Monthly Archive: December 2016

Dec 29

Expanding Vocabulary

  When students use the same tired words over and over, their writing becomes dull. The Internet is full of lists you can provide students; however, students learn by creating their own “Wow Word” lists.  First, decide what you wish to call overused words: Dead Words Other Ways to Say … Worn Out Words Use …

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Dec 26

Free Teaching Resources to use with The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963

  Are you looking for some ideas to use with The Watsons Go to Birmingham? This post contains several free teaching resources. The Watsons Go to Birmingham reads almost like a diary detailing interesting events in the lives of what neighbors in Flint, Michigan call the “Weird Watsons.” The story is told from the perspective of …

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Dec 22

Analogy Lesson

  In this post, I am sharing an analogy lesson I created for a planned observation with a class of fourth graders. The lesson went extremely well. Students were on task which really impressed the supervisor. The full lesson can be downloaded for free at Teachers Pay Teachers.   Activity #1 I love using response cards …

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Dec 19

When the Shoe Fits – A Writing Project to use with Crash by Jerry Spinelli

  Red shoes are an important symbol in the book Crash by Jerry Spinelli. This made me think about what types of shoes would represent the main characters. This turned into “When the Shoe Fits – A Writing Project to use with Crash by Jerry Spinelli.” This is a free printable activity that can be used …

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Dec 15

Reference Materials Mini Lesson

  This free Reference Materials Mini Lesson contains three activities designed to help students determine which reference materials are needed to locate specific types of information. The lesson goes over six types of reference materials. These include dictionaries, thesauri, manuals, encyclopedias, atlases, and almanacs.  Activity #1 In the first activity, students create a foldable graphic …

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Dec 12

The Indian in the Cupboard

  The Indian in the Cupboard was such a big hit with my students. Imagine fifth grade boys asking me to help them find the sequels! There are four of them. A teacher can’t ask for anything more. The story begins when nine year old Omri receives a few unusual gifts for his birthday. What is …

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Dec 08

Hot Cocoa Mix Filled Ornaments

  These hot cocoa mix filled ornaments are a great way to teach writing instructional paragraphs this holiday season. Students can write instructions for how to make the ornaments and/or how to make a cup of hot chocolate using the mix from an ornament. Be sure to look down the post for the link with free …

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Dec 05

Writing a Mystery

Writing a Mystery Two blog post have been created for The Westing Game. This post goes over “Writing a Mystery.” If you would rather get ideas for teaching the book click here. As I read The Westing Game for the first time, I was amazed at the twists this mystery took. So many surprises!! I knew …

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Dec 01

Christmas Bulletin Board

  I love this time of year. Excitement for season is everywhere. Students begin talking about gifts, special activities, travel plans, and food the day they return from Thanksgiving break. I take advantage of this. We read Christmas themed books, and  I teach language arts using holiday activities. Students write using Christmas prompts which are displayed on …

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