Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Listen and Respond - Have Listening Skills Died? FREEBIE Activity

This is a short and sweet post. A great activity during a rainy day, or one of those very busy days when you are not sure you are going to be able to start a new topic is to practice ACTIVE listening.

Play this story. Written and read by me.

Ask a series of Questions - as they read, OR for more advanced students, afterwards (I think that is rather difficult). Age ranges 6-12.

  • What is the name of the boy?
  • As you listen, write down words, phrases or descriptions that appeal to you.
  • What does he call his grandfather?
  • What is his living/housing situation?
  • Grandfather's occupation? 
  • What naughty things does he get up to?
  • What is the main difficulty between him and his grandfather?
  • How does he describe the woman who shows up in this story?
  • What is the problem the grandfather has with this woman or what she represents?
  • Can you relate to this boy, Sayed? If so what example in the story is most relatable to you?
**  Sadly Blogger doesn't currently support MP3 inserts. Please open separately! 


Writing and Renovating - Can you do it all??

It has been far too long friends and blog friends. I have not published and owe everyone a reason. Writing, creating lesson plans and teaching resources is one of the best experiences I've had. Then, wme and my husband moved. Everything STOPPED, except for the manual labor of moving, unpacking, stowing, tossing out, looking for items....well, you get the idea.

Can you blame me for dreaming?

Since we moved into this aged groovy splitster - 

not only have I accomplished little writing for the educational venues, but I have learned how slowly a reno can actually TAKE. I don't mind caulking and and spackling, edging the crown and the base molding/moulding - but it is the sanding that sets my nerves on end. I loved the vintage lavender tile in the bathroom, until I moved in and it seemed EVERYWHERE, and we had to pry it out surgically with a hammer and chisel. WHY? Because when you want it to look good, you have to do it yourself. In short, For a long while, it seems a lot of nothing was getting done. 

Lavender Dream  -  Before (Do I LIE?)

It's awesome, it's terrible. It's terrible and awesome at the same time. I think Ollivander said this about Voldemort. At first and I hesitate to ADMIT this....I may have purchased the house because this bathroom was soooooo dated it made me think of my deceased grandmother, who I loved so much, and, who at the time, was wonderful with design. Of course, once we moved in, I felt that horrible sinking feeling that comes with having spent a LOT OF MONEY on an unreliable car that has a "fancy paint color."  I panicked and wondered how much work we would have to do to make this house beautiful.

My husband got angry and said "YOU were the one who wanted it. NOW you want to fix it?"

So we were off to fixing things. 

What did we learn? A lot about Bathroom Remodel - and Style. 

Before I show you some more pics, here are some tips I've learned. 
  • Keep your main plumbing and fixtures where they are, if you can help it.
  • Keep cabinetry as close to flush as possible. Water damage/seepage between cabinets is real.
  • Buy the paint samples and use them - if you have only one window in your bathroom like we do, that color in the store is not the same color on your wall. 
  • Go to as many stores as you can to bargain price the tile - it all adds up. THEN, go online. 

So if you haven't gotten the FULL in you face force of lavender yet, this is what we decided: respect the past. The walls on the right were kept completely INTACT, vintage and fabulous. The walls on the left had tiles EXCISED using a hammer and chisel. 

We used your standard thinset, then unsanded white grout. We interspersed  white, high-gloss "Wavecrest" tile from Lowes on this right side but still kept much, to some of the lavender. 


A RETRO is NOW-TRO, cohesive look when you "run the eye" around the rooms that also required less effort than a total gut; a lounge-y polished look that pays homage to the past but that is much more light-reflective given the single window and narrow space. We additionally blew out the upper soffit you see in the shower...it made the space too confining and was the work of an hour. See the Lowe's tile choice here or the pic below.

allen + roth Wavecrest White Gloss Ceramic Wall Tile (Common: 4-in x 12-in; Actual: 4.25-in x 12.75-in)


Using high gloss tile with a wave pattern isn't remotely vintage or "old school" - but using a band of color over a white block is definitely a retro move, As is doing a mostly white palette with a pattern of pieced color tiles.   In the end we did both.

Here see we adopted a very retro BAND of intact, lavender. We just left it there. WE filled in our new glossy tile. In the end it looks as if it is running around the entire powder room. The glossy white makes it pop. 

I take credit for the alarmingly zen and modern cabinetry. What before was a tiled countertop and two sinks, is now one larger sink and a cabinet for all of our towels. 

If you LIKE this, you can credit me and my husband Gene, but also IKEA - Every item here is Ikea. Notice you can see the lavender wall in the back and the intact lavender remnant with the new white insert. It looks seamless and a fair bit more airy than the original. 

 AND SOOO....Can you do it all?

 Yes, but very slowly, perhaps one item at a time. If you do it this way, it will look great. But it's possible your other entrepreneurial tasks may suffer. Be warned. We are now working on the craft room. That should be fun...... 

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Literary League 12 Days of Giving, Freebie Round-Up & Sale

The Literary League's 12 Days of Christmas includes 12+ seasonal and year round freebies for secondary English Language Arts teachers and a giveaway for a TPT gift certificate.

Thanks so much for the overwhelming response to the 12 Days of Giving hosted by the Literary League!  

To celebrate the season and our favorite fellow teachers (that’s you!), we’re all having a sale in our TpT shops today, Saturday, December 12th and tomorrow, Sunday, December 13th.  That’s right!  Pop over to each of our shops and you’ll find all of our resources at 20% off!

The Literary League's 12 Days of Christmas includes 12+ seasonal and year round freebies for secondary English Language Arts teachers and a giveaway for a TPT gift certificate.

Oh, and if you haven't entered for a chance to win the Teachers Pay Teacher gift card, you can do so below. Today is the last day to enter!

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Just in case you missed one of the featured freebies, click the links below.

The Creative Classroom - Two Column Notes Organizer
Perfetto Writing Room - SteadfastTin Soldier
Literary Sherri - Winter Poems - Poetry Analysis
Mrs. Spangler in the Middle - Christmas Zap Game
The Classroom Sparrow - Holiday Essay Outline
2 Peas and a Dog - Christmas Writing Prompts
Brain Waves Instruction - Endof Year Reflection and Infographic
The Daring English Teacher - WinterThemed Grammar Worksheets

From all of us Literary Leaguers, wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Literary League Kicks Off 12 Days of Giving for Secondary ELA Teachers,.

The Literary League's 12 Days of Christmas includes 12+ seasonal and year round freebies for secondary English Language Arts teachers and a giveaway for a TPT gift certificate. Enter December 1st - December 12th.

Literary Leaguers are in the holiday spirit and we’re hosting 
12 Days of Giving!

We’re super excited to share some of our favorite freebies (both seasonal and all-year-round resources) with you and give you the chance to win a Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificate!  The 12 Days of Giving runs Tuesday, December 1st – Saturday, December 12th.

The Literary League's 12 Days of Christmas includes 12+ seasonal and year round freebies for secondary English Language Arts teachers and a giveaway for a TPT gift certificate. Enter December 1st - December 12th.

Here’s how it works…
Day 1 of Giving:  Enter to win the Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificate at any of the participating Literary Leaguers’ blogs.

Days 2-11 of Giving:  Stop by each of these blogs for links to favorite English Language Arts freebies.  Hint:  Follow each of the blogs via email or Bloglovin' so that you don't miss out on the updates. You can even get the Bloglovin' app for your phone and read all your favorite bloggers in one feed!

Day 9 - Novelle

We have a feeling that you’ll love the seasonal and all-year-round resources! 

Day 12 of Giving:  We have something fun in the works for you on the 12th Day of Giving! Stop back at any of the participating blogs on December 12th to find out what we have in store for you!

Get started...

Enter to win the Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificate below.   The winner will be notified on December 13th.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Save The Season! A few of the Hardest Workin' Teacher Authors Help YOU!

A LOT of Things Thwart Your Ability to Teach and Plan During the Winter Months.

Between  Thanksgiving and New Year's, the assemblies, pageants, half days, vacations, and expectations for you to GET THINGS done despite a schedule that looks like Swiss cheese.....

                                             LET ME ASK YOU THIS, is it a wee bit stressful?

And what about the students, hmmm? Are they as ON TASK as you need or want them to be?

Among the kid who gets to go to Bali and insists on telling everyone about it every chance he gets, a handful of others who are talking about what they want as gifts, and the rest of them staring out the window because they are WISHING flakes to appear so they can go home....I guess we can agree that the answer to this one is...um, probably they are not as on task as you want them to be.

But What about you? Are you not guilty as well? Do you feel like this? And perhaps look this?

                                            Image result for crazy teacher
Maybe, in addition to a dwindling schedule and an ever increasing number of requirements, you also have to go shopping and join the HORDES of ANGRY CONSUMERS?

                         Image result for crazy shoppers     Image result for crazy shoppers

And then there's that FAMILY GET-TOGETHER, which is not at all stressful....

                          Image result for crazy family dinner     Image result for crazy family meal

SO NOW that THAT is settled... YOU MIGHT need some help getting from November through February, right?

PWR (that's ME!) and some of the finest teacher-sellers anywhere, SUGGEST

1. A Strong and organized lesson plan. This always cuts down on student management issues. During this time of year, you can't blame yourself or the students when they don't want to pay attention. They know they have time off to look forward to. However, a strong and rigorous plan with assessment funnels that energy, keeping students busy and focused until the end.

2. The plan should be fun and topical. In addition to be thoughtfully constructed to fill the necessary time, the more topical it is, the more likely students are to attend to the activity. Whether the work is analysis, research, writing, a project, (Or fill in the blanks), students seem more on board with an activity that related to the season, and one that ends with a fun closure or culminating "graded" activity on the final day.

3. It should require LESS planning than usual from you. This is essential during a period of the school year that, if it is to be believed, is even more over-scheduled and hectic than usual.  You need all the help you can get. Use the pre-planned activities and lessons you have or see the ones we have specially chosen for you, then, use them every year. Some of the ones we have below are FREE but all are reasonably priced. 

CLICK on ALL or ANY to learn more....Have fun, and enjoy today and the rest of holiday rush!  Special Thanks to Brynn Allison the Literary Maven, Dr. Ellen Weber, Literary Sherri, Brain Waves Instruction, and Secondary Sara!  
See how these resources can make YOUR SEASON BRIGHTER! 

Winter Holidays Common Core Research Presentation Project    Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Clause: Interactive Lesson Nonfiction Close Reading - Will Your New Year's Resolutions Last?

  The Hanukkah Master Activity Pack with Common Core Standar   Writing Task Cards: December  Christmas Break Activities, Christmas Break Project, Holid

The Gift of the Magi: Short Story Literary Analysis Unit  New Year’s Writing for Teens: Choice Menu with 40 Prompts      Magi Gifts and Yours - Holiday Story and Writing

End of the Year Activity - Personal Reflection and Infographic       Nonfiction Close Reading - The Holidays: A Bit More GivingFREEBIE - Steadfast Tin Soldier. Essay Samples for Critica

10 Brainy Gifts to Give for FREE