Sunday, November 29, 2015

TPT #Cybersmile Sale!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I have taken a little break from blogging to enjoy time home with my family. Can you believe it is going to be December this week? I keep thinking to myself, where has this semester gone? 

Starting tomorrow there will be a site-wide sale on TeachersPayTeachers. Go fill up your cart with resources for your classroom! I have added new holiday math centers! Take advantage of this sale! I'll be back later this week! I hope you enjoy your last day of break!

Check out my store here: TPT Store
On TPT Search - Meredith Schaar

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Operating Room

Calling all surgeons. After keeping my brain turning with different ways to engage my students, I went back to my notes from RCA, and remembered the wonderful Kim Bearden and the ideas she gave us. So with the help of my wonderful resource teacher, we turned my room into an operating room. We were working on adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers, and that is what the doctors needed to do! 

Set up wasn't too hard. I got the aluminum casserole dishes for the bodies, and that is where we put the body parts. The bags of blood (water & red food coloring) I hung from my ceiling with yarn. Each student doctor was prepared with gloves, mask, and head lamp, name tag, and operating tools (tweezers). 

Every doctor had a patient folder with Patient Notes (aka workspace) and a picture of a body where they would record their answers. Sammy and I created differentiated "bodies" to meet that needs of the kids in my classroom. The student's job was to put the body back together by solving the missing addend problems on each body part. As soon as the students were explained their cases, they were off to work to save their patient's life. With a little bit of background sound of a heart rate monitor, the doctors were busy helping their patient. 

Problems were differentiated for my different math groups, and to make that much easier for set-up, I made each table group their math group's color operating room to spice things up! 

It was also perfect that it was Career Day for Red Ribbon Week, so Sammy and I borrowed some of my mom's scrubs and were nurses for the day! (I proposed to my principal that we wear them everyday because they were so comfortable!!)

The students had a great time and loved being a doctor for the day. Most of them didn't take off their name tags all day! 

This activity was such a hit with my kids! If you have any questions, please email me at

If this would work for your class, you can get it here or click the picture below!

Happy Operating! 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Haunted House Math

We had quiet the crazy week at school last week. Red Ribbon Week, full moon, Halloween, please tell me I wasn't alone. I knew I was going to have to do something special for my kids. Sammy (my awesome resource teacher) and I decided to make my room into a haunted house! It was quite simple, and the kids loved it!

Let's start with set-up. Sammy got cobwebs online and caution tape from the Dollar Spot at Target. Target for the win! She put it all over my room, and that was it! We didn't just want them to just to task cards, so I bought the plastic orange pumpkins from Target and decided to fill them with "eye balls" and "brains" (aka, water beads for eyes, and cake mix, marshmallows, and water for the brains). I mixed those up and dropped in the laminated task cards. 

Students came in we told them that the only way out of the haunted house was to solve all of the math problems. So off they went. The students were given a glove to fish out the task cards. 

Easy as that. With a little spooky background music, my kids were working hard to escape the  haunted house. With the red velvet cake mix, it began to look like a crime scene, oops! I differentiated my task cards to meet the wide abilities of my students. 

Once the students finished all of the task cards, they had a secret message to decode. If they solved it, they got what it message said... NO HOMEWORK :) Needless to say, my kids were super excited about this! 

I know Halloween is over, but below is activity I used. Check out my TPT store to get it for next year :) If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at