February 26, 2014

TpT Sale, Jamberry, and Giveaway

                                                                                                 (Image credit: Rachel Lamb)

I will be participating in Teachers Pay Teachers "3 Million Teachers Strong" sale on Thursday and Friday! My whole store will be 20% off on those two days, and TpT will be kicking in an additional 10% savings. To get the additional 10% off, make sure that you enter the promo code TPT3 when you check out!

In other news, I recently became a Jamberry Independent Consultant! I'm loving my Traverse and Leopard Jamberry Nail Wraps! There are over 300 different designs to choose from....So many to try!

If you'd like more information about Jamberry Nail Wraps, check out the tabs on my Facebook page. If you'd like a FREE sample to try yourself, click here!

And, just because....I'd thought I'd have a giveaway.  It includes:

1. St. Patrick's Day Language Arts Activities set

St. Patrick's Day Language Arts Activities

2. Poetry Analysis Booklet

Poetry Analysis Booklet

3. Using Evidence for the Text to Support Your Answers Poster Set!

Using Evidence from the Text to Support Your Answers-Poster Set


February 22, 2014

Crafting Connection's 2,000 Follower Giveaway

My buddy Deb (from Crafting Connections) has just hit two huge milestones. She has 400 followers on Bloglovin and 2,000....Yes, 2,000 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers!!!  To celebrate, Deb is having a giveaway on her blog.  There are 15 chances to win!  I have donated any one item from my store (winner's choice) as a prize.  Make sure you stop by for a chance to win!!!  Congrats, Deb! :)

February 16, 2014

Poetry, Poetry, Poetry!

As I mentioned in my last post, we used the mentor text "Heartbeat" to start our poetry unit.  After we wrapped up that novel, we began our poem analysis and create our own poems!

Analyzing Poetry

Well, the biggest bummer in my classroom right now is that my Smart Board died (like at the beginning of January).  Yes, the fan failed....And, I'm still waiting for it to be fixed. So, luckily, I have a projector, but it's still not an ideal situation.  Anyways, when we began analyzing poetry, I created a booklet to use with my students (which I posted on TpT).  I projected the poem "Bliss" on the screen in my room, and we practiced going through the text dependent questions together.  I wanted to create free verse poems with rigorous questions to prepare my students for their state test! While we went over the answers as a class, students recorded them in their copy of their poetry books.

Each student had his/her own booklet to work in.  After the first day, students would go through the remaining poems with a partner, and later on their own.  We would always go over the correct answers as a class.
 Here is a sample of what a student's booklet looked like inside...
 One of my students brought in his favorite poetry book, Winter Woes.  With the weather lately, it was very timely!  I love when my students get excited about what we are learning and bring in items to share with the rest of the class! I had never heard of Winter Woes, but it was very cute!  It got some chuckles out of my 5th graders.

Note: The poem "Bliss" and a blank copy of a poetry book (see below) are a FREEBIE in my TpT store!

Poetry Freebie

Writing Poetry

Now, I didn't want to kill my students' love of poetry by making them analyze poems 24/7.  So, we would analyze one to two poems a day.  The remaining class time was spent on creating our own poems!  I must say, I was SUPER impressed with my students' poems!  Since I taught them last year, I was able to comment on the progress they'd made as poets.  Here is a picture I posted on my Instagram account showing the hallway outside of my classroom.

I had a hard time selecting poems to include in this post.  I am not exaggerating (no hyperbole here)!  I just picked a few of the amazing poems my students created.  I was proud of their word choices, including their use of figurative language.  They did a nice job of incorporating repetition in their poems too.

The poem I wrote called "Down from the Sky" inspired a lot of my students to write poems from different perspectives (see the roller coaster poem at the end of this post).

Now that you've seen some of their work, can you tell why I'm such a proud teacher!?!?! :)

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

February 08, 2014

Heartbeat-Poetry Mentor Text

We finished the figurative language unit that we had been working on since we got back from break, and we made a seamless transition into our poetry unit.  Every year, after we review the characteristics of poetry (using my Poetry Unit Bundle), I like to use a novel written in poems to provide some poetry inspiration for my students.  Since I used my "go to" novel, Love That Dog last year (and I have the same students this year), I had to find another novel. Luckily, after some research online, I found a fabulous poetry novel (is that even what they're called?) ...Heartbeat!  Heartbeat was written by the same author as Love That Dog, Sharon Creech.

What is Heartbeat about?
Heartbeat is about a girl named Annie who is dealing with three big issues in her life: 1. Her mother being pregnant, 2. Her grandfather having Alzheimer's, 3. Her relationship with her friend Max (and their love of running). Creech jumps back and forth between these three issues throughout the poems in the novel.  

Why do I love Heartbeat?
1. Well, the main reason I love Heartbeat is because it provided my students with excellent examples of free verse poems!  It even inspired me to try my hand at free verse (see below for a freebie). 

2. Creech does a fantastic job of including figurative language in her poems.  There are so many examples of similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, etc.  

3. The book provides an excellent example of symbolism.  We hadn't talked about symbolism yet, so when we got to the end of the novel, it was a great time to cover that concept!  During the novel, Annie is given an assignment by her art teacher to draw the same apple every day for 100 days.  She notices the changes in her apple, and the last poem ends with a description of the last picture, which is a seed.  You'll see where the symbolism ties in in just a second...My students and I had a discussion about the cover/back cover of the novel.  There's an apple on the front and a core on the back. You realize by the end of the novel that the apple seems to represent her grandfather's decline in health, and the seed could represent new life, or her baby brother, Joey.

*We later tied in this new concept of symbolism to the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.  I told my students that it was a tougher poem for 5th grade, but some students were able to figure out that the roads mentioned in the poem represented choices/decisions in life.

How did I use Heartbeat in my classroom?
We started each class by reading about 25 pages of the novel.  Therefore, it took us eight days to read. Since it is written in poems, it didn't take very long (maybe 10-15 minutes/day). Our purpose for reading was enjoyment, so I didn't want to have my students analyze the poetry too much.  Before we read the novel, we discussed what Alzheimer's was, since it isn't expressly referred to in the novel (though it can be inferred). We also reviewed the main events from the previous day's reading and discussed symbolism. This past week, we did move on to analyzing poetry (which will be featured in my next blog post).

Click HERE for a great resource for Heartbeat (made by Scholastic).

Here is a freebie that contains a free verse poem I wrote.  I will be writing another blog post soon that covers how we analyzed poems in class, as well as my students' progress on their own poetry books!

Also, I recently joined Instagram...@middlegradesmaven!

Must-Read Monday Linky