Color Code Fun!

Looking for great morning work activities? I absolutely love color codes and I made these for my students to use just as a fun activity that is also geared toward various subjects. It covers sight words, nouns, even and odd and much more! I am going to continue to add to this pack so get it now while it is at such a low price! The pack is also differentiated so there is a lower level and a higher level.Take a look at some of the great activities! You can pick it up here!


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Classroom Light Filters Review

This is a product I was asked to review and I was very interested in learning how they work. They reduce the flicker and glare of fluorescent lights, and create a more calming and pleasant atmosphere with our Light Filters for Every Season! These  patterned fabric panels feature three seasonal designs: fall, winter and spring/summer. Heat-resistant and flame retardant, the filters easily attach to standard ceiling light fixtures with six sturdy, built-in magnets. Perfect for the classroom, library, and the office. Improve concentration levels, reduces eyestrain, tension and anxiety while supporting a positive performance. Light filters are 2′ x 4′ heat-resistant panels in fall, winter and spring/summer designs. The fabric panels fit over standard ceiling fixtures with sturdy, sewn-in magnets; the fabric contains a flame retardant coating.


I took them out of the package and they were so easy to install. You just stick them to the light and you are done. The magnet is very sturdy. It covers the light perfectly and creates a nice atmosphere. I really like the change it made in the room and so did my students! There were 3 different designs that came in the pack. I do wish there were a whole package of one season so that you can use at least 3 of the same season in your room. That is just me wanting to be consistent! LOL





I really did like these and they are approved according to our school fire code rules because they are made of fire retardant material, so we can have them in the classroom. Overall they were a good quality material and easy to install. Be sure to check these out on Amazon here!




Win an AMAZON $50.00 gift card and 2 BUNDLE PACKS!

It is about time for a giveaway! I am giving away 2 of my largest bundles and an Amazon $50.00 gift card! Buy some books for your class or spend it on whatever you want! AMAZON GIVEAWAY

I have received some of the best reviews on these products and it excites me to know that others find it as useful as I do.

The 1st pack being given away are my Word Families Work Bundle.

This pack contains all of these activities for 21 sets of word families! The pack is over 1,000 pages!

Read and spell cards
Word Family Read and Draw
Word Family Read and Match
AM Sorting Cards
Read Build Write Mats
Word Family Posters
Word Family Assessments
Word Family Cover
Word Family Writing
Word Family Stamps
Word Family Trace
Word Family Interactive Page
Word Family Flip Book
Word Family Word Ladders
Word Work Buttons
Word Work Cover 2
Word Work Progress Monitoring
Word Family Sentences
Word Family Reading Comprehension
Word Family Sort
Word Family Find
Word Work Task Cards
Word Work Sentence Mix
Real Photo Cards
Using My Schema Writing Activity

Check out some of the activities inside!

word work activities

word work activities

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Second,  are the Interactive Sight Word Mini Books:

There are over 230 six page emergent readers with reading comprehension questions and text evidence questions in every book!

interactive Sight Word Minibooks

word work word families bundle

This giveaway is valued at over $200.00! These are two of my biggest and favorite products because I use these every day with my kids. They are staple resources in my classroom.

I work with Kindergarten and first graders and a lot of non-english speaking students. My kids are reading and they are reading WELL. If you give students  a strong foundation anything is possible and these resources help me to do that.  My kids know how to blend and chunk words, they have excellent decoding skills. They are mastering all their sight words, they are using text evidence, and have excellent reading comprehension. If your kids are struggling in any of these areas these products will help with that.

If you want to read more about either product check them out here.

Word Work Word Family Bundle

Interactive Sight Word Books

Both products will be on sale for the duration of the giveaway. If you purchase to be on the safe side and win the giveaway, I will refund your money. Just enter below. Thanks!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Word Work-Word Families-CVC

word family activities

I teach word families one chunk at a time! Mastering reading includes mastering word recognition and having the ability to chunk words. Word families are an important tool in word level literacy and essential for fluent reading. Students struggle with them all of the time so I have to make them fun and engaging through interactive activities and games.  Word Families are one of the best ways to strengthen your students reading skills so we are always spending time working on them.  I wanted to share with you some of the best resources that I use daily in my classes. 

I keep everything in the nice little word family kit. You can use a case or binders. All activities for each word family are included. This kit comes with all of the resources you need to teach word families!! All you need is one of those accordion cases from Target or Walmart and then add the tabs and then add all of these resources to each pocket. Laminate the games and put them in baggies and slip them in the pockets! You are done all of your resources for teaching word families are neatly organized and sorted. Just choose which printables and activities you want to use for each lesson. Print out your assessment and progress monitoring sheet that is included and you are done! I keep the progress  monitoring sheet in the front of each pocket so that I can grab it easily as I am observing or assessing students.


word family activities



We do all sorts of different activities in small groups, whole group and one on one settings. The games above are not included in the kit but we use them to reinforce the lessons. Most of the time we start our lesson by making a word family chart and discussing the pattern in the words and identifying the rhyming words. I explain how “chunking” words helps us decode new words. We make a list of all of the words we know in that particular word family. I sometimes write those words on index cards and pin them to each students shirt. I call out a word family and everyone in that family has to stand up. If you have a a child that does not stand you know that he or she may need some practice with that particular family. While we are doing this group activity, I am using this as kind of a pre-assessment  to gauge where everyone is and who knows what. So then I know exactly what needs to be taught and how much.

Next, I will share with you some of the word work resources I love best. We read words, we identify words,  manipulate words, match them to sentences, and so much more! 

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One of my favorite resources is the real photo picture sorting cards and the Using My Schema writing prompts provided for every word family. The kids LOVE these.

word family activities

word family activities

word families

There is an interactive notebook page for each word family. We add those to our reading journals every time we begin a new lesson. The kids can easily refer back to it for help as they do their work or as a reference.

word families

We pull out our word family posters and do partner talks about what we see and observe about these words. I usually project these on the board/mimio and we observe and discuss the patterns we see.

word family activities

I use a lot of our word work activities in centers during reading time. The students also love these word family flip books. They have to match the correct chunk to the first letter. Then they match the picture to the word and staple it all together. They can use this to refer back to at any time or to take home and study.
word family activities

The students use ink and stamp out the spelling of each word or they use letter tiles to form the word in this word work activity.  I use the word family buttons for more practice.  Students color and glue on the little round picture buttons or you can have them cut it out and glue the letters to construction paper. They have to figure out which buttons have the correct sound. 

word family activitiesword family activities

word family activities

word family activities

My kids love these word family task cards where they can explore books and magazines to find words.We use tons of activities that help deepen their understanding of each word work family. These can be done independently, in small groups or whole group.


The kids love these word family read and spell cards. The students identify the picture and then find the letters that spells the word correctly. The read build and write mats are spectacular also because the kids practice reading the word by “chunking” it. Then they spell the word and then write the word several times. My kids love hands on activities and it helps them to gain a deeper understanding for what they are learning.

word family activities

word family activities

Here students must read the sentence, write the sentence and then draw what they think the sentence is describing.

It is important to assess the students at the end of your lesson to make sure they have mastered the skills. There is also a progress monitoring tool included to keep track of who has mastered which word family and who still needs more work.

word family activities

word family activities

word family activities

word family activities

We also use the reading rods and the the picture puzzles during our center time to reinforce what we have learned. We use the reading comprehension sheets in small groups to read and practice using our words in text. We spend about a week on each word family and build on more as we go so we are always doing different activities. I hope that some of these activities inspire you to use them in your classroom also. Every one of my students master word families through repetition and practice using purposeful activities. 

word family activities

We have so many word family activities that we use, it us hard to cover them all, so these are just a few. If you liked any of the printable activities you can find out more about them here.

Be sure to get your freebie! Click here!

Free AT word Sort


word work activities word work activities

Guest Post: Cyan Books

On November 2nd 2015, The Helena Joy Company, LLC launched the first of a series of books under the brand Cyan Canvas. The first book is called Cyan Canvas Presents: TRACI. The books will explore the journey of four young girls of different ethnicities and backgrounds that begin their discovery of art and each other. First, we meet Traci, a young African-American girl with Caribbean roots whose dream of getting into an art career is awakened by a school assignment.

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Traci A. Brown is a typical 10 year old, in a typical American family. However her dreams and vision for her life are anything but typical. A school assignment to write an essay about making her dreams come through will change Traci’s life forever, but she must first overcome her family’s expectation that she “fits in.” Traci finds an ally in her grandmother, who years before chose a career path that was unconventional on the Caribbean island where she was born. With her grandmother’s wisdom and support, Traci gains the confidence she needs to be true to herself. Along the way Traci finds out that she is not the only one with unusual goals. In fact, she finds three other girls whose dreams might bond them together for life.

Traci is the debut character in the “Cyan Canvas” series created by breakout author Maria E. Manning. “I wanted to create a wholesome book that explores the world of art while inspiring young girls to pursue their dreams – no matter how unconventional they may be,” Manning said. “As I developed the character of Traci, the idea of a book grew into a series of books that seek to empower children.”

Manning said that the central themes of the book also include self-esteem, friendship and career choices, but told through the eyes of her characters – who are of different races, ethnicities and backgrounds – makes the book an interesting read for children and adults alike. Although created for 2nd to 4th graders, Manning said she hopes that parents read the book with their children because it can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Cyan Canvas Presents: TRACI is the first book in the “Cyan Canvas” series, produced by The Helena Joy Company, LLC.

Please go to where you can view the book and other details. Once you are there you will find icons on our homepage that will lead you to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Please like and share our FaceBook page:, follow us on Instagram – CyanCanvas and Twitter – CyanCanvas and encourage others to do the same. I appreciate your support.

You can purchase your copy of the paper back now via the link below:

Reading Graphic Organizers

If you owned my old graphic organizer pack please go in and update the new one. This has been one of my best selling products for about 3 years now. I use them every single day and wanted to update them. This is that staple product that I use continuously with my students. I teach ESL students in grades K, 1, 2, and 3. So I have a large variety of levels. Most start below grade level but they make so much progress through the year.

We are constantly working on reading strategies and rigorous activities. They love anything that is interactive and they also love graphic organizers so I wanted to incorporate them into this pack.

All of these these printables are designed by common core standard so it is easy to find what you are looking for. I also included some general ones that you can use despite your grade level. A lot of the standards in these 3 grade levels overlap so that is why I made them for these 3 grade levels. I also have interactive pages for almost every printable for extra reinforcement. I have students that respond better to interactive activities and keeping them all together in a handy notebook so they can go back and reference is essential for my strugglers.

Just take a look at some of the organizers we have been working on! All of them have great graphics and activities that the students can use with any book. They are all common core aligned with the standard listed at the top.

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They also come with interactive graphic organizers that the kids can use to deepen their understanding of concepts.


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To celebrate the update this pack will be on sale for the next few days so be sure to grab it now if you don’t already have it! Click here! 

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Get your freebie here!

Interactive Sight Word Mini Books


These sight word readers are pretty awesome! They focus on reading comprehension. For each sight word students interact in hands on engaging activities.

  • First the students cut apart mixed up letters to form the sight word.
  • Then students color the word used in a sentence.
  • Next they cut apart a simple sentence to make it make sense.
  •  Next they trace the word in a sentence.
  • The last page of every book contains reading comprehension questions that helps the student deepen their understanding of the story using text evidence, pictures and/or writing. The student must identify the answer in the text and answer the questions.

I love everything interactive because it helps the students stay engaged and interested in the work that they are doing. My kids love these books and they take them home to read with their parents for more practice.

This bundle contains the first 4 sets and I will continue to add the next 2 sets over the next few weeks. As I add to it the price will increase so it is a deal to buy it now! The pack will eventually contain over 600 pages! So this is a deal! The books are priced about 20 cents each so that is super cheap!

Download the preview for a free sample!

Check out this sight word bundle in action!

Interactive Sight Word Readers with text evidence

Interactive Sight Word Readers with text evidence

Interactive Sight Word Readers with text evidence

Interactive Sight Word Readers with text evidence

Interactive Sight Word Readers with text evidence


Click here to get your freebie!

How my budget wedding looked like a million bucks!

For the past year, I have neglected my little Lesson Plan Diva blog because I was totally consumed with planning my wedding! If you have ever planned your own wedding, you know what I mean. I literally became obsessed with making this day perfect and I think I came pretty darn close! I was already addicted to Pinterest for school stuff, but my wedding boards totally took over!  I did the majority of my wedding myself. Which means I bought and made everything instead of renting. It was a lot cheaper that way but a lot of work.

I had about 200 people attend and that was a pain. Can I just say I hate RSVPs and everything about them! If you are ever invited somewhere PLEASE RSVP on time! Sorry, just venting,

Anyway, That was the biggest headache of this whole wedding. We had a LONG waiting list of people wanting to attend.

I managed to plan my whole wedding on a strict budget and it looked like a million bucks… (well not literally, but

My wedding was at the Biltmore in Atlanta, GA. It is a historic building now and is absolutely gorgeous!! This was the only place I wanted to get married and I had to have it! My theme was “Fairytale Bling”!


I didn’t need a lot of decorations because the room is gorgeous itself! I ordered 6,000 fresh rose petals online and had my florist design those swirls on the floor. I got quotes for about $2,000.00 for this. UM NO! The flowers cost me 150.00 and they were delivered to my door! I got them here. My florists did the 4 flower arrangements and the glass columns. I was a little disappointed with the arrangements because they were supposed to be taller but oh well. It still looked pretty! If that was the only complaint I could have from this whole day, I did pretty darn good!


I was featured on Say Yes to the Dress!

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Being on reality TV was on my bucket list so I jumped at the opportunity! My friend and I made it on the show and I was super excited! We are best friends and she got engaged a week after me and guess what… we picked the same dress!! You can watch that here to see what happened! I am not going to tell!

I am warning you,  I am from Tennessee and I sound SUPER Country on this video. Don’t judge me. :) lol SO I found my dress and it was GORGEOUS!

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The beadwork was beautiful and I wore 3 petticoats! Yes I wanted my dress HUGE, but because it was SOOO heavy it still didn’t poof as much as I wanted. I had the train extended and extra 3 feet and I had crystals lined down the back of the gown on every button. My veil I had custom made and it had crystals around the bottom and sprinkled on the back. This is where I spent the bulk of my money but I felt that was deserved :)

 I spared no expense on my shoes! I am addicted to shoes and I could not get married in anything less than Louboutins! ( I know it is crazy to spend all of that money on shoes but I bought them and sold them right after the wedding for 100 less than what I paid for them so technically they were cheap!  The good thing about buying luxury items is they retain their value! RESELL!



All of my stationery I made my self! So I saved a BUNCH! I owned a couture stationery company years ago and I stopped doing it once I started with TpT. So of course I had to do my own invites, programs, menu cards, signs etc. All done by me!


I used so much glitter paper that I think I have glitter in every crevice of my house! My favorite color is bling :)

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I just printed the place cards out and used a little glitter tape and those came out pretty cute. I glittered some clothespins and attached them to shot glasses. I used those as my wedding favors. The guests loved them! 2015-07-27_0313

I actually framed this huge picture myself! I ordered everything on Amazon and spent about 80.00! It would have been around 300 to frame!


I designed this and bought a frame from Hobby Lobby! I lived in Hobby Lobby for the past year preparing for this wedding!!!

2015-07-27_0481 I bought all of my linens and napkins and then sold them after the wedding so I made all of my money back there also. I ordered my linens from efavormart and got a really good deal! I got an extra 45 percent off so it was actually cheaper to buy them than to rent!  And I will let you in another secret where I saved TONS…. my centerpieces are fake! Yup I made them all! I got a quote for those centerpieces as real flowers for about $9,000. I made them all for about $900.00 Some people think it is horrible to have fake flowers but I think it is horrible to spend $9,000 on flowers that you are throwing away at the end of the night! Sorry just couldn’t do it! (Each one was about 3 feet tall) No one at my wedding knew they were fake and if anyone did….I didn’t care because I didn’t spend $9,000.00 on them! I sold them  after the wedding and made all of my money back!  So my flowers were FREE! I only ordered real flowers for the ceremony and that was really inexpensive. SO as you can see I saved a lot of money in a lot of places and I spent more on the things I felt were important. I put more money into my photography and video because those will be the memories you cherish forever and you want good quality! Don’t skimp on the pictures and video!




I just made these signs, spray painted craft sticks sliver and used glitter paper! The guests loved the signs!


Found a Groupon for my photobooth for $200.00! They were great!


I thought this was cute, I hate going to weddings and my feet start to hurt and I can’t dance much.  I got flip flops from Dollar Tree, got the bucket from Hobby Lobby,  and sat these out. As you can see they were a big hit! I made the sign myself!
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All of my chalkboard signs I made myself. I got such an overwhelming response from them I opened an etsy shop and I sell them here.


My menu cards matched my invites, MORE GLITTER PAPER! lol

   My programs were a huge hit! I had an 8 page full color booklet and I received so many compliments. I have my own company called Marry Me Magazines. I wanted my programs to be a keepsake people could take away and actually keep. You check out more pictures of them here.



Yes, I spelled fairytale as one word, not two. I did that on purpose.


I had a guest book and framed picture that people sign. The book isn’t in this picture, I think they moved it. But anyway I printed that picture as a poster print, framed it and the guests used a silver pen to sign.


I also made all of my table numbers! Sold those too, so those were FREE! Those risers that my centerpieces are on….. made them and sold them!


For parent gifts I did embroidered handkerchiefs. They were the perfect touch!I found those on Etsy aslo.

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I feel details are important and my flower girls wore the cutest dresses from Frilly Fairy Tales! I actually picked my dresses first before I even knew what my bridesmaids would wear.


I ordered the cute sign from here on Etsy, Only 2/3  flower girls made it down the aisle, but they were still adorable!


I had 3 ring bearers that were “ring security”! They were a hit! They had shades, earpieces, and brief cases! My son carried a little safe in front!


 My photgrapher was Dana Lee Jones and she was AMAZING! My videographer was Eric Blanks and he actually made my wedding video a movie! I cannot even explain how great it was! Here is a short clip. It actually has my vows as the voice over but this is just a 15 second teaser. IMG_8414 I also had the most amazing wedding planner Zcurlett Events. She and her team did an outstanding job and made sure everything ran smoothly. I spoke with her almost everyday for the past year preparing for this wedding and she was the best!


My cake came from For Goodness Cakes and it was so good! I wanted a sleek simple design lined with rhinestones and she did an excellent job!


I crammed so much into this day it is hard to post everything! I also had my first look pictures done in my reception dress. I changed around the last hour of the wedding. It was hard to take off my gorgeous dress but that thing was heavy!


I feel like there were not enough hours in the day to get everything done that day!  Here are a few of my favorite pics!



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 This was my absolute favorite picture! It captures that moment just before I was walking down the aisle into my new journey. Priceless!


SO that was my special day in a nutshell! I had over 900 pictures so I tried to trim it down ALOT! LOL I was very pleased with my wedding and it was the best day ever! It was just perfect for me and exactly what I wanted. All of those hours of planning were worth it. I thank my husband for putting up with me during this crazy time! I swear I lost my mind a few times! BUT I am glad it is all over and I am back to normal life.  If you have any questions feel free to ask below! Now back to my Lesson Plan Diva Life! I am back in full swing!


Editable Name Packet and I Can Label and Write Activity!

I wanted to make something for some of my younger kiddos for the first week of school. So I made this cute little packet that focuses on names, addresses, and phone numbers.



The pack is editable so that you can type in your students name! I know in Kindergarten that is super important because A LOT of the kids do not know how to spell their name. Check it out here!


Click here to grab a FREEBIE! Click here to get the whole packet!

Also be sure to check out my early writers writing pack!  I Can Label and Write!

I love using this with my kinders and firsties. They love cutting and gluing the pictures to make their own picture. They cut out the labels and label the pictures and then it is so easy for them to think of sentences to write about their picture. They learn to add details and write good sentences. There are check boxes provided to remind them to capitalize, finger space and use punctuation. To make it even more challenging there is a higher level provided where the students draw their own picture and make their own labels and they can write more. It all depends on the level of your student as to what they are comfortable with. Check it out here!

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Click here to get a freebie!


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Memory Card Games!

Matching and Memory games are a necessity when it comes to my students. They are easy to pull out with no prep. The kids understand how to play them and they like to play them over and over. I use these games for just about ever subject area. I teach k-3 and I use them for every grade level. These games are awesome because you can match or play memory with them.  Sometimes the memory game is too hard for my kindergartners so I have to adapt it. They love the matching game and some of them play memory also. These packs include recording sheets and some include printables. There is a black and white version and color version so that you don’t have to use your ink if you don’t want to! They serve as easy workstations that will keep the kids engaged. I have several games and a few free ones so be sure to check them out! Get these and the FREE games here!

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