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Bright Ideas: First Grade 3D Shapes Station Idea

I'm so glad you stopped by today! I am excited to join the Bright Ideas Link up!  That means it is time for you to grab that idea notebook and start making your Must Do list!




This week I had several students who were struggling with attributes of 3D shapes. Being new(ish) to 1st grade, I am always looking for a hands-on way to make learning meaningful in math.

Unfortunately one small group during guided math continued to struggle with vertices and edges.

Cue the light bulb moment for my bright idea!


I quickly looked for something that I could use to write on the shapes without damaging them.
(If I had a nickle for every wooden cube that some kid has taken a pencil to...just sayin...)
I settled on a role of highlighter tape, washi tape, and some colorful dot stickers and tested it out on these base 10 blocks. Let's just say I needed a BIG visual for this particular small group.

First, we wrote numbers on our dots and put one on each vertex.  Then, I let the students choose which color of highlighter tape or washi to use. To be honest, I did most of the cutting!
Math stations can't last all day people!!

We got to work taping all the edges, and then we used our mini-markers with erasers to count our edges. The kids did a great job! One little girl even decided, "We should write each number two times so no matter which way you are looking at you'll know what number it should be." Even though it was difficult for her to explain, I understood her thinking.




This weekend I plan on buying some Scotch Dry Erase Tape and using it to create several different options for this activity. That's right- They make Dry Erase TAPE (And Chalkboard Tape!).




I want to include some real-word objects like a tissue box, coffee can, and Toblerone chocolate package for a triangular prism! (Nom, Nom) These will be easy to put in a station tub for students to label and record information about in their math journal.




If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, then be sure to follow me on Facebook or Instagram.
I love sharing pictures of what is going on in my classroom (like the time this week a boy brought his mom's used eyelashes to school...you must see to believe).

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


Very Busy Box Video and Giveaway

Hello Everybody!

I am excited to share with you my first attempt (emphasis on the attempt) at creating a vlog to share with you on Youtube!

I was lucky enough to order the first edition of the Blair Turner Paper Very Busy Box , and I got so excited that I decided to film the "unboxing" of all my goodies.  I'm no video pro, but I love watching unboxing videos on Youtube, and I hope you'll enjoy this one.  I am a big fan of Blair's designs and the Very Busy Box did not disappoint.

If you love paper, pens, or desk accessories, then you need this box!  Grab your adult beverage and your Paypal login (because you are going to want to go order) while you check out the video.





If you made it all the way to the end, then you heard I'll be giving away TWO $50.00 gift certificates to Blair's shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


{Sunday Letters- Easter Edition}




Dear Easter,

I think you need to have a meeting with Halloween about your candy selection. There are too many marshmallow-themed options. Marshmallow eggs, bunnies, bigger eggs, bigger bunnies, chocolate marshmallow...seriously. You need some variety.

Thank goodness for Cadbury Chocolate Mini Eggs or this sweet tooth would be feeling sour.


Dear Papers that Need Graded,

I give you an A for sitting in a pile.  Now if you could only learn to grade yourself you'd get an A+.


Dear Mom,

I'm sorry I didn't drive home for the holiday. If you buy me a plane for my birthday we might see each other more often.

Dear Readers,

I am about to share a VIDEO post all about my Very Busy Box I received in the mail yesterday. I can't wait! I am not a professional vlogger, and we could probably make a drinking game out of the number of times I use the words cute and addict (you'll just have to watch and see) but that would be a bit UNprofessional. Hmm
Look what was in my "Easter Basket"!


Dear Michelle,

Thank you for hosting this letter linky. Letters fill my bucket faster than a KFC drive-thru.

Your On Your Mark book study about standards based learning sounds right up my alley.
Go check out her blog if you want to read more!

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{Currently April 2015}

April is here! I'm CURRENTLY linking up with Farley !


I'm currently listening to some Ed Sheeran as I do some serious catching up on grading!  How does one manage to let a stack get this high in one week!!!???  I love Ed.  He is the ginger to my ale? lol #badpuns 

I am LOVING that we have a holiday this Friday. I want to spend time relaxing and having some fun! I worked through most of Spring Break (when I wasn't napping!!) and I need to do something non-work related for once.  Do you have any fun Easter traditions? My favorite memory is getting a CD each year in my Easter basket. I love music, and this was a big deal for me as kid.  Here is my favorite Easter picture of all times from 1985!!! 


That's me giving my little brother the side eye for being such a buttercup and ruining my photo op. 
I mean seriously- Why would you cry over wearing such a fabulous bonnet? It's not every day you get to dress up in yellow linen! #iloveyoumom  I had to crop out my dad because he is apparently a vampire. He hasn't aged a day in 30 years. 

I have been in Spring Cleaning mode! It is difficult to focus on some of the current situations in my classroom because I keep thinking about next year and changes I want to make. Am I the only one who struggles with this? Maybe it was just a tough 3rd quarter, but I am seriously ready to move along!  I have strategically taken a walk down the Kindergarten hall twice this week to remind myself of the hoopla that is to come and to get back on track with the present! I needed a reality check!


I need (ok maybe it is really a want) to read something for enjoyment. I feel like I consume a lot of content and information each day, but none of it is for pure fun! Do you have any good books you'd recommend? I love all types, but historical fiction and thrillers are my favorite!

My REAL name is unique. No, not Monique, I said unique. ;) I don't share it around here, but I will say I've never met anyone else with my name. This can be both good or bad.  


My blog name is a fun play on words Not JANE stands for Not Just Any Nerdy Educator. I had all kinds of fun brainstorming for months (seriously) but with the help of my word nerd friend Krazytown, I ended up with my favorite blog name ever! 

What are you up to currently?  April is my birthday month, so be looking for some celebrations coming your way! :)