Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Differentiatin' Instruction with Menus & a $20 Amazon Gift Card

I know everyone probably already differentiates instruction and has their own way of doin' things, but I wanted to share some books that were shared with me this past year from my District's Gifted Coordinator (she is so sweet).  She was kind enough to send me the Math version of this book in the courier in hopes that I might be able to use it in my classroom, so I did.

Since I loop almost every year, I am constantly lookin' for new ideas because I can't use a lot of the same activities two years in a row(which I probably wouldn't do even if I did stay in the same grade level).  Let's face it, sometimes my brain gets fried and I have a hard time comin' up with and creatin' fresh ideas every second of every day.  I'm always up for tryin' new resources anyways.

I got onto my trusty friend, Amazon, and searched for the book.  Since I never do anything half way...I went ahead and bought the book in each subject area...it's a sickness I tell you.  These particular books are Advanced Level Menus Grades 3-5.  Laurie Westphal has also written them for K-2, 6-8, Algebra I/II, & in menus in the Inclusive Classroom.   If you would like to read the descriptions, click on the picture or on the author's name.

I have not tried everything in these books, but I do plan on usin' many of them.  I've grabbed a couple of the activities from each book and would like to share one of the activities that my kids really enjoyed this year.

I was absent on the day that my students were presented with this particular math menu, so I couldn't wait to get back to school to see what they had been up to.  There were a total of 8 activities to choose from.  Just about every student in my class chose this one.  It just amazes me how very different each and every student is and how their brain works.  On this particular activity though, several of them had the SAME thought.  I busted out laughin' when I looked at their models because every child made sure that they added a DIET COKE machine(for free) for my best friend & I.  They know us so very well!  It was so neat to see what kinds of things they believed the teachers needed.  A manicurist, a massage therapist, a chocolate fountain, a bed for naps, a comfy chair to sit in...the list goes on!

I wish I had pictures of the finished products, but I had to get a new phone and lost all of my pictures.  *Sad face*
 I am in no way affiliated with this author, book, or publishing company.  Just wanted to share my opinions because I have really enjoyed these books.

Have you entered yourself for the opportunity to win the $20 Amazon Gift Card that Miss Nelson and I are givin' away?   Read about it below:

Miss Nelson makes the coolest Behavior Beads and she let ME (yes, me...I was shocked too) design some SPECIAL EDITION Rockin' Behavior Beads!

Are you scratchin' your head and askin'...what in the world is a Behavior Bead?  Yeah, I figured...

Behavior Beads are a MUST in the classroom!!! Students LOVE earnin' and collectin' these colorful tags/beads. If you want to call attention to your students for varieties of reasons such as rockin' behavior, celebratin' birthdays, masterin' sight words, makin' a discovery, rockin' with responsibility, or when their brain is singin', then these are the perfect incentives. I’ve decided to make some simple rockin' “behavior beads” for students to earn and collect. This set of “Rockin' Behavior Beads” is to give to your kiddos for meetin' their math goals, the ROCK STAR. There are several ways to use them. You can print on cardstock and laminate them to attach to some kind of necklace or key chain for your little rock stars to wear all day. (Since this is a SPECIAL EDITION item, they come as is, without custom designin').

Here is the official list of Rockin' Behavior Beads:
~ Rockin' Behavior
~ Reading Star
~ Math Star
~ Studied like a Star
~ V.I.P. (Very Important Participant)
~ Drummin' up to Read!
~ Keyed up for Success
~ Boys Rock
~ Girls Rule
~ iRock
~My Teacher thinks I'm a Rockstar
~My Brain is Singin'
~Peace, Love, & Learnin'
~Rockin' with Responsibility
~I Made a DISCovery
~Rocked the Test

Ta Da! 

 Want to get your very own Rockin' Behavior Beads?  Go HERE.  
They are on sale today...for a short time! You know you want them!

Click HERE or on the picture to get some of Miss Nelson's Original Behavior Beads.

If you read to the bottom of this post, you are AWESOME because we MADE something else...a RAFFLECOPTER with a chance to win a $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD.  I know, I know...it's such excitin' stuff.  Hold it together enough to read what happens next.  This will end on Saturday, but you can come back EVERY SINGLE DAY to enter to win.  Miss Nelson will reveal the winner on her Saturday Snapshots link-up this comin' Saturday, July 27th.  Keep scrollin'...

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. These are awesome books! I have used the math and science ones for grades 3-5. The reading one is a bit more geared to specific novels, but still has some great ideas. Thanks for sharing these resources! (Also, I love my behavior beads....laminated them this weekend!)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

    1. Yes, I've only used a little bit out of each one. I need to do some serious printing and laminating next week. I've done nothing except stalk blogs and download files to my computer. Now I need to get to WORK on stuff!

  2. I love the behavior beads and know the students would love them too!! Added to the to-do list! Why hasn't anyone guessed your first CD? Ok--I have been teaching for 13 years and you have been teaching for 16 years, so you can't be that much older...I am going to guess Guns N' Roses!!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    1. Holly, Guns N' Roses might be a good guess since my last name is Rose.

  3. Alison,
    I don't think I knew that you were a GT teacher too! I know you linked up with my BLOGLOVIN blog hop but I hadn't had a chance to stop by yet. LOVE your new behaviour beads. I wonder if my 6th grade gifties would like them? What do you think? My kids seemed motivated by almost anything! I am thinking for CD you bought Bon Jovi...who didn't? I have been teaching for 23 years so I have a little time on you though! We should do some guest posting about teaching gifted. BTW I have all the Differentiation with Menus books and have used them all and modified to suit my needs too. I love the work of Laurie Westphal, she is amazing! Hope to talk to you soon!

    1. I'm going to use the Behavior Beads with my 5th graders! I just added an Intermediate set on TpT. I had Bon Jovi tapes before CDS...I used to sing in my driveway to all the passing cars while twirling my baton. HAHAHAHAH!

  4. I have these books (in my GT classroom) for all subjects and grade levels. They are wonderful. The menus come in very handy as take home projects as well. Great find!

  5. I know I am late in seeing (and therefore commenting) on your post. A teacher-friend happened upon your post recently and dropped me an e-mail about how wonderful the items were that your students felt should be included in the teacher's lounge. I am really glad they students enjoyed the menu (and you enjoyed the wonderful things they thought you would need in there!)



  6. Hi Alison!

    I know your post was quite a while ago, but I am sure you will get a notification of the comment. Anyway, I am revisiting all of my favorite "menu" bookmarks with a request: Someone has posted on the Differentiating Instruction with Menus Series (https://www.facebook.com/DifferentiatingInstructionwithMenus) page on Facebook asking if I had any photos of student created products from the books. I always informally mention sharing (and hence I only have a few photos), but because of the request, I am being more proactive. Anyway, if you have anything you could share on the page, I would appreciate it. :) Laurie


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