Category : Grade Levels

Christmas Math Puzzles

I love the holiday season especially Christmas!!! It’s probably my favorite holiday, at least after October 31st it is. I think it’s awesome if children can celebrate holidays in class without missing out on pivotal math topics. I’ve made a lot of different math and literacy for different holidays just for this reason.

One Christmas unit that I really love is Christmas math puzzles. There are several different types of puzzles. Most children love the math stories the most. It’s a fun way to let math dictate the story. There are also graphing puzzles, drawing puzzles based on math questions, number search and more.

The great thing about my math puzzles is that I’ve made them for first through 6th grade. This allows young children enjoy them, as well as, older children. Depending on the grade level, the math skills are practiced for that particular grade.

You can check them out here.

Teaching Tolerance through Teaching about Religion and Cultures

In today’s world everything is constantly changing. We as teachers have to ability to teach tolerance through teaching about different cultures and teaching about different religions. It’s not about trying to convert anyone, of course. It’s about to understand the differences between people’s religion. Many religions do have common threads and with these common threads we can teach tolerance and empathy to our students.

I know when I was young, I didn’t know anything about any other religions and just a little about a few different cultures in Europe and Mexico (I lived in Texas). I really didn’t learn much about these things until I went to the University of Texas in Austin. I learned some through the classes I took, but most from the people I met. I took lots of foreign languages because I was so interested in learning more about these neat cultures. I took Malayalam, Japanese, Russian, French, Czech and Latin. I guess you could say I was a little bit obsessed. I embraced learning about the differences.

Today with the dawning of the internet, we can teach our children so much earlier when their minds are open to learn about new cultures and religions. One of my favorite things to make for my students and Teachers pay Teachers are units on different countries, religions and ancient civilizations. I hope you can use some of these products in your classroom to help teach about tolerance! We all can help make the world a better place to live together!

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks in Your Classroom

What is an Interactive Notebook?
I’m sure you’ve heard about Interactive Notebooks by now, but let’s just review a bit in case you haven’t heard about them yet. Interactive Notebooks are a way that your students can interact with the subjects you are teaching them. They can cut, paste, draw, expand and really experience the subject they are learning. No two interactive notebooks are created equally. Some may say they are interactive, but they aren’t. Some may have too much cutting and pasting, which will interrupt your lesson plans. The best way to judge them is to look at previews and read all of the details before you purchase one.

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks
1. Review and Test Prep – A lot of the reasons I started making and using interactive notebooks is because if you have a printable you use with your students, the students finish it and toss it into folder never to look at it again. With my interactive notebooks, the activities are designed to have the students come back and review what they’ve just learned. There are flaps, envelopes, yarn, brads and more all specifically used to help your students redo activities for test prep and to show their parents what they’ve learned.

2. Confidence Booster – Using an interactive notebook, your students can keep all of the things they’ve learned throughout the year in one place. Students can look through all of the different things they’ve learned and feel achieved.

3. Introducing New Topics – You can use the activities in an interactive notebook to help students learn new topics. Sometimes students are scared about learning new things. A fun activity will help relax them and allow them to learn new topics (especially fractions which can be frustrating for students).

4. Assessments – You can use the activities to finish up a unit. Instead of or in addition to a quiz, you can have students do an interactive activity to make sure they understand the concepts that you taught in the lessons.

5. Spice Up Lessons – If your students get bored with a topic (you know it’s bound to happen), you can pull out an interactive activity and use a little art and interactiveness to spice up your lessons.

If you’re interested in looking at my interactive notebooks, you can find them here. They have the perfect combination of low prep and high interactiveness.

Here are a few of my best sellers, you can click on the picture to see more information and a preview about each:

Learning about the American Revolution

History is really interesting to me, but I know some students get bored in history classes. My kids really enjoy learning about history with interactive notebooks. It combines history with hands-on activities and a bit of art.

Here are few picture of my American Revolution Interactive notebook in use.

I think it’s great to actually get the students excited about History and present it in a different format than they are used to. If you’d like more information you can check out my American Revolution Interactive Notebook on TPT.

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Interactive Notebooks with Higher Level Math Classes

prealgebra interactive notebook

Some people might think interactive notebooks are only for younger students. Some people believe that learning pre-algebra, geometry and algebra should be taught through worksheets and videos and other means. I think that Interactive Notebooks have their place with these upper grade classes as well. Here are my three reasons why I think you should use higher level math subjects.

1. Many students today are young when they take pre-algebra, algebra and geometry. When I was in school students didn’t take algebra until they were in high school. Today, students start take algebra as young as 11 and 12 years old. They are still young and would enjoy learning in a fun and interactive way.

2. Even students in high school are still young at heart and would just love some school work outside of the norm. Sure, there might be some students that might roll their eyes at the work, but they probaly would roll their eyes at anything.

3. It gives students a sense of accomplishment. Students can reflect on what they’ve learn and can also study for test using their interactive notebook.

Here are some of my own Interactive Math Notebooks for higher level math classes:
8th Grade Math


interactive algebra

Autumn math scene

An autumn math scene for addition and subtractionA few years ago we shared this post, which featured a free printable where students could use their addition skills to add ornaments and other festive decorations to a Christmas tree. We received some positive feedback on that activity. Since the fall season is officially upon us, I’ve created a new math scene for autumn. Kids can use addition and subtraction to add various items to the scene.

I for one am excited about the season – the weather is already getting a bit cooler, and I’m looking forward to fun fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. We’ve already placed a few Halloween decorations on the lawn outside our house!

Here is the free download for the autumn math scene. I hope you and your students have a wonderful fall season.

Interactive Writing Notebook for 8th Grade

I’m so excited to announce the latest addition to my interactive notebook series – Interactive Writing Notebook for 8th grade. This interactive notebook is completely different from my 7th grade version for writing. I love having different notebooks per grade level in case a teacher teaches multi-grade levels.


This interactive writing notebook is designed to be fun for 8th grades, but not too kid-like. The topics and vocabulary are all on par with 8th grade level work. There is also a grammar section so you can practice some of those standards as well.


All activities are highly interactive and involving cutting and pasting, but not too much – just the perfect amount.


To see more examples of my newest interactive notebook click here: Interactive Writing Notebook for 8th grade

Is it Ever Too Early to Plan?

I have to admit I’m a planner. I like to plan every aspect of my life. I’m completely aware that things might not turn out the way I want them to turn out, or that things might change. However, if I plan ahead then I don’t have to spend all of that time worrying that I don’t have anything planned. Sounds odd, but for me it works. With teaching, I think we all need to learn from our strengths and weaknesses and see what works for us.

With that said…let me introduce my Halloween Interactive Math Printables. I’m entirely too early to post about Halloween, but as stated before, I’m a planner. I love these interactive printables. These are quick printables that you can print out early and use for homework, classwork, bellwork, subs or anything during the month of October. They are very interactive and keep the interest of students.

October Quick Printables 3rd grade - BC sample4

You can find these Halloween Interactive Printables in levels from first grade to fourth grade. Each packet comes with age appropriate math work.

October Quick Printables 3rd grade - BC sample2

If you’d like to see more information about these interactive printables, click here: Halloween Interactive Math Printables

Interactive Reading Notebook for Fourth Grade

Grammar can be a dull subject for students, but making the lessons interactive actually make the subject really fun and enjoyable. It’s amazing what a little cutting, pasting, fun graphics and folding can do to a lesson. Fourth grade is chock-full of great grammar skills that will set up your students for success in future grade levels!

This activity has students roll a die that they create. The die will land on a Greek or Latin affix or root. Students will then brainstorm words that have that root or affix and paste the words onto this little boy’s thinking hat.

interactive grammar notebook for 4th grade (1)

Modals are useful in English and can be especially difficult for some students to distinguish the difference between should, would, could, etc. This activity gives students the opportunity to practice making sentences with modals about certain topics.

interactive grammar notebook for 4th grade (3)

Another topic of interest is teaching students when they should use informal vs. formal English. In this activity, students can turn the arrow as they decide if a phrase or sentence is formal or informal.

interactive grammar notebook for 4th grade (2)

To find out more about my latest interactive notebook click here: Interactive Reading Notebook for 4th Grade

Geometry Interactive Notebook

I’ve been making interactive notebook since 2013. I love making them, I love using them, I love everything about interactive notebooks, especially interactive math notebooks. So, I’d like to take this time to introduce my latest interactive math notebook – Geometry Interactive Notebook!

Like my other interactive notebooks, I’ve made this one with both students and teachers in mind. The activities are fun for students, but highly educational and relevant! Almost all of the activities are made in such a way that students can go back and use their interactive notebooks to review before a test or for the big end of the year exam.

geometry notebook

Here is a list of the topics that are covered:

Foundations of Geometry
Translations, Rotations & Reflections
Congruent Triangles
Geometry Theorems
Finding Angles
Properties of Parallelograms
Similar Triangles
Advanced Similar Triangles
Pythagorean Theorem
Solid Geometry
Cross Sections of 3D Objects
Rotating Shapes
Midpoint Formula
Dividing Line Segments
Parallel and Perpendicular Lines
Arc Measurements
Arc Length
Radians & Degrees
Radians & Arc Length
Inscribed Angles and Shapes

geometry 4

There are answer keys included. Also, extra blank foldables and cut-outs are included so you can create your own if you are working on something else that is not covered.

geometry notebook2

Foldables are age appropriate, cool, but not too cute. Check out a more detailed preview here.

geometry notebook3

For more information about my latest interactive notebook click here: Geometry Interactive Notebook