Happy birthday to My Carolina Classroom and happy blogiversary to me! I cannot believe that it's been a year since I tossed around the tiny ideas of starting a teaching blog and opening a TPT store.

It is incredible to reflect upon the past year and all of the changes that have come with it. I have grown so much in all areas of life and I know the best is yet to come!

What better way is there to celebrate a great year and thank all of my supporters than by hosting a HUGE GIVEAWAY?!

I hereby present to you...

You have the opportunity to enter two INCREDIBLE giveaways totaling over $180 worth of digital products! 

The K-2 BUNDLE prize includes 21 digital products (various subject areas), store credit to 3 incredible stores, and a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers.

The 3-5 BUNDLE prize includes 14 digital products (various subject areas) and a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers.

Keep scrolling to enter. GOOD LUCK! 

I know the Rafflecopters are a little overwhelming... That's just because I have SO MANY great teacher friends that made this giveaway possible!

Rafflecopter will stop accepting entries at 11:59pm (EST) on Sunday, February 22.
Winners will be announced on the 23rd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please visit and support the fabulous and oh so generous sponsors of this giveaway!

I'm happy to be linking up with Kacey on this happy, happy FRIDAY!

(I have a work day which is why I am such a good mood...

...not that I need a reason to be in a good mood.)


We had our party yesterday since today is a work day. 

My Valentines for my students this year were super boring - and super practical. 

I was so impressed with the "mailboxes" that students brought in! 
Here are a few of my favorites:

My babies and their parents sure are SWEET! 


We are wrapping up a unit on measurement. I searched and searched for measurement tips anchor charts to no avail, so I came up with my own. I'm okay with it. 

I can't believe my bunting is stuck behind my anchor chart. Must fix ASAP.

Speaking of OCD...

I finally organized my stash of paper!! It's embarrassing how happy this makes me!

This is a big deal, y'all!! 

I have been reading like crazy due to my 2015 resolution. I been been missing Lorelei and Rory, but enjoying my reading time! I recently finished Girls in White Dresses, Wild, and Love Does. Next up is Mindy Kaling's book. 

Do you have any book suggestions!

My blogiversary is NEXT WEEK!
I cannot believe that I have been on this journey for the past year! 

Stay tuned here and on Instagram for more information.

Have a good weekend!

Words Their Way:

SO overwhelming, am I right?

We just started using Words Their Way this year. Although I was trained on WTW in college, I had NO IDEA how to implement WTW effectively in my classroom while differentiating to meet students' individual needs. Over the summer, my team decided that I was going to be in charge of word study, so I threw myself head first into Words Their Way. I read the books, read blogs, attended workshops, and watched videos. 

I finally figured out how to implement WTW in my room. Maybe it will work for you, too! 


First, you have to give your students the PSI or ESI test and score them using the WTW scoresheets. I don't fill out the scoresheets completely because I find that to be a royal waste of time. Instead, I circle the patterns that a student MISSES. When a student misses three in one column, I stop grading and plan to start the student on that skill. 

I have a spreadsheet on Google Docs that I use to keep track of my groups. It looks like this:

I created this FOREVER FREEBIE to help you organize your groups, which is essentially the same exact spreadsheet, just printable:

I grouped my students in August, then gave the PSI/ESI again in December. Based on those test results, I reworked the groups. 

I like to print my students' word sorts on colored paper. It makes the words stand out and less likely to be lost! My guided reading groups are colors, so I had to think of something different to name my word study groups that was still applicable to colors. Don't judge.

My kids have baggies stapled into their take-home folders to store their words in. Honestly - most of the bags didn't make it to 2015, even though I bought the most expensive ones! Most of my students have replaced their baggies and bring them back and forth; I'm beyond impressed that none have been lost! All of my students have their words every day.

The above picture is of the inside of my students' take-home folders. (Read more about the folders HERE.) On the right is my Word Sort Cheat Sheet that students can refer to at home.

Alright - that's it for the organization. On to the implementation...


I like to do two-week rotations. We only have word study for 20 minutes every day and homework is optional, so I want to make sure my kids have ample time to master new spelling patterns. 

Week 1 - Monday
Students cut out new words, write initials on the back, and try sorting them on their own. I pull small groups to give them a very brief overview of their sort and sort the words with them. Right now I have 5 groups and it takes me about 20 minutes to meet with all of the groups.

Week 1 - Tuesday
Students do closed sorts with partners. Students must be partnered within their predetermined word study groups. 

Week 1 - Wednesday
Students work with partners to determine the meaning of each word and use them in sentences. If students don't know a word, they look it up in the dictionary or ask me. 

Week 1 - Thursday
Students do speed sorts in partners. I project a stopwatch on the board for students to watch. 

Week 1 - Friday
Students play Word Master or Spin It! 

Week 2 - Monday
Students do word hunts independently. They flip to the next blank page in their word study folders and write the headers at the top of the page. Then they use books and magazines to hunt for words that fit under their headers.

Week 2 - Tuesday
Students do blind sorts with partners.

Week 2 - Wednesday
Students play Word Master or Spin It!

Week 2 - Thursday
Students do blind writing sorts with partners using dry erase boards.

Week 2 - Friday
Students glue down their words, sorted, into their word study folders.  I pass out notebook paper and the kids know to get their papers ready for the test. 

I call groups over to my reading corner one at a time. Students bring their papers and a pencil and grab a clipboard then I administer the test. I always print an extra copy of each word sort, staple the extras together, and use them to create the tests. Simple is best, in my opinion.

Word Master and Spin It! are both games that I designed and sell on Teachers Pay Teachers. There are tons of games out there for Words Their Way and phonics in general, but WTW is already way too much to keep up with. I designed both of these games so that they could be used with ANY word sort, so long as students can read the directions on the game boards. My students LOVE them!

OR, You can grab ALL of my Words Their Way resources here!


Honestly, I hope this post was helpful to you!

Want more Words Their Way advice? Read my follow-up blog post, Words Their Way: My Way, Part 2

What questions do you have about implementing Words Their Way? I'd love to help shed some light!

Please follow along on Bloglovin'Instagram, Facebook, and TPT for more fun ideas that make your life easier!



Tuesday was our 100th day of school! As hard as this year had been, I honestly cannot believe I have had my current students for over 100 days. Where does the time go?

I realize I should have taken a picture from outside... ha!

It seems like we have been working on our penguins for about 100 days. They are FINALLY finished and turned out great!

Obviously I had to make my bulletin board a little sassy.

My bulletin board is right next to some bathrooms, on a wall where many classes line up, so I always write a note to other students. 

I finished updating my kid econ unit!! It includes lesson plans, activities, and assessments (oh my)! To celebrate, the product is HALF OFF - only $4 - in my TPT store through Saturday!

Okay, I am going to try this one last time. After this post, I'll stop; I promise!

[ I'm desperate. I know. HELP. ] 

I am desperate to get this project funded before it gets too close to the end of the year.

Donate at least $5 to my project and get any 3 products from my TPT store for FREE! 
You read that right: any 3 products can be yours, no cost limit. 

Email me afterwards to claim your products: mycarolinaclassroom@gmail.com 
TpT store: My Carolina Classroom ** offer valid until project is fully funded

For those of you who visit my blog every Friday to see what GIFs I've chosen, I've been sick this week so I am not my usual sassy self. But I didn't forget about your needs!

This is for you:

Have a blessed weekend.