Friday, December 18, 2015

Want to Understand Your Teacher?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Grammar Song

Fragments From the Doctor

Fused/Run-on Sentences

Here are a few tips from the doctor.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Do You Have What it Takes to Succeed?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Paulsen on Books

Monday, December 7, 2015

Know Your Homophones

Homophones--Words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings.

Not Homophones—where/were
ant, aunt


peer, pier

there, they're, their
threw, through
to, two, too


The rules for today's Reading Workshop Homophone Telephone:
1. You can only whisper to the person beside you
2. You can only use as a resource
3. You can share with the person on each side
4. If you hear (here) words from anyone other than the person beside you, you (ewe) cannot use those words
5. If homophones start with different letters, you can list them under whichever word you list first.
6. You can't (cant) use proper nouns.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Poster Child for Success

Her first month of school was tough. She was in trouble for not doing her school work. She spent every recess in study table. Her grades were not good. She got a lecture, or had to listen to teachers talk about not getting her work done daily. I had several conversations with her myself, and none seemed to help.

Fast forward to December and she is a success. She is getting every assignment complete and never has to go to study table. She is working hard to do her best. Her teachers are proud of her.

Annie's story started with the decision that she didn't want study table any more. She was tired of the pressure to do her work. She made the decision to start doing her work. Then she talked to all of her teachers about her missing assignments and how to get caught up on her work. She spent a few days working real hard to get everything done. Then she made sure she did all of her homework every night.

So what's the message here? Success is possible. It can and did happen. It seems simple when you read about it. Annie made it look easy. And when it happened it was amazing. Everyone felt good. The teachers were so proud of her. All it took was a little hard work and a lot of determination. Great job Annie!

Monday, November 23, 2015

KP Says, "Be Thankful!"

I am so thankful for this year's sixth grade class. It is a smiley class with a ton of students with great attitudes. As we take a break for Thanksgiving, thanks to all the students in the hallway at Salt Creek that are making this a great year!

Be Who You Are

Friday, November 20, 2015

In Conclusion

Here is an example of a great conclusion from a recent writing assignment, As a Writer . . . Luke's conclusion wraps up his essay and leaves the reader understanding him as a writer.

My goal as a writer is to wow the reader. I’m trying very hard every time I write to do my best and get the best response from the reader. I don’t just write for a grade. I write because it is what I like to do.  I love that feeling of someone telling me that the writing I do is great and and creative, and just fun to read. I know I have a few mistakes, but either way I’m going to be the best writer I can.

Here is another example from Kaleigh. Although it is shorter, it sums up her essay in a great way.

In eleven weeks of school, I have learned so much about writing. I understand what I am doing well and what I need to work on. If I keep practicing I hope my spelling problems and lack of ideas will be improved!

Here is another example of a good conclusion written by Ella.

Over the past nine weeks I have continued to improve as a writer.  I also need to work on different things that will help me get a better grade on my essays.  However, there are also things I have succeeded in writing as well.  In conclusion, I will continue to improve when I write in Language Arts class!

Ellie wraps up her essay well by restating her main point.
I am going to get better at writing this year because I am going to try my best. I have been making mistakes but that’s fine to me because it is teaching me that I need to do better. I’m ready to start getting better at writing and keeping up the work I already do well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Kid President and I Agree

Monday, November 16, 2015

Make Success Happen

The Setting

The setting is where a story takes place, when it takes place, and the duration. The setting can include specific information about time and place or can simply be descriptive. A novel has an overall setting but scenes usually occur in several different settings.

The time in setting doesn't usually mean what time it is on the clock. The time of the setting is broader, like a period of years or in time.

Duration means the time period from the beginning to the end of the story. For some stories this is just a few hours or days; other stories span decades or centuries.

The example used in class is from the book 3:15, Things That Go Bump in the Night by Patrick Carman.  The audio password is cody. The video password is hook.

Reading Workshop students, for this project, the goal is to define setting, analyze the impact the setting has on the book you are reading, and then share it in a piece of writing using details from the book to support your points. This should be at least a five paragraph essay beginning with an introduction, a body that includes specific scenes/events from the book and ending in a conclusion that wraps up the topic.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Things to Do Today

Are you busy? Could you spare a minute?

Are You Ready?

Sometime life comes at you from all directions. Are you ready when it does?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Have a Great Friday!

It's Friday!

Image from @weareteachers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Be Great!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Just A Little Punny

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tell Me About the Main Character

Start with the name and go from there. Tell about the main character in the book you are reading. Describe him/her. What makes him like he is? How does he act? Think? Respond? Feel?

Please use details to support your writing. For example, if you state that he is brave, you should have a detailed scene from the book that proves your claim.

Whatever you do, DO NOT RETELL THE STORY! This assignment is to tell about the main character. If you summarize or retell the book, you are not following the directions!

Make your writing interesting. Think about the character. The best essays will be written by a writer than gets inside the book and the character.

Image from

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Think Before You Post

If you are posting at school, you might also add:

T - is it on task?
H - is it helping you be successful?
I - is your post informative?
N - is it needed?
K - is it sharing knowledge?

Thursday, October 15, 2015


A lot of the time we talk about what makes a hero. Yesterday I saw some students make a choice that showed me that they are real life heroes. They made a tough but good decision to stand for something. They worked hard in class when others chose not to work. They stood strong, ignored those not working, and gave their all to success.

Great job to Alexis, Alex, Erin, Logan, Luke, Mason, Garret S., Katie, and Rachel. Yesterday you earned my respect and my admiration.

I also found it interesting that the entire 602 class did exactly what they were assigned. Great job guys! I appreciate your hard work and dedication to success!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Be Somebody!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Science in Language Arts

Students are writing a blog post for an interdisciplinary project in language arts and science. They recently found the volume of an irregular shaped pond in the science classroom. The pond had two levels so each had to be measured separately and then added together. Units were also converted from standard to metric.

The assignment for Reading Workshop students is to write an overview/essay detailing this process. This post should include an introduction, detailed steps, and conclusion. As always, PUGS count!

This project will count as a grade for both classes. The science grade will be based primarily on content. The language arts grade will be based on content, organization, and PUGS.

Image From:

Been Reading?

Image from @MasteryPrep

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Six Word Story

Can you write a six word story? Give it a go and paste it as a comment. Here is one of mine: Trying so hard. Wanting some more.

Here are a few favorites from Six Word Story:

Let’s just pretend this never happened.
You’ll always be a question mark.
But "close enough" is not enough.
Everything’s fine… or so I pretend.
Trust is must, no matter what.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How is Your School Year Going?

Today's assignment in Reading Workshop is to write a blog post describing the school year so far. Students must give 3 or more examples of events/scenes that demonstrate how their year is going.

The directions:
Think about how your school year is so far. Pick 3 + or – events that have occurred so far this school year that demonstrate this.
  • Start with a topic sentence/introduction
  • In the body include details—one topic/paragraph
  • Wrap it up with a closing

Monday, October 5, 2015

Thanks Teachers!

 On World Teachers' Day, thank you to all the teachers that helped me become what I am today!

Image from #WorldTeachersDay

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Keep Pushing

Image from @wordstextings

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Make it a Great Day

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Where is Your Homework?

Here's an excuse for not having your homework, Reading Workshop students. Feel free to use it any time.

Or, you could just do your work and be successful.

Image from Tabytha Sidders

Friday, September 25, 2015

KP Talks about Awesome Girls

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What Happened in the Book You are Reading?

Students had to write about what happened in the book they are reading. The assignment was to describe what they read last night in as much detail as possible. 

Hallie set a standard of excellence:

The book I read last night is The Chronicles Of Narnia. I'm currently reading the 3rd book in the series, The Horse And His Boy. Shasta's adoptive father wants to sell Shasta into slavery. Shasta went outside the night before he was being sold and was petting the horse. He wished the horse could talk. And the horse talked. The horse said it was from Narnia and that he was going to run back to Narnia one day. The horse invited Shasta to come with him on his quest to Narnia. Shasta asked the horse's name, but he couldn't pronounce the horse's name. So he and the horse agreed on the name Bree. Shasta hopped on Bree and they were off to Narnia.

On the first day of riding they heard a lion roar. Bree ran faster, but the lion roar sounded again. Shasta saw another horse following close behind them. The lion roar sounded again. Bree went right while the other horse and rider went left. Bree and Shasta found a place to rest for the night when the other horse and rider showed up. The horse said it's name was Whin. They are both on their way to Narnia, like Bree and Shasta. The group has to walk through the desert for many days. While the group was is a town, Shasta gets pulled away by royal guards who think he's the missing prince. While Shasta is in the castle he hears a bunch of important war related stuff and how another town is planning to take down Narnia. When Shasta goes into his bedroom for the night the real prince hops in Shasta's room through the window.

The prince and Shasta switch places and Shasta sneaks out the window to get back to Bree. He finds his way to the point they were headed to next. he finds them. He tells them about the war and how they have to warn the kings and queens of Narnia. They take off very quickly. They have to beat the town trying to take down Narnia. On the way Whin and his rider get attacked by a lion. Shasta shouts a the lion and it goes away. Whin and Bree are too hurt to keep walking so they stay with Whin's rider in with a man on the way to the castle of Narnia. The man tells Shasta that he has to run in order to get there before the town does. He tells the kings and queens of Narnia about to town.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Have a Good Day

Image from @grammarly

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Stay Focused

 Image from @twisteddoodles

Monday, September 21, 2015

Are You Writing a Great Story?

Image from @Grammarly

Friday, September 18, 2015

Do You Dare to Dream?

Image from @ThePowerfulPics

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Reading a Good Book?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Thank you to Chris Pirillo for allowing the editing and use of this video.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Writing a Conclusion

When writing a closing paragraph, you summarize what you have written about in your essay. The first step is to think about the main point that you want to get across to your reader. You can use your introduction as a guide saying something similar with different wording. Restate the topic sentence/main idea. End in a way that lets the reader know it is the end by "wrapping up" the essay.

You may also want to look at what each paragraph says. Use this information and restate key points from the essay. You can end with a question, thought, quote or opinion that gives your reader something to think about or consider.

Good conclusions usually do one or more of these:
  • Restate the thesis or main point 
  • Offer a suggestion 
  • Share an opinion 
  • Make a recommendation 
  • End with a question 
Here is an example from Kylie:

I think readers will really enjoy this book; it is split up into short, easy–to-read chapters and often the chapters end on a 'dangerous' note. I also believe it might make the kids who read it think twice about the consequences before they break any rules and to think before they do! Micheal Northrop also made all kinds of different books in case you guys want to check them out. I really like this book and I highly recommend you guys to try it out!.

Here is an example from an essay about character in a book.

I would definitely recommend this book to others because I think a lot of girls could really relate to the main character, especially most of my friends. Also, I would recommend this book to boys, because even though it's a girl's book, it's not about being girly, and all about girls. Some boys may be able to relate to the three boys in the story! The book Spells & Sleeping Bags is one out of my two favorite books. I think Sara Mlynowski is very talented because I can really get inside the character's mind, and really get into the book as if I were the main character. 

Good Monday!

Friday, September 11, 2015

She Doesn't Know

Something amazing is inside a book.She hates to read. She only does it because she has to for school. Reading is hard for her. She feels like she is suffering during SSR(Sustained Silent Reading). At the beginning of the year, she was fake reading a book that she didn't understand. 

She doesn't know what she doesn't know. There's a story inside of books, and excitement and adventure, and mystery, and drama, and happiness, and sadness. Books take you places that you have never been and let you go to places that you dream. Books let you meet people--some that you like and some that you hate.

I know reading is not easy for her, but it is so worth it. If only she knew. There's just so much to know about the magic in books.

I wonder if anyone ever told her things a book should do?

1) You should enjoy reading the book. You are glad you picked it up. You don't want to quit reading when SSR is over. You want to take the book home and read some more.
2) You have pictures in your head while you are reading.
3) You can hear the characters' voices while you are reading.
4) You can read most of the words on each page.
5) You know what the book is about.
6) It might be a book a friend recommended.
7) It might be a subject you want to learn more about.
8) The book is by your favorite author.
9) The book is part of a series and you can't wait to read the next one.
10) You want to talk to friends about the book and share about it on your blog.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Do Your Job Well

How are you doing at your job Reading Workshop students? Are you working to be a successful student?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Writing an Introduction

Students are working on a recent project, Problems Make the Book. A few were having trouble with the introduction. Hallie has a great example in her blog post.

A Long Walk To Water is based on a true story by Linda Sue Park. The main characters are Nya and Salva. They both live in Sudan, Africa and are suffering from droughts and wars. Both of these people's stories take place in 1985 and 2008. Nya walks 8 hours a day to go to the pond to fetch water for her family. Salva Walks away from his war-torn village. Salva is destined to cover Africa on foot to find his family and safety after his village is burned to the ground.

If you want a great example of a W's introduction pattern yours after the one above and you will do well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's Not Third Grade Anymore

Do You Know When to Use Apostrophes?

Image from @Grammarly 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Don't Wait to be Great!

Are You Wearing Your Glasses?

Image from @Grammarly

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Problems Make the Book

Today's assignment is to write about the problems in the book you are reading. In all good fictional stories, the characters face problems. This is what gives the story life and excitement. Your task is to write about the problems in the book you are reading. Please use the essay below from Megan, a student from last year's Reading Workshop. Her organization and use of specific details makes this easy to read and understand. 

This is about The Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins. This book is really good. It's one of the best books that I have read.  The Mockingjay is more about problems, so if you like books with problems this is the book for you. The main characters are Katniss, President Snow, Peeta, Gale and more.

One problem is when Katniss was in the Hunger Games she and a couple of other people were building something. Then the people with Katniss abandoned her when something went wrong, so she had to try to do something and when she did, it made something go wrong with the districts.

The second problem is . . .
The third problem is. . .
Another problem is. . .  
A last problem is. . . 

There are more problems in the book, but you would have to read the book to find them out. I think that the Mockingjay  is a good book for everybody. It's not only a girl book and it's not only and boy book it's for boys and girls. I think if you read the Mockingjay you will want to read the first and second book of The Hunger Games but if you don't you might want to read other books by Suzanne Collins. I think that everyone that reads this book will want to read it over and over it again. It's not only about problems it's also about adventure and a little bit of a mystery.

You can read the entire post at Megster's Life.

This essay is a good example of Write with Your Hand. It is organized beginning with an introduction, paragraphs in the body with specific details, and an ending that wraps up the essay. As you write your post, use this format so the reader will be able to understand your post.

Image from

Be Awesome

Be awesome to yourself. Be awesome to everybody else. Now everything is awesome. Thanks! @iamkidpresident

Monday, August 31, 2015

Questions About Study Island?

Over the last several years, I have written several posts describing Study Island and how it is used in the classroom. If you have a question, please take a second and use the search function in the top right corner. This will lead you to this link: 

In fact, you can use the search function to find out more information about almost any topic in Reading Workshop. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Write With Your Hand

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Are You Going to Reach Your Potential?

Potential--Capable of being but not yet in existence; the inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being.

As we start a new school year, do you know how successful you can be? In your mind, can you picture an outstanding year? Can you see yourself on the Honor Roll? Can you see yourself as an amazing writer that makes your readers think, and feel, and wonder, and care? Can you picture yourself reading great books with comprehension and thought?

Write a blog post, Reading Workshop students and describe yourself as a student this year. Tell your readers about your goals and how you plan to make this year your best ever.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Have a Great Monday

Image from @grammarly

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Are You Part of the Salt Creek Team?

A couple of girls had a problem getting along yesterday. Afterwards, I thought about it and I realized they hadn't yet realized what being part of The Hallway means. Hopefully, they will figure out how to be great members of our team. Maybe this message from Kid President will help.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekly Reading Assignment

Students' Weekly Reading Assignment rewards effort. Students choose a book that they want to read from home, the library, or the bookmobile. The only requirement is that they log the title, time read, and pages. 

Any time students read it counts. They will read on some days during language arts, and daily during SSR--Sustained Silent Reading time(1:30-2:18). In addition, they can read at home, on the bus, while they are eating breakfast, once they finish a test or assignment in another class. Any time they read it counts.

As a teacher, I reward the students that make the most effort. Although grades are not entirely tied to how hard a student works, poor grades are reflective of a lack of work ethic.  If a student wants a better grade, just read a little more.  I even give extra credit for students that read more than 250 minutes.

A =    250 + Minutes
B =    200 - 249 Minutes
C =    150 - 199 Minutes
D =    100 - 149 Minutes

Each time students read they will put it on their Reading Log. Then, at the beginning of language arts, students log their minutes on the online Reading Log.

Although students have no direct assignments associated with Weekly Reading Assignment, many of the activities and projects in class are based on the book they are reading. When students write about their book, it is easy to monitor comprehension and see if students are "getting it." The fact that students can pick their book to read helps because they can find a book that interests them.

So if you want a good grade Reading Workshop students, all you have to do is read!

The first Weekly Reading Assignment is due on Friday, August 28.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Welcome 2015-2016

Tonight is Open House at Salt Creek Intermediate School. Welcome to all our students and parents. The start of each new year is an exciting time and I am looking forward to another great year. Stop in and say hello. On Tuesday come to Reading Workshop ready for the best year ever!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Year in Pictures

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

D.A.R.E. Essay

Thursday, May 14, 2015

You Need More Than Spellcheck

Spell Check is a great tool that helps all writers produce cleaner writing. However, writers still need to proofread their own work. The picture below shows . . .

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Best Way to Get Stronger

Image from @Grammarly

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Want to be a Better Reader?

Image from @rgowgreene

Monday, May 4, 2015

Will It Be You?

Reading Workshop students, will you take a minute today to say something to make someone else's life better? Before you say yes, think about when and where this will happen. Thank you for taking the time to share some of yourself for another.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Want to Read a Mystery?

Take a Grammar Test

Are you a grammar expert? Take a test and prove it!