December 13, 2017

A Few of Learning Made Radical's Favorite Things + Giveaway

Hey All! Welcome to Learning Made Radical! A quick introduction, I am Kara Holland and the one behind Learning Made Radical :) I live in a small town in Wyoming with my husband and our 3 littles (ages 7, 5 and 2 1/2)! I taught 3 years of math at our local middle school. I taught kiddos in 6-8th grade including math enrichment. I resigned and became a stay-at-home mom to our 3 littles, a full time teacherpreneuer and recently a graduate student! I love making creative, engaging AND print ready middle school math resources! Head on over to my 'About Me' section to read more!
I am excited to have connected with the talented and amazing bloggers you are hopping through today. They have been a great support system for me along this journey!

Let's get started!!
A Few of My Favorite Things...

Favorite Holiday Activity
Many years ago, my mother started a tradition of collecting ornaments for us every year. Every year she would pick out an ornament that represented my brother and myself that year. She then added in my then boyfriend, now husband to the special ornament tradition. When my husband and I moved to Wyoming and started our own family, she sent along ornaments she had collected through the years. Not all have made it over the years, but I still have a few that hold special meanings when I put them on our family Christmas tree yearly.

I have an ornament from the first Christmas my husband and I spent together when we were dating through this year! Today I buy 3 ornaments for our littles and added a new spin on our tradition, I find a family ornament that holds a special meaning from that year. I started that little spin when my husband and I started dating 13 years ago :) I love when we put our tree up and the littles get to put their special ornament on the tree and we talk about that favorite memory from that year. They may be little still, but those moments I cherish like no other! What are your favorite holiday traditions?



Favorite Math Activity
I LOVE interactive notes! This was my first set of notes I created when I started my TpT store. When I was teaching, exponent rules were a struggle for my students. I thought back to that time and wished I had something to organize notes better for my students. I also struggled to find resources that broke down each exponent rule individually. Those were the starting resources and my 'why' to creating my Teachers Pay Teachers store, Learning Made Radical. I needed simpler resources that addressed individual exponent rules along with an organized and fun way of introducing notes.

Exponent Rules Interactive Notes Activity
The notes I created are either 2 or 3 layers of notes. Top layer being the vocabulary word, second layer having definitions and the third layer being an example. There are some that have the definitions and examples on the same layer, it depends on the topic. I recommend to print off the notes on card stock, with the top layer being a bright color. These Astrobright 'Happy' colors are my favorite! That'll help them stand out in folders, books, and lockers. A great reference tool for students. How do you incorporate notes into your lessons?


You can check out all the other interactive notes I have created so far; here! Looking for something I do not have? Head on over and put a request in 
or email me at kholland2007@gmail.com.


Favorite Teacher Tool
In my second year of teaching, classroom management was a struggggle! I felt I was trying everything under the sun and none of it was working. Then an Instructional Facilitator introduced me to Whole Brain Teaching. He gave me a book called "Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids: (and the rest of your class, too!)and suggested that I give it a read. Have you read this book before? A book and a handful of YouTube videos later, I was sold! 

I introduced it with my 8th graders first and it quickly turned my class around. There was more attentiveness, less small talk/chatter, more classroom discussion, volunteers for answering questions, volunteers with sharing their strategies and overall a higher respect between students and myself. I had clear expectations, but introducing Whole Brain Teaching helped enforce those expectations. I wasn't wasting precious minutes of class time handling poor behavior in class, it was now being spent on teaching and learning. 

The book and the WBT approach completely changed my classroom structure, in the most positive way! I will forever be grateful for being introduced to WBT! 
Have you ever used whole brain teaching in your classroom? 
How did it work out for you? 
Stay tuned, I will work on a blog post highlighting my experience with WBT. In the meantime, feel free to email me with any questions! kholland2007@gmail.com

Ready to ENTER the GIVEAWAY? 

1.) Comment below your FAVORITE holiday cookie! 

2.) Follow my blog* for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachersa set of EXPO Markers AND a set of SHARPIES!
*If you already follow my blog, your comment on this post will be your entry.
Bonus: You'll get a FREE Interactive Notes Activity for subscribing!

Thank you for reading, subscribing and entering! 



Now it's time to hop over to Activity After Math with Hayley Cain's blog to enter another giveaway! 
Giveaway ends Monday December 18, 2017 at 8PM EST! 


December 6, 2017

A New Adventure...Grad School, Again!

Hey all! Sorry for being quiet on the blog and on social media this past month, life became a little extra busy! 

I started my Masters in Math Education (5-9) November 1st and that has been consuming every mom break moment I have. Do we even have mom/dad breaks? I decided to go through Westerns Governors University and so far I am very pleased with things. I needed something that I could complete on my time, when I have time :) 

How did I come to that decision of Westerns? Keep on reading :)

I am a busy mom of 3, wife, a teacherpreneuer with a Teachers Pay Teachers store and many more hats that I could list for days. My husband works in the natural gas field and his hours during the week are long and never on a true schedule. I am go-to parent for running to hockey practice, dance practice, gymnastics (which we travel 1 1/2 hrs to and fro to once a week), school drop off and pick up and anything else between all of that. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but some days are super packed!

I absolutely LOVE being mom, but have been feeling like I have been losing a little bit of my identity lately. Anyone else been there? I have been out of the classroom for 2 years now and thought maybe now is the time to venture back to school. I tried 3 years ago when I was pregnant with our 3rd, juggling 2 toddlers and working part time. It worked for a semester, barely and then life got too crazy for me to invest time and money into school at that time. So I quit and said I would venture back one day.

I have a Bachelors of Science in Health Education and then I added a Middle School Math Endorsement a few years after I completed my Bachelors. I felt I gained a solid education with both areas of study, but also felt I lacked confidence when teaching math. I took math classes and how to teach math, but never really explored the curriculum of middle school math. I feel gaining my Masters will hopefully help confidence and help me feel more credible with colleagues within a math team. I never felt I wasn't credible with my colleagues when I was working, but had moments of self doubt because I didn't have that title of a specific degree, just an endorsement. WHICH, I feel is just as valid as any 'degree' ...but feel I need more. I want to feel I have just as much to offer during an interview process as others going for the same job. 

I had debated to go down the Curriculum and Instruction route, but feared if there would be a job opening when I was done. I see that area within schools being cut, and would my time be wasted going down that route? I want to eventually go down that route, but thought I needed a step before to get there. Thoughts on the cuts of C&I or does your school have the opposite and NEED to fill positions?

I needed to do some 'soul searching' and decide what I wanted to do. That is the worst part for me, I feel my ideas get long and I want to do soo many things and all those things are not possible sometimes. I needed something that could honestly work around my families schedule. We also live in a very small town in Wyoming that is farther away from an on-campus experience than I can travel or make work with our family lifestyle right now. A friend of mine suggested to look into Westerns Governors University, they offered both programs I was interested in. I began my Google searching, that was intense. I had heard of them, but was it a legit school, was it credited, was it worth my money, will I be found as valid vs going to a large university?? All my answers led me to YES! 

I feel an education of ANY form is legit, valid, worth your money and more! 


I decided to start the path of looking at both programs I was interested in; C&I and Math Education with Westerns. I was unsure if I would be accepted into the Masters Math Education (5-9) program, because of what my endorsement was in. The enrollment counselor was unsure and had to get it approved from a bigger power than her. I was not interested in going past middle school math, middle school is my jam. I love the curriculum, the exploratory side of the math and the age of the kiddos I get to teach. I was approved to the Math Education program and now needed to make the decision!

I had that gut feeling of which direction I needed to go, you know the feeling I am talking about?! I decided that the quickest route for me to gain my Masters in the time frame and budget I set was to go the Math Education (5-9) route. I am a little over a month done and have completed 3 classes, 3!! I have been busting my butt and working hard to make every time spent on school, worth it. I am investing money into this and I get to set the time frame of how quickly I get to complete this honestly. Why not bust my butt for a year and knock this Masters out and SAVE myself a little money along the way?! And have it DONE!

I am loving the process so far, though it is an adjustment from a traditional classroom setting, it has been enjoyable! The mentors, teachers and the school staff itself are so uplifting and encouraging! I will post again of the journey with details of my experience, but if you have any questions about Westerns Governors University or the program I am in, please do not hesitate to reach out! Comment below or email me at kholland2007@gmail.com :) 

Please share your experiences of online education!! When did you find time to complete a lesson, class or more?! How did you juggle work, family and school? 



I am very fortunate during this time I can be stay-at-home mom, very thankful for all the hard work my husband does day in and day out; including late nights, early mornings, weekends and any time in-between all of that :) Our decision for me to stay home came down to childcare trust, childcare prices and money I came home with after childcare was taken out ...zilch! How is childcare prices in your area?

It all came together the last few months and felt it was the right time for me to take this next time for me and my education. During this time, I also run my TpT store, which I will stop right here and say, THANK YOU! Thank YOU for all your support of my Learning Made Radical store - the earnings I have gained from that are paying for my Masters right now! I have not had to borrow money or dig into our savings for one penny! I have been able to pay my first term with TpT! I am so unbelievably grateful and so thankful for all of you for that! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Glad you are still reading this, a long winded post that ended up being WAY longer than I was anticipating, ALMOST done :) 

Teachers Pay Teachers has been an outlet for me over the last 2 years. I unexpectedly had childcare fall through the month before school started a few years ago and we could not find anyone we trusted with our then 4 month old baby, almost 3 year old little girl and 5 year old son. And three kids in childcare, YIKES! I decided at the time to fill the gap of not being in the classroom and finding something to help me feel just a little 'adult' like during the day. That is how Learning Made Radical came about!



Fun tidbit if you didn't know - Learning Made Radical is named after my kids - Learning (Liam) Made (Maci) and Radical (Reid), an extra special meaning to me I hold dear! 

It has been an amazing, yet very challenging journey so far. I have learned just HOW MUCH it takes to create a resource, share it with you all and hope it works for all of you like it did for me, and my close friend who looks over my work when she gets a chance ;) I do not have a classroom to 'test' my resources on per say, but I am very fortunate through this journey to have met some amazing people I get to call friends who have been a second eye to my work. These friends have been there to bounce ideas off of, give suggestions, tips, helpers of teaching how to's, my feedback gurus and an amazing support system through this journey!! Thank you Golden Triangle ;) 

But the journey of creating the resource is important to me, I was that teacher struggling to find resources for my classroom and TpT saved me, weekly, heck daily! We had just created a new curriculum and the school I was at would not be purchasing a full set of resources until we went through the curriculum for at least a year. I was a newer teacher, new curriculum, no solid resource to follow and I wanted to be 'creative' along the way too! Thank goodness I stumbled upon TpT, I was able to navigate through that year without losing my sanity fully, just partially ;) 

I wanted to be that 'resource creator' that helped a teacher like who I was at the time I was teaching - a teacher, mom, dad, husband, wife, juggler of life that wanted to spend their free time WITH their family, not just sitting in the same room of their family searching for resources on their phone or computer to use the next week or next day in the classroom and not being WITH their family. 

With all of the above said, the platform of my store was created when I looked at my family!

I wanted to create resources that were print ready, engaging and creative for teachers! Heck, fun too! Who doesn't want that?! 

I also wanted to create simplistic type resources, not 3 concepts put into one activity. I have at least one resource of one concept before I combine two concepts into one activity.
Example - Exponent Rules, the FIRST things I created because I struggled at the time when I was teaching to find one rule at a time resources. I created all exponent rule activities separate and then combined 2 rules and more together in an activity. 

          

The biggest reason behind my resource creating is I want to SAVE a teacher time, time! That time they SAVED from purchasing resources from my store, they are enjoying with their spouse, children, family and friends! 



Learning Made Radical is more than just a store to me, it is so much more and I hope you see that too after reading :)

I can't thank you enough for all of your support, love and encouragement! I know this post ended up being WAY longer than I was expecting, but needed too!

Stay tuned, more to come on my journey of completing my 
Masters in Math Education (5-9)!!! 


October 23, 2017

Booo!!! Middle School Math Halloween Activities

Are you gearing up this week for Halloween? Still searching for that perfect Halloween activity? I have a great list of new resources I wrapped up this past week to help you out! 


All kids, even adults love that Halloween fun! But in the upper grades it gets a little more tough to incorporate into the classroom. Adding a fun Halloween inspired activity can help add that aspect into your classroom. 
Keep reading to check out new resources!! 



A great introduction activity to discuss unit rates! 



Students are ready to practice finding hypotenuse and side lengths! Students will use the knowledge they have learned from understanding which side is hypotenuse and which sides are side lengths to determine how to utilize the Pythagorean Theorem. 



Ready to practice ALL of the exponent rules?! These problems are set up to see a mix of the exponent rules, but only practicing one rule at a time! A great next step into seeing the exponent rules before combining them together. 




Have your students been working on multi step equations with variables on one and then both sides individually? Now they are ready to practice a mixture of problems? There are multi step equations with variables on one side AND both sides! There are also a range of problems of difficulty too with in the two types of problems.



The BEST part about all of these activities, they are PRINT READY! All you have to do is after purchasing, download the activity and hand out to your students! Ready to go :) 


Searching for other Halloween Activities? I have added some more resources from fellow TpT sellers below! Enjoy! Do you have one you would like to share? Scroll through to the bottom and Link Up!


Hayley Cain from Activity After Math shared these great resources of hers! 



Math Skeleton Coordinate Graphing Mystery Picture



Need a few other Halloween ideas? Head on over and read the newest post from Activity After Math!




Amanda from Free to Discover shared these great resources!! 

Guess what?! This activity is a FREEBIE!







Shana over at Scaffolded Math and Science shared this fun pennants! 







Do you have a Halloween resource you would like to share? Please add it below! 



An InLinkz Link-up


Happy Halloween!!


September 17, 2017

New Exponent Rule Resources

It was time for me to create new resources for Exponent Rules! I wanted to create a few new individual exponent rule resources, then some that were incorporating ALL the rules!  New creations below


First Up ...

To change up the everyday worksheet activity, I created this cut and paste activity. Students cut the lower half of the worksheet out, then the individual pieces. Solve the problems above, match them with the answer pieces and glue them next to the correct problem. Very simple activity, but with a range of level within the problems. 

           

MORE individual exponent rule activities coming - stay tuned! 

NEXT Up ...

Students can practice all the exponent rules (power, product, quotient, negative & zero), but all individually. There are 15 problems total, with 3 designated to each rule! It is a little more challenging, because they have to recognize which rule is what rule before finding the answer. Add the coloring aspect and you have a great activity for students. 

Some days I need to work with students and get that 1 on 1 time seeing how they are working through problems. On those days, I like to play music for my students and let them work and color :) This is a win/win situation - students LOVE to listen to music and who doesn't love to color?! 

What are your favorite music stations to play for your students? 




Now that students have been able to recognize individual exponent rules, time to combine at least two rules! This chain reaction activity has at least two of the exponent rules per problem. The activity challenges them to recognize which rules are being used and what order to complete the rules that will work best for them. There are a mixture of product & power, quotient & negative problems and more! There is plenty of space within each slip for students to use as a work space. They complete the problem, find the answer on another slip, complete that problem and then glue the chain pieces together. 
This activity also doubles as classroom decor too :) 

    





The BEST part about ALL of these resources - they are print ready! I want to SAVE you time! These activities are loaded where the questions are not in order - they are ready to print, hand out to your students and let them get started. They can handle all the cutting parts too ;)

If you have any questions, please email me at kholland2007@gmail.com! 

Have a great week :) 

August 26, 2017

Scientific Notation

Many of you are entering the classroom or will be entering the classroom again soon! One of the first topic areas we would jump into with the 8th graders was Scientific Notation - a neat unit! 


I struggled to find resources that fit this topic area, so below is what was created!! I wanted to highlight a few items from this unit! 

I took a lot of time and consideration into this bundle, making sure to highlight key points of this unit along with adding variety and FUN too :)
 All of these resource are print ready too!

**Scientific Notation**
I love all the notes I have created! I wanted them to be bold, stand out, but yet have simplicity too. They highlight the notes and examples, along with being an easy to find and navigate reference as needed for students.





Need practice going from one to the other? This ready to load game in PowerPoint will be your students favorite game! The 'Standard Form to Scientific Notation' and 'Scientific Notation to Standard Form' HOT SEAT Game! The directions are in the document and it is completely set up and ready to go for you! All you need to do is move your students into rows, paper and a pencil.


Now that students are beginning to understand HOW big or HOW small the scientific notation numbers are, practice with this Estimating Populations Matching Activity. Students are given a reference sheet and they find the answer to the questions asking how much larger or or about how much the size of a country is compared to another.



I took the time to separate each operation! I wanted students to master adding, subtracting, then both of those together, multiplying, dividing and then both of those together.


The following are the individual activities for each scientific notation operation.












      
      (This was my first color by number activity, before I figured out to purchase and use clipart - hand drawn by me!)


Ready to combine ALL operations? Give a quick assessment with this 


LOVE all that you see above? Purchase the Scientific Notation Bundle at a discounted price!! 



If you would like to see more details about the Scientific Notation Bundle, I did a Live Video over on my Facebook Page - Learning Made Radical. It is about 20 minutes and I highlighted all that is included in EACH of the resources. Head on over and check it out or watch below - scroll through until about :45 seconds and then the information will begin. 




Have you completed the Scientific Notation unit and looking for a way to review? OR just starting this unit and looking for a way to work with students one-on-one? Take these above activities and set up as stations! Stations are a neat way to change up the pace of a classroom. I tried to incorporate stations at least once a month with my students and these stations could last a few days or at most a week. My students enjoyed them! 

Needing something you don't see? Please email me at kholland2007@gmail.com and I can work on getting that resource created and completed for you! Best part - I will send that resource to you for FREE, please just email me back and let me know how it worked out for you :)