Howdy ya’ll!  Well, I’m back.  I’ve been on the road since Friday.  I was in Indiana over the weekend for the Indiana Blogger MeetUp and then the mister and I hit the road to Chicago for a quick trip to make our marriage legal.  Tuesday morning we headed to the courthouse and made our marriage legal!  It was an amazing feeling to finally have a marriage license!  
Thanks for welcoming us, Chicago!  We had a blast!  I heart that city!

And now I’m home and back to all things teaching!
One of the highlights of the meet up in Indiana (besides meeting so many amazing teachers!) was the Teacher Tool Swap.  Our host, Holly, had a brilliant idea for each person to bring a small teacher tool to give as a gift.  We played a great game of right and left until everyone had a gift.  We then opened the gifts and shared.  I got so many great ideas for things I must buy because really, how have I survived without all of those things before?!  Seriously…  
One of the teacher tools stole the show.  When this tool was taken out of the bag and explained you could hear the teacher excitement.  Gasps…ooooohs and aaaaaahs…questions…lots of typing and note taking…So, I cannot take any credit for this idea.  I told you I was lucky to be surrounded by the best and most brilliant teacher minds….Connie Boggs, this is an amazing idea!!  Thank you so much for sharing this and inspiring me!!!  Now, I can’t remember who brought this gift…if you brought this to the Indiana blogger meet up, please leave a comment and take all of the credit!  
So, what is this amazing teacher tool???  Are ya ready???
POOL NOODLES!  Yeah.  I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself.   
OK, are ya ready for more?  
POOL NOODLE PLACE VALUE/BASE TEN BLOCKS!  Now you need another moment, right?!
You cut the noodles into tens (rods) and ones (units) and bam!  You have giant base ten manipulatives.  Just think of how much fun students will have using these to practice place value.  Seriously!
So, here’s how I made my place value noodles.
Materials:  pool noodles, knife, tape measure, Sharpie and cutting surface.
I got my noodles at The Dollar Tree for $1.  I bought ten but only used 6.  I used 6 because um…I actually made 42 ones/units.  DUH!  Mr. Greg you only need 9 ones!  DUH!  
Step 1:  Measure.  The noodles are 48″ long.  I decided to cut mine into 3 pieces to make my tens/rods.  I made each rod/ten 15″ long.  I made a mark at 15″, 30″ and 45″.
Step 2:  Cut.  I used a big kitchen knife and cutting board to cut the noodles.  Was super easy.  
Next, I measured for the ones/units.  I made those 2″ long.  I measured 2″, 4″, 6″, and so on.  And then I cut!
And that’s all there is to it.  It was cheap and simple!  
So, what shall we do with them?!  How about a math center or math tub freebie?!

Click the picture to download your freebie!

Students choose a card (I included numbers 10-100) and use their pool noodle base ten blocks to build the number.  They can draw a picture on their recording sheet!
BAM!  How much fun will these be in your classroom?!?!?!  I am so glad that these were shared at the meet up!  I can’t wait to get back to my ‘staches and introduce this center!  

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  • Reply Debbie March 26, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing the great idea.

  • Reply firstgradestamper March 26, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Congrats! I received this wonderful gift and I plan on using it Monday. Thanks for the center recording sheets.
    first grades

  • Reply CaseyJane Cooper March 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Congratulations to you both! What an awesome update!

  • Reply Leslie Jones March 26, 2014 at 11:38 pm


  • Reply firstgradestamper March 26, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    I was looking at your bat unit and lesson plans today. What program do you use to do your lesson plans?

  • Reply Roxanne S March 27, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Love the idea!!! Thanks and take care

  • Reply jeanieb March 27, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Congratulations! May you both continue to have many happy adventures!
    Our kinder coordinator used the noodles to make a giant rekenrek. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply Connie B. March 27, 2014 at 1:04 am

    That was me! I can't take all the credit though – I found it on Pinterest. I'm so excited you shared my idea, I'm telling everyone about it 🙂 By the way, I got your glue sponges in the swap. I have a small idea to tweak them. Since I have so many kiddos, I'm going to try to make smaller, individual versions with half a sponge. Hopefully that will help fight the germs, too.


  • Reply Jannike Johnsen March 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Congratulations on your marriage! May you both have many, many years of joy and happiness together!

  • Reply jackie milak March 27, 2014 at 10:56 pm


  • Reply Rebecca Pisano March 28, 2014 at 12:12 am

    I did both. After I made the regular sized ones, I went and purchased smaller containers to make partner sized boxes! 🙂

  • Reply Pam March 29, 2014 at 3:11 am

    I've also seen a literacy activity using pool noodles where you take 2 different color noodles (1 for consonants, the other for vowels) and you get some type of stick or broom/mop handle or a thick dowel rod to slide the noodles on. First you would cut the noodles down to whatever size you need, then label the noodles with letters, then you slide the 3 pieces(noodles) on the rod and kids can manipulate them around to make CVC words. There is something that you can put on both ends of the stick/rod to keep the noodles from sliding off the ends, but can't remember right now what it is exactly.

  • Reply Lori Childers April 3, 2014 at 12:47 am

    I love the noodle idea but shouldn't 10 units equal exactly one rod? If you cut the unit 2 inches then the rod should be 20 inches. It's important that they are equal in size just like the small model. A rod is exactly the size of 10 units, a flat is exactly the size of 10 rods or 100 units.

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