Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Phrase for the year

Wow. Another school year is beginning which means it is time to get back into the swing of blogging! While I love doing this, I have found myself having to create time in my day to post something. That feeling of CREATING the time goes hand in hand with my phrase for this year.

I realized I was using the terms INTENT, INTENTIONAL, & PURPOSEFUL all summer while writing curriculum and planning my days. 

What does INTENTIONAL even mean? I know I have my definition in my head, but just for grins I did a little Googling. Intention is an aim or a plan. So to be intentional is to set out with an aim or a plan...a goal! Naturally, that leads me to my next thought: how can I live a life that is full of INTENT? While I was using the Google machine, I found this  poem from a book by Mary Anne Radmacher that I just had to share. 


Live as if this is all there is.....wow! Think about that for a moment! Read that poem again.

I then ran across this great quote from my daily reading in Rocking Ordinary by Lea Ann Garfias, "It takes conscious effort to be graceful, truly loving and forgiving to those around us." How true is that? It is easy to hold grudges and get snippy and gossip and not do my part and have a bad attitude (EEK! Be careful, Mrs. Kinsman!), and keep to myself, and...and...and... On the flip side, Mrs. Garfias says that it takes a CONSCIOUS effort. I have to be thinking about it!!!!! 

I want to be the type of person that thinks through my actions. I do not want to just live a life all willy nilly (great vocabulary haha!). 

My phrase or motto that I hope to live by this year is to Be Intentional in everything I do. When I speak, I want to speak with good intentions. I want my actions to prove intentional. I want to have a reason, a plan, an aim, a goal for everything I do and say. Everything! I want to be seen as someone that has put thought into their words and actions. I want to be seen as someone who is teaching with the intention that I am molding a great new generation of citizens. 

If you had to pick a motto for this year, what would it be? Do you pick a word or phrase to dwell on each year?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Unpacking the TEKS

This is for a workshop that I am attending through Region 7. I couldn't figure out how to add it to the discussion board, so I figured I would use this blog! I am having to dust the cobwebs off the blog a little! I can't wait to get back to using this for my kiddos next year! 

I am a middle school teacher, so I chose TEKS 7.14C. I have always unpacked my TEKS, and I have done it many different ways. I have used a binder, a composition notebook, and even Google Slides. However, I REALLY like using file folders. 

A couple of things that I do differently. First of all, I always start with the Knowledge and Skills statement. I think that it gives me a LOT of information and is often overlooked. On the front side of the file folder you will see the Knowledge and Skills statement, the standard broken down, and in yellow writing (harder to see in pic) the reporting category. The inside of the folder is where I put any essentials (graphic organizer, writing prompts that are keepers, writing samples that are keepers, etc), it is also where I put vocabulary that either I need to know or the students need to know. I went to a workshop with Dee Jordan, and she shared with us the idea of putting question stems from released tests, so I also put that on the inside. That ensures that as I am teaching the lesson that I am questioning the students appropriately. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bud, Not Buddy

I don't know about you, but I like it when a book ends all nice and tidy. I like to know what happens with the characters, and that, of course, it is a happy ending.

I did not love the ending of Bud, Not Buddy. I loved the book. I LOOOOVVEEED the book. The ending? What happened? I think that authors write nonendings so that we have to use our imagination. I don't want to use my imagination - I want to know what REALLY happens. (And yes, sometimes I have to remind myself that nothing really happens to them...they are characters in a book. Not. Real. People. Except you need to know that I don't really believe that. All of the characters I read about are real to me. That is why I am so crazy!)

Where you left with questions at the end of Bud, Not Buddy? Did this book leave you thinking about the characters and their emotions? I know that I can't stop thinking about what I THINK happened 5...10...15 years down the road. To help make ME feel better, we are going to write our own epilogue for Bud, Not Buddy.

We will be sharing our epilogues through our blogs!

What books have you read that didn't end the way you wanted? Comment below for extra credit!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Summer is calling my name!

I don't know about you, but I am READY for summer break! I have a lot of plans for this summer. 

The best plan? Forgetting the day. Yes, I know that sounds weird, but honestly, it is so refreshing to NOT know what day of the week it is. Teachers get this privilege during the summer months. 

I do have REAL plans: work around the house, teach summer school, visit Mr. K's grandparents, read a million books, plan for next year, and decorate my classroom. However, that one plan I am looking for is emptying my brain out for just a little bit. What are you looking forward to this summer?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday, Monday, Monday

How was your weekend? Can't wait to tell you all about mine!

Today's assignment: 

FINISH your timeline! You will save the timeline, and we will add it to Google Classroom tomorrow!

Friday, April 15, 2016


It is FRIDAY! Today, we will be reading chapters 9 and 10 in Bud, Not Buddy. 

We will also be using storyboardthat.com to create a TIMELINE. 
sign in to your storyboardthat.com
  • Click Create a Storyboard
  • Click Storyboard Layout
  • Find the Timeline option
  • At that point it will ask you to add cells. These are the blocks for your timeline
  • You will then click update 
  • At this point I want you to think about the main scenes in this book. You are going to use each square to illustrate and DESCRIBE the major scenes from the book so far. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Not here today!

When I ask Grant how school is everyday, he gives me a list of who didn't make it to school that day. He says it the same way, "_______ not here toooday."

 Well, 7th graders, Mrs. Kinsman not here tooooday!!! You will be using your Chromebook to study your new vocabulary for Chapter 8 through Quizlet!

Chapter 8 Vocabulary link

After you read chapter 8 - click here to take the chapter 8 quiz!!

For extra credit, write a summary of chapter 8 in the comments section! The summary must be at least 2 sentences in order to receive any credit!

Thursday, April 7, 2016


What does this quote mean? Do you believe it is true? In at least 3 sentences, explain this quote and whether you believe it is true or not. Make sure to give personal examples.

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fool's Day!

How did a holiday like this even begin? I was very interested in the history behind this holiday and did a little research.  I also loved reading some of the famous pranks that big companies have had throughout the years. Read this article to find pranks on a LARGE scale!  

Do you enjoy April Fool's Day? What is your favorite prank? No, putting the sticky note under my mouse doesn't count. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Radio Silence

Image result for radio silence meme

What is with the silence, Brooke? I am not quite sure. Spring break, a two year old, and STAAR approaching must have gotten to me. I was doing such a good job posting, but then, it just stopped.

Like I mentioned above, we are getting closer and closer to our STAAR test. For that reason, it is important that we take a look back at a few of the things we have learned this year. Today's blog post is all about figurative language. What is figurative language? Why is figurative language important?

Image result for Figurative Language

I love to read essays that have a little bit of figurative language in them because it features something that is out of the ordinary. A little bit of someone's personality shines through an essay that includes figurative language.

Figurative language comes in many forms, and ups the ante of your essay. We will be practicing figurative language next week, but for extra credit, you can share a Google Doc with me using at least 5 different types of figurative language!

Image result for Figurative Language meme

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Kidnapped...the good way

I was hanging up a picture in my living room. A beautiful gem I found at a garage sale down the street when it happened.

Two ladies walked in with a billion balloons and kidnapped me. In a good way of course. My sweet friends took the time to plan an outing for me. Texted Adam, made sure I was home, and then hopped in the car to pick me up. We had a delightful time of being together! Perfect way to almost start my 30th year.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

I Noticed

When I started this challenge, one of the first blog posts I read said she was going to focus on acts of kindness she saw this month (the link above takes you to her most recent slice).I love love that idea! While I wasn't going to copy her theme, I set out to notice the same thing daily, and I was so surprised to find all the great things going on around me. First thing this morning, kindness embraced me.

As the storm raged outside our house, thunder clapped, and the neighbors car alarm went off repeatedly, I woke with my own raging storm. A headache. Thankfully, not a migraine or I would not be able to type, but still horrible. I laid in bed tossing and turning and realized I never posted a blog last night. Having too much fun being snugglebuggled (what Grant calls it when we all sit on the couch together), I guess. I realized that put me out of the contest, but another feeling hit me in between throbs. I am not ready to stop. Usually, all it takes is one time of NOT doing it to be finished. Not this time! I was already trying to think about what I would write today. That is when it happens. Multiple acts of kindness before 5:30 am.

My sweet husband woke up and asked me how long I have been awake. I think the easier question would be how long did I sleep. Not much. I already tried my mom's trick of a hot bath with a rolled up towel. I already drank a bottle in a half of water like my friend, Emili, says to do. Now I am wallowing in my pain. My sweet husband turned  the pillow sideways, kissed me, and walked towards the kitchen.

Why is turning the pillow sideways a big deal? I told him once that my Nana used to do that when I spent the night to make sure I didn't fall off the bed. It always stuck with me. No matter how old I was, when she woke up and got out of bed, she turned the pillow. Now, Adam does this, and he doesn't realize it, but he is showing his love for me.

He then brewed the coffee and brought me a cup. Although I am in bed this morning  because of a pounding head, one of my favorite things to do is read my Kindle in bed with coffee. He could have just sat on the couch with his cup, but no. He brought me mine. Knowing him, he probably hasn't even poured his yet. He went back and found medicine and another bottle of water. Small things, I know. But small things usually equate to the biggest impact on the heart, don't ya think?

Kindness is all around us.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Winning...the Spring Break way

Today is the first official day of our spring break, and I am winning! One full day in pajamas! I don't know what it is about staying in my pajamas all day, but it makes me feel like I am on top of the world! The first Christmas with my husband's parents, we had been go go go the entire week. I was so done! I will never forget the look on their faces when I said that I didn't care what THEY did, but I was in my PJs the whole day. I felt like a winner then as well.

Now, truth be told, at first this morning, I did NOT feel like a winner. We drove to my parent's house last night (after Little Mexico, see yesterday's post 😁) and were waking up early to go to the World Aquarium in Dallas. I was so excited! I woke up bounding through the living room as if it the calendar showed Christmas Day, not Monday. However, the stomach bug that has wrecked my little boy's body has decided to rebound, so the trip was canceled. I tried to be a big girl about it...but that has been all I have wanted to do with my little family for months!

Oh well, I lost that round, but so far I am winning the PJ round!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Little Mexico

Just thinking the name makes my mouth water. Little Mexico. My all time favorite restaurant, and I was able to eat there today. It is such a treat to walk through the doors. I have been visiting this restaurant for 30 years. Yep, the day before I was born, 30 years ago later this week, my parents ate there. My mother has been eating at this restaurant since SHE was a little girl. It is our family's favorite place to go.

But it has a downside.

It is an hour and a half from my family home. I grew up driving an hour and a half to eat Tex Mex. My mom grew up driving an hour and a half to eat Tex Mex! Now, on any given weekend, I will pick up the phone, tell my mom to get dressed, and drive just over an hour and a half to eat Tex Mex!! Unfortunately, when Adam and I got married, we didn't wind up any closer. We settled about the same distance from the restaurant doors.

I know it sounds crazy to think we drive that far to eat and get back in the car to drive home. It doesn't just sound crazy...it IS crazy! But what can I say? We are a crazy bunch of people!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Almost too late...why?

Today, after half a week of a super sick toddler, my mother (known as Cookie to her grandkids) picked up Grant (much to his delight!). He woke up saying, "Papa! Cookie! Need my soootcase. In my closet, Mommy! Get clothes!" Seriously. First words. I am glad he shows this much excitement for them. It makes me happy. 

So, the title said I was almost late. I am sure you are thinking that I did my have a toddler, so why in the world am I almost late posting?! Simple. Date day. How did we spend our day? Well...like most young couples of toddlers.


While Adam took down some trees in the backyard (my lumberjack!), I washed, vacuumed, and detailed our car. If you know me, you know that is a pretty big deal. After the yucky chores were out of the way, we settled in for some bagel pizzas (dinner of champs) and our favorite activity...board games. 

Tonight consisted of two rounds of Takenoko and two of the card game Aquarius. During that time, while trying to share some of my strategy for being Adam in Takenoko every time we play, I accidentally said something about needing to think critically and always be a step ahead. As you can imagine, that didn't go over too well. Luckily for me, he was able to laugh it off, and the one time he beat me in Aquarius proclaimed it was due to thinking ahead. 

Friday, March 4, 2016


I saw the sign, and before I realized it, I was turning.

It was as if the lady was beckoning me, "Broooke....Brooookeeeeee! You deserve me!"

I never hardly ever drink coffee shop coffees. I have a hard time spending $5 on something that I can make for $.50 at home. Today was different. I was in the nearest bigger town..I've had a very sick toddler on my hands...and I splurged. And boy, was it worth it! As I popped the straw on my open palm to open it, I thought about the $4.71 I just spent on a blended up coffee. I could have used that money somewhere else. All the negative thoughts vanished as soon as the first frozen sips hit my tongue. Butterscotch, coffee, and whipped cream exploded onto my taste buds, and for just a moment, I am pretty sure I was hearing the Hallalujah Chorus. I couldn't help but close my eyes and whisper, "Oh my stars!" Then I shook my head, as if that was going to clear my craziness. I was actually enjoying coffee shop coffee. Overpriced coffee. Ridiculously fancy coffee. Delicious coffee. Fantastic coffee.

My coffee.

At every red light I found myself closing my eyes and savoring the sip down to the very last, very unladylike slurp at the bottom. I splurged, and in the words of Uncle Jesse, "Have Mercy!"

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The sounds

Barking. Constant barking echoes through the neighborhood. Usually accompanied by my own dog, Creed.

Chirping. Constant chirping drifting in the open windows thanks to the feeders my sweet husband keeps stocked.

Talking. Constant talking from a two year old that has found his voice.

Rocking. Constant rocking coming from the recliner as my husband sits and relaxes.

Laughing. Constant laughing coming from the episode of Full House that no one is watching, but that is serving as background noise.

The sounds of my afternoon. No, there isn't any peace here. There is lots of noise. But I love it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Not an Island

This is true whether it is you OR your child. It is doubley difficult when both you AND your husband are teachers. This morning, after calling in to stay home with Grant, I ran to the school to prepare sub plans. I promised that it would be QUICK. It was anything BUT quick. Nothing worked like I needed it to, and since I was on a time crunch (Adam HAD to get to work), I think I was frazzled.

However, I realized I wasn't alone in this. I had my people. You have those people, too.

Those people that immediately come to your rescue. Those people that do whatever they can even if all they are doing are OFFERING to help. Several of my coworkers made sure my sub had the schedule, enough copies, and the ability to log on. Our tech queen checked in with her and made sure she could get my lesson up and working. Many have already texted/called to tell me all is a-ok.

So, today, after taking a moment to breathe, I know that I am not in this alone.
I am not an island while at work. I am thankful that I have surrounded myself with people that will stop and help when it is needed.

Student assignment:

Today we are reviewing pronouns...when to use them and when to NOT. For extra credit, copy and paste my blog post into Google Docs and highlight my pronouns. There are A LOT! In your opinion, did I use too many? Did I write with repetition? Clarity?

For an extra credit opportunity - write a quick slice about a time your PEOPLE came to the rescue.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Sometimes I feel like I am always ONE away.

One minute too early or late. One chapter away from finishing my book before falling asleep. One ingredient too short in my Swedish meatballs (and honestly, you can't really do Swedish meatballs without the meat...or so I figured out last night). I get so frustrated being so close but not getting the end result that I wanted. This morning, though, I realized that sometimes I need to celebrate being ONE away.

This morning, sweet little Grant was running from one side of the hallway to the other. Running. Back and forth. Back and forth. While he was doing that, he was singing some song. He was going so quickly and breathing so hard that I couldn't quite figure out what he was singing. It wasn't until I was able to catch the wild man that I could hear what he was singing. "G - R - EEE - N - T! That's ME!"

I just looked at him, and then of course, covered him in kisses! I was so proud of him. No, I didn't name my child Grent....I did, however, name him Grant. We have been working on his name and made up a little song to help him spell his name, and I was so thrilled to hear him singing his song without us prompting him. No, he didn't spell it completely right. BUUUUUT - he was only ONE letter away! I was so proud that of him! Of course, I tried to get it on video, but he wouldn't repeat it for the camera. I put my camera down, and he did it over and over again. It was like the camera was the off switch.

Thank you, Slice of Life, for making me look at the little things and celebrate them. I am excited to continue writing about these moments in my life and reading all of yours! What a great opportunity I have as a teacher to grow!

Students, when have YOU been one away, but proud of yourself? Write your own slice (or time you were proud when you were one away) from that moment in Google Docs and share it with me for extra credit! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Conversations with a two-year-old

My two-year-old is hilarious. More often than not, I sit amazed at the words that come out of his mouth.

This is a conversation I have just had with Grant:

Grant: Mommmy, Mommmmmmmy, MOOOMMMMY!

Me: Yes, Grant?

Grant: I sick.

Me: (panic in my voice) What?! You are? What's wrong?

Grant: I sick.

Me: (thinking about the fact that someone at his school has just been diagnosed with the flu) Does your head hurt?

Grant: Nope.

Me: Your neck?

Grant: Nope.

Me: Your throat? (pointing to throat for reference)

Grant: Nope.

Me: Well, Grant, what is wrong?

Grant: (sitting up in my face) My pinger. Look, Mommy. My pinger hurts. (shoving his finger in my face)

He then went back to laying down, content that he informed me of his ailments.

He's two, y'all. How does he come up with this stuff?!

Monday, February 22, 2016

A thought to ponder AND a great accessory you need

I never leave home without it. I am on it more than I would like to admit, and without a doubt, it has become a vital part of my life. The smartphone. That little technology gadget that has revolutionized the term phone. It isn't a phone, really. It is a computer. A tiny little computer that never leaves my side. 

When I was in journal high, I imagined a classroom with 10 computers for students to use. Now I work in a classroom where each student has their own personal computer, and many have more than one. I live in a world where a computer can be found on a pair of glasses or even a watch. When I was your age, the closest we got was the Casio Calculator Watch. Yes, people wore these. We were cool. Do not judge us. 

I have a question, though. Has the smartphone made us smarter? Has this piece of technology helped us or is it the opposite? Are we relying on this piece of technology more than we are relying on our own knowledge? What are your thoughts? 

By the way, if you want a calculator watch, you can get them in different colors now. 

Yea, those weren't available back in my day. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

To play or not to play...that is the question

I am going to be out another day, so that brings me to a new extra credit assignment.

Image result for mr rogers quote about playing

What does this quote mean? Do you agree? In Google Docs, write your ORGANIZED response and share it with me. If you can find a few quotes to support your reasoning, that will help you receive more points!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Positive attributes

Too often we think of only ourselves. We focus on how we excel at one thing; however, we do not take the time to think that we have positive attributes that have an effect on others. Tonight's night write is asking you to think about one thing that you CAN do. Are you a good listener? Are you decisive? 

I did a quick search of positive attributes and found this website that had a great list of attributes if you are stuck. What attribute do you think you possess? Explain your positive attribute in the comments section!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Punny Times!

In honor of Valentine's Day drawing close, I wanted to share with you some  of my favorite punny Valentines. Do you have any that you just loooooove? 
Add one in the comments section below before Valentine's Day for the opportunity to earn extra credit. Click here to see student submissions! 

Why do I think that puns are a great way to warm up? 

Daniel Elkan wrote in an article for the New Scientist, "More than anything, the recent research confirms the fact that humour, an oft-neglected trait when considering our cognitive skills, requires a tremendous amount of brain power."  Dean Mobbs led a research team that showed that there was hightened (more) activity in two different regions of the brain, both linked with association formation, learning, and decision-making. Also quoted in the same science journal is Andrea Samson of the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, "Getting a joke would seem - on the surface - to be a very trivial, intuitive process. But brain imaging is showing us that there is more going on than we think." 

So there you have it, 7th graders, humor is a higher order thinking skill! By beginning our day with a funny, we are making our brain power up! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Thesaurus

Okay, let's be honest for a second. We do not all have the very best of vocabularies. Even I find myself using the same words over, and over, and over, and over, and over (catch what I did there?!).

So what can we do to improve our vocabulary? USE THE THESAURUS! You know, that book that sits on the shelf in my room gathering dust? We do have Chromebooks now, but quite honestly, you need the practicing using the actual book. 

Now, when you are choosing words, you want to make sure that your choice does not overpower your sentence! Make sure that you don't get so thesaurus happy that your sentence stops sounding like YOU. I want to hear your voice throughout your essay; I do not want to hear the voice of the thesaurus.

You also need to make sure that you use the words correctly. This is probably the #1 issue with thesaurus use. Yes, I want you to use Groovy words; however, like I said above, I also want to hear YOU correctly in your essay. 

In the comments section below, share your favorite word and the meaning of the word that you looked up today! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Extra!! Extra!! Read all about it!

Do you need extra credit?

Earn 5 points on your next assignment!
Can you find a vocabulary word, comma rule, figurative language, or smiley face trick in your library book, newspaper, TV, or magazine? Tell me which one you found:

Write the sentence where you found it:

Write the name of the publication and page number (if it applies), or state the name of the TV show or commercial: 

Bring this information to Mrs. Kinsman to receive your extra credit! 

Let's reinvent the wheel, friends!

Hello, 7th graders!

I don't know if you can tell, but I am attempting to try a new format for our classroom. I have kept up with our class website for a while, but I haven't ever been completely happy with the way it looks. It is also a pain to keep updated! I am going to attempt this new format, and even bring over SOME of the information from our website. I know..I know...why can't Mrs. Kinsman ever be happy with that one thing? Well...it is because of great ideas from great friends!

Mrs. Foster called me this morning with an idea for using a blog in our classrooms, and that was the catalyst for this complete switcheroo (that is a word...I know it is!) Yes, the idea just came up this morning, and I am running with it!

Get ready, Cubs! New things are coming your way!