Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Poetry Coffeehouse

I wanted to share an event that was a success in my ELA classroom - Poetry Coffeehouse! We just finished up a poetry unit, so this was a fun way to celebrate poetry and practice speaking skills. And drink hot chocolate, of course :)

The set up was quite simple. All students had a poem to read. This was a poem we had been working on for a little while, so I knew they would be ready. A few volunteers brought in treats. I bought a few large tubs of hot cocoa powder and made hot chocolate for students to enjoy.

Students went up one by one in rows (I re-arranged my classroom for that day). The runner up sat in the "support chair" so that the student reading was not the only one up there :)

Students got to sit in my chair and read in front of a coffeehouse-themed background. We snapped our fingers when they were done, in true "coffeehouse style". After each row went, I played a song on the "coffeehouse" Pandora station to keep the mood light and enjoyable.

I'd say it was a success because some students asked if we could do it again! I loved hearing their poems read, and it was so fun to do something a little more out of the ordinary. I know that there are way more involved ways to do this, but for my classroom this worked quite well!

Next up for practicing speaking skills - reading their "How To Explanatory" essays to the class. And what a pleasant coincidence that some students are writing about how-to make baked goods and are planning to bring some in to share ;) teaching is sweet!

Have you ever done a poetry reading in your class?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Scoop 3/8

Sunday Scoop time! I am in the final stretch up until conferences (next week Wednesday/Thursday), so I plan to go to my classroom today so that I am all prepped for this week.
I know that not rushing around in the morning to get a lesson ready will make me much more relaxed :)

I'm linking up with The Teaching Trio!

Does anyone else have "Spring" conferences soon? It sure feels like a long way from spring in Michigan!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Scoop 3/1

I'm linking up with The Teaching Trio for this short and sweet linky :)

You know how it is - you bring something home to grade on your "must do" list, but in reality it's more of a "hope to do". I did take the pile of tests out of my teaching bag, so step #1 is completed :)

As far as the exercise plan, I am feeling extra motivated now that it's just about one month until I'm in Florida for spring break. Another blogger reccomended the Blogilates Youtube videos, and I'm so glad she did! I've been enjoying these quick and motivating workouts. Okay, so I don't really "enjoy" the workout part, but I enjoy the quickness and the fact that I'm sore the next day tells me it must be working!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

HEROES sale!

I'm sure that most of you have heard about the Teachers are Heroes sale - but with my "newbie" blog I wanted to highlight a few of my products - everything will be 28% off!!

Thanks to Ladybug Teacher Files for the cute button!

Neon Chalkboard Genre Posters for Middle School
*there is also a black and white version!

Get these super-cute (if I do say so myself) posters for $4!

Roll and Retell Theme and Roll and Retell Plot are on sale for $1.60!

Sensory Detail Poetry Stations are a steal at only $2.00

Happy sale! Thanks for reading, fellow heroes :)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Scoop

I'm linking up with Teaching Trio for this fun Sunday linky...

I have been spoiled with four or three-day weeks with all of our snow days lately. This week is scheduled to be five days - call me crazy but I am hoping for a bit of normalcy this week. As much as a love snow days, my schedule is a bit thrown off!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five For Friday

It has been awhile since I linked up with Five for Friday at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

1) There's no excuse for me not to link up - I am sitting at home on my second snow day, technically "cold day" of the week. With temperatures below -20 degrees, school has been closed the past two days. I was expecting to have yesterday off after checking the forecast, but today was a complete surprise!

2) This student's warning at the top of his reader's response letter: "spoilers after dotted line" cracked me up. It's little things like this about middle schoolers that make me smile.

3) I was feeling very lazy on my day off yesterday until I found this muffin recipe. These sounded easy, plus I had all the ingredients. There was no way I was going to the store in this freezing weather! I've been experimenting a lot lately with "breakfast" baking...lots of different combinations of oatmeal bars, breakfast cookies, baked oatmeal...well these are definitely at the top of my list! The greek yogurt makes them so moist. I liked that it was a "one bowl" recipe in that I just had to throw everything in the food processor.
Clik the picture to see the recipe over at "Running with Spoons"

4) Of course I've been on Pinterest quite a bit with all of this extra time off. I've been looking at lots of decorating ideas lately. Now, I'm not actually re-decorating...more like "window shopping" on Pinterest :)
However, I found this great roundup of 50 budget decorating ideas that I would love to try out someday.

5) Last but not least, a big thing for me this week has been creating a new TpT product. I just blogged about it yesterday, so all of the details are in that post. I'd love for you to check out my Sensory Detail Poetry Stations - five leveled poems and three differentiated worksheets! Woohoo!

Stay warm! Any else with a "snow" or "cold" day today? :)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sensory Detail Poetry Stations

Sensory Detail Poetry Stations

I needed a way to use leveled poems and differentiate my poetry instruction - so Sensory Detail Poetry Stations were born!

I don't know how many times I googled "poems with sensory details" before deciding that I needed to make this product :) The five leveled poems are all great examples of poems with sensory details.

There are three very basic poems for students still struggling with identifying sensory details. The on-level poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" involves a higher comprehension level. The most challenging poem, "Where I'm From", by George Ella Lyon, involves a more challenging historical context.

After reading the poems, students track sensory details on one of three differentiated recording sheets. 

This middle-school activity goes beyond students simply knowing what a sensory detail is and has students share the effect on the poem.

The three worksheets included involve varying levels of tracking sensory details. All worksheets require students to list examples from the poem.
The first worksheet, meant to be easier for struggling students, has the opportunity for students to sketch the sensory details as well as list examples.
The “middle” worksheet, for on-level students, involves listing examples as well as explaining the effect on the poem.
The third worksheet, for more advanced learners, has students not only listing examples of sensory detail and explaining the effect, but also thinking about why the author would include the sensory detail.

I am so happy with how it turned out! I'm really hoping that this product can be of use to other teachers who need access to sensory detail poetry and want to differentiate!

Click here to find this product in my TpT store.

Do you teach sensory details in your classroom?