The Ultimate Math Championship for 4th – 6th Grade!

The Ultimate Math Championship is a FUN and easy way to help 4th, 5th, & 6th grade students practice math skills. have created several matching games that can be played in multiple rounds. Using my pyramid method students naturally become paired with others working near their skill level. The student or students with the most rounds won is crowned the classroom Ultimate Champion! It is during these math championships that my students really become excited and truly began to grasp and retain the process. 

Differentiated Practice

Students will start being paired by ability level as the pyramid grows. This helps students practice with less overall anxiety. When a certain topic is completely beyond a student’s grasp, I have paired lower level learners together to practice a topic on their level. For example, I’ve had two 6th graders playing the long division version while the rest of the class played the geometry version.

A Real-Life Lifesaver 😉

When I received a call from my principal that the superintendent of the school district was visiting our site and they would be coming by MY classroom in 20 minutes, I knew this was the activity that I wanted them to see. My students were familiar with the game, so I quickly set it up. The superintendent walked around my room and observed the class. On his way out, he stopped to offer me a compliment. The superintendent said that he was really impressed with the class and activity. He continued to tell me how he was happy to see how engaged the kids were and how impressed he was with their actual deep knowledge of the math concepts. I could not have been happier with walk through that day!

This bundle of games & anchor charts currently includes:

Place Value




(Fractions, decimals, & more will be added soon!)

How to play the game:

Print and cut out the cards. I like to print the answer cards on one color of cardstock and the problems on another. Spread out the answer cards face up on a desk between the 2 players. It is also possible to play with a group of 3. Place the problem cards face down in a shuffled pile. Have players alternate drawing a problem card, solving it on a whiteboard (or paper), and searching for the matching answer card. The player with the most matches wins that round! See the video below for additional details.

Check it out here:

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7 Indoor Recess Ideas

Hello fellow teachers! I hope everyone is staying warm with this super chilly blast of rain and snow!

Nothing quite drains teachers like a steady schedule of indoor recesses. It gets old fast. After a whole day trapped inside, our classes are in desperate need of some break time. Here are a few easy activities that make it less painful, and dare I say, even a little fun. Continue reading

Make Journaling Fun with Washi Tape & a Straw!

This post was originally written as a guest post on the blog Minds in Bloom.

Hi! It’s Melissa from Peas in a Pod. I am currently in my 11th year of teaching. I’ve taught kinder – 8th, thanks to a few combo classes. Writing is one of my favorite subjects to teach! There are so many ways to make it fun.  Today I’m going to guide you through personalizing super cute DIY journals with pencil holders! Continue reading

5 Ways to Teach a Growth Mindset

It’s possible to consciously change your mindset from fixed to one of continual growth. Once you have seen someone embrace a growth mindset, you can see its value. People will begin to take on challenges beyond what they might have otherwise. They push themselves with language like, “What can we learn from our mistake?” and “What are we missing?”

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How I Survived My First Year of Teaching

Overwhelming! It’s the perfect word to sum up my first year of teaching.


It’s not all doom and despair though. It is exhausting, but your first year teaching will also be full of discoveries and excitement! I’m reflecting back and writing this post with the hope that my experience makes the transition a little smoother for other teachers.

Here are the top 7 things I wish I had known going into my first year:

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Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!


You can WIN our 10 favorites & a $50 Teachers Pay Teachers Giftcard during the Teacher Appreciation Giveaway! Things We LOVE prize pack including: Mr. Sketch Markers, Flair Markers, Personal Laminator, Dry Erase Pockets, Dry Erase Markers, Astrobrights Paper, Ticonderoga Pencils, and a $50 Teachers pay Teachers gift card.

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The Giving Classroom ~ Promoting Generosity & Gratitude

It’s always a good time to teach about generosity & gratitude, especially when kids are hyper-focused on ‘getting’. This is one of the best times to teach them about the joy of giving. As always, take it easy on yourself! If your days are jam-packed and you don’t have time to add this concept into your teaching schedule, no worries. Just make a mental note to tackle it at some point during the year.

Gratitude is a life skill.

Practicing gratitude for the smallest blessings chases away discontent. Learning and practicing this skill early on teaches children how to lift themselves up emotionally when life gets hard. This type of metacognition can equip students to better deal with depression. Academics are surely important, but social emotional skills are must-haves ! Continue reading

New Perks for Teachers!


The reading specialist in my district recently let us in on a little known “secret”! Teachers can now apply for special teacher library cards! The card lets you check out double the items, for twice as long, and they won’t accrue overdue fines. All you need to get one of these bad boys is a current teacher’s id badge. Continue reading

Tips on Structured Student Conversations


Welcome! I’m joining up with a few of my favorite teacher bloggers for a book study of Jennifer Serravallo’s book, The Reading Strategies Book. Join us as we focus in on a few of our favorite reading

When our principal walks through our rooms she leaves a little note with a few compliments and a suggestion. The last suggestion she left me was to increase student talk. Knowing that this is an area I need to work on, I’m excited to take a deeper look at a few of the ideas presented in “The Reading Strategies Book”. Deepening comprehension through speaking & listening is part of the 12th goal. Here are 3 “gold nuggets” I especially liked from this chapter: Continue reading