Thursday, January 23, 2014


Ok-maybe not a BAZILLION, but more than seventy!!!

It will be an exciting weekend of FREEBIES.  Starting Saturday morning through 7PM on January 27th I am taking part in a Facebook Free-For-All with 74 of my teacher blogger friends!

By clicking on the image above, you will head to my Facebook page.  By liking my page, you will be taken to my TpT store where you can download the perfect FREEBIE for your middle grade-middle school classroom.  From there you will head to a SMORGASBORD of other teacher bloggers to repeat the process as many times as you would like. 

Grab an extra printer cartridge and prepare to download your brains out!

See you Saturday!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Test Prep....UGGHHH!

Now is the time of year when things start to get a little more tense around the school building.  The year is half-way completed, the second set of conferences are quickly approaching, and TESTING seems to be looming.  AHHHH the stress can be overwhelming!!!

I have found that cramming for state tests is not beneficial for my students.  It stresses them, retention is limited, and there are so many positive ways to keep them focused as testing season approaches.  However, every moment of instructional time counts.

For that reason, I created this Waiting in Line Challenge!  It is a fun tool to keep students thinking throughout transitional times.  Simply print, laminate, and cut the question cards.  Bring along with your WHEREVER you go with students.  During any moment, challenge students to answer what is on the cards.  Provide some little incentive-bonus point, school money, stickers, etc.

Click the image to download for FREE!

I would love for you to try it out with your kiddos and let me know what they thought.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

How do you teach FABLES?

My students LOVE fables!  They are clever little stories that involve talking animals, and convey a lesson!  What is more fun than that?

The other day my neighbor stopped me.  She is a mom of three teenagers-a college freshman, a high school junior, and an eighth grader...YIKES!  She asked if I wanted to come over to check out some books she was planning to get rid of? "Of course!" I said .

Side note-I am not a pack rat-I am a pitcher-trasher!
  1. I hate clutter!  
  2. I have a hard time watching Hoarders!
  3. When things are left around the house by my children, I contemplate whether they will miss them if I throw them away!
So off I go to my neighbor's!  To my dismay, but my daughter's pure joy, she has a GIANT bag of crap stuff that she is wanting to send my way! Everything from craft supplies, broken trinkets, stickers-you name it-it was in the bag.  My daughter wanted EVERYTHING, darn her!  She then went through a stack of books! Among them a version of Aesop's Fables I had not seen...inspiration for my latest reader's theaters.

After reading through this version, I found some fables I have never read with my students and created four, one-page, three-character scripts with corresponding reader response questions to give students the chance to: work on fluency, enhance comprehension, and learn about the fable genre in a FUN way!

Fable scripts included in the BUNDLE:
The Fox and the Crane
The Fox and the Cat
The Wolf and the Crane
The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
Moral of my story: my neighbor's trash turned into my latest treasure!
Click the image to check out my latest FABLE creation.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Is it St. Patrick's Day, yet?

Just kidding!  Although now that Christmas is over, I am more than ready for spring-like temps.  Better yet, just get me out of the single digits.  We are a family that spends a TON of time outside, but gangrene is not my best color!

I took some time off of creating and writing resources over the holiday break.  Managing three kiddos, preparing for family visitors, baking, wrapping, cleaning, crawler-chasing, and writing anything worth posting was a bit of a challenge.  My 10 month old's favorite activities to date are pulling out the outlet covers and pulling himself up on the art easel.  My house is baby-proofed and this child is blockaded in safe spaces, but he is fast as lightning when a gate is moved or a pillow is shifted.  Little bugger!  Needless to say I have had a few mini-heart attacks over the last few weeks.

Finally, with the holidays over and the start of a new year, inspiration hit!  Despite this quick baby and a snow day, yesterday I completed a St. Patrick's Day inspired reader's theater mystery.  My inspiration is always my students.  The daily occurences in a school building are plentiful for sure.  I have always found recess and the lunch room to be central settings for the greatest amount of drama content for my writing.  So recess and the lunchroom on St. Patrick's Day is right where this script takes place.

Text Summary: While the 6th grade students are participating in St. Patrick's Day team challenges, recess equipment goes missing. Students accuse one particular student, but it turns out that the culprit is not one that would ever be suspected.

Your students will love working on their fluency and comprehension with this high-interest, realistic fiction mystery. They will also learn that sometimes we can learn a great deal by making mistakes. A must have for this green holiday! 

This 20-page Fun Pack includes:
-8 1/2 page, 12-character script
-directions for classroom use
-a list of CCSS covered
-reader response questions
-context clue word work
-two high energy games for outdoor or gymnasium play
-a sweet St. Patrick's Day treat idea

I hope you had a restful break.  If you are one who plans far ahead, check out this brand new reader's theater resource.

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year! FREEBIE and Word of the Day: CCSS Word Work for Middle School-UPDATED

Happy New Year!  I am having a hard time believing that 2013 is a memory, and we have embarked on 2014!  Where did this past year go!  As I reflect, I am grateful for so many things...
Here are 9:
  1. We added a new member to our Beers' clan!  My baby boy, Landon is now a few days shy of ten months old-holy moly! Watching him grow has been a joy! 
  2. My family is healthy!
  3. I have had the opportunity to stay home with Landon and see my other two kiddos off to school each day, as well as enjoy lots of different school fun that I might not have had the chance to take part in working full time.
  4. My husband has a new job that he loves.  The AMAZING sunglasses I get are a nice perk, too!
  5. My three kiddos are mostly good listeners and treat each other well the majority of the time.
  6. I have gotten to spend more time with my Gram this year.  We can't wait to take her to the Cincinnati vs. UCONN women's basketball game in February!  She is a superfan!
  7. I have had the time to create resources that I will be able to use with my students when I return to teaching.
  8. I can still run sub-8 minute miles and do Shaun T.'s Insanity workouts.
  9. The fun we have as a family!  My kids and husband make me belly laugh DAILY!
What I resolve to do in 2014:
  1. Keep my cool when frustrated.   Ohhhhhh, there are days where my patience is thin and the crumbiest plate with apple sauce flies off the table and onto the floor because of a small person not sitting in her chair.  I am working to keep the steam in my ears and the fire from flying out of my mouth.
That's it!  There are so many things I can work on, but this is for sure the thing I currently like the least about myself.   So I will continue my work!

Enough about me...onto you!

I hope you are ready to head back to the classroom well-rested and eager to begin again.  Over the break, I updated the very first TpT resource I ever created.  It is a Word of the Day CCSS Word Work resource I created to enhance vocabulary with my students.  I realized it needed some HUGE changes and updates based on how I used it.  It has been revamped and is a pretty great tool, if I don't say so myself:)  One component that I updated was the organizer used by students.  It is one that you can either copy or have students re-create daily in their vocabulary notebooks. (to save copies)

If you are looking for a word of the day organizer for your students, click on the image and download this FREEBIE.  If you want to purchase the whole resource click below.

Enjoy these next few days of break and my fingers are crossed for some more snow days!

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