Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tech Tip/Solution For Disappearing White Text on a Black Background When Printing

Hey Everybody!

Today I'd like to pass along a quick tip I learned recently while creating teaching materials. I really like the white text on black background look for headers, but have had issues when printing in grayscale because the white text always disappears! (For the students' pages I usually don't want to print in color.) Yikes!  Let me show you what I'm talking about.

This is what I'd like it to look like when printed.
But presto, change-o, the white text vanishes when I ask it to print. Boo!
Where did you go white text? Get back here!
Here is an easy fix. Right click on the image and choose 'Save as Picture'.  I usually save it as a PNG file, but JPEG works also.
Save your images with white text as a picture so the text doesn't disappear when printed.

Next, you will want to delete the image you have on your page to make room for the new image you are going to insert (the one you just saved).  Insert the PNG or JPEG file, and now try to print. Fingers crossed now.

It worked!  Add some Astrobrights paper and your creations will come to life. Do you see how the white text on black background really stands out? 

I hope this quick tip will help the next time you try printing with these types of images. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Fractions Interactive Notebook FUN!


I am really excited to share my newest interactive notebook resource with you.   Fractions are one of my favorite things to teach because the related activities are so hands-on/exploratory. I always allowed my students time to "play" with the fraction bars to find out the numerous ways to make one whole, or to brainstorm all the different places they encounter fractions in their daily lives. Just the other day I was in the Target Dollar Spot and saw foam fraction circles calling my name. There are so many different hands-on ways to explore fractions, and this interactive notebook will help you do just that!  

Fractions Interactive Notebook: Grade 3: Common Core Aligned by Sugar Cube Learning Resources

One of my favorite parts of this resource is the four different activities I have included to help students realize that fractions are all around them.  Students will examine fractions related to money, time, measurement, and recipes. Check them out!
Help your students discover that fractions are all around them!
They will especially love using fractions to make their own ice cream! Yum

There are activities for each of the Common Core State Standards related to fractions, so you can rest assured that your students have exposure to everything that you want them to.
 Get your students drawing and writing while discovering fractions!
Get your students drawing and writing as they discover fractions!

This interactive notebook also has a number line sort, cute little flip books that encourage students to create three different equivalent fractions to the given fractions using different models, a spinner to play with whole numbers as fractions, and word problems to practice comparing fractions with the same numerators or denominators. There are 14 activities in total!
 Common Core Aligned
Common Core Aligned fun activities!

If you'd like to try a sample of this resource just click on the picture below.  This sampler includes a student notebook cover, a vocabulary flippable, and a comparing fractions activity.

And if you haven't had a chance to check out my previous post, here are some of my favorite mentor texts to use with this unit.

Thanks for taking a peek.  I really enjoy creating interactive notebooks, and am looking forward to getting started on the newest geometry notebook very soon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My Favorite Read Alouds to Teach Fractions: Grades 2-4

Hello All,

I have always loved this time of year because it is always a time of tremendous growth for my students. It is also when I have taught fractions to my third graders, which is one of my favorite topics to teach because it is so hands-on!  So, I thought I would put together a handful of my favorite read-alouds to help teach this topic for you.

(You are welcome to click on any of the pictures to be taken to an affiliate link for purchase.)

1) Fraction Fun by David Adler is a really fantastic book for giving students an opportunity to connect fractions to the real world. Many examples of how everyday items are divided into parts, such as pizzas and clocks help connect fractions to items students are familiar with.  There are also several guided tasks for students to explore and make.

2) A Fraction's Goal: Parts of a Whole by Brian Cleary introduces fractions with a funny cat as the main character that your students will find hysterical.  This is a great read to introduce fractions and also learn a little about equivalent fractions too.

3) Fractions in Disguise by Edward Einhorn is a more advanced and longer picture book about a funny kid named George Cornelius Funk that likes to collect fractions. When one goes missing, he goes on an adventure to find it; but his journey is made difficult because the fraction is not in its reduced form.  This is a great book to teach equivalent fractions; as well as reducing/simplifying fractions.

4) Full House by Dayle Dodds is a tale of an inn owner that invites her guests to occupy one of six rooms.  Then she discovers in the middle of the night that they are all downstairs trying to figure out how to split her delicious cake so everyone may have a piece.  This book is geared toward the younger set just learning about fractions.

5) The Hershey's Milk Chocolate Fractions Book by Jerry Pallotta will hook your students (Who doesn't like chocolate?) and encourage them to explore the different fractions that can be found in a Hershey's chocolate bar. Yummo!

6) The Lion's Share by Matthew McElligott is not only a story of multiplication and division, but also of sharing and using one's manners. Your students will be halving and doubling fractions throughout this entire tale.

7) Pizza Counting by Christina Dobson will lend itself easily to a great hands-on lesson about filling up a pizza with different toppings, and then dividing it up into fractions.  I've never met a student that didn't like pizza, and this book will be a fun one that your students will enjoy.  Maybe you will be inspired to make a real pizza in your own classroom.

8) Polar Bear Math by Ann Nagda is a nonfiction book about some polar bear cubs that are abandoned by their mother at the Denver Zoo.  The zookeepers must figure out how to care for the cubs, and along the way the fractions that are used to calculate their supplements are shown.

9) The Wishing Club by Donna Jo Napoli is a sweet story of a group of children that only receive a fraction of what each child wishes for.  They then try to figure out how to put them all together to make one whole wish. This book lends itself very easily to adding/subtracting fractions and equivalent fractions.

10) Working With Fractions by David Adler will introduce the concepts of numerator and denominator, equivalent fractions, and multiples with really fun illustrations.  This book reminds students that fractions can be found just about anywhere.

What picture book do you use to teach fractions to your students?  
I'd love to hear about them!