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Monday, May 25, 2015

Hot Cheese Dip with Cracker Crust and Hot Pepper Jelly

Okay, I know this is not a recipe blog. However, every time I serve this dip, I am hunted down for the recipe so I thought I would share this with you.

I am making it for a Memorial Day party today.

Here is the recipe.


1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 8oz block of cream cheese 4 green onions chopped (I use 5-6 because I love onions)
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers or generic
1/2 or 1 stick of butter, melted
Hot Pepper Jelly (I have made it with red or green, but recently I bought a yellow one at the farmer's market)

 Directions: Mix cheddar, cream cheese, chopped onion, and mayonnaise. Put in 9x9 square glass baking dish or similar. Crush crackers and add melted butter, mix. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and spread hot pepper jelly on the top and return to oven for 5-10 minutes. (I usually put the hot pepper jelly in a bowl and smash it with a spoon so it is easier to spread.) Serve with crackers. I use pita crackers or something that is not Ritz crackers. 

Here is a link to my last blog post that has links to 2 free phonics powerpoints and interactive activities to go with them: 

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!!!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Training Students to See Long Vowel Patterns: 2 Free Phonics PowerPoints with Interactive Activities

 Welcome to my annual blog post!  Just kidding.........Here are my latest freebies, products, and thoughts....

   I am always looking for ways to move students from the sound level to the pattern level and to REALLY understand the difference.  I don't know if any of you are torn between "discovery" during word study and "direct" teaching.  I certainly know that I am.  Since I am not the regular classroom teacher, I sometimes feel I can't afford the luxury of guiding students to be independently noticing things.   I am the quick in and out teacher who is supposed to come up with something fabulous.  I do know that there is nothing more powerful than a student coming up with a "rule" because they own it when they do that.  But there have been times that I am not sure I can lead them to discovering things in such a short time.   I go back and forth. 

    Because I push in to do a quick word study lesson, I designed the following long vowel PowerPoints to do several things.

First, I wanted to train students to distinguish between long and short vowels.  So, the first PowerPoint is solely designed to do this.  Pictures fly in and the students hold up signs that read "Short" and "Long" before the answer is revealed.

However,  if it seems like too much work to hot glue short and long onto sticks  (I actually ended up using tongue depressors), then you can use them as "pinch" cards.  Students have a piece of paper in front of them and they pinch the answer.   I just knew I would be using them for each vowel and they were bright and pretty and probably more fun for kids to feel like they were voting. On a different day, I would have picked the easier way.

In the second PowerPoint, students are given a sheet with patterns in columns.  As the picture flies in, they predict which pattern the picture will have by pointing at the column.  Then, the pattern flies in and the student writes the word under the correct column.  Then the rest of the word flies in and students check the whole word.  This continues for 30 pictures.

Anna Sanders

I lead them to understand that if they hear a short sound, they use one vowel.  If they hear a long sound, they pick a pattern.  Here is the anchor chart I use:

Long Vowel Anchor Chart Tchrgrl

(You can get this anchor chart in the sample file, which is a FULL Long A set, including 2 PPTs, the writing sort and the Long A story.)  

Finally,  I got creative.  I wanted to connect the spelling to reading.  I wanted to emphasize to students that spelling can help them in reading and to have them practice looking for the patterns in their reading.  So each long vowel PowerPoint has a story connected to it.  Here is the long A story.  It is rather difficult to make up a story using spelling words.  I remember the agony we used to go through when one of my son's teachers required this weekly.  So I did it one last time!
Anna Sanders Tchrgrl

The kids have so much fun using highlighters!  It is amazing to see kids get so excited to do this reading activity! 

To get the FULL Long A set click here:

Free Phonics PowerPoints Short A vs. Long A

To get the Long Vowel PowerPoint Bundle, click here:

Long Vowel Phonics PowerPoint Bundle

Anna Sanders Tchrgrl

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great rest of the year!


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