## Wednesday, June 13, 2012

### Take a Penny and Take Regrouping Out of Subtraction

"Take a Penny" is a 2 step strategy that allows students to subtracting across zeros without having to go through the complicated steps of regrouping. In fact with "Take a Penny", students can subtract across zeros without regrouping at ALL!

I learned the "Take a Penny" strategy last summer, and it has transformed the way my students subtract. I was at one of those workshops that you really don't want to be at but are required to go to, and boy was I amazed. The man that came to talk to us knew exactly how it felt to be in our shoes and did not waste one second of our time.

He taught us all kinds of strategies to make learning about math not only easier but fun. He only talked to us for two days, but I swear I would have sat there for a week just to learn more ways to help children understand and comprehend math in ways that we have never heard of.

I have used many of his strategies this past year, but the one that has had the most monumental change is the "Take a Penny" strategy. I actually feel like I have cheated my past classes by not teaching them this strategy. Not only is it faster, but because there are less steps students rarely make mistakes.

And it works every time, no matter how many zeros you have. The reason it works is quite simple. When you are subtracting two numbers, you are finding the difference between them or how far apart they are. When you "Take a Penny", you are not changing the distance between the two numbers because you are doing the same thing to both numbers. You are just make it easier to find the distance between the numbers.

I created a 23 slide PowerPoint presentation to help students and teachers master this innovative strategy. This product introduces how to "take a penny" and then provides an abundance of practice in working subtraction problems that require regrouping across zeroes using this extremely innovative strategy. Check it out at my TpT store.  I promise that it will forever change the way you and your students subtract!

## Monday, June 11, 2012

### Orderly Organization

This summer is all about organization for my home, my classroom...my life.

I am completely redoing my classroom. Check out my Pinterest board on my new theme. I have cleaned out, decluttered, and deposited tons of "junk" into the trash. I have been inspired by Melanie at Schoolgirlstyle.com, The Clutter Free Classroom Blog, Alicia at Keeping it True in K-1-2, Ashlee at Izzysharem as well as many, many others. I am excited about getting organized for the upcoming year. My most important year since I will be teaching my daughter and my niece in the fall!

I am also "planning" on doing some major organizing in my home. I have a Pinterest board completely dedicated to getting organized. There are so many great ideas out there. I know that getting organizzed can make our hectic lives a little less stressful! Three kids, a full time job, a football coach for a husband, dance, gymnastics, daycare....all of these things make for a busy life. This busy life needs as much organization as possible.

What are the best things you have done to help organize your life? Do you have some "must-dos" for me? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Also, it would probably be a lot easier to do this if I would stop "pinning" ways to get organized and actually get started getting organized.