I was super excited when I saw this linky go live last week. 
As an 8th grade teacher, I, to the surprise of many, do not use many worksheets.  By the time students reach 8th grade, you would think that they have kind of leveled out. 
This is a very big misconception. 
 I have students who range from a 3rd grade reading level (ELLs) to a 12th grade reading level.  I have to be mindful of my instruction and assessing/checking for comprehension due to this.  Yes, worksheets do have their place (Standardized testing format), but they are much harder to differentiate, so I choose to work smarter and NOT harder.
I am always scouring TPT for open ended task cards that will work for my kiddos and recently found some that are amazing. 
Story Element Response Task Cards
Click image for TPT page.
They are from the fabulous Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6.  I know they say they are for up to 6th grade, but these worked perfectly as a scoot activity with my 8th graders after we finished our quick novel study of Freak the Mighty

 I gave them 5 minutes at each topic, so they had to stay on task and focused the whole time.  They even commented how much they enjoyed it.  Shaking things up causes student engagement to grow, which is always a plus when you have 54 minute periods.
This was also perfect "test prep".  The cards get progressively harder, but all require textual evidence.  This is a must for my 8th graders because the majority of the questions on the STAAR (Texas Standardized Test) are higher level thinking.  No more of those easy hunt and find answers.  I am excited to be able to use this earlier in the year for the next school year.
Here are some examples of student work:

I can't wait to check out these (which I went and purchased the minute I saw the engagement level the fiction cards achieved)...
Nonfiction Elements Response Task Cards
I can't wait to read about more non-worksheet options and continue to share mine on Wednesdays... Head over and check it out!


I know I am super late to the party, but I guess its better late than never.  Currently... here I come!!
  • So lets talk about all the reasons that "The Voice" is awesome...
    • Adam is a hottie
    • Blake is smoking
    • Adam is a hottie
    • Pharell has a way with words that would make me putty in his hands
    • Adam is a hottie
    • Christina has amazing girl power
    • Adam is a hottie
    • The talent they have this year might be the best yet
    • Adam is a hottie
  • Lazy days of watching TV and doing nothing of substance are few & far between for me.  I am happy that I set sometime aside today to just do a whole bunch of nothing.
  • My spring break to do list keeps growing...

  • My closets are filled to the brim with clothes and shoes.  They are busting at the seams.  I started to go through at Christmas to weed out what I haven't worn in the last year or the items that are too small for me.  This ended up in a pile in my closet door and still lays there waiting for me to move it.  I want to get it together, so that I can donate the clothes in the next few weeks.  If I get rid of clothes, that means I can buy more, right?!?
  • Our state test in 8th grade Reading is just 2 weeks after we come back from Spring Break.  I need to plan out hands on highly engaging activities for my kids to complete to review.  I think I have a few ideas up my sleeve and hope to make them come to life this week. (If they turn out fabulous, I plan to share.)
  • Spring Break started for me this week and it is jam packed.
    • Winery tours in Fredericksburg with my mother and sister.

    • Painting with some teaching friends.

    • Volleyball Tourney
Wow I had A LOT to say this month!! Head on over to Farley's blog to join in on the currently fun...

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