Minnerick, Amber » Ms.Minnerick's Mustangs

Ms.Minnerick's Mustangs


I am a graduate of Texas A&M University, with a focus on literature and writing, and am certified to teach early childhood through eighth grade, as well as English as a Second Language. I LOVE teaching children to read, to think about what they read, and to talk about what they read.

I am excited to use all I know to understand your child's needs and encourage a fun and successful learning environment.

What is the best way to keep up with our class?
Class Dojo! I will be using the Class Dojo app as the main form of communication.


Reading Focus: Perseverance and Self-Monitoring


This week in reading I will be teaching students that when readers take charge of their reading, they STOP at the first sign of trouble and then try something to solve the problem.
We don’t freeze or give up at a tricky word. We don't just say something random and keep going. We don't wonder what the word means, without considering what the word might mean. Instead, we notice it’s a tricky word, we stop, and we think about how we can solve the word as best as possible. We are the bosses of our own reading, and yes we can!

Prompts/Question Stems for Parents and Kids:

What could that word be?

What else makes sense here?

Yes, all three of those options make sense. Now let's check the letters.

Think about what makes sense and see what also looks right.

You said _____. Looking at the letters, could that be right? Why?

Did that make sense?

Slow down, make sure you're thinking about what makes sense.

I notice you fixed it to make sure it makes sense!

Yes, you caught yourself there. What made you realize you had to fix that?

Why did you stop? What did you notice?  


Read More About Our Reading Strategies here.


Middle of the Year: How Can I Help My Child?

Many parents ask themselves at this time of the year, “What more can I do to help my child?” Below are some suggestions. Keep in mind that as we enter the second part of our school year, students will be introduced to new skills, as you will see below. Not all of these skills have been taught yet. They will be introduced soon. Reading every day and writing is critical. Addressing any skills your child has not yet mastered should be prioritized and practiced at home. Just five minutes on math, writing, or sight words a day can make a big impact on your child’s academic success!

WRITING: I suggest focusing heavily on writing and spelling. Have your child practice writing stories about their lives, make-believe stories, how to books, and teaching books about topics they are interested in. They should write neatly on lined paper, with good spacing, and they should sound out every vowel and consonant sound in a word. Please note the importance of students being able to not just read their sight words, but to spell them. Sight words are tricky, and they need to be memorized. The more sight words your child can spell, the easier writing will be for him or her. The more sight words your child can read, the easier reading any book will be. In writing, help your child to organize their structure by using transition words such as “First”, “Next”, “Then”, and “Last”, or “In the beginning”. Is your child consistently using capital and lowercase letters correctly? How about punctuation? Remind your child to read and edit what they write. We all make mistakes in our writing.

MATH: Here are some questions to help guide your at-home practice with your child. Keep in mind that we want your child to retain their knowledge; don’t let a one time mastery allow you to stop practicing and checking in on a skill.

  • Can your child count backwards from 120 to 0?
  • Can your child show numbers up to 120 in expanded form? For example: 100 + 20 = 120
  • Can your child skip count up to 120 by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s?
  • Can your child determine 10 more and 10 less than a given number up to 120? For example, 10 more than 85 is 95. 10 more than 77 is 87. 10 more than 33 is 43. 10 less than 93 is 83. You and your child can practice skip counting by 10’s off decade to practice this skill. For example: 6, 16, 26, 36, 46, 56, 66, 76, 86, 96, 106, 116, 126.
  • Can your child add various coins grouped together? For example: 1 dime plus 2 nickels = 20 cents
  • Can your child tell time to the hour and half hour?
  • Can your child solve addition and subtraction problems up to 20?
  • Can your child use the greater than, less than, and equal sign to compare numbers up to 120?
  • Can your child order numbers up to 120 from least to greatest on a number line?
  • Can your child identify and explain the differences between 2D shapes and 3D solids?

READING: Here are some questions to help guide your at-home practice with your child.

  • Can your child persevere through tricky words? Don’t let your kiddo freeze and give up. Remind him or her to use reading strategies. Look at the pictures, skip the word and read the rest of the sentence and think about what word would make sense, look for chunks in the word, say the beginning sound of the tricky word. Remind your child to say to his or herself, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”
  • Can your child read smoothly and with expression?
  • Can your child read fiction and non-fiction texts and show comprehension through spoken word and written response? For example: What did you learn from this non-fiction book?
  • Can your child retell a fiction story from beginning, middle, to end, focusing on the main character, setting, problem, and solution?
  • Can your child read for 26-30 minutes?
  • Can your child read all of the first grade sight words?
  • Can your child use academic language such as “fiction”, “characters”, “setting”, “problem”, “solution”, “non-fiction”, “facts”, “opinion”, “main idea”, “topic”, and “table of contents”?

If you have any questions, or need resources please message me any time! I am happy to help.


Thank you for all you do,


Your Child's Spelling

Dear Parent/Guardian,

You may wonder why your child brings home writing with misspelled words.
Sometimes these early efforts are called “invented spellings,” but they are also known as “developmental spelling” because, over time, they become more complete and accurate as your child learns to read, and develops phonics knowledge.
During writing time, I ask my students to “spell as best they can,” rather than waiting for someone to tell them how to spell a word. This frees them to write about anything that interests them, but also requires them to think about the sounds in the word and to think about the letters they need to represent those sounds. Hearing all the sounds is difficult, so at first they may only
represent one sound, spelling love as L or V.
“Spelling the best you can” requires children to use the phonics knowledge they are learning, and over time I expect to see more complete and
accurate spelling. During the school year, watch as your child’s spelling includes more letters and sounds - even if it is still not complete. When your child progressed from crawling to taking steps on their own, you were very
proud of their development and encouraged them to walk, even though they often stumbled and fell. When children spell “love” as L, or LV or LUV, they are taking their first steps into the world of writing, and you should encourage these efforts as well. Don’t worry that these early efforts will stick with them and interfere with learning correct spelling. With exposure, practice and instruction, children will continue to develop until they can spell thousands of words correctly without even thinking about it – just like they can run and skip and twirl without thinking about it. However, unlike learning to walk, learning to spell takes many years to master because English is a complicated written language.
While it is important to accept developmental spelling, I am also constantly working to teach your child the foundations for correct spelling so that, by the time they are in 3rd or 4th grade, they will spell most of the words they need correctly and they will also know strategies for figuring out how to spell the words they don’t know.

Encourage your child to write at home, and if he or she asks you how to spell a word, say “What sounds do you hear?” rather than simply giving the spelling. Offer praise for what they figure out and accept what they were able to do. When children bring home something they have written at school, ask them to read it to you and show them that you are proud of how they are learning to communicate with writing. I am happy to talk with you further about this if you have any questions.


Text @lsro to 469-518-2812 to receive updates from Life School.