Great lesson plans and activities coming your way with Dollar Days deals!

Are you looking for some new classroom and student activities but are a bit short in the budget for them? Boy, have I got a deal for you!!! Read on…

Starting December 31 and continuing through Jan 1, a group of Teacher pay Teacher authors (yours truly included!) will be offering great $1 deals in our stores!!! What’s the catch, you ask?

To find these great deals on, you must search using the phrase, #Cheers2022. You will find many $1 deals that will make going back to school and lesson planning in the New Year easier!!

Here are my two $1 Deals! Remember, use #Cheer2022 to find the great deals.

Happy shopping!

Susan Mescall

Happy shopping and Happy New Year!

Thank you!

Susan Mescall


Fraction Lessons Have You Tearing Out Your Hair?

Trying to make teaching fraction more interesting?   Tearing out your hair? It was that frustration that had me looking for a way to give my students information they could understand and more opportunities to practice those skills.   The math book just didn’t seem to meet the needs of my students.  I was reminded by my mentor that textbooks should be a supplemental tool and not the curriculum.

Let me help you by showing you what I did to make multiplying and dividing fractions less frustrating!

I decided to take the textbook information and put  it into kid-friendly words.  

I had the kids glue the notes into their journals so the information would be at their fingertips!

And because the dreaded “End of Grade” test looms all year…I decided to create word problems to go along with the note students put into their journals.  That would give my students more practice than what was in our math textbook.

I also used the word problems as a review game.  I put one word problem on each student’s desk, in no particular order.  Students stand behind their chairs and the game begins as each student solves the problem on their desk.  As they finish, students put their hands on their shoulders.  When everyone has solved the problem on their desk, students move to the next desk.  When all the students have moved around the room and are back at their own desk, we go over the answers and students share how they solved the problems.

The word problems can be used in a lot of different ways in your classroom, beyond just a review game!  The word problems can be used as bell ringers to get students thinking.  You could put the word problems in your math center for independent work.

If you want to check out my word problems, just click on my picture.

How I Make Fractions and Valentines Fun !

The most dreaded fifth grade math skill…fractions!!!

After 27 years in teaching and 22years of teaching fifth graders, both departmental and self-contained, the most dreaded standard faced by teachers and fifth grade2rs alike is the dreaded FRACTIONS unit!

Fractions seem to be the “boogie man” of math and so I was looking for a way to combine the practicing of fraction skills  and the upcoming Valentine’s Day with a fun activity.  While we do have a small party and exchanging of Valentine’s cards, there is still an expectation of staying the course with lessons!

Awkward age…Fifth Grade

Fifth graders are looking forward to middle school at this time of year…more freedom, less teacher monitoring.  At the same time, they still enjoy Valentine’s parties and the exchanging of cards.  I wanted to make an activity that my kids didn’t see as “baby-ish” and would also challenge their math skills…always an area that needs practice!

The best of both Fractions and Valentine’s day!

The result was “Fraction Operations Valentines Mystery!”  My students love to break codes and solve puzzles, so  combining that with fractions, which we are studying and reviewing, seemed a natural.

Cupid has had his bow stolen by one of his holiday symbol friends and in order to identify the thief, students have to solve 4 different coded messages by solving fractions problems using all four operations.  

I have also included a “How To Use” for teachers!  Let me help you with your lesson planning!

Last, but certainly not least, each fraction worksheet has an answer sheet to help teachers help their students solve the mystery!

You can find this newest of my store products in my store by simply clicking on any of the pictures in my blog!

What do you think?  How do you make fractions fun for your students?  Let me know…I’d love to hear from you!



Metric Manipulative

Part of my math curriculum was teaching my 5th graders about the metric system. Now, I am may be dating myself big time, but I don’t remember learning about the metric system until I took Chemistry my junior year of high school! I must confess, also, that I did not do well at all in mastering the system…I flunked the test. So, when presented with having to teach my elementary students, I was racking my brain for ways to help them master the concepts.

I decided my students needed a visual manipulative to make the metric system more hands on for them…They needed to master the metric prefixes AND have an understanding of each of the prefixes and how they related to each other.
So…VOILA!!! I had my students create this quick reference…


I had my students write down the meaning of each of the prefixes on the back of each of the prefix cards.  Finally, both my students AND I had a better understanding of the metric system.  Where were these kinds of things when I was taking Chemistry!?  LOL

A Math Close Read!

Ever have one of those days where a random thought during your lesson plan suddenly causes the light bulb to go off with your students?  Well, it happened to me last week and it was amazing!  I wanted to share it with you all.

We were discussing  “What questions can be answered by using addition and subtraction?”  The students were struggling to come up with words that made them think of using addition and subtraction when reading word problems, when the idea of treating word problems as a mini-story with actions occurred to me!

I reminded the students that they were experts in reading short stories and able to see the action of the story. We used their close read skills to examine story problems.   I, then, had my students brainstorm actions that they had seen in addition problems and what a list they came up with:

ADDITION: earned, combined, combining, saving, growing, altogether, getting more, put together,received, build up, getting larger, gathered, bringing together, total, in all, brought together

We did the same for subtraction using those same close read skills and here’s what they found:

SUBTRACTION: separating, giving away, putting into groups, throw away, break apart, spend, eat, used, gave away, left,

I had the students use their lists to examine the word problems on their homework sheets.  They were so excited to be able to identify what operation was needed to solve the problem!  How often are students excited to read word problems…not very!  Hands flying into the air, excited to share what they thought was the action and operation of the problems.

So where do my students go from here?  My goad for the list is that my students will continue to add to their lists as we go through the year.

Next week, we will be examining multiplication and division word problems.  I’ll keep you posted!!


Wow! It’s Been A Long Time!

Wow! It has been a long time since I last posted. It was a really busy year for me at school…my first year, in a long time, of teaching all the subjects! It took a lot of my time to create lessons for all subjects. I teach 5th grade and it was the first year in a long time that my grade level did not block! I had to play catch up in math, especially, as it had been many years since I had taught it. There have been many changes in the years, and then North Carolina adopted Common Core!

Much to my surprise, after a few stuttered starts, I found that I was enjoying math! I had always considered myself a reading teacher and to find enjoyment in math was a nice plus. Fast forward to today and I have just gotten the word that my grade level will be blocking once again, and I will be the MATH teacher for all three classrooms!

I have agreed to step out of my comfort zone of reading and science and jump into math. I have a trio of resource teachers who have shared with me that they will help me set up my lessons. I am going to be teaching my math class using small group instruction and differentiation. I am very excited as I begin this new adventure!

Before I finish this blog, I want to share with you a book I have been reading this summer…”Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids” by Chris Biffle. If you have experienced classroom management issues (and who among us has not?), this book is AMAZING! This summer, several of my colleagues and I have been reading and discussing this wonderful book. We are going to be implementing Chris’ideas into our classes. I’ll keep you posted on our progress!