Sunday Scoop 2/22/15

I am linking up for the Sunday Scoop hosted by the Teaching Trio for the first time this week.  Hoping it actually helps me to get all of this done.  We shall see.

  • Cheated and bought desserts, now just have to get them delivered.
  • Killed a tree printing the Academic Planning Guide to help him look through course options.
  • Hoping the rain doesn't start until after church!
  • Laundry 50-50 odds it will get done.  Even worse odds of it getting put away.
  • Need to print ballot and make my guesses.  No time for research for our friendly Oscar competition this year though!
  • New kitten is the cutest thing ever and I will happily play with her which is why the odds of the laundry getting done are so low.  ;-)

You Can Embed Quizlet! Who knew?

embed quizlet mom2punkerdoo

I first discovered Quizlet back in our homeschooling days and I was beyond thrilled!  If you are not familiar with Quizlet it is a free online service of learning tools.  My son has used Quizlet for years to aid in his studies in everything from Chemistry to Spanish.

You can find already existing study sets or make your own.  You can create classes for your students to join where you add the specific content you want them to practice and learn.  There are six different study modes students can choose from to study and practice. In addition, there are even audio cues you can turn off and on as needed.  I could go on and on about all the features, but you really just need to log in and check out for yourself.  I really think you will find it a valuable resource.

I just recently discovered another cool feature I hadn't known about. It seems you can even embed (click to see how) your sets into your class website or blog to make it even easier for your students to use. Check it out! I have embedded two different sets I have created that go with my Math Facts Fluency Program.

Guess what? They also have an App in the iTunes store so students do not have to be at a computer to study.

Quizlet has a great Quick Start Guide for Teachers explaining how to get started.  They do have a for fee service for teachers that provides you with some additional features you might find helpful, but I have only used the free version and found it to be incredible useful.

Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Welcome to the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" blog hop!  Over 40 Texas teacher bloggers have joined together to share what we love about our state as well as ideas and freebies that we love.  You will also have the opportunity to enter to win TpT products and TpT gift certificates by entering using the rafflecopters included in each post.  Down at the bottom, you will see all of the blogs participating in the hop.  Just click and you will be taken to their posts.  We hope you love what you find.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Howdy! I am Mom2punkerdoo, but my friends all call me Kim.  I am a 40-something wife, mother, native Californian turned Texan, wannabe photographer, occasional scrapbooker, teacher turned homeschool parent, Facebook addict, Disney fan, pet lover, TPT seller and an aspiring runner who loves to throw a good party! Almost 8 years ago we made our way to McKinney, Texas and we haven't looked back!  

I will start by saying that the friends I have found since moving to Texas have made living here a true blessing above and beyond all the other things I love about McKinney, Texas,  It was truly hard to pick just a few things to share with y'all, but I managed to narrow it down to two for now.

#1 Singer/Songwriter Night at Cadillac Pizza Pub 

There is a lot to love about downtown McKinney, but Tuesday nights at Cadillac Pizza Pub is definitely a highlight.  The food and drinks are great.  I am a fan of  the Tony's Ranch House Salad and my boys love sharing a Smoky Pie, but what we really love is the live music.  We are partial to the singer/songwriter that performs on the first Tuesday of the month, Zane Williams.

If you are a fan of Texas country music or just good music that tells a great story then you really need to listen to Zane.  We found him a few years ago on a Tuesday night playing at Cadillac and fell in love with his music.  We were homeschooling back then so going out on Tuesday nights was doable and his show is family friendly, as are almost all of his songs.  As a matter of fact, many of his songs contain messages, values and morals I want my son to listen to...can't say that about a lot of today's artists. Needless to say we have been huge fans every since.  

So if you are making plans for a trip to downtown McKinney I highly recommend a stop by Cadillac Pizza Pub and if you can make on the first Tuesday of the month you will be in for a real treat.  Just be sure to get there early as it fills up fast!

#2 Our Trails
McKinney Texas Trails Mom2punkerdoo

A few years ago McKinney started expanding their trails throughout town.  About that same time I started putting more time and effort back into running.  The timing was perfect.  You can now find me here at least once a week. I often meet with my running partners in one the school parking lots nearby and we do our long runs on these trails, away from cars and noise surrounded by a bit of nature. There is a small creek we cross over a few times, we loop around near a new city dog park , and we have occasionally seen an armadillo or two. You will find runners, walkers, and bikers on these trails and they are plenty wide enough for all of us.  If you find yourself in McKinney and it's not July or August you might want to make your way to Bonnie Wenk Park and from their you can check out our fabulous trails for yourself. 

McKinney Texas Trails Mom2punkerdoo

Much like picking one thing I love about my town was hard, this also took some time to narrow down. It being Valentine's Day and all I decided to go with my favorite book about love, The Veleveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.  Can you believe I never recall having read this book as a child?  I do recall the first time I read it though. My now husband gave it to me as a gift when we were dating many year ago. Pretty sweet for a college boy isn't it?  

the velveteen rabbit mom2punkerdoo
This is the version my now husband gave me many years ago.

A few years later, when I landed my first teaching job The Velveteen Rabbit happened to be one of the 3rd grade literature units I need to teach.  Luckily, I had the two very best teaching partners on the planet. They shared ideas, plans, projects, and most important of all what remains my all time favorite culminating activity ever....The Velveteen Rabbit Tea Party (click to read more).

Needless to say I fell in love with the book, the message is shares, and the fun I have had making it come to life.  Did you know you can get this book for FREE?  It is in the public domain as it was written 1922.  This makes it perfect for using in the classroom without having to purchase a lot of books.  You can find it online several places, but this link also includes the original illustrations too!

Freebie Time! This is one of the first freebies I made for TPT, but I updated it this month to share the new and improved version with you today!

Editing Writing freebie mom2punkerdoo

It includes simple editing and revising checklists to help your students self and peer edit their writing. These checklists remind students to check for proper punctuation, use of adjectives, word variation and staying on topic. There are two different styles of checklists included.

With the update I  added a 6 point writing rubric and time order/transitional words reference chart for your growing writers! 

Editing Writing Freebie Mom2punkerdoo
Click to Download!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my hometown and some of the things I love!  Now keep scrolling to get to the giveaways!

Check it out y'all!  Lots of great giveaways with the hop around Texas! Be sure to enter and then hop on over to read more about what we love about our hometowns in Texas. Who knows, you might find yourself inspired to plan a trip through the Lone Star State!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!

Favorite Things Linky Party: Office Supplies

Lots of fun linky parties going on!  Today I am linking up with the Teaching Trio for their monthly Favorite Things Linky.
#1: Binder Clips
Who doesn't love a good binder clip?  They've been around forever and a day, but the clever ideas for their use seem endless!  As a matter of fact, I have an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to these little beauties.  I recently used the clip in the picture above as a freebie attached to my business card that some fellow bloggers will be giving away at TCEA in Austin this week! I love that it has a space I can easily label with a sharpie or even a dry erase marker! I found these at Staples.

#2: The Align Stapler by Quirky
When I first spotted this on Pinterest I knew I had to have one. Imagine my surprise when I found it at Walmart of all places!  Turns out they had an entire display of Quirky products.  Can you guess what I found in my stocking for Christmas? Yep, this stapler along with several other Quirky products!  I admit it's a little tricky to use, and I've only needed it a few times so far, but the potential is fabulous. So for right now it's on my favorite list!

#3: Ticonderoga Pencils
I started to go with a Sharpie for the #3 spot, but the reality is I just LOVE a good sharpened Ticonderoga.  I can't live without them.  I would write everything in pencil all the time if I could.  And not one of those newfangled mechanical things, just a plain old SHARP Ticonderoga.

So are you a pencil person or a pen person?  

Be sure to stop by the Teaching Trio to see who else linked up with their favorite things!

February Pinterest Pick 3 Party

I love this new monthly linky hosted by PAWSitively Teaching and The Inspired Owl's Corner. This month was a little harder to choose for than last month!  To narrow it down I decided to stick with Valentine ideas and choose 3 of my favorites from my Valentine Love! Board.

Game: Spot the Heart

Click Image to View Pinterest Link
Such a simple and fun game for both home and school.  Spend a few minutes "hiding" hearts for students or family members to find. In the classroom have students keep a list of all the ones they find as they go about the day.  Remind them to keep it a secret (hard for some) Then, compare lists at the end of the day or week to see if how many were found.  Also, fun to suggest kids go home and do this for their family members.  Just a fun and easy way to spread a little extra love.

Art Project: How to Draw a Rose

Click Image to View Pinterest Link
As someone who really would have appreciated a teacher who gave more directed draws when I was a kid, I find myself drawn to the website Art Projects For Kids.  I gave up on art too early in life. I was never happy with my end product, but I realize now I never really had enough instruction.  I love the step by step process that leads students to success. While everyone's may be similar, no two are ever exactly the same. These would make a perfect gift for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day too!

Font Fun: Print Your Own Valentine Card
Valentine fonts.
Click Image to View Pinterest Pin
I have always been a huge fan of making Valentines rather than purchasing them.  That said, sometimes the time and effort to make that happen just isn't available. A simple way to generate some cute and original "homemade" Valentine's is to install a few "Love" themed fonts and type out some fun messages. Then, print and go! I have found that kids especially love to experiment with fonts and there are only so many projects that allow them to play with really cutesy fun fonts.  This is a great collection of 12 free fonts that are perfect for making some sweet Valentine notes.