April 30, 2013

Page Poetry and Pinterest

Teach Junkie

WOOT, WOOT! Just found out: This idea was featured on the Top 5 Ideas of the Week (May 6, 2013) over at Teach Junkie! So happy! Thanks, Leslie!

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During the month of April my sixers and I have been reading, writing, and ENJOYING poetry! What began as groans after Spring break has turned into eager cries of "What kind of poem are we gonna do today, Ms. A.?"

So far we've enjoyed highly formalized poems such as haiku, tanka, and diamonte; explored rhyme scheme with couplets, quatrains, limericks, and clerihew; and giggled, laughed, and been left speechless by free verse and dada.  "What is dada?" you say. Hmmm? Better than I trying to explain this most unusual poetry format, try your hand at a dada poem here:


A poem similar to dada is a Page Poem. I had never seen this type of poetry until I stumbled upon it on Pinterest. Pinterest? Ah, what would I do without Pinterest? Here's what I pinned about Page Poetry.










I absolutely fell in LOVE with Page Poetry. Crazy and deviant as dada, Page Poetry calls for great visual creativity, not something added as an after thought, but art that is essential to the meaning (if you can call it that) of the poem. Some Page Poems appeared to be random ramblings of strange, twisted minds while others appeared well thought out and planned. I can do this, I thought! My sixers can do this! And so they did and with great fun, great thought, great sharing, and great discussion.

I introduced Page Poetry to my sixers by sharing my Pinterest Pins and visiting some of the websites. Fresh from creating dada poems, they were hooked and couldn't wait to begin. Next we began looking through our library for a book that might lend itself to creativity and fun. It also had to be a book that was well loved, meaning it was ready to fall apart. We hit the jackpot with an old copy of one of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. With some sadness at having to destroy the book, I ceremoniously began tearing out pages at random and passing them to my sixers with great dramatic flair. From there my sixers spent quite some time reading and rereading their given page, searching for just the right words.

Once the words were chosen, they had to decide how to present their poems, how elaborate would the page appear? Some simply used black pens to circle the words and draw directional lines, some added color, others added textured lines, while others utilized multiple colors, shapes, and designs.

 These are just a very few of the Page Poems created by my students. Enjoy!

Happy Pinteresting,
Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6
Teach Junkie Creative Ideas



April 26, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Mystery Picture FREEBIE

The CCSS ELA call for students to demonstrate command of standard English grammar when speaking and writing. At nearly all grade levels identification and usage of specific parts of speech are listed in the standards. My sixth graders (and my fifth graders) hate to practice the nitty gritty skills of Language Arts such as this, but turn it into a game or make it a fun activity like coloring mystery pictures and you've got them hooked!

Here's a parts of speech mystery picture for the upcoming holiday of Cinco de Mayo. My students, both fivers and sixers, are learning Spanish and will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo as part of their study. This mystery picture "The Fifth of May" requires students to identify nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, and prepositions. You can download it HERE, or by clicking on the link below the picture.


There are two additional Cinco de Mayo mystery pictures, as well as spring themed mystery pictures, available in both my TpT Store and Teacher's Notebook Shop. Mystery pictures are the perfect practice activity for the spring fever fidgets. You can view them using the widgets in the upper right hand sidebar of my blog or by clicking on the links to each shop.

Happy Cinco de Mayo,
Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6


Freebie Fridays



Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

April 24, 2013

Fonts, Frames, and Frou Frous: Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!

I LOVE fonts! I LOVE frames! I LOVE digital FROU FROUS! As a result I spend a LOT of time surfing from blog to blog and website to website in search of unique, cute, special items that I can use to make teaching aids.

I think I have several hundred fonts installed on this computer and another several hundred on the computer at school and another hundred or so on the computer upstairs. Get the picture? I have a digital frame collection that an art museum would envy! And paper backgrounds? Well, it takes me a LOOOONG time to pick out something when I want to design a worksheet, sign, greeting card, etc.

Pinterest is definitely a source to feed my addiction. I'm chuckling a bit as I key in this blog post because what could've taken me just a few minutes has been more than an hour in the making. Why? When I visited my font and frou frou board I just HAD to start looking through the pins, visiting the sites, and downloading and installing more goodies. LOL!

Here's a GREAT board for all you fontaholics and digital design divas. Bet ya can't pin just ONE!






Happy Pinteresting,
Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 23, 2013

Poetry Round-up: TEACHING IDEA TUESDAY

Last month I created a Parts of Speech Round-up for my sixth graders during which they participated in six different activities (six learning stations) to help them practice the parts of speech. You can read about it HERE. They LOVED it and asked to do it again! Anytime sixth graders beg to do parts of speech you know you've got a hit on your hands.

Keeping the idea of a round-up in mind, I decided to do something similar with poetry since April is entitled Poetry Month (roundups are so adaptable and easy to put together), and I have my annual observation on Tuesday of this week. Guess what day I have the roundup scheduled?

Here's what I have planned:



Activities and Objectives

Poetry Spinner:  Students will select from a choice of three poems, read, and analyze the poem for particular literary elements, among them mood, theme, and figurative language.

Roll the Dice Poem: Students will compose a free verse poem based upon the roll of dice; the total number of dots per roll indicates the number of syllables per line.

Wordsearch:  Students will recognize poetry forms as being rhyming or non-rhyming while solving a wordsearch puzzle.

Bio Poem: Students will complete two graphic organizers which in turn will aid them in composing an autobiographical poem

Holiday or Color Poem: Using an online poetry generator, students will choose one of two formats to complete. They will print out their poem and add color and illustrations to create visual imagery to accompany the verbal imagery.

DaDa: Students will compose a DaDa poem.



This is a paper that provides more detail about each activity or station. Included are CCSS ELA for Sixth Grade, student directions, as well as where the station ideas came from (a shout out goes to Rachel Lynette, Laura Candler, Instant Poetry Forms Online, and the Classroom Game Nook). You can download a copy HERE



Also available for use is a set of learning targets based upon the gr. 6 CCSS ELA. I made these to place near each station. I've always stated lesson objectives prior to instruction, but I'm trying to be more concrete/obvious with these so that students become more aware of their exact role in the learning process. I printed each target as needed (one is used three times) on card stock and folded each paper in half so that it stands like a tent. You can grab a copy of these desk plates HERE.




You might also like a copy of the poetry wordsearch that is part of the poetry roundup. You can grab a copy HERE.


I am REALLY looking forward to Tuesday, even though it is Observation Day! I'm also looking forward to a new feature at Teach Junkie: Teaching Idea Tuesday. I thought my Roundup idea would be a good starter for this brand new linky.

BTW... my observation went well!

Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6


Teach Junkie Creative Ideas


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

April 20, 2013

Poetry Month and a linky

Just in case if you missed it: April is designated as Poetry Month (among other titles).

There is a terrific linky going on over at The Peanut Gallery in honor of this title. If you haven't visited The Peanut Gallery or seen this linky, I encourage you to head on over right now. There are some great resources, both paid and FREE, to use during the month of April. I posted three of mine and downloaded a couple of others. It's a poetry gold mine.


Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 18, 2013

A Writing FREEBIE

I've been sorting through all the files in my Downloads and Documents folders, trying to gain some semblance of organization. I say "SOME" because it's very little. I've made some progress, but there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds... you get the picture... of files. I have soooooo many teaching ideas that I will NEVER have the time to be able to use all of them. Thus, I'm trying to find the best of the best. The only problem is: THEY ARE ALL GOOD!

I have visited blogs for several years and borrowed loads of terrific freebies, purchased many paid items, and created many of my own. Here's something I found that I had started working on a LONG time ago, updated last summer but had never finished. I was planning on using this with my sixth grade class this year, however that never happened. It will for next year though!

I quickly put it all together, popped it into my new USE THIS SOON folder (yes I actually named it that), and then thought... Why not share it? So I am.


This is a packet of 26 picture prompts to inspire your students to write stories, poems, news articles, etc. I recently aligned the prompts to the CCSS ELA for Grade Six. I use these types of prompts on a regular basis (I have another packet of these plus a pinterest board), projecting them on a Smartboard or a large screen TV during Language Arts workshop, when the kiddos write, read, work on leveled spelling units, complete task cards, et al. If you'd like the picture prompts, you can click on the above graphic, or right HERE.

If you're interested in my writing prompts Pinterest board, here's a preview. There are some great photos, actual writing prompts, and various writing aids here. Have fun looking through the pins, but please don't blame me if you spend the entire evening searching.



Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Freebie Fridays





Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 17, 2013

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday: Recipes Perfect for Teachers

I never seem to have enough time! I'm not complaining. I LOVE teaching but it is time-consuming. I can NOT believe that I actually worked two jobs for many years! That stopped shortly after my mom died. She lived with me after dad died so I was blessed to have her take care of me, cooking and doing my laundry, and all the mom-things that we kids take for granted. When she passed, I had to clean and cook for myself. HORRORS! With no time, I found myself eating out or eating fast food all too, too much and that is definitely NOT good. So what to do? I starting Pinteresting for one thing.

Over the past two years I have amassed an awesome collection of quick, easy recipes. If a recipe calls for too many ingredients or too much preparation (as in more than 15 minutes of getting things ready) FORGET IT! Many are casseroles that I can prepare ahead of time and pop in the oven when I get home from school, whatever time that is. A lot of my recipes are made in the crock pot. I dump everything into it before leaving for school. When I come home dinner is ready and the house smells divine!

A few of my favorite pins are the one for the chicken, tater tots, and cheese crockpot dish. My family (nieces and nephews) beg me to make this so they all can come for dinner. It's almost a weekly event. Check out the pin for making your mixes. I whip up the salad dressing mix for all my family and several friends on a regular basis. It's as good, if not better, than store purchased mix. There are several fun recipes for classroom treats also. Enjoy looking through my recipe board. Betcha find several pins for yourself!





Happy Pinning,
Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 15, 2013

Next Year's Wish List

This year I have 32 students. Next year I'll have 14. That's a big difference! I can get rid of furniture in my classroom... two tables to be exact. I will once again have space. Ahhh! The kids will not be packed in like sardines and we will be able to have different spots in the room to meet. I can have a reading nook... YIPPEEEE!!!

I saw this on Pinterest today. LOVIN' IT!



Aren't they great? I'm adding these seats to next year's wish list. I think they would be a great addition for the reading nook. Six or eight would be nice! I don't have a lot of storage in my room so these seats would serve double duty. Wonder if I can find crates and drawers in teal and purple!?!?!

Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 14, 2013

Linking up for Manic Monday... Poetry Foldable FREEBIE

I've been gearing up for April's Poetry Month theme over Spring Break as you can tell from previous posts and freebies: poetry pencil toppers, poetry word search, poetry task cards. Yep, there's definitely a theme going on.... and will continue a bit since I'll be blogging about my Poetry Round-up later in the week.

The theme continues with this week's Manic Monday FREEBIE--- a poetry foldable. This activity introduces or reinforces several poetry forms: tanka, diamante, clerihew, limerick, and cinquain.   You can download it HERE or by clicking the link below the graphic.


Be sure to visit Manic Monday over at Classroom Freebies for lots of great ideas and freebies! It never ceases to amaze me how many ideas are shared each week!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
http://peanutgallery19.blogspot.com/2013/04/my-first-linky-party-celebrating-poetry.html

Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

Earth Day FREEBIE Writing Prompt

There have been MANY wonderful Earth Day ideas and activities posted for sale and offered for free on all the blogs that I frequent... and I frequent A LOT! I am astounded by the variety. From poetry to math and research to craftivity all are terrific!

Because Earth Day falls during our testing time this year, I won't be doing much with my sixers. Heck, I won't see them much except for testing that whole week!!! I will be doing some combined Science (we're studying alternate forms of energy, renewable/non-renewable energy sources) and some Persuasive Letter Writing, however. The activity is part of my Paragraph a Week program that I've blogged about previously. Of the original 100 PaW topics (approx.) I have about 30 reformatted. I'm estimating a completion date of late summer 2013... I hope! Until then I'll share a few of the topics.

If you're interested in the Earth Day prompt, it can be downloaded HERE or by clicking the link below the graphic.


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
http://www.classroomfreebies.com/2013/04/welcome-to-manic-monday-at-classroom_15.html


Happy Earth Day,
Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6



April 13, 2013

Great Linky for Upper Elementary

There's a terrific linky party going on over at All Things Upper Elementary: Fun 4 All! There are FREEBIE and paid items alike. What I like about this party is that the items are all geared for the intermediate grade teacher. Thanks ATUE for hosting this linky! Hop on over and check it out.


All Things Upper Elementary

Happy Saturday,
Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 10, 2013

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday: Language Arts

I'm once again linking up with The Vintage Apple for Oh How Pinteresting Wednesday! Instead of sharing a single pin or just a couple of pins this week, I decided to share one of my boards: Language Arts. This is my go to board when I'm searching for an idea for instruction. Maybe you can find some useful ideas here as well!



Don't forget to visit the Vintage Apple for more Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday goodies!


Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 9, 2013

FREEBIE: Sporting with Direct Objects- Thanks to an Easter Bargain! TBA Link Up

Normally I do NOT shop! Well, I shop... but, not really.... I have a list, go to the store, get what's on the list, and get out. That's it! Last week, however, I actually shopped. You know- the browsing, take your time, look at lots of things kind of shopping. AND I found some bargains on cute Easter decorations, and I mean cute, as in classroom useful cute... like these eggs... 33 cents at Wal-mart... YES!


I only bought them because my sixers had such a great time doing an activity during my Parts of Speech Round-up just before Easter break that required them to open plastic eggs and do something with words I had placed inside. They had actually asked to do a similar activity after Easter. I figured the boys would go wild for these eggs so I grabbed them along with a separate bag of just football eggs and a separate bag of baseball eggs. Each bag was only 33 cents! But what could I use them for as far as curriculum was concerned? Today I figured it out.

We've been brushing up on Language skills, reviewing everything from all year. Direct objects and prepositional phrases are sometimes confusing for this group of sixers so I made this literacy center: Sporting with Direct Objects.


I whipped it up during my planning period in the morning. It's short and to the point. I put everything in a basket, briefly explained the objective and directions and handed it to the student nearest me. After she completed the activity, she passed it on, and so on. They loved it! Not everyone got to do the activity today, so we'll work on getting through the rest tomorrow. Then I'll figure out something else to do with my Sporty Eggs. 

Maybe I should shop more! Nah! But I'll definitely shop around for lots of great FREEBIES over at Teaching Blog Addict. This is my first link up for Freebie Friday, but I know it won't be my last. Love TBA!

Freebie Fridays


Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 8, 2013

Wild about Word Clouds

I just had to blog about word clouds. I am WILD about them! 

I discovered them several years ago and have used them in my classroom, both for decoration and for instruction, ever since. If you're not familiar with what a word cloud is take a trip over to Projects by Jen. She's best known for her Guess the Wordle daily word cloud. Each day she posts a brand new word cloud for students all over the world to puzzle out.



My fivers LOVE this! It's the way we begin each Language Arts class. In addition, Jen has loads of tips and tricks for using and working with word clouds, including additional add-on programs to get REALLY creative with them.

There are many websites at which you can make word clouds. Each has its pro's and con's. I recommend trying them all to find the one perfect for you. Here is a listing of some of the more popular cloud generators on the internet:

One of my favorite ways of using word clouds is at the beginning of the school year. During the first week of school, I always assign my sixers to write a single paragraph autobiography. I teach mini-lessons about paragraph formation, the six traits of writing, editing, writing process, word processing, etc. Once they have completed their paragraph, including saving it on a flash drive, they upload it to http://www.wordle.net, the word cloud generator that I prefer. The ensuing word clouds are printed, framed, and displayed outside out classroom. Additionally, I take a digital photo of each word cloud and compile them into a video that I run for Open House, parent conferences, and any time throughout the year that we have something special going on in the building.


This year I had my fivers complete Word Cloud Book Reports. What fun they had! Plus there was some great thinking going on: decisions about what words to include, what not to include, colors and fonts that helped convey a particular meaning. The finished product made for an attractive hallway display that sparked a lot of comments from parents and visitors. If you're interested in doing this project with your class, it is available in my TpT Store. The link is listed below the graphic. In the packet are directions, websites, suggestions, and two planning sheets.



Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 6, 2013

GRAND OPENING of My Teacher's Notebook Shop and a GIVE AWAY!

Many of you are followers and supporters of my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, and I've been steadily gaining a presence there. I thank you for the kind words and the encouragement.

Today I made the leap into opening a shop at The Teacher's Notebook. You're invited to come on in, look around, and let me know what you think.

In celebration of my grand opening, I am offering a give away! FIVE lucky winners will be awarded Getting to the Core of Comprehension ELA Literary Text Task Cards. Hurry, the deadline for entering the giveaway is April 9, 2012. Click on the following link to be taken directly to the giveaway entry: http://www.teachersnotebook.com/deals/giveaways/849


Happy Shopping,
Happy Teaching!
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 5, 2013

Happy Birthday TBA!

Teaching Blog Addict is celebrating its 2nd birthday! And they are throwing a FREEBIE bash! You're invited. Hop on over to the party and collect your share of presents... tons of great ideas, printables, worksheets, posters. Load up your ink cartridge and stack a pile of paper into your printer. Oh, and if you have a freebie(s) to share, link them up as well. I did!

This button will take you directly to the 5/6th grade party. Poke around a bit to find even more freebies at the other grade level parties. TOO much fun! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Teaching Blog Addict and THANKS!


Teaching Blog Addict - Ultimate Freebie
Happy FREEBIE-ing,
Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 3, 2013

Another Poetry FREEBIE and Poetry Task Cards




I've been working on my poetry material, a little bit each day. I've finished a set of 20 poetry task cards that are now available in my TpT or TN Store. You can download them from Teachers Pay Teachers or from Teacher's Notebook or by clicking the one of the links below the graphic. I added two bonus files to the task card packet: my poetry pencil toppers available a few posts down and a poetry wordsearch puzzle that I'm sharing HERE. Enjoy!




Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6
teachersdesk@yahoo.com


Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!

I stumbled upon this linky in the middle of the night, er morning... whatever... I was up late, as usual <BIG GRIN>... and knew that this was THE PERFECT linky for me: Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday! over at the Vintage Apple. I am CRAZY for Pinterest! Pssst! That was why I was up soooo late. I was Pinteresting away! It was too late for me to read the directions and follow them so I pinned the site to return to when I got up. Here I am, awake, and ready to give it a go.

First pin: Looking ahead to next year's crop of sixers, there are a number who are VERY active, kinesthetic learners. This might be a good ACTIVE-ity for them.




Second pin: This is one of my first and most used pins. My fivers LOVE to write stories! At least three times a week, we have Language Arts Workshop, part of which involves free-writing. I display picture prompts on the projector to help them focus their ideas. These are their favorites.




Third pin: I am shamelessly promoting one of my TpT items.





Be sure to hop over to The Vintage Apple for more Pinteresting Wednesday fun.

Happy Pinteresting,
Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6

April 2, 2013

April CURRENTLY!

OK, I'm going to give this a try: CURRENTLY with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade. I've been blog hopping through the CURRENTLY's for sometime now, lovin' all the blogs I see and ideas I find. Here's my meager attempt at a CURRENTLY.



LISTENING: I'm currently listening to all the background noises in my house. My beautiful grand-niece spent the night and she is sleeping peacefully, Ms. Daisy Mae (my furry child) has finally quieted down. All I hear is the humming of my computer and the ticking of the clock... sigh... lovin' it!

LOVING: I do not have to hear my alarm clock until April 8th... enough said!!!!

THINKING: When I return to school from break we will begin testing. That means schedule changes and more schedule changes. I don't mind it really, except for the fact that I am in a K-12 building and my sixers and I get caught in the middle. We have to juggle the elementary schedule and the high school schedule. It is NOT fun!

WANTING: NO MORE SNOW... that's all I'll say about this, thank you very much!!!!!!!!!

NEEDING: I have been attempting to fix-up my old house (it is 100 years old this year). I am waiting to hear from my contractor about when he can come to do my main bathroom. All the "stuff" is purchased and ready to be installed. I talked to him last Friday and he THOUGHT he could start on Wednesday of this week... fingers crossed.

ADVICE: Blogging/TpT-ing is addicting... be prepared to get caught up in it! It's a good thing!


Now that you've read my CURRENTLY, be sure to hop on over to Farley's blog for tons more (I'm no. 324 WOW):

Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6
teachersdesk@yahoo.com

Pencil Topper... FREEBIE for Poetry Month

Are you familiar with pencil toppers? I use them with my sixers all the time. They are fun, handy little learning aids that the kids attach to the tops of their pencils. They can refer to the toppers as they might refer to an anchor chart hung in the room. I've most recently done toppers for parts of speech, classification of living organisms, "hamburger" paragraph, traits of good writing, and layers of the atmosphere.

I found the pencil topper template at Vicki Blackwell's Teacher Templates site years ago while searching for something else (flip flap chart templates). I downloaded the topper file, opened it in Microsoft PowerPoint, and began designing toppers for all my subjects, adding graphics and text as I needed. I was hooked!

This week while on Spring Break, I've been working on all kinds of teaching projects, among them a mini-unit for Poetry Month. I'll use a pencil topper to kick it off. On one side is the dictionary definition for the word POETRY and on the other a word cloud of various poetic forms. Maybe some of you would like to give these poetry pencil toppers a try. You can download the file HERE or by clicking on the link below the graphic.

Print off the toppers on colored paper, cut them apart, and distribute to your students. Have each student write his/her name in the space provided, then glue the topper around their pencil. Your kiddos will need a bit of patience since they will need to hold the topper together while it dries. Once it's dry they've got a reference tool right in hand.


Happy Teaching,
Angela
The Teacher's Desk 6
teachersdesk@yahoo.com