July 30, 2015

Makeover Celebration Giveaway! Win a Target or Starbucks Gift Card

Have you guys noticed my new look?????

My little ol' blog got a much needed makeover!!!!!  Isn't it so SUPER DUPER RIDICULOUSLY CUTE!!!!!!

I wish I could take credit for the design, but the fabulous ladies over at Blogs Fit for a Queen did the design and install. I highly recommend working with these two wonderful women if you are in the market for blog design, logo, TPT banner, etc! They are patient, diligent, incredibly talented and reasonably priced.

My new look needed to be revealed with a bang.....thus I am having a giveaway!  Woot Woot!!!


This reveal needed to be extra special because not only did my blog get a makeover, but I have changed my name on TPT from Katie Orr to Mind Sparks, AND I started a Facebook fan page!

The contest runs from July 30th to August 5th!

To enter use the rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $15 Starbucks or Target gift card!  Please note there are two pages to the rafflecopter.....the Target gift card is page one, and the Starbucks gift card is page 2! :)

You can't win if you don't enter......so get to clicking, and best of luck!  Winner will be announced Thursday, August 6th!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

And.....as if this little ol' contest isn't enough....I am excited to announce that TPT is having its big back to school sale!!!



Soooo.....starting August 3rd (that's Monday folks....) through August 4th ALL products in my TPT store will be on sale!  There will also be a ton of other products on sale....so get your wishlists ready now!

That's a lot of great news in one post.....a chance to win a gift card AND a sale!


July 22, 2015

Apps that earn YOU money! :)

The "Back to School" time of year is typically money tight for most people.

Well....breathe a sigh of relief...because.....

I am here to tell you about a few apps (four actually) that will alleviate the stress on your budget....and actually earn you money!
These apps are free.  No gimmicks.  No tricks.  And....they legit work!

In fact, I wouldn't share them if they were a scam.  I personally use all four of them! :)

Here are the four apps that you should download right now!

1.  Ibotta

Ibotta is an app that pays you for certain purchases.  Basically, you buy something, scan the bar-code of the product, take a picture of your receipt and upload it to Ibotta.  

I primarily use this app for grocery shopping.....but you can also use it for restaurants, apparel, beauty, electronics, travel and pets!

This is my favorite money earning app of the four!  It's my fav. because you can link your Ibotta account to your Paypal...which makes money earned super easy to access!  PLUS...you don't have to earn a minimum in order to transfer to Paypal.  If you earn $1.00....you can transfer the $1.00!  ALSO....Ibotta has rebates for items you really do use....like fresh produce, milk, bread, etc!

Oh...and there is a teamwork component.  If your friends redeem rebates via Ibotta, you can earn extra money just because they are using the app.  Everyone earns....and wins! 

Check out Ibotta's website to learn more, by clicking here! Sign up for Ibotta by clicking here.

 2. Snap by Groupon
Snap by Groupon, is very similar to Ibotta.  You purchase qualifying products, snap your receipt and upload it to Snap to earn cash.

I must admit .....this money earning app is my least favorite of the four.

I say this because you are limited to only grocery products.  The rebates that are available are usually specific brands (unlike Ibotta which offers generic rebates on customer favorites like bread, eggs or milk).  For example you have to buy Quaker Oat Squares to earn cash back, compared to a generic "buy any cereal" rebate.

Additionally, you have to earn $20 before you can ever cash out.  Snap will mail you a check when you reach $20....so no easy access to the money you have earned.  Nonetheless.....you do still earn money!

Check out Snap's website to learn more, by clicking here.  Sign up for Snap by clicking here!

Checkout 51 is pretty identical to Snap.  Like Snap, Checkout 51 can earn you cash for grocery purchases.  Checkout 51 also makes you wait until you earn $20 before you can cash out.....and they also send you a check.

I like Checkout 51 a teeny tiny bit better than Snap because they offer generic rebates with more frequency.  Checkout 51's rebates go live on Thursday and expire the following Wednesday....which means there is more variety in the rebates and new ones will appear each week.

To learn more about Checkout 51 click here.  To sign up for Checkout 51, click here!

Shopkick is quite a bit different than the above apps.  Instead of earning cash for rebates, you earn points (although with Shopkick they are called "kicks") that can be cashed in for gift cards or products. 

When I first heard of this app, I thought the gift cards would be lame.....but they are actually pretty awesome!  You can earn gift cards for Lowes, Target, Starbucks, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sephora Cheesecake Factory, etc.  

To earn "kicks" you complete various tasks.  The easiest way to earn "kicks" is by opening the app when you walk into a retailer that has paired with Shopkick.  You can also earn "kicks" by scanning certain product bar-codes throughout the store (no need to buy--all you have to do is scan!).  If you want--you can purchase products through Shopkick to earn kicks---but this isn't necessary--all the other ways of earning "kicks" are free!

This app is my second favorite (behind Ibotta).  I felt kinda silly competing Shopkick tasks at first....but when I got my first reward, it made it all worth it! It's easy to do....and there are great prizes!

To learn more about Shopkick, click here.  To sign up for Shopkick, click here!

So......what are you waiting for.....GO GET THESE APPS!

July 20, 2015

Monday Made It!

Happy Monday everyone! :)

Today I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for their weekly linky party, Monday Made It!


A couple of summers ago I spent my time working on morphology units for grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.  These morphology units were based off of research by Timothy Rasinski, Nancy Padak, Rick M. Newton and Evangeline Newton--aka amazing reading researchers and leaders in their field. You can read about those by clicking here









While these morphology packs are great at teaching each grade level's specific prefixes, suffixes and roots .....they didn't contain any way to practice what was taught. 

What was a teacher to do after the kids have gotten the content, but need to practice????? 

Sooooooo.....along came my idea for a practice edition for each morphology pack! :)  I'm talking games, task cards, practice pages and flash cards!  Basically....... any way you can think of to practice prefixes, suffixes and roots....I wanted it! AND....I wanted it all in one spot!

I am proud to say I have completed my first practice edition for the 5th grade morphology pack! :)  This puppy was a lot of work....because it is chock full of stuff--50+ pages of stuff!


The 5th Grade Common Core Morphology Pack--- **Practice Edition** is GREAT for practicing previously taught 5th grade prefixes, suffixes and roots.   It is also great for differentiation, remediation, assessment and enrichment!

The Practice Packet includes:
  • 50+ pages of practice material
  • 3 sets of task cards (one for the prefixes, suffixes and roots)
  • Answer keys
  • 5 engaging games
  • Practice pages
  • Flashcards
  • Blank Templates


These two products (5th Common Core Morphology Pack and 5th Common Core Morphology Pack Practice Edition) are really married together...and sync up perfectly.  After you teach all of the morphology---spend some time practicing the new learning in fun ways!  

That product was a doozy to create.....but I think it will be SUPER helpful!

Have a great Monday everyone!

July 2, 2015

Currently July

I'm kicking off  July the right way....by linking up with Farley for her monthly linky party!

Who doesn't love a good currently.......


I realize it is 4:30 (central time)... .but yes, I am listening to the Today Show. The hubs and I record it in the morning, and then I watch it while working on blogging, TPT, etc.  I LOVE the Today Show---I love the hosts, the informative segments.....I just can't get enough!

I'm loving my weekly golf dates!  Recently I reconnected with a friend of mine from high school/ middle school.  In middle school I moved next door to her and we became best of buds.....however in college we went our separate ways :(.  About a year ago, I Facebook messaged her and we started working out together....and it's been great reconnecting!  We both played on the high school golf team and still enjoy playing....so during the summer we have weekly golf dates!  SO. MUCH. FUN! This summer we are culminating our weekly golf dates by entering a tournament!  Yikes! :)

Yep...those are my clubs. :)  No.....I wasn't playing with four golf balls.....this was a driving range picture!  This rusty golfer needs to warm up before she actually hits the links.  Ha!

I'm thinking about my two week Orton Gillingham training.  It starts next week!  I am really, really excited.....but not really looking forward to 10 days of 8-4 training! 

Soooo......I really, really want a new computer....but I don't need one.  I'm going to be saving my pennies though......

For the holiday we are going to my sister-in-law's house, thus my need to pack.  She only lives a couple of hours away....so it is not a far drive.  I am super excited to be spending the holiday with family, but I'm not so excited about the packing part. 

This summer I am an all-star exerciser!  Both my husband and I are so motivated to get fit!  We walk 5-6 miles in the morning and have really improved our eating habits.  We both purchased fitbits---and that has kept us in gear!  I love that we can do this together! :)