Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Free ARMS and CUPS Printable Rubrics

A little bit about me, I got hired as a 7th and 8th grade ELAR teacher on August 2017. Which means that I've only been a teacher for 4 months more or less. That totally means that I am NOT an expert in my field, but I do make up for it by being a bit tech savvy. For example here I have some rubrics that I created for my 7th grade ELAR department. We are preparing our 7th graders for their STAAR writing. I was introduced to ARMS and CUPS recently and I've been using it with my kiddos a lot. As my department and I started lesson planning for how to get the kids ready to write we decided that we needed some type of rubrics for them, to check their own work and the work of their partners. And the following is what I came up with...hope you enjoy it!

ARMS and Cups (Photo from Pinterest)

New Year, New Me...Kinda

Hello everyone,

So my first year as a teacher is going great...kinda. There has been a few bumps here and there that have made me question whether I really want to be a teacher or not. I assume every new teacher goes though that. It's a good thing that I have an amazing group of friends (all of us are English teachers who got recently hired! Yay!) who are very understanding. I can always go to them for advice, success stories, or to rant and cry. Without them I probably wouldn't be where I am right now.

Because of their support and because I know not every first year teacher has the same support system as I do, I decided to change my blog a bit. I want to use my blog as a place for other teachers to give and seek advice. And also to just share ideas and resources. I am a great believer in sharing knowledge and ideas that work and not just keeping it to yourself because you want to be the only best teacher at your campus. Teaching should be fundamentally about wanting every single kid to pass, whether that student is yours or not.

When I first started blogging it was to review books and as a hobby for my deep love of literature. Unfortunately that had to stop because I was so busy with my job all the time. It wasn't until recently that a teacher gave me a great advice, "Don't let your life be only about teaching or it will make you miserable, you need to find hobbies that you like to keep yourself sane". I realized that reading has always been my passion and I need to start enjoying it more. So to conclude my little update, I just want to say that I will try my best to post more book reviews, teacher printables, and teacher discussions.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Review: Caraval

Caraval (Caraval, #1)Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval
Book #: 1
Pages: 407
Book Rating:
Goodreads Rating: 4.0
Published:  January 31st, 2017

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

  • The magical world that is Caraval. I felt like I was right there in the middle of the game. Every clue and obstacles that Scarlett went through the reader also goes through it. At some points I would even play along and think "that's gotta be a clue". And even when I thought I had things figured out, I still ended up being surprised most of the time. 
  • Another thing that I liked about this story was the writing style. It honestly feels magical and fairytale-like. The mystery that is Legend and his performers was stunning. And even though you really don't get to know more about Legend I have a feeling that the next book will focus more on him. The island where Caraval is played sounds breathtaking, it honestly reminded me a bit of Alice in Wonderland, or at least that's what I pictured the island to look like haha.
  • Another thing that I loved was the romance. I don't know if others thought the same as me but for some reason I thought that Scarlett was going to end up falling in love with Legend. But it was a nice turn of events that she actually fell for Julian. Although the romance felt a little bit too rushed, I completely ship them haha. I think I really like this pairing because if you look at it from Julian's side it is very romantic and innocent. 
  • Despite the beautiful world-building that Stephanie Garber created some things she left very vague and didn't explain at all. For example how Scarlett assigns colors to emotions. Is she like reading auras? Is she magical? We don't know because it's never explained.
  • How much Scarlett complains and frets, I honestly didn't like her very much. Julian and her sister, Tella, on the other hand I did. It was a nice surprise to find how different these characters are in reality as compared to how Scarlett depicts them. 
  • The lies. That is something that I didn't really like that much. I understand that it was necessary to create that mysterious atmosphere. But I swear sometimes I just wanted to stop reading the book because it became too much. The lies, the vague actions of certain characters, and the whole mysterious scenes sometimes became too much. But overall it was nice when at the end everything is explained so I guess it was worth it. 
Overall it was a great book and I really do recommend you to read it!:)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Review: Infinity

Title: Infinity
Author: Jus Accardo
Series: The Infinity Division
Book #: 1
Pages: 320
Book Rating:
Goodreads Rating: 3.68
Published:  November 1st 2016  

Nobody said being the daughter of an army general was easy. But when her dad sends a teenage subordinate to babysit her while he’s away… That’s taking it a step too far.

Cade, as beautiful as he is deadly, watches Kori with more than just interest. He looks at her like he knows her very soul. And when he saves her from a seemingly random attack, well, that’s when things get weird.

Turns out, Kori’s dad isn’t just an army general—he’s the head of a secret government project that has invented a way to travel between parallel dimensions. Dimensions where there are infinite Koris, infinite Cades…and apparently, on every other Earth, they’re madly in love.

Falling for a soldier is the last thing on Kori’s mind. Especially when she finds herself in a deadly crossfire, and someone from another Earth is hell-bent on revenge…

I honestly don't know what to say about this book, I mean it was a nice book but that's it. It was entertaining and the pace was fast which is why I ended up finishing this book in like one day and a half. The story line was interesting and the characters were okay too. But, for some reason this book wasn't like magical to me, that's the reason I'm giving it 4 stars and not 5. Like I said before everything is just okay, I feel like this is one of the books you should read when it's raining outside and you are stuck inside. A book to read just to pass the time. 

The plot line was interesting, from the beginning the reader is hooked. I mean in the first few chapters Kori has to fight for her life. That's something that I enjoyed about her, her willingness to fight back and not let herself be the damsel in distress. I also liked that she admitted that it was also okay to have someone save her, that it was not possible for herself to get out tough situations without any help. 

There was only a few things that I did not like about this book. 
First one: I hate how Kori would be all like I need to stop kissing Cade because it's not real and fair he doesn't like me, and will only end up hurting each other. And then she would initiate it again three more times. Like really girl have some restraint especially when you're fighting for your life.

I loved the relationship of Kori and her father, and Kori and Noah. I think if the author would've explored this relationships more than the love drama it would have been interesting. But nope instead we get Kori and Cade love drama. 

The last thing that I hated was the ending! Ughhhh honestly I just wanted to hit Kori. I understand how exciting it would be if you get to go around traveling parallel dimensions but come on you're doing it to stop a killer. I hated how Kori was all like yay this is what I needed in my life, more adventure! She makes it seem like everything is okay and she's just going to go travel the world. I wished the ending was written a bit different just to put the emphasis about the danger they are about to go into and not make it seem as if the characters are going to go travel Europe. 

Anyways I'll probably read the second book just to see what happens. And like I said if you want to read a book quickly just to pass time this is the one.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Book Review: And I Darken

And I Darken (The Conquerers Saga, #1)Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerers
Book #: 1
Pages: 475
Book Rating:
Goodreads Rating: 3.96
Published: June 28th 2016

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point. 

“If you are too weak to stand being hit and too stupid to avoid it, then you deserve more pain.” 
― Kiersten White, And I Darken

Best book ever!!!! Honestly, this book blew away my expectations. And I Darken is exactly what I had been looking for in a book for a long time. It is super unique and leaves an impression on you after reading it. 

I have to say this is a book that has the best character development ever. We don't only get to read the thoughts of two main characters but we get to realize why they do the things they do and why they are the way they are. And I have to say Radu and Lada are completely polar opposite of each other. 

“She plucked a rose and held it to her face. She hated the way roses smelled, their sweetness too fragile. She wanted a garden of evergreens. A garden of stones. A garden of swords.” 
― Kiersten White, And I Darken

I love Lada because she doesn't filter herself. She says what is on her mind and better yet she doesn't pretend to be someone she's not. I've read many books that declare the girl to be anti-princess, yet at the end they do and act like one. Or they let themselves be influenced by a boy. Well Lada is not a princess at all, she is ruthless and she doesn't let any man dictate her life. 

“On our wedding night," she said, "I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied.” 
― Kiersten White, And I Darken

Radu on the other hand is such a sweet boy. He has always been overshadowed by his sister. When they get to the Ottoman empire, Radu realizes that some battles are not won only by fists, but also through politics. Something he excels at. It is here that you see Radu grow from a weak boy to a strong independent man. And although him and Lada have their own problems you can clearly see the love they have for each other. 

“..If anyone is going to kill you, it will be me. Understand?"
Radu nodded, snuggling into her shoulder. "Will you protect me?
"Until the day I kill you." She jabbed a finger into his side, where he was most ticklish, and he squealed with pained laughter.” 
― Kiersten White, And I Darken

I have to talk about the love triangle in this book. Usually I hate love triangles they're such a cliche and so annoying, but the love triangle in this book is so different it's honestly going to shock you. Overall I loved this book, I loved how the author developed the characters, the story line, even the writing is so beautifully done. I honestly can not wait to read the next book.