Orange County Children’s Book Festival

Hello All!

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I have great news! I will be attending the Orange County Children’s Book Festival at the end of September. The Orange County Children’s Book Festival is a fun packed day at the beautiful Orange Coast College. There will be a ton of authors, illustrators, and vendors at the event. 
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Here is the area map to the location of the event. Please come out to support me and other authors and get signed copies of some great books! It will be a great family day and is a great event for teachers to attend! A

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The Plumbing, Electrical, and Air Ducts

With the house completely framed, we are on the downhill ride of building this house. While there have been many challenging weekends, it will soon all pay off. Building the house and getting to this point has taken dedication, perseverance, and trust in God’s plan. I must say I questioned Him a lot through this process. Why are we doing this? Why is it so hard? Will it ever be done?! As I reflect back onto stacking those cynder blocks, in that freezing cold weather, I am very grateful for where we are today.

The weather is starting to cool off and I had to dig my overall pants back out. After this very hot summer, I was glad to be back in pants. Let me show you how the house is shaping up. These pictures are from the inside of the house and you can start to see the layout of the future house.

In this picture, I am on the first floor looking forwards the kitchen. You can see plumbing running up the wall. That plumbing is for the upstairs bathroom and the upstairs laundry room.


In the next image, I am looking up at the ceiling from the same spot as the previous picture. Here you can see the air ducts.


When you head upstairs, you walk into an upstairs living space. In that space you get a peak at our amazing view through a 4×4 window.


When you turn around you see the laundry room. Right now we have medium ladder in it. As you can see it will be a nice size laundry room.


Off of the upstairs living area, you will find my master bedroom. Here is my dad working in the master bedroom on the air ducts he was installing. My dad build the air duct system himself.


Here are some pictures of the master bath. We are going to have tub on one side and a stand up shower on the other side. You can see the red and blue pex plumbing lines. These are for the hot and cold water.


In the next two pictures you can see the air ducts in the rafters. You can also see white electrical and blue light boxes. All of the electrical installation was done by me. My mom went through and made sure the wires were ready for hook up. She had to strip them and tie them together.


Here is Matt and I working on Labor Day weekend. We started building the house one year ago. We are getting near the end of our construction project and can’t wait to see it all come together. The next steps are to add roofing, siding, and windows.


Place Value

As we settle into our classrooms this year and begin lesson planning I want to you to think about your current place value unit. Do you like it? Does it need improvement?

Place value is something that should be taught at the beginning of the school year. Place value lies the foundation for the basic math functions that will be taught for the remainder of the year. Without it, students will not be prepared to truly understand counting to 120, equalities, addition, or subtraction. Place value is the underlying foundation for the those very basic elementary math concepts.

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The unit starts of with a simple story. It gives each place its own special spot on “decimal street”. The story teaches that only 9 of each kind can live in one given house. There is the one’s house, the ten’s house, and the hundred’s castle. Only up to 9 can live in each house because once we get more than 9, we would need to “carry over”. It introduces the concept of regrouping without an explicit lesson. Once you are ready to teach regrouping, it’ll be easy because it will build on top of the place value foundation you already built .

This is what decimal street would look like, but you can really make it your own. There is room to add to the story and to make the story your own with personal touches. Again, all of my resources are in black and white so that you can add your personal touch.

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Once the concept of decimal street is taught and the students know where the ones’s place, ten’s place, and hundred’s place is, they can then start activities. I like to start off with some simple coloring. This worksheet has the students color the tens place one color and the one’s place another color. This shows me who can identify what place a number is in.


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The next activity I like to do is to count how many hundreds, tens, and ones are in a number and then writing that number on the corresponding line.

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Then, I like to have the students match the number to the correct amount of blocks.

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These worksheets are not the only thing I use in my classroom. This year I made each partner group a pencil box with 9 one blocks, 9 ten blocks and just a few hundreds blocks. I am going to the have the students build different numbers with a partner.

So, what will you do this year for your place value unit? If I can change your mind about anything today, I hope you consider teaching place value very early on in the school in year. Check out my TpT Store and make sure to click the green star for updates and sales.

Click Here~ to purchase my Place Value Unit!

Happy Teaching Busy Teachers!

tack bwthanks