I was super duper excited when Casey from Second Grade Math Maniac asked me to review her Take Home Math Kits.  My kids could always use more practice with key math concepts, and I knew they would be excited to take these kits home.

The best part is that Casey has made it super easy to get started!  She even included a parent letter, instructional guide, and two different sign out sheets.  Most of the kits are print and go, but a few need either dice or a ruler.  I love that the kits have color, but don't eat up ink!  My printer was very happy too!

Getting Started

When I got the kits, I printed them out right away and decided to put them in a 10x13 manila envelope.  I liked the size because I knew it would easily fit in my kids' backpack.  At first, I only printed out a few kits on math concepts that I had recently taught.  The kids were begging me to send home more kits, so I ended up printing out even more.

I decided to glue the cover on the front of the envelope, and the directions on the back of the envelope.  I even laminated the recording sheets.  That way the kids don't accidentally write on the master copy.  The kids remind me when I need to make more copies.  That makes it super easy to manage the recording sheets.

Keeping Track .... Who has which kit?
I'm a pretty organized teacher, but I do struggle with keeping track of the books that students take home.  I was a little hesitant to get started because I knew that I would forgot which kits went home, and which student took it.  Thank goodness for the math kit sign out sheet!  It has saved my life!  I no longer have to say, "Who has the ....?" 

I placed the sign out sheet on a clipboard and I taught the students how to sign out the kit by finding the name of the kit on the list.  They initial the sheet and fill in the date they took the kit home.  My kids cross off their name, once they have returned the kit.  They do this independently, and it is one less thing I have to manage.  I love that my kids can easily and independently sign out the kits and return them.  It has saved me a lot of time!  What could you do with a little extra time?

My Kids' Favorite Kits
I decided to highlight two of my kids' favorite kits.  They both focus on a math concept that everyone can practice a little bit more...Place Value!

Most of my boys really love Place Value War!  It comes with a set of base-ten block cards that the students use in a war game.  Each student draws a card, and then identifies the number that the base- ten blocks represent.  The student with the highest number gets to keep both cards.  The one with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.  I really love that the recording sheet focuses on greater than and less than.  It makes my heart happy that the kids love this game, because I know they are getting the extra practice that they need.

My kids also love Building Numbers.  Even in second grade, the kids need more practice building numbers and describing them using place value.  In this kit, the students are given a number on a task card that they have to build using the base-ten blocks.  On the recording sheet, the students have to draw the number in a base-ten drawing.  I love this activity because it gives my students the authentic practice that they need in place value.

I've been so happy with all of the extra practice that my kids have received by taking these math kits home.  They have been such a hit with my kids, that they beg to take home more!  Isn't that wonderful!  I love when kids ask to do more math!

Check out these Take Home Math Kits here.  They've been a perfect fit in my second grade classroom, and have really helped my English Language learners.

It's FRIDAY!!  Woo Hoo!!  It's been a super long week, and I'm so thankful that I get to rest this weekend with my boys.  We have a birthday party, but that is the only solid plans we have.  It feels very nice, because we all need to rest sometimes.

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five For Friday.  You can click on the linky button above to link up or go read about other bloggers' weeks.  Here are five random things about my week.


Our class has been super busy with our research project.  A few weeks ago, the students searched through nonfiction resources, and chose a bird that they were most interested in to research.  Some of them picked some super interesting birds, and I've been amazed at all that they have learned.  They recorded some questions or "wonderings" on sticky notes, and then after researching they wrote the answers under the sticky notes.  It was a great way to collect and organize their research.  We still have a bit of research left, but I'll share the finished projects when they are done.  I'm also excited to say that I'm working on a bird research unit plan, and hope to have it done in a few weeks.

This week was STAAR testing week for our third through fifth graders.  On Wednesday, I had all 39 of my kiddos for the morning while my partner helped with testing.  I found this awesome bird craftivity on TpT from Learning Junction Depot and had to share.  It kept my kids engaged and quiet during the testing.  Click on the picture above to go check it out!

My kids wrote a cinquain poem about their bird.  They turned out really good too!


It is definitely spring in Texas, and I'm really enjoying the weather.  Here are some flowers that some of my sweet kiddos picked for me. 


Tonight was my sweet boys' Spring Show.  This year the theme was Beach Party, so they had to wear swim wear.  They are growing so fast!  This picture makes them look so grown up...sniff sniff!

I donated some of my TpT products to the Silent Auction, so I spent a part of my week getting them printed and ready.  This set of Addition I Have, Who Has will be perfect practice for one lucky classroom.  I was so happy to donate to my boys' school.  You can click on the picture above to see it in my store.


My family had such a blessed Easter.  The boys both got Dinosaur piggy banks from the Easter Bunny, and they found coins in the Easter Eggs that they hunted.  Mason loved putting his coins in his piggy bank.

Well, my week was pretty busy and now I'm off to go rest!  I hope you have a restful weekend as well!

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile now and I just knew that I had to make myself sit down and get to posting.  Luckily, I noticed that Carla from Comprehension Connection was hosting a weekly linky on the hassles of homework and that is all the motivation that I needed to get this post started.

Make sure you click on the linky button above to link up and read some other great homework hints and tricks from other teacher bloggers.

Let me start this post by saying that this year was my first year in second grade.  Although I was super excited to be starting fresh in a new grade level, I was also a little bummed because I had worked so hard perfecting my first grade homework with Amanda from Mrs. Richardson's Class.  It was hard to start over again but I took on the challenge with my new second grade team.

My kids really struggle with organization!  On top of the organization struggle, there are so many folders that have to go home and on certain days.  It's too confusing!  My school has a folder that goes home every Monday, a homework folder that goes home Monday through Thursday, and I had a behavior folder that went home daily.  It was too much and I decided on a much easier system with the help of my old teaching neighbor, Judy.  The kids have a binder that they take home Monday through Thursday.  It stays at school on Fridays so that I can stuff it with graded work, new homework, and notes.  I punched holes in the Monday folder that my school requires and it stays in their binder and never leaves.  You can kinda see it sticking out of the top of the binder :).  I needed a name for the binder that translated into Spanish easily for my teaching partner and so we named it our Eagle Binder to match our school mascot.  Here is one of the best looking ones at this time of year :).

Each week we send home a new homework calendar and we punch holes in it so the kids can put it at the front of their binder.  The kids do their homework on loose leaf notebook paper and return it on Friday.  Since I teach in a Dual Language classroom, the kids do homework in English and Spanish.  That is why they have Spanish spelling words too.  Here is an example of our homework calendar that my amazing partner created.

Did you notice the math homework?  That's right I do all my math homework on Edmodo and I love it!  I've been creating math lessons for my kids using camtasia and the kids watch them as their math homework.  At the end of each video, the kids have to answer questions that they answer in the comments.  Yikes, I need to revisit you're vs. your and the "w" in wrong

I've been posting two videos a week and I've been getting great feedback from both students and parents.  The great thing about using Edmodo is that they have a mobile app that most students can access on their parent's smart phone.  The kids that don't have access have the opportunity to watch the videos during our station time or on Thursday mornings before school, when they have their morning library time.  I've also sent home flash drives loaded with videos for students and that works as well.

I really dragged my feet on the whole Flipped Learning thing but I'm so glad I jumped in and got started.  I thought I would share one of the videos that I made for my kids.  Yes, I know there is a mistake in the written counting but it was too hard to fix and it was good to have the kids comment that they caught the mistake :).

Next year, I hope to use Edmodo for almost all of my homework.  The kids really enjoy responding and getting feedback faster than the pencil and paper homework.  It's also much easier to keep track of and stay organized.  I hope to post more about Edmodo and my Flipped Learning classroom in future posts.

I hope you enjoyed reading about how I handle the homework hassles.  Make sure to click on the blog button at the top of this post to read how other teacher bloggers handle their homework hassles.

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