Friday, August 31, 2012

Star Writer Award!

What a surprise to receive yet another award! 
I've always been an avid writer but never in my wildest dreams 
did I ever expect to receive such a prestigious award!

Again, this top award was sent through cyberspace 
and landed mysteriously on my blog!
 I'm not allowed to divulge the identity of this well known blog reviewer!
Maybe you'd like to take a guess?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Common Core Worksheets

It seems the Common Core Standards have become the hot topic of teachers' conversations around the country. The last time I checked, 47 states had adopted the Core. I wasn't concerned about what the Core covered, because our state standards, to this point in time, have been one of the highest ranked in the country. That being said, I wasn't surprised that our standards outweigh the requirements of the Core. 

Because the Core standards were developed for students from different backgrounds,environments and 
socio-economic backgrounds, I had a feeling they'd be "watered down" from the state standards we already had in place. With test scores down across the country, I was expecting a more rigorous set of standards. 

Why not "raise the bar" and increase our expectations? Are we teaching our students the same standards that were in place when I was in school? No. My teachers kept the "bar" high and expectations were rigorous. I memorized multiplication facts in third grade. Rote memorization these days is frowned upon. Why? Because no one is allowed to fail? 

Don't make kids memorize poems? Why not? I memorized many poems as a kid and I can still recite them today. Don't make kids learn cursive writing? I learned to write in cursive in third grade. My hand didn't fall off, although some days I thought it would when I was first learning how to hold the pencil correctly and move it smoothly across the paper. Today, cursive writing is an endangered art.  

Our forefathers scribed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution in beautiful longhand. Painstakingly, they formed the letters with flourishes, dipping their feathery pen nibs in ink after one or two words. Will the words of our future children be as beautiful? I think not. With the technological advancements, there may no longer be handwritten signatures. Will there be a computer chip implanted in the fingertip, so all one must do is touch the paper to sign an important document? 

I'm slightly off the topic of Common Core but I think we should take a serious look at what we teach and how we teach it. I'll keep my expectations high and the bar raised. Yes, I do require cursive on certain assignments. I do make modifications for those students who aren't physically able to write. I even still give cursive lessons if asked how to form a letter. 

Like my father used to say... "If it isn't broken, why fix it?"

Back to the Common Core... 

I decided teachers need Common Core worksheets they can use with any story or book. To make sets of these worksheets would take more time than teachers have on hand, so I've developed some that will make teachers' lives easier. I'll continue to create more throughout the year. 

 These are three available in my TeachersPayTeachers store. Take a peek. 


photo of Common Core Standards Reading Themes PDF Teacher Park

photo of Common Core Reading Standards Main Idea PDF Teacher Park

photo of Common Core Task Cards Foundational Skills PDF Teacher Park

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Education Blog Award 2012

I'm very humbled and honored to have received this award 
from one of the most prestigious blog reviewers on the Web.
She spends endless hours, days, months to
help teachers' dreams come true! 

This award is not passed from one blogger to another
but rather is awarded secretly to education bloggers. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

TeachersPayTeachers Back to School Sale!

TeachersPayTeachers is having an incredible Back to School Sale on August 12th and August 13th.
Use PROMO CODE BTS12 to get an additional 10% off!  Fantastic lessons, novel packets, ready to print worksheets, Common Core items and more! The savings will help teachers have a stress free start for a new school year. Click on the sale sign to see more! 
Remember! This sale starts tomorrow, Sunday August 12th! 

Happy Back to School to All!

Teachers are adding to their wish lists on TeachersPayTeachers now. Browse my store and add to your list. The sale begins Sunday! Everything in my store will be on sale!

Just a few examples are...

This is one of my newest packets of ready to print worksheets for common and proper nouns. Great practice for the Common Core Standards!

photo of Common and Proper Nouns PDF Ruth S. author, Teacher Park

Check out my Common Core Reading themes worksheet and student friendly rubric that can be used with any story or novel! 

Photo of Common Core Reading Standards Themes by Ruth S. Teacher Park

Students have so much fun coloring the states they don't realize they're learning
states' shapes, locations and other important information. Have them work in small group
and watch the fun begin!! 

photo of Color the U.S States by Ruth S author

These cards are a perfect way to assess your students' knowledge of vowels/consonant sounds, prefixes/suffixes, base/root words, verb tenses, syllables, singular/plural nouns and more! 
Use as pre-- and post assessments to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
There are 24 task cards, teacher answer sheet, teacher sheet to record their answers, mastery certificates in black and white and Common Core labels for students' folder in color and black and white. 
Once you determine who needs extra practice in a certain area, you can work with small groups. 

I also offer novel packets with ready to print worksheets that save teachers from having to create them!

Stop by my store and browse my 200+ products of teacher saving worksheets lessons in reading, spelling, English, science, social studies, holidays and more! 

Scroll down to see more of my product listings that were featured in the Lesson Cloud sale! 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Subjects and Predicates

I remember my fifth grade teacher required us to state our answers in complete sentences. I'm not referring to writing our answers in complete sentences. She would make us turn a question around and answer her orally in a full sentence. I learned a valuable lesson from her and throughout my teacher career have always insisted my students do the same. 

These days everything is quick and easy. Need a cake for a party? Buy a boxed cake mix. Need to change the channel on the television? Grab the remote instead of getting up to change it. So why not answer questions with a quick "yes" or "no"? 

Is everything quick and easy in our classrooms? Do we require kids to give us oral answers in complete sentences or do we accept one word answers so we can move on to the next topic? Are we too stressed out because we're required to meet goals in all subjects by the end of the year and it  just doesn't seem like we'll be able to cover all the material we're supposed to? Have our expectations changed?

Oral response is just as important as written response. In my opinion, speaking in complete sentences should be required in schools. 

For that reason I created a subject and predicate packet of ready to print student worksheets with my instructions. Hopefully, teachers will stress the importance of written and oral responses as they present these to their students and require they give their oral responses using complete subjects and predicates! :)

photo of Subjects and Predicates PDF