Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

Starting the new year off right- BUSY!

So Christmas break is done.  Boo!  Time to get 2013 kicked off to a great start.  Yay!  While I’m missing my break, I was happy to see my firsties on Tuesday and get the second semester rolling.  I’ve been working on setting up new stations for math and reading.  We’re starting our middle of the year benchmarks for reading AND math this week so I need to have everything in place by Wednesday.  Oy.  So here’s what I’ve got planned for math:

Bucket #1- Ladybug Partner Bingo- Time to the Hour and Half Hour & Time to Go Fishing- Go Fish

So I decided to put 2 activities in this bucket since I’ll be doing benchmarking and won’t be in my room to actively monitor my dear students.  The aide that will be monitoring them will also be monitoring my doormate’s class as well.  So yeah.  Okay.  We did our time topic a couple of weeks before the Christmas break and I really wanted to get a station bucket going with the skill so as to maintain it.  We’re also practicing telling time to the hour and half-hour during calendar time.  So anyways here they are:

The Ladybug Partner Bingo was created by Mrs. Kilby from Confessions of a Primary Teacher and you can get this cute little game here.  It’s a freebie!  I found this last year and used it and loved it! I printed the 2 game boards and put them on file folders.  I put an envelope on the back of the folder to hold the cards.  Nice and neat!

This game is a new one to me but I know my kiddos are going to love it!  It came with 2 games and I chose the Go Fish version.  It’s made by Penny Wiegel and you can get it here.  It’s a freebie too!

Bucket #2- I Have, Who Has: Place Value Ones and Tens & Tens and Ones Bingo

Place value also occurred right before Christmas.  Again trying to maintain that stuff in their slippery brains!  😉

This is from Melissa McMurray from F is for First Grade and you can get it here.  Freebie!  This is another one that I found last year and I just threw it in my stations not really thinking about it.  I knew what the game was but for some reason I didn’t think it mattered.  And it didn’t!  The kids pass out the cards among their group and then just start going through the questions and matching them with their answers.  As they do this they lay their cards on the floor and in the end it makes a circle, matching all questions and answers.  They love figuring it out and this is right up my current firsties’ alley!

The second game is one that another teacher gave me.  Sorry I forgot to snap a picture of it!  The bingo boards have base 10 blocks showing various numbers.  The calling cards have the same blocks with the printed number underneath.  Nothing elaborate by any means but effective in doing the job.  My kids love bingo so it’s perfect!

Bucket #3- Last Snowman Standing- Sum of 2 Dice

Okay this came from Math Wire.  You can find it exactly here.  It’s down towards the bottom of the page.  It goes great with the season, practices addition, and practices tally marks.  Perfect!  It’s also got 2 other versions of the same game- Difference of 2 Dice and One Die Toss.  All are played the same way and instructions are included.

Bucket #4- Base 10 Puzzles & Place Value Rock- Writing Numbers

Yes it’s one more bucket of place value.  But honestly that’s such an important skill.  I just can’t let it go.  That and I had a tone of activities all set to go from last year so…  🙂

This came as a result of a long and exhausting search of exactly this last year.  I was all over Google to no avail when I finally decided to give this Pinterest thing a try.  I already had an account but hadn’t done much with it.  I typed in my search and holy moly!  I had died and gone to heaven!  That really kicked off my Pinterest addiction!  But it also introduced me to TPT, teacher blogging, and this great activity!  It’s from Mrs. Berg of First Grade Schoolbox and you can get it here.  Another freebie of course!  After I printed on cardstock and laminated them, I cut each card into puzzle pieces.  I’m talking the different zigzag lines and such.  Yeah I was crazy.  But I had help doing it and it really benefited my kiddos.  So there!

This one is from Shuna Patterson of Pocket Full of Kinders and you can get it here.  Yes it’s free!  (Are you noticing a trend here?)  She’s got several great activities in this packet.  I decided to have them do the write the room option towards the end.  The recording sheet is laminated to be reused.  Another great practice in looking at place value and knowing those numbers.

Bucket #5- EnVision topic games

Like I’ve said before…I’ve got to have at least 1 no brainer!  😉

Bucket #6- One Less

Last one promise!  And I’m just now realizing that I have no picture of this.  Nuts.  Okay it’s basically a game where the kids roll a die and then cover a number on the board that is 1 less than what they rolled.  Each player has 10 chips to cover the numbers and 1 board to share.  First one to use all their chips wins.  Pretty simple!

Okay so that was just math.  Whew!  I’m finishing up my reading stations and I’ll get back to you on that.  We’re having fun doing a special unit this week as it’s a short week for the kiddos.  What are you doing in your stations this week?  Are you glad to be back?  😉  Come share!

Happy teaching y’all!

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Merry Math Stations!

So now that Thanksgiving is done, it’s time to get into the season.  The Christmas season that is!  So I was bound and determined to have as many Christmas themed stations as possible.  So thanks to my awesome doormate, TPT, and the awesome bloggers out there who create this stuff, I was able to do it!  So here are my math stations for the rest of the time until break.  Let’s start with…

Bucket #1: Snowball Fact Families

Those bears are too cute!  This came from Chery at Easy Peasy Primary Resources at TPT.  It’s a sample activity from a mega pack she created.  Chery makes awesome activities!  She is one of the first stores I started following and I’m so glad I did.  So anyways you can get this sample pack here.  You might want to check out her whole store.  She’s got some great stuff in there!

This leads us to Bucket #2: Roll a Santa

I love this activity!  It’s sooooo cute!  It’s another freebie from another great TPT store, Kinderglynn by Donna Glynn.  My kids instantly fell in love with this activity and are having a blast.  What I love is that there are 3 different roll sheets for them to play.  Love it!!  Get it here!

Okay now Bucket #3: Christmas Lights Patterns

So this is one that my doormate came up with.  We just finished a unit on patterning and we both felt that we needed something to cover it in our stations for at least a little while.  We also wanted to keep within the Christmas spirit/theme.  Whala!  I give total credit to her as I was exhausted and had no brain power left.  So the kiddos trace the tree and then draw strings of lights.  They then color lights in patterns.  Now my doormate used our die cuts and gave her kiddos actual Christmas lights.  I’m so going to do that for the second rotation.  I frankly ran out of time and it was either they draw or wait.  None of us wanted to wait.  😉  I’ll show you how they look with the lights when we do that.  🙂

Bucket #4: Roll a Christmas Tree

Someone on my team found this last year and we all just L-O-V-E-D it!  It’s so simple and yet the kiddos just can’t get enough of it!  I make it harder by saying they can’t draw any ornaments until they have the 3 triangles to make the tree.  Hehehehe!  They love a good challenge.  So I had to scrounge around to find out where it came from and I was successful!  It’s at Little Giraffes (formerly known as Mrs. Flanagan’s Kindergarten- The Little Giraffes) and you can get it here.  Go here so you can see all her Christmas ideas too!

Bucket #5: Envision topic games

No pictures of this one.  These games are from our topic openers from our math program.  We use Scott Foresman’s EnVision Math.  It’s the one station that never changes in that it always has theses openers.  I just change them out as we go through the topics.  Hey I need 1 no brainer out of the bunch!  😉

Now last but not least is Bucket #6: Christmas Tree Number Sentence Make and Take

Remember my turkey mat activity?  Well this is the Christmas version!  Once again my brilliant doormate was the one that had the aha!  moment!  Love her!  So anyways they roll the die one time and glue that many red ornaments on.  Then roll the die again for the green ornaments.  They then write 1 addition sentence and 1 subtraction sentence about their ornaments.  Oh and the ornaments?  Bingo counter die cut.  🙂  Below are some examples from my great kiddos!

Again very simple but honestly my brain is slowly turning to mush.  Only 3 weeks left, right?  😉  Oh and don’t you just love the snow on my blog?  Such a great way to celebrate the season!  Anyways I hope I gave you some ideas.  Leave a message and tell me what you think!  Here’s to surviving  enjoying the last little bit!

Happy Teaching!


How it all turned out

So I know that Thanksgiving is all done and everyone is moving on to Christmas.  Believe me I am too!  But I really wanted to show you how those turkeys came out.  You know…the craft I was sooooo nervous about because it involved PAINT!  You can read about my apprehensions here.  Well I’m pleased to say that my students did AWESOME!  They kept things as neat and tidy as possible and their turkeys came out sooooooooo cute!  I’m so proud of them!  Okay I’m about to bombard you with pictures!

So here is how the turkeys started out.  I tried gluing the toilet paper roll but that didn’t work so I just did tape on the top and bottom.   Much better.  Then you just paint, add googly eyes and a beak, and you’re set!

See?  Cute right?

Here is a student turkey.

And another.  Isn’t this one neat with the mixed colors?  I love how each one is unique!

And another.  His beak makes me laugh every time!

And another.  And that’s the last one.  Promise!  🙂

Now here is my whole bulletin board.  Thank you panoramic feature on the iPhone!  I’m still kinda shaky with it but you get the idea.  I just left the spiders and jack o’ lanterns because it’s all part of the fall season and I love having a FULL bulletin board.  🙂

Okay I have one more thing to share that I’m rather proud of.  So if you haven’t discovered Math Wire you really should go there.  It has got some awesome math games and ideas and it’s all FREE!  They have things organized by skill and even seasons.  So I went looking for some fall/turkey related things and found these turkeys feathers.  It’s simply called a turkey mat and you can get it here.  Just scroll down to Seasonal Counting and Addition Mats.  Now there’s no real directions so here is what I did.  I printed out turkeys and sheets of feathers for each student.  Since there were 12 turkeys to each page, I simply had the students roll a die.  That told them how  many feathers to color red.  They rolled the die again and colored that many feathers orange.  They then cut out the turkey and colored feathers and glued the feathers to the turkey.  They then had to write 1 addition sentence and 1 subtraction sentence about their feathers.  Below is an example.

See?  Very simple but the kiddos loved it!

So anyways that’s how things went for me with Thanksgiving.  It got really hectic towards the start of the break as my team had teachers out sick and lots of subs so at one point, I had 4 classes in my room for a quick social studies lesson.  Yep.  You read that right.  4.  Why?  Because the lesson was mainly via PowerPoint and it was easier if I did it all at once rather than try to set up 3 others classes separately.  In the end it all worked out.  So I hope you enjoyed this!  Stay tuned for my Christmas plans!

Happy Teaching

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Dinosaurs and Hopping Hippos

Okay I want to say that for the record that I’ve tried to write this post 3 times tonight. Computer was not liking me.  So here’s hoping 4th time’s a charm.  Okay…On with the show:

What a title for my comeback post!  So sorry I’ve been MIA.  Moving a household into an apartment and a storage unit is no easy task.  Needless to say I’ve gone a little C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!  Ack!!!!  But I’m not going to dwell.  Nope!  On with the show!

So Hopping Hippos.  They would be these guys:

Aren’t they cute?!  They came with my classrom and they are all one color- red.  So quite frankly, I’ve not known what to do with them.  Until  I was working with a small math group this week and I was teaching them how to use a number line to add and subtract.  At first I just had them using their fingers to move up and down the line.  But I felt like they would do better and not have to worry about where their fingers should be if they had a mover.  Suddenly, I had an idea.  The hippos!  I usually use connecting cubes.  But the hippos (as stated already) have had no use for me.  Well as of now, Hopping Hippos will be our official math movers!  Here’s one in action:

They are perfect for my firsties!  My small group loves them and always reminds me to grab their Hopping Hippos when I dig out the number lines.  Now I’m sure you’re thinking it’s no big deal.  But when those babies love something like that and really use it to help them learn, it’s a winner in my book!

Okay now for the dinosuars!

Now just remember I’m from East Texas.  Little did I know that there was a published author in our area.  Until our very smart librarian found him and invited him to come visit our campus.  Enter Michael Bearden!  He wrote a book with his daughter about Marus the Longneck and it’s published.  I’ve got it on my bookshelf over there.  ———->

So anyways, he did a great job with the kids!  He told Marus’ story in  such a great way.  Not a single first grader made a sound.  Amazing!  Then an actual dinosaur showed up!  (It was a person in a costume of course.)  Talk about excitement!  They just loved him!  I’ll be honest and say I didn’t stay much after that.  It was my conference period and I really needed to get a couple of things down.  But the kids were so excited when they came back.  I’m so glad they got to experience this.

So anyways that’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to.  I know I had promised in the past pictures of my classroom and how things are arranged.  So in light of that I’ll be starting Flashback Fridays to get me caught up on all that.  I’ll be bombarding you with pictures so be prepared!  Hopefully you’ll be able to see something you can use.  So be on the lookout!

Happy Teaching!!

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The Wonderful World of Mathematics the Finale…FINALLY!

So here is the final wrap up to my adventures at CAMT.  I promise this is it!  I kept rereading this post and my previous one trying to see why something didn’t seem right.  Hence the delay.  Then one day, I was picking up things and gathering my school stuff to start getting it back in room and then it hit me.  I forgot to tell about a session I went to on day 2 that was my favorite!

Have you ever heard of The Learning Carpet?  No?  Well just click the name and you can learn more.  Specifically, a teacher in Canada put a 100-grid on the floor.  A large one.  One that the kids could walk on.  Yes she used it as a giant 100 chart.  But she did so much more with it.  And you know what?  She encouraged us to go out, make our own chart (on the floor, on carpet remnant, a shower curtain) and teach.  Why?  Because if you buy her carpet, you pay $299.  While well worth the money, she knows it’s not always possible.  But she believes this great tool so much that she told us to make our own.  For her it’s not about the money.  So refreshing!  Below are some pictures of what we did.  So many possibilities!  Oh and I took a chance and went to their sale table to try to buy her book.  I got THE LAST ONE!  WHOOP!!

Here it is as a 100 chart.  Oh, can you tell me why those certain numbers are black?  😉

You can do more than math with it!  She did so much more but I was too busy watching and forgot to snap pictures.  Oops!

Okay so day 3 was very short and sweet as it was the last day.  My first session that I attended was on Dinah Zikes’ foldables.  It was a lot of fun!  We were very busy folding and tucking with a little bit of cutting.  In about an hour and a half, we created several samples of foldables and learned of the MANY possibilities to use them.  I hope I remember them all!  If you go to her website (click her name) you can see some videos.  Here are a couple of videos of some finished products.  Out of respect to her and her products (books), I have not included directions to make these.  Again see her website.  Oh and we did not use ANY glue or tape.  Pretty cool!

A mini-folder.

A little folding and a little cutting.  Tuck here and insert there.  A multi-page book!

Rather than fold, unfold, and then cut- just cut the fold!  Brilliant!

Mini-match books!  So cute!

So after that I rushed to another session only to have it cancelled.  But later I happened to be at my last session (actually in the wrong room really) and ended up getting the packet she was presenting.  I’ll look through it…eventually.  😉  So I killed time at the sales tables and a got a free mini-Versa Tiles set!  I love free stuff!  Then I went to my last session.  Another one concerning math workshop.  I really like the model and since I know it works for reading, why not math?  Well unfortunately I don’t have a long enough time during my math block to really implement it in its entirety.  But I’m going to try as much as I can.  After that it was homeward bound.

The whole CAMT experience was a great one for me.  I had never been to a teaching conference like that and it was neat to be in a room full of teachers with so many different teaching backgrounds.  It was interesting to hear what different schools or districts did and how well they worked.  I came away from the experience energized and ready to have a classroom full of kids and teach.  Love it!  What is inspiring you this school year?  What is your muse or kick start?  Did you attend a conference?  Talk to me people!

Happy teaching y’all!

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The Wonderful World of Mathematics Part 3

Well day 1 of CAMT was pretty packed.  But the good thing was I had a better idea of how I wanted to pick my sessions.  Kim Sutton and Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks had more choices.  But being new, I wanted to get a little bit of everything.  Also, the entire 3 days I was there, my whole thought process was finding new ideas for my math small groups.  Also, I was curious to see if I could do math workshop.  I looked for sessions that helped me with that.

So day 2 I started with a session that focused on math workshop.  Perfect!  Guess what was praised and told to be a great resource?  The book Guided Math that has been featured in one of Teaching Blog Addict’s summer book studies!  (Go here to check out the book study!)  I was curious about that book but didn’t want to jump on that bandwagon until I had a chance to find out more about it.  After this, sold!  Click the picture to purchase!

Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction

Okay so that session was really nice and I enjoyed it.  One thing she showed us that was new to me and I loved it.  As part of the accountability system for students while they are in math stations and the teacher is working with small groups is a score board.  After everything is cleaned up and you’re doing a quick wrap-up, talk about how the time went.  Using a board of some sort with moveable items with goals for the students to follow (i.e. no interrupting the teacher, working quietly, clean up, etc.), you tell the students how they did.  If they met that goal, it’s a point for them.  If they didn’t, then it’s a point for you.  My district math coach was worried about the competitive issue for those groups that are not as competitive and changed the board to say needs improvement and goal met.  The students obviously want to get as many of the goals as possible.  If they get within a certain range (4 out of 5 for example) she suggested giving them a piece of something they are working towards (filling their bucket, marble jar, whatever you do).  I love the idea and will be using it for math AND reading stations.

My next session was on mathematical fluency.  Funny thing…It was presented by a colleague of my aunt’s who is a middle school math teacher!  This presenter taught my cousin!  Small world.  Honestly though, the session was not what I thought it would be.  But she did suggest that if you are going to have student use flash cards, make sure they have the WHOLE fact to practice instead of them trying to find the answers.  Think of it like practicing sight words.  They need the whole word to practice it.  Well students need the whole fact sentence to practice it.  Interesting.  I will remember this.

After this, I spent the last 3 hours of the day at Math-a-Rama.  It’s 6 mini-sessions all concentrated on one area.  There was one done each day and I went to one of them.  I didn’t realize that each day was different or I would have been more choosy in which one I went to.  Rookie mistake.  But it wasn’t that bad.  The one I went to was centered on operations, relationships, and algebraic thinking.  There was a lot of multiplication and division work which my first grade babies will not really do.  Not even my G/T kids, unless one of them is a super genius!  But one of them was about using count-around strips to examine relationships with 5’s and 10’s and other skip counting patterns.  I can do that!  You use connecting cubes to create number lines skip counting.  They then hold up the different strips and see how they are the same and how they are different.   Good small group discussion.  Hmmm…possibilities.  On a weird note though, the ballroom it was held in was the coldest room at the convention center!  We all froze!

Okay that was the end of day 2.  I promise there is only one more day!  So how many of you do math workshop in your school?  What does your school provide for you to make it successful?  My next post will explain why I will NOT be able to follow that model fully…unless some great suggestions come in!

Happy teaching y’all!

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The Wonderful World of Mathematics part 2

Okay so sorry I fell off the blog bandwagon!  I’ve been working in my room and then having some opportunities for family visits.  Ah good times…But I digress!

Okay so when I last left you, it was day one of CAMT and I had done some shopping.  What I really did was just do a look around and just see what was there.  A lot.  A lot of stuff was there.  Everything from teacher fashions (the shirts were so cute!) to textbook programs to jewelry.  There were some booths I was looking for specifically so I made sure to hunt them down and just know where they were so when I attended some more sessions I would know where to find what I wanted.  After that I hoofed it over to listen to the great Kim Sutton.

Ah Kim Sutton.  She is awesome!  If you’ve ever heard her speak you know what I’m talking about.  She was a classroom teacher and creates things to work on mathematics.  She is famous for her number line with the colored dots to mark the various skip counting patterns.  She also works with Ron Brown who writes music to talk about math concepts.  In this session, we laughed, danced, sang, and just absorbed her enthusiasm.  The session was on addition and subtraction.  Honestly she did not show me anything so new that I was just blown away.  She did show how some of her products, such as the workbooks with the random number calling CD, worked and how to use it.  What I got most out of her session was renewed enthusiasm in what I do- teach.  She made me excited to go back in the classroom and just work hard to help my students.  I feel like we all just sometimes need to be reminded what fun we really have in our work.  Kim Sutton did that for me.  I also got a baggie of freebies including a double 10-sided die, and clear colored chips.  Awesome!

From there I ran to a session I knew I had to find from friends who attended CAMT last year.  I went and saw Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks.  They created games with dice and cards.  They have developed their own deck of cards that are all numbers as opposed to the traditional face cards.  They also love double dice and 10-sided dice.  Now I’ll be honest.  I tried hard to take notes as we were going through the session.  But we moved so fast I couldn’t keep up!  It was just easier to play the games and enjoy myself.  It had me thinking and laughing.  Another great motivating session!

It was almost time to head home and since I had some time, I ran back to the exhibitions and made my first purchases.  Check it out!

The Kim Sutton book has a random number calling CD included.  When I went to the table I told the ladies to suggest the best place to start for a first time follower.  Then I (again being the music geek I am) grabbed a music CD because I know I can use many of them.  I was able to get on her website here and download the lyrics to the music.  Awesome!

After that it was a quick trip to Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks to get this book.

Why this one?  It’s the one that is used with just normal dice and cards.  No special items required.  Perfect!  Oh and you can find their website right here.

Okay let me gather my notes from the other two days and I’ll be back!  Do you use any of these products already?  Have you been to one of their workshops?  What do you think of them?  Talk to me people!

Happy teaching y’all!

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The Wonderful World of Mathematics

The past Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I attended CAMT in Houston, TX with many other Texas educators.  What is CAMT?  It is the Council for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching.  The entire conference was centered around math for all levels.  As it was in Houston, and I’m just outside of it, my coworkers (there were 5 of us) and I carpooled in each day.  It meant getting up at 4 am each day to ensure I was dressed and at the meeting place on time so we could start driving in at 6:15.  Needless to say it was tough getting up but I did it.  And it was worth it!

For three days I went to sessions and listened to great ideas and of course went shopping!  I came away with a lot of ideas and hopes for the next school year.  Because my district pretty much sets what I use for my whole group time, I concentrated on what I could use with my small intervention group.  This is my group of low babies who gets worked with every day.  I also looked for ways to differentiate for my G/T students as that’s another one of my goals.  I got a lot of what I was looking for.  Now to start listing it out…

My first session was on the 100 chart and using it to build number sense.  It was presented by author and teacher Stephanie Sheffield who helped write the books It Makes Sense! Using the Hundreds Chart to Build Number Sense, Grades K-2.  I have not bought the book…yet.  You can click the picture below to order it from Amazon.  It has great ideas and even data sheets to record observations.  She mainly had us doing games and we discussed what they can be used for.

It Makes Sense! Using the Hundreds Chart to Build Number Sense, Grades K-2

Now before I describe one of the games, she gave us a couple of points to think about.  In my classroom, I have 100 charts that are 2-sided.  One side is filled in while the other side is a blank grid.  She said we should have those separate.  It’s too easy for students to look at the other side rather than show us what they know.  Also, once students have mastered counting by ones, they need to stop.  What?  I know.  I was floored too.  But she said students need to be counting in groups as quickly as possible.  Since the 100 chart is divided into groups, it makes sense that students need to be counting that way as much as possible to enable them to concentrate more on operation they are performing and less on the actual counting.

So one of the games was called “Don’t Get Lost”.  Students need a blank 100 chart and a counter to move.  Give students a starting number and they should put their counter where they think it should be.  Tell students where to move on the board- up, down, right, left- and how many spaces.  Students then tell you where they are.  Now this is particularly challenging with a blank chart.  So it was suggested to use a completed one first for those that need it.  I know my G/T students would love to try it without any numbers.

After that, my next session was on using songs to help students remember information.  It was presented by these two ladies who were so cute.  They’re cousins!  They told jokes about each other and kept us laughing and singing the whole hour.  We sang songs to the tunes of “You Are My Sunshine” and “The Ants Go Marching”.  My favorite was the song “Old Mac Donald had a Barn Full of Polygons”!  They were also selling books and accompanying CD’s but I decided not to buy any.  A lot of us did do our voice recorders to record what we sang while in session.  I like music (I sing and play the flute actually) and I’m not afraid to look silly and get my first graders singing if I know it helps.  That’s how my students last year learned the days of the week and months of the year.  🙂

After that I went to two more sessions and did some shopping.  My favorite thing!  What did I see there and what did I buy?  Well you’ll just have to wait and find out next post!  Did you attend CAMT or another major conference?  What did you love the best?  Comment and tell me!

Happy Teaching!

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