July 30, 2013

Tri-linky Tuesday, a FREEBIE... and the winner is!

Today, I'm linking up with Jessica from Literacy Spark for her It's Time! linky, with Tracey at The Teacher's Chair for her School Week Linky, and with Technology Tailgate for their Techie Tuesday linky... It's time for a technology supported favorite read aloud!

It's time... time to think about going back to school! Not that I've stopped thinking about it all summer. I've busily been working away at all kinds of new things for my classroom and preparing myself for teaching... GULP... eighth grade English again... like not since 1988... GULP! I still have some time left, however. I don't officially have to be in school until August 19th when we will have our first staff meeting and development, but I will enter the hallowed halls next week (I'm shooting for the eighth and ninth) to set up my classroom. I've all kinds of new and cute things to decorate my room this year and am anxious to get in there and get it done for the first day of school- August 22, 2013. It will be here before I know it!

One of the first things that I look forward to teaching is Fifth Grade Language Arts. I know this group of kids as I work a little bit with them in fourth grade doing some technology things with them: Padlet, StoryBird, and general internet skills. I start the year by reading aloud a great little novel called "Apple Island, or the Truth about Teachers" by Douglas Evans. With it I can introduce figurative language, humor, cause and effect, character development, predicting, and more! The best part is that fifth graders LOVE the story. Every year (I've used this for more than ten years) they beg for more, more, more!

Because this is a read aloud, I still need to have my students be accountable for their learning and listening. One way I've worked around this issue is to have them complete a brief comprehension check after I've read a chapter. I may have them complete what I call a Chapter Map (similar to a story map only on a smaller scale). You may download a copy HERE if you'd like or by clicking on the graphic below. I can use these for a quick assessment to gauge individual learning.

Or I may have the students respond to a specific prompt via Padlet, an online post-it note/bulletin board site. At Padlet users are able to set up an interactive board for individual use or by large numbers of people. Teachers can post a question and students can respond from any device that allows them to access the internet.

A board is easy to set up, simply visit Padlet, select "Build a Wall" and follow a few simple online prompts for choosing a background and typing in text. It works much like a word processing program only simpler. I've had fourth graders creating their own Padlet boards in a matter of few minutes. There is no need to register at the site; however, by doing so you can moderate (I moderate posts to control unwanted sentiments), update, and be kept informed of activity with your boards. I set up the following board in under five minutes and will use it with my fivers after reading Chapter 1 of "Apple Island." A little lesson planning already done!

I got a little thrill, a shiver, a moment of YEEHAW! when I visited Amazon to locate the link to "Apple Island." THE BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR KINDLE!!!!!!! Be still my heart! I can use my Kindle Cloud Reader and computer to project the text while I am reading aloud. The Cloud Reader is an app installed on a pc, tablet, or phone that accesses your Kindle content allowing you to read on devices other than your Kindle. This means that my fivers can read along with "Apple Island" AND I can highlight and bookmark the text. I can return to the text to point out examples of figurative language, I can find specific text evidence to support my ideas... can you say Common Core? What's more with my Smart Board Smart Ink program I can add notes to a page and SAVE them to display again. OH YEAH! Lesson planning just made easier!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

AND FINALLY.... drum roll, please! The announcement you've been waiting for... The winner of my 200 Follower Giveaway is...

None other than Rose from Rosie's Rambles. She left comment number 12 on the giveaway blog post. Rosie will receive my Poetry Task Cards and two more products of her choice from my TpT store. CONGRATULATIONS, Rosie and THANKS to all who helped me celebrate reaching 200 Followers! Now, onward to 300!!!!!!

Happy Tuesday,
Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6


  1. Replies
    1. You're VERY welcome! Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Thanks for the suggestion about using Padlet. I've added a wall to my welcome page for new students. It will be fun to see them using technology at the very beginning of our year together. Here is the page on my site:

    1. WONDERFUL!!!! I'm betting you find MANY uses for Padlet!

  3. Thanks for the suggestion about using Padlet. I have added a wall for new students to my class to add a quick note about themself. Here is the page on my classroom site where it is featured:

    Thanks again for the great idea!

  4. I love finding out about new read alouds! I just went on Amazon and purchased Apple Island, or the Truth About Teachers. I teach third grade and it looks like it will work with that age group.

    Have you done The One and Only Ivan as a read aloud? It's fantastic! I read about it on a blog last summer and read it to my class this year. It was loved by all of the students. The book, as you may know, went on to win the Newbery Award for 2013. I have it featured on my read aloud page of our classroom website:

    1. Your read aloud page is a terrific resource. Thank you for sharing it! I hope you and your students enjoy "Apple Island."

  5. Wow a trilinky! Thanks for linking up. Good luck in your room, I cannot wait to get in mine!


  6. I would love to get this book for back to school. Thanks for writing about it. I will have to order it now so that I have it in time for the first day! I also love padlet (Wallwisher) and the kids in my class enjoy that they have to be succinct in their responses. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thank you for sharing Padlet and your Chapter Map FREEBIE! Awesome!
    3rd Grade Grapevine


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