Saturday, 31 May 2014

Surviving the Chaos

It's almost can taste it...the end is in sight and your mind is on how you are going to spend those first few glorious days of summer vacation.
So why is it, that when your energy level is at an all-time low, your students' is at an all-time high?!?!

How do you get through those last few days? Lots of coffee of course, and a really engaging way to end the year. If your students aren't actively engaged and busy working towards something meaningful, those last few days will seem like an eternity.

For the past 6 years, I've kept my students busy by working towards a goal of raising money to build a well in a developing country. Those last 2 weeks of school, my classroom turns into fundraising central. This project covers all the main subject areas, and provides the students with a ton of responsibilities (which, by the end of the year, I can trust them with). There are students creating advertisements, organizing bake sales, calling local businesses, collecting donations, making informational posters, writing business letters, and more. Everyone has their own job, and they are busy doing it!

The best part about this project is that all my students feel a sense of pride in knowing they've helped save someone's life, by providing them with safe drinking water. I find even my most reluctant learners (the ones I struggled with all year), really excel with this project! Such a positive way to end the year!

Since starting this project, my classroom has donated over $10 000!

If you are interested in doing a similar campaign to wrap up your year, I recommend reading Ryan's story. It's an amazingly inspiring story about how one person really can change the world!

Enjoy your last few days with your students...and most importantly enjoy your summer holidays!

Congrats! You've reached the last stop of the hop!
Thanks for joining our end of the school year blog hop today. Twenty teacher bloggers got together to celebrate the end of the school year with you by donating a product to the "Surviving the Chaos Blog Hop Bundle".

If you haven't already, you can access the entry form at to help keep you organized as you obtain the secret letter from each blog. Once you have each letter, fill out the Google form below to claim your FREE product bundle!
I hope you enjoyed the hop!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bright Idea #3 - Number Chips

I am excited to be teaming up with an amazing group of teacher bloggers, once again, to bring you the "Bright Ideas Link Up". This link up was created to bring you practical classroom ideas from a variety of teachers, from different grades and subject areas. I hope you find some great ideas that you can easily implement in your own classroom. 


In previous posts, I have talked about filling your classroom with math visuals and manipulatives for little, to no money. This month I thought I would share another idea I use in the classroom with you - using number chips. I hope you find it useful!

To make a set of number chips , get your hands on some bingo chips. (your local dollar store will likely have some). Using a permanent marker, label sets of 10 chips with the digits 0 - 9.

To use the number chips, provide each student with a set of 10 chips, and have them manipulate the chips to create different numbers based on concepts being taught.

Here is an example of some questions I give my students to answer using the number chips.

         For easy storage, I keep each set of number chips in an old film canister. I get the canisters from my local photo-lab for Free, as they just throw them away. I was very surprised at how many people still use film, as they gave me a whole shopping bag full!

I hope number chips are something you can use in your classroom!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook for more great ideas!

For even more bright ideas, please browse through the link-up below, and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

An InLinkz Link-up

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Teacher Appreciation Sale

When I tell people I teach middle school, people usually look at me like I'm just plain crazy.

Sure,it's a challenging age group, but I wouldn't want to teach any other age. I love interacting with teenagers, probably cause I feel like I still have the mentality of a teenager most days! I love that they get my sarcasm and sense of humour (well, most of them do)! Sure,my days are filled with drama, but that just makes for interesting stories to share when I get home...never a dull moment in the life of middle school students.

Do I come home at the end of the day exhausted? YES! Do I feel like all my hard work is worth it? Not always! Do my students thank me for all that I do? Ummmmmmmmmm, NO! Do I feel like I am making a difference? I can only hope so!

So why do I do it? Because I love it. I love my students (most of the time) and I want all of them to succeed!

Now that I have been teaching almost 10 years. I have seen the effects of my hard work. I have actually had some students come back and thank me and parents stay in touch with me.

If you are a new teacher, stay positive! You may not see the effects of all your hard work today, but you are making a difference, even if your students don't realize it for another 10 years!

You are appreciated! YOU ROCK!

With that being said.....

It's time for another site wide sale on Teacher Pay Teachers to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. Check out this list of SUPER SECONDARY teachers for some awesome products, on sale May 6 - 7! Many of these teacher authors create materials for grades 5 and up, so if you are a middle school teacher you are bound to find some spectacular activities to use in your own classroom!

Happy Shopping!