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Missing Addends Made Easy

Missing addends are always a tricky concept for many students.  I believe the cause of this is many reasons.  Some students are still building their number sense, some students are simply careless, and some students don't truly understand that equal sign.

When a problem such as this is given to many students, they will simply see two numbers, add them, and write the answer in the blank.

You'll get this in return.  Obviously, the 12 doesn't make sense when the problem is read back, but since most students at this age don't check over their work, they don't know to go back and rework it.


And, let's face it. Most of the time, students have been taught to look at the sign and put the answer in the blank.  That's exactly what this student did.  They think they've solved it correctly.

I've found something that works with my students.  I call him THE EQUALIZER! (said in my best superhero voice)


First, when presented with a problem like this...
we talk about the equal sign and what it means.   Many students will say it means "the answer" so this is something we clarify.  We learn that equal means "the same" and we do a lot of demonstrations with manipulatives to show "the same."

Then, I introduce THE EQUALIZER who is a super hero with special powers - he makes everything "the same" or "fair." But, his super power is in his muscles and if his muscles aren't the same, his powers won't work.



So, we practice drawing his muscles.  To do this, we always find the equal sign - his muscles grow from there.  We draw a circle from one side of the equal sign, up and around the numbers, to the bottom of the equal sign and then repeat on the other side.

Once the muscles are drawn, students have to make sure they are "the same" so THE EQUALIZER will have his powers.  In the illustration above, we see that one side is complete with a 10.  So, we need to make the other side also equal 10. Drawing these "muscles" really lets students see the two sides of the equation.

This visual is just what many students need to be able to understand the problem and filll in the missing addend.  However, a few students may still make careless errors. So, once the muscles are completed, the final step is to check.



I actually have my students label the muscles when checking to prove that the are equal.  If they're not, the student knows they need to go back and try it again.

So, to review, these are the steps we use to "equalize" a problem.



When we're practicing this as a whole group, I let students who solve the problem correctly stand up on their chairs and flex their muscles for us!  They've become EQUALIZERS!



They kind of eat it up. :)  I hope this little tip helps your students master the tricky concept of missing addends!


KAZOO Are About To Go Back To School!

Just popping in to leave a little Back To School Freebie for you today.


You can pick up the KAZOOS at Target in the party section (12 per pack).
Download the tags for free HERE.



TC Turns Ten!

Hi friends!  I found it a struggle this past school year to balance everything (for a multitude of reasons) and sadly my blog was the one that suffered most.  I aim to change that this summer!

My first post back is to announce that I did not forget that Teacher's Clubhouse turns TEN this year! It's hard to believe that I started officially sharing all the resources I created ten years ago!! Wow - time flies!  I couldn't let it pass me by since I always love to do a big celebration.  This year is no different.  There will be TEN WEEKS of FREEBIES!


The first freebie ends TODAY so be sure to go grab it from my shop. It is my newly updated Birthday Bash pack to help you celebrate students' birthdays in the classroom.  You can grab it HERE.

Inside you'll find tons of stuff including...

...an interactive birthday photo booth background

...an interactive birthday book

...and everything you need to create birthday cups for your students.

I'm also hosting a SUNDAY SALEBRATION every Sunday during my 10 week Birthday Bash, where I will be posting one of my yearlong big bundles for 50% off for ONE DAY ONLY.

Here's a peek at what you can snag today....

one of my Differentiated Spelling Packs for just $9.99!  Everything you need for the year - word lists, spelling tests, practice activities, games, homework menu, handwriting practice, and MORE!





So, don't miss out over the next 10 weeks!  I'll have a brand new freebie to post tomorrow in my shop!  Follow along so you don't miss out!


Parent Gift Idea {Tag Freebie}

Everyone is so busy this time of year.   It's easy to forget to grab a gift for that special parent who comes through for you in your time of need.  If you're in a crunch, I've got the perfect gift idea for you.  It comes from my brilliant teammate and it really is the perfect token of appreciation.  It would also be great for custodians, teammates, or any other staff member!


Just grab paper products and wrap them up with this gift tag.



I love to purchase my paper products at Hobby Lobby - they always have a cute selection and all holiday items are usually 50% off!  It's also a great idea to stock up AFTER Christmas for next year!  In mine, I included two sizes of plates, napkins, cups, and plastic cutlery.  I placed them in a clear gift basket sack and tied with ribbon.  Easy Peasy!



Appy Classrooms {Word Clouds}

Hi all!  I'm back to share a super easy but very useful app for your classroom!

App Name: Word Clouds
Cost: FREE
Here's what you will look for:

This is app is very simple to use.  Students simply type in words to show up in a "cloud" format.  The more times a word is typed, the larger it will appear in the cloud (very similar to the Wordle site if you have used that).  Students then have the option to change the font, color pattern, or layout design.

Here are some ways we use this app in my classroom.

As we studied adjectives, students worked in pairs to create a word cloud of adjectives using the five senses - How does it taste, look, feel, smell, and sound?



This led into our next session on adverbs.  Students were given a verb which they typed in 8 times (to make the verb larger) and then typed in adjectives describing how, when, or where that verb happened.



A science use is to give students a topic, in this case an animal classification group (mammals) and have students create a cloud of words associated with it.



My favorite way to use Word Clouds though is for student birthdays.  For this, I set one iPad out and type the birthday child's name eight times (to ensure it is large).  Then, students go one at a time throughout the day and add a character trait that describes the birthday child.  If character traits are repeated, it's okay - those words will appear larger.  Once all students have typed a trait, I quickly make the cloud (but you could also let the birthday child do this) and let them upload it to their Seesaw portfolio.  I'm also considering printing them out to frame as end of the year gifts.  I've done word cloud frames as gifts before at the end of the year and the fact that the clouds will all be done for me as an added bonus! <3


Since character traits are something we are really just starting to learn about in 2nd grade, I do post a {positive} character traits sign in the room for those students who may need the support (or help spelling their word).  You can grab my character trait signs (both positive and negative) FREE in my shop by clicking the link below!





Put Your STAMP On The New Year! {Giveaway}

There's just something about kicking off a new school year with new goodies!  Whether it's a new planner, new desk accessories, or new stamps...they just make a teacher's heart go pitter patter.
That's exactly how I felt when I opened my new package from
I mean, new goodies that are also going to save me time and help to simplify my life this year?  Yes, please!  Here's a peek at my new goodies I got from RubberStamps.Com...read on for how I will use them as time-savers in my classroom AND for a chance to win your own customized stamp!

Every summer...heck, every week, it seems that I buy new books for my classroom.  Usually they get set aside until I have time to label them with my name.  I'm constantly letting other teachers borrow books and know that it can be hard to remember who you borrowed them from sometimes, so labeling books is essential for teachers in my opinion.  Now, it's super easy!  So easy, I could give the task to a student even!


Speaking of students, I love to give that extra little "HOORAY" to my students for doing an exceptional job on assignments.  Do you know what they love?  When the notes are personal.  They LOVE when it includes the teacher's name - they love to know YOU are proud of them.  These personalized stamps are the perfect way to give them that personal touch, while saving the super busy teacher a little time along the way.


While we're talking about encouragement, students are all too savvy about current trends and this includes social media!  How much will they LOVE this Facebook inspired "like" stamp?  In my classroom, we use the app Seesaw so students are already familiar with "liking" work.  This stamp is perfect for those quick checks, like interactive notebooks.



This year, I have a student teacher in my classroom.  I thought a personalized stamp for her would be perfect!  This will let students and parents know when she is checking work.


Sometimes, things aren't all unicorns and rainbows though.  This final stamp was a "must-have" for me.  It's so versatile and I can use it for a variety of reasons.  Just stamp and mark.  On this particular paper, I want the student to correct the work and return it back to school for partial credit.  A system like this lets parents know what to be on the lookout for on graded work.


I'm so pleased with the quality of my new self-inking rubber stamps and thought you might like to give one a try, too!  So, I'm teaming up with RubberStamps for a little giveaway.  I'll be selecting THREE winners who will each get to select their own customized stamp. 


Enter below.  Good luck!  The winners will be announced on Wednesday, August 31.

View the entire Teacher Selection of stamps here!

Which is your favorite?  You have 5 ways to enter this giveaway below.  Enter as many times as you'd like!



Oriental Trading Wishes Granted!

One of the great joys of a new school year is browsing through the new Oriental Trading catalog for classroom goodies.  Teacher Heaven, right?!?  This year it's a bit more amazing because they have created a Teacher Wish List function!  Keep reading to see how you can get your wishes granted.


This year I decided to change my classroom theme and I knew that Oriental Trading (as usual) would be my go-to place for Superhero things.

Take a peek at the amazing goodies I found for my classroom.


Years ago, I began using badge holders for my students' nametags.  This saves me from having to handwrite or print new tags each time they're needed.  In fact, it means I have nametags on hand at any given time - this is super convenient for subs during unexpected absences. 

These Superhero Lanyards are perfection for my little marvels!  They're bright, colorful, fun, and safe (with that breakaway clasp).  Even better?  I'll be able to use them year after year after year!


These Superhero Tickets are the perfect incentive for my students!  Last year, I began using the Golden Ticket system.  I just cut gold paper strips and laminated them, but these are SO much better!  My students are super excited to earn these for random good deeds throughout the week and then turn them in on Friday for free choice selections.


These hanging swirls made the PERFECT back-to-school activity.  When I handed these out, the students "OOHED" and "AAHED."  They were quite obsessed with the foil swirls.  I mean, why wouldn't they be?!  They add so much color and pop to our classroom ceiling, all while sharing a little about each of my new marvels.

Here's a close up look of the front...

...and back of the hangers.


And, here's one more look at them on display from a distance.



What kid doesn't love stickers??  These superhero stickers will be the perfect way to say "well done" on students' papers, or right on their shirts!

I mean, how about that marvel t-shirt?  Do you think my students are excited about my classroom theme? I'd say so! :)


These dry erase magnets are so versatile that I knew I needed them to be a part of my classroom.  For now, I am using them to label my file cabinet drawers.  They make it super easy to locate the right item the first time!


The next few items, I got for incentive rewards in my classroom.  My school uses Accelerated Reader and I like to have little rewards for students who reach specific goals, but these items could also be used for birthday treats, welcome back gifts, or star student surprises - the possibilities are endless.




Can we just talk about these medals for a moment?!  The quality is AMAZING!  They are made of rubber with a fabric lanyard.  Students will treasure them!

Whew!  Those are just a FEW of the things I found for my superhero classroom.  You can view the rest of the items that I have my eye on HERE on my wishlist.  Here's a little sneak peek of it:

Oh my gosh, those pencils, right?!  Creating a wishlist on Oriental Trading is super easy and you have the option to share it via social media, email, or even print a hard copy of it to share.  Often times, at the beginning of the year especially, parents are eager to help your classroom.  What an easy way to share with them some of the things you'd like to have for your classroom.

Just visit Oriental Trading and click on the Wish List heart at the top (red circle below).


Then, to share your wishlist to your website, Facebook, or through email, just click the SHARE button (green circle) and choose your preference.

That's it!  Then, just wait patiently as your wishes are granted! :)


*Disclaimer: Oriental Trading sent me products in exchange for a blog post; however, all opinions in this post are mine.


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