Punctuating Sentences Task Cards


These task cards reinforce and supplement your regular lessons for punctuation of sentences.   Students are provided with the rules to learn, then given opportunities to practice and apply the punctuation to their writing.  They are applicable to all grade levels from elementary to middle schoolers that need to learn and practice end punctuation.  Students like that the rules are there to refer to if needed. Teachers like that it is an independent learning tool to enhance their writing program. 

Dazzle’s Note Writing Time Filler Activity




Meet Dazzle, the amazing language arts wonder dog!  Dazzle was brought to me by RZ Alexander.  Drop by RZ’s TpT store and see the amazing clip art offered there.

Dazzle is chalk full 😉 of helpful teaching ideas, hints, thoughts, and lessons that will make teaching and learning language arts and writing so much more fun and less stressful. In fact, here’s one now.    

Writing notes is something all students want to do so why not let them. With a few quick rules, you will be on your way to a fun time filler activity that keeps students writing and quiet for those times when you run out of things to do and still have some time left before class ends. Use this activity sparingly, usually a few times a month, and your students will be begged to do it.

Students should NOT make any noise as they write their notes and tiptoe around the room delivering them.  SO PLAY SOFT MUSIC IN THE BACKGROUND, SIT BACK, AND ENJOY THE QUIET TIME.  THE STUDENTS WILL LOVE IT AND SO WILL YOU.

PS:  If a student writes a note that is not nice, reiterate what the word NICE means to the class, then refrain from letting the class write notes for a few weeks. They will get the message and be good when you let them resume note writing.  

And speaking of writing…here is another fun writing lesson from my TpT store that can be used on Monday morning to get your writing students’ juices flowing and loosen up their writing fingers.  It increases fluency and is fun.  What could be better?

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Special Elf, Jewels, Had To Be Combed!!!!


Jewels after she finished combing for lice.

Our granddaughter Lucy’s class had a little problem with lice, so her mother had to do a comb for the little buggers.  When Lucy woke up this morning she discovered that Jewel’s had gone through the process too.

Our daughter stated, “One can’t be too careful when it comes to guarding against lice!”


Lucy said, “Jewels is smart and funny!”




Judith Darling, President of Razzle Dazzle Learning CompanyI have often been asked, “Why did you become a middle school teacher?”  I would reply that as a middle school teacher I appreciated that age student for their honesty, humor, and desire to learn how to be more grown up.  It is a painful time for children because they are learning how to become responsible and independent adults with proper manners, a good sense of humor, and a sense of individuality that will carry them through life, which seemed to be something I could relate to.  I just knew I wanted to be a part of that teaching community.

Middle school aged children require educators that have a special kind of personality which is impervious to harsh comments about their hair, appearance and lifestyle in general.  Teachers and parents must have a quirky sense of humor that carries them through the constant critique of “all knowing” middle schoolers who ban together in their search for an identity and independence.  They must be able to guide students toward developing their own sense of style, toward becoming independent learners, toward understanding  differences in beliefs and views; and toward becoming ready to successfully move on to high school, college, and adulthood.  It is a daunting task for sure, but one I loved considering the nature of the little beasts!

I discovered that middle school children need tons of guidance and strict boundaries, but want to feel like they are making decisions themselves.  This is a tricky tightrope to walk for teachers and parents.  I learned there were times when I needed to take the heat so a student could save face, and other times when a student would surprise me and show a real sense of maturity by stepping up and owning the problem or difficulty.

During all the years I taught middle school I can honestly say that I looked forward to almost every day in the classroom.  Life was not dull, I got honest feedback, students were always surprising me, I got to laugh often every day and I knew it was a place that was good for me.

Check out my TpT store to find ways to make teaching writing so much easier and fun for students and teachers.

See you there!


FREE Holiday Creative Writing Lesson

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Click on the picture to go to my TpT store and download my Free Holiday Lesson.

Here is a FREE HOLIDAY WRITING LESSON. In this lesson students think of something they really want, then write a story about why they want it, what they have to do to get it, and what they will do with it once they have it. It is interactive because they brainstorm, write in paragraphs, edit, and grade their own paper before turning it in. The lesson includes:

1. Instructions on how to use the lesson plan
2. The writing process steps for teaching the plan
3. An Idea Organizer that taps into the students personal bank of knowledge
4. A paragraph organizer that guides the student’s through writing the introduction, body, and conclusion
5. Two scoring guides (one includes the six traits of writing) so students know what the expectations are, how they will be evaluated, and allows them to grade their own papers before turning it in for the final teacher evaluation.
6. An art/drawing worksheet to go along with the lesson

TEACHING WRITING – Why use a grading rubric?

Teaching writing is subjective!  So much so that almost every teacher grades essays and students writing different from anyone else, and how they do it can vary from assignment to assignment. What is needed is a scoring rubric that is student and teacher friendly and evens the playing field for all students.  It needs to be shown to the students before any writing is done, so the students know exactly what the expectations are and how they will be evaluated.  Students should also edit and grade their own assignments before turning them in for teacher evaluation.  This allows the student to actually choose the grade they which to make on any given writing assignment.  The rubric should allow students to be held accountable, but not be so stringent that it overwhelms them.

I have said many times and will say it many more.  The only way children learn to write is by writing all the time.  The more they write the better they become.  Taking the stress off of writing by providing a usable scoring rubric, allows students to succeed and feel empowered.  Their success and empowerment translates into the desire to write more.

An added bonus is that it significantly cuts down on grading time for the teacher. 

My writing curriculum does just that.  It makes teaching writing stress free and joyful for students and teachers.  If you are interested in making your teaching life easier, drop by my TpT store and take a look.  All of my products are student directed, and I offer free lessons so you can see if they will work for you.

The picture is of my granddaughters doing their writing homework.  They LOVE it that their grandmother writes fun and interesting writing and language arts lessons that they can grade themselves.


Hanging Out With The Girls!!

Today was a perfect shopping day.  My granddaughters, Byrdee and Cricket and I took off this morning and didn’t get home until 4:00.  We met up with my daughter, Nancy for lunch, and then it was on to more shopping.  I am happy to say that I was able to get a lot of my Christmas shopping out of the way, and the prices were great!  I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Lunch with girls #2