Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Plural and Singular Activity Pack

   I have been spending some time over this Thanksgiving Week Break grading a lot of writing because for me writing is the easiest thing to put off- give me a math test to grade any day BUT writing is a whole other story.  I really need a lot of time and patience for writing. As I was grading away,  I started listing specific standards that my students struggle with while writing and I started planning some mini lessons to bring into the classroom to help reteach those skills. One of the standards that my students need more practice with in regards to speaking and writing is with plural and singular nouns. There are so many tricky rules for kids to learn: if it ends in ... then do ....  I understand why some students struggling with this standard, especially my ELLs. To help my students attack this common core standard in a fun way, I created this pack of Common Core aligned, Singular and Plural Noun Activity Pack.


This pack is perfect for any classroom that has English Language Learners who still make mistakes with plural and singular nouns. I plan on using it for my intervention group.  I made variety of lessons including:Whole Group, Center work, Individual practice and Partner Practice Activities.

This pack includes:
2 Plural/Singular noun Sorts

30 Singular/Plural Bridge Map Activities


A 33 card, game board activity


 and 9 Plural noun Rule posters that are a great reference sheet to place inside their interactive notebooks.









 I am positive that this will help to make learning plural nouns more fun.  This set is on sale now, so be sure to check it out here!

Off to go last minute Thanksgiving shopping!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not my Gumdrop Buttons {a persuasive writing unit}




Last week my students used my Wait, Wait! Don't Shoot! Persuasive Writing Set and wrote from the point of view of the turkey who job it was to convince the farmer spare their life  and eat something else for the Thanksgiving Day Feast.
The kids came up with a lot of amazing reasons why the farmer shouldn't eat them- including: I have Turkey Pox, my turkey family will seek revenge on you and turkey has too much trytophan in it so you will be too tired watch/play football.  I was happy to see them peer edit like champions!  It definitley made my life a lot easier but it also had them thinking in a different way.
The key to peer editing is having it be super structured with specific things for them to look for.  They aren't going to catch them all but it will for sure help you when it's your turn to edit with them.  Before they switched their paper with another person they had to highlight all of the first letters in each sentence- this ensured that they had capital letters to start each new sentence.  They circled with red pen any words that they were unsure of the spelling and lastly they highlighted all of the periods (or other ending punctuation symbols).  When they switched it with their partner, they had to sit side by side and read their own story to their neighbor. This allowed them to hear their own story and catch any other mistakes.  While they were reading their partner could make correction/suggestions at the end of each sentence. At the end they told their partner two things they liked about their story and made one constructive comment.  Then it was the other partners turn.  It was very successful! 

Writing persuasively is a new skill for my kiddos.  SO, since this was their first shot at it and they LOVED it so much I created one for winter- Not my Gumdrop Buttons .
{Keep reading for a Pin It to Win It Giveaway}


Here is their prompt

I have 2 circle maps that are used to help them jump start their thinking. I have them work on their own for 3 minutes, share with a partner for a minute and then as a class I make a giant collaborative circle map so others can add the great ideas of their classmates to their own.



The next step is making a cause and effect flow map to help them explain their reasons better.  I provided some thought starters this time because I noticed that some of my more hesitant writers needed some extra support



I do a few mini lessons while going through this unit. One is reinforcing transitions that are tailored to writing persuasively. They are used to narrative transitions, so this is important.


Another mini lesson is going over personal pronouns. This is important because they are writing from the point of view of the gingerbread cookie- some kids struggle with this and I pull them aside and give them this word bank to help them as they construct their draft.


This is something new that I added to this set again to help better support my students who either have a language barrier or who have writers block.  This next circle map is a great teacher resource to use during the modeling process. It provides great ideas but allows the students to explain it.  This can be done orally, whole group. I always tell the class that even if we come up with the same 3 reasons why Santa shouldn't eat you that is ok because you are making it your own with the explanation process.  Another way you can use this is by giving it to the group of kids that struggle the most coming up with ideas in a small group setting during writers workshop.  



The last mini lesson that I included in this set is Hook ideas.  I went over it with my class last time with the Wait, Wait! Don't Shoot prompt- but having this resource in their writers workbooks is a great idea because they can reference it all year long.  I came up with some hooks that go along with this specific prompt.  This is another great support for your kiddos who have no idea where to start. I encourage my students to use my examples as inspiration.


After all of the minilesson and prewriting activities are done... this is where the magic happens!  

After they write their Flee map they write their rough drafts adding more detail, using figurative language, strong adjectives and vivid verbs. Then is the self editing checklist and peer editing....

and then publishing it on their festive final draft paper....

and last but not least is their gingerbread craftivity.... because like I always say- upper graders still love to make crafts!



This set is on sale now! Just for some pre-Thanksgiving fun... Pin it to win it!!!

ANNNND.... for some pinning fun... The first 3 people who pin this get this for free! Just leave a comment below saying you did it and your pinterest address (for example mine is pinterest/laylawhenry).  Ready set pin!!! Make sure to leave your email in the comments section along with your pintrest address!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Island of the Blue Dolphins Interactive Quilt Flip Book


Every year I read Scott O'Dell's book, Island of the Blue Dolphins.  The kids love the idea of being stranded on an island and having to survive on your own.   I love using this book to talk about theme and character traits with my class.

This year, I created a new resource to help reinforce important story elements as we read. 

Basically, it is a culminating activity to wrap up all that the students have learned after reading Island of the Blue Dolphins. I created it so that it could be used as a group activity which would allow me to differentiate for my high, middle and low kiddos. There are 9 activities that can be laced together in a 3x3 quilt. I would assign a group of 3, 3 squares each a let them show what they know.  I could give the less complex quilt squares to my lower students and the more thought provoking ones to the higher students.  BUT, that's not all!!! If I didn't want to have this as a group project, it is easily adaptable as an individual project! Now instead of a 3X3 quilt, each student can create their own flip book out of all of the squares! 

Both options serve as a great review and a make stellar bulletin boards! 

Let's take a closer look, shall we?
The Quilt/Flip Book Pieces included in this set are:

The cover or center square


2 Setting Squares/pages- picture of the island and a place for the to write about the island. Also included is a Setting Think Sheet to help them think about all of the important things to include in their description and picture.


A Letter to Ulape Extension activity. This is a great mid-book activity to help the kids summarize what has happened so far and make predictions about what is going to happen next.



A Story Part Wheel: Beginning, Middle and End
- Problem and Solution T-Chart

- 2 Character traits pages- one for Karana and... 
and another for for Ramo. Great for comparing Characters!




- The Most Exciting Part Puzzle Piece page (climax)

I also included an extra blank square for you to create your own!



Thanks for taking a look at my newest product! Grab this set here at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!