We have been reviewing and practicing, and finally our state testing days begin tomorrow. I am so worn out just thinking about it....the threat of severe weather tonight doesn't help either! I have done quite a few things to get my "peeps" motivated. I love this blog post from Faith Wheeler at 1st Grade Fantabulous! It's about dealing with testing stress. She has a great freebie with testing treats! I am making all of these for my students!

The other thing I have done is show my students some great youtube videos. There are some awesome songs out there that kids just love to sing and have really helped them get hyped up do their best. I made a pdf of some of the ones I like, you can grab a freebie of it here. I hope all your testing goes well!
So I am going to go out on a limb and write about something that has been on my mind for awhile. I have been more of a tpt buyer than a tpt seller lately and more and more I am finding errors in products that I have purchased. Don't misunderstand me....we all make mistakes! We all are busy and rush to get things posted. But more and more, I go to use something with my class and MY class finds the mistakes! I make mistakes too, believe me. But at least my mistakes don't cost me any money! I also do not want to send worksheets or printables home with students that have errors in them, it just makes me look bad. I did a little research to help me reduce the amount of mistakes I make in my writing, my products and the work I give my students. We all need to strive to put our best professional foot forward whenever possible!
Here are a few tips I found, I know we know them all but it's good to remember them:

1. Concentration is Key
If you’re going to spot mistakes, then you need to concentrate. That means getting rid of distractions and potential interruptions. Switch off the cell phone, turn off the television or radio and stay away from the email.
2. Put It On Paper
People read differently on screen and on paper, so print out a copy of your writing. If you read aloud, your ear might catch errors that your eye may have missed.
3. Watch Out for Homonyms
Homonyms are words that share the same spelling or pronunciation, but have different meanings. Switching accept with except or complement withcompliment could be disastrous, so pay attention to them.
4. Watch Out for Contractions and Apostrophes
People often mix their and they’reits and it’syour and you’re and so on. If there is something that can hurt the credibility of your text, it is a similar mistake. Also, remember that the apostrophe is never used to form plurals.     (Ok we are teachers, we should know this one!)
5. Check the Punctuation
Focusing on the words is good, but do not neglect the punctuation. Pay attention to capitalized words, missing or extra commas, periods used incorrectly and so on.
6. Read it Backwards
When writing we usually become blind to our own mistakes since the brain automatically “corrects” wrong words inside sentences. In order to break this pattern you can read the text backwards, word by word.
7. Check the Numbers
Stating that the value of an acquisition was $10,000 instead of $100,000 is definitely not the same thing. What about the population of China, is it 1,2 million or 1,2 billion? Make sure your numbers are correct.
8. Get Someone Else to Proofread It
After checking all the previous points, do not forget to get a friend to proofread it for you. You will be amazed at the mistakes you’ve missed. A second person will also be in a better position to evaluate whether the sentences make sense or not.
Last but not least, if you see a mistake in the product you should let the person know in the nicest possible way so they can correct it. Give them a chance to make it perfect for the next person that buys it. I am sure they will appreciate. 
So happy to see April here at last! That means one thing and only one thing to me....Spring Break. It better be nice and warm and sunny in Florida or someone will have some explaining to do! Here is my Currently for April, link up with Farley to do yours!
Listening: Criminals Minds....this show freaks me out every time. Gives me bad dreams, but the hubby loves it.
Loving: My students have gotten hooked on writing poetry and they are doing great. All I did was introduce some of the different forms and gave them some examples and they have gone crazy! Daily Five is now Poetry Writing Time!
Thinking: I am barely going to make it through the next two days, these kids are killing me with their talking. But I am going to hang in there. I can do it!
Wanting: A new bathing suit for Florida next week but have no time for shopping.
Needing: To finish grading so I don't have to take papers with me on break.
Hours: We have meetings on Tues and Thurs so we go until 4:45.....30 minutes was added to our day because of snow days, its been rough. Last day is May 23, it will be here before we know it!

Happy Spring Break to me! Did you have yours yet?

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