Friday, October 31, 2014

November Poems and Free Activities

I can't believe that we are at the end of October! November is filled with wonderful holidays and celebrations. So I cooked up a November Poetry Unit with 10 original poems about Election Day, Veterans Day, Football, Native Americans, Pilgrims, Turkeys, and Thanksgiving.

Look at the poem below. There are so many ways to use this for teaching the 5 components of a balance literacy program.  It is the first poem in my new November Poetry packet. I see compound words, proper nouns, and plural nouns. You could also use it to teach syllables as there are 1, 2, 3, and 4 syllable words. There are lots of verbs and adjectives to find and short a words. Look at the words season and weather. Learning the different sounds of ea is a great phonics lesson. After learning the poem,  ask students about things that happen in November. This is a great way to check for understanding. As a writing activity, I included one in my packet.

Poetry is a great way to help students build fluency, even when you have struggling readers or ESL students. It is a great way to get all your students to participate. When students read aloud they develop expression, phrasing, and most of all fluency. For your struggling readers try  Echo reading.  First you read a line or stanza and then they read it. You can start by having students echo a line and then a stanza. Repeated reading helps develop fluency. You can also Choral Read the poems. Another strategy is Pair Unison. This is where the teacher and student read the poem together. You can also send the poems home so that parents can read them with their child. The more fluent they are the more confident they will be.
Here are the 10 original poems included in this packet.
Here are the Poetry Writing Activities in the packet. Students will write 3 different types of poems: A "How to be" Poem, A "5 Senses Poem" about Thanksgiving, and Acrostic Poems. There is one for Turkey, Veteran, and Pilgrim. There is a free one when you download the preview file.
There are also 3 different literacy activities and Informative text, Opinion Piece, and Narrative Writing Activities with Graphic Organizers. If you would like to check it out please click on the image below.
Of course I have a freebie for all my followers and viewers. It includes a "How to be a Turkey" Poem and 3 literacy activities including this writing adjectives about turkey that you see below:
To download your free packet just click on the image below.
Have you checked out all my new Pinterest boards? To follow just click HERE.
Here are my most popular ones.
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Elections and Election Day: Free Resources, Activities, Lessons, and more


Election Day is less than 2 weeks away and I thought you might like to know about some great resources to check out. Even though it is not a presidential election it is important for students to know that all elections are important. I live in a state where these mid-term elections are very important not just to the people of Florida but at the federal level as well. I'm sure that many of the elections where you live are as important as the ones here in Florida.

I found a great resource called Congress for Kids where you can find "I Spy" activities, Election Day Projects, Things to Think About and lots of fun activities about Elections, Voting, Candidates, and more. Just click on the image below to check it out.


Here's another good site for an Election Day Activities containing lots of vocabulary words, Introductory Lessons, The Importance of Voting, The Election and more. You can access it by clicking on the image below.
Of course you can always count on Scholastic for some great activities for all grade levels. They have activities for a class mock election. To check out all their free resources just click on the image below.
If you are looking for great lesson ideas for elementary, middle and high school students you might like to checkout this site called Growing Voters. Just click HERE.

Two years ago I created an Election Day Unit: Grades 2-3 for the presidential election. I just revised and updated it to make more applicable to all elections, the election process, and Election Day. It includes an original Shared Reading Book, Reading Texts and Comprehension Questions at the 2nd and 3rd Grade levels as you can see in the image below. Students will also write about the Main Ideas and Details of the the Reading Text: "Election Day" and find information about their own state elections.

I have also added a fun Election Trivia Scavenger Hunt Activity, new Picture/Word or Fact Cards Activity as well as new Opinion Piece Writing Prompts.
Just click on the image below to check out all the activities and materials in this packet.

Finally the freebie for all of my followers and viewers. Election Day is great for a home-school connection activity. This packet includes the Follow your State and Local Elections chart you can see below. Students can talk about these with their parents and find information on the internet, TV, or the newspaper.
Then they will compare and contrast 2 candidates running for office by filling out this graphic organizer:
There is also a Venn Diagram and Student Writing paper included. You can download your free packet by clicking on the image below.
I have lots of new Pinterest boards for you to check out and follow. Just click HERE. Here are a few of my most popular one.

I hope you will enjoy using them with your students. Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.




 What kinds of activities do you do with your students?


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Friday, October 17, 2014

All About Bats: Free Resources, Books, and Literacy Activities

It's that time of year again when we think about pumpkins, spiders, and bats. Did you know that bats are really our friends? They actually eat 1,000 insects a day! Other bats help pollinate flowers that make seeds to grow new plants. They are actually shy and gentle creatures. I learned so much about bats researching my new unit, All About Bats. It includes reading texts about Bats, Megabats, Microbats, Vampire Bats as well as short texts about Echolocation, Bat Features, Why Bats Sleep Upside Down, and Amazing Bat facts. There are comprehension questions, writing activities, and literacy activities to go with each text. They are differentiated at the 2nd and 3rd Grade levels. Here a sample of the Preview below:
There are also Picture/Fact Cards for Matching, and a Megabat, Microbat, and All Bats Fact Sort Activity. Students will also read poems about Bats and write a Cinquain about them.
There are Informative Text and Opinion Piece Writing Activities, too. To download the Preview file and see all the materials and activities in this packet please click on the image below.

I found some amazing free resources, books for your read alouds, and activities for your classrooms to share with you.  I think we all love the book, Stellaluna. It's a wonderful book to teach about respecting each other and friendship. It also is a great book to read to learn about Bats. Do you know what kind of bat Stellaluna is? She's a Megabat! Megabats eat fruit. I found this wonderful online storytelling of the book which you can access by clicking on the image below. I love the way Pamela Read tells the story and I'm sure your students will too. There is also a free teaching guide and activities you can download. I have included a freebie activity packet that includes a few activities about Comparing Stellaluna and Real bats at the end of this post.
If you are looking for other great books about bats just click on the image below.

Here is a fun free poem you can download by clicking on the one below.
 You can also find some cute Bat Crafts by clicking on the one below.
At KidZone you will find lots of Free literacy activities like An Itsy Bitsy Bat Book to make, A Bat Live Cycle Printable, and more by clicking on the picture below.
Here is a fun video about Echolocation your students may enjoy. I watched it and can't get it out of my head. You can watch it by clicking on the arrow below.  I found the link on Education World that has lots of Across the Curriculum Bat Activities that you can access by clicking HERE.


I put together a free Bat Literacy Activity Packet for all my followers and viewers. There is a Reading Text about Baby Bats, and a Noun, Verb, and Adjective Find and Write Activity about the text.
Then, there is a Compare and Contrast Venn Diagram and Writing Activity about Real Bats and Stellaluna as well as a Reality/Fantasy Writing activity about Stellaluna. You can download your free packet by clicking on the image below.
I have lots of wonderful new Pinterest Boards that you can follow by clicking HERE. Here is my most popular one below. Hope you will check all of them out.
I hope you will find some great activities. Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Purring about Pumpkin Freebies

I really love pumpkins and October. Although it's been over 90 degrees for the last 3 days the weather man has promised that cooler weather is on the way! So I sat down and wrote a cute poem about Pumpkins.
I thought this would make a cute freebie for my Orange Pumpkin, Orange Pumpkin Packet that I created last year. It was really fun! There's a Shared Reading Book, Word Wall, Picture/Word Cards and 3 different level reading books.
It also has 3 different level writing activities, an opinion piece writing, and sequencing activity.
You can see all the materials and activities in this packet by clicking on the image below:
So then I started to add more literacy activities to my poem. There were lots of adjectives about pumpkins in the poem so I added an adjective find and 2 different writing activities.
and finally I added a Cinquain Poem Writing Activity about Pumpkins.
You can download this freebie by clicking on the image below.
How about another pumpkin freebie? I also wrote a fun unit called The Rainbow Pumpkin Patch. It has 2 cute plays: one for Kindergarten and another for 1st grade as well as a word wall, picture/word match, and 2 different leveled readers and writing activities which you can check out by clicking on the image below:
Then I made this cute free Reading Book called : "The Rainbow of Colorful Pumpkins" which you can download by clicking on the image below.
Finally, I just uploaded my "All About Pumpkins" for Grades 2-3 which you can read all about and get lots of free resources and other free activities by clicking on the image below. 
You will find this free pumpkin activity when you click on the image above.
I sure hope you found some helpful pumpkin freebies.

If you are looking for some great new Pinterest Boards to follow just click HERE. You will find lots of grade level ones, seasonal ones, and much more. 
Here are just a few:
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.


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