The Teaching Tribune {Worksheet Wednesday}

Today’s theme in The Teaching Tribune’s Summer Bloggin’ series is Worksheet Wednesday.

TTT Summer Bloggin-Wednesday


The worksheet I’m sharing is my Differentiating Point of View worksheet.


In elementary school, students are taught to search for the pronouns to determine point of view.  As they get older, dialogue in text can confuse them, so I encourage them to ask the following questions:

1.  Who’s telling the story? 

  • Inside narrator (character):  first person
  • Outside narrator:  third person

2.  How much does the narrator know?

  • Thoughts and feelings of one character?  third person limited (limited-omniscient)
  • Thoughts and feelings of all characters?  third person omniscient

This seems to help them greatly and we hardly get point of view questions wrong, now!

I hope this will be helpful to you.

Until the next time,


The Teaching Tribune – Monday Meet Up! {Meet @TechRhett}

It’s Monday!  Which means it’s Monday Meet Up for The Teaching Tribune!  My first “Monday Meet Up” is my partner in crime Rhett Hughes aka @TechRhett!  Rhett and I met about a year ago as our district was in the planning stages of our District Technology plan.  This dude is so smart and so resourceful!  But don’t just listen to me…go on over and check out his blog….EdTech4U!

Monday Meet Up Rhett

The Teaching Tribute Summer Blogging Series

Summer Blogging Header

This summer I’m participating in The Teaching Tribune Summer Blogging Series.  Click here to find out more.

Every day of the week will have a different focus.  Monday’s focus will be Monday Meet Up.  

Monday Meet Up Sign

I’d love to highlight some new bloggers!  If you’re interested, leave me a message in the comment box.

Until the next time,



A Peek At My Week {January 13th}

It’s Sunday already? Well, if it’s Sunday, that means it’s time to hook up with Mrs. Laffin’s Laughings “A Peek At My Week”!

Peek at My Week

We’re continuing with writing this week, with a brief interruption for benchmark testing.  Last week, students wrote on a persuasive writing prompt and I did a lesson using the Backwards Design Model.  In the Backwards Design Model, students write first then complete their graphic organizer based on their writing.  They really get a chance to see how “skimpy” their writing is without pre-planning first. If you want to know more about the Backwards Design Model, click here.

This week, I’ll meet with students in groups for writing conferences.  In order to group them according to similar needs, students will complete a conference planning sheet in a Google Form.

Conference Planning Sheet


It is my hope that since we’re meeting in groups, we can practice peer editing skills where they can give each other ideas as a way to beef up their writing.

Final drafts will be posted on their blog on Friday!

Until the next time,


Thumbs Up….Turn & Talk! {Spark Student Motivation Saturday}

Today, I’m linking up with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Saturday!




By the time my kids get to me, they know how to play the game to stay unnoticed.  The ones who know are extremely vocal about knowing…and the ones who don’t just stay quiet and disappear.  

With the EDI model we’re encouraged to randomly call on students. But who would want to embarrass a child who has no idea what the answer is?  So, I use the “Thumps Up” model quickly followed by “Turn and Talk”.

thumbs up

When I ask a questions during guided practice, I tell students to put their thumbs up when they have their answer.  Thumbs up right in front of them, so only I can see.  This gives the students who needs a bit more time just that – time!  Once I see all thumbs up I tell them to turn and talk to their partner and what the answer is and why.  And I’m not talking about them yelling out one letter, word or phrase.  They have to say, “I think the answer is __________ because_____________”.  Then and only then do we check whole group for the answer and I chose students to comment.  That way everyone has had a chance to participate even if they’re not the one to share out. And it gives my struggling students a chance to hear good thinking and emulate it which increases their confidence.  

You should head on over the Joanne’s blog and share you great idea. Plus, she and Fourth Grade Flipper have an amazing giveaway going on!  Stop by and get the chance to earn some goodies.


Until the next time,




A Peek At My Week {January 6th}

Through I’m Lovin’ Lit, I’ve found this neat linky party Mrs. Laffin’s Laughings,  “A Peek At My Week.  I love the idea of this post because it causes me to plan ahead!

Peek at My Week


When we get back to school we’ll have one week before the end of the 2nd quarter/1st semester.  I’m going to use this time to work on writing.  Over the break, I purchased Erin from I’m Lovin’ Lit’s Interactive Writing Notebook and I plan to put it to good use!

If you haven’t seen it, check it out in her TpT store.



I’m going to use this resource for mini-lessons.  This week we’re going to focus on improving our vocabulary with the “Dead Words” and “Vivid Verbs” activities.

Students will work on Argumentative Writing this week.  We’re going to complete this activity using the backwards design model to show students the importance of pre-planning.  Here’s a copy of the prompt.

After students complete their writing, I’ll model a lesson using my writing sample and this graphic organizer.

Our textbook comes with a writing self-scoring program.

Online Scoring Site


Students will type their writing into the program and it will give them immediate feedback. I’ll use that information for conferences where students will beef up their graphic organizers and writing for a re-score.

Holt Scoring Feedback


By the time we finish, we should have a perfectly polished paper!  The graphic organizer can be found in my TpT Store, but I’m giving three away! If you’d like a copy of this graphic organizer, make sure you’re a blog follower and leave me a comment with your email address by Friday (January 10th).  This is the month of my sorority’s birth, so I’ll choose winners whose comment numbers match the month, date, and year of our birth.

Until the next time,


Reading for Meaning – An Amazing Resource Thursday Throwdown {January 2nd}

Today I’m participating in I’m Lovin Lit’s monthly Thursday Thrown Down!  

Thursday Thrown Down


I’ve been using Reading for Meaning since the early 2000’s.  It’s definitely an oldie…but goodie!  And, I just realized, not even sold anymore.  🙁  So I better not lose this CD! LOL!



Reading for Meaning is a software program for grades 3–8 that improves student reading comprehension through the use of authentic literature, lessons, and graphic organizers.

The program focuses on five core topics found in reading comprehension curricula:
main idea, inference, sequence, compare and contrast, and cause and effect.
Within these skill areas, Reading for Meaning includes:

  • 5 whole-class modeling lessons to teach critical skills
  • 30 structured lessons in which students read selected literature passages, construct graphic organizers, and answer open-ended comprehension questions
  • 5 electronic graphic organizer tools for teachers and students
  • a library of 30 additional lesson plans that cover today’s most popular children’s literature

I like Reading for Meaning, because it provides the teacher with an introductory lesson that uses a video (the “Kid Cam” episode) to introduce the concept.  For the main lessons, the text is provided – READ (with audio), a graphic organizer – THINK, and then a open-ended writing activity -WRITE to use the text and graphic organizer to answer questions.  I take it a little further and add a multiple choice component, since that’s they way they will see it on a standardized test.

See examples below:









Can you tell the difference between my Honors students and Non-Honors students??

Here’s an example of what a multiple choice question looks like.  They students answer the questions using our ActivExpression devices so we get immediate feedback.


RFM (Rats)

What I really like about completing this activity is that it forces the kids to re-read the text numerous times.  It really helps me convince them of the important on close reading activities and the appropriate way to respond to open-ended questions.

If you have time today, make sure you head over to Erin’s and link up.  I can’t wait to see the amazing things that you do in your classroom!

Until the next time,


Thirteen in ’13

I was doing some Bloglovin’ perusing when I found this “Thirteen by ’13” post from Katie at  “mind sparks“.  She traced it back to Kristen at “A Teeny Tiny Teacher“!  And I thought….why not? It’s always a good thing to be reflective….so here it is!

13 in 13


infiity scarf

I’ve always been a lover of scarves….but my addiction right now are infinity scarves!  There’s just something about a scarf that warms the whole body up.



My mom and I snuck away from all the Christmas festivities (and the Lakers/Heat game) to watch this amazing movie.  Amazing…that’s all I can say.  Mama and I couldn’t help but compare South Africa’s struggle to the Civil Rights movement.  How far ahead of us the native South Africans were, but how much longer it took them to overcome…..daunting……


scandal rain

Courtesy of

Is there any other show?  I’ve been a Gladiator since Day One!  Love me some Olitz!  But of course as my friend says….”Fitz and Olivia can’t ever be together, because Fitz (as Carl) killed Sam”. 🙁





A local restaurant, Red Bone Alley, is definitely my favorite!  My hubby doesn’t like to eat there, so we ALWAYS go there for “Ladies Lunch”!  They have the best shrimp and grits around, plus a shrimp curry meal to die for.  The best part?  They have a children’s section and ice cream for the kiddos!  Since my DD always eats Zaxby’s when we go, she has a ball playing while my girls and I are laughing and talking!




Hmm….I’ve been stuck in a rut lately…..  This is eye-opening…..I can’t even think of a new FOOD I’ve tried!  Oh, that gonna change people…..that’s DEFINITELY going to change. 





All of the wonderful gifts from my kiddos!  I work at a high poverty school, so I know that these children really had to be thinking of me to receive a gift!



Our school is becoming a HPLC (High Progress Literacy Classroom) and this is a great idea to let students know today’s schedule as well as “lull time” or “early finishers” options.


My favorite blog post for this year would have to be the one where I highlighted my first self-created Interactive Student Notebook lesson.  It uses my favorite Flocabulary video “On Trial” and introduces key skill vocabulary that my students will encounter over and over again.  It’s sold quite well in my TpT store, too! 🙂



Opening my TpT store and having a little success!  Of course I’m not raking in any big bucks, but it’s enough to handle those subscriptions coming out of my PayPal account! 🙂



That’s my world right there!  My hubs and DD make me smile every single time!  Well, almost….lol!  And see that cutie in the middle?  She didn’t talk until she was three years old because of her Autism.  It was such a struggle for us to come to terms with….made us really reevaluate what was important…. And now, this girl is bringing home Honor Roll report cards from her REGULAR 2nd grade classroom!


When my students last year came up with this awesome song remix to prepare students for our yearly standardized test.  They did an AMAZING job!




My goal for 2014 is to be a better me.  There are so many things I want to be better at…..patience, organization, thoughtfulness, health, my relationship with God… bit by bit, one tiny sliver at a time, I plan to be a better me!


My word is:


Because that’s my goal EVERY SINGLE DAY! To inspire the wonderful kiddos that I am blessed to work with.  Because when I inspire THEM to be better, I inspire myself just a little bit more….

Tried It Tuesday {Interpreting Author’s Craft ISN Activity}

Oh my goodness!  I can’t believe that it’s been a month since I posted last.  I’ve got to do better! 🙁

Tried It Tuesday

But what better post to jump back in it than Fourth Grade Flipper‘s “Tried It Tuesday”!  This is my second year of students keeping an Interactive Student Notebook (ISN) and it keep getting better for me and the kids…lol.  I splurged this summer on I’m Lovin’ Lit‘s Interactive Reading Notebooks and haven’t regretted it for one second!

I love how she sends you an editable template which was perfect for my Interpreting Author’s Craft lesson.  I was able to tweek her foldable and align it perfectly with my flipchart.  As sixth graders we are responsible for knowing tone, flashback, and foreshadowing, so the foldables had to reflect those concepts.


Who woulda thunk 6th grade boys would be so careful with their coloring!  The kids did an amazing job.  We made sure that we spread the “iPods” out so that they would have room to write the formal definitions and then we put the kid friendly version inside the screen.

Take a look….

photo (5)


Didn’t they do a great job?  We’ll be working on the Mood/Tone one in just a few days.

Until the next time,


Spark Student Motivation {September 14th}

I hope everyone has had an amazing week! I sure have! It’s a beautiful Saturday and while I’m spending my morning getting my hair fried, dyed, and laid to the side :-), I thought I’d link up with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Linky Party!


I’ve previously shared what a Vistaprint fan I am. And I firmly believe that building relationships with students and their family is just as important as teaching the content. So in this post I’m showing the blending of the two.

Once a week I send home postcards to parents of my awesome students! The postcard just lets parents know that I see the hard work their children put in on a daily basis and I appreciate their support!


You should see how excited the kids are the day after their parents get a card. They work even harder! And my kids already work HARD!

How many of you are Vistaprint fans? What neat ways do you use their products in your classroom?

And don’t forget to head over to Joanne’s link up and discover some other awesome ideas!

Until the next time,