May... Pin it to Win It!


Is it really almost May?!?!

This is one of the best times of the school year... for many of us, it's the final month of school (or pretty close!), and the stress of testing is over!  That being said, it can be a challenging time of school year for other reasons... mainly, kids have Spring Fever and are ready to be done with the school year.  It can be very difficult to keep them engaged!

Today, I am going to share some of the May activities I have created in an effort to keep students engaged.  If you want a chance to win any of the following activities, simply enter the Rafflecopter below before Monday, April 27th.  I will send one resource of their choice to THREE winners!


Visit this blog post to see how one teacher used this in her fourth grade classroom.



     

   








Visit this blog post to see how one teacher used this in her classroom.



Multiplication Anchor Chart (plus free task cards!)

I As you might already know, I love anchor charts! Therefore, when one of my third grade groups was ready to be introduced to multi-digit multiplication, I couldn't resist creating an anchor chart!
This multiplication anchor chart uses an acronym to help students remember the steps in multiplying 2-digit numbers. It also includes FREE multiplication task cards!

I came up with the acronym "Many Zoos... Many Animals" to assist students in remembering the steps in a two- or three-digit multiplication problem: multiply, zero, multiply, add. As you can see, I also color-code the steps. I worked through the problems on this anchor chart with students, so most of this anchor chart was blank white paper prior to the beginning of our math group. My students enjoyed working through the problems right along with me in their own notebooks, and color-coding the steps. We did the first step in red, the second step in blue, the third step in green, and the fourth step in purple.

I created the following resources to aid in teaching this skill, as well. 
Feel free to click on the image to take a closer look at it!
Teach the steps of multi-digit multiplication with this PowerPoint and matching craftivity!

In keeping with the zoo theme, I created this FREE set of twelve task cards, also! 
Just click on the image to download!

FREE Multiplication Task Cards! (focusing on double digit numbers)

Figurative Language Anchor Chart Activity {freebie}


Today's anchor chart is a little different than most of my other anchor charts because it is completely interactive, and it actually involves a cooperative activity.  Also, you can download the materials and recreate this chart yourself!!
This figurative language anchor chart includes a cooperative activity. Visit this post to download the FREE materials and replicate this interactive lesson in your upper elementary classroom!


I would use this anchor chart as a cooperative test prep activity, when students have already studied each type of figurative language in-depth earlier in the school year. On standardized tests that I have viewed, students are given a sentence, a stanza, or a paragraph, and are asked to identify the literary device used within that piece of writing. This is entirely different from writing your own example sentence containing a given literary device, and I have witnessed students struggle with this type of test question. My hope is that by doing this type of figurative language analysis as a cooperative activity, students will be better prepared to analyze a sentence for a literary device independently.   

To prepare this activity (download here), I printed the first page- the literary device terms- in lime green.  I printed the second page- the definitions- on pink paper, and I printed the final three pages- the examples embedded in sentences- on orange paper.  Then I cut out all of the pieces.
This figurative language anchor chart includes a cooperative activity. Visit this post to download the FREE materials and replicate this interactive lesson in your upper elementary classroom!

I glue the terms on my chart paper prior to the start of class.
This figurative language anchor chart includes a cooperative activity. Visit this post to download the FREE materials and replicate this interactive lesson in your upper elementary classroom!

At the beginning of class, I pass out the remaining cards with the example sentences and the terms, one to each student.

Visit this post to download the FREE materials to do a figurative language sorting activity in your upper elementary or middle school classroom.

I explain that they must walk around the room, looking for their three partners.  When they approach a potential partner, they must first exchange their cards without saying anything and read the sentence (or definition that was handed to them).  After both partners have finished reading, only then can they discuss whether their cards are part of the same group.  (I am hoping that the reading-before-talking requirement will force everyone to be actively engaged and fully participating.)  Also, I require both students to make a comment before they move on.

Eventually, students will be gathered in groups of four, with one definition & three examples.
FREE lesson! This sorting activity includes personification and five other types of figurative langauge.

Finally, groups take turns coming to the front of the room, placing their cards under the document camera, and naming their literary device.  At this time, I also ask students to underline the words in the sentences that is a type of figurative language.  After a group is done presenting, we tape the cards to the appropriate area of the anchor chart, and then it's another group's turn to present.  Ultimately, the anchor chart looks like this!
This figurative language anchor chart includes a cooperative activity. Visit this post to download the FREE materials and replicate this interactive lesson in your upper elementary classroom!


If you are looking for additional Figurative Language activities, feel free to check out my TpT store! This HUGE bundle is available to purchase for less than $10, or you can buy individual items.
Figurative Language Activities for the upper elementary or middle school classroom! Includes a PowerPoint, games, craftivities, worksheets, partner plays, and more!!




Anchors Away Monday: Literature Circles

It's Anchors Away Monday!



Brooke, my second grader, came home from school a few weeks ago with RESPECT written down the side of a sheet of paper in capital letters, and I could see that she had started turning it into an acrostic poem.  I asked her about the partially-completed poem, and she explained that they had talked about respect in their Character Education special, and that she and her classmates had each started to write an acrostic poem to explain what respect meant to them, but then they ran out of time.

At the time, I was writing blog posts about literature circles on my own blog (read my post here), and on my Upper Elementary Snapshots collaborative blog (read it here), and it immediately struck me how well this activity would work when literature circles were being introduced to students in an upper elementary classroom!  After all, being a respectful literature circle participant requires each member to act responsibly for the good of the whole group.  In order for a literature circle to run efficiently, each member has to follow some group norms.

In the past, I have always discussed with students the responsibilities of literature circle members, and how one person's actions/behaviors can affect the entire group. The next time I organize literature circles, though, I plan to create an anchor chart with students.  I envision ending up with an anchor chart like the one above.  I may have to steer the discussion in a certain direction at times, but I truly thing the key ideas listed above will end up on a class-created anchor chart in some fashion.


Do you have any activities/minilessons that you always do when introducing literature circles to students?  Please share in the comments section... I'd love to hear them!



Just a note to those of you who occasionally link up.  My year-long subscription will expire in a few weeks, and at this time, I don't plan to renew my subscription.  Therefore, my final link-up will be April 20th.  Thank you to all of you who have linked up over the past year! :)