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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Currently

Oh, my goodness! It's already time for the July Currently link up with Farley! Here's mine.


  • I am listening to my San Antonio Stars lose to Phoenix. We are 2-8 so far this season. It's going to be a looong season. Sigh.
  • I am still loving WNBA Basketball. I am a big supporter of women's sports. Our WNBA players are very talented. If you ever get a chance to see a game, take it!
  • I'm thinking about Vegas! I've been prepping for my trip and I've got just about everything ready to go. Tuesday Farley and I take off and meet up with our friend from NOTJane. I can't wait to meet up with all the other bloggers and TpTers I've been in touch with online.
  • I am wanting peace for our country. Times are so hard and there is a lot of hate out there.
  • I am needing courage. I have a funeral to attend Thursday. It's going to be a difficult one.
  • All Star - I think I'm pretty good at teaching writing. My other talent is fluent sarcasm. (wink)
Now go visit Farley's blog and check out the other posts this month! Don't forget the Rule of Three.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

June Bright Ideas - Keeper of the Keys

It's time for the June Bright Ideas linky. I love reading all the tips and hints bloggers share during the linky. Almost makes me wish I wasn't retired. Almost. I think I've got a great idea to share with you this month.



Do any of you have trouble keeping track of your keys? Please tell me it's not just me.

The school where I taught the most years during my teaching career had locks all over - the school's front door, the alarm system, the gate to the hallway, the classroom door, the cabinets. Fortunately, one key fit all of those. But it meant that I always had to know where my key was. And that was.....hard. I had a tendency to put my keys down during the day and not be able to find them again. I'd be patting the top of my desk, hoping to hear them under the litter of papers. Usually some bright kiddo would help me out - they're in the closet lock....but not always. And towards the end of the year? Yeah, I didn't know where anything was! I needed help.

So I made it a classroom job.

Every year when I explained the job, my third graders took the responsibility very seriously. If I picked up my keys, their eyes were glued on me. There's something about an eight-turning-nine year old that loves knowing something the teacher doesn't. And it was fine with me! I rarely got out more than, "Where are...." before my Keeper of the Keys told me where I'd left them this time.

Maybe you need help with your keys or with something else that you have trouble keeping track of. Do what I did - make it a job!


If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, please consider visiting my Teachers Pay Teachers store and joining me on Facebook, where I share more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!



Monday, June 15, 2015

Makeover Madness! TpT Seller Challenge Week 1

I'm excited to be joining in the TpT Seller Challenge for the next few weeks.

Our first challenge is to perform a makeover on one of our TpT products. I selected my best selling Conferring Cards. This was the first paid product I ever posted in my TpT store. I had no idea about pairing fonts back then and I just used a free frame for the cover. The biggest problem is that a glance at the cover gave no ideas as to what it was or what it was used for.



Here's the after. I used some new graphics from one of my favorite designers. I selected compatible fonts, and now you can see what the product can be used for.



As a bonus, I've made Conferring Cards 20% off through June 18! Click here to go see it in my store.

I'd like to give a big thank you to the hosts of the TpT Seller Challenge for getting me motivated. I'm excited to see what's next!



Monday, June 1, 2015

June Currently

It's June 1 and that means it's time to link up with Farley for the June Currently! Here's mine.



  • I am listening to Texas Rising. This show is on the History Channel and is the story of the Texas Revolution. Very interesting, but NOT G Rated, fo sho!
  • I am loving that the WNBA Basketball season is starting. The Stars had a pre-season game last week in our (supposedly) temporary facility. We have new seats after being in the same ones for 14 years. Too much change! 
  • I'm thinking about getting to see my great niece and nephew next week. They are 7 and 6 years old and such fun! You might see a pic or 2 of us next time I blog.
  • I am wanting to stay on track with my fitness plan. I got a new exercise bike and have done time on it every day since it arrived.
  • I am needing to do a pantry and fridge cleanout. I found some canned goods with a really old expiration date. Oopsie.
  • Summer: I am going to the TpT conference in Vegas with Farley and NOTJane! Hope to see all of you there!
Now go visit Farley's blog and check out the other posts this month! Don't forget the Rule of Three.

Edited to add that Farley is coordinating a donation drive to help the critters who were affected by the flooding in Wimberley, Texas. I donated. Won't you?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May Bright Ideas

It's time for the Bright Ideas linky for May!


This month, I'd like to share how I used Bright Spots to provide student feedback.

Sometimes the temptation is to tell kids only what they've done wrong. I felt like that is all I did when I gave feedback on students' writing. 

But when I read their pieces, I'd think, "Wow! Look at that! That's really good!" I decided I needed to find a way to share that with the kids, but without killing myself to do it. So I came up with the idea of Bright Spots. 

When I'm reading student writing, I keep a yellow highlighter handy. When I come across a great example of word choice, figurative language, a vivid verb, or some other outstanding work, I simply swipe the highlighter across it. Instant Bright Spot.

Once I explained what the highlighting was for, it was the first thing the kids looked for when I returned papers. They were so excited to see what they had done well.

I started keeping the yellow highlighter with me as I conferred with students so I could add a Bright Spot while they were looking. I used it when I walked around monitoring independent work. And then my students asked if they could use it when they conferred with peers. You bet I let them - I just had them use another color than yellow, so I could tell when the Bright Spot came from me.

I hope this is an idea you think you could try. It could work for any subject - a problem worked correctly in math, a great use of vocabulary in science or social studies. Let's celebrate what our students do well!

If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, please consider visiting my Teachers Pay Teachers store and joining me on Facebook where I share more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers is Having a Sale!



My store and many others will be 20% off. Use the code thankyou when you check out for a total of 28% off your purchases.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Currently May

Can you believe it is May? I think that May is one of the longest months of the school year. Summer is so close, yet so far away. I hope it goes quickly for you!

The beginning of the month means it's time for Farley's Currently! I love participating in this linky. It ensures I blog at least once every month LOL!



  • I am listening to Chopped. I love this show. It's fun to speculate what I might do with the basket ingredients and it exposes me to new foods I've never encountered before.
  • I am still loving this beautiful weather. It has turned sunny but not too hot - predicted to be only in the mid 80s this weekend. I wish we had weather like this year round.
  • I'm thinking about softball. This weekend we have our last home games of the season. Our UTSA Lady Roadrunners are playing very well. We are excited that one of the girls was selected in the National Pro Fastpitch draft. 
  • I am wanting to finish a new product for my TpT store. I hope to get it done very soon. I'm slow when it comes to creating. LOL
  • I am needing to replace the doorbell. I guess it's a good thing we don't have many visitors since we probably wouldn't know they were at the door. Oops. 
  • Summer: I am going to the TpT conference in Vegas, fo sho! I hope to make a road trip to Tulsa to see our San Antonio Stars play, and I wish I could take a trip on the Trans-Canadian railroad. Wouldn't that be fun?
Now go visit Farley's blog and check out the other posts this month! Don't forget the Rule of Three.