Hello again, apparently tomorrow is April. Seriously, the beginning of every month sneaks up on me!
So, I just made some April Calendar Cards and am dropping by to share them. I don't even have time to post them on FB so they are here if you want a copy. Click on the picture to pick them up. They are big so cut inside the black line : )

https://www.dropbox.com/s/heh6ltgbod5jrpo/bunny%20calendar.pdf

https://www.dropbox.com/s/heh6ltgbod5jrpo/bunny%20calendar.pdf

(Yes those are the same backgrounds from March - I am so far behind!!!)
 
 


Phew, I was almost too late for the party! I am linking up with Amanda and Stacia the sweet duo behind Collaboration Cuties and this amazing weekly party...



Today I am suggesting a fun little book for Easter. It is The Easter Bunny's Assistant by Jan Thomas.


It is a really simple story about the Easter Bunny's assistant - Skunk - who, whenever he gets excited lets out a bad smell.

I will be using this book in a few ways. One just for fun - it is simple but funny and we love funny.

Two as a starting off point for our persuasive writing. Easter is always a busy time with shortened weeks - so I will be using that time to review persuasive writing with this...

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Easter-Bunnys-Assistant-A-Persuasive-Writing-Activity-1184716

It is similar to the Elf Applications we did in December. Students will select a job and write a persuasive letter showing how they meet the qualifications for the job. Here is a sample:


My class loved the applying to Santa for a job so I can't wait to introduce this activity! I will post pictures soon : )

Third, we will use the book as a starting off point for reviewing procedural writing. The book includes instructions on how to decorate eggs. After they get their job they will be writing a procedure that goes with it (decorating eggs, packing, planting seeds etc.). Woohoo, two writing styles reviewed : )

Also, I was at the library today (I am pretty much there every day, but today was a long one) and I ran across a few books that I love and grabbed for my class. If you have not checked these ones out you should - they are a great way to introduce or review grammar concepts. (Sorry for the bad pics - I have a to-do list a mile long and it is Sunday night already!!!) They are a If you were a series (do not fill in the blank with inappropriate words!!). They have great definitions and examples and super cute illustrations!!








Okay, I have got to run, well hobble on my stupid ankle really, but I hope you had a great weekend and cleared off your to do list, HAHAHA!


Happy Wednesday everyone! (I am practicing the fake it till you make it strategy - if I use the word happy and an exclamation mark maybe I will trick myself into not thinking I am tired and cranky).

I am linking up with Jivey for Workshop Wednesday - this week's theme is poetry writing.

http://ideasbyjivey.blogspot.ca/2014/03/workshop-wednesday-nonfiction-animal.html


You may be sick of all my poetry posts - but this is the last one, I swear.

You also may have guessed that I enjoy teaching poetry - but I actually struggle with the writing part. It is such a personal style of writing that involves a lot of creativity and individual thought that I sometimes find it daunting. I find it way easier to teach procedural or persuasive writing or letters or really anything but poetry.

Sooooo... what I focus on is teaching different types of poems and having my students model their poems on a mentor poem. My go to poem for getting started is a list poem. I love the poem What I Found in My Desk by Bruce Lansky or the What I  Love About/What I Hate About (click and scroll for an example) poems by Douglas Florian for mentor poems.

I also enjoy Cinquain poems and Haiku poems. We wrote some haikus today. First we read some examples using these books (I LOVE Guyku!!). Then I explained the pattern (using the poster) and we read a few more and counted out the pattern and looked for tricks - like putting a word in the second line to keep the pattern working).




I put up this picture and we wrote a few haiku poems together. I chose the silly monster picture because my students are all about the silly poem right now.





Then each student got a monster, coloured it in and wrote a haiku for it. Here are some examples:







I used the planning pages from my poetry poster package. There are planning pages for different types of poems and publishing pages too. If you are planning to do anything for Poetry Month - or really just poetry anytime and figurative language you may want to check out this pack of posters and writing frames:









Today I wanted to share some videos and websites I use when teaching figurative language and poetry. I am always on the look out for new hooks to start my lessons and ways to incorporate technology. I am also going to link up with my friend Holly for Tried it Tuesday.



First of all, you can find many of these and other resources I have found over on my Poetry Pinterest board.

First up videos.

This year's favourite on Idioms


Idioms from Oh My! on Vimeo.

Last year's favourite on Onomatopoeia




And a few more you may want to check out:

Simile and Metaphor Song



Simile and Metaphor lesson



Rhyming lesson with Ken Nesbitt



You can also check out Ken Nesbitt's website Poetry for Kids  and his youtube channel too.

Another great website is Giggle Poetry for Bruce Lansky.

Of course Jack Prelutsky has a great website too, click here to check it out.

And of course the big daddy of all children's poetry Shel Siverstein. You can check out his website here. Did you know his website has teaching resources, like this Poetry Month resource!


Did you know that April is Poetry Month - or did you think I was just going overboard with all the poetry resources?? Nope it is because I am trying to help you out :)

If you are planning to do anything for Poetry Month - or really just poetry anytime and figurative language you may want to check out this pack of posters and writing frames in my store:











I am so happy that Joanne, at Head Over Heels for Teaching, kept her Spark Student Motivation linky open for 2 weeks.




The week before I was on Spring Break (oh, the joy) but this week I was back at school and have some ideas to share with you.

This week was our Literacy Week. The Grade 7/8 teacher and I worked with her students to submit two Speak Up grants - grants aimed at giving students greater voice in their education. We submitted a grant for additional tablets and to have authors come in and speak to our students about reading and writing. Both were successful and Literacy Week plans began.

We had Eric Walters and Mike Wade visit our school (Tuesday and Thursday) and both were amazing teachers who left our students inspired and our school a buzz with energy. We have students, male students, telling us how they are writing a book at home now, two brothers writing a book and teachers having to tell students - "OK, you have to put the book away now!". This alone made the week a success for me.

We also had school wide DEAR time - the students also love this - knowing that everyone in the whole school is reading at the same time - it is so quiet throughout the school it is freaky :)

As I posted yesterday we also had all the student write a book recommendation and posted them in the hallway.


We also did Book Trivia each morning on the announcements. A clue from a popular book was read - one for primary students and one for junior/intermediate students. Students fill out a ballot, drop them off outside my classroom and on our Book Character Dress Up Day prizes will be awarded.



Since it was literacy week I had a little party for my Superhero Home Readers, you can read about my home reading program here. I use the resources from my superhero reading program all year. You can check it out here.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-Response-Activities-and-Reading-Logs-with-a-Superhero-Theme-904072



First I bought plastic tableclothes at the dollar store. I cut them into about 6 rectangles. When the students came in they were very intrigued by the pile of plastic. I called each student up - highlighting their accomplishments (how many weeks, how many books, improvement etc.). Then I taped their cape on and they became Superhero readers!!! Here is a picture of my Superheroes.




We had popcorn on Spiderman plates (the only superhero plate I could find at the time), we made superhero masks, I gave them reading wands (ok, licorice) and we READ!!

I totally recommend the plastic capes - for any type of celebration you may want to do in your class. They were a huge hit. Kids were clapping and cheering for each other as they got their cape. Students were zooming around and watching their capes fly. Some students even made symbols for their capes. It was really fun to see them leave at the end of the day with their capes under their winter coats or attached to their backpacks. It is an inexpensive way to motivate and reward!





Yes it was a long week, yes the weather where I live is soul crushing (maybe a hyperbole) so...

Frame from Lovin Lit, Fonts from KG Fonts


Here is a look back at our week with a flippin freebie too!

#1. It was literacy week at our school - so every student in the school wrote up a book recommendation. To get started we watched a Reading Rainbow video. I still love me some Reading Rainbow. They are a great model for quick student book recommendations and for making connections between fiction texts and the world.  Here are some pictures of our book recommendation bulletin board (with a few book jackets thrown in for colour)








#2. We have of course been reading like crazy this week - but we also focused on poetry - I took out my collection of poetry books and students have been busy putting post it notes in the books to mark poems they want their classmates to read or that they want to read to the class - most of these involve classroom or potty humour of course!




#3. We made interactive notes for our reading notebooks. Click here to pick up a copy of the interactive note pages for idiom, hyperbole, simile and metaphor. We wrote a definition (based on my posters (see #4 and #5) gave an example and explained what the example means.











#4. We used my poetry posters to make an interactive bulletin board. We took a page from this reading response pack. Students read poems and looked for examples of figurative language or poetic devices. They recorded the author's words and how it helped them. They cut out the pencil and thought bubble and added them underneath the correct poetic device.





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#5. I do not if you can tell but I really love teaching figurative language and poetry. My students love the humour in poetry, they love finding examples of figurative language in their reading and some love how short poems are.

Here is a peak at my poetry poster pack:https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Poetry-Posters-for-Features-Poetic-Devices-and-Types-of-Poems-701453

 

Right now I am using the poetry posters that explain different poetic devices - with an emphasis on figurative language. There are also posters that describe the features of poems, that explain different types of poems, examples of poems and poetry writing frames.





Since I managed to find 5 things to talk about, on a Friday no less, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her 5 for Friday linky.

http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.ca/2014/03/five-for-friday-linky-party-march-20th.html


See you tomorrow!!

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