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Math Resource Folders

 How do you spell September? How much is a quarter worth? How do you skip count by 3’s?

…these are all questions that elementary teachers hear all year long. To solve this problem, and to teach students at the same time, I’ve started using Math resource folders. They actually serve as our “privacy folders” for all subjects all year long. Making them is one of the first things that I like to do during our first Math lesson of the year (and it also makes a great first day of school activity). I have made these folders both ways: 2-sided and 3-sided. Last year we made 2-sided folders (made with one file folder).

This year I am going to make the 3-sided folders (made with 2 file folders). They just seem to be less crowded with information.

If you are making a 3-sided folder, you will need to assemble the folder using 2 file folders. Last year, all of mine were made out of plain manila folders. However, I found a bright blue (our school color is blue) that is sold in a large quantity at Staples. The colored folders seem to be a little thicker than regular file folders and they should hold up better.

How to construct a 3-sided folder from 2 file folders:
1. Place one file folder on top of the other. 
2. Line up the left side of one folder on top of the right side of another. 
3. Glue the overlapping sides together.

To make either the 2-sided or 3-sided folders, we simply cut out all of the information that we need for references. All of the references that I use in my classroom can be found in the link below. It’s important that the students arrange all the information before they glue it all down to make that it all fits. When they are happy with their arrangement of information, they can glue it all down. 

To ensure that the folder lasts all year, I laminate them. My second graders keep them in the top slot in their desk. We seem to use them throughout the day. They are great to use during fact tests, during Spelling tests, and when little darlings can’t seem to act pleasant to one another ;)

You can find my templates for our Math resource folders below!

Chickens! Chickens! Chickens!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about our chickens. Apparently, there is an “Urban Chicken” trend. I guess that our family has been trendy and we’ve never known it. I’ve been raising chickens ever since I got married 14 years ago. It started (for me) when my husband came home with a large “surprise” in a box. I never imagined that the box would contain 20 baby chicks!

I was stunned, but he was clearly impressed with himself. He had grown up on farm on which they raised chickens for eggs and was genuinely excited to have some for our own farm. We’ve been raising chickens ever since and could not imagine our farm without them.

How we raise chickens…

Disclaimer: This is how our family raises chickens and is not meant to give instructions on how to raise them. There are several sites on how to raise chickens J

We receive our chicks in the spring. We usually only get a new batch every 3 years. Hens normally lay eggs for 3 years. We typically get around 30 chicks. The first few weeks are the toughest. You have to make sure that they stay warm at all times. Soon they can move to a larger area. We often use a kiddy pool with sand in the bottom.

After about one month, they can be moved to the chicken house as long as they are the only chickens there. Chickens can never be moved in with another group of chickens. They will peck each other to death. By August, the chickens usually begin to lay eggs! They usually lay around one egg a day during the first year.

Our chickens are the responsibility of our boys. Our oldest started taking care of them at the age of 5 or 6. The boys have to feed and water the chickens (we feed them ground feed) every evening. They gather the eggs and wash them so that they can sell them to friends and family. They save their “egg money” to buy their animals for 4-H.