Friday, September 07, 2012

Share the Wealth Teacher-Author Spotlight- 4th Grade Racers

Greetings Dear Friends!
     I am so excited to bring you our first ever Teacher-Author Spotlight. Remember that my goal is to share with you the best of the best teacher-authors and their amazing products. 

This week's teacher-author is Alyssa, creator of 4th Grade Racers. Alyssa hails from Kyle, Texas. 

This is what 4th Grade Racers has to say:
"I am a fourth year fourth grade teacher in Kyle, Texas.  I strive to provide as much choice to my students as possible and work to do so through menus, tictactoe boards, and lots of independent enrichment projects.  Our classroom runs on routine and I love anything that I can plug into a routine to make every day a success.  My students love the tictactoe boards that I have created and ask when they will get another one.  I have found that when they are given the opportunity to have a choice in what they do the end product is amazing.  Every one likes to be in control of their own learning, and this puts every student in the driver's seat while allowing for easy differentiation within the classroom."

I have had the privilege of looking over some of the resources that are currently available from this fabulous teacher-author.

These include:

Teacher-Author Spotlight Resources Participants
1. Year Long Morning Work
2. Patricia Polacco Author Study TicTacToe Choice Board Bundle
3. Place Value TicTacToe Extension Activities
4. ABC Book Genre TicTacToe Extension Activities
5. 34 Week Year Long Spiraling Math Warm Up
6. Genre TicTacToe Extension Activity Bundle
7. Holiday TicTacToe Choice Board Bundle
8. Free Choice Project Proposal Form
9. Math TicTacToe Choice Board Bundle
10. Number Lines, Perimeter, and Rounding TicTacToe Extension Activities

Don't you agree that these are some pretty amazing products? If you are like me, I have already started wondering how I can make these fit my routine and have several on my Teachers Pay Teachers wishlist!

Here are just some of the comments that 4th Grade Racers has received on various products:


But wait, there's more! I would like to review one of these awesome products so you can see just how amazing 4th Grade Racers is!

The product I have reviewed is called Decimal Tic-Tac-Toe Extension Activities.

My first thought about this product is how easy the layout is to understand! Students are comfortable with and understand how to use a tic-tac-toe board.  After reading over the directions and reviewing the game board and included activity sheets, I felt that I could easily implement this into my daily routine without having to do a lot of extra work to get it ready. The board and activity sheets are print ready, making this a print-and-play type of resource- MY FAVORITE KIND!

You may be thinking, "So, Mr. Hughes, how does the game/activity work?"

Great question! It is so beautifully simple. You just give each student a game board. The student then completes three activities in a tic-tac-toe fashion. The true selling point for me is that the students can CHOOSE what they want to do. Since there is a mix of easy and challenging activities strategically placed on the board, students will HAVE to do at least one activity that will challenge them each time they play.

Another awesome feature is that these activities can be done without the teacher instructing students on what to do. So this is the perfect activity (after you ensure students know how to complete the activities) to keep kids engaged and learning while you work with small groups/individuals in your classroom. LOVE IT!

Here is a sample activity from the board above:
Money Scoop 
Using the spoon, you scoop out coins from the bucket. Draw picture of your set of coins scooped on your paper. Determine the value of your set. Repeat this process four more times. Add to find your total money scooped. Round your answer to the nearest dollar. (Students would use an included worksheet to track their thinking and work.) See picture below:

Here is what a customer who purchased this product said about it:

-The Science Penguin
I love how you incorporated student choice and made math fun! I'm excited to use these with my students!

As you can see, these activities are not just sit in your seat, boring old drill-and-kill activities. Many activities require students to be doing something hands-on. This can even include a partner at times. Included in this particular kit is the tic-tac-toe board, the instructions, and the needed worksheets for activities that require them. (P.S. The mentioned proposal sheet is a FREEBIE in 4th Grade Racer's store).

The current price for this 4.0/4.0 rated teacher-created resource is only $2.50!

If you are worried that your students will be bored if asked to complete the same board again, my answer would have to be NO! I am thinking you could use this for several days at a time, as it may take students several work sessions to achieve a tic-tac-toe. You could also substitute in one of the other amazing boards that 4th Grade Racers has created, and stick this one back in later. Also, since each board targets a specific skill, you can also use it to reinforce/practice that skill.

With OVER 63 PRODUCTS to choose from, you are SURE to find something that will make your teaching life a little bit easier! I encourage you to stop by 4th Grade Racers today,check out all the great resources (don't forget to snag some great freebies while you are there as well), AND click on the FOLLOW ME button so that you can keep up to date on all the new resources that are sure to come.

Thanks for joining us on our first ever Teacher-Author Spotlight. 

Remember that NEXT Saturday (September 15th) is Share the Wealth Freebie Saturday.


Please Note: This was NOT a paid review of this teacher-author. Money nor product influenced my opinions or statements about this seller and his/her products. Also, prices and changes to products after my review may occur, but I do strive to give the most current and accurate information possible.


  1. 4th grade racer, congratulations! I like your theme! I wish my 4th grade teacher had had a racing theme when I was a kid!

  2. Wow! Not only is this an awesome ideas to do on the blog with highlighting a teacher but what a teacher. Even though I teach at a higher grade level I found a thing or two to download. Thanks to both of you!

  3. WoW! Love the idea! I am heading over the the store now to update my wish list!

    Thanks so much for all your hard work getting the teacher author study together! What a great review!


  4. Awesome review of some great products! I am going to check this store out. :)

  5. Wow, oh wow! What a fabulous teacher and products! I love your Patricia Pollaco author study. I teach second graders with a very wide range of abilities and could easily incorporate the choice boards to differentiate and extend their learning! I'm so glad you included Thunder Cake. This story is included in our reading series and it's difficult to find creative resources for!

    Thanks for starting this wonderful feature, John!

  6. Gosh, teaching has come a long way. The amount of creativity that goes into teaching nowadays is just mind boggling.

  7. Thanks everyone, for your support of this amazing teacher-author! :)

  8. Thank you for all of the support! I have just started blogging as well and can be found at

    Thank you again John for providing such a meaningful source for us all to find new and exciting resources!

  9. Check out 4th Grade Racers blog- Great resource and information! :)

    Thanks for being willing to be spotlighted!


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