Posts made in August, 2012

A Saturday Freebie

Posted by on Aug 18, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I will be working in my room all day today, so I am posting a freebie early. I created this just to prove I could. (It has to do with the understandings involved in learning things in more than one way!)

Everyone have a great weekend. Remember I will begin posting Set 2 of my Word of the Day cards on Monday. You can view/print a free trial pack of them at my TpT store.


Deskplate3 pdf

Also, download the Vocabulary Cube game offered on Share the Wealth Saturday.

For more fabulous Saturday freebies, visit Share the Wealth Saturday.

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In Honor of Michael Phelps

Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” —Michael Phelps

In honor of Michael Phelps and, indeed, all of our fine athletes at the Olympics, I wanted to share this poster. It is available for free at my TpT store.

“You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.”

So true about everything, but, of course, I am thinking of vocabulary. A word doesn’t really belong to you until you’ve experienced it in more than one context. And they need to be real contexts in the beginning, not the usual fill-in-the-blank or write a definition (that you found in the glossary, but don’t understand). I am not opposed to either activity, as long as the students have opportunities, and often, to talk about the words, to hear them used in context, to make connections to what they heard and understood. Learning new vocabulary requires conversation. And when the word comes up again, students need to be reminded of their budding friendship with the word and to be given another chance to grow the friendship!

Monday I will begin to post set 2 of my Word of the Day cards. My goal will be to post one each day Monday–Friday.

I am still learning about blogging, as my very incomplete blog testifies, but I am learning to do various things in more than one way and I am coming to understand it better each time I visit.


My fellow TpT seller and blog friend is having a celebration! She is giving away many prizes, including any one item from my store! Please visit her blog to join in the fun!

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Scurrying to Be Ready

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” —Lao Tzu

I love this quote! I can and will accomplish so much and I can and will do it in a calm and professional manner.

I feel as though a panic attack is hiding behind a corner waiting to jump out at me.

I have had such a wonderful summer creating items for Teachers pay Teachers and writing and creating for my blog. I strongly feel like this is where I belong.

Yet, school… I got my class list yesterday. I love getting my new list. I already printed their names in my near-perfect printing on the fabulous penguin name cards I made. My son hooked up all the technology in my room yesterday. Everything is getting sorted and ready. My new classroom feels like mine.

I think for the first time in my life I see teaching as a job. Something I will give my very best to, but not the only all encompassing something it has always been. I think this is healthy (except for the panic attack feelings). I can choose to find some of my own time to create and to blog. I can choose to use some of my own time to promote my products. This is similar to three years ago when I chose to find some of my own time to exercise 4–6 times a week. It has become an important habit. It has improved my quality of life greatly. I feel as though this year is a turning point.

Maybe it’s just butterflies…

So, as I am debating with myself over my “Back to School” feelings, I decided on a great Word of the Day:

debate pdf

Many Word of the Day cards and an election unit are available at my TpT store.

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Word Detectives

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” —Henry Van Dyke

The sale at my store continues today! Stop on by.

Happy Dance Certificate pdf


Many struggling readers need explicit instruction in how a prefix or suffix can change the meaning of a word. Learning clusters of words that share a common affix can help students understand their reading and connect new words to those already learned. Students need direct instruction of these skills. This helps them not only with the words being presented, but provides a strategy that supports them in figuring out difficult words on their own. This tool for word analysis should be practiced and reviewed often, especially during class read alouds and small group lessons.

There are far too many affixes to directly teach them all. It is important to realize that these few affixes account for the majority of affixed words in English:

Prefix Meaning % of All
Prefixed Words
un not; opposite of 26 unhappy
re again, back 14 reread
in /   im in, into, not 11 inactive
dis not; opposite of 7 discover
en /   em to cause to be in 4 entrust, enslave
mis wrongly 3 mistake
pre before 3 preheat
Suffix Meaning % of All
Suffixed Words
-s,   -es more than one; verb marker 31 songs, works, brushes
-ed in the past 20 talked
-ing when you do something 14 finding
-ly In a way that is 7 softly
-er,   -or one who, that which, comparison 4 teacher


-tion,   -sion State of being, quality 4 action, expansion
-able,   -ible


able to be 2 teachable, reversible

Once these basic affixes have been mastered, it might be useful to explore more complex or less frequently used word parts with some or all of your students.

Information in charts, with my adaptations for third graders, came from Allen, J. Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4–12. York: ME Stenhouse 1999.

Word Detective

My students have been delighted in their role of “Word Detective” to discover that the word “mistake” actually means to take wrongly and the word “display” does indeed refer to something that is not for play. The word “prefix” itself can cause an interesting discussion of the word “fix” and its meaning of fasten. These are such meaningful lessons. What can be better than knowing your students are having fun learning and exploring words!

Word Detective pdf

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Motivated Monday

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams

It is time think about “back to school.” I am team leader at my school. I spent the summer finding and creating things for our team. I am excited about what I learned about formative assessments and I am ready to share. I have stacks of materials for each member of my team and my student teacher. I am constantly trying to make things better and to create change, because children born in the twenty-first century should not be using any twentieth century materials. Times are changing too quickly for that.

I have grown immensely this summer from my research and innovative product development. I am proud to bring more to the team. I am also proud to share here in this blog. I want people to be able to find and use good materials for and with their students.

Here are some desk tags I have created. My classroom theme is penguins. Penguin Desk Tags pdf

This is the last page of Set 1 of my Word of the Day packet. If you go back through my posts, you can find the whole set. They are also available at my TpT store.

Remember the Back to School Sale happening today at Teachers pay Teachers. My store will continue to be on sale tomorrow also.

Set 1 # 15 Third Grade, this completes Set 1.

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