Teaching Figurative Language: Part 1

11:30 AM
Okay, let me start off by saying I feel like I could have made this post so much better by taking more pictures! I wasn't even planning on blogging about my week, but I feel like we did some really neat things for our introduction to figurative language unit and I wanted to share. BUT since I wasn't even thinking about blogging, I did an awful job with taking example pictures! Just overlook the lack of pictures and concentrate on the content and I promise I'll do better next time :)

So this past week was our first week back from Christmas break and I always use this time to teach figurative language. We start our second novel study on Tuck Everlasting at the end of January and I always like to have already taught figurative language because there are so many examples in the novel that the kids can point out. 

At the beginning of the week, I introduced this anchor chart:
We covered simile/metaphor, alliteration, and personification this week. Next week we will talk about hyperbole, onomatopoeia, oxymoron, and allusion while still practicing and reviewing the first four elements of figurative language. 

On Monday we discussed similes and metaphors:
I had originally planned to do this using the snowball activity, but that didn't work. I changed it at the last minute to a variation of "Sticky Stroll". You can read more about Sticky Strolls here, but this time I had the kids partner up and work/travel around the room. At each stop, they had to write each statement, identify the statement as a simile or metaphor, and then tell what it meant. 




Not only were the kids engaged by the movement that this activity creates, but they were also collaborating with groups and working together to figure out each problem. I really loved this activity!

On Tuesday we moved onto alliteration. Alliteration is one of the easiest types of figurative language to understand, and it's also one of the most fun! There's so much you can do with alliteration. I introduced this skill with a little game of Family Feud. My kids LOVED these family feud games! It was the perfect way to start the lesson. After we finished the game, I gave each student a huge sheet of construction paper and instructed them to write down a sentence that contained alliteration using their name. 


For personification I used another family feud game because it was such a hit the previous day. After we finished that round, I used a few sheets from this unit. I did a horrible job with pictures from this day obviously!

Then on Friday, to wrap everything up, we created "SMAP" Google Presentations. Each student had to create a 5 slides Google Presentation. 

Slide 1: Title Slide
Slide 2: Similes
Slide 3: Metaphors
Slide 4: Alliteration
Slide 5: Personification

Each slide had to contain 5 sentences with the skill. So for example, on slide 3 (metaphors) the students had to write five sentences that contained examples of alliteration. I love using Google presentations because not only is it a great way to practice using skills and strategies, but the kids are also learning how to create a digital presentation and edit the format of the slides and change the font and colors and backgrounds. Tons of opportunity for technology practice!

So that was our first week of figurative language. Let me know if you want to hear about week 2 filled with onomatopoeia, oxymoron, allusion, and hyperbole. :)







Christmas Around the World

3:46 PM
Hi teacher friends! I have been working on several new holiday themed resources, but I couldn't forget about an old favorite that I thought I'd share with y'all today because this 3 year old just got a makeover!

My Christmas Around the World comp files make researching and learning facts about other countries' holiday traditions fun and exciting! Here's what's included in this resource:

*6 informational text passages with constructed responses questions that require text based evidence*
*A Passport Project* 
*Search and find facts sheets*

I like to use the following two websites for this project:


Students can use these search and find facts sheets with the websites or the informational text passages

For the passport project, students will create their own passport book (included in the resource) and fill it with facts about other countries' Christmas traditions using the informational text passages and the websites.




You can grab this resource here!

Be sure and check out my other holiday resources:



Master's Class with the University of West Alabama Online Update

4:54 PM



Hi friends! I’m about a month into my very first Master’s class at the University of West Alabama online, and I thought I would pop in and give y’all a little update on how everything is going. You can check out my first post here.

Now, the entire class is online (in fact, the entire Master’s program is online!) and to be honest, I was a bit intimidated by that. I took online classes when I got my undergrad, but we would have weekly or monthly meetings so you could check in and make sure you were understanding everything. This is completely online, which can be a little terrifying, but let me tell you: it’s SO not scary! The professor that is teaching the class that I’m taking is super helpful and always available to answer questions. He posted an intro video and explained the basics of the class and when everything was due. I cannot tell you have helpful that was!


My weekly assignments are always due on Sunday night, which is convenient. I never forget since it’s always on the same day. In addition to the assignment, we also have to answer a discussion question in the discussion board and respond to our classmates’ answers.


Another part about UWA online that I like is how they check in on you. When you are admitted into the program, you are given an academic counselor and your counselor calls and emails weekly to make sure you are staying on track and not having any difficulties. That is so helpful when your entire degree is online!


A lot of y’all have messaged me about wanting to go back and get your Master’s degree. I would HIGHLY recommend the online program at the University of West Alabama. You can check out the different kinds of Master’s degree programs they have to offer here.



My Fifth Grade ELA Syllabus

3:41 PM
Happy Wednesday, friends! I asked earlier if y'all wanted to see what my syllabus that I give out at the beginning of the school year looks like and y'all did, so here it is! Now, I didn't make an editable template for y'all, because everyone's class is set up differently, so I didn't think it would work for anyone. I'm just posting this so you can get an idea of what mine looks like and what I put in it. We go over this syllabus on the very first day. I have the kids take it home and their parents/guardians have to read it and sign off that they have read it and understand it. I collect those slips and keep them all year. I make the students leave this syllabus in the very front of their binder in a clear page protector. This way, if anything comes up throughout the year, I can refer back to the syllabus. 

Like I said, we go over this on the very first day of school. If you want to know what else we do during the first couple of days, let me know and I'll work on a post! :)









Teacher Tidbit Tuesday: Classroom Planning Guide

7:44 AM
Happy Tuesday, y'all! It's time for our weekly Teacher Tidbit Tuesday post and today's topic is planning your classroom for the new school year. 

If you've been a long time follower of my blog, you know I'm all about some classroom decorating. I LOVE decorating! I cannot wait until my house is built so I can have a new space to decorate. I love changing the design of my classroom every summer because it's just fun for me.

I never have a theme. I just always do bright colors. Every summer I think about changing it up and doing a two color "theme", but then I see all the bright colored things in the stores and I know I would get tired of two colors reallll quickly, so I just always stick to brights!

Although I love the design aspect of it, I think it's more than just having a "cute" room. To me, the way I map out and design my classroom makes the space work for my teaching. I think, research, and plan out where I want each area to be so the flow of the room is right. I think, research, and plan out what my displays are going to be because each display goes along with my teaching. It's not just having a "cutesy classroom." It's making the classroom work for a successfully managed class. I fully believe this. The space needs to work for YOU! 

Here's how I plan out my classroom each summer.

I start by thinking of what displays I'm going to need and where they should go. 


Then I map out the classroom and draw where the displays will be so I can get a sense of how the room will be pictured and how easily accessible the boards will be to the kids. 

Then I think about how each board will be designed and I do a little mock up on the computer, so I can see it and play around with the look of it. 




Then I make a list of things I need to make for the boards!


How do you plan out your classroom design? I would LOVE to know! :)

That's it for today's Teacher Tidbit Tuesday post. Here's what topics are coming up. 





Your Summer Rountine


Classroom Design Plan (this post)

Top 10 Favorite Movies

Favorite Phone Apps

Happy List

Fictional Character Role Models

Workspace Must Haves

What's in Your Teacher Bag?







Picture Books to Teach Plot

6:08 PM

Download my FREE Reference Guide here!

Happy Monday, Friends! I'm back with another list of my favorite picture books to teach certain skills and this time we are focusing on PLOT. Be sure and check out my post about picture books to teach THEME and download the free reference guide for that skill here

Now, some of these books were also included in my list of books for teaching theme because we all know that stories can be used for multiple skills. I've picked these 20 picture books because they lend themselves easily to mapping out the plot of a story using various strategies like the five W's or SWBST (my favorite way to teach plot!)























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