December 26, 2013

Thirteen in '13

I was catching up on my Bloglovin feed and stumbled upon all of these great posts about thirteen in '13!  I so love reading about other bloggers accomplishments, personal stories and goals for the upcoming year! 

After much reading......I was finally was able to weave my way back to the original source of the Thirteen in '13 linky party.....A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  If you haven't checked out Kristen's should.... she is an amazing writer! is my thirteen in '13.  :)  I hope you enjoy reading them!!

Hmmm....I do love clothes, so this is a tough one! I guess I am going to have to go with my fringe cowboy boots.  No matter how many times I wear them....they put a smile on my face!!  I feel like Superwoman in these babies! I must admit......every time these kicks are on my feet my students call me Pocahontas.....but I don't care!!  I. LOVE. THESE. BOOTS!

I know its not a new one, but my favorite movie of all time is Sleepless in Seattle!  I watch it so many times during a is hard to count.  

There are so many good TV series out I am going to have to pick two---a funny one and a more "serious' one. 

The first is Big Bang....hands down the funniest show on television. Gosh I love it!

Next up....Survivor! I mean, come on ...this show is a classic.  I remember it started my sophomore year in high school (not going to tell you how many years that is..ha! ) and it is still going strong!

There are so many tasty places to eat out of my all time favorites is Loveless Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee.  Yes, Nashville may be over 700 miles from where I live...but I would go there right now to eat if I could!  Has anyone ever been there?  Their biscuits and down-home cookin' are to die for!  


I follow Loveless Cafe on Instagram....which is probably a big, Big, BIG mistake because they are always posting the most delicious photos of sizzling bacon, buttery biscuits and pies.  Oh my word!  

Sadly I can't say that I have tried anything new lately.  This is kinda sad....isn't it. :(  I guess I need to get our more.....

Why yes you are seeing that my favorite gift this year is a mini-beer ornament.  So cute, right?   Before you think I am some raging alcoholic....let me give you the background story. 

First of all I have a tree in my kitchen filled with food/drink/cooking ornaments.

Second of all my kind and very thoughtful husband special ordered this ornament for my tree.  When we went on our honeymoon 2 years ago The Pike was the very first place we ate at!! 

Not only is this little gem perfect for my kitchen tree--but it has a great love story behind it.    So sweet, right?? husband is pretty much amazing. 

I pin a lot of great things, but right now this one is my favorite!

You were expecting a yummy recipe weren't you! Ha--tricked ya!  

Although I do have a ton of great recipe pins---this cleaning on is my best friend right now.  Why?  Well....a couple of months ago I was melting butter and sugar on the stove...and that sucker boiled over!  UGH!

Have you ever tried to clean burnt sugar off of a stove.....not fun!  Not fun at all!!

I tried a whole bunch of  scrubbers, cleaning solutions and internet suggestions....but this pin did the trick!  Hot soapy water and a razor blade!

My favorite blog post of this year will have to be my post on Syllable Spelling.  I hadn't taught spelling in my classroom for quite some time...and this syllable spelling strategy got me to change my ways.  After I learned (and understood) the value in teaching spelling....I made up my mind to teach it.  In fact--there is no way I will ever not teach spelling.  Read the post---you will like it! :)

My TPT Store!  I started my store a little over a year ago, and last May it really took off.  I feel so incredibly blessed!  

My favorite picture is of my sister and me right after she got done running her first marathon.  I am soooooo proud of her!!!

There are so many great memories from 2013 but my favorite is probably when our school's track team won 3rd at state.  

No I am not a coach...but my husband is.  He is the on the farthest right. :)  

Anyway this is the first state title our school district has won since the 1970's....needless to say it was was a huge (and much overdue) accomplishment.  

I know the coaches work so hard training their athletes (both mentally and physically), and I know the athletes give 110% all the time. So, placing at state was the perfect way to end a season!

Apparently my goal needs to be trying new things. Ha!  

But in all seriousness..... I really can't think of any!  

My word is:

For the year 2014 I just want to continue to be happy and enjoy life. :)

December 8, 2013

Syllable Spelling Part 2

Earlier this year I posted an **amazing** strategy I use in my classroom called syllable spelling.  To read the old blog post click here.  The older post will give you more information on how to specifically implement the strategy into you classroom...and you can click here, which will take you to my TPT store where you can download the resources for free. :)  Who doesn't love a good freebie!

Anyway....I am going to piggy back off of that ol' blog post and provide you all with an additional spelling resource/idea that my kiddos LOVE!  It is called Spin, Say and Write, and it is a big hit in my classroom!!

This game is played after we have already laid the foundation on how to spell our words (aka written our spelling words the syllable spelling way).  Spin, Say, Write is merely a tool I use to get students to practice their words (and consequently decoding, English patterns, etc.)

Here is how you play Spin, Say, Write (again--this is done AFTER the students have learned our words)

1. Spin, Say, Write Spinner
2. Spin, Say, Write game mat
3. 2 different colored pens, markers, etc.
4. Paperclip

1. Have students select 8 of their words to correctly write on the Spin, Say, Write Spinner
         **I laminate my Spinner template so I can reuse it over and over!**
2. Have students write the 8 words they wrote on their spinner on top of the 8 columns on their Spin, Say, Write game mat
3. Partner students up
4.  Player 1 spins the spinner (made with a paperclip and pencil in the center to form a spinner)
5. Player 1 reads the word aloud.
6. Player 1 uses one color pen, marker, etc.....and writes the word he/she landed on on the game mat under the correct word heading.
7. Player 2 spins the spinner.
8.  Player 2 says the word he/she landed on .
9. Player 2 records (in the other color pen/marker) the word he/she landed on, on the game mat under the correct word heading.
10.  Play continues until Player 1 or 2 has four words in a row
**If a student lands on a word and there is no space on the game mat to write the word--he/she loses his/her turn.

Here is a game mat my kids used the other day.  On this mat you are able to see the two colors used for each player and the 8 words written on the top columns.  My kiddos were working on the "Bossy E" pattern--so that is what our spelling words focused on.  Also, I have students check with me before I declare a winner.  I want to make sure the 4 words in a row are spelled correctly.  If they are....then I highlight the winner's words!!    

This game is a HUGE hit with my kiddos and it has very little prep for the teacher!! Click the picture below, and it will take you to my TPT store where you can download this free resource!

December 2, 2013

First Annual Holiday Cookie Swap Linky Party

Today I am linking up with Emily from The Reading Tutor/OG for her first ever Holiday Cookie Swap.  What fun...huh??  I do love me some cookie swaps.....I mean who doesn't love getting a goodie bag full of homemade delicious treats?

Sadly....due to the virtual nature of this cookie swap---you won't be able to take home a sack full of tasty cookies, but----you will get to take home some super yummy recipes!!!  Hop on over to Emily's blog and see what other recipes are tried and true favorites!!

The recipe I am sharing is for my Pumpkin Spice Cookies!

Okay, okay....I know this is a Christmas Cookie Swap....and pumpkin is more of a Thanksgiving treat---but I couldn't help myself!!  They are too delicious and too easy to make.  Not only are they fast, simple and delicious---but they are also low calorie!!  They are made without oil, butter or eggs.....can we say SCORE!

Oh and in case you haven't heard .....TPT is having a Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale.  This means there is exactly 29 hours left for you to save up to 30% off of some great teaching resources.  Come on people----go clear your wishlists and snatch up some great products at great prices!!

I must give some props to Ink N Little Things, who made this adorable little sign.  Man...penguins are cute!!

Have a great rest of your evening!!


November 27, 2013


TPT is having a cyber Monday and Tuesday sale on December 1st and 2nd!! Whoop Whoop!!

This means you get to download all of the items off your wishlist!  YAAAAYY!!!

All items in my store will be 20% go stock up!! :)


November 20, 2013

Website Wednesday--Newsela

Happy Hump Day Y'all!!

Today I had a SUPER day---not just because we are over the midweek hump---but because I was able to attend (for free!!) a reading conference.  Not only was it for free (how often do teachers get to go to free conferences---ummm....hello...never) but it was really, really good!!

It was kind of a last minute deal--but I last week I received an email with a "complimentary ticket" for a Really Great Reading presentation on helping adolescent readers decode.  This type of conference was right. up. my. alley!  If you have time you should check out the website, because they have some awesome free resources for teachers.

I promise to blog more about some of the things I learned today--but it will have to be later, so all of my thinking can soak in.

I do want to share another great website.

Its called:  Newsela

Newsela is a wonderful website to supplement your current ELA classroom.  This is a FREE website where students have the ability to read current events that are written at a variety of reading levels.

There is truly something for every student---as students get to pick from seven different categories of non fiction text (War & Peace, Science, Kids, Money, Arts, Law, and Health).  Additionally, there are comprehension quizzes students can take after they are finished reading a particular text.  Not all articles, have quiz...but the vast majority do.

And if I haven't already convinced you to check this site out---there is a place where teachers can track their students progress and see the scores students are getting on their quizzes.  This makes grading a snap!!

Another helpful tool for teachers is this little symbol:

Newsela, puts that in the corner of an article to let teachers know what Reading Anchor Standard their student will be working on while reading the article. Thank you Newsela!

Check it out---it is worth your time!!


P.S. I must admit--I didn't find this site.  My district's Director of Learning did---and she passed it on to us. I love how she passes on great websites to us!! :)

November 18, 2013

Monday Funny

Boy do Mondays come fast.......

I hope everyone is off to a perky and productive start to their day....if not...hopefully the following comic cheers you up :)

Have a super day!


November 17, 2013

Fall Freebie, Interactive Notebook Bundle.....and A KSU WIN!

My oh my do I love this time of year!  I love the weather, the activities, smells, colors and the upcoming HOLIDAYS!!  I wish it was Fall every month of the year!  

In celebration of my favorite time of year, I have posted a new freebie to TPT.  Well, I suppose it is not entirely it was recently featured in a fabulous blog hop by Jessica at Hanging out in First's blog.

BUT--in case you missed the blog hop....I wanted to put the freebie on TPT.  This way everyone has access to it!

With this fall craftivity students artistically express what they are thankful for by creating a "thankful leaf."  Students will then write a descriptive paragraph about their "thankful leaf."  A large leaf, graphic organizer and lined paper are all included.  If you are looking for a quick, fun and easy activity before your students leave for Thanksgiving break....this is the activity for you!

Anyhoo....this weekend went by entirely TOO FAST!  Yesterday the fam and I attended the KSU vs. TCU football game!!!  Talk about a stresser.....that game was NUTS!  Thankfully with 3 seconds left in the game KSU was able to clinch the win with a field about a GREAT game to watch! I was finally able to finish a product I have been working MONTHS on!

It is my Interactive Notebook Bundle.....we are talking 75 pages of blood, sweat and tears!  Okay...more like 75 pages of awesome foldables to help your kiddos with their comprehension!  Included in the bundle are story maps, metacognition, asking questions, making inferences, making predictions, main ideas & details, vocabulary, fact & opinion, compare contrast, problem solution, cause & effect, sequence and description pages. Check it out if you have a chance!

Alright the Chiefs are on.......must. go. watch. football!!!


November 8, 2013

I'm so Thankful Blog Hop and Giveaway (Stop 23)!!

We are celebrating all that we are thankful for and that includes teachers!  We want to show all of you how much we appreciate you.  Teachers do so much and this is our time to give back and say thank you!  Thank you for following!  Thank you for participating!  Thank you for collaborating!  Thank you for sharing!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Join us by hopping through each blog and gathering lots of Thanksgiving and autumn freebies.  In each freebie you will find a picture of a pie with a word on it. That word will tell you something that teacher is thankful for.  Record all of the words on your recording sheet and follow each blog along the way so that you can enter the amazing giveaway at the end!

You may start anywhere along the hop, but if you would like to start at the beginning you may go here.  This is also where you will go in the end, for the giveaway!!

You have made it to blog stop number 23!!

The freebie I am giving away is called Favorite Things About Fall Craftivity!  It is a pretty great activity to have your students do during my favorite time of the year!  In this download your students will complete a "Thankful Leaf" by sectioning off a large maple leaf and labeling each section with reasons why they love Autumn.  Students then color in their leaf and use a graphic organizer to write a complete paragraph describing their "Thankful Leaf."

Now hop over to the next stop on your journey: S.O.L Train's Blog!

November 5, 2013

3 more days.....

There are three more days until Hanging Out in First's blog hop and giveaway.  :)  Make sure you come back on Friday to get some awesome freebies!  I promise it will be worth your time!!


November 4, 2013

Thieves---Close Reading Strategy

Happy Monday everyone!  It was sure nice being able to turn back those clocks this weekend to get an extra hour of sleep! I do love my beauty rest.....

Last week during one of my small groups I tried out a strategy for previewing text...and I loved it!  The strategy is called T.H.I.E.V.E.S and was posted (free) to TPT by Andrea McEvoy!  It is an awesome resource to use to get your students ready for a close reading of text.  I so wish I could claim this as my own.....because it is seriously great!

One the first side the acronym T.H.I.E.V.E.S shows students how they should preview informational text by using THIEVES.  Students preview the title, headings, introduction, first sentences, visuals, vocabulary and the end of the text.  By looking closesly at theses components of  the passage....students are getting a feel for what the text will be about.

On the back side of the paper, students write what they have found while previewing the text.  

I am telling you this form was great!!  I absolutely loved it....and it was FREE!  Thank you Andrea McEvoy!