Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Character Awards

I hope everyone is enjoying their time off with their loved ones.  I love this time for celebrating and being with the people who mean the most to me.

Today, I would like to share one of our final projects before heading off to break.  Our final reading unit was on mysteries.  Here are the books we read.

(Our special ed teacher also worked with me on this unit.  Her students read an A to Z Mystery.)

We have been working a lot with story elements.  I really wanted to take my students further with character traits.  I decided to have them create awards to give to characters from their reading.  I found some super cute award clip art from Little Red, and created these awards.

After designing the awards, students cut them out and glued them to a piece of construction paper.

Students also had to complete a written explanation of why the character earned the award.

Students had a lot of fun producing our own award show.  Each reading group presented the awards complete with envelopes and a microphone.

I left the students' copies at school, but I will try to post a finished sample later this week.  I am sure to be in school again at some point this week.

I put the awards on a Google doc.  If you are interested, you can download them here.

Thank you, and enjoy the rest of your vacation!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Hoppin' Homophones

I know it has been a while since I last posted on my blog.  I took on a few extra responsibilities at work and in my personal life, and they have kept me quite busy.  Any way, I spent some time organizing and updating my TPT store last week.  I was able to finish a project that I have been working on for quite a while now.

This set of activities is called Hoppin' Homophones.  My students always seem to get these words confused, so I wanted to create something that would help.  If you would like to check it out in my TPT store, you can click here or on any of the images below.  The task cards are also sold separately, if you are interested in those.  Both the task cards and the entire bundle are on sale for 20% off until the end of the day tomorrow.

If you are interested in just the task cards, you can get those here.

I am looking forward to catching you up on some activities from my classroom this week.

Thank you, and have a great week!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dialogue Foldable Freebie

I hope everyone is enjoying this crazy, fun time of year.  I know I find myself even busier than normal these days.  However, I am doing things that make me happy, so it's all good.

In an earlier post, I shared some ways that I teach dialogue in my classroom.  This year, I taught dialogue in a very similar way.  The Flocabulary song was a must!  My students loved it so much that a few of them downloaded it to their iPads.  If you are not familiar with this song, you can check it out below.

This year, I am into interactive notebooks more than ever, so I wanted to create a way to incorporate them into this unit.  I ended up creating this foldable.

After reviewing the rules for dialogue the previous day, we highlighted the capital letters and punctuation related to the dialogue rules.  Then, I had students glue the foldable into their notebooks and write their own sentences under each flap. 

Now, students have two model sentences for each placement of the speaker.  I still have some working on dialogue in a small group, but I have seen a huge improvement with this skill.

If you are interested in this foldable, you can download it here.

Have a great week, and please enjoy this holiday season!

Thank you!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Scoop

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I know I really enjoyed spending some quality time with my family.  As always, the time flew, and I find myself with quite a list of things I would like to accomplish today.  I am linking up with the fabulous Teaching Trio for their fun linky, Sunday Scoop, to share some of my plans for today.

This week for lunch, I will make Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken.  I have made this before, and it is one of my favorites.  I always add broccoli and shredded carrots for some extra flavor/vitamins.

Yesterday, I cleaned up my yard from the final batch of leaves, and now I am ready for the final mowing.  Hopefully, the weather will hold out.

I have a decent start to my holiday baking, but I'd like to make a batch of Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies today.  These are my baby brother's favorite.  I seriously think he would disown me if I showed up to Christmas without them.

Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies

I also wanted to let you know that I am participating in the TPT Cyber Sale tomorrow and Tuesday (both as a buyer and a seller).  I plan on spending some time today moving some things off my (huge) wishlist and into my cart to get ready for tomorrow.

That's all for now.  I am off to see what everyone else is up to today.  Thank you, Teaching Trio for hosting this fun linky.

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Spark Student Motivation Saturday: Traits of a Monster

This week in reading, we started working on character traits.  I tried a fun lesson that really seemed to motivate my students.  Today, I am linking up with the wonderful Joanne from Head over Heels for teaching for her awesome linky, Spark Student Motivation Saturday to share this lesson.

To start this lesson, I called all the students to the carpet.  Then I showed this picture on the SMART Board.
Students were immediately curious about the day's lesson.  First, we had a quick review of internal and external traits.  Then, I had students turn and talk to their neighbors to share Mike's external traits.

After their discussion and a quick share out, I showed students this clip.  I told students to pay attention to Mike's internal traits.

After the clip was over, I reminded students of the model we are using for character traits.

Mike is ____________.
I know this because ___________.
(What did Mike say or do?)

I had students write and justify traits in their notebooks.  They have this list to refer to if  they are stuck on traits. The list comes from Nicole Shelby's awesome Interactive Notebook.

As students shared their answers, I recorded their responses.  Most of them were able to take what they learned from the initial lessons and apply it here.  

We will continue working on character traits in whole group and small group settings.  I love that I always have this fun example for students to use as a reference.

Now, I am off to check out all the other motivating activities.  Thank you, Joanne for hosting this awesome linky!

Have a great weekend! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Scoop

Wow!  This school year is flying.  Our report cards for the first trimester go home tomorrow.  I have spent a great deal of time over that past two week working on those.  I am looking forward to a Sunday where I can get a few other things done.  I am linking up with Teaching Trio for Sunday Scoop to share a few things I have planned for today.

Last year, our school tried a Parents' Night Out around the holidays.  Basically, parents dropped their children of a school for some very reasonable priced babysitting.  We offered a variety of stations for the children, including board games, karaoke, movies, BINGO, etc.  It worked out great for parents, and our school raised quite a bit of money.  I agreed to be in charge of this again.  We are in the process of collecting RSVPs, and I need to sort through those today.

Yikes!  I never made it to the grocery store yesterday.  That is a must-do today, for sure.  I am going to make some chicken stew from my favorite slow cooker cookbook.

Product Details 

Those are my day's highlights.  I am off to see what everyone else is up to.  Thank you to the Teaching Trio for hosting  this fun linky!

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Spark Student Motivation Saturday - Video Games & Transitions

This week, I taught students some final lessons to polish up their realistic fiction narratives.  I was able to find several fun activities, but they loved the lesson on transitions the most.  I am going to link up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her awesome linky, Spark Student Motivation Saturday to share this lesson with you.

 Once students were settled on the carpet, I showed this on the SMART Board.

I explained how Pong was the very first video game and how "cool" we all thought it was.  (Of course, I had to play a game to show all the awesome graphics!)  Next, I told my students that I was going to read them a story about how video games have changed over the years.  Here's what I read them.


We had an interesting conversation about why this was not good writing.  Initially, some of the students thought I did not write in sentences.  We had a quick review of why they were sentences, but just not very good ones.  Students saw how boring writing can be with the same words repeated over and over again with no additional details.

Enter Flocabulary.

I showed students this fun rap about the transition of video games, and they loved it!

(I can not get the video to play on my blog, but click here for the link.)
After hearing the song and seeing the lyrics, students were exposed to lots of great words to use as transitions.  (When the lyrics appeared on the screen, the transitions were in yellow/green.)

I passed out a copy of the lyrics to each student.  They worked with a partner to highlight the transition words.

When they were finished, students shared the transitions on the ELMO one stanza at a time.

Afterwards, I gladly honored their request to play the song one more time.  Then, I showed the students an anchor chart I had made ahead of time with all the transition words from the song.

They were actively using the list during writing time.  Hooray!

On a completely different note, today is my birthday.  I am looking forward to celebrating by spending some quality time with my family and friends as well as watch the Buckeye get a huge win tonight!  One more way I am celebrating is to have a sale in my TPT store.  Everything is 20% off today and tomorrow!

Now, I am off to check out all of the other motivating ideas that are linked up.  Thank you, Joanne for hosting this linky.  I have used many of these ideas in my classroom, and I have loved them all!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Party with Possessives

Hello, Everyone!  Today, I just wanted to stop in and share a new product I posted yesterday.  My students always seem to struggle with using possessive nouns correctly.  I wanted to create some fun activities that provided ample practice with this skill, so I came up with Party with Possessives.

Possessive Nouns: Posters, Task Cards, Center, Practice Pa

Here is everything that is included.  You can click on any of the pictures to link to my TPT store.  This product will be 20% off until Wednesday, November 5.

Thank you, and have a great week!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Scoop

It's Sunday, and it's time to link up with Teaching Trio for their fun linky, Sunday Scoop.  Here is a peek at what I have planned for today.

Report cards are such a great way to communicate with parents.  Our district recently gave ours a user friendly makeover, so the process should be smooth.  They may take a lot of time and thought, but I always want to make sure my students' progress is clearly communicated.

I found a great recipe for chicken noodle soup here, if anyone needs one!  It is easy and delicious!

the best crockpot chicken noodle soup -

I am usually pretty good about getting cleaning and laundry finished on Saturday.  However, that did not happen this week.  Sometimes, other priorities just take over!

I'm off to check out what others have planned for today.  I hope everyone enjoys their "extra hour"!

Thank you, Teaching Trio, for hosting this fun linky!
Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Today, I am linking up with Christina from Sugar and Spice for another edition of Wordless Wednesday.

Have you ever loved a teaching resource so much that it ends up looking like this?

It's probably time for me to order another copy of this awesome book!  It has been my go to resource for all kinds of words lists for many years.  I just love it!

I am off to check out all the other Wordless Wednesday posts on this fun linky.  Thank you, Christina for hosting!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Scoop

It's Sunday, so it's time to link up with the Teaching Trio for another edition of The Sunday Scoop.

Here are a few things I have going on today. 

I am off to check out what everyone else is up to today.  Then it's back to work on this list!  Thank you, Teaching Trio for hosting this linky!

Have a great week!