Thursday, March 28, 2013

More . . .By The Great Horn Spoon

I've uploaded my complete file so far on By The Great Horn Spoon...answer sheets and all! I'm now working on two additional worksheets to add to the packet; one will cover adjective or relative clauses and the other, conjunctions. One of the Gold Rush relative clauses I came up with . . .

Miners who didn’t bring picks with them on the journey West usually had to overpay once they arrived in California.

And it includes an adverbial clause just to spice it up a bit! I eat this stuff up :) Oops, my first smiley face.

Next up, I wanted to compile all of my Frindle worksheets for sale into one packet.

Tomorrow I will have a few hours to work on that and upload what I've completed for Shiloh.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

By the Great Horn Spoon

I've been toying with the idea of creating bookmarks that highlight punctuation rules using the context of the California Gold Rush. I've got to finish my By the Great Horn Spoon packet first, though. If I get to developing it, I'd suggest in the overview giving each student a bookmark with a different rule and then have them write down one sentence they find in the book that follows the rule (on the other side of the bookmark). Chapter 10 was full of homophones...think "the butt of Cut-Eye Higgin's gun," and there is definitely a worksheet coming out of that. I haven't been in a creative place the last two days to work on it but jotted down some notes. I also continued going through my teacher files and found a very interesting worksheet on noun clauses. I have a list of words that introduce them, and I was thinking of creating a worksheet highlighting that grammar point. As the books I choose to create materials for are more challenging, the associated worksheets should highlight grammar at that level.

I wrote out a vocabulary worksheet for Literature Circles to highlight for the group what Mrs. K wants them to get out of Word Wizard. I used the word "detain" which happened to be in the book we are reading, Tale of Despereaux, as well as in By The Great Horn Spoon. I've thought about creating bookmarks highlighting different vocabulary words as well. What is it with me and bookmarks? I think they would sell, but would other teachers find them just as exciting and more important, would they pay a few dollars for a set for a book they were using in Literature Circles?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sitting in Starbucks

...I'm laughing out loud at the quotes I read from Lynne Truss just now. I have to find and read her book. I was googling quotes about punctuation to put on my TpT profile. She had the funniest things to say. Why I feel so strongly about the incorrect use of punctuation is beyond me. I am compelled, now, to write to Andrew Clements about the mistake I found in one of his books. Maybe he'll thank me and give me one of his manuscripts to edit. Don't laugh. That happened to me at Georgetown. Deborah Tannen signed a book for me; and after discussing a typo I found in her book, she offered me her latest manuscript and paid me to edit it! Yes, I have a letter to prove it. I refuse to put any smiley faces in my blogs, but that little spot there after the "it" really needed one.

Last night before drifting off to dreamland, I uploaded 24 fabulous pages of grammar worksheets for Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. If I were an overworked teacher using this novel in Literature Circles, I'd print out these worksheets for my substitute teacher file and take the day off. This is the mother lode of freebies in my personal opinion. I'm hoping that it will give a buyer confidence that anything else I produce will be just as wonderful. And I promise you it will. Okay, resisting the urge for another smiley face.

If you've found your way here, you can still get to Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, but it is now a paid resource. Click here to download a preview. What I am offering for free related to this hilarious story is a class activity focusing on subordinating conjunctions (think . . . because, when, while, before). Confusing words for young writers. This freebie offers a simple and clear explanation of the grammar using contextualized examples from Judy Blume's work. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

And, But, Or and So

Last night I finalized the conjunction worksheet for Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. It reviews and, but, or and so. It'll be up on the teacherspayteachers by the end of the day. My combined skills worksheet is the last one I have for this book. It summarizes The Birthday Bash chapter. Using the DLI format I saw in Gregory's 2nd grade class at Sicomac, I presented a variety of skills: parallelism, use of the comma, homophones, possessive noun forms. Once I make certain there is no overlap with my other worksheets, I will upload it for free.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Today I'm going to organize my papers and try to finalize what I'd been working on for Shiloh. It seems I've finally figured out how to convert files to PDF so that the formatting isn't ruined (much easier than I thought), so now I can put my work on Frindle in my store for sale. We'll see how far I get today!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

By The Great Horn Spoon

Yesterday I worked hard to finish up my possessive noun form worksheet on By The Great Horn Spoon. This novel by Sid Fleischman tells the story of Master Jack and his trustworthy butler, Praiseworthy, as they set out from Boston to join the California Gold Rush. The date is January 27, 1849, and they become stowaways on the Lady Wilma.

Now that I've completed the possessives worksheet, I am going to finalize my work with homophones and then upload three worksheets (possessives, homophones and adverbials) to teacherspayteachers. Let's see where this all goes!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I've been rereading Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Shiloh and working on grammar worksheets for this wonderful story about a boy's deep love for a mistreated dog and his struggle with right and wrong. I have a homophone sheet which I am reworking to divide into two worksheets. This way the worksheet will chronologically follow the story and allow teachers to use one after students have read the first part of the book. Yesterday I began another adverbial scramble and added while and even though to the mix.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Up and running

This is my new favorite font (trebuchet) which I've begun using on all my materials available at I've uploaded my recent work on Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing for free. It's all there...proper vs. common nouns, possessives, adverbial clauses, homophones, subjects and predicates. I'm working on similar worksheets for several different books and will make them available soon. Since I'm avoiding cross-over among the worksheets and including answer keys and preteaching ideas, it takes time. Soon to be up on teacherspayteachers is my work with Andrew Clement's spectacular book Frindle.