Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Video and Poem for Onomatopoeia

For the past couple of weeks, we have been having fun with language. Today, I would like to share some of the activities we used for onomatopoeia.

After going over the definition and brainstorming examples, I showed students this catchy video.

For further practice, I typed out this fun poem for two voices and showed it on the SMART Board for choral reading.

This poem came from an awesome poetry book called, Messing Around on the Monkey Bars.  This book is full of fun poems for two voices.

Messing Around On The Monkey Bars And Other School Poems For Two Voices Messing Around On The Monkey Bars

I found some additional resources on Teachers Pay Teachers for more structured practice with all the figurative language we covered. These worksheets by Rachel Lynette provide excellent practice.

Figurative Language: Idioms, Similes, Metaphors, etc. CCSS

As we finished working on each figurative language concept, students worked on the snow globe activity found in this fun set of craftivities from Runde's Room.

December Craftivities - Literacy-Themed Craftivities for December

I am looking forward to posting about some more activities we used for figurative language.  I would love to hear if you have a favorite activity to share.

***I also wanted to let you know that I am in the process of a big change.  Sometime in future, I definitely see myself teaching younger students.  It may not work out next year (which is fine because I LOVE my fourth graders).  However, I am in the process of changing my name to represent a new beginning that will occur at some point in the future.  Fit to be Fourth will soon be Elementary Engagement.

I have started to switch over my TPT store.  While I am changing my name, I am also updating many of my products.  This is a long process, but I hope to have big improvements in all areas, including my blog.  More information on that is coming soon!

Click on the picture below to see the change in progress.

Elementary Engagement

Thank you, and have a great week!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

An Improved Youtube Experience

Hello Everyone!  Today I would like to share some Google Extensions that I promise will make your YouTube viewing experience far more enjoyable!  If you are not sure what an extension is, I highly recommend that your read about them here.

I have recently discovered extensions on Chrome, and I have been amazed by how many things you can do!  Honestly, I have been a little obsessed with just about all things Google these days.  

The extensions I am sharing today will make Youtube ad-free, distraction-free, comment-free, and overall more enjoyable.  I gave a brief description of each extension below.  To learn more and to add the extension to your Chrome, click on the titles for the links.

Adding this extension to Chrome will eliminate all those pesky and sometimes inappropriate ads on youtube.

This extension will get rid of the video recommendations sidebar that can easily distract your students.  Awesome!

There are no more worries about inappropriate comments that come up from time to time.  This extension gets rid of them all.

This is one of my favorite extensions!  It will stop YouTube from automatically playing the next video.  Hooray!

Sideplayer is very helpful for those who like to multi-task.  You can watch a smaller version of the video while on any other website.

All of these extensions are easy to add and use.  Have fun!

What is your favorite Google extension?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Spark Student Motivation - Compliment Craze

I think one of the biggest ways to motivate students is for them to receive encouragement from their peers.  Today, I am linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her inspiring linky, Spark Student Motivation Saturday.  I'm going to share one way for students to motivate each other.

After a completing a recent opinion writing project, I wanted to find a different way for students to share and celebrate their accomplishments. When students were all finished with their final drafts, I had them clear off their desks, leaving only the final print out.  I then handed out this paper.

Students had their writing and the Compliment Craze paper on their desks. Next, they walked around the room, read each other's writing, and wrote a specific compliment for each one.

Before beginning this activity, we talked about the difference between general comments and specific compliments.

I feel like the students learned a lot by reading their peers' writing.  They appeared far more engaged than when we read them all aloud in class.  I will definitely keep this strategy in the mix for celebrating future writings.

If you would like to use the "Compliment Craze" form I used for this activity, you can download it here.

That's all for today.  I am heading over to Head Over Heels for Teaching for some more motivation.  Thank you, Joanne for hosting this linky!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Monday, January 4, 2016

A book every teacher should read

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Image result for happy new year 2016

I am extremely grateful to have had the time over winter break to catch up with family, friends, and hobbies.  One of my favorite hobbies is reading, and I was happy to have time to take some books of my seemingly infinite list.

Today, I am linking up with Kellee from Unleashing Readers and Jen from Teach Mentor Texts for their fun linky It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

This week, I finished reading Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.  This is a great book about a student named Ally who struggled to learn to read.  She acted out as a defense mechanism, and she frequently found herself in the office.  When a substitute teacher, Mr. Daniels, took over teaching the class, Ally's learning (as well as other students' issues) started to make a change for the better.  

Product Details

What I liked most about this book is how I was able to see the motivations of a character who was acting out.  We all have those students who don't always follow the rules.  Reading this book was a strong reminder to really think about the possible reasons why students behave the way they do.  It may be learning struggles, family problems, peer pressure, or any number of reasons.  Mr. Daniels, although fictional, serves as a great role model for getting to know each child and coming up with a plan to help them.

My only problem with this book is deciding if I want to use it as a read aloud or literature circle group.  

I would love to hear what you think about this book and how you use it in your classroom.

That's all for today.  Thank you Kellee and Jen for hosting this linky.  It's so much fun to pick up some new reading ideas!

Have a great week!