Sunday, November 27, 2011



This is an excellent, step-by-step program! New and experienced bloggers will benefit from these well organized PDF visuals. 

All PDFs, step by step:
Add a gadget for grab my button code 
Adjust widths in Blogger layout
Comparison of posting in OLD Blogger to New Blogger 
How to add a Blogroll to feature other Blogs 
(add RSS feeds so they automatically appear)
How to add share buttons to each Blogger Post 
Edit a post
How to add a header to Blogger
How to link back to your site when commenting on blogs
How to add a link in a TpT product description 
How to add a picture to a Blogger post 
How to make a graphic or picture a link
How to get a Twitter account 
How to have a Linky party 
How to link any picture or graphic in Blogger 
How to make a Sqworl 
How to press screen button and make a picture of screen 
HTML for a link back to your site
Networked Blogs tech help

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Teaching Blog Traffic School Video Course

Charity Preston's 30 training videos are going to be on sale Sunday - Tues!! 

On Monday there will be an extra 10% off!

Purchase these videos and you'll be able to understand the "how to's" of blogging, networking and more. 

See the list of videos that she offers at this site

Friday, November 25, 2011




Use the promo code CMS28 and receive an extra 10% off ALL products that are on sale. All of my products are currently marked down 20% which means you take another 10% off. 

Have you been searching for something to enhance your curriculum
 but just haven't found it?

Do you find yourself spending hours and hours on the Web trying to find a GOOD lesson plan, a complete novel packet,  project or assessment?

Have you found that your school district isn't giving teachers money they need to buy classroom and curricula items and they're having to pay out of pocket for them?

Check out TeachersPayTeachers that has something for everyone Pre-K - College. All subjects. 

The best part is that even without this super sale, everything is very reasonably priced!

Visit my store

These are some of my best sellers!

These cards are being used by teachers everywhere! There are sixty activities, five per card that can be used with any novel. The cards can be laminated and used year to year, in small, large groups, with guided reading groups, literature circles and at literacy centers. Some include art activities, writing letters, sequel, adding new characters to novels, changing the setting, determining the author's purpose and more.
For grades 4 and up. Some teachers have used these with students in grades 3 -  8

Have a frog in your throat?  Has the cat got your tongue? Are you in a pickle? The kids will have fun learning these idioms. A written activity requires the kids decide which sentences illustrate the idioms. Create a bulletin board with pictures students draw of the literal meanings of them. Have them work in small groups, to write stories using idioms with dialogue. Great for ESL students!

Based on Bloom's Taxonomy Your students will have fun as they work together to write, draw, cut out and glue the edges of the circles together when they are finished creating their reports. Included in this 17 page packet are: templates in color and black and white, teacher and student instructions, templates in two different sizes, and more. When the balls are completed, they are colorful, interesting projects to hang around the classroom.

Just imagine Cinderella's glass slipper is a sneaker and she arrives to the ball in a limo! Students rewrite traditional fairy tales as modern ones, (Fairy Tale Makeovers) write an interview with a fairy tale character, and retell one from another character's point of view. Another worksheet centers around the protagonist, antagonist.

These self explanatory student worksheets can be completed independently, in pairs, in guided reading groups or literature circles. Worksheets include: plot, setting, characters, connections, essays, reflections, thought provoking questions, response to text, and themes, differentiated activities that include student contests for writing raps, poetry and more. There are vocabulary words and questions for each chapter Great survival websites for kids are also included.

Sequencing is often difficult for kids. This packet has various sequence activities that help you assess your students' ability to put things in order.

These 20 self explanatory student worksheets include: setting, characters, plot, reflections, predictions, thought provoking questions, connections, note keeping page, themes, rising, falling action, climax, author's purpose, character comparisons of the novel and comparisons of characters with characters in other novels. Great for small or large groups, literature circles or guided reading groups.

Fourteen student worksheets include graphic organizers, interactions with other characters, emotional connections, influences by environmental and social factors, change of viewpoint, essays, comparison of characters,strengths and weaknesses interpreting quotations and themes, a journal page for recording important events and personal reactions, rising, falling action, climax and more. Use as class or homework assignments or as assessments.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

260 Journal Prompts

I'm so excited to let everyone know that this packet of free journal prompts has been modified. I've added MANY more prompts! 

Ever pass out a writing prompt and hear a student say "I don't like that topic!" or "I don't like to write!" or "I'm not going to write!"??? I remember feeling the same way in school because I sometimes couldn't relate to the topic; it just didn't interest me. 

You talk with those students, plead, beg and practically stand on your head to get them to write at least one or two sentences. Sound familiar? 

When I was in school, the "back to school" prompt was always..... ready? I'm sure you know what it is.. 

WrIte an essay on what you did over the summer vacation. 

Should I really write about the time I told my mother I was bored one hot summer day. She told me to go fry and egg. And I did! On the driveway! The white of the lovely fried egg left a permanent mark on our driveway. Needless to say, my father wasn't particularly happy about it. It was a new driveway! Uh oh

At the time, I doubted it would go over big with my teacher, so I wrote about going to Girl Scout camp. Whoop dee doo. She probably had to read 20 essays about Girl Scout camp. 

Over the years I've collected many prompts and I asked the kids what types of prompts they'd like. 

 These prompt really get the pencils moving! They're also good for lively discussion topics! 
Best part is, they're free :)

photo of 260 Journal Prompts, Free, PDF, journal prompts, writing, Ruth S.

Thanksgiving Thoughts


Today is Thanksgiving but it seems more like Christmas with the blustery, bone-chilling winds we're having. I was out on the deck with our two dachshunds, Frederick and Jeffrey, when suddenly there was a loud crack and part of a tree fell near our stream out back. This brought back recent memories of the trees snapping during the wild unusual storm that left hundreds of thousands without power for a week or more. At that moment I was thankful that we didn't lose power for even an hour. Many thanks to our tiny electric company! 

I think back to the earliest colonists along the shores of New England and can't imagine how they survived. No electricity, no cell phones, no paved roads, nothing. Many of them in our area survived their first winter living in abandoned Native American huts and accepting food from them. And the people who lost power during the last storm were outraged because they lost power for days or a week? Hmmm.. They would have never survived the first winter. I think we take a lot for granted these days.. Our freedom, our comfortable lives... 

There's so much that I'm thankful for but if I even began sharing it with you, it would end up being a 200 page novel! So therefore, I'm sending you the warmest of Thanksgiving Wishes.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful day! 


Frederick(forefront) and Jeffrey in last year's record snowfalls!

Our Soccer Stars

This was taken just as the sun was setting after a week of snowfall. The blue snow! It reminds me of the moon. Six O'Clock Evening NEWS reports that two Dachshunds made history as they're the first dogs to explore the moon. I sent it in to a local station and they posted it!


Winter is a time to have fun! These winter word activities will bring a smile to your kids' faces as they cut out word tiles and move them around to form winter words. Connecting parts of words that have been divided into syllables and even putting winter words in ABC order is fun when it involves cutting, pasting and working in small groups. Other suggestions of how to use the words are: writing a short winter skit, writing a winter rap, a winter poem and designing a winter diorama scene! 


Thursday, November 17, 2011


I've always loved introducing my students to autumn poetry during our colorful autumn in New England. One of my favorites is Bliss Carmen's "Vagabond Song". Carmen, a Canadian, captures the true essence of autumn in his hauntingly beautiful poem. The music in this YouTube video is a perfect fit for  it. Take a minute to immerse yourself in the glory of autumn.

A Vagabond Song
by Bliss Carmen

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood —
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name. 

Another Favorite Autumn Poem!

Download this FREE PDF file of yet another poignant autumn poem, Clay Harrison's poem "Autumn is Nature's Masterpiece". There are two handouts for students and a teacher's answer key. It includes literary elements and grammar skills.
Stanzas are in fall colors for projecting on an interactive board.
Practice identifying elements of literature and polish those grammar skills!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011




Use the promo code CMS28 and receive an extra 10% off ALL products.

Have you been searching for something to enhance your curriculum
 but just haven't found it?

Do you find yourself spending hours and hours on the Web trying to find a GOOD lesson plan, novel packet,  project or assessment?

Have you found that your school district isn't giving the teachers money they need to buy classroom and curricula items and they're having to pay out of pocket for them?

Check out TeachersPayTeachers that has something for everyone Pre-K - College. All subjects. The best part is that even without this super sale, everything is very reasonably priced!

Visit my store

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Postcards, Gift Tags and Special Notes

This fun packet of holiday postcards, with matching gift tags and special notes are perfect for a classroom holiday activity. Black and white templates of all three are included. Special notes can be used as anonymous notes of kindness written by your kids to their friends. Make sure they don't sign them! Display in your room for everyone to see!

christmas holiday Ruth S.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Pinterest is a unique place. Create your own board with favorites you find on the Pinterest site. Name your boards according to categories. Find incredible websites!
Check out my Pinterest boards to see what it's all about!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I don't have enough desks in my room. HELP!
This new adorable student asked me what we're having for lunch. I told him a mixed green salad and he smiled. 
 He offered to help me reach the top shelves of my closet!
Seriously.. We all need a bit of levity from time to time. 
Click on this wonderful photo and you'll be transported to 
National Geographics Jigsaw Puzzle Maker! 
Warning: This is addicting but well worth doing once a day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Warm Welcome to Connie Casserly!

Hi Everyone! Please extend a warm welcome to another TeachersPayTeachers colleague! Connie is a high school English teacher who offers middle and high school products on She's also the author of A Fine Line, a young adult novel, that addresses the issue of teen dating abuse. Visit her blog "TeachItWrite"

You can visit Connie's TeachersPayTeacher's Store at
Also, check out her Teach It Write Facebook Page 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Eric Carle

One of my favorite children's authors and illustrators is Eric Carle. His incredible colorful art work is charming. THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR is the one that I vividly remember. For a number of years I had my fifth grade kids do author reports. Each child selected an author and read two or three books written by that author. They had to compare and contrast illustrations and the stories and write a report. Their culminating activity was to write a letter to the author to describe the best features of the books.

Eric Carle always wrote a personal letter to the all of my students and would include an illustration for them. Parents told me that they framed them because they were so precious. 

This fascinating video is about Eric Carle's newest book, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse. He describes what inspired him to write it and demonstrates how he creates his artwork. Take a few minutes to sit back, relax and enjoy this delightful author as he also explains how children relate to art.

The Eric Carle 40,000 square foot Museum is in Amherst, Massachusetts. Watching this video was magical. Eric has not only his own art work on display but he also has a collection of out of print picture books in a picture book library for kids and adults. Free art lessons are given and you'll see kids working with tissue paper to create their own colorful animals. As seen below, there's a theater where picture books are acted out in skits. This is truly a museum to see!