December 21, 2018

NYE Craftivity & Writing Prompts!

New Years Eve is coming up and before we know it we’ll all be heading back to our classrooms! New Years is a wonderful time for everyone to take a moment and reflect on the past year and how one can continue to improve and move forward. Maybe it’s shedding a few pounds, finishing that book you started last summer, or learn a new language. Everyone’s goals are different but they’re all there to help us focus on making this next year count.

Student’s goals and resolutions are just as important!

This time of year we, as teachers, can help our students understand the importance of goal setting and helping them make a plan to meet those goals. I mean, I wish 10 lbs could just drop off of me in my sleep but it’s the work I put into it that’ll get me those results. It’s vital that students understand this concept. Plus January is a great mid-point for reviewing this concept of goal setting if you’ve begun discussing it at the beginning of the year when setting up your reading and writing workshops.

The activity that I have for you today is equal parts fun and equal parts educational. Let's take a peek at this fun NYE Craftivity!

Let's Party!

I’ve paired a couple writing prompts with a cute New Years display! I’ve included both boy and girl templates, which students will color and cut out. Have students color, or if you’re brave, use glitter to make their year glasses pop! Students can decorate their party hats any which way you want or feel free to use patterns. Add colorful pom-poms or ribbons to the top for a fun touch. Put it all together and it really brightens your room or hallways!

Goal Setting

The purpose of this activity is to kickstart kids back into doing ‘school’ and these prompts will help them get those writing gears working again. I’ve included 2 basic goal/resolution writing templates and the Countdown to a New Year gives them 5 different writing prompts to build a paragraph. Feel free to use your own lined paper or use the primary paper included in this download.

Reflecting on our goals

Another great way to introduce or review goal setting is by reflecting on the goals we've had in the past. Whether intentionally set or more on-the-fly, these pages help students see where they're going with our goals by reflection on how we achieved, or didn't achieve, our last ones.

As a teacher, have you set a goal and didn't reach it? This is important to share with your kiddos and reflect on how you could improve this year!

Happy New Year to all of my teacher blogger friends!!

December 15, 2018

Solving Strategies with Eureka Math

Today I am so excited to finally share Module 4 of my Eureka Math set of resources! It's taken months to finally pull together and I personally am thankful to all of my friends and followers here for their patience!

These last few months have been keeping me busy: our family moved to San Diego, I've been on multi-step interviews for a new teaching position (which I got, yay!), prepping my lettering shop for the holidays, and life in general just seemed to have gotten in the way. However, I'm happy to say that as we're on the heels of a Winter Break and gearing up to travel to Texas to visit with my husband's family for the holidays, here's Module 4 for second grade!

Application Problems & Problem Sets

As always, Module 4 is packed full of 31 engaging lessons that have students learn new strategies for solving multi-step problems, word problems, and begin composing and decomposing multi-digit number expressions. Students are really introduced in this module to building upon their understanding of addition and subtraction rules while learning new strategies like the vertical way and using place value charts to visualize their bundling and unbundling.

This is a fun module and always one where you'll find your students really relying on what they know and have learned in the previous three modules!

So, let's take a peek at Module 4!

Student work spaces

Something new to the application pages are the empty work spaces for students to use while following the lesson prompts from the teacher. After the mid-module assessment, the lessons require quite a bit of practice and work and I thought the best way to have kids follow along is by having a work space for them to work in while the teacher models how to solve each concept development problem.

Each lesson has a coordinating Application Problem, Concept Development, and Problem Set. In my opinion, Eureka Math's version can be overwhelming with words, little to no visuals, and only have teachers model the skill, which often lead to boring lessons that were predictable and had very little engagement with my students.

Now, with each module I create I incorporate the concept taught in each lesson but do so with more of a chance for students to visualize the skill, work through a little note-taking while the teacher instructs during the Concept Development, and a Problem Sets that focus on up to an average of 3-4 practice problems for students to complete either together or independently.

I've found that using Eureka Math is a great foundation, but to be used as an launching place for more engaging activities like centers, small groups, or group work. So, I've designed my resources with this in mind and hope teachers can find unique ways to include these modules into their lessons.

Skill Practice

Piggy backing on what I just said..

Each lesson has an aligned Application Problem, a little section for skill introduction (for use during the Concept Development lesson), and a Problem Set. The Application Problem is identical to the word problem given at the beginning of each lesson and gives students a space to work through the RDW process.

Depending on the skill, the notes section introduces the skill or vocabulary that students will be learning and practicing in that lesson. It incorporates the processes talked about in the lesson for the Concept Development in a way that students can easily follow along and provide a visual to what the teacher will be discussing.

Personally, I've always been more successful when math concepts are broken down into easy steps and match with what the teacher is saying. My hope is that this way of designing the lesson sheets are helpful to other teachers as well as their students!


This module comes with both a mid-module and end-of-module assessment! Much like the other worksheets provided in the original Eureka Math workbook, their assessments require too much of demonstrating understanding how to solve multiples of the same problem. I've decided to cut down the assessments to two pages and include the problems that are covered specific skills. That way these assessments are used in more of an informal way for teachers to check-in with their students throughout the module - and use more comprehensive assessments later on.


And just like all of my other modules I've included the given sprints! These pages are optional considering Eureka Math has their own workbook just for Sprints and may be easier than printing these - but I wanted to include them anyways! :)

I hope you're just as excited as I am about this new release of Module 4 and find it to be helpful this school year! Other modules are in the works, so be sure to follow me on TpT and Facebook to know when new modules are released!

Until then...

Catch up on all the modules so far!

Second Grade

December 12, 2018

The Affordable Glasses All Teachers Need to Know About

Affiliate links are used within this post, but rest-assured my opinions are 100% my own.

My glasses journey began when I was a sophomore in high school and finally realized that I couldn't see the board - it was fuzzy and I found myself having to sit up front in order to copy the notes adequately. Turns out, I am nearsighted and there's always been a part of me that wonders why my teachers over the years never noticed my need for glasses. Having gone through years of eye strain, I am quick to recognize similar body language in my students who may need glasses - hopefully curbing years of misconceptions about their abilities or even behavior. 

As an adult, I've been overpaying for my prescription and frames for years and can't believe I never heard of Warby Parker before! It wasn't until my husband and I first moved from the east coast to California that I had even heard of this brand. We were walking along Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice one afternoon and I walked by this cute blue building and being curious about their frames I stepped inside to take a peek.

I was totally expecting to fall in love with at least one pair of frames, but was nervous about the price tag. But that's where this story gets good...and informational.

Affordable (and cute!) Eyewear

My husband and I while visiting Luxembourg in 2017!
Frames: Oliver in Whiskey Tortoise

All of their frames from glasses to sunglasses are all $95. That's it! The reason their frames are so affordable is because they design and craft their frames in-house, cutting out the middle man. "The eyewear industry is dominated by a single company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options." (Warby Parker website). In doing this, they've created a company that makes glasses affordable and available to those who need them!

My husband, son, and I while visiting the Louvre in Paris, 2017!
Frames: Oliver in Whiskey Tortoise

Furthermore, when I picked out my first pair I literally only paid $5 out of pocket thanks to vision insurance. Warby Parker accepts most insurance and having my eye exam and frames mostly paid for was a huge plus!

A few years later I found myself looking to invest in prescription sunglasses as well as take a peek at upgrading my frames since WP is always releasing new styles. Now, my first pair have stood the test of time and the handling of a 2 year old - and that's saying something! I still use them regularly, but I wanted to try a new color or style of frame. At this point, my eye prescription on file had expired, but this is where their services are ah-mazing!

FREE Home Try-On

Thinking about testing out Warby Parker but don't have a storefront near you? Or just like to try things on at home without the hassle or pressure to make a purchase right then and there? Opt for their Home Try-On program absolutely free! Online you pick 5 frames to try and within a few days your frames will arrive and you have 5 days to think about what you liked or didn't like.

For me, I knew I wanted a mix of sunglasses and regular glasses so I chose a few different styles and colors to try. When I received them, I absolutely fell in love with their Welty frames in the Rose Crystal color. The frames are a bit larger than the Oliver's I already have and the crystal pink is so cute and a touch feminine. For my new prescription sunglasses I went with the Raglan frames in Pearled Tortoise. Both were featured in my Home Try-On and loved them instantly.

That moment you want a cute photo with your son and he's in the middle of snacking on raisins.
Frames: Welty in Rose Crystal

Update your prescription without leaving your house!

I was guided to download their free app, Prescription Check, to participate in eye tests and answer a few questions about my eye health. I was a bit skeptical that an app could accurately check my vision and determine if my prescription had changed or not. After spending about 30 minutes or so completing the guided exam, my results were sent off to an eye specialist to review and approve my new prescription. For $40 I was able to update my prescription without leaving my home! I mean, wow! Now, if the specialist determined I needed to go in-person for an eye exam then I wouldn't pay a dime and would have to book an appointment with my eye doctor to get a new prescription. But, having this (often time consuming) task be completed with ease, it made me love Warby Parker even more!

Pay in Installments!

This go-around I purchased my new pink frames and prescription sunglasses through their Affirm program, which allows me to pay just $90 in three installments without interest. Since being a stay-at-home-mom who will begin teaching again in January, my first payment is due right when I receive my first paycheck. Until then, I am able to enjoy my new glasses without worrying about paying for them upfront right away. The balance you pay each month is determined by how many frames you buy, so for my two glasses (and this time without vision insurance) $90 a month for three months is totally do-able!

I truly cannot recommend this company and their quality of glasses more. I've been using Warby's since 2016 and I seriously can't imagine shopping anywhere else for frames. They've managed to take the stress out of every possible aspect of shopping for new glasses and I couldn't believe how easy it was to update my prescription...right from home! Plus, their Home Try-On program helped me find new frames I wouldn't have picked for myself initially in-store, but within the comfort of my home I found my new favorites!

I would love to talk more about Warby Parker if you have any questions or hesitations. The only downside is they only have frames for men and women, but hopefully (fingers crossed) they can add a children's line!