Archives for March 2014

Hot Off The Press!

Ladies and gentlemen, I just uploaded my newest set of grammar task cards to my TpT store.  These cards go with Day 3 of my test prep lesson plans.  This is what my kiddos will be doing tomorrow for their grammar review.

Task Cards

These cards go over transition words (which kids seem to have so much trouble with) and the a vs. an rule.  You can get your set for only $1.50.

Visit my store (and follow if you want updates) to get your set.


New Task Cards with QR Codes!

Ok, I’m SOOOO done with the computer for the day.  Quick post to let you all know that I FINALLY posted some new task cards with QR codes to my TpT store.  They go with the first 2 days of the test prep writing plans I posted yesterday.

The pictures on TpT are terrible, so here are a few to let you see what they really look like.





The first set goes over doubling the final consonant and dropping the final e on words.  The second set goes over silent letters and changing f to ves.  Each set of cards has 2 sets of QR codes, one as a hint for questions students should ask themselves as they attack the question, and another code for the correct answer.  More description on the product in my store.

Click here to get them from my TpT store.

Done!  G’night! :)


STAAR Writing 2 Week Test Prep

Howdy y’all!  I hope everyone is enjoying the final days of Spring Break!  I’ve been busy putting together my lesson plans for the next two weeks…those weeks we all dread…TEST PREP!

I’ve completed a one-page document that outlines what I’ll be doing in my classroom to get my students ready for the STAAR Writing Test on April 1 & 2.  Yikes!  Can you believe it is so close?!?!

Crunch Time PlansClick here to download a PDF version of the lesson plans.

I included our revising and editing practice, mini lesson skill for writing, and our daily writing prompts.

Click here to get your set of task cards with QR codes for the first two days of test prep. Details in my store!

If you are still at a loss for what to do, or if you are just interested in what we will be doing over the next couple of weeks, feel free to print, share, and use these plans.  If you have any questions about it (since it’s shorthand), feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to answer any questions I can in a timely manner.

Best wishes in your journey to prepare these kiddos for that test!!  :)



Liebster and Sunshine Blogger Awards!

Wow!  These past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind it seems like.  During that time, my little blog has been nominated for TWO awards!  Can you believe it?  Not just one, but TWO!  I feel so honored!!  So now it’s time for me to answer lots of questions.  Hang with me!

First is the Liebster award.  This award is given to emerging bloggers and to spur connections between bloggers.  Thanks to Miss Hewes from Cultivating Questioners for this nomination.

I have several questions to answer about myself.  Here goes:

  1. What do you value most in life? This has to be my family.  I would be nothing without them.
  2. What activities do you enjoy and why? One of my favorite things to do is be outside in the sunshine and plant flowers and work in the yard.  It’s just fun.  I’m looking forward to doing some planting with our son this year since he’s finally old enough to help…a little anyway!
  3. What is something you had more time for? Umm…everything!  I feel like I never have enough time in the day to accomplish whatever is on my plate!  Specifically…playing with our son.  Working full time, blogging, planning lessons, and day-to-day responsibilities take up lots of my spare time.  We play as much as we can, but I always want more!
  4. What is one change you would like to make in the world? I would love to start a program that allows for school personnel to get into hospitals when babies are first born to work with new mothers on how to help their child succeed…before their child has shown any signs of delays or hardships…when moms think their child can do anything and be anything they want.
  5. What is something you would like to change about yourself? I would like to be more confident.  I feel like sometimes I take a backseat when I should be in the driver’s seat, but I just can’t seem to make myself do it.  I’m getting better at it!
  6. What “big” question do you often ponder? Why can’t we all just get along?  I get tired of such negativity and people who seem to only want to damage others.  If we could just manage to live with each other and respect one another, the world would be a much happier place.
  7. What surprises you most about your life–something good in your life that you hadn’t expected, dreamed of, or thought possible? This might seem weird, but my husband and I bought a house through a government program (Good Neighbor Next Door) that I had only read about on the internet.  I just didn’t think it would ever be possible.  I had looked around for about 9 years without luck.  Then one day, it happened.  Like the stars lined up and everything was perfect.  It DOES exist!!
  8. What sorts of things amuse you? Lots of things!  Right now, our son.  He is such a little sponge, and I am amazed at how quickly he learns.  By 2 years old, he knew all of his letters (upper and lower case) and their sounds, could count forward and backward to 12, and knew all primary colors.  It’s just so neat to watch him!
  9. What is something you couldn’t do without? The internet.  It’s my way out into the world!!  When we first moved in we were without it for about 2 weeks.  EXCRUCIATING!!  Haha.
  10. What do you like to collect? I really don’t collect anything anymore, but I love looking for Cars with our son.  He lights up when he sees one he doesn’t have yet.  Love it!

Now for my nomination for this award.  Most of the bloggers I follow already have more than 200 followers (one of the rules for receiving the award), so I’m only nominating one.  Technically, you may nominate two.  The one I nominate is: Teaching Tidbits and More with Jamie, the awesome teacher who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger award.

Jamie–this post is going to be really long, so I’m challenging you to the same 10 questions that I answered.  Simple enough!  😉


Next up is the Sunshine Blogger award.  I was nominated by Jamie from Teaching Tidbits and More with Jamie for this award.  Big shout out to Jamie for thinking of me when nominating for this award!

The rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award are:

  1.  Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers you think bring sunshine to the world.
  4. Make up 11 questions for your nominations to answer.

11 Random Facts about Me

  1. I am from Port Lavaca, Texas, a small town located on the coast of Texas between Corpus Christi and Houston–one of those towns where NOTHING good happens past 9:00.
  2. I went to 4 different colleges/universities.  I took the long route!
  3. My immediate family is very small.  My mom was an only child, and my dad had one sister, so my whole family could fit into one small room.
  4. I love to swim…in a pool.
  5. I am a small person…and gave birth to a 9 lb. 12 oz. boy.  Yeah…don’t talk to me about your easy labor!
  6. My first time in an airplane was with my husband (boyfriend at the time), going to meet his family in Maryland.
  7. I’ve never broken a bone…knock on wood!
  8. I think I’ve watched every episode of Friends about 100 times, and watching it now as I type.  Best.  Show.  Ever.  (although Big Bang runs a close second)
  9. I watched my neighbor’s dog jump fly off of the second story of a house being built.  As soon as she landed and we knew she was ok, we laughed.  Until then…SCARY!!
  10. My husband and I just bought our first home in October.
  11. In my next life, I hope to be a singer.

Whew!  Sometimes it’s hard coming up with those!  😉

My 11 Questions from Jamie

  1. What is your favorite subject to teach? Writing!  It’s my forte.
  2. What is your favorite thing to wear to work? Jeans.  And flip-flops…if they would let me!  Oh, the good ‘ol days…
  3. Who is your favorite children’s author? This one is hard.  But…I guess I’ll pick Barbara Park.  Gotta love Junie B.  I’ll probably change my mind by tomorrow though…
  4. What do you like to do in your spare time? If it’s warm, I like to be outside.  Otherwise, I’m probably playing with my son or watching Friends.  😉
  5. Do you prefer books or movies? The books are ALWAYS better.  My imagination is better than what can be put into a movie.
  6. What is the perfect date night? I have a toddler.  What is a date night again?
  7. How do you bring sunshine to someone else? A smile.  A laugh.  A small gift.  Or a combination of all 3.
  8. How did you know that teaching was for you? Long story.  Basically, the more classes I took, the more I knew I had to do this.  I didn’t want to be a teacher.  It just kinda snuck up on me.  The more I teach, the more I love it!
  9. What is your favorite just for fun activity you do at school? Read-aloud with my students.  My mom was great at reading aloud to me when I was little, and I feel she passed along that skill and passion to me.
  10. What is your favorite food? Specifically…chips and salsa.  But pretty much any Mexican food.
  11. Would you rather: have a quiet lazy day around the house or hang with family/friends? Do I have to choose?  I like both of those equally!  So…today my choice would be hang with family.  Tomorrow…who knows?  Can you tell I have a hard time making decisions sometimes?

My Nominations:

  • Paula’s Place
  • Teaching Little Texans
  • Fab and Fun in 4th
  • Mrs. Alford’s Classroom
  • Oh Boy 4th Grade
  • Totally Terrific in Texas
  • A Peach for the Teach
  • Teaching Maddeness
  • 4th Grade Racers
  • A Turn to Learn
  • Curls and a Smile

My Questions:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What is your favorite animal?
  3. What is your favorite thing about teaching?
  4. What is your favorite children’s book?
  5. Why do you blog?
  6. Who do you look up to?
  7. When did you become a teacher?
  8. Would you rather: Have a side soup or a side salad?
  9. If you could click your heels together and be anywhere, where would it be?
  10. What is your favorite quote?
  11. If you could read minds, whose mind would you love to read?

Props to you if you have hung around with me through this L–O–N–G post!  I’m done!  Over and out!


Teacher’s Notebook Giveaway

Just a quick post tonight to let you know about another giveaway I’m hosting over at my Teacher’s Notebook store.

On Thursday night, 2 winners will be selected to receive a set of my editing and revising task cards with QR codes! Be sure to tell your friends!!

While you are there, please take the time to follow my store if you are interested in receiving info about future promotions and new products. And who knows…I might just offer those cards at a discount for everyone who enters. Wink. Wink. 😉

Not a member of TN? You are missing out! It’s free to join, there are giveaways all the time, discounts larger than TpT, and more of your money goes to the seller rather than the site itself. It’s a win-win for everyone!

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Teacher’s Notebook and check it out!


Narrative Writing Sample from STAAR 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, let me share with you an awesome narrative paper written to the 2013 STAAR prompt.

We gave our students a benchmark back at the beginning of February, and their prompts were the released STAAR prompts from last year.  One of my students wrote an AH-mazing paper about the simplest thing–getting a positive note home to her parents in her behavior folder from the teacher next door.

I thought this one was worth sharing.  There are lots of lessons that can be taught using this piece, including vocabulary, idioms, and mostly–how to write long about a small moment or something that seems insignificant to most…something that makes the paper so incredibly interesting.  :)

Click here to download and/or view.  Congrats to Sherlyn, the author!  Isn’t she just awesome?!