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Digital Task Cards with Boom Learning

Do you use task cards in your classroom?  I love using task cards and we use them weekly in our classroom.  My students love to use the task cards in what we call a "Walk Around."  I will hide the cards around the room and they walk around finding and answering the questions on the cards.

Know what my students love even more than task cards?  Using technology!  Thanks to Boom Learning, we can now use task cards digitally.  I am so excited to use these in my classroom.  I just know my students are going to love them!

The typical task cards you know and love have now gone digital!  Students can view the cards on any tablet, interactive board, or computer.  They answer the questions on the cards, which gives instant feedback, and you as the teacher can log in and see how they did!  It sure seems like the perfect addition to the modern day classroom!

These new digital task cards don't require any printing, cutting, and laminating...which is a total win in my book!  And with the instant feedback, students will know right away how they are doing, and they won't need to wait for you to check their answers.  If they get a question wrong, they are given an opportunity to try again.

In the current age of state testing, and the rigorous questions that our state has on state tests, I absolutely love the variety of question and answer types you can include in your Boom cards.  You can have cards with the fill in the blank answers or multiple choice answers.  You can even have more than one correct answer!  This is something my students constantly need practice with, so it's one of my favorite features of the Boom cards.

Once you set up your account, you can add your students and assign them cards to answer.  You can assign a deck of cards to one student or the whole class.  The options are limitless!

And, as if you thought things couldn't get better, if you access Boom Learning through a TeachersPayTeachers link, you can get one year for FREE!  After that year is over, you can choose to continue with a paid subscription (well worth the pennies you'll spend!) or suspend your account.  Why not try it out for a year and see how well they work in your classroom!

I encourage you to try out Boom Learning and the new digital Boom cards!  Click on the image below to access my free set of cards on Reading and Writing Numbers.  I'm also in the process of creating new decks that I'll be adding to my store as I finish.  Want a specific set of cards for you classroom?  Contact me and I just might be able to accommodate your needs!

If you try them out, please let me know what you think!  I'm positive you'll love the possibilities these new cards offer!

(Full Disclosure: I will receive a free year in exchange for my honest thoughts in this post.)

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April 30

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Finding Contentment through Singleness

In today’s culture and society, we are told that to be happy in life, we must be married and in committed relationships.  Those who are single are looked down on and people often wonder, “What’s wrong with you?  Why aren’t you married yet?”  I’m at that phase in my life where most of my single friends are no longer.  They are all getting married and starting families of their own.  Even though we may be happy for our friends, it’s easy to watch these things happen and wonder when it will be your turn.  I know I do.  But that’s not the attitude that will allow us to be content in our lives.  It’s easy to give excuses when people ask when you might finally settle down and get married.  But we shouldn’t be searching for excuses.  We should be searching for the one who can give us contentment in our situations.

James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  Contentment is just that. A gift.  A gift that we can only receive from God.  Elisabeth Elliot once said, “If you are single today, the portion assigned to you for today is singleness. It is God’s gift. Singleness ought not to be viewed as a problem, nor marriage as a right. God in his wisdom and love grants either as a gift.

In the past two years, my life has been full of emotional ups and downs.  I’ve been through seasons of questioning God and wondering why He has not given me the gift of being married.  I’ve also been through seasons of feeling contentment with where I am in life today.  Lately, my life has been full of the latter.  A good friend help me to realize that while I might not be where I ultimately want to be, I’m right where God wants me to be.  And how can we argue with that?  There’s a reason that I’m here today, and while I may not know or understand the whys, it’s not something I’m willing to question God on.  God is sovereign and He has great plans for us all, even if they aren’t our plans.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  There are many trials and temptations that stem from living a life of singleness, but if we are able to persevere through these and set our eyes on God, we will ultimately grow in faith and maturity in Christ.  And that is a promise I can rest in.

Do I want to eventually get married?  Yes.  Do I want to have a family of my own?  Yes.  But will I question where God has me today and go against His will?  No.  These things I desire may never be.  And that’s something that I’m learning to be okay with.

Even though I’m not where I wish I could be, I can feel God working in my life.  Being single has been the best gift I could ask for.  I’ve been able to spend so much more time studying the Word, praying, and growing in knowledge and wisdom. I’m currently in school getting a certificate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Women’s Studies.  I’m now leading the Women’s Bible Study at my church, and I feel myself growing closer to God every single day.  I’m able to serve God in ways that others are not.  He’s using me to fulfill His ultimate will.  I’m fully aware that things that may not have happened the same way if I was in a different season of life, and I can’t thank God enough.

For those of you in the same situation that I find myself in today, I highly recommend you read Seasons of Waiting: Walking by Faith When Dreams Are Delayed  by Betsy Childs Howard.  It really helped me in my search for contentment.  And I pray that it helps you in the same way.  Every single day, I praise God for His goodness and thank Him for His promises.  

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The Girl at the Bar: Release Blitz

Release Blitz
Title: The Girl At The Bar
Series: standalone
Author: Nicholas Nash
Genre: psychological thriller
My Review: Click Here!

Rebecca, a brilliant cancer researcher, disappears after a one-night stand with a neurotic man with a questionable past. 

Her sudden disappearance in the midst of a high-stakes quest to cure cancer between two rival billionaires sets into motion an inexplicable chain of events as the bodies start to pile up. 

No one knows why she disappeared. The race to find answers ensnares everyone around her, one of whom is a deeply disturbed psychopath lurking in the shadows. 

Is Rebecca still alive? What happened to her? Who did it? And why? Questions about her vex everyone looking for answers. No one can be trusted and no one is above suspicion

Sneak Peek
Chapter 1
Day 1, Thursday
The King & Duke Bar, New York City
She was wearing a gorgeous black dress.
The first things he noticed about her were her slender legs and her delicate wrist. She wore a thin diamond bracelet that sparkled in the low light of the hotel bar as she drank her martini, almost unaware of her surroundings. She was a gorgeous golden blonde with features that were tough to look away from, or ever forget.
She pulled out her purse and started to go through it when something fell out of it. She bent over to pick up the fallen object, half sitting on the bar stool when he walked over to help her pick it up.
He didn’t know what got over him, but he had to walk over to help her, to get noticed by her, to be an infinitesimally small part of her life, even if for just a few moments. He reached out for the object, just a few moments quicker than her, their hands almost colliding mid-air when, to his horror, he noticed the object was a tampon. Rather than recoil he swallowed his fear and embarrassment and cupped the tampon and handed it gently and discretely back to her. She skillfully grabbed it from his hand and before he knew it, the tampon was back in her purse and she looked up and gave him a wide smile.
“Hi, I’m Rebecca. It’s nice to meet you.”
“I’m uh, I’m uh..I’m so sorry. I just didn’t know it was a, a, a, you know, a..”
She burst out laughing and he took the bar stool next to hers, still red in the face, but feeling better knowing she found the whole episode amusing, probably more so given his reaction. Before long, he introduced himself, this time, actually telling her his name, trying not to think about the tampon incident.
“I’m Ragnar, Ragnar Johnson.”
“Yes and no. I’m American, but the name is Scandinavian. Norwegian actually. Believe it or not, my parents named me after a character from an Ayn Rand novel.”
“Atlas Shrugged, I know. The capitalist pirate.” She was suppressing a chuckle and smiling.
 “Well, here’s the whole story. My parents adored Ayn Rand, her ideas and her books. They decided to name the children after key characters from Atlas Shrugged.”
“So you have a sibling named John Galt?”
“Close enough. Two brothers, John Johnson and Francisco Johnson. Thankfully we all got to keep our family last name. Can you imagine me as a Ragnar Danneskjöld?”
They chatted about what brought her to New York City. She told him that she was a medical executive and was traveling to the city for a large cancer conference that was well-attended every year by executives of large pharmaceutical and biotech companies, academic researchers, oncologists, as well as sales and marketing executives from across the spectrum of companies. Her company was presenting results for and launching their latest cancer drug, a highly publicized next-generation miracle drug.
Before she joined her company, she was an assistant cancer researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Gupta, the country’s leading cancer researcher, whose groundbreaking discoveries in the field of cancer fueled the laboratories of several large and small pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
“So Dr. Gupta is probably one of the richest doctors on planet, I presume?” he asked.
“On the contrary, he’s been so immersed in his quest to cure cancer, academic glory and possibly a Nobel Prize in medicine that he never really benefitted financially from his discoveries. In an effort to continue to push his research through the labs of the giant pharmaceutical companies at the fastest possible pace, he licensed out all his research without any real benefit to himself.” He sensed a tinge of sadness in her face and in a fleeting moment it was replaced by the same warm smile and she turned to sip her martini.
He thought that not only was she the striking beauty that one could not take their eyes off, or ever forget, she was also a smart, highly intelligent and a compassionate person who cared about the work she did for the broader good of humanity.
“And what brings you here today, Mr. Knight in Shining Armor, rescuing ladies who’ve dropped their tampons?”
No lie he could’ve made up would match up to what she was in reality. After all, he did get more than he bargained for since he first set eyes on her sitting alone at the bar. No lies, just the truth. The plain and simple truth. It did not matter to him anymore what she would think of him.
“I’m an unemployed trader. Nothing is more clichéd than a jobless failed trader in New York, I guess.” She put her hand on his saying, without any spoken words, that she was sorry and sympathetic. “I lost my job at one of the large investment banks in the city a few months ago. I worked on a trading desk, tracking complicated securities and setting up even more complicated trades. I was good at numbers growing up. I thrived as a quantitative analyst at the bank. A quantitative analyst analyzes reams and reams of trading information to identify trends and signals in the data that could help in predicting the direction of securities prices and hopefully make money in the process. I worked on setting up trades in arcane securities and made money day in and day out for the first few years, till one day the house of cards came tumbling down.”
He glanced at her to see her reaction. “Following a quick turn of events those trades lost hundreds of millions of dollars for the bank within days and I was thrown out of there before I could catch my breath or understand what happened. It turns out we were picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. We lost multiples of what we made in the last few years. I had a lot of my personal money invested in the same trades too. Not sure if I’m ever going to find another job again after that disaster.”
She was probably stunned by the admission, but did not show it.
“Anyways, I was at the Bowery Ballroom earlier tonight to watch my favorite indie rock band. They’re from New Zealand and they’re in the city for a couple of shows. Thought I’d stop for a drink after the show before calling it a night. My place is close by from here.”
She smiled. “You know this happened to my father too when I was young. He lost his job in security at the local Wal-Mart after an employee was caught for theft. She was skimming cash and shoplifting with the help of some other employees before they finally caught her. My father lost his job in the cleanup that followed. It took him over a couple of years before he found his next job. He was a changed person after that but he always said that those two years were the happiest days of his life.”
“I kind of miss the excitement and the thrill of the trading desk. I trade on and off with my own money but it’s not much to begin with. New York’s an expensive place.” He pensively stared at the beer he had ordered but not sipped yet.
“You know, I was a huge fan of 80s hair bands.” she said steering the conversation in a different direction.
“Why am I not surprised? So what’s your favorite 80s band?”
“Guns N’ Roses. You?”
“Def Leppard. Favorite GN’R song?” he asked, trying to imagine her head banging to Welcome to the Jungle.
“Rocket Queen. What about your favorite Leppard song?” She was clearly waiting for his reaction to her answer.
“Uh, Rocket Queen, huh. Mine’s uhh, it’s probably Bringin’ On the Heartbreak. You know the moaning in Rocket Queen is really Axl Rose getting nasty with..”
She nodded. “Umm hmm, that’s what I like about the song.” she said with an evil grin on her face, like she just got caught with a guilty secret. “Never would’ve counted you as a mushy type, though.”
They spent the next few hours talking about the 80s bands, must-go places in New York City, curing cancer, his former job, her days as a researcher and her father. The chemistry was undeniable and he was intoxicated by her beauty and intelligence and yet down-to-earth manner. He knew she felt their chemistry too.
“This is going to sound a bit strange, but do you mind if I crash at your place tonight? There’s construction that starts at night just outside my hotel window. Kept me up most of the night yesterday. I know it sounds strange, but..”
“No, no, no problem. You’re welcome to spend the night. It’s a small place, but I’m happy to spend the night on the sofa tonight. It’s quite cozy, honestly. You can take my bed.” He tried to be the nice guy and not too direct.
He sensed a hint of disappointment in her voice for a moment and then she was herself again. “Let me pick up a few things from my room and I’ll be right back. I’ll see you in the lobby in a few. Thanks Ragnar, I really appreciate it”
“Don’t mention it. I’ll wait for you in the lobby.”

Goodreads link:

Purchase links 

Author bio
Nicholas Nash is the exciting new author of The Girl At The Bar, a psychological thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a brilliant cancer researcher and the quest to find her. Nicholas resides in the concrete jungle of Manhattan in New York City with his wife and three children. An accomplished finance professional, he has a passion for reading fiction and non-fiction books which inspired him to write an intriguing thriller. Nicholas hopes you enjoy his work. For news and updates, email us at

Author links

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All of Grace

by Charles Spurgeon

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

In All of Grace, C.H. Spurgeon outlines the plan of salvation in such clear, simple language that everyone can understand and be drawn to the Father.  Any attempt to please God based upon our own works brings self-righteousness and coldness of heart.  It is the free grace and mercy of God that makes the heart glow with warmth and thankfulness of God's love.

The heartfelt goal of this dynamic classic is summed up in Spurgeon's final cry to the reader, "Meet me in heaven!"

"Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." -- Revelation 22:17

Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, is one of the greatest preachers of all time.  And this book is proof of that statement.  Written to everyone, believers and unbelievers alike, All of Grace is decidedly evangelistic.  The charge to unbelievers in this book is to repent and believe.  For both the believer and the unbeliever reader, the evidence of the work of God's grace in our lives throughout this book is amazing.  By directly addressing the reader throughout the book, it takes on a very personal tone.  No matter who you are, or what your beliefs, this is a book you need to read.  

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Using 'Clip & Flip' Cards in the Classroom

For the first time today, we used 'Clip & Flip' cards as a way of reviewing context clues.  I use task cards a lot.  All the time!  We use them in groups to review, as SCOOT games, as a walk the room activity to review and for graded assignments, so even though the kids and I all love using task cards, I wanted to find something new and different to add to our daily instruction.

We are currently working on context clues, and it's always such a hard thing for our students to grasp.  So I was in need of additional resources.  I, naturally, gravitated right to Teachers Pay Teachers, and started searching.  I came across these 'Clip & Flip' cards by Games for Gains and figured they'd be a great option.  I bought two different levels (one for 2 & 3 and one for 4 & 5) so I could easily differentiate the cards my students received.

I've seen many different sellers on TPT have versions of these types of cards, and I have even made one myself (for compound words) that I've never even used!  Although, I have a feeling I'll be making more of these types of cards now!

I didn't know how the kids would react or if they'd even work well.  But I really enjoyed this and it seemed like the kids did as well!  All you need are a set of cards, these were laminated and were sturdier than regular paper, and clothespins.  The idea behind the 'Clip & Flip' cards are to be a self-checking assessment for the students.  But since it was our first time using these, I gave each student 8 cards and 8 clothespins.  They were allowed to find a spot, anywhere in the room, to work.  

They laid out all of their cards and clipped the clip over their answer, and then had to call me over before they could check their work.  When I came over, they would flip all the cards over and then, for any cards they got incorrect, we talked about what the correct answer was, and why.  Eventually, though, I hope to build them up to a point where they can simply use this as a self-checking assessment and maybe discuss their reasonings with a partner.  

If you have not tried 'Clip & Flip' cards in your classroom, I recommend you give them a shot!  They are super simple to set up and use!

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The Girl at the Bar

by Nicholas Nash

**This book releases on February 1, 2017** 

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Rebecca, a brilliant cancer researcher, disappears after a one-night stand with a neurotic man with a questionable past.  

Her sudden disappearance in the midst of a high-stakes quest to cure cancer between two rival billionaires sets into motion an inexplicable chain of events as the bodies start to pile up.  

No one knows why she disappeared.  The race to find answers ensures everyone around her, one of whom is a deeply disturbed psychopath lurking in the shadows.  

Is Rebecca still alive?  What happened to her?  Who did it?  And why?  Questions about her vex everyone looking for answers.  No one can be trusted and no one is above suspicion.

I was given a pre-release copy of The Girl at the Bar in exchange for my honest review.  This book is one of my favorite books in recent times that I have read.  This book did an excellent job of keeping me on my toes until the very last page!  Nicholas Nash is a wonderful author and a great storyteller.  He was able to develop the characters in such a way that I was never able to figure out who the 'mystery character' was.  Every single time I *thought* I knew who it was, I was quickly proven wrong.  There were so many twists and turns, and I was captivated the entire time I read the story!  Also, there was clearly a lot of research dealing with cancer research that went into the writing of this book.  I learned so much that I never knew and I loved that aspect of the book!  Overall, I would highly recommend this book!

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