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Math Challenge Freebie & Math Contracts - Perfect for Fast Finishers, Extensions, or Homework


A free math challenge product for grades 2-4 - PLUS a simple way to use these to differentiate for students who need a challenge in math!
If you're looking for a few new math items for fast finishers, homework math centers, or enrichment menus, try out my Math Challenges & Brainteasers freebie.  I've used these in my 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade classrooms for a number of purposes.  
A free math challenge product for grades 2-4 - PLUS a simple way to use these to differentiate for students who need a challenge in math!
Here are a few ideas for how you might use these in your own classroom:
*Use a challenge or brainteaser as a homework option for students who need a challenge, or let them replace a simple homework assignment with the challenge to show parents how well you’re differentiating.  :)

*Use a math challenge or brainteaser as a “number talk” problem to start out your daily math class. Work through it as a class or let students work in partners or small groups to talk through it and solve it together. 

*Make a pack of challenge problems for advanced students to use as a fast finisher or during certain in-class math lessons where they've already mastered the material.

*Give a challenge or brainteaser to a small group of students as one of their independent math workshop rotations or use them with your advanced small math group rotation.

*Use the problems as an independent practice activity during a unit on problem solving strategies (guess and check, work backwards, etc.) or attacking a multi-step problem. 

*Keep a stack of challenge problems in your classroom fast finisher area for any student who wants a challenge.

*Choose one or two challenge problems for the month and reward any student who can solve both. You can put these on a bulletin board or have them available as additional incentives.
A free math challenge product for grades 2-4 - PLUS a simple way to use these to differentiate for students who need a challenge in math!
Currently I'm using these as a challenge for my second graders in the form of math contracts.  I have a few super amazing 2nd grade mathematicians who are way ahead of the rest of the class.  They have the option of completing math contract work at any time during our independent math time as a replacement for the assignments given to the rest of the class.  Typically at the beginning of the year I have 6-7 students on math contracts and this dwindles to the few who really enjoy the independent challenges and are willing to work through these multi-step problems.  Usually by the end of the year I have 2-3 die hard math challenge kiddos who have stuck with the contracts all year. 

These are great to show parents at conferences, especially for those parents who want to see how their child is being challenged.  I just print out 5 of the math challenges, add a math contract cover sheet and I'm good to go.  Differentiation Complete!

If you haven't already downloaded the freebie which includes 3 math challenges and brainteasers, hop on over to my store and check it out.  I hope you enjoy!

Need more math challenges?  I'm currently working on monthly math challenge sets for every month of the school year!  My January Math Challenges and Brainteasers include problems focused on winter and January themes like: snow, penguins, polar bears, football, Martin Luther King Jr., snowballs, hot chocolate, and yeti. 
Print-and-go math challenges and brainteasers with a winter theme for January! Use these 21 NO PREP math printables with answer keys for math groups, homework, fast finishers, monthly centers, enrichment contracts or whole class problem solving. January themes include: penguins, sledding, Super Bowl, Martin Luther King, yeti, polar bears, and snow Recommended as a challenge for grades 2-3
Already done thinking about January?  These BRAND NEW February Math Challenges and Brainteasers include Valentine's Day, Oscars, winter sports, presidents, hundreds day, and candy themes.
 Have a great week teachers!
*If you like my blog please consider using the affiliate links above for your online shopping. This means when you click on these links I earn a small percentage of any purchases you make, but the prices stay the same for you. Thanks for helping to support my blog!*

100th Day of School - Free Printables

Is the 100th Day of School coming up super soon for you?  In Michigan we start after Labor Day and usually have a snow day or two thrown into the mix, so we don't usually start decorating hundreds day tees and surfing for freebies until February.  No matter what month you celebrate this very exciting milestone, hopefully this 100th Day Fun Stuff Freebie will be useful.  Need it now?  Just print and goNeed it later?  Just pin it, forget it, and come back next month.
Free Printables for the 100th Day of School including a 100th Day Art Project, a whole class brain break/math activity, and 2 word work center activities from I Want to be a Super Teacher
It includes a 100 Seconds Challenge, 100 Times Spelling, Hundreds Picture Spelling, and 2 templates for Hundreds Day Art.  My kiddos' art projects turned out pretty darn cute last year.
Free Printables for the 100th Day of School including a 100th Day Art Project, a whole class brain break/math activity, and 2 word work center activities from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Free Printables for the 100th Day of School including a 100th Day Art Project, a whole class brain break/math activity, and 2 word work center activities from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Free Printables for the 100th Day of School including a 100th Day Art Project, a whole class brain break/math activity, and 2 word work center activities from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Free Printables for the 100th Day of School including a 100th Day Art Project, a whole class brain break/math activity, and 2 word work center activities from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Free Printables for the 100th Day of School including a 100th Day Art Project, a whole class brain break/math activity, and 2 word work center activities from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Free Printables for the 100th Day of School including a 100th Day Art Project, a whole class brain break/math activity, and 2 word work center activities from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Throw in a hundreds day t-shirt (I got lazy and just glued 100 beads to my Halloween Super Teacher Tee) and I'm all planned for the 100th day.  Hooray!
Free Printables for the 100th Day of School including a 100th Day Art Project, a whole class brain break/math activity, and 2 word work center activities from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Happy Hundreds Day,
*If you like my blog please consider using the affiliate links above for your online shopping. This means when you click on these links I earn a small percentage of any purchases you make, but the prices stay the same for you. Thanks for helping to support my blog!*

Super Bowl Football Math Freebie & January Math Challenges

I'm still paying attention to football since I'm in the top six of my annual Colorado teacher friend football pick 'ems.  It's a long shot, but I'm keeping hope high for a top 3 finish and winning some moolah Even if you're like me and only pay attention to the NFL to win a bet, your kiddos will most likely be talk, talk, talking all things football for the next few weeks now that playoff season is upon us.
A Super Bowl math challenge freebie for elementary classrooms grades 2-4 reviews addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills!
If you need a football themed math activity for your little guys, check out my Super Football Math Freebie.  It's perfect for morning work, homework, or a quick math group.  It's a  review of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students are given a number of touchdowns, extra point kicks, and field goals and are then asked to find the total score of the football game.  I've used it successfully with my 2nd and 3rd graders (5th graders too, but it's more review than challenge for them), so hopefully it will meet some of your elementary teacher Super Bowl needs.

Need more math challenges?  I'm currently working on monthly math challenge sets for every month of the school year!  My January Math Challenges and Brainteasers include problems focused on winter and January themes like: snow, penguins, polar bears, football, Martin Luther King Jr., snowballs, hot chocolate, and yeti.
Print-and-go math challenges and brainteasers with a winter theme for January! Use these 21 NO PREP math printables with answer keys for math groups, homework, fast finishers, monthly centers, enrichment contracts or whole class problem solving. January themes include: penguins, sledding, Super Bowl, Martin Luther King, yeti, polar bears, and snow Recommended as a challenge for grades 2-3
Happy January!

Happy New Year - No Prep Art/Team Building for First Day Back

Word Clouds!  An easy classroom idea you can use anytime, but it's especially great to use after holiday breaks.  Easy with minimal prep!
Need an easy idea to get you pumped (or at the very least to keep you from being horribly depressed) about going back to the classroom after break? We all love children, but we also love sleeping in and sipping our coffee leisurely, all while going to the bathroom anytime we want for two whole weeks! That first day back can be brutal, so let's wade in a toe at a time shall we?
Word Clouds!  An easy classroom idea you can use anytime, but it's especially great to use after holiday breaks.  Easy with minimal prep!
Here's a super simple project you can do anytime during the first day/week back - word clouds.  All you need is paper (Easy!), pencils (You can do this!), and some crayons or colored pencils (Everything will be just fine. You will go to the bathroom at 4 pm.)
Word Clouds!  An easy classroom idea you can use anytime, but it's especially great to use after holiday breaks.  Easy with minimal prep!
1. Have students think about all the things they did during the break and brainstorm this as a list of words (this step is optional, but makes the project take longer - you might need this sort of project when you go back).
2. Have students share the 3-5 most important or exciting words from their list.
3. Now pass out the paper (I like white) and have the kidlets write those 3-5 words nice and big in PENCIL.
4. After the big words, have students fill in the rest of the page with the other words on their list.
5. Have students cut out around the words and voila!  They have a word cloud!
6. Now they can trace their many words in color and even color the background or draw a cloud shape around their words.
7.  Wanna get fancy?  Have students share their word clouds with partners around the room.
8.  Wanna get even fancier and take up lots more time?  Give each student a piece of tape, and have them tape these around the room. Then do a silent art gallery with the word clouds for a few minutes (Oh sweet silence!  You shan't be here again until Spring Break)
Word Clouds!  An easy classroom idea you can use anytime, but it's especially great to use after holiday breaks.  Easy with minimal prep!
DONE!  An easy, as time consuming as you want it to be, art/teambuilding activity you can use first thing you get back with almost zero prep needed.  Another thing I LOVE about this project is it's a way for students to tell their many break stories to students around the room (instead of to me) and display them for all to see.  They love, love, love telling their holiday break stories and I love, love, love having an easy activity for when I need a breather (or even a bathroom break) that first day back!
Word Clouds!  An easy classroom idea you can use anytime, but it's especially great to use after holiday breaks.  Easy with minimal prep!
Good luck this week (or next week if you're lucky!)!  GO, FIGHT, WIN!
*If you like my blog please consider using the affiliate links above for your online shopping. This means when you click on these links I earn a small percentage of any purchases you make, but the prices stay the same for you. Thanks for helping to support my blog!*

RACK Sacks and December Freebies

RACK Sacks - An easy idea to bring kindness into your classroom for the holidays PLUS 3 Holiday Freebies to make your life easier this December!
Holiday Classroom Tip - RACK Sacks
One super easy thing you can use in your classroom during the month of December is RACK (Random Acts of Classroom Kindness) Sacks. {Focusing on kindness right now is key and I love that RACK rhymes with SACK!}  On the first day back from Thanksgiving Break students each decorate a paper bag (nothing fancy), which serves as their RACK sack for the month.  You then hang (think staple) them to the wall where they act like brown paper stockings. 
RACK Sacks - An easy idea to bring kindness into your classroom for the holidays PLUS 3 Holiday Freebies to make your life easier this December!
During centers, writing or as a fast finisher students write compliments to one another that are delivered to RACK sacks and waited for with anticipation.  Students get to read the compliments and take their RACK sacks home on the last day before Winter Break and they also serve as a great place to keep, not only compliments, but other presents/treats/random desk items that need to be taken home before the holidays.  The kids love reading their compliments and it's an easy centers activity ALL MONTH LONG!  Keeping a cup of sticks or paper slips with all students' names to draw from helps to spread out the compliment giving more evenly if one or two RACK sacks start becoming way more full than the others.
RACK Sacks - An easy idea to bring kindness into your classroom for the holidays PLUS 3 Holiday Freebies to make your life easier this December!
Word to the wise: I ALWAYS read the compliments before delivering them (or letting a student/parent helper deliver them) to RACK sacks.  Most of them are so sweet and melt your heart (see compliment above), but a small percentage of students think a backhanded compliment counts as a compliment.  As we all know too well - it does not!  You do not want a nasty "compliment" going home and to receive an angry parent e-mail on December 23rd, so just read the compliments!  If you want to use the same compliments I do, you can get them for free with my Simple Student Holiday Gifts.  Easy peasy!
RACK Sacks - An easy idea to bring kindness into your classroom for the holidays PLUS 3 Holiday Freebies to make your life easier this December!
Gifts for You!
Working on your December plans?  Here are some freebies from me that will hopefully make life a little easier for the next few weeks.  Four printables are included in the December Holiday Fun Freebie Pack, and I just posted a brand new December Math Challenge that's ready for your 2nd-3rd grade mathematicians.
RACK Sacks - An easy idea to bring kindness into your classroom for the holidays PLUS 3 Holiday Freebies to make your life easier this December!
RACK Sacks - An easy idea to bring kindness into your classroom for the holidays PLUS 3 Holiday Freebies to make your life easier this December!

Happy Holidays!

November Mentor Texts and Read Alouds - Themes of friendship, kindness, loyalty, and family

November is such a lovely month with chillier weather, earlier sunsets, and time for family, but it can also be super stressful with parent teacher conferences, elections, and Halloween hangovers.  All of my favorite November read alouds are feel-good books with themes of friendship, caring, and love (Who doesn't need this right now?!), or texts that make you feel warm and safe, thinking about things and people that are meaningful to you.  If you or your students are feeling stressed, sitting down together and reading one of these amazing books would be time well spent.
Two Bobbies is a perfect book to talk about the importance of setting, as it is set just after hurricane Katrina.  This can be a great book to talk about the themes of friendship, loyalty, and kindness.  I used it to talk about the importance and traits of true friends.  My students loved it. I could tell from the wide eyes, the "ooohhhhh"s and "ahhhhh"s and "yay"s!  After we read it we wrote Thank-you-Grams to all our wonderful friends while sitting happy and complete knowing the Two Bobbies are safe and sound.  :)   
I am a sucker for a good animal story!  Nubs is just that and can be used around Veterans Day since it's all about a dog in Iraq and his journey home with Brian, a brave Marine.  Such a fantastic story of friendship, loss, stick-with-it-ness (is that a word?!) and love.  I'm going to read it to the kids focused on things we're thankful for since it's November, but it's an anytime sort of book.  You can read a little more about Nubs, plus see a video of Nubs and Brian at my blog post here.  Love, love, love Nubs! 
The pictures in All The Places to Love are so, so beautiful!  This is also a great read aloud focusing on similes, and can be an excellent mentor text for a quick write about a favorite place.  You can also use it for a mini-lesson on zooming in to a particular place in your writing.
This is my go-to mentor text when we talk about descriptive writing, word choice, five sense writing, or just need a day when we do a no stress quick write.  The kids can always think of a month that they can describe!

Happy November and happy reading,

*If you like my blog please consider using the affiliate links above for your online shopping. This means when you click on these links I earn a small percentage of any purchases you make, but the prices stay the same for you. Thanks for helping to support my blog!*

Free 2016 Election Math Challenge with Electoral Map - Vote, Vote, Vote

A free 2016 Math Challenge and electoral map perfect for grades 2-4 math groups, homework, fast finisher, or extension.
Get ready for November 8th with this FREE Election Math Challenge!  It includes an electoral map and my Race to 270 Math Challenge which asks students to find two different combinations of states that have a total of 270 electoral votes.  There are also some teacher notes on a simple way to differentiate the project for more advanced students, as well as a link to my favorite site for looking at projected and actual election results with an interactive electoral map.  Just click here or on the picture below to download the freebie from my store!
A free 2016 Math Challenge and electoral map perfect for grades 2-4 math groups, homework, fast finisher, or extension.
If you like the freebie, I have 20 more election based math challenges and brainteasers that were just added to my store!  You can check them out by clicking here or on one of the pictures below.   
A free 2016 Math Challenge and electoral map perfect for grades 2-4 math groups, homework, fast finisher, or extension.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Election-Math-Challenges-Brainteasers-Fast-Finishers-Homework-Extensions-2838880
A free 2016 Math Challenge and electoral map perfect for grades 2-4 math groups, homework, fast finisher, or extension.

Happy Election Day!
*If you like my blog please consider using the affiliate links above for your online shopping. This means when you click on these links I earn a small percentage of any purchases you make, but the prices stay the same for you. Thanks for helping to support my blog!*

5 Last Minute Halloween Costumes for Teachers

Halloween is on a Monday this year.  Gah!  That means if you're a last minute costume person any online shopping (my favorite kind) needs to done by Friday, even if you're Amazon Prime-ing it to your doorstep.
5 quick and easy ideas for Halloween costumes for teachers! Not enough time to do a bunch of shopping?  These costumes can be created with items in your closet!
In panic mode?  Don't be.  Here's some quick and easy last minute teacher costume ideas.

Have an old graduation robe hiding in the back of your closet?  Throw it on, grab a broom, make a name tag if you have time and you're a Quidditch player. A wand can be easily made with rolled up construction paper.
5 quick and easy ideas for Halloween costumes for teachers! Not enough time to do a bunch of shopping?  These costumes can be created with items in your closet!
Have sweatpants, black shirt, and a headband?  Get some yellow construction paper, cut out the letters K-O-O and be Brian or Neil.  If you have a sweet fanny pack or mustache add it in!  (I ordered my shirt online from the Koo Koo Kangaroo website last year out of laziness).
5 quick and easy ideas for Halloween costumes for teachers! Not enough time to do a bunch of shopping?  These costumes can be created with items in your closet!
Have a team jersey or sports shirt?  Throw it on with jeans and you're a sports player/fan.  Simple! (Cubs fans - I know you have something that will do!)
5 quick and easy ideas for Halloween costumes for teachers! Not enough time to do a bunch of shopping?  These costumes can be created with items in your closet!
Do you have sticky label paper and a plain t-shirt?  Print out a free super teacher pattern, cut it out, stick it on and be a Super Teacher.  Mask/tights/headband not necessary but certainly welcome.
5 quick and easy ideas for Halloween costumes for teachers! Not enough time to do a bunch of shopping?  These costumes can be created with items in your closet!
And my favorite . . . Fish that old concert tee out of your closet, put on some comfy pants and Converse.  Then take your teacher badge, cut out a cardstock square that says ROAD CREW and tape it on top.  Got a guitar or a fake microphone (testing, testing, 1,2,3)?  Take those as props and enjoy your day as a ROADIE.  This one can also be recycled for career day.  :)
5 quick and easy ideas for Halloween costumes for teachers! Not enough time to do a bunch of shopping?  These costumes can be created with items in your closet!


Costume done!  Now to make it through a week with Halloween on a Monday.  Blurg!
 
Any other last minute ideas?  Leave them in the comments!  I would love to hear your amazing ideas! 
*If you like my blog please consider using the affiliate links above for your online shopping. This means when you click on these links I earn a small percentage of any purchases you make, but the prices stay the same for you. Thanks for helping to support my blog!*

What Should My Teacher Be For Halloween? Free Editable Art & Writing

What Should my Teacher be for Halloween? - Free art project printables for students.  Perfect for elementary teachers in October!
If you need a quick, fun, activity for the week check out my editable PowerPoint "What Should My Teacher Be For Halloween?" Freebie activity.

It's super easy!

Step 1: Cut your head out of one of those lovely school pictures.
Step 2: Download the freebie from my store and choose which printable you want to use - edit the writing portion to your liking.
Step 3: Glue the head on top of one of the printable bodies (or draw your own body like I did below).
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Should-my-Teacher-be-for-Halloween-Editable-October-Art-Freebie-2168556
Step 3: Make copies on a photo setting (if your printer has one).  If there's no photo setting, typically a lighter copy setting works best.
Step 4: Use this as a writing center or art activity before Halloween! 

The results are always fantastic!  See my second graders' most recent ideas below.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Should-my-Teacher-be-for-Halloween-Editable-October-Art-Freebie-2168556

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Should-my-Teacher-be-for-Halloween-Editable-October-Art-Freebie-2168556
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Should-my-Teacher-be-for-Halloween-Editable-October-Art-Freebie-2168556
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Should-my-Teacher-be-for-Halloween-Editable-October-Art-Freebie-2168556
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Should-my-Teacher-be-for-Halloween-Editable-October-Art-Freebie-2168556
I've been doing this activity forever and have tried a few different clip art bodies to see which one ended up with the best student designs.  All three versions of this activity are in a FREE editable PowerPoint so you can choose which one you like best. (I prefer the draw your own version as you can see in the pics above.)
What Should my Teacher be for Halloween? - Free art project printables for students.  Perfect for elementary teachers in October!

Want more pictures and copious blog posts about this activity?  I write about it pretty much every year.  I just think the kids' ideas are so darn cute!  You can check out the links below:

"Draw it Yourself" version - the original (and my personal fave)
What Should my Teacher be for Halloween? - Free art project printables for students.  Perfect for elementary teachers in October!
"Man Hands" version - this didn't quite work out how I wanted, maybe with a bigger head? (See how I'm being reflective here?)
What Should my Teacher be for Halloween? - Free art project printables for students.  Perfect for elementary teachers in October!
"Stick Figure" version - I think these turned out quite nicely, but the "Draw it Yourself" ones are still my fave.
What Should my Teacher be for Halloween? - Free art project printables for students.  Perfect for elementary teachers in October!


Try it out?  I would love to see your finished art pieces!  Tag me on IG @iwanttobeasuperteacher or e-mail pics to me at iwanttobeasuperteacher@gmail.com so I can share them in an upcoming blog post.  I seriously LOVE to see how these turn out in your classrooms!

Happy October,

*If you like my blog please consider using the affiliate links above for your online shopping. This means when you click on these links I earn a small percentage of any purchases you make, but the prices stay the same for you. Thanks for helping to support my blog!*