.



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I was VERY excited to create this resource.  What makes this resource unique?

Three are three levels of word problems in one bundle.

How Does This Benefit Students?
When it comes to word problems, students typically fit into one of three categories:

  • The student does not know what the word problem is asking them to do and does not know which operation(s) to perform to get the answer
-or-
  • The student knows how to solve some word problems but just needs extra practice
-or-
  • The student can solve word problems and just needs extra challenge

There are three levels of digital task cards to assist students at each of these levels.

Set One:
Helps students comprehend what the word problem is asking them to do.  Immediate feedback and full explanations are provided after each question.  The digital task cards check the answer so a student can gain understanding before they move on to the next word problem.

Set Two:
Reviews even more types of one and two-step problems.  Did you know that addition and subtraction word problems can be posed more than FIVE ways.  Getting exposure to a variety of real world problems that are posed many ways helps students build understanding.

Set Three:
Reviews word problems.  Average and more advanced problems are included to help students build mastery.  This helps students fine tune their skills.

The task cards are digital.  Yay!  Each level is self-checking.  Students can do each level over and over to build understanding.

The digital task cards are in the form of interactive PDF documents. Download them like any other pdf.  These smart task cards are special because they keep score!

Remember to follow my store.  I have more exciting resources and freebies to share.




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~Free digital task cards~

Books are organized by guided reading/lexile levels, literacy centers should be too! Try these digital leveled task cards out for free.
Task cards in my store are organized by guided reading/lexile levels so that students can review main idea, retell, inferences, cause and effect, details, compare and contrast plus more skills at their own reading levels. Benefits:
  • Each student can review the SAME skill at his or her own level
  • Teachers and students can easily monitor progress
  • Teachers save time as they plan lessons
  • Students can work on the same reading topics as their classmates
  • The task cards review topics that are taught in reading, science, and social studies

Now, task cards are available in digital form! No fussy apps are needed. Access this interactive pdf as you would any other pdf. As students answer questions, the pdf takes score! Access bundles of digital task cards at multiple guided reading levels.


Access digital task cards at four levels of instruction here



These brand new FOUR digital task card sets include guided reading levels A, B, C, and D. These interactive PDFs allow students to practice comprehension at their own guided reading levels. No hassle with resources you cannot trust through apps. Each level contains 10 task cards and can be used over and over again to build reading fluency and comprehension practice. The score is provided at the end to make progress monitoring even easier. Each set aligns with the guided reading, Flesch Kincaid, and Lexile leveling systems. There are 40 self-scoring task cards. Printable answer keys and a student recording form have also been included too. Fiction and nonfiction passages are included.
Guided Reading Level A: Short Vowel Lexiles 0-49 Readability K.1-K.3
Guided Reading Level B: Short Vowels & Blends Lexiles 0-49 Readability K.4-K.6
Guided Reading Level C: Long Vowels Lexiles 0-49 Readability K.7-K.9
Guided Reading Level D: Early First Grade Lexiles 50-149 Readability 1.0-1.2
How to Use:
1. Save each PDF to your computer as you would any other PDF.
2. Assign a level and computer to each student to provide individualized review.
3. Students read each passage and answer each retell question.
4. Access the score that appears at the end.
Characteristics of Each Level:
Guided Reading Level A contains repeated sight words, short vowel sounds, and picture cues for the answer choices. This is designed to help beginning readers build confidence as they learn to read.
Guided Reading Level B contains short vowel sounds and long vowel sounds. Students strengthen their knowledge of sight words as they build phonics skills.
Guided Reading Level C contains short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds, and consonant blends. Sentences are slightly longer as students strengthen their reading skills.
Guided Reading Level D contains words that have phonics patterns that are commonly introduced at the first grade level. Since each level is aligned to the guided reading, Flesch-Kincaid, and Lexile leveling systems, an educator can match passages with confidence and use data from these digital task cards for progress monitoring.


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Paperless digital center activities are here!  Just assign an activity and record the score.  No prep is needed.  Just assign and use.

These three interactive PDF phonic centers are self-checking. It scores student responses so that you can easily monitor individual progress. 

No fussy apps.  No one size fits all.  These colorful and interactive PDF centers work well for early finishers, as small group review, and as progress monitoring tools.

Literacy and Math Ideas created a second site that focuses on exclusively primary teaching materials.  Access it here.

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