Thursday, December 29, 2011

Attention Middle and Secondary Teachers!

Secondary Solutions is having a ROCKIN' New Year Blog Party!  The invitation is for grades 5 - 12. Check out these blogs for creative lessons, teaching ideas. free items and more! And the best part! You can add your blog too!

Our Dachshunds

I couldn't resist posting a picture of our dachshunds,  Jeffrey and Frederick. The boys are brothers and standard size. Dachshunds although loving and adorable, are fierce hunters and were originally used to hunt badgers in Germany that were three times their size. I knew the breed well because I grew up with Gretchen, a dachshund, who lived to be 19 years old. If you can't find a dachshund, look under fleece blankets or down rabbit holes. They love being warm and are hunters at heart :)

Frederick and Jeffrey - Soccer Stars :)

Jeffrey wondering if it's dinner time LOL
Jeffrey with our niece, Sarah. Look at that long dog! 

Touch down! Jeffrey scores!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Book Review of Hoot on Teacher2Teacher

The days and weeks fly by so quickly! How could I have forgotten to post my book review of Hoot that I wrote for Teacher2Teacher? Take a look :)

Book Review of Hoot on Teacher2Teacher,book review, Hoot, ruth s

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Martin Luther King, Jr. "I HAVE A DREAM"

One of the most recognized speeches in history, is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech "I Have A Dream".

My 11 page packet has a fill in the blank activity for King's "I Have a Dream" speech. A word bank is provided for students.

There are vocabulary cut out cards, a formatted letter that students use to write to someone about their dreams. 

Many websites are provided. One website is of King’s speech (audio and video). MANY teacher ideas are provided that I’ve used in the classroom and that have been very successful. Answers are provided. This can be used with younger and older students.
Click on the picture to learn more. 



Educators are constantly striving to improve their students' reading comprehension by implementing various reading strategies. Making connections is a strategy that is used with struggling readers 
as well as higher level readers. 

Text to Self - Struggling readers have an easier time making personal life connections, or text to self connections, than other connections. Talking about what's happened to a character in a book and asking students if they've ever experienced anything like it is a good way for them to make these connections.

More advanced readers are usually able to make text to self connections, but often need to expand their connections by "thinking out of the box" in higher level modes. For example, if a connection is made about something that a character did in the story, the higher level reader should be able to explain WHY the character might have done it.  For example, when Maniac Magee decided to teach Grayson, the elderly ex-baseball player to read, higher level students should explain why they think Maniac did that. 

Text to Text refers to connections between a text that students are reading and connecting it to to another text they've read. As students read a novel, remind them of other novels they've read and to think  what's alike and different in both. For example, a theme of friendship could run throughout both books. It's important that the students support their connections by stating examples from the books.

Text to world are connections that can made between a text and something that is happening or has happened around the world. These connections are often made with nonfiction text, but can also be made using historical fiction books, biographies or true life adventure stories. 

Teachers should model making text connections as they read texts aloud to students.  For example, a connection could be made between a Civil War story and one about the Revolutionary War, comparing battle strategies, the outcomes of the battles or the accomplishments of two military generals.

I created ready to print connection worksheets for my students. These sheets are generic and can be used with any text, nonfiction or fiction. Click below for more information. These can be used with grades 4 and up. 

connections, text to text, text to self, text to world, comprehension, worksheets, social studies, science, writing, ruth s

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Best of TeachersPayTeachers - Featured Free Product

My free homework passes are featured on The Best of TeachersPayTeachers!!
Give these passes to your students for helping others, making good choices, turning homework in on time, doing something special for someone and watch their eyes light up!

Many thanks to Vicky Leon for selecting my fun, yet meaningful homework passes to be a featured freebie!

Take a stroll over to The Best of TeachersPayTeachers!
You'll find FREE products, contests, featured articles and more!

Click on one of the passes and download them for free!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Number Critters

I've taught both elementary and middle school students, all subjects. Many of my posts have been for middle school, however, I decided to share some elementary lessons with you.  Little ones will love these cards that are based on the numbers 1 - 10. They have to connect animals with dots and numbers, then do addition and subtraction problems.  There are also traceable numbers and number words. Laminate the cards and use them year to year as flashcards or for concentration games. They're great for math word walls.

photo of Number Critters 1-10, Prek, K, math, student worksheets,


Kids love TALL tales! They marvel at characters with super human abilities and will have fun completing these 13 pages that help them understand the elements of tall tales. These pages can be used with any tall tales. Click on the title page to see more.

tall tales super heroes Ruth S. english language arts reading novels

Monday, December 12, 2011

Writing Rocks!

There are two colorful posters in this FREE download. 
Display them at Writing Centers and around your classroom to remind the kids about the important elements of writing! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Langston Hughes "DREAMS"

 I'm sooooo excited!! 
I've been working on this packet for a couple of weeks and it's finally finished!! 
As of January, 2015, there is now a brand new version of my Langston Hughes "Dreams" FREE packet with a new look and more activities.

Perfect for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and Black History Month!! 
Download this free Langston Hughes packet of worksheets about his poem "Dreams" 
Also included are inspiring biographies on websites about people who followed their dreams to reach their goals
Design a dream Tee shirt FUN! 
Write a dream poem
Activities for small and large groups
If you've already downloaded my packet, please download this latest version! 

photo of Langston Hughes "Dreams", PDF, Free, poetry, Ruth S.

My Favorite Book

Colorful classrooms rock! 
Teachers, Librarians, Parents! 
Create a colorful display of your kids' favorite books! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I feel so honored to be given this award by Carolyn, Ann Marie and Heidi! You have been a great inspiration and spread sunshine to all :)

To accept this award I'm answering the following questions.

What is your favorite color?  Blue/gray
What is your favorite animal? Dogs and cats. We have two dachshunds, 
Frederick and Jeffrey who are brothers. Sometimes I think they're smarter than I am LOL Cats are up there with dogs too.
What's your favorite number? 25 which is how old I was when I got married 
Facebook or Twitter?   Facebook
Your passion? Family first and foremost. Music. I'm a trained classical pianist and compose my own music. Writing.  I'm a published author.  Arts and crafts.
Giving or Getting presents? Giving definitely!
Favorite Day?  Thanksgiving and Christmas Day when our family is together. 

I'm passing this award to Amy at "Science Stuff" 
and to Sarah at "Teaching Tweens"

Author's Purpose Poster

Display this AUTHORS PURPOSE POSTER in your classroom and it's bound to attract attention!

Designed as an antique appearing poster, it's best to print this poster on heavier stock paper, then either laminate or frame it for display. Click on the poster for ordering information.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Education Quotation Posters and Activities

Inspire your students to think about education and learning by displaying these 23 posters that are  8 1/2 inches by 11 inches. I display two or three per month.  Print them on antique looking paper and frame them. I bought three frames and rotate the posters throughout the year. 

Included is a mini research project with student worksheets that can be done later in the school year. Students explore the Web in order to find biographical information about the people who wrote the quotations. Quotes are by: Benjamin Franklin, Socrates, Nelson Mandela, Abigail Adams, John Dewey, A.A. Milne, John Milton, Rosa Parks, Eric Fromm, Joseph Campbell, George Santayana, Allan Bloom, Marvin Minsky, Vernon Howard, Abraham Lincoln, Willa Cather, Lloyd Alexander, Will Rogers and more.
Click below to see how to obtain the packet.

I Love

I love being part of the TeachersPayTeachers family of educators. We offer incredible lessons and give many of them away. Due to the decline of the economy in the U.S and around the world, Boards of Education aren't giving teachers the funds to buy what they need, therefore many are buying supplies, novels, reproducibles and more out of their own pockets. 

We TpT teachers are dedicated educators who want to preserve excellence in education. Many of us are experienced teachers who have valuable tried and true lessons that work in the classroom. Many of us are also award winning educators who love to share our knowledge with others!

I offer novel packets that include ready to print and use student worksheets.  Since I have elementary and middle school experience, I also offer science, social studies and other lessons and packets. Click on the TpT banner to see my store. 


Vocabulary Detective Coupons

Use the vocabulary detective coupons as your students read class novels. When they spot a new word they're unfamiliar with, they write them down on the coupons. During the week, they have to jot down the definitions, parts of speech and write sentences for each of the words on their coupons.   

At the end of the week, they put them in the "Word Detective Jar". Pull out two or three from the jar. Ask a student whose coupon was selected to state the definition, what part of speech it is and to use it in a sentence. Give gift or awards to those who know all of the information. Pencils, stickers, erasers, paperback books etc.  Click on the coupons to get a free copy. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Winter is a time to have fun! 
These FREE 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. Even putting winter words in ABC order is fun when it involves cutting and pasting. Other suggestions using the words include: Writing a short skit, rap,  a poem and designing a diorama.  

photo of Winter Word Fun PDF, winter

FREE! Holiday E-Book

Still looking for some fun holiday projects to do with your students before the holidays?  This Holiday E-Book with incredible, creative holiday tips and projects is for all ages.  There are 50 teachers who contributed to this E-book! Look for my jigsaw puzzle and holiday postcards, with matching gift cards.