Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Analyzing How Authors Use Figurative Language


In order for students to deeply understand what they read, they must go beyond identifying instances of similes and metaphors.  They must examine how the use of such features contributes to the text.

As I work closely with students, they are constantly reminded of this principle as they read.  Annotating the text and close reading are both ways to get students to see how an author's craft contributes to a text.

Next, we examine the techniques that different authors use across reading passages.  This enables students to go beyond the surface level of comprehension into deeper levels of critical thinking and Bloom's Taxonomy.
This page is from one of my grade levels of Daily Common Core Reading Practice.  I carefully monitor students to get them to think of all of the details in a text as information that works together to convey an idea.




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Understanding Radicals

Powers of Exponents Rules 
Interactive Math Journal Fold Insert

One of the elements that makes mathematics tricky for pre-algebra and algebra students is the rules is all of the rules that must be memorized.  Radicals is no exception.

Once students understand the basics, they can apply these rules when solving equations and expressions.

Interactive journals are useful notetaking resources at all grade levels.  This interactive journal insert was developed to help the students that I assist with math remember exponent rules.  Colored pencils were used to color code each rule.


These task cards come with a printable box and are useful for reviewing radicals.  They are mostly geared for advanced students.





Thursday, April 10, 2014

Analyzing Text Organization


Whether one's school has adopted Common Core or not, all teachers can agree that students should deepen their understanding about what they read.

This holds true for text structure as well.  As students begin to look at text at deeper levels, one of the first thing that they learn is organizational text structures.  Comparison and contrast, problem and solution, classification, sequence, and cause and effect are just a few of these formats.  After students get a firm understanding about these structures, it is important for them to understand how and why authors choose certain formats to convey their ideas. Common Core Standards RL.5 and RI.5 address.


Students can use sticky notes that are posted on chart paper to tell how text is organized. They can use a sticky note that is a different color to explain how this organizational format helps the author convey ideas.

I created this printable box of text structure playing cards to help my younger students learn about text structure without realizing they were learning.Click Here To Access Them



At fourth grade level, Common Core asks students to identify text structure.Click Here To Access It

At fifth grade level, Common Core wants students to compare text structures.  These task cards teach and review this skill.  It also comes with a printable box.Click Here

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Free School Lunch Clip Art


I have just launched a royalty-free clip art store on Teachers pay Teachers called Pics and Clips. To celebrate, I am giving away free clip art.

This document contains five, high-resolution, PNG images that can be added to your task cards, informational text, worksheets,and more.  The store will feature clip art and high-resolution, magazine quality photographs. Click the follow button to get updates about freebies and new products.Click Here To Access The Free Clip Art

Collaborative Pinterest Boards


There is a confession that I must make.  I love Pinterest!  I can spend HOURS looking through pins.  A little more than I year ago, I joined Pinterest and created collaborative boards.  Most of the collaborative boards are filled to capacity, but I have had many requests from fellow pinners to collaborate on different boards.  

I am about to create three new collaborative boards.  If you would like to be a collaborator, please do the following three things:
1.  Follow this blog.
2.  Follow one of my Pinterest boardsClick Here
3.  Limit your pins to 3 per day.  1 product pin for every 2 free ideas.

In the comment section of this blog post, please paste your Pinterest url so that I can add you to the collaborative board of your choice.

New Collaborative Boards
*Fun Teaching Ideas and Resources
*School Craft Ideas and Fun Crafts for Kids
*Social Studies and Science Ideas




Daily Common Core Reading Grade 5 Weeks (21 to 25)



Weeks 21 to 25 are finished!  Yippee!  I would like to first say thank you so very much for all of the feedback that has been given about the previous 20 weeks of Daily Common Core Reading Practice.  We are making our way to week 40! I have been balancing my time between finishing these documents and working on some blog posts and freebies.  Click Here To Access Weeks 21 to 25


What is New?
I have been slowly inching up the reading level as the weeks on the Daily Common Core Reading progress to assist with the higher lexile levels of Common Core.  If you have seen the appendices of the Common Core Standards, then you have seen the examples of classic literature that is recommended for students to read.  I don't know about your students, but mine would pass out if I gave them Alice in Wonderland, Great Expectations, or Little Women without some type of primer.  

Week 24 uses the same phrasing, wording, and sentence structures that were used in literature that was written during the 1800s and early 1900s to address Common Core Standard 10 (Text Complexity) from multiple angles.  Rather than reading an entire novel with this type of vocabulary and structure first, students can become familiar with writing from these time periods by reading manageable, bite-sized daily pieces of literature. 

The weeks include informational text, fantasy stories, realistic and historical fiction.

Below is a list of the standards that are covered.
Week 21:  Informational Text (Giant Sequoias)
Standards Covered Include:
· RI.1 Inference                                      
· RI.3 Relationship Between Ideas
· RI.5 Text Organization
· RI.7 Visual Elements
· RI.9 Integrate Information
(Drama and Literature Standards):
· RL.1 Inference
· RL.5 Text Organization                                      

Week 22:  Literature (Historical Fiction &
Realistic Fiction)
Standards Covered Include:
· RL.1 Quote Accurately from the Text
· RL.3 Character Motive
· RL.3 Character Analysis (Compare and Contrast)
· RL.4 Vocabulary
· RL.6 Point of View

Week 23:  Informational Text (Koalas)
Standards Covered Include:
· RI.1 Inference         
· RI.2 Summarize
· RI.2 Main Idea (Part of the Standard)
· RI.3 Cause and Effect
· RI.4 Vocabulary
· RI.6 Author’s Purpose
· RI.9 Integrate Texts
 Week 24:  Literature (Historical Fiction & Fantasy)
Standards Covered Include:
· RL.1 Details
· RL.1 Inferences (Part 2 of Standard)
· RL.6 Author’s Purpose
· RL.6 Point of View (Part 2 of the Standard)
· RL.10 Text Complexity

Week 25  Literature (Realistic Fiction & Fantasy)
Standards Covered Include:
· RL.3 Character Analysis
· RL.4 Literary Devices (Part of this Standard)
· RL.5 Text Organization
· RL.10 Text Complexity




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Making Common Core Text Complexity Less Scary




Many of the Common Core suggested reading texts include classic literature from the 1800s and early 1900s.  This week of daily Common Core practice contains historical fiction stories that are written using the dialects used during the 1800s and 1900s to give students exposure to this type of writing in small, manageable doses. This is a great way to cover Common Core Standard RL.10 Text Complexity and expose students to writing techniques of classic and modern authors in just five minutes a day. This week includes historical fiction and fantasy stories.

Click Here To Access Week 24

Click Here to Access Weeks 21-25

This week covers standards:
RL.1 Details
RL.1 Inferences (Part 2 of the Standard)
RL.6 Author’s Purpose
RL.6 Point of View (Part 2 of the Standard)
RL.10 Text Complexity