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Poetry: Introducing and Teaching Poetry in the Classroom


Have you been looking for fun ways to incorporate poetry into your curriculum.Poetry is a great idea for students of all ages and it can be a lot of fun. You can instill a love for poetry that they will carry with them for many years. I have been teaching poetry to my students throughout the year. I love teaching poetry and my students love our daily poetry time. Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? It is a great time to really focus on teaching poetry in your classroom. Today I want to share some things that work for me and hopefully will work for you this year.
Here are some ideas for introducing and teaching poetry in the classroom.
·        Focus Poetry: I have been using focus poetry every day for the past few years. I will explain it briefly… We focus on a poem each week. I set aside 5-10 minutes of class to for Focus Poetry. Students are given poetry notebooks, to place poems in. Each day we focus on a different concept [reading, visualizing, illustrating, understanding, reflecting]. It is a great way to keep poetry in your classroom yearlong. This is the resource I use Poem of The Week, it works great because it is set up to use weekly.
·        Poetry Notebooks: I use poetry notebooks every year. This is where my poetry elements, and more. It is something we set up at the beginning of the year and progresses throughout the year. It becomes very meaningful for them. This is the item I use for setting mine up, it is helpful and that I focus on different types of poetry throughout the year.
·        Read poetry together as a class: Choose a few poems for your students to read. Encourage them to pick out themes, meanings, and other literary devices. You may also want to introduce several types of poems, such as haikus and acrostic poetry, for example.  
·        Have your students do poetry projects: Encourage your students to write an essay on the poems you learn about it. If you want to take a more creative approach to this, you might also have them do a poster project, illustration, diorama, collage or any other creative project that will allow them to show what the poem means to them.
·        Encourage students to write their own poems: Perhaps the most fun way to introduce poetry to children is by encouraging them to write a poem of their own. They can either write their poems in their Poetry Notebooks or they can put them on poster boards to share with the class.

Here are some of my favorite Poetry Resources: I use this Poetry Unit, which has several types of poetry to teach to students throughout the year or for a unit of study. The poem type is explained and an example is given, then students are allowed to create their own poem for each poetry style. It also has posters and other helpful tools to help with your poetry unit! You cannot go wrong with this compete unit! Click here to grab yours today!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Poetry-Unit-Poetry-Writing-Unit-1804496


This is a new unit I put together this year that is more interactive. I love it because it really allows students to take pride and LOVE poetry with all the components! It is created to have all the pages fit perfectly into a composition notebook! It even contains my very popular Flip Book! The great thing about this is you can have your students use it all year or focus on working on it during your poetry unit of study! Click here to grab yours today!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Poetry-Interactive-Notebook-Poetry-Writing-Unit-2987222
Some of my favorite and authentic activities are my pennants! I love seeing the images that teachers send me of the poetry pennants! It is such a unique way to have students learn each style of poetry! You will love displaying these! And… of course my very popular flip book is something your kids will LOVE creating and saving with their poetry! These are great as an addition to my Poetry unit or Poetry Interactive Notebook. Click here to grab yours today!
 
These are just a few ideas on introducing and teaching Poetry in the classroom. No matter how you go about it, National Poetry Month can make for fun lessons for both you and your students. 

 I wanted to share this Poem of the Week Freebie for all my Exclusive Subscribers! If you would like to become an Exclusive Member click here today and start your collection of free resources!

http://eepurl.com/bPGcOL

Spring Literacy Ideas and Freebie

Are you in search for some fun Spring Literacy Activities to use in your classroom? I wanted to share some things I have found to be helpful this time of the year! I bet you are excited as Spring Break is almost here! Here in Texas we have Spring Break the second week of March. It is a great mini break for students and teachers to rest up and prepare for the remainder of the school year. This time of the year is fun, because the weather is wonderful to step outside for some outdoor learning and fun. Do you use any outdoor activities this time of the year? I love to read to my students outdoors. The kids have fun with the change of scenery!

Do you have your spring time favorite books to read this time of the year? I wanted to share a few of my favorite novels and of course picture books. These are perfect to take your students outside and read under a tree or near the playground area Also, you will notice I threw in a poetry book because Poetry Month is quickly approaching!
  • Charlotte's Web- novel
  • Poppy- novel
  • The Giving Tree- perfect for Earth Day
  • Amelia Earhart- perfect for Women's History Month
  • I know Why the Caged Bird Sings- Poetry
  • Bayou Magic- novel
  • How Robin Saved Spring- picture book
  • What Does It Mean to Be Green- picture book
  • Planting a Rainbow- picture book
  • A Dance in The Starlight- picture book
In the classroom, I love to create a scene of Spring time as well. Here are some of my go to resources to use during this time.
  • Spring Word Work: I love to do fun activities in the Spring. Usually I create fun Word Work Centers. You can see these I use here.
  • Holiday/Events Pennants and Flip Books: We also celebrate special events using my pennants or flip books. The special days that are coming up are: St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Earth Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day. So having these handy and printed ahead of time really helps with d├ęcor and celebrations. Also, I have created some special holiday book companion with my pennants- click here!
  • Spring Writing Prompts: I also love having my students focus on spring writing prompts. This year I created Digital Google Writing Comics to use in writing centers! They are so fun!
  • Spring Time Reading: I use my monthly reading comprehension passages that are thematic. These are perfect for reading small groups, guided reading groups, homework, bell work, and much more! I love using these because it really encourages my students to use higher level thinking and integrates writing skills on each weekly passage.



I always like to have something special for my kiddos to do either during or after Spring Break so I created this fun activity packet. It has a Spring Break Reflection Poster, a Spring Break Writing Activity, and some Spring Break SWAG TAGS [these are fun for celebrating spring break]. I want to share all these with you TODAY! Yes, free for you TODAY! Thanks for stopping by! Have a happy Spring!

Test Prep Tips and Ideas


If your students are getting ready to take the state tests, you may be wondering what you can do to help them prepare. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do. Test prep is important for students of all ages and learning levels. There is more that goes into test prep than just the material itself. For example, many students get nervous about tests or have a difficult time concentrating. Over the past 15 years, I have been in testing grade levels. It is sometimes a headache but I try to stay positive. I do know that bombarding students with practice tests is NOT fun for the teacher or the students. Therefore, as a teacher we want to focus on growing our students but not overwhelming them.

Here are some tips for prepping kids for state testing:
1.      Spend time doing daily reviews.  Preparing for exams can be overwhelming, especially for children in younger grades. Rather than dumping all of the practice tests on them at once, it’s important to spend time reviewing one area each day. Here are some tools that can help your students: click here to preview.  

2.      Focus on trouble areas. Are you finding that more of your students are struggling with math? If so, you will want to focus on this a little bit more during your test prep.

3.      Teach kids test taking strategies. Give them tips on what to do when they feel unsure of an answer, such as making their most educated guess and moving onto the next question. I developed some strategies that help my students. Seeing these displayed is often a simple reminder for them. Click here to see these.

4.      Focus on the positives. Remind the students how far they have come this year. Have them write out all the things they are proud of knowing and learning. Get students to create motivational quotes to motivate each other. I use these Growth Mindset Posters and let them create their motivational posters, they enjoy this.

5.      Ask for help from parents. Let them know when you will be doing your state test preparation and ask them to make sure that their child is well-rested and eats a well-balanced breakfast. You will want to do the same thing during the week of state testing. Parents appreciate these tips. Click below for a freebie I send home to parents.

I have created resources that takes the pressure of everyday testing practice. Many of my activities are interactive activities that tests students on the same skills but in different ways. For example, I use higher level thinking skills to check for understanding of skills. You can check out a variety of resources I use for test prep:
Test Prep Bundle: Includes Test Stems Questions to use with any text. 2 sets of Mentor Reading Texts with higher level thinking questions, Reading Graphic Organizers.
Reading Test Prep Comprehension Passages: I create many sets including monthly sets with fiction, nonfiction and poetry to use for weekly assessments or other activities.

Writing Test Prep Activities: I have many resources to test and prep students for Writing Testing. Lots of prompts providing different practice guides.
Motivational Awards: It is also important to motivate and encourage our students, so these are positive for testing prep season!

 
Here is a freebie I send home to parents just to remind parents of test taking information and helpful reminders.
[Note: If you are an exclusive subscriber - contact me for this exclusive as it will be available the month of March]

These are just some tips for prepping kids for state testing. They may not all work for every student and every situation but they should help you get a good foundation for test prep with your own students. Are there any tips you would add to our list?

Today I am excited to be participating in a giveaway with all these wonderful sellers! We have so many prizes for you to win for your classroom and a great TPT giftcard! You want to make sure you enter for your chance to win! Woohoo! You can enter all the giveaways or just one! Have FUN and Good LUCK!


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February Resources YOU will LOVE

Wow, can you believe it is already February! I wanted to share with you some resources I LOVE using this time of the year. We begin the rigorous season of test prep, however we still have lots of fun with some seasonal activities in February! As you know February is the MONTH of History, so we study and research: Influential Black Leaders of History, we celebrate our U.S. Presidents on Presidents' Day, and celebrate Groundhog Day, and whew...Valentine's Day. This month is exciting, especially when you are wanting to do QUICK Interactive Activities as I will share with you!
 
I try to have some cute and inexpensive treats or sweets for Teachers, Co-Workers, and others in our life. These mini containers were in the Target Dollar Spot! Perfect Find! I just added some cute Silhouette Lettering, a ribbon, some candy and they are ready!
In my shop I have some CUTE and EDITABLE student gifts for you to personalize and hand out to your students on Valentine's! Teachers and students LOVE this very inexpensive gift!
Click here for the Valentine Student Gifts
 
As you know I am the PENNANT Lady! LOL, I have been called this so many times by my customers and my friends! I have created some fun and Interactive Valentine Activities for you to use to celebrate this month! These are a few of my favorites! I also LOVE my Valentine's Day Flip Book! It is perfect for reading, writing, and spending time celebrating Valentine's Day!
Click here to see the Valentine Writing Pennant




Here are some other GREAT February Resources that I love using in my classroom! We usually focused on Black History month all month long so my Pennants, Brochure and Lapbook are great options! You will love these all!
We also celebrate our U. S. Presidents, you will LOVE all the resources I have available for this special unit.
Don't forget to become an exclusive subscriber to get a FEBRUARY Freebie plus two other freebies: Click here
 
Would you LOVE $20 to shop in my store plus $20 to shop on AMAZON to buy all your teacher needs for the month of February? YOU have a chance, enter this quick and easy giveaway!
 
Enter Giveaway for:

Teaching About Influential Black Leaders of History

The celebration of Black History Month are right around the corner. This is a beautiful time to celebrate diversity in your classroom! I have been researching and gathering tools to help in the celebration. I enjoy having my students research and study the influential leaders that have impacted our society. I want to share some of my favorite resources I use and created, some great books to read, and of course I want to share with you a great freebie that you will love using during your studies of Influential Black Leaders.

I have always believed with the dynamic diversity we have in our classrooms that it is important to teach students about different cultures and people who have impacted our society. Many of the leaders we focus on these next 2 months are important heroes. My students love studying and learning about our great leader Dr. Martin Luther King. We begin our unit of Black History with his celebration and continue our research and celebration the month of February. There are some wonderful books that I use that truly inspire our learning. 
 These are a few of my favorite. Most of these books can be purchased via Barnes and Noble, Scholastic, and Amazon. I read aloud one picture book every week, my kids love rereading them and sharing their new finds from the library. 

 
I would assign students to work on these Black History Month Activities individually or in groups. As you see there are 12 influential individuals that we focused on. [see below]. I created several activities to choose from for our month long study. At our campus I was in charge of Black History Month, so I created lots and each day of the month we celebrated one individual on the announcements. It truly was a meaningful month of learning and inspiration. 

My favorite activities that we used are:
For my activities we focus on these individuals famous individuals due to the research available. I would allow students to conduct research at the library or kid safe internet sites- I included sites I used for research in all my packets! As a teacher I know that having enough research is difficult... so a handy tip I used is: Print all the research from each individual ahead of time [from your favorite sites] and have it available for students. I do this mainly because of the lack of technology per classroom for each student to research at the same time. Here is a list of some of the individuals we focused on:
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Sarah E. Goode
  • Ruby Bridges
  • Rosa Parks
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Jesse Owens
  • Marcus Garvey
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Booker T. Washington
  • a total of 29 in the Pennant and Brochure Packets!
  • And a blank slide to study any other influential leader
Activities we worked on:
They can choose from my Pennants, Brochures, and Lapbook! I have them complete the following research on the following: 
  • Information on Early Life
  • Information on Adult Life
  • Important Events
  • Legacy and Famous Quotes
  • We Celebrate... Because...
Students would present to class and learn about all these Famous Individuals for Black History Month. It is wonderful because the students love sharing all the information and research they discovered. On the back of the pennants the students would post real images that they found through the research. Click on any of the below to see what I use with my students!
 
Thank you for visiting and finding some ideas to teach your students!
 
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