Interactive Notebooks

Interactive Notebooks
Interactive Notebooks



A Grinchy Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas activities is reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas with my class and creating a lapbook.  The kids are so familiar with the story that it’s easy to apply the comprehension skills we have been learning.

Here’s an example of a completed lapbook.

Grouchy Lapbook

If you would like a FREE copy, click on the picture above to download the file from Google Drive.  The font I used is called Grinched and I got it from  You can get it by clicking here.

I have a similar product for sale on TpT.  The TpT version is customizable to use with any picture book.  So, if you want the FREE Grouch version, click on the picture above.  If you want to make a lapbook for the story you’re currently reading, click below.

Lapbook Templates for Reading

Happy reading!

Oh Snow! Winners

It finally warmed up here, although it’s not really very warm.  In my neck of the woods it doesn’t usually get this cold so soon.
Here are the winners of my Oh Snow! games:

Garden Full of Knowledge and Angie are the lucky winners!  Ladies, please email me at hootyshomeroom at gmail dot com and let me know which version you would prefer: addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.

Have a great week!


Oh Snow!

Baby, it’s cold outside!!  I’ve been working on this new fact practice set for a couple of weeks now.  Ironically, I was able to finish it on a day school closed early because of icy conditions.

For those of you who are familiar with my BOOM! games, OH SNOW! is the same game with a seasonal makeover.  OH SNOW! is a multiplayer fact practice game where students take turns drawing fact cards. They get to keep the card if they know the correct answer. The winner is the person with the most cards when the OH SNOW! card is drawn.

I created a set for each of the 4 operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

I plan to store my games in cute snowman sacks I picked up at Walmart.

If anyone is interested in getting a FREE set, leave a comment below.  I’ll have a random drawing when the temperature here gets above freezing – sometime Sunday afternoon.

Stay warm and have a great weekend!

It’s Turkey Time! *FREEBIE*

Time sure has been flying by this year!  I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving already.  Each year my teamies and I send home this awesome project.  The kids are told to disguise their turkeys so they won’t be eaten for Thanksgiving.  I’m always amazed at what the kids come up with. 

This is the pattern we give them.  The turkey is from Lita Lita.

Here are a few from this year.

We have the kids include speech bubbles with their turkeys.  It’s a short piece of writing, but it is great for discussing writing from 1st person point-of-view and persuasive techniques.

You can get your own copy of this PowerPoint file here.  I’ve included an editable parent letter that you can customize to your liking.

Have a great week!

Paper Bag Matter Book *Update*

I hope everyone is enjoying fall.  Now that we have finally gotten some cooler temperatures here in Texas, maybe our poor air conditioner can take a break.

I have reformatted my paper bag matter book so that it will print better.  If you already have a copy of it, please hop on over to TpT and download the new version.

Paperbag Matter Book

This activity uses large paper sacks (12” H x 8.5” W x 6” D).  They aren’t the full-size grocery bags, but they are pretty big.  I bought mine from Sam’s Club, but I would imagine that other wholesale clubs would also carry them.

Have a great week!

Using Tablets as Interactive Whiteboards

Have you seen other teachers use their ipads as whiteboards?  I have and I was jealous because I didn’t have an ipad.  BUT, I do have an android tablet that I just love.  I recently came across an app that will let you control your computer from anywhere in your classroom.  You can annotate over anything on your computer screen and display it through a data projector.  I LOVE IT!  The app is called Splashtop Whiteboard and it works for ipads but it’s also the 1st app I have seen that works for android tablets.

Check out this video -

I’ve used this app to control a PowerPoint presentation as I roamed around my classroom.  Another time, we played a PowerPoint game with it.  I took the tablet to students and let them select the correct answer.  Let me tell you, student participation for that lesson was at an all time high! 

All you need to get started is the Splashtop Streamer app for your computer, the Splashtop Whiteboard app for your tablet, and a WiFi connection.  Easy peasy!

You can get more information about Splashtop Whiteboard from the Splashtop website or from the Google Play store.

Have a great week!

Round and Round and Round We Go

Do you ever feel like you’re going around in circles teaching rounding?  OH MY -Rounding is such a tough skill to teach!  I really tried hard this week to teach rounding to my kiddos.  I spent a lot of time using visuals, and for the most part, it worked. 

We used rounding charts.
Rounding Chart

We worked with number lines.

Rounding with Number Lines

We sorted.

Rounding Sorts

And, we played PowerPoint games.

Rounding PowerPoint Game

If you want need some rounding charts, click on the picture below.  There are several different charts in this FREEBIE.

Rounding Chart Freebie

After all that rounding practice, I feel a bit like that caveman!

Have a great weekend!

Constitution Day

Preamble, Articles, and Amendments, oh my!  It’s almost that time of year again.  To be honest, I used to dread teaching my 3rd graders about the constitution.  There aren’t a lot of resources available for elementary kids and it’s just a tough topic for younger kids.  Here are some resources I’ll be using this year.


This is a great book for kids.  The entire book is the Preamble of the Constitution.  There is one phrase on each page with bright colorful graphics.  It’s a great way to break it all down for younger kids.

I just got this one and I really like it.  It’s a 48 page book with lots of colorful graphics. This book includes the history behind the U.S. Constitution plus a brief description of the parts of our constitution.

This book is an amazing find!  Our Constitution Rocks! was written by a teenager and is a thorough guide to the U.S. Constitution.  This is a great resource for kids in junior high on up (or elementary teachers who need a little extra background).

I started working on some resources for my classroom so I’m feeling a bit better about teaching the constitution this year.  These activities are sure to help me out this year.

Preamble Match
Preamble Match

Preamble Match includes two activities.  First, students can arrange phrases of the Preamble in order.  Then they can match the phrases with what they mean.  This is a free file on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Click on the picture above to grab a copy.

Constitution Lapbook

I’m looking forward to having my class create these Constitution Lapbooks.  This lapbook is a very basic overview of the U.S. Constitution.  I designed it to be easy to understand for 3rd graders.  If you want to give this lapbook a try, visit my TpT store.

Anybody have an awesome resource to share for teaching the Constitution? 

Classroom Reveal–Monster Style

I’m a bit late sharing, but here goes…
Here’s my hallway bulletin board where I’m going to display student work.  I ADORE the glitter scrapbook paper! 

The blue dots on this monster displayed my students’ names for Meet the Teacher night.

I decided to hang my wreaths next to each other above the door.

Here’s my unfinished work pocket chart.  I love having a visual reminder of who has work to be finished!

Clip chart & rules

So far, the monster homework tray has been a big hit.  My fingers are crossed that it keeps working well for me!  Below the homework tray, is my AR bulletin board.  The kids got to decorate their own monsters and they turned out really cute!

Here are my couch monsters hanging out waiting for someone to come read to them.

I hope your school year has gotten off to a great start!


Science Tools & Safety

I survived my 1st week of school!  Yay!  I am so totally exhausted but we’re off to a great start so I’m happy.  I’m dropping in with a quick post to share some resources that I found that are great for starting off the year in science.

I’m not sure why, but last year I had trouble finding resources for science tools and lab safety.  Last year I showed this video from YouTube.  It’s really intended for older kids, but it worked for my 3rd graders.

I recently came across this one.  It’s kind of corny and made us laugh.  It’s sung to the tune of Call Me Maybe so the kids were able to get into it.  In fact, they begged me to show it over and over and over again.  I think I have it memorized now.

I also came across this pack from Christina Cottongame at TpT.  It is A.Ma.Zing.  To me, the best part is the adorable science tools foldable.  Plus, Christina includes lesson ideas for teaching about tools and safety, foldables we can add to our science notebooks, and handouts.  Click on any of the pictures below to check out this unit for yourself.

I hope you enjoy your long Labor Day weekend!

Envelope Book *Flash Freebie*

I know you have already heard about the Back-to-School sale at Teachers Pay Teachers.  I am so excited!!  I have been eagerly awaiting this sale for so long.  I have so many things I want to buy but I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting.  The waiting is almost over!

Now, for all you 3rd grade teachers out there who use the Journeys textbook for reading, I have something for you.  As I have been getting geared up for the new year and making plans, I decided to start the year off with a bang and make an envelope book.  This envelope book is to supplement A Fine, Fine School written by Sharon Creech.  I just love this story!

Envelope Book

This envelope book covers the following skills:

story elements
character traits
character changes
text-to-self connection

Each page will also fit into a composition book if you would rather add them to a reading journal instead of making an envelope book.  If you’re interested, hop on over to my TpT store and check it out.  It will be offered as a FLASH FREEBIE for a few short hours so HURRY!

Have a great weekend!


Frixion Eraser Test

A few days ago I posted about my new love with Frixion markers.  I was asked whether any eraser would work, so I decided to test some. I’m posting today with the results of my eraser test.

I’m going to start with how the markers erase when writing then move on to how they erase when they are being used for coloring.  I think that I’ll be using my markers mostly for grading papers and modeling work on the data projector.  Markers and pens just show up better than pencils.

For this test, I grabbed some erasers I found laying around my house.  I included the eraser that comes on the cap of the marker.  In my opinion, it works better than the rest.  The best part is the eraser is angled which makes it easier to use.

Here are the results.  All of the erasers worked pretty well.

Now for the coloring test.  I like to add a lot of colorful diagrams to my science journal.  In fact, I sometimes refer to my science journal as my coloring book.  With that in mind, I needed to see how the Frixion markers would hold up because I do tend to make mistakes.  I intentionally used the darker colors from the set since those would be the hardest to erase.

This is where I noticed a HUGE difference in the performance of the different erasers!!  The eraser on the marker itself is the clear winner.  You can still see faint traces of what I erased but it works good enough for me!  I noticed the other erasers had worn down the paper and if I had continued to erase, I would have created a hole.  The Frixion eraser did not damage the paper at all.  I am amazed!  I’m seriously considering getting the Frixion colored pencils.  Not that I need them - I just WANT them.

On a side note, check out some of the fuzzies left behind by the other erasers.  Frixion erasers don’t wear down so they don’t leave fuzzies behind.

Frixion markers are expensive but they are worth it.  They had to have been made with teachers in mind, or at least, with me in mind.  The cheapest I have found them so far is at Amazon.  Click on the picture below if you want to go check them out for yourself.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement, but maybe it should be. ; )   I bought these markers after stumbling across them on the internet.  I’m just really, really impressed.