"The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for."

~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Monday Word of the Day “Adapt”: Third Grade Social Studies

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in vocabulary, vocabulary development, vocabulary tips, word of the day | 0 comments

Robert Marzano has created lists of 30 Core Content words that are needed by students for each subject at each grade level to be successful. To help my students understand these important words I have created small posters with the word, definition, a sentence, and an illustration. Sometimes the cards vary and contain synonyms, examples, or other helpful strategies to provide students access to the meaning.

The first word for third grade social studies is adapt. What an important concept! Being able to adapt is a major component of a successful life. With some discussion and examples, students are usually easily able to grasp this concept. It is helpful to students to point out throughout the year when adaptations have been made.



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Time to Save a Bundle!

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Thank you for your participation in my 1,000 follower giveaway! The winner of the $50.00 TpT gift certificate was Gina Spears. I hope she was able to find helpful products with her prize.

Christmas has been coming at me full speed. I almost feel as though I will be run over and it will be gone! I did spend all day Saturday and Sunday preparing for it, so maybe I’ll feel ready enough to enjoy the day somewhat.

I’d like to offer you all some holiday savings! All of my largest bundles (everything over $7.00) will be 40% off through Christmas. Please take a look and see what you can save!

Merry Christmas to all of my blogging friends!


Save a Bundle thru Dec. 25

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Celebrating 1,000

Posted by on Nov 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 12 comments

I posted my first product on Teachers Pay Teachers on June 8, 2012. A few days later I noticed that I had a “follower”. Being new to most things online, I was confused by this and unsure what it actually meant. A couple days later I noticed another follower, and another. In my first couple weeks I posted many new free products, products I was creating to use in my classroom in the coming school year. I continued to add a few followers.

On June 15, I posted my first paid item. It has never taken off, but I remember my feeling of excitement when I thought of the product and spent the day making it! That first month I posted 5 freebies and 6 paid items, but made no sales! Finally on July 1, the first day of a brand new quarter, I made my first sale which was actually for 2 products! I made $3.90. It was so exciting and SO scary. I was so worried that people wouldn’t love  or even like what I put out there. This feeling of dread continued with every feedback for about the rest of that year.

Around April 1, 2013 soon after I’d begun adding scavenger hunts to my store, my sales turned a corner and became much stronger. In January, 2014 I reached the first TpT milestone. I have more than doubled that already since that time.

I have been a seller on TpT for 888 days. I am at 998 followers. I want to celebrate this amazing site and my unfathomable success! I am offering a $50.00 gift certificate for Teachers Pay Teachers. I will also be offering a freebie each day this week on my Facebook page. Each item will be free for only 2-3 hours. I will give you a heads up for when to expect them each day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you will join my giveaway and enjoy the freebies!

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Save a Bundle!

Posted by on Oct 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Save a Bundle

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Folders for Make Up Work

Posted by on Aug 31, 2014 in Uncategorized | 9 comments

I am busy today creating folders for when my students are absent. I was pushed to do this because I had students absent in both of my classes on Friday. Since I never had 2 classes to keep track of before, I had not thought of a plan for this. My plan is to use the  2 pocket folders that are so cheap this time of year, but I don’t have any at home right now, so I have used file folders. File folders could work, but with younger children I think the pockets would be better. I don’t know if  I will be able to laminate a pocket folder. Can anyone let me know if that is possible?

Make Up Work 002

A problem I have often had is that third graders don’t really feel like they need to do the missing work. So I made a chart letting them know which day the work will all need to be done. In my district if a child misses one day they are given one day to make it up. I look at it this way. If Susie is absent on Monday, that means she returns on Tuesday and I give her the work. In order to have a whole day to get it done, I don’t ask for it to be returned until Thursday. Thus a Tuesday absence will require work returned on Friday. I expect both Wednesday and Thursday absences to have work completed by Monday. Friday work is due by Wednesday. Would you add anything to this chart?

Make Up Work 003

I made a page that reflects all of the activities that may be missed in my classroom on a given day. I have also made others with more generic lists. What would you like to see on a list?

Make Up Work 004

I like the looks of my folders. I am anxious to try one out on a pocket folder. Would you like to use something like this? You can get it for free this weekend by leaving me any advice or suggestions here on my blog! Remember to include your email address!



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Introducing Tuesday’s Vocabulary Tips

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in vocabulary, vocabulary development, vocabulary tips | 0 comments

Read, read, read. Read good books. You will strengthen your understanding of story. Your vocabulary will be the richer for it.

~ Carmen Agra Deedy


When we are learning, it is so important to gain the vocabulary of the subject. Children need to be exposed to the new vocabulary in a much deeper way than the presentation of the word and its definition. In fact, if given just the word and the definition, no real learning can happen. Without forming connections to the new vocabulary, without making it a new and enchanting idea that captivates the students’ minds, the new words just remain words.

There are many ways to help students discover new words. The most effective is probably having the child in a situation where they discover a NEED for the words. Going back to infancy when their vocabulary was growing rapidly, a need for language is a powerful learning tool. Think of second language learners. Their language grows much more quickly when there is a need for it. Project based learning is a current strategy in education which can provide students with a need for new language. I plan to explore this in the future!

Every Tuesday, I am planning to explore ways and provide tips to improve vocabulary instruction and learning.

I am beginning this week with the Frayer Model. The Frayer Model is a graphic organizer having four squares with a circle in the middle for the new word. This strategy should not be used as an introduction to new words! It could be used whole class after an introductory lesson as a formative assessment of the students’ understandings. It could also be used as a review strategy to help students organize their thinking to prepare for a test. A page could be kept in an interactive notebook to add new understandings and thoughts to throughout instruction.



The organizer above is the original version of the Model. There are many variations available. The purpose of this instructional strategyis to promote critical thinking and help students identify and understand unfamiliar vocabulary. It can be used with the entire class, small groups, or for individual work. The Frayer Model draws on a student’s prior knowledge to build connections among new concepts and creates a visual reference by which students learn to compare attributes and examples. Here is an example of a model that could be used with primary stdents.

Slide1Frayer Model Primary

Have a great day!




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Selling Spelling: Dance Your Spelling Words

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There’s more to learning to spell than passing a spelling test. There are lots of ways to get students to go from guessing to knowing what to write down on a test, and applying that spelling when writing sentences and paragraphs. I want to explore many of those strategies here each Friday.

Selling Spelling


Dance Your Spelling Words

Dance Your Spelling Words Freebie!


Involve the whole child in spelling practice! Students spell out their spelling words while stepping on each letter. Be sure the letters are secure to the floor. I think I will duct tape them to the floor and then duct tape around and between the letters. I will place them in a lower traffic area of our classroom.


Students just tap each letter with their toe.

Students must use the correct foot (the one shown on the card) for each letter.

Students do an extra hop or other movement between letters.


Place the letter cards on the floor in random order.

These cards are available as a special freebie. They are also a part of a larger product. The larger product includes the footprint cards in colors. It also include handprint cards (in color and b/w) that can be placed on a desk, table, wall, bulletin board, whiteboard, or even the floor. In addition to that are piano keyboards and individual hand cards which could be used whole class.

Spelling dance

Individual keyboards could be kept in students’ folders for individual or whole class use.



The individual handprint sheet would be great to send home to practice spelling words. It could be a more active choice on a spelling homework choice board.



My first Selling Spelling Tip boils down to let them get up and move to spell their words! Do you have any fun ways to do this?


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