Monday, December 9, 2013


After researching answers to math fact fluency this summer, I applied for and was give an educator grant to use Explore Learning's Reflex. Reflex is an internet-based game program that helps students build their fluency with addition and subtraction facts and multiplication and addition facts.

*I have not been asked to write this or given any compensation for writing it. I just want to share a wonderful program!!*

The program is all based on fun, fast-paced games. The students have an avatar of themselves and a tree that grows and they progress through the game. They earn coins by playing the games and can use the coins to buy new clothes or hairstyles for their avatar or items to decorate their tree. Since the program is internet-based, the students can also play it at home or anywhere they have internet access!

One really important part of this program is that the students can monitor their own progress with mastering facts and teachers are provided with many different ways to keep track of students' progress! There are so many charts and graphs for both individual students and the class as a whole that I always know exactly how my students are doing.

The best part of Reflex, though, is that my kiddos LOVE IT!! They are always thrilled to find out that it's their turn to play! I could tell you so many success stories of kids who hated math that now love these games or students who were building problems with base ten blocks and were able to self-correct mistakes by saying that they learned that fact in Reflex. One kiddo wrote "I love Reflex because it makes me be good at math. The games are super cool too. Thanks for giving us this fun Reflex!"

To celebrate the kids' success, I created this "bulletin board" in the hallway outside of the classroom.

The awards that you can print off of Reflex for accomplishments are showcased on the bottom and the high scores students get for each game are posted on the sides in yellow. This board was even featured on Reflex's blog:

I love this program, and I think you will, too! If you want to learn more about it, visit

~Miss Hunt

Sunday, October 27, 2013

All Things Owl!

My students have somehow decided that this year I MUST LOVE OWLS! They have drawn owls on cards and pictures for me and have even given me a few small owl-themed items. So I've decided to embrace it! Int the spirit of all things owl, jump on over to Flapjack and enter the Owl Pack Giveaway!

~Miss Hunt

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Birthday Graph

It's been a whirlwind week of meetings, planning, and STILL trying to finish setting up my classroom! I can't believe the kiddos will be there on Tuesday!! Here's a sneak peak into my new classroom...the birthday graph!!

The squares are paint chips from Walmart :-)

I love having this on my cabinets! Not only does it display the birthdays (I wrote each name and birthday on a square after taking the picture), but it gives the kids constant exposure to graphs. It will be so easy to introduce them to graphing throughout the year by asking them questions about the birthday graph. Which month has the greatest number of birthdays? Which month has the least? How many more birthdays are there in September than in February? I can't believe we don't have any birthdays in June, July, or August! I was a little sad that I didn't get to use any purple, blue, or red squares! Oh well...I'm still really happy with how it turned out!

~Miss Hunt

Monday, July 29, 2013

What Stuck With You Today? - Exit Tickets

Exit tickets. A wonderful tool for formative assessment, but a real pain to keep track of!! Exit tickets and I have had a love/hate relationship for wayyy too long now! I tried multiple different ways of using exit tickets in my classroom last year, but couldn't find one I was happy with . I could never keep track of 15 or more little pieces of paper, and it was just too time consuming to collect a sheet, check it, and pass it back to use again. After scouring Pinterest for a solution to this problem, I combined several ideas and created something I LOVE using!!!

What Stuck With You Today:

Each kiddo was assigned a number on the chart and given a pad of sticky notes. When it was time for the exit ticket, I posted the question on the board. Students wrote their response on a sticky note and stuck it in their square on the poster.

It was SO EASY to go through and check each note! It kept all of the papers nice and the best part was that it didn't matter whether the kids wrote their name on it or not, as long as it was in the correct square! 

~Miss Hunt

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chalkboard Tables

I'm finally moved into my new classroom for this year! I'm so glad I don't have to haul boxes around anymore. I can't believe how much STUFF teachers accumulate!! In planning the layout of my new room, I came up with an idea I'm really excited about....chalkboard tables!

It started when doing some spring cleaning around the house. I found an old end table (from the 80s!) that we weren't using.

At the same time, I saw a post on craigslist with furniture someone sat by the curb to give away for free. Among the furniture was another end table. Score!

With the help of my parents, I sanded down both tables and painted them. I painted the bottoms purple (to go with my purple and green classroom colors), but the tops of both tables were painted with chalkboard paint! The purple is just a bit brighter in person.

I'm so excited to let my kiddos use these! They will be a fun new way to do math problems or play hangman with their word study words. I especially love that the taller table has a shelf underneath to store baskets of materials.

~Miss Hunt

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Time Flies!

I can't believe it! I'm officially finished with my first year of teaching! It was an amazing year and I've learned SO MUCH about teaching, but also about myself. I didn't realize just how much I could love a group of kiddos until I spent an entire school year as part of thier lives. One little guy asked me during the last week if he could start calling me his stepmom! I was definitely teary as I said goodbye to them, and most of the kiddos were, too!

Unfortunately, as the demands of a first year teacher piled up, my blogging took a back seat. Now that I have one year under my belt, I will do much better about posting they fun things we do in third grade! I'm so excited to start planning for next year!

~Miss Hunt

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


As part of our unit on plant and animal adaptations, the kiddos needed to learn about mimicry. Mimicry is when a plant or animal has similar features to another species that help it survive. One of the best examples of this is the Monarch and Viceroy butterflies:

Long story short, the Monarch butterfly tastes bitter so predators aren't as likely to eat it. The Viceroy butterfly has similar markings to the Monarch, so predators avoid it, too, because they think it will taste bitter like that Monarch. Soooo to demonstrate this concept for the kiddos, I created the following experiment.

I started by filling cups with different types of soda. Cup A was filled about half way with Sprite:

Cup B was filled about half way with Seltzer water:

Cup C was filled half way with more Seltzer water and Cup D was filled half way with Diet Coke (any dark soda would work):

I started by giving each student one Cup A and one Cup B.

 They worked in groups to record observations about each cup. We then listed the following observations on the board. 

Cup A
  • liquid
  • has gas/bubbles
  • clear
Cup B
  • looks the same as Cup A
  • liquid
  • has gas/bubbles
  • clear

I then told the students that the cups represented two different butterflies and that they were going to pretend to be a predator that wants to eat the butterflies. They were then allowed to "eat" butterfly A (the Sprite). I asked them how butterfly tasted and they all agreed that it was good! 

They then predicted that butterfly B (the Seltzer water) would taste good, too, because it looked just like butterfly A. They were allowed to taste it.....

...and all began yelling "EWWWW THAT'S NASTY!!!!!!" and "THAT MADE ME SICK, MISS HUNT!!" Next we discussed the difference between looking the same and tasting the same. The students quickly made the connection that the Sprite mimicked the Seltzer water like the Viceroy mimics the Monarch. 

I then took the experiment one step farther. I showed them Cup C (Seltzer water) and Cup D (Diet Coke). I told them that it was the next day and they were hungry and looking for a meal again. I held up the cups and told them that they saw two butterflies go that looked the same as the two that ate yesterday and one that looked completely different. I asked them if they would take a chance on the clear "butterfly" knowing that there was a 50% chance it would be a nasty one or if they would choose the brown "butterfly". All but one kiddo yelled "THE BROWN ONE". My one defiant little guy said "Well I would still take the clear one 'cause I bet it would be the good tastin' one." I handed him the clear cup and let him taste that it was the Seltzer water again. He changed his mind in a heartbeat and said "I WAS WRONG! I WANT THE BROWN ONE!!!" 

All in all, the experiment was a huge success! The students were talking about mimicry for the rest of the day!

~Miss Hunt