Multiplication Memorization Motivation - Movie Theme

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I’m super excited to share some of the changes I have made to the Multiplication Movie Motivation Unit.  The bones are the same, but I have added some more incentives that make it more exciting for students and more manageable for teachers.  I have used this unit for many years, and several teachers I know have used it too.  We have seen their students motivated!  

This is what teachers from TPT are saying...
 Motivated students = Happy teacher! 

The unit challenges students at their level, while being competitive with incentives at the same time. My students want to master their facts to earn each incentive. Each incentive gets them to a movie celebration with lots of yummy treats and cool rewards that are earned when more tests are passed. The best thing about it (in my opinion) is the students cannot move on to the next fact group until they have mastered the previous fact group. This differentiates for my students who need more time. While still challenging the students who are ready to move on.  
These are the items included in the unit. The Parent Letter and the Teacher Recording sheet are editable now after many requests. I also included VIP Passes for the students who pass the quizzes through the 12 facts! 

Overview of the Multiplication Movie Motivation Unit

1. Students take a pre-test with 100 facts to answer to see how many they actually know (I give 10 minutes to take the test). This will also be used at the end of the unit to show the students how much they have grown. 
Sample Graded Test: I circle facts that are incorrect or not answered.
Sample fact tests from the unit. There are test for the 0-12 facts.
2. Each week students take a test on a specific fact group. If they pass, they move on the next group, if they don’t pass they re-take that same fact group the next week.  I allow students to submit a certain amount of multiplication practice if they are having a hard time memorizing the facts.  This shows me the student is trying to memorize them. If they don't prove the practice I will not allow them to pass. 
This is the order  in which the students learn their facts.
This unit starts with the 0, 1, 5, 10 facts because students
usually have more experience with these facts, and I want them to
have success at the beginning to keep them motivated.
3. Once students have passed one of the following groupings (0, 1, 5, 10 fact groups- movie ticket), (2, 3, 4 fact groups - popcorn), (6, 7, 8 fact groups - soda) and/or (9, 11, 12 fact groups - candy) they get the item picture to add to their Student Recording Sheet.       ***The Student Recording Sheet should be displayed somewhere the student sees daily.

Student Recording Sheet
Incentives Earned: The popcorn will be
earned for completing facts 2, 3 and 4. 

VIP PASS: This is an editable pass
that students can wear when
they pass their 12facts.  I clipped a
hole in the blackoval and string
yarn through the hole. The kids
were SO PROUD!!! I laminate
them and allow them to keep them as a
souvenir. :()
4. Once a student has passed all their fact groups (0-12) they will get VIP sitting at the movie. There is a sign included in the unit so you can rope of an area to make it really like a VIP section. You may have some kids finish the tests early before the unit is finished. For those students I let them play a computer multiplication game while the other students are testing or I will sometimes challenge students to a timed division test.

5. Students take post-test to see how much they have grown. Give the same amount of time you did for the pre-test. Each year I have had kids grow AT LEAST 15 facts. Some kids have grown 90. They will be blown away! Some kids have several minutes left over, so record their finished time too.

Editable Data Spreadsheet: This is the data sheet where you can record your students progress in Excel, an electronic database. 
Hard Copy Spreadsheet: You can keep track of the students' progress here. I put a check when they pass and a dot when they do not. For example, looking at John, he didn't pass the 2 facts twice, but passed on the third attempt. Looking at Za'Quon, he didn't pass the 3 facts once, but passed on the second attempt. 
Parent Letter: This will inform students and their families of the expectations.
 It is editable and can be tweaked for your classroom's needs.  

Excitement, Engagement & Motivation

I bought these popcorn containers from the Dollar Tree 3 years ago.  Many Dollar Trees in my area still carry them.  They cost $1 for two containers.  I bought 20 packs, so now I have 40 containers.  Yes, it cost $20 upfront, but now I have them, and they have been used MANY times.  You can also decorate with them to help promote the celebration.

I have asked parents to donate popcorn, and to come and pop the popcorn for the celebration. I have also used ESE and resource teachers to help if parent weren't available.
Popcorn Containers:
Cost $1 for two containers

Candy Supply: Watch the sales at Walgreen's and CVS -
 This is where I get most of the candy and for cheap! 

This is my most favorite part of the celebration...The awards at the end. These certificates are awarded at the end of the celebration day. Not only are the students who memorized all the facts represented, but the students who practiced the most and improved the most are recognized as well.


I would love to know what type of incentives do you use to get your kiddos excited about memorizing their facts! If you have already used this unit is your class, results and feedback is greatly appreciated!

Classroom Tour & reveal Part 2

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In my last post I shared some of the new and the old ... I have even more to share! It has a lot to do with rainbow duct tape and a few other things.

I have been obsessed lately, as you could probably tell from previous posts! I have put this tape anywhere I could, and surprisingly it has pulled the classroom together nicely (HAHA - get it) Tape ... pulls/sticks things together. :)

These book shelves drive me PLAIN crazy! Everything about them scream institution furniture and I can't stand the cream color. I have used duct tape on my library shelves to dress them up a little, but I didn't think I would go this far. Some teachers at my school started using contact paper to cover the tops and then boarded them with duct tape, so since I bought rolls and rolls, I had to do the same. I took black contact paper and lined the perimeter with the tape. I think they came out nicely!

Boring Black Digital Picture Frame = Funky Colorful Frame

This frame idea is something I have seen on Pinterest for a year or so. I wanted to create one for my class and just didn't want to spend a lot. And of course, once I found the duct tape with allthe colors, it all came together. I used picture frame boarder, duct tape, and stickers. I have END taped to the back so at the end of the year I can peel off START and place END there instead.


As you can see the students have access to many of the supplies they may need throughout the day. Surprisingly, many kids are shocked I let them use these materials as they need. The only rule is don't misuse them. I have yet to have a problem and the kids love the "mature" responsibility of having the "teacher desk" supplies.

These are the students mailbox. This is where forms, student work and communication sheets are stored until they go home with the student. My school sends home a communication folder that is signed bi-weekly in my classroom. A student (mail carrier job) puts all the papers in the folder for each student an on the day the folders go home the mail carrier puts all the papers in the folders. I don't have enough space for the large shelf boxes this method is way cheaper. 

This digital frame is something I decided to put out for meet the teacher night. I know  many past students will be coming back to visit so I loaded over 300 hundred pictures from the last 3 years on it. I know they will love to see old pictures.  I am going to try to leave it out all year and put pictures from the current classroom on it. So by the end of the year we should have hundreds of memories scrolling through the day. ***Also, framed in rainbow colored duct tape! The other three bins are to collect late and tardy passes (which my school recycles) and Box Tops.

These are the class pictures from all my years teaching! The students LOVE being about to look at them. During the first few weeks of school students find other friends or family members in the pictures and I think it helps build trust being me and the students. This is also a place students go when they need time to "cool down," it gets their mind off the situation by looking at the pictures.

These are pictures of my family and friends, which the students love. Here you also see my collection/obsession with elephants. My students bring my anything that relates an elephant and it collects on this shelf. I LOVE IT! 

Monday-Friday bin ... DUH, I know. It took me three years of teaching to realize this is a MUST for me to stay organized!

Desks are labeled A, B, C, D and have students names from both classes. 

Classroom Library

My LONG counter (great for science displays) and endless cabinet space!

Classroom Library - Organization with Matching Pictures on Bins and Books

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I FINALLY got my classroom library organized this year - Yes, I’m aware that we are in the 12th week of school, but this was a BIG project that I never finished during pre-planning - everyone has one.  I've had basket labels for a few years that I have used, but I had new labels to create, tag to place on the new books, and bins to find that didn’t cost a fortune! THANK YOU Dollar Tree for the Christmas bins you just put on the shelves! Also, a BIG thanks to the parents volunteers who helped with some of the organizing.

I have a variety of bins that I have collected 
through the years, but the eclectic mix makes it more 
interesting (I think), and the different sizes holds 
some books better.

They are mostly non-fiction because I teach math and science. 
These are some of the basket labels I use to organize my books in the bins. 
In case you’re wondering, my books aren’t leveled, well, for many reasons. ***This may offend -WARNING*** I HATE how every book in a school is labeled with a reading level. I HATE when a student says “I can’t check that out because it’s not my level,” even when it is a topic that are interested in. Students need/want to read about topics they want to learn about, and if the book is a level or two away from "their level,” ... breathe ... IT WILL BE OKAY, especially if it is a non-fiction book! End rant... :)
These are the book labels that match the book bin tags. This makes it easier for EVERYONE to return and organize the book. I now have a folder that holds extra book labels. This prevents the problem of getting new books (bought or donated) and not putting them out until they get a label (at my pace this could take week... let’s be honest, months). Always having labels, puts the book the she shelf ASAP! I print them on sticky mailing labels that are 2 5/8" x 1" with 30 labels on a page.

These are the ones I bought from the
Dollar Tree and spray painted them white.
The books on display are actually on plate displayers (I think that’s what they are called) from the Dollar Tree.  I switch the books about once a week to spark interest in a variety of books and topics.
These are the sticky mailing labels I put on every book. 
The labels I have on TPT don’t have a name like the ones in the picture, but you can place your name on them if you want. I have labels that are both editable, and fixed in a PDF document.  The font I used for the bin / basket category is called Flower Child and can be downloaded from It can be downloaded for free if you want to make changes and keep the same font. 

Here are a few more pictures of my classroom library ...

Click on any of the pictures and it will take you to my TPT store to look at the basket and book labels more closely.