Protractors, Protractors, Protractors!

Today, we reviewed all that we have been working on so far in our protractor unit. This is one of my favorite units to teach and most of my students really enjoy it because it’s very hands-on.

To start the review, I presented a short mini lesson by displaying slides with a few different protractor angles. The first three slides, we reviewed classifying angles as either acute, obtuse, and right.  Then, we found the degrees of each angle.  I ask my students to always classify first, so that if they write down obtuse and write an acute degree or vice versa, they know to go back and look to correct the mistake.

The next section we continued to classify and find the degrees of each angle. However, the angles were set to 5˚ increments.  We really went over the 85˚ angle because many of my students will automatically say 95˚.  We used this as an example of why it is important to classify the angle first and a way to check your answer.  This was a lightbulb moment for a few of my students. 

Click HERE for resource

We continued to move to two more difficult angles I find my students have trouble with.  Plus, this is almost always a question in some form on the state test.  One is set to 89˚ and the other is set at 91˚.  As usual, some of my students answer the opposite for each of those during the lesson. This is why we practice these many times to ensure student understanding.

Another difficult angle for my students is when the angles are not set at 0˚.  The next several slides are offset at 10˚ and 5˚ increments. I didn’t not show anything with 1˚ increments on the offset angles as it is not required in 4th grade.

Finally, we talked about complementary and supplementary angles.  I teach these using a tape/strip diagram to find the missing side.  This is a fairly easy concept for students once they understand they will always be subtracting from 90˚ or 180˚ depending on the which angle.

When everyone was ready, I introduced the new Protractor Pursuit Game. My students named the game!!  We went over the instructions and the kids were excited to play.  This was great practice for the kids and they seemed to really enjoy figuring out the different angles.  There are 48 different angle playing cards that are mixed at the 10˚, 5˚, 1˚, and offset angles.  The Protractor Pursuit cards are all complementary or supplementary angles that students solve when they land on a protractor space. 

Click HERE for this resource

After about 40 minutes of playing the game, I had the kids put away the game and return to their seats.  I gave each student an exit ticket to make sure I do not need to pull anyone to work on. It was a short 6 question sheet and I am happy to say, I only had two students that need a little extra practice with me. I always encourage my students to leave me a note about how they are doing. This takes all the guesswork out of my job and the student’s learn to advocate for themselves!

Now, we move onto multiple angles on a protractor and multi-step problem solving.

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Alternative to Worksheets!

Super simply and a great alternative to standard practice worksheets!

Simple draw your “bunny,” write in four random numbers in the boxes, and start adding! You will add diagonally and put the answer in the ears, across to the arms, down to the legs, and all the way around to the tail!

Addition Bunny Instructions

My students enjoy creating their own math problems and it keeps them practicing these skills in a fun way!

Multi-Digit Subtraction Diffy Square Instructions

Multi-Digit Diffy Square Instructions

Draw a square, write down a random number in each of the corners, then start subtracting. Watch the video for step by step instructions.

I hope you enjoy these simple math practice activities! Follow me for more instructional videos coming soon!


MINI Decimal Garbage Game

Today, we played one of my new math game creations!!  I never know if my games will go over well until we try, but this one was a hit!! 

Cards Available HERE

My students love the game garbage (some call it trash), but I wanted to make it more meaningful for 4th grade, so I turned it into the MINI Decimal Garbage Game! 

This is a very simple game that can be played individual, partner, or small group of no more than four. 

Instructions: Dealer deals out 10 cards face down to each player.  The remaining cards go in a stack in the middle.  All players line their cards up in two rows of five.

The dealer goes first and draws one card.  That card will be placed in the correct position on the row.  The sequence is .1-1.00.  See picture for more details.

The dealer continues to play until he/she can no longer place a card.  That card is discarded next to the stack face-up.  The next player has the option of taking the discarded card or drawing one.  Then he/she continues to place the cards in the correct sequence until he/she can’t anymore.  This continues until the first player to have all 10 cards flipped over in the correct sequence wins.

One of many ways the board can look when finished

I made this super small because we are very limited on copies at my school. I also wanted to make them the exact size of these mini containers. You can sometimes find these at Dollar Tree, but they are also on Amazon.  Here is the direct link if you want to purchase some for yourself.

There are only four pages to print on cardstock with a label for the mini container lid.  I printed 4 sets for my class, and this allows up to 16 kids to play at a time!

Please let me know if you have any questions!  Here is the link to the mini cards if you would like your kiddos to play!

Concrete Model Decimal Match Up Lesson

PowerPoint and Printables for this Lesson HERE

Today, my students worked on matching up concrete models to decimals and relating it to expanded notation.  Making the connections that they are all related can be difficult to understand.  Thankfully, I heard a bunch of my kiddos say, “Now I get it!” as I was walking around the room!  That is the reason I teach…to hear those very words!!

How I set up this activity and how it went!

I posted the guided question slide asking how we can show decimals in different ways and asked them talk among themselves. I heard comments like money, fractions, number line, base ten, etc…  I even had one answer “brownies” because of our decimal brownie lesson last week.  I loved that one!  Here is the link to that lesson if you need a great introductory or fun follow up lesson to decimals.  It’s a student favorite for sure.  Of course, it does involve actual food and some school sadly don’t allow that anymore. 😦

Decimal Brownie PowerPoint and Lesson HERE

Then, I introduced the target and instruction slide.  I read the target and asked for some of the vocabulary words I had heard early and let them know I would be listening for math language as I walked around the room. I also explained the instruction slide in detail.  I wanted to make sure everyone understood what to do before I sent them off to do the work. (Tip: Make sure to over explain that each row on the paper should be a match.  I had one student that automatically glued the pieces down randomly and he had to start over).  After there were no more questions, off they went!!

I roamed the room and helped anyone that might have been struggling.  I did put an example up on the board of a random number to show how expanded notation should look as a reminder.  Also, some of my students still need help recognizing coins and their worth as well.  So, I opened a Chromebook and put up our digital “Helpful Math Charts” slide up from their Google Classroom.

Digital Helpful Math Charts HERE

I had a couple students finish early and showed them how to write it out as a fraction on the side of the paper as the other students were finishing up.

This lesson took a little over an hour from beginning to end! When all the students were finished, we met back on the carpet. I showed the last slide and the kids answered some questions and discussed something we noticed and learned. I then gave them all an exit ticket that they had to draw on and show me they understand. Tomorrow, I will pull a couple kiddos that need just need to see me at my conference table for a few minutes and then we should be good!

Please let me know if you have any questions and you can find this resource by clicking the link HERE.

Have a great day and I will try to have a new lesson blog up in a week!


10 Ways to Keep Your Classroom Organized

If you have followed me log enough, you know I am obsessed with being organized! It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time!!  I feel like this is what keeps me grounded and able to function as a teacher!  Since I am new to blogging, I thought I would start with the things I’m doing in the classroom and post a few of my favorites ideas and links to the products I love!  Feel free to send me any questions you might have!!

1. Storage bins!! Storage bins!! Storage bins!!

binsI keep all my stations, whole class lessons, and read alouds organized by months and six weeks in these cabinets!  I love the 11 x 14 stackable bins the most.  It has taken me 2 years to get these cabinets like this.  A little at a time is always what I recommend or you will truly get overwhelmed and quit or drain your bank account…not good on a teacher’s salary!! Here is a LINK for these exact bins!  You will not be disappointed with this purchase, just take it slow and don’t overwhelm yourself!!!

2. Mini Salt and Pepper Shakers


If you like to let your students be creative with glitter without the mess, these are your answer!  They are perfect for easy storage and no mess. Only a little comes out at a time. Amazon has a great deal on a set of 24 HERE for a set of 24 shakers.  You will need a mini funnel and can usually find those at the dollar store. OR…just roll up a paper plate to fit and then you have a disposable funnel for free!! PLASTIC PENCIL boxes are perfect for storing these too!

3. Chromebook Storage on a Dime!!

Yep, that is just a plain ole pan lid organizer for your kitchen!! BUT…it works fantastic for storing chromebooks.  If you are like me, you can’t stand to have cords everywhere either. This little thing helps keep it all organized and ready for use.  Click HERE to purchase one and start getting these things tangle free and organized in a very inexpensive way!

4. Beanie Baby Storage Boxes!


I love all things clear!  If I can’t see it, I don’t use it #forreal!! These are simply beanie baby storage containers from the past that house all my math manipulatives.  They are stackable and work for a multitude of different things to organize! I have seen other storage containers like these, but they tend to be upwards of $10.00+ dollars.  I found them HERE on Amazon for much cheaper!

5. Electrical Tape!

electric tape

I have all my subjects organized by color in my classroom!! My students organize their materials by color using electrical tape. For instance, science is red because red is my favorite color and science is my favorite subject to teach, math is yellow, writing is green, etc….  This is a very easy and visual way for students to know exactly what color folder or composition notebook they need quickly! Click HERE for a large package with multiple colors!  The tape also works great for organizing different genres of books in your classroom library!door tape

Teacher Tip….The tape also works great for non-verbal ques like this one!!  STOP HERE! 🙂





6. Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner and Supplies


My students are taught that it is their job to take care of the classroom!!  At the end of the day, all my students have a job cleaning up the room and getting it ready for the next day! This is how I keep my classroom organized and clean!!  When you have 20+ kiddos working together helping out everyday, it’s easy to stay organized!! I am including links to my favorite items we use daily!

Lightweight Vacuum

Cordless Sweeper

Swiffer Dusters

Swiffer Wet Jet Mop

Large Duster

7. Fold up Tray Tables


My students love working on these fold up tables.  They are easy to store and move around.  Dry eraser markers work great on the surface of these as well!!  These FOLD UP TABLES and do not take up much space are a must have in my classroom and allow students to spread out during different lessons!

8. Under Shelf/Cabinet Organizer


This is one of my favorite organizers EVER!! I use an under the counter/shelf organizer to house Kleenex over my sink.  My hope is that they will do their business, then immediately wash up and get back to work.  I can’t make it more visual than this! I also use these organizers for other items inside my cabinets like paper, tape dispensers…the possibilities are endless (I have them in my home pantry housing my onion and potatoes). I am linking the 15″ basket you see in the pictures HERE BUT, be sure to check the size you need for your own cabinets or shelves.  They come in a variety!!

9. Crazy Crayon Holder!!!

I made this by using a sock drawer organizer!!  Here is the LINK to the exact one I used. These can be cut easily with scissors to fit any size area!!  Before I hung it up, I stapled some poster board to the wall so it won’t get marked up!  I also hot glued all the connecting parts together!  I used 8 screws to mount it up on the wall and added a little hot glue to the screws for extra strength!

10. Teacher Supply Organizer

I love all things clear and here is another example!!  I found this beauty in the cake decorating isle of Michaels!!  It is supposed to hold cake decorating tools!! However, this works fantastic for holding office supplies and such!!  Don’t forget to use your teacher discount at Michaels if you purchase one of these too!

Happy Organizing!!!

This post contains affiliate links for Amazon. By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase.

Teacher Tips and Hacks

I am always looking for new ways to organize items in my house and in my classroom.  I find it even more exciting when I am able to turn something that might not seem like much use, into something very useful. AND if it’s free…that’s even better!!  Never feel bad about asking parents, neighbors, and friends for these items.  I have never had anyone tell me no and people are more than happy to help a teacher out!!

Here are a few of my favorites!!

Play-Doh Containers

Don’t throw away the Play-Doh containers!!  These work beautifully for holding water while water coloring.  As a former Kindergarten teacher, I had tons of these!!!!


Soup Cans

Keep your empty metal cans or baby food jars!!  These make great holders for art supplies.  I found a Lazy Susan at Walmart for less than $5.00!!! Then I painted the cans with high gloss spray paint in my school colors and then hot glued all the cans down to the base. To hold the smaller items, I glued baby food jars to the cans and base of the Lazy Susan.  I used a little super glue on those to ensure they wouldn’t fall off.  For very little money, you have a custom organized art supply rotating organizer!!



Baby Food Jars

Again, those baby food jars work like a charm keeping crayons organized.  Cups found at Walmart, 6 for $1.00, are perfect for keeping colored pencils neat and tidy.markers


Remnant Fabric Pieces

Want to make a new bulletin board for push pins?  Buy some 12 x 12 cork squares. Then, pick up some remnant fabric on the discount shelf and a bottle of spray glue adhesive.  Iron the fabric so that there are no wrinkles, spray the glue on the cork, and lay the fabric on.  Refer to the pictures to see how to do the corners.

Salad Dressing Containers

These are so perfect for keeping bingo chip holders, beads, small office supplies, etc…..I love using these for special snacks and when I do my “book cooks”!!  Click here to stock up!!



Do NOT be afraid to ask stores for their empty containers!!!!  They throw them away anyway and are usually more than happy to give to a teacher if you let them know!!  I always look for sturdy containers that I could use in my house or classroom.


Prescription Bottles

Make sure to get the ones without a child safety on them or your students will never be able to open them.  I use these to put money in for counting money.  The kids love this and it keeps everything organized.  Click here to grab some classroom money and get started organizing!!IMG_1662

Ugly Magnets!!!

Yes, those ugly magnets that are on clearance because no one wanted them but me!!  All you need is a can of chalk spray paint and a chalk pen!!  I made a set for my team and they hang on the metal part of our classroom door!!  The nice thing about these is, you can wipe them off and write what ever you want!!


I hope some of these will work for you and I would love to hear about it if you do!!!  More ideas to come soon!

Happy Organizing!!

This post contains affiliate links for Amazon. By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase.