Technology Thursday Answer Garden Site and App

             I am joining Teaching Trio for Technology Thursday with an awesome new site. I am currently at training as a Core Coach for Tennessee and one of my fellow coaches has shared an amazing new site with me. Answer Garden is a brain storming site/app.

             Creating a AnswerGarden is simple. It walks you through each step and it takes two minutes to set it up. My favorite feature is that you can decided whether to allow answers to be posted or if they need to be approved first.

 It is a lot like a Wordle, but multiple individuals can answer at one time to add to it and create your Answergarden. The answer can either be 20 or 40 characters. 

        I am looking forward to using this site during the next school year and I would love to hear how you plan on using it in your classroom. Be sure to head over to Teaching Trio to find more tips and ideas.


Sailing Into Summer Organization Tips

            I have joined some amazing bloggers for a Sailing into Summer Blog Hop. On each blog you will find tips and ideas to help you prepare for summer and the upcoming year. After checking out my tips below follow the links to check out the other tips and tricks.

         I’m meeting with a few of my teaching friends to plan for the upcoming year in just a few days. To help us create our yearly plan I created a weekly template to use. The template has weeks 1-34 and can be edited to fit your classroom needs.

            You can grab a Word document of my yearly planning template here. I know it seems crazy to start planning for August in May, but usually I plan 6 weeks at a time, so it is not so time consuming and mind boggling. This helps me make sure I’m going to teach all the skills needed within the time needed. Of course these plans aren’t written in stone, but they really help me during the year stay on track. I’m always interested in seeing how other plans, let me know how you plan below in the comments.


Getting Ready for Field Trips Season


Field trip season is upon us. I just finished packing my bag for the first of three field trips that I will be taking with my students. I have packed the following:

  • Germ-X
  • Sunglasses
  • Pocket Juice: It is a mobile phone charger I found at Walmart for ten dollars. It never fails my phone dies, and I need it to send Remind messages and to let parents know we are getting close to home. 
  • Grooming Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Allergy medicine and Tylenol 
  • pens
  • Clipboard with storage area: I use to bring a folder, but it is so hard to take roll on a thin folder. Plus I can keep my pens and student information inside without it falling out.
 I’d love to know what you pack in your field trip bag. Share in the comments below. 

Field Trip checklist


Looking for Free Nonfiction Articles?


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  I was introduced to a new free educational website. Smithsonian Tween Tribune  is a K-12 site with news articles. The reasons I love this site are:

  • You can change the Lexile level of articles. 
  • You can assign quizzes based on the articles.
  •  You can search for articles by Lexile level.
  • Lexile levels range from 500-1600.
  • Students can be added to your class to allow the students to comment on articles. (Great for having a class discussion, which can be only seen by your class or made public by the teacher) 
  • They have certificates for students success on quizzes,
  •  The articles are chosen by professional journalists.
  • They have articles in Spanish.  

Now that you know why I love this site check it out for yourself by clicking here.


Tennessee Released 2014 TCAP and EOC Test Items

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  The Tennessee Department of Education has released questions for 2014 TCAP and EOC. They have also included item analysis for each item. You can find the questions on Edtools and the item analysis on Pearson Access. If you do not have your login information for these sites, please contact your principal. Please let me know if you need assistance by e-mailing me (button is on the side). Also, follow on Twitter and Facebook for more updates and resources.


Subject-Verb Agreement Practice Freebie

  It’s that time of year when we start thinking about reviewing for our yearly testing. Instead of mind-numbing practice tests, I have been working on activities to review when the snow finally melts, and we go back. Subject-verb agreement is a skill students need lots of review.

Subject-Verb Agreement Practice

               I’ve created 30 sentence strips that have a sentence with either correct or incorrect subject-verb agreement.

Subject-Verb Agreement Practice
I will cut each sentence out and then laminate them. After that, I will attach a magnet to each strip. I’m lucky, and I have a magnetic whiteboard in my classroom. I’ve listed below how I’m going to use them in my room, but you can use them in many different ways.

Correct or Incorrect Activity: 

  1. Review subject-verb agreement and review a few examples
  2. Make a t-chart on the board with a correct and incorrect section.
  3. Give each student, at least, one sentence strip. 
  4. Give students two minutes to attach their sentence to the correct part of the t-chart.
  5. Discuss the sentences in the correct section of the t-chart. 
  6. Split the class into groups. 
  7. Then give the groups about five minutes to correct the incorrect sentences. 
  8. Then ask groups to share how and why they fixed the sentence. 

      Hope everyone can find a use for these subject-verb agreement sentence strips. Click here to download them.  I also have a Pinterest board dedicated to subject-verb agreement resources. Check out the board here. Since I’m snowed in, I’ll be working on more activities and sharing them. 


You Oughta Know: Constructed Response Resources

            I’m joining Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for her monthly You Oughta Know blog hop. One of the biggest changes in Tennessee for the upcoming TN Ready assessments is the use of constructed response questions. Many of our students have not had nearly enough practice with this skill. So I’ve been searching high and low for resources to help my students. Here is what I have found out there. (All free of course)

RACE Written Response Mnemonic Strategy Lesson & Evaluatio

Julie Faulkner created RACE Written Response Mnemonic Strategy Lesson & Evaluation Pack on TPT for free. I love using mnemonics to help my students remember. 

Constructed Response RACE Strategy Resource
Teaching Lane created Constructed Response RACE Strategy Resource on TPT for free. 

ACE BCR Questions Poster
MsHayden created a different mnemonic to answer constructed response questions. 

Caffeine and Lesson Plans has a great blog post about how color coding can help your students answer constructed response questions. 
We All Scream for Constructed Response
Lastly, Brenda Martin created this adorable We All Scream for Constructed Response resource for free on TPT.

    I hope you have found something that you can use to help you students answer constructed response questions. Be sure to check out all the other great bloggers and their You Oughta Know posts. 


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