Texas STAAR is quickly approaching.  I created two new resources recently.  STAAR Math Review Grade 3 and STAAR Math Review Grade 4.  These are Task Cards that can be used in a variety of ways.  If you like the STAAR packets, leave a comment. I will be working on more skill sets this week.  

1.  Use as Around the Room- place cards around the room and give students a clipboard and partner to complete all task cards.
2.  Use in small groups as a review.
3.  Use in large groups and model strategies to determine the answer.  
Grade 3 STAAR Math Review Task Cards

Each set of task cards includes:
1.  Probability and Statistics
2.  Numbers, Operations and Quantitative Reasoning
3.  Geometry 
4.  Measurement

If you are from Texas and preparing for the STAAR, what do you have that you can link up below?


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Where do you stand?

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy- MLK

I'm reminding myself of this quote each day this week.  It seems as if I'm being challenged lately and it is not easy to swim against the tide and not give up.  I'm reminding myself daily of my calling to be an educator.

Dr. King was for Justice for All and I admire his fortitude to stand and do what was right for everyone.  How many people in history do we know that have done just that?  Not many.

I'm in my position as leader of a school to make a difference.  This difference is to be made in the lives of the students on my campus.  All of us have the ability to make a unique and meaningful difference in the lives of students-students who deserve our very best each day.

I challenge you today to teach with passion.  Smile more.  Encourage and support your team.  Open minds to imaginations.  Inspire your students to discover the joy of learning.

Where do you stand today?  Do you accept the challenge?

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STAAR Math Test Prep

Well if you have been following my journey this year, you know my focus this year is math.  The STAAR test is given in April each year.  I may not agree with state testing and you probably do not either.  However, we do not have a choice on whether we give the state mandated test or not.  Every teacher in Texas is struggling with this each year.  Many schools in Texas are under pressure to increase test scores.

If you are one of these teachers and need some extra STAAR math practice in your classroom, I have created this STAAR Math Review for Grade 3.

Suggestions on how to use the STAAR Math Task Cards:

1.  Small group instruction
2.  Task cards during centers or stations
3.  Around the Room-  This is played by taping up the cards around the room and students rotate through each card until they have answered each one.

STAAR Math Review-Grade 3 is a great review that gets the students moving and active during  math class.  Third grade is the first year for testing so it can be helpful to add a little extra review time before April.  


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Happy Friday! Fabulous Video

My New York friend, Carolyn, from Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together, knows how much I love Brave by Sara Bareilles.  She found this fabulous YouTube video for me and posted it on her blog here.

I hope this video inspires you to be brave and helps you have a fabulous Friday.

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My New Favorite Quote

Well, I wish I could say that this is my original quote but as you may remember I'm reading The Talent Code book.  Today is our first book study day of it.  I must be a big nerd but I love the idea of a book study.  I know...but it really is a great book.  I found something the author said so profound.  He said, "if you don't love it, you will never be good at it."

I immediately thought about work and school.  If you don't love what you do, you will never devote enough time to be good at it.  I think that is so true.  The teachers and principals that come to work counting down the days until the next break or leave as soon as the bell rings come to mind immediately.

Love what you do...Do what you love....  I am so very blessed with my job.  I absolutely love it.  A principal's job is tough- I will not lie.  But it is so rewarding too.  I can now only hope that my efforts pay off and I'm good at it too.  We shall see...


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Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Flipbook

We are in full swing of the second semester which means testing and more testing.  With students that qualify for special education, dyslexia or Section 504, it can be difficult to keep up with all the accommodations available to these students.  This is how I got organized with all of the stacks of paper.  I created a flipbook.  Since there is so much to remember, I had to create two flipbooks.  

Please know that if you are interested in this Accommodations Flipbook it is specific for TEXAS and the state STAAR test.  
This is Flipbook 1 of Accommodations.  You can take a look at the picture and see what all it includes.  I color code it just because I like color!  

Inside view
Inside view

How I use it:  I use it during ARD meetings, Student Intervention meetings and Section 504 meetings to decide which accommodations are allowed and what documentation is needed to justify my decision.  

How I bind it:  I bind it back-to-back having one large flipbook.  This is so much easier than keeping up with two separate flipbooks.

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I'm Featured Today!

It's a great sunny day in East Texas today.  Another thing that makes today so great is that Rae from Mindful Rambles featured one of my Rainbow Comprehension Packets on her blog.  She loved using it with her students that she blogged about it.

That just makes my day wonderful!

Rae is a blogger and teacher from Massachusetts.  We have had the opportunity to get to know each other through our blogs.  I think that is why I love blogging so much because I get to meet wonderful teachers all over the world.  

Head over to Mindful Rambles and check it out.

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Five for Friday

It has been awhile since I linked up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday.  Life has been busy.  I hope to see it get a bit less hectic but in the Spring semester we have so much to do at school.  We have just been back one week but I think I have done two weeks worth of work. Arriving to work by six thirty a.m. until five o'clock at night has been my thing all week.   Without further rants, here are my five for Friday.

Our campus t-shirts finally arrived.  The shipment was lost and shirts had to be remade.  I love the color.  It's a raspberry color.  I'm wearing it to work today since it's Friday.  Love getting to wear my jeans on Friday.  Shirt says, "Pittsburg, TX Home of the Fighting Pirates."

My favorite song to listen to on the way to work.  I need something like Brave by Sara Bareilles to get me started each morning.  I also love Katy Perry.  

Station Timer- My station timer has been a big selling item on TpT this week.  I'm super excited about that.  If you haven't seen it, you really need to check it out.  It is totally editable so you can add your student's names in the frames and even customize it with fonts of your own.  When you hit play and begin rotations, the center picture begins to appear.  Music plays when it's time to rotate.  

Rainbow Comprehension for Young Students- another big selling item on TpT. Several of my second grade teachers are using it and love it.   
Woodland Animals Theme- great for this time of the year

Well...I'm trying to lose a few pounds and inches and started drinking a tea and juice concoction.  I came up with recipe.  I make a cup of hot tea then add a cup of cranberry juice and a cup of pineapple juice.  Since I don't like hot tea, I add the juices to make it a cold drink.  I then bottle it up and carry it to work and drink it instead of sodas.  Seems to be going well...


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Thanks Tunstall

Reagan Tunstall is a fabulous blogger that I follow.   Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits is a blog of her first grade students.  I love reading it because she is a Texas teacher plus she has some fabulous ideas.

Today she shared my blog and a timer that is on my TpT store.

This just makes day fabulous already.  Now off to work.  

Let's make a difference today.  The choice is yours.

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Keeping Student Engaged

Ok, I know this is not the most beautiful picture of me especially with my finger over the screen. However, I had the best time taking it of me and Marcia Tate.  Yes, that's right..."The" Marcia Tate. Love her!  

Marcia Tate is the author of:
Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain and Shouting Won't Grow Dendrites: 20 Techniques for Managing a Brain-Compatible Classroom, as well as, various other books.

She was the presenter of our staff development on Monday.  The workshop reminded us of ways to increase student achievement.  She gave us 20 instructional strategies that engage the brain.  I have had the privilege of being in the audience 3 different times in the last few years.  I could hear it 3 more times.  She is that good. The best thing about her presentations- everything is PRACTICAL.  You don't have to go back and redo your entire classroom or purchase expensive products.

Great research and proven practices.

Everything makes sense because she is modeling each and every strategy.  Do you want students to be successful and engaged?  Do you want less discipline problems in your class?  Then you need to be using the 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain in your classroom.


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Beautiful Things

I was truly inspired yesterday after reading Amanda's post from One Extra Degree.  She shared this video.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Let's all make 2014 the best year yet.

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More Comprehension Packets & Station Timer

I worked on completing my Farm Animals Rainbow Comprehension Packet.  It is complete and ready to go.  It includes real-life pictures of each animal and clipart images.  I think adding real pictures helps students comprehend better and help students that may not have background knowledge of the concept.  Click here to see it being used in second grade.

I also added two new station rotation timers.  They are both editable.  All you need to do is add your student's names in the space around the timer and hit play.  When it is time to rotate, music will play.

The inside changes to say "rotate."  

Here is the other station timer.  You can customize the station names to fit your classroom stations. These are just examples of what we use.

Check this out!  The center image starts to appear during the rotation.  This is a visual to students to how much time is remaining.  When the entire picture is filled, the music will begin playing and it will say Rotate.

Time to Rotate.
There are two timers available on TpT.  
This timer is five 15 minute rotations.
I also have a Chevron five 10 minute rotation timer.

Both timers are EDITABLE.  You can change the font and the station names.  Both can be used with any subject.  That is what makes both timers so great.  They are not content specific timers.  

While you are working on Rainbow Comprehension packets, these timers will keep the rest of the class organized in stations.  Easy Peasy.


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Martin L King, Jr, Freebie

I have a freebie for you today!  It is my gift to you for the New Year!  My American Themed Rainbow Comprehension Pack is complete and I just added a Martin L King, Jr pages this morning.  The MLK is free for you to try in your class.

This packet is designed for young students...First-Third Grade to introduce how to find answers using Text Evidence. The questions are "right there" type questions. This means the students will not have to infer to determine the answer.

After reading the passage, students will be guided to locate the answer using color pencils, crayons or highlighters. This is color coding or rainbow comprehension.

Materials needed- 4 color pencils, markers or crayons (blue, green, yellow and red).

**** Great Real-life photographs of each topic***
This packet was created in color and black-and-white to save on ink.

All American Rainbow Comprehension pack includes:
The United States Flag
Flag Q&A Sheet
Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge Q&A Sheet
The Bald Eagle
Eagle Q&A Sheet
Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Q&A Sheet
President Obama
Obama Q&A Sheet
Mount Rushmore
Rushmore Q&A Sheet
Liberty Bell
Bell Q&A Sheet
Statue of Liberty
Statue Q&A Sheet

Here is a glimpse into the complete set of American Rainbow Comprehension.

Here is the link over to the freebie for MLK.  If you download it, please give feedback.  I love hearing from you.  

If you like this set, you can download the entire set of American Theme Rainbow Comprehension pages or Woodland Animals set too.

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Look What I Made

You'll love award-winning Shutterfly photo books. Start your own today.


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Fun and Family in 2014

Today, I'm joining up with Blog Hoppin.  On day 1, we are all sharing our Fun and Family goals for 2014.

My goal is to cherish the moments with each other.  No matter how big or small but to celebrate the moments we do have together.

Don't sweat the small stuff.  It will all work out. I want my life without stress and worries.  I don't need to be rich and famous.  I just want to be happy and healthy.

A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are.

I am blessed.

Kinsey-future daughter in law
Me and Brent
Jack-future son in law
Ashley- daughter
Jarrod-son in law

A trip to Wyoming
The best trip ever!

I hope 2014 is filled with much love, laughter and happiness.  Celebrate & Cherish each and every moment.

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