Sunday, August 2, 2015

TPT Back to School Resources Link Up

Hard to believe that it's that time of year again and teachers are getting their classrooms ready for the first day of school. To make it a little less stressful for you I have linked up with some great teacher-authors to share some of our best teacher resources just in time for the TpT's Back to School Sale! This year it will begin on Monday August 3rd through Tuesday August 4th. Everything in my store will be 20% off and add the TpT Promo Code  BTS15 at checkout to get a total discount of  28%! It's a win-win for everyone. 

It's so important to start off the year with some great activities to help build your classroom community and get your behavior management in place. These have been two of my best sellers. I have 2 great products for K-1:
and for Grades 2-4:
There are lots of activities for you and your students to get to know each other! You can check them out by clicking on either image above. You can see sample pages of all the activities by downloading the preview files.

This summer I finally bundled up all my poetry units and uploaded them into my store. I love writing poetry and you will find a variety of genres and literacy activities for each poem. I love using poetry to get the whole class participating. Poetry is also great for building fluency. You can check it out by clicking on the image below. Although this is a new item, my poetry units have had wonderful feedback and motivate me to keep writing more. 
Thanks for stopping by blog. Have a great start to the new school year. Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. I hope you will visit some of these wonderful teacher-authors below.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Teacher Tips: The Importance of Poetry to Improve Reading

I love poetry and those who follow me know how much I love writing poetry, chants, and plays. It is so easy to incorporate into your classroom reading activities at any grade level and it is a great way to get 100% participation. Over the years of teaching, what I loved about using poetry is that whether your students are good readers, struggling readers, ESL students, and even non-readers everyone can participate.

This past year my grand daughter's pre-kindergarten teacher was doing a thematic unit on apples. I mentioned that I had some Apple Poems and I shared them with her. She loved them and more importantly so did her class. It was so fun to hear Ella recite my poem. I never thought about pre-kinders being able to enjoy them. Here's a sample of one of them.
There are many other benefits of using poetry and plays in your classroom. There are so many ways to use poems for teaching the 5 components of a balance literacy program. When students read aloud they develop expression, phrasing, and most of all fluency. Teachers should always model reading poems first so that students hear the rhythm and expression. Have you ever tried Echo reading? This a great way to get all your students to participate. 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. You can Choral read poems by having the whole class read with you. Poems can be added to your literacy centers for repeated readings. Repeated reading help build fluency.

This was another of my Apple Poems. Think of all the possibilities of ELA activities you can teach with this poem. Look at all the questions and verbs in this poem. For many students verbs like peel, and core many be words they don't know. How about bringing in apples and show the students how to peel, core, and slice an apple. Of course they get to eat them too. After learning the poem, students can then add the actions to it. You can read more about these Apple Poems and download some freebies by clicking on the poem below.
Yesterday I was thinking about writing some alphabet poems and I wrote this Letter A Poem, "Ant and Alligator." This would be great for teaching the sounds of letter "a", rhyming words, the vocabulary word, "slipped", and even comprehension. 
There are some wonderful poetry books like the 2 below that I used all the time in my classroom. You can find out more about them by clicking on each picture below.
Last week I decided to bundle up all my poetry units. There are 9 Thematic Poetry Units all together. There are 3 for the Fall months, 3 for the Winter months, and 3 for the Spring months of the year. You can check out this bundle and read all about each poetry unit by clicking on the image below.
Here's a free Poetry Packet to start off your new school year. It's part of my September Poems, Chants, and Activities Unit called "Where's the Teacher?" There are 2 differentiated Punctuation activities for Grades 1 and 2-3. 
You can download your free packet by clicking on the image below.
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. Hope you have a great start to the new school year. 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Importance of Graphic Organizers as Learning Tools

One of the best teaching and writing learning tools that I used with my struggling writers and ESL students were graphic organizers. This summer I have been tutoring 3 soon to be 5th grade Korean girls and have been working on Compare and Contrasting, Sequencing, and Main Idea and Details. When they started school this past January they were Non-English Speaking and have come such a long way. In the first picture below they are comparing and contrasting two stories.
Here is a sample of a story sequence.
In an article by Dr. Katherine McKnight she states, " Graphic organizers are teaching and learning tools; when they are integrated into classroom experiences, students are better able to understand new material. Creating a strong visual picture, graphic organizers support students by enabling them to literally see connections and relationships between facts, information, and terms."     

Click on the video to listen to Dr. McKnight. You can read more from Dr. McKnight by clicking HERE

For young or beginning writers I liked to use retelling the story with different types of graphic organizers such as the one below: Beginning-Middle -End. Students draw a picture and write a sentence about what happened at the Beginning, Middle and End, of the story.
For students learning to sequence a story I made the graphic organizer below. I put transition words at the left so that students will eventually be able to use this organizer to help them write a paragraph or narrative which is an ELA Common Core Writing Standard.

For young or beginning writers learning to write informative texts I designed this 4 Bubble Web. In the middle students will put the Main Idea and then draw and label 4 different details. For example, if they read a book about Community Helpers that would be the main idea and a policeman, fire fighter, school crossing guard, and teacher might be the 4 details from the book.
These are just 3 of the Writing graphic organizers I have put together in my revised Free Writing Graphic Organizers packet. There are 3 differentiated Sequence Graphic Organizers to meet the needs of all the students in your classroom. 
You can download this freebie by clicking on the picture below. I hope these will help your students improve their writing throughout the school year.
Looking for some more Great Stuff for Teachers? Then follow me on Pinterest. I have lots of Educational boards. Here are a few below you may want to check out. 

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. Hope you will find these useful. I would truly appreciate your feedback.

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Freebie Fridays

What kinds of writing graphic organizers do you use in your classroom?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Back to School Free Resources, Books, Activities, and Freebies

Hard to believe that in 4 weeks my grand kids will start school. For some, you will be heading back after Labor Day. It's always nice to get a head start on some great resources no matter when you are heading back. I've put together some great free resources, books for the beginning of school, BTS Activities, and Freebies.

I can't imagine the beginning of school without Share Reading Books. Although many use David Shannon's, "David Goes to School" when talking about school behavior and rules there are many others. I found 2 great lists you can check out by clicking on the images below.
If you are a new teacher you may want to check out these tips by Scholastic. Just click on the image below.
I have also written one called "Creating a Classroom Vision" which may also be helpful to new teachers.

If you are looking for stores offering Teacher Discounts you can read all about them by clicking on the images below.

For those of you who are in states that use the Common Core Standards, I have found some wonderful Parent Guides To Student Success that would be perfect to hand out on Back to School Night. They have both Math and ELA Guides for Grades K-8. Just click on the Image below.
Scholastic has a wealth of free activities and printables for all your Back to School needs to help with Parent- Teacher Communication, Things you need to get started, Bulletin Board Ideas, Activities, and much more. Just click on the image below.
If you are looking for some fun pair activities that your students will enjoy during the 1st weeks of school, you can download my freebie: "Welcome to School" Making Words and Sentences. Students make as many 2, 3, 4, 5 or more letter words from "Welcome to School" and "Welcome to the Classroom"and then write sentences with a few of their words.
 Just click on the image below to download your freebie.
I have added a few new Back to School Packets to my TpT Store you may want to check out. Here is my 1st Bundle which includes my revised "The People and Places at School" Reading and Writing Activities and my "Back to School Literacy Activities." Save more than 20% on this bundle. Just click on the image below to download the preview files.
Here is my newest packet that I just uploaded today: 3 Emergent Readers and Activities. I have also revised my Preview files so you can see sample pages of 2 of the 3 Emergent Readers and Activities. Just click the image below.
I have a free Emergent Reader for all of my viewers and followers about My Things at School.
You can download your freebie by clicking on the image below.
I hope you find some great ideas and resources for your Back to School needs. I know that there are many more resources out there but these will definitely give you a head start. Thanks for all you do to make a different for your students. Hope you have a great start to the new school year.

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