A Bloglovin’ Giveaway Linky Party


By this time, I’m sure that most people realize the Google Reader is going away. I’ve said it….all my bloggy buddies have said it….it’s going…..going….and on July 1 it will be gone!

Collaboration Cuties is hosting a Bloglovin’ giveaway linky party and the blogosphere is giving out a ton of gifts! Well, I’m jumping on the bandwagon as well.

I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card! And who couldn’t use an Amazon gift card?



Just a few reminders…..

1. If you haven’t already, you can create your Bloglovin’ account here

2. If you would like to import your Google Reader blogs, click here

3.  Make sure you leave me your bloglovin’ user name as well as your email address so that I can award the prize!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until the next time,


I’m Lovin’ Bloglovin {Linky Party}

I blog through Edublogs and I have always been jealous of my “Blogger” bloggy friends because of the Google Reader widget.  But if you haven’t heard (I’m totally sure you have), Google Reader is going away and if you want to save your favorite bloggers you better do it now!

The wonderful site that has taken it’s place is Bloglovin’!  And I’m lovin’ some Bloglovin’! He He!  It will allow you to import all of your Google Reader blogs..totally easy peasy….I’ve already joined so if you haven’t clicked on that cute little Bloglovin’ widget on the right you may do so right now!  If you are already one of my Bloglovin’ followers thanks a heap!

To follow me you can click right here! 🙂
Follow on Bloglovin

Tori’s Teacher Tips is having a Bloglovin’ Blog Hop!  How cool is that?


bloglovin' blog hop

If you click on the image above, Tori will give you a tutorial on how to create your Bloglovin’ account and you might find a new exciting blog to follow!  Tori is also giving out a prize a day to her bloglovin’ followers.  So if you have the time, head on over right now and check her out!

Until the next time,



Spark Student Motivation Saturdays {June 22nd}

Happy Saturday, friends! I am so excited about today’s schedule….sleep in, blog peruse, “boot camp” exercising with friends and family, and linking up with Joanne and her Spark Student Motivation Saturdays linky party! 🙂


I’m going to use the dreaded word “standardized testing” today. Despite my frustration with using that one method to judge my teaching ability and what students have learned, I know that it is not going away.

I spent 10 years in North Carolina and was spoiled by immediate testing feedback. We would test Tuesday – Thursday and receive scores back on Friday. Students were held accountable because if they were unsuccessful on the test, they spent the remaining weeks of school reviewing with the dreaded possibility of summer school on the horizon.

In South Carolina, school is long over before testing data is received. Although many of our students work hard on the test, it really has not merit with them because they’re already in the next grade before they even find out their results. EVERYTHING is hanging over our heads (teachers) and NOTHING is hanging over our students’ heads.

Last year, our 6th grade team created a PASS Prize Card to encourage our students to try their best on the test and use those strategies that we’d worked on all year.


Last year, the cards worked….”ok”…. This year they worked fabulously! One of the reasons that they worked so well is that this year 6th graders actually had to take the Writing test in February before the Reading test in May. Students who received all initials on their card spent a Friday morning celebrating their hard work. They were treated to ice cream sundaes and each room had a different activity – dancing, Wii games, board games, and movies. Those students who were unable to go to the Writing Incentive Party made doggone sure they went to the May PASS Incentive Party.

And their hard work paid off. My students went from 68% mastery to 72% mastery this year. 32% of those students scored on the Exemplary level. Whoop!

Well, off to get ready to get my butt kicked in boot camp….I’ll tell you all about it later….

Until the next time,


Tricks of the Trade Thursday: Homework Collection

Yes, I know it’s Sunday, but with the ending of school, I’ve been MIA in the blogosphere.  Jessica at Joy in the Journey is hosting an AWESOME linky party – Tricks of the Trade Thursday and with this week’s subject being Homework Collection….I had to jump in!  I’ll get on track next week!



I am a supporter of homework.  I know how difficult it is to get students to actually complete homework – but I also see the benefits when it connects to current concepts as well as a review of concepts that students have not done well with.  I know that many teachers don’t feel this way, but *shrugging* to each his own.  Besides that, it is required at our school.  So win/win for me!

When I moved to my new school three years ago I went from being responsible for 50 students to 100+ students…..Whoa!  Believe it or not – it makes a HUGE difference!  I also went from having 100 minutes to 55 minutes with students……Double Whoa!  Before, we had 20 minutes of Self-Selected Reading everyday and I could use that time to collect homework It’s taken me three years to come up with something that is workable and I can keep up with.

Students are given a weekly “Homework Sheet” on Monday that isn’t due until Friday.  I got this wonderful idea from our 8th Grade ELA teacher.  She does it for the entire 9 weeks, but sixth graders can barely keep up with assignments week to week! 🙂 It is in three parts:  reading that focuses on concepts, writing/grammer, and independent reading.


Although it isn’t due until Friday, I still check daily to make sure they’re on track.  On Monday, I use PowerTeacher to create a roster that highlights the homework outlined for the week.  I have a student in each class period that checks off on the clipboard and I use Class Dojo to award points for those students who are on track.  I also have them stamp on the assignment as an additional incentive.


On Friday, students staple the Homework sheet to the loose-leaf paper that they’re required to complete the assignments on and turn it in to me.  Students who do not have their homework lose Class Dojo points and are given a Missing Homework slip that is completed by the student and signed by the parent.


They complete both sides and I cut the slip in half.  I keep one and attached it to the signed parent one after it’s brought back.  Each part is a separate grade and I average the three grades to given them a Weekly Homework Average.  Students that have a stamp for every assignment get an additional $5 in Jefferson’s Bucks.

Students are also required to write their homework down in their agenda daily.  As their ticket out the door, I stamp their agenda.

If you’re interested, you can click here to download the Missing Homework Slip from my Teacher’s Notebook Store.

Until the next time!


Spark Student Motivation Saturday: Flocabulary – Learning Through Music Videos

I definitely enjoy linking up with Joanne on her Spark Student Motivation Saturdays!  I get so many great ideas from her and the blogging buddies who link up!


Today, I want to share with you a favorite of mine….Flocabulary!



Flocabulary is an online learning platform that delivers educational hip-hop songs and videos to students in grades K-12. Founded in 2004, Flocabulary is now used in over 15,000 schools and reaches a weekly audience of 5 million students. Their mission is to motivate kids and help them reach their full academic potential, not only by raising test scores but by fostering a love of learning in every child.

Here is a video about test taking skills:

My kids absolutely love it!  They have videos for every subject matter as well as a vocabulary component for English teachers.  They also do The Week In Rap, a weekly current events video.  When Flocabulary initially launched, the majority of the videos were lyrics, but not much video.  They are continuously evolving and I am so impressed with this site.

I use the videos to introduce concepts that we are working on, but if we finish an activity early or the class has been really good – they beg me to play a video.  As they are walking down the hall, I hear them singing the lyrics to the songs – which mean they are LEARNING key concepts!  A win/win situation!

There is a small cost involved ($7 – 10 a month), but it is definitely worth it.  Stop by Flocabulary and check it out!  And don’t forget to stop by Joanne’s site (click on the linky picture above) and link up as well!


Until the next time!


Let’s Get Acquainted Linky! (April 14th)


Latoya at Flying Into First Grade hosts this incredibly fun linky party! This week’s theme is the Skittles game!


Red – Butter pecan! It was grandmother and mother’s favorite….so of course it’s mine!

Orange – Becoming a member of my sorority. My mother was there to pin me, and that ceremony is one of the most beautiful ceremonies in the world.

Yellow – LA Lakers! I was born a Lakers fan! And although I am not really a Kobe fan, I couldn’t resist this pic……


Green – Chick-fil-a….hands down! A #1….no salt fries…and a Coke Zero….um, um, good!


Purple – Hmmmmm. When I was two I fell down a flight of stairs at my undergrad alma mater (my entire family went there). I knocked out my four front teeth, dislocated my jaw bone, and cracked a bone in the lower middle. Almost all my elementary school pics have a closed lip smile! The teeth didn’t grow back until 5th grade and they grew in crooked. Hello, braces!

Until the next time!


Spark Student Motivation Saturday (April 13th)

I just love linking up with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Saturday linky party!


I am a Vistaprint fanatic!  They create first-class marketing products at a very reasonable cost.  Sometimes you can get products for free and only have to worry about paying for shipping and handling.  Through Vistaprint, I have created parent contact postcards (for positive and negative behavior), business cards, a class banner, magnets, and the product I’m highlighting today, “Whooooo Did A Great Job” student reward cards.

Positive Contact Card


I like these cards, because they can be given out for anything! Came in and immediately got started on bellwork? Get a card!  Ranked #1 on our device activity? Get a card!  Awesome participator today? Get a card!  Students return their cards and I put them in a box for a weekly drawing where they can earn various types of passes (HW, Bonus Points, Missed Assignment).  We’re required to make 5 positive parent contacts a month and with this card it is, as my DD says, easy-peasy!

And, like I said earlier, these cards were so inexpensive!  I got 250 of them free and only had to pay shipping and handling.  I ended up going back and ordering a second set, so I think I paid around $14.00 for 500 of them…..that’s it!

Do you have a creative activity that you use to spark your students’ interests?  I’m sure you do, so head over to Joanne’s to share your wonderful strategies!


Until the next time!


Let’s Get Acquainted Linky (April 7th)

Latoya from Flying Into First’s Let’s Get Acquainted Linky is still going strong!



This week’s theme is:  Stranded!

“If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you take?”

1. I would have to take hubby and dear daughter….I couldn’t be anywhere for a long period of time without them!  A weekend….probably….but longer than that I’m sick…..

2.  iDevices…..I can’t go anywhere without my iPad, but I would need my iPhone to tether so that I could have internet access.

3.  A BIIIIIIIIIGGGGGG umbrella connected to a nice comfortable chair, lol.  I don’t mind being active and out in the sun, but when it’s time to rest – I want to be comfortable!


What would be your three items?

Wanna link up?  Click on the linky pic and it will take you right over to Latonya’s site. Don’t forget to click on the link before and after yours and leave a nice comment!


Happy linking!


April Currently

Yes, it’s 12:51 and I have no business being up!  Yes, I’m on Spring Break, but I still need to be asleep.  But I had wunnerful, wunnerful day with my family today yesterday, and after a great meal, I took a loooong nap.

So now I’m awake and I’m hungry but DH fell asleep on the couch watching basketball and I don’t want to wake him – because he does have to go to work tomorrow!

I was thinking that maybe I could sneak down and grab something out of the fridge to snack on – but then I thought to myself, “Well, Let’s see what Farley‘s up to?”  And low and behold her currently for April was already up and running.  So here goes…..

You should link up too….Don’t forget the rule of 3…comment on the 2 links in front of you and the one after you…it’s so rude if you don’t…:-)

Until the next time!

The Paperless Classroom???!!!

I’m drowning in paper! Progress reports, writing assignments, homework assignments, classwork assignments, data handouts……HELP!  I am on case 4 of paper for this year and that doesn’t even count the packs of colored paper that I’ve used for other assignments.  I have a difficult time keeping up with things and recently I’ve been trying to find a better way to at least keep track of items that I know I will need to refer back to constantly.

I have a Dropbox account, a Box account, and an Evernote account, and that’s helped a bit, but I have to admit that my Evernote account has been grossly underused.  When I went to the SCIRA Conference this year and I finally figured out how to create Evernote “stacks”, which has helped considerably.

In my goal to improve upon my paper cluttered classroom, I’m joining up with Eberopolis and her Go Paperless Classroom Challenge linky!  I teach 100+ students, so being able to find a way to reduce those weekly 1000’s of sheets of paper floating around will be a great help!

While I’m out for Spring Break, I will work on adding notebooks for each of my 110 students and adding data that I already have.  The goal will be to figure out how to add new data quickly and efficiently.  I do not want to scan in 110 groups of assignments!

Interested, click on the link or picture to visit Eberopolis and join in!


Until the next time!