Deep in the Heart of Texas Link-Up: What I Love!


Welcome to the “Deep in the Heart of Texas” blog hop!  Over 40 Texas teacher bloggers have joined together to share what we love about our state as well as ideas and freebies that we love.  You will also have the opportunity to enter to win TpT products and/or TpT gift certificates by entering using the rafflecopters included in each post.  Down at the bottom, you will see all of the blogs participating in the hop.  Just click and you will be taken to their posts.  We hope you love what you find.  Happy Valentine’s Day!
I grew up in a suburb of Dallas (and I still consider that green place to be where I am “from”), but now I live in a desert. El Paso, Texas is so far west that many don’t remember we’re part of Texas! 

I do love a few things about my city. I mean, it’s got its issues, but there are definitely some pros to living here. 

1. Beautiful weather, 85% of the time. It gets hot in the summer (it is a desert), but you can still venture outdoors most of the time. That’s important to a person like me who’d rather be in the country than a city.

 I don’t want to tell you how much water it takes to make a yard green here.

2. Last year, El Paso built a new minor league ballpark for our team, (don’t laugh) the Chihuahuas! The games are so much fun and the ballpark is beautiful. I love going with the hunny or my brothers.

I loooooove to teach writing. It’s one of the things I miss the most – reading aloud a beautiful book, analyzing the author’s craft, trying out some of the writing strategies and structures, and having students create incredible pieces. My favorite books to teach writing with are Cynthia Rylant’s.
One of the pieces we worked on that seemed to grow students’ expressive writing the best was writing texts using In November as a model. I wrote about how we wrote poetry using In November as a model in third grade here.

This student had struggled to write even sentences at the beginning of the third grade. During this piece, he seemed to find a voice! He integrated illustrations throughout all of his words – very interesting to see him begin to use expression this way!

I’ve also had classes write modeled books using In November. Each student chose a month to write about and then we brainstormed details that matched all the different categories you can find in In November – what the people do, what the earth is like, what the animals do, etc. Students created their own “In January,” or “In October” books and they were so charming!

I love this freebie! It’s a reading assessment tracker – you can have students record their scores by TEK! Third, fourth, and fifth grade are included, in English and Spanish. Check it out and see if your kids can use it! I also have some teachers who use it to record their students’ percentages of success on multiple tests for their class overall.


Reading Assessment Color Code Tracker

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Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!

Individual codes should you need them for some reason… TpT Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway Prize Pack 1 Rafflecopter (PK-1) Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway Prize Pack 2 Rafflecopter (2-3) Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway Prize Pack 3 Rafflecopter (4-8) Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway Linky Code:


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  1. Ok, I love that you were honest in saying there were "some" things you love about your city. I have a love/hate relationship with Houston. I personally think the team name is FABULOUS. I'd wear their gear!

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