Posts made in July, 2014

What My Mom Taught Me

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 10 comments

Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.

~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

Next Tueday my mom will celebrate her 90th birthday! Well, actually she plans to begin celebrating as soon as any members of the family begin arriving and she plans to continue celebrating until the last ones leave. We are arriving Saturday and leaving next Friday; we plan to do a lot of celebrating. It is, after all, not just her 90th birthday on Tuesday, it is also my sister, Theresa’s 56th birthday, her son, Matthew’s 21st birthday, her grandson, Jackson’s 5th birthday, and my husband’s birthday. It is a four generation birthday plus one.

My mom has 10 children. One of them is celebrating with us from heaven. She has 33 grandchildren. One of them is celebrating with his uncle in heaven. And her 29th great-grandchild is due in October.


Here she is with one of her great grandchildren. I love this picture of my nurturing mother!

A few of the important things my mom taught me:

Have faith, love God – My mom’s faith is her rock. She is unwavering. Hardships are to be met head on and are never thought of as a lapse in God’s love or compassion. She has helped me conquer hardships in my own life.

Love family – Family is everything to my mom. She still cares for each of us in whatever ways she can.

Love kids – A child is the truest gift of God to the world. With 5 younger siblings I have been surrounded by kids my whole life. I enjoyed teaching them everything I learned. I could hardly wait to grow up and become a teacher.

Work hard – (All of the above were reflected by my dad, too – but especially this one.) My work ethic comes from my family. If something needs done, then you do it! I can cook and clean with the best of them. My mom has crocheted afghans and baby blankets for almost everyone. She still works on it when her arthritis allows.

Have fun – Playing cards with my mom and granddaddy and siblings are some of my best memories. We giggled and got silly. I learned how to play and win, yet I always knew the winning wasn’t the important part. And just for my mom and granddaddy I will say ” Moooooooooose!”

There will be lots of silly fun in Ohio in the next week. Many card games, many Farkle championships, but mostly just a huge celebration of an amazing woman. I am so lucky to be able to still celebrate with her. I love you Mom!


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My Attempt at QR Codes

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We had a training session at our school well over a year ago, before I was at all comfortable with my iPad, on QR codes. I had a student teacher at the time and she knew all about them. She basically took over my iPad and did the activity for me. I saved the handout because I was a little interested and thought maybe I would try them out someday.

A couple of weeks ago I was cleaning off my desk at home, so that it could be functional, and I found the handout. I put it in my folder with lesson ideas I hope to get to someday. This morning I was working to avoid working on the projects I had assigned myself for today, so I started going through the folder. I decided today was the day to tackle QR codes.

I opened the handout feeling my usual feelings of inadequacy when confronting technology and I read the following instruction, “Use a QR Code Generator many of which are free.” I googled QR COde Generator. Up pops one. It is easy. I just type what I want and press save as a PNG. I copy it, paste it, and I have one done. It was so amazingly easy!

So I have created an Analogies for Back to School set of task cards. It is currently free at TpT until I have 50 downloads, then it will be half price for the next 24 hours. Here is a sample.

Analogies for Back to SchoolAnalogies are a great vocabulary building strategy. I made a couple pages to help students understand how to use them and how to read them.



Please check them out and hurry while they are free!



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“Because” their Spelling Wobbles!

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.

~ A. A. Milne

Here is a fun mnemonic to help your students with their “wobbly” spelling! You can get it for free in my TpT store.



Small copies for students’ word study or spelling interactive notebooks.

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Thoughts on Back to School

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

First, let me say I know it is still summer! I still have a fun, family vacation ahead of me to look forward to. I read a blog recently about having a summer bucket list.  You can read it here. I’ve done number 2 and 4. And I am mulling number 7 over in my head. I need to do number 8 – last year was a tough one. Also number 10 is becoming a reality – I can not do all the things I wanted to do.

I am looking forward to next year. Things are going to be drastically different for me. For the first time in 37 years I will not be teaching math or science. I will only be teaching Language Arts and Social Studies. I am having fun preparing myself for this. I am reading all of next year’s Texas Bluebonnet Books and trying to figure out how I will share them with twice as many kids. I am creating independent spelling/word study units. I am thinking I might have a Daily 5 of my own (or Daily 4). I want to plan out all of my grammar/writing skills with mini-lessons and independent work.

I have been working hard this summer. I have already posted 45 new products on Teachers Pay Teachers. Mostly they are new Explore the State and Spelling Units. But I  have also made some Back to School products. And since it is July and only the crazy truly dedicated teachers are looking, I am making these free for the first 48 hours or 100 downloads. I especially love the product I made today!

Data Collection and Graphs


This Back to School Getting to Know You packet has 28 different questions for data collection. The questions are on ¼ of a page, so that the teacher only needs to use up to 7 sheets of paper for this part of the activity. A blank sheet is also included for your own ideas.

Each student gets a different question on which to collect data. The students will write tally marks directly on their sheet. Some of the questions, for example, ones on reading, math, science, and students’ preferences on school activities will be helpful in understanding your class.

As I said this product will be free until its been there 48 hours (45 now) or 100 downloads. I am hoping for 100 downloads! Please leave me some feedback! Hope you like it.


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