November 30, 2013

Figurative Language Interactive Notebook

Phew! I just finished my Figurative Language Interactive Notebook before TpT's huge Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale!  It contains a ton of activities to use for the following types of figurative language: similes, metaphors, personification, idioms, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, and alliteration. In the future, I will be doing a blog post about how I teach figurative language in my own classroom. 

Don't forget to enter the code "cyber" for an additional 10% off already reduced prices!

November 25, 2013

Persuasive Writing Unit-Photo Overload

We've been working on a persuasive unit at school for the last two weeks.  We started it right after Veterans Day.  I revamped some of the projects I've done in the past, and added some new Thanksgiving related persuasive writing activities. The timing was perfect. I think the unit was a total success! I was really happy with my students' writing, and I think they enjoyed the activities that they completed. 

This unit addressed the following Common Core State Standards:
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1a Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1b Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1c Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequentlyspecifically).
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1d Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

I used the persuasive writing bulletin board materials (from my Persuasive Writing Unit set) to create a display for students to refer to during the unit.  I put some great TFK persuasive articles on the board to accompany the set.

My old bulletin board arrangement

My new bulletin board arrangement...

The first step in our unit involved students identifying the important parts of a persuasive essay.  We color coded the parts.  We also underlined the transitional words and phrases that were used. I emphasized the importance of transitional words and phrases and how they helped the essays flow. The first example we did together for practice, and then students did the next example with a partner.

We went over the answers on the Smart Board, and students recorded them in their packets (the passages were also from my TpT unit).

Next, we practiced writing a persuasive essay together.  We wrote about school uniforms.  And, yes, my students chose to write against them....Shocker!

Then, my students chose one of two articles to write a persuasive piece about: "Should Kids Be on Reality TV?" or "Should Trampolines be Banned?" After they read the article they selected, they had to choose a side and convince their readers to agree with it.

They completed their pre-writing using this graphic organizer (also in my set).

After the pre-writing, my students wrote a draft in their notebooks.  They double checked their work by coloring the different parts of their essays to ensure they included each part.  They also had a classmate peer edit their writing using a checklist from my set.

The last phase of their writing process was typing their final copy!

And Voila! Students pasted their final copies on either red or purple paper (depending on if they were for or against the topic being discussed).

The next phase in the unit was applying their new persuasive writing skills to a Thanksgiving related prompt...I chose the book Turkey Trouble because it went well with the prompt I chose.  I had students write a persuasive piece convincing their readers that they were not a turkey. In the book, Turkey Trouble, the turkey tries to disguise himself as other types of animals to avoid being the main course on Thanksgiving. It's a cute story.  Unfortunately, I was not the only one who wanted to use this book, and all of the copies were checked out of the library.  I think I was number 40 on the hold list...haha...So, I found a video of it being read on YouTube (see below).

Image from:

I told my students in advance that they would hear some baby noises toward the end of the video.  They thought it was hilarious. :)

Click on the image below to go to Katie Adams' TpT store.  That is where I found the template for the turkey figure. 

Click here for a copy of the graphic organizer I made for the assignment.  

Isn't the display cute?  I wish I had room to display them all! They came up with some really creative ideas for disguising their turkeys. Plus, it was a fun way to practice their newly acquired skills.

Here's a closer view!

November 04, 2013

November's Currently

I'm linking up with Farley for November's Currently.

Here's my yummy pin.  I thought it was appropriate for the fall.  I love going apple picking! :) Click on the photo below to get the directions for this treat.

October 18, 2013

Using Evidence from the Text to Support Answers and My New Avatar!!!

Today is my lucky day!  I was fortunate enough to be one of the first five people to comment on Educasong & Educlip's Avatar Giveaway, which means I got a FREE avatar!  I've been wanting one for the longest time, so I'm thrilled to finally have one!  I sent my school picture from last year (since this year's wasn't my fav...ha) to Sarah, and she whipped my avatar up in only an hour or two.  And, it's adorable! All of her clip art is super cute and affordable.  Check out her TpT store!  

To spread the love, I am having a flash freebie on my newest product, "Using Evidence from the Text to Support Your Answers-Poster Set"...So, click on the picture below to grab it for FREE!

The new Common Core Standards for Reading Literature and Reading Informational Text require students to "Quote accurately from a text..." to support their answers.  These posters have sample answers using writing prompts.  You can post them in your room during the year to refer to when students are answering comprehension questions.  They're also great for a test review! :)

October 15, 2013

Our House...In Progress!

My husband I are building a house!  Not us, technically, but you know what I mean ;)...It should be ready in time for the holidays!  I am super excited!!!  We have been picking out paint colors, furniture, and tons of other fun decorative pieces.  I have literally been to more furniture stores in the last couple of weeks than I have been to my entire life! I can't wait to see how all of our purchases come together {The suspense is killing me!}...So while I impatiently wait, I'll be distracting myself with school related work, advising Student Council, taking some more grad. classes, working on TpT products, and frequently looking at Pinterest posts and Etsy items!

Here's a pic. of our former hole in the ground...

This was the house partially framed...

And finally, the house completely framed....

October 04, 2013

OTES Resouces

I'm linking up with Farley for October's Currently...

If you teach in Ohio, you are probably stressing out about the new evaluation system (referred to as OTES).  I know I was before my first observation! It is really important to be prepared for your pre-observation and post-observation conferences.  The following resources will help you stay organized for your conferences, while showcasing the evidence you have collected for each of the seven standards.  

I have put the OTES resources on sale for 20% today and tomorrow.  Good luck with your evaluations! :)


September 30, 2013

Strategic Reading Posters

This will be a quick post because I need to run to the library....I had an unexpected day off of school, so I thought I'd create some reading strategy posters!  I've been wanting to make them for a long time, but I just haven't gotten around to it. I have decided to put the set on sale for 20% off today and tomorrow! Snag the "We are Strategic Readers!" poster that goes with the 8 strategy posters below!

*Each strategy includes a poster explaining the strategy, mini posters with questions readers should ask themselves, mini posters with ways to start written responses, and an interactive flip book to practice the strategy.

Includes the following strategies:
1. Making Connections
2. Making Predictions
3. Asking Questions
4. Visualizing
5. Monitoring & Clarifying
6. Summarizing & Synthesizing
7. Determining Importance
8. Analyzing Author’s Craft

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

September 21, 2013

Interactive Notebook Freebie

This idea came to me yesterday, so I thought I'd whip it up and post it ASAP!  It's an tech. themed interactive notebook FREEBIE!  You can use it for any subject area.  There are three options for the front of the phone: a vocab. page, a famous/important person page, and a dialogue page. There are also three options that you can use for the inside of the phone as well.  Enjoy!

If you are looking for more S.S. related interactive notebook materials, click on the image below! :)

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

September 15, 2013

Social Studies Interactive Notebook

Sorry I've been MIA lately.  I've been swamped with everything back to school, as well as having my first observation last week.  Yes, the new OTES evaluation (If you teach in Ohio, you will know why I've been all kinds of busy lately). It's been a crazy first few weeks of school!  In my free time, which admittedly has been lacking, I have been tirelessly working on my "Social Studies Interactive Notebook" set. Check it out by clicking on the image below.  Also, snag a FREEBIE at the end of this post! :)


 It includes the following:

Section 1- 8 Strands of S.S.
*1 activity

Section 2- S.S. Skills Pages
*4 activities
*One on primary and secondary sources, one for the 5Ws and 1 H, one yes/no opinion activity, and one KWL

Section 3- Map Skills
*1 activity
*Cardinal directions/compass rose
*See my feature of a map FREEBIE

Section 4- Landforms
*2 variations for the following landforms: isthmus, hill, mountain, basin, mesa, plateau, lake, bay, peninsula, desert, island, and canyon

Section 5- Continents
*2 activities

Section 5- Regions in the U.S.
*1 activity to use for all of the 5 regions

Section 6- Ancient Civilizations
*1 activity for Maya, Inca, and Aztec 

Section 7- Native Americans
*1 activity to use for the following groups: Eastern Woodlands, Great Plains, Southwest Desert, and Northwest & Arctic

Section 8- Christopher Columbus
*2 activities

Section 9- Louisiana Purchase
*1 activity

Section 10- Revolutionary War
*2 activities
*One on important figures: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Betsy Ross, King George, and Redcoats
*One on the taxes for the 13 colonies

Section11- Civil War
*4 activities
*One on important figures: Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Ulysses S. Grant, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee, one on Union and Confederate states, one on events leading up to and after the war, and a Venn diagram activity

Section12- Government
*2 activities
*One on the branches of government and one on democrats and republicans

Section13- Economics
*4 activities
*One on supply and demand, one on goods and services, one on wants and needs, one on economic terms

Section14- Martin Luther King, Jr.
*1 activity

Also, here is a FREEBIE on the features of a map!


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

August 16, 2013

Back to School Sale

All of the items in my store will be on sale during TpT's Back-to-School Sale!  Don't forget to enter the code BTS13 to get the total 28% off your purchase!  Have a great beginning to your school year!!! :)

August 14, 2013

Classroom Reveal

Update (7/26/16): I have also added some new emoji products to my TpT store to go with the tech. theme! 

WOOHOO! I am finally done organizing my classroom! It's taken a loooong time, but it's finally the way I want it to look.  I chose to do a tech. themed classroom this year.  I saw so many cute ideas on Pinterest, and I think that my students will think that a tech. theme is super cool (at least I hope so...haha).  I am going to start with pictures from the hallway and then work my way around the room.  If you have any questions about the decor, please ask!

I loved the border with the clothespins from last year (I had it on a strip above my students' computers), so I decided to hang it in my section of the hallway this year.  It makes putting up and taking down student work so much easier! I colored the clothespins with permanent marker and hot glued them to the thumbtacks. 

I used my Personalized Teacher Materials: Option #1 to create my sign.

This is in the hallway on the left as soon as you enter my room. Students can hang their Post-Its (exit slips) on the poster before they head out of the room. I revamped my poster from last year.

I added the paper above the computers because it was too big of a blank space.  I laminated the fadeless paper first, and then added duct tape as a border.  Then I attached my Figurative Language Posters. Lastly, I magnetized the back to hang it on the wall.  I put the hooks on last, as a way to display student work.

Here is my awesome garage sale find in action!  I filled it with M&Ms, since students can't have gum in school! :) I am also using the mailbox (which my fabulous custodian painted for me) as a place for students to turn in important notes/letters to me.

I love my team teacher!  She came up with the idea of using Bingo boards for a positive behavior reward system for our students. Each week, I will pick a certain number of students who have demonstrated positive behavior, and they will select a space to write their names (example: B1).  At the end of the month, I will pick a certain amount of winners by selecting Bingo letters/numbers.  For example, if I call G9, the student whose name is on that space will win a prize. It differs from regular Bingo, in the sense that you are not trying to get five in a row. Since I am using a tech. theme, I created a large tablet and made the Bingo board a "Angry Birds Bingo" board.

Let's see how long my desk stays this clean...hahaha 
Note: the iPhone sticky notes (Thank you, Walmart).

I love my new classroom! It is so much larger than the one I had last year.  I was able to create a U-shaped seating arrangement.

I hung up my Writing Process Posters to the left of my whiteboard, but in the front of the room, so students can refer to it easily.  My Genre Posters are on top of the white boards (fiction on the left and nonfiction to the right).  I also put my Inspirational Subway Art posters below my whiteboards.

^Yes, that is a magnetic iPad pad of paper (Thank you again, Walmart). 

Here are my iCan boards.  I am displaying all of the 5th grade CCSS, which I separated by strand.  

Here are my Punctuation Posters.

I am looking forward to using my "Books We Like" board to encourage student reflection on books they will be reading throughout the year. I will be using the thumbs up Post-Its from my last blog post to attach to student work.

I love using a table skirt to hide tons of boxes and random items that I couldn't find room for anywhere else.  Plus, the table cloth adds some color to the room.

Here are my Tech. Themed Classroom Jobs.  I am putting the students' names under the jobs they have.  I took the picture from the side to avoid showing the students' names.

I love how this bulletin board turned out! :)  

I decided to put my students' transportation information on the front of this boring cabinet.

 On the side of the cabinet I have the students' birthday information (square are blocking students' names/birthdays).

I will be using this craftivity on the first day of school:

What is your classroom theme?