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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Workshop Wednesday {Poetry}

I am linking up for Workshop Wednesday with my fabulous friend, Jivey, at Ideas by Jivey to share some ideas about poetry! 
I was super excited when I started looking through this Poetry and Figurative Language unit by Amelia at Where the Wild Things Learn!
There are so many choices of activities to use in this pack but one activity I pulled right away to use was the poetry, prose, and drama comparison organizer. It aligned perfectly with this Common Core Standard for 4th grade:
Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.
We read a play from this Ready test prep book and answering some multiple choice questions (our state test is next week!).
Students worked in groups to sort characteristics of poetry, prose, and drama using Amelia's resource.

Then the glued the characteristics under each heading in their interactive reading notebooks.
Now my students are much better prepared to answer questions on their "big test" next week like these:

I also used this template for idioms in this pack. It is titled "Write Your Own Idiom" but I modified it and gave students a real idiom. I am not yet confident in their abilities to make their own idiom since we haven't spent a ton of time on idioms. There are so many real idioms that they don't know! I had them work in groups of three or four to complete the various parts and then present their findings to the class. They really enjoyed the "literal" illustrations. :)

I made many more copies of this idiom graphic organizer and will be challenging my students to "Make Their Own Idiom" soon! I know they will have a blast! I wish I had this pack when I taught my unit on poetry earlier in the year but I can't wait to use more of it next year! 

Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching also blogged about additional pages in this figurative language unit pack today! If you missed my post yesterday, check it out here for even more ideas on teaching poetry!

This Poetry and Figurative Language unit is just one of eleven instant downloads from an Educents deal right now! Wow! Just in time for poetry month! 
All eleven downloads are only $10.99 for a limited time (this is about 75% off!!). Click on the picture below and take advantage of an even better deal if you are a first time buyer at Educents!
Check out these other blog posts for more great ideas on products included in this poetry bundle!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tried It Tuesday {Ideas for Poetry Month}

I can hardly believe that next week is APRIL! Holy Moly!! It was still snowing like crazy this weekend in New York. The ground is covered in snow and it seriously looks like January. I am really wishing for warmer temperatures to stick right now. Last week was crazy busy as we are in countdown mode with the ELA state tests next week and our teacher APPR binders due this week. I also still need my unannounced observation still, so I keep wondering when that will be coming.
Since it's Tuesday, you know what that means!
It's Time for Tried It Tuesday! 
What have you tried at school or home?
My Tried It:
Poetry Resources
April is officially poetry month! I teach a poetry unit earlier in the year since our "big test" is at the beginning of April. You can read more about how I use poetry in my ELA instruction here, here, and here. For today's tried it, I am sharing a new figurative language center game that I picked up from the amazing Amelia at Where the Wild Things Learn.
I love the bright colors of this pack and how the theme is "Splash Into Summer!" Many of you are enjoying warm temperature by now, I'm sure and nearing the last two months of the school year. Here in New York, it still feels like winter but I know warmer temperatures are just around the corner! I laminated the game cards, figurative language poster, answer key, and two game boards for a center folder. There are two choices of spinners or you can use a game board with directions for using a die.

My students loved playing this review game with figurative language terms! It was a great activity to revisit a concept that needed reviewing.

This figurative language game is just one of eleven instant downloads as an Educents deal right now! Wow! Just in time for poetry month! I just recently blogged about how I use another product included in this bundle (Head Over Heels for Teaching's figurative language bulletin board set) here

All eleven downloads are only $10.99 for a limited time (this is about 75% off!!). Click on the picture below and take advantage of an even better deal if you are a first time buyer at Educents!
Tomorrow, don't forget to check out Ideas by Jivey for more ideas on teaching poetry writing for Workshop Wednesday! I will be linking up more ideas here too!
Check out these other blog posts for more great ideas on products included in this poetry bundle!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tried It Tuesday {Theme}

Brrr...will this cold ever go away? On a brighter note...
It's Time for Tried It Tuesday! 
What have you tried recently at school or home?
My Tried It:
I have been busy purchasing more mentor texts for my library this year and these recently arrived in the mail. It is becoming a slight addiction! :) Amazon must love me!
See that tiny book in the middle? Yep, didn't realize this copy of "The Paper Bag Princess" was SO small! Oops!
We studied theme last week and I wanted to share this great lesson I used by the talented Jess at I {Heart} Recess.
I passed out the "Big Ideas-Themes" guide from this packet and we discussed some chapter books we have read with their themes. Students shared with their partners some themes from books they are reading independently and easily discovered that books often have many themes that can be supported with text evidence.
We read "Chicken Sunday" by Patricia Polacco together and discussed the themes with text evidence.
Then, students worked in small groups to read another mentor text and work on the graphic organizer that came with this pack. Many other texts could also be used, but since I already had the titles "The Bad Case of the Stripes," "A Chair for My Mother," and "Chrysanthemum," I just needed "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" and "Thank You, Mr. Falker." I wanted those books for my growing collection anyway. :)
Here are the students working in small groups and pictures of some graphic organizers.

To read the book and complete the graphic organizers took the groups close to 30 minutes. When they were finished, I heard so many students say, "This was fun!". 
Do you use mentor text in small group work? I have also thought about having some of my struggling students read these mentor texts at a listening station. Many of them are on youtube and students could follow along in the book or just watch the video if you didn't have the book. 
I'm looking forward to reading what others have tried recently!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Made It {March}

I am linking up some Made It projects from February with the amazing Tara at 4th Grade Frolics! I know Valentine's Day is over, but there are some freebies listed that you might want to download for next year to get ahead of the game! I'm always doing projects at the last minute but I have this dream that one day I can be prepared far in advance for holidays. Haha!
These are the little treat cups for Valentine's Day that I made for my class. I love these little cups that are four for $1.00 at Walmart. Instead of a little baggie, they can reuse the cup! This works for many holidays too. :)

I already snatched up some more cups for a little Easter gift (4 for $.97 at Walmart).

For the first time, I made homemade Valentine's for my son and daughter's daycare friends. This was the Smooches kit from PaperCrafts Go To Kits.
Here are the lips cut out (I had to trace them and cut them out and then they fold up like a card), the strips of paper (I used my scrapbook paper cutter), and the ribbon (I measured and cut).
 My six year old helped make the cards! Even she could tie the ribbon on the little strip of paper!

Step one to tape down (I use double sided tape).
 Step two-tape down strip of paper with ribbon:
 Add writing and a sucker!
 Cute and personalized!
Click on the pictures below for a template for the lips and directions for paper sizes!

I printed these great figurative language interactive bulletin board posters by Head Over Heels for Teaching. They print black and white to save on colored ink. You could print them on colored paper, but since I didn't have any on hand, I just printed them on white paper and colored in the middle with a colored pencil. They are hanging in front of my room below the bulletin board. When a student finds figurative language in a book they are reading, they add the sentence to a post-it note and we hang it by the coordinating poster.

 I also laminated this game of Winter Zap for complete sentences, fragments, and run-ons by The Teacher's Desk 6. My students are recording their answers and changing the sentences that are run-ons or fragments on this handout I typed up. It is a center for work on writing. The students always struggle with fragments and run-ons!
I am working on adding spring ELA centers currently and these next two weeks are crunch time for me! State ELA test for all my 4th graders is April 1-3. Ah!!

Don't forget to check out this giveaway by my BBB at Ideas by Jivey!

I'll leave you with this picture of my kiddos with one of my favorite Disney characters! My baby Charlie (sniff, sniff) turned four on Saturday! Time flies!
See you tomorrow for Tried It Tuesday!