Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Fun Vocabulary Review Activity with Materials You Already Have!


One of my goals this year is to increase vocabulary and do a better job of vocabulary instruction. I am loving Babbling Abby's Interactive Vocabulary notebook. We have been doing this for the past three weeks and I LOVE it! 


We've also been doing a new vocabulary review "game" that has helped SOOO much! I can't tell you how much better the vocabulary part of the test has gotten each week! The best part (aside from the great grades!)? Chances are, you already have the materials on hand to "play"! Here's what you need.

tissues // individual marker boards (depending on the number of teams you have. I have 5 teams, so I need 5 marker boards) // dry erase markers

Here's how to play:
Number your kids off 1-5. All the 1's are a team, 2's are a team, etc.
Assign a team captain. The team captain is responsible for collecting materials for their group (a tissue, marker, and board)
Assign spots in your room for teams to gather. 
Call out a vocabulary definition. The team that can come up with the correct word and write it on the marker board first gets the point. 

They LOVE this game! I came up with it at the end of last year and gave the winning team bonus points on the test. It has helped the kids practice vocabulary words tremendously! 

What are some fun activities you do to increase your students' vocabulary or review?



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WILW

Want to see what I'm loving this week? Head over to my blog Southern Belle Inspired and find out! :)


Monday, September 8, 2014

Teaching Theme

Hi friends! I wanted to share with y'all my lesson today. It went wonderfully and it's all thanks to one of my favorite bloggers Teaching With a Mountain View. Seriously y'all, if you haven't visited her blog, go clear out a couple of hours and check it out. She is amazing!

I started the lesson off with this video, which I found off Pinterest. I started by saying that I knew my kids were fifth graders and they were probably going to look at me like I thought they were in preschool, but we listened to the Sesame Street video. They LOVED it! Afterwards, they discussed with their groups what the theme of the song was and which lyrics made them come up with that conclusion (a perfect lead in to showing evidence!).

Then we did a quick group sort where we sort out main idea and theme. I snagged this fabulous freebie from Teaching With a Mountain View. You can find it here.



Then we did a few task cards together. I used these from, you guessed it, Teaching With a Mountain View. 


Once we had practiced with several together, we did some on our own, which I used for a grade. They did great and I feel like this was the best lesson I've ever done with theme, which I find to be difficult to teach sometimes.

Don't you just love when a lesson turns out well? It makes my teacher heart happy. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Increasing Students' Thinking! Moving Past "Right There" Questions

One of my goals this year is to improve the rigor in my classroom. I want to move past those "right there" questions and really make my kids dig deep into the text. I've been focusing on Bloom's Taxonomy as a result and I created a resource that has really help move beyond pointing directly to the answer. I call them bloom's ladders.

Here's what each ladder looks like:
We treat it like a video game. Students place a paperclip next to each task or question. When they complete a task/question, they move the paperclip down to the next. They must "defeat" an entire level in order to move onto the next! 

As the levels increase, I only require students to complete a certain number of tasks since those tasks require more detail and/or preparation. 

With this resource, I've also created a slightly different variation called "How High Can You Go?"
Still "played" the same way, but with these all 6 Bloom's Levels are on one ladder. I have created one for plot, character, problem/solution, and comprehension. 


I've also made these higher level task cards that can be used in a number of different ways. 20 tasks are included.

A set of my Bloom's Taxonomy Posters are also included.


Want to know my favorite part of this resource? You can use it with ANY fiction text! 

Grab your copy here! :)




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

QR Code Freebie

Hi friends! I wanted to share the activity I did the first week of school to introduce QR Codes. I mentioned it awhile back and said I would post it if anyone wanted a copy. You can grab your free copy here in my TpT store. The codes scan to open a comprehension question about the story The Potato Chip Champ by Maria Dismondy, which you can find here on YouTube. I LOVE using this story because it aligns perfectly to the standard RL.5.3 Compare and contrast two or more characters, 
settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact). This was easy enough for my kids to understand and still practice scanning for the first time. :)



Grab your copy here :)



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Classroom Reveal and SALE!


As part of Teacher Week 2014, I'm sharing my classroom with all of y'all! :) Join in the fun and share your classroom pics. Link up over at Blog Hoppin'! Don't forget about TpT's big one day sale! Click here to shop :)


Here's where we store our Google Chrome Books. A friend gave me this great idea of buying two shoe shelves at Walmart and putting them together. Works great! :)

This is part of my Dollar Store Challenge with Teacher Created Resources. It's where I store all my CCRS lessons for the week. You can read more about it here. 


These great book bins came from Steps to Literacy this summer :)

These dollar tree containers are IDEAL for storing task cards and it is so easy to organize them by skill







Aren't these mini pocket chart stands great? I found them at Wal Mart last year for $5 each! They came with an ABC sort activity, but they work so well for everything!

Last year I did away with my teacher desk, but I kinda missed it. I found my small group table becoming messier and messier so I added the desk back this year. :)