Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Start Your Year Inspired

I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday vacation and have come back to work renewed and inspired for 2016. Teachers Pay teachers also hopes you will the start the year inspired with a site wide sale! Whether you are just starting your school year or half-way through, here is a wonderful opportunity to save up to 28% on all the products in my TpT store from Wednesday, January 20th through Thursday, January 21st.  All my products and bundles are 20% and don't forget to add the Promo Code: START16  at checkout to get a total of 28% off your purchases.

I have spent most of the past 6 months revising old products and remaking Previews that include sample pages of all the activities in each packet. So if you are looking for Back to School, September through March units, as well as Poetry and Plays, and ESL lessons you can download the Previews to see most of the activities in each packet.

To all of you who follow me, stop my my blog, or purchase a product, thank you. I will be turning 67 next month and I truly appreciate all of you and to still be part of the education community in a small way. Wishing you all the happiest new year.

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Purring about Winter Poems, Plays, and Freebies

Winter has finally arrived here in northern Florida and although we probably won't see snow it sure feels like it. Most of you know that I love to write poems and plays. They are perfect for helping struggling readings build fluency and confidence. Poems are short and so much less intimidating. Try choral reading to help reluctant readers feel safe to take the risk of reading as their voices blend in with the whole group. Poetry is also great for teaching word strategies, fluency, and writing. Plays can be used in the same way. In many plays there are parts for all the boys or all the girls. If you don't have enough parts for everyone, 2 or 3 students can read the same part. Usually the parts are small and practiced over and over again which also helps build confidence and fluency. My ESL students loved performing plays and reading poems, especially ones they could act out.

A few years ago I wrote a Winter play and Poetry packet for Grades 1-2 and I finally revised it. It still includes the play called, "How Will I Know When it is Winter?" There is a Narrator and 9 characters that tell the children what happens to them when it is winter. Day is very short, Weather is very cold, and Snow falls from the sky. What a great way to teach the signs of Winter! Then they can practice matching the picture/word card with the sign of winter card.
If you use interactive student notebooks there is a page to add where students will look at the picture and word. Then they will flip it back and write the sign of winter. You can see the activity in the picture below.
There are also 5 original poems about winter and literacy activities to go with each poem. Here is a sample of a dialogue poem called, "I Love Winter!" which can be done by dividing the class into 2 groups.Then pairs of students can recite it as a center activity. This is a great poem to teach end punctuation as there are questions and sentences with exclamation points. There is a whole class activity using punctuation cards as well as an anchor chart. Then students will punctuate the copy of the poem that has no punctuation marks as a center activity.
If you would like to check out this revised Winter Play and Poems packet just click on the picture below. Download the Preview to see sample pages of all the materials and activities in the packet.
To help your students become fluent with winter words you can download this free Winter Fluency Learning Game. Just click on the image below.

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Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

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