Tried It Tuesday ~ Word Parts We Know

I love this linky with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper because I always find some great ideas!

I was recently looking for ways to work with word parts as part of my learning strategies class and this came across my computer from Jennifer at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings...

Let me tell you this has been a lifesaver!  It is so well organized and matches the standards perfectly!

First, there's the flashcards.  I post the definitions on an anchor chart (see below).  The students put the definitions on the back and draw a picture to help them remember the definition on the front.

After my students make their flashcards, we record their ideas on an anchor chart:

The next day is dictionary work with the included worksheet and finally there is an included test that not only covers the current week's word parts but the previous week's too! 

If you need to teach word parts, you will love this!  It is easy to implement and doesn't have to take a large amount of time.  Five word parts a week also make it easier for students to manage.  Plus, my special needs students thrive on routine and can count on the pattern used in this product.  

Thank you Mrs. Laffin!

I was not paid or compensated in any way for this "Tried it" - I honestly have just been so thankful for this that I wanted to share about it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sparking Motivation for students AND teachers!

I'm linking up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching because for me, teaching is all about the motivation!

First up is motivating the students.  

We start a new marking period on Monday and although my tickets are very popular, I need something for the class as a whole to promote the fact that we are a team.  So I have modified WBT's Scoreboard to have my 3 classes compete with another instead of with me.

I want each class to be a team with me included.  We will name our teams on Monday and vote on the reward.  I think this will help promote a better sense of community and help kids see that I am on their side which should help those kids who think grades are randomly "given".

Now how about a little teacher motivation?

There will be some special holiday bloggy happenings beginning Nov. 1 !

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Anchors Away ~ Motivation for a new grading period!

We are ending the first grading period and with the new one, we will be going over our first writing assessment.  It's our district test that mimics our state test - you know the one with 2 reading passages and then a prompt?  Well, I'll be honest, it wasn't pretty. 

 So I need a way to break it to them without it being a crusher...


I think this will help in the spirit department.  I have also been working on a way to visually display all the essay writing pieces and parts too.  Soon, my students will see that I have a plan to make them into writing "pros"!

More on this later, once it's all finished.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Scoop 10.19.14

It's Sunday, so here's the Scoop on my weekend and what's ahead:

Stop by the Teaching Trio to get more Scoops!  :)

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Five For Friday - Halloween Freebies!

I am so glad it's Friday!  That means a break and some fun with this linky!

First Freebie:

This is a cute little "lift-a-flap" spooky house with old, tired verbs on the doors and windows.  The idea is for partners to brainstorm more vivid verbs to write underneath.

Second Freebie:
With this activity, students color words different colors based on whether the word is connotative diction or denotative diction.

Do you Moodle?

Our school has decided that we need to use Moodle, a sort of Edmodo, to use to mimic online testing as much as possible.  With all our state and local tests now being on the computer this seems like a good idea, but I only have 4 computers in my room and no other tech.  So then they said, use the labs.  Ok, but now they have closed the labs for about 3 weeks due to local testing.  


Believe it or not, we have reached the end of the first marking period.  I am thinking about making some adjustments based on what I now know about my students and using some Whole Brain Teaching Methods - specifically the Scoreboard and the Super Improvers.  I would love any and all comments and/or recommended products related to this!  :)


Lastly, I have finally joined the Instagram world. :) 
I am still trying to get a feel for it, but it sure is fun to look at everyone's pictures and get quick ideas.  I'm not quite sure how to use it in connection with my blog yet though.  I'll just keep learning.

Well, that's all for now - thanks for stopping by!

I linked my freebies with:
Freebie Fridays

Wordless Wednesday ~ essay feedback

Yay!  It's time for Wordless Wednesday with Miss DeCarbo at Second Grade Sugar and Spice!

Yesterday I spent the entire day grading essays for our county's first writing assessment.  In Florida, we do not use Common Core, but our state standards are similar.

This is what we used for feedback (which is aligned to the rubric).

How do you offer essay feedback?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tried It Tuesday ~ Florida Teacher Blogger Meet-Up

I am excited to join in this linky with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper because I have a very exciting "Tried It" - my first blogger meet up!!

We met in the new penguin area at Sea World and it was great to meet so many bloggers in "real life" whose blogs I have been reading.  :)

The organizers of all the fun!  

Delicious little desserts from Bluebird Bake Shop in Orlando.

The Florida Teacher Bloggers!
(that's me on the far left front in the pink polka dots)

Some of the goodies!

It was great to meet so many bloggers and get an idea of life from across the state.  It definitely makes me want to save my money for Vegas!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Scoop with a Halloween Freebie!

This linky is great fun for keeping things in perspective!  Join in at The Teaching Trio!

Last week I posted that I hoped to finish a Halloween themed product and I did it!  I will link it at The Teacher's Desk 6's Linky Party and you can find it below!

Get the freebie {here}!

Thanks for stopping by!

Positive Thinking Thursday {10.9.14}

This is one of my favorite linkys because I can always use some positive thoughts!
Today marks the two year anniversary of my Dad's sudden passing.  I think about him just about every day and miss him terribly.  I try to mark this day in a positive way by doing something that my Dad loved and shared with me (and the rest of our family).  He would frequently stop by the bakery and bring us all home some kind of luscious dessert.  So I am going to do that today.
I also find myself saying a lot of the things my Dad used to say to my own students.  Here is one that is fitting:

I try to live by this and today I will do my best with what I have.

Me and my Dad circa 1988

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Scoop {10.5.14}

This is my first time linking up with the Sunday Scoop at Teaching Trio.  It looked like fun, so here I am!

Thanks for stopping by!

Five For Friday {10.3.14}

Thank you to Doodle Bugs Teaching for this linky party!
Be sure to stop by and join the fun!

My "Trick" that I learned this week that I would like to share is:


It's a FREE app/service that allows you to text your parents without entering phone numbers - even yours!  

I love this app because I can send little reminders like "Homework due tomorrow" and I know they get it almost instantly - no hoping they check their e-mail!

Check out their website -
(And no, I was not asked to do this or paid to share - this is just my opinion.)

So as you may know, I am a middle school teacher.  For the past 5 years I have been officially a special needs teacher, but am certified in Elementary Education, English 6-12, ESOL K-12, and Exceptional Education K-12 so I can teach a variety of things.  

This year, I was asked to "temporarily" teach 2 classes of  regular 8th grade ELA because we have more students than we expected.  I agreed (because I love ELA!) but the new teacher we hired is better suited for working with our toughest kids so I am staying with the ELA classes.  I am just glad to have it finally settled so I can FOCUS!

The Springboard by the College Board is our textbook.  Anyone else use this book? 

So now that I know what I'm doing, I am ready to implement lots of great things I have been collecting!  First up - 

We had our first practice writing assessment - and it was hard!  We definitely have a lot of work to do and I think this will help us.  

If any of you have any ideas of how to best implement this, I welcome your ideas!  :)

Last up is a personal item - this is my "baby" who just turned 11.  He's playing Pop Warner Football for the first time this season and I am a proud Mama.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!