January 2015 - momgineer

Five for Friday! January 30, 2015

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday linky party for the first time!


This week wasn't typical as far as weather goes. We don't usually get three feet of snow in a week! Thankfully we didn't lose power, but we did spend a lot of time shoveling, snowblowing, and sledding. I also tried out my new snow shoes!
 The next two photos were actually *before* the blizzard, on Sunday. We had snow before the blizzard! After the blizzard, well, we had a LOT more!

Perler beads have been a big hit at our house in the past month. They lend themselves perfectly to Minecraft creations since each bead can be a pixel. This week, the creations took a slight turn for the artistic. This is an abandoned mineshaft...obviously.

I have been trying intermittent fasting for a few weeks. I'm not sure how long I will continue, but two days a week I don't really eat all day until dinner. Needless to say, after a whole day of not eating, this looks and tastes especially delicious!

Tax season is here! I printed out a 1040-EZ and showed my 8 year old the basics of filing an income tax return. We used an imaginary W-2 and situation, and he has now expressed interest in filing a more complicated form! After I snapped this photo, we figured out the different in tax amounts based on various salaries. It was right up his alley!

I had purchased the most ADORABLE zombie clip art ever from Edu-Clips (oh my, do I love Sarah's work!), and I just had to make some fun printables with these lovely zombies. My kids just love logic puzzles and graphing activities, so there are a bunch of logic puzzles, along with two graphing pages, and then some other fun stuff. The crazy word alphabetizing activity turned out to be the most popular one. I know it's hard to read, but Mr. Big 3rd Grader insists on writing in cursive, even though it's not the neatest. These are a temporary dollar deal!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Wordless Wednesday: Snow Fun!

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

last week in a picture collage

Lots of winter fun, including indoor swim class! Tonight starts a blizzard, so I know any pictures I take for the rest of this week will be very snowy! I love how my boys can be so sweet to each other at times.

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

How to Get Started with Bucket Filling

Bucket Filling in the Classroom

Do you use bucket filling in your classroom or home? If not, I'd love for you to give it a try. Read on for tips on getting started!

How to get started with bucket filling! Promote kindness, empathy, cooperation, and tolerance with this simple yet powerful concept. | Meredith Anderson - Momgineer
How to get started with bucket filling! Promote kindness, empathy, cooperation, and tolerance with this simple yet powerful concept. | Meredith Anderson - Momgineer

Why Use Bucket Filling?

This is a simple concept that almost any child will understand. It's a way to encourage empathy, kindness, classroom citizenship, and more. Start with a Bucket Filling board or area of your classroom. Each student will receive their own "bucket." You can use actual buckets from your local dollar store, or even envelopes.

Free Bucket Filling Labels

I have created free labels for you to use! They are editable and you can choose from either chalkboard or white backgrounds.
I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you downloads of value and information about educational resources. The link below is an Amazon affiliate link. You can read my full disclosure here. These labels have been designed to easily print on card stock or Avery shipping labels (8164).

Read About Bucket Filling 

If you aren't that familiar with bucket filling, these are two wonderful books to read with your students:



Student-led classroom management?

In a way, this is a student-led classroom management tool. Your students can write notes to each other to fill their buckets, or write a note to slip in their own bucket when someone filled theirs. They will be accountable not only to each other, but to themselves.

What about bucket dippers?

Though this can be a touchy subject, if you are treating each other with respect, one of the best things kids can learn is how to speak with others even when they are feeling hurt. They can use "I" statements such as, "I felt (disappointed, frustrated)________ when  ________ (I was excluded, I am being yelled at)." By addressing bucket dippers directly, the situation can be more quickly resolved and hopefully everyone can move on without grudges. It is important to listen to each other and let them know that they are being heard. It also gives the bucket dipper a chance to make amends in some way or explain their actions, especially if they were being misinterpreted. By leaving out "you," the person being addressed won't immediately go on the defensive. It's a simple shift, but a very important one.

Your classroom will benefit from bucket filling

Not only is bucket filling a daily reminder of how to be kind, it will help with these other important skills:
  • thinking before speaking or acting. Another way to put this is developing tact. This is a soft skill that will serve your kids for life.
  • more deeply understanding bullying and its effects.
  • performing small acts of kindness. A little kindness goes a long way. There can be a serious ripple effect and it is an amazing thing to witness.
  • tolerance. In today's world, kids encounter so many others from various backgrounds, beliefs, and more. Why not help them learn tolerance? 
  • emotion regulation. Adults could benefit from this as well! How often do we quickly lose our tempers when we could instead take a few moments to compose our thoughts and treat people with more respect?

What about mindfulness?

Mindfulness goes hand in hand with bucket filling. I have written a whole post about that, too! I'd love for you to check it out.

Bucket Filling Activities

If you already know you want to use the concept of bucket filling in your classroom management toolbox, I have put together a variety of activities that can be found here:


momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

FREEBIE Friday! (one day late)

I have decided to make my alphabet printing pages, AlphaMats, an exclusive freebie from my blog! Each page is provided in color and black and white. Use the color if you are making laminated/reusable wipe-off mats, or black and white to print a book for each of your students! I meant to get these posted yesterday but time got away from me. =)

Alphabet printing pages

Enjoy! Here's a larger sneak peak at what they look like:

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

New FREEBIE up at TpT! Math Operations Posters!

Math CLUE Words

I have created quite a few word problem resources over the years, but wanted to share a few free tools to go along with them. The first freebie I've created are math clue words posters. These are already hanging on our homeschool classroom wall, and hope you can use them, too. Operation clue words math posters!


Word problems are life problems! They can help one see the practical application of math in real life. Sometimes, though, a word problem can be difficult to understand. These clue words, when used in addition to foundational math skills, can be a helpful tool for problem solving. Have your students refer to the posters if they are feeling stuck or overwhelmed by the problem.

You are welcome to add your own words as well, or take away any that you don't come across in your grade level, by gluing white card stock over them or whiting them out. You can lay them out next to each other, distribute them evenly on your classroom walls, or arrange in a 2 by 2 array, as shown above.

Stay tuned as I am working on another word problem tool.
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Week in Review: January 10th

It was SO COLD this week, and our furnace stopped working on what will likely be the coldest day of the year. I am very thankful it was fixed the same day, but ugh what a big unexpected expense! Hopefully everyone is staying warm and getting back into the swing of school. We have started up most of our activities again, except for our homeschool music class which will begin again in a few weeks. The boys are now doing swimming, piano lessons, and floor hockey in addition to chess class and Spanish class. They will resume farm school in March. We are quite busy these days and don't have a ton of time for traditional school work, but we have kept up with mathematics, reading (the kids are reading so much these days, woohoo!), spelling, and keyboarding. We have been lacking in the writing, geography, and history departments but hopefully can make up for that soon (I have planned a lot of activities for Black History month, and am hoping to start Mapping the World by Heart sooner than later). Lots of food pics this week:

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Finally joined Instagram!

I hope you will connect with me over there!


momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!