Friday, May 17, 2013

Five for Friday.. Florida, Theme, Tree Branches, Potty Training & a Preview

Uno. Happy Friday, blogging buddies! I've been absent for what... 2 weeks? Man... life has been busy! Last Thursday my husband graduated from Special Forces, meaning we got orders to move to *Florida* next month. With that being said, directly after his graduation we (HE!) drove us to Florida to go house hunting. We found a house we like pretty quickly and are scheduled to close on it in June, if all goes as planned. Let's hope so! LoVe the pool--maybe I won't be so pasty anymore!

Dos--Teaching Theme:

Last week we began studying theme in a variety of texts. Since this is basically the last real "thing" I'll be teaching as far as ELA goes, I figured why create a new bulletin board for it. I simply took down what I previously had and wrote on the bulletin board. The kids had their own versions, which we called their "theme graffiti folders." Sadly, I forgot to take a picture, but imagine a manila folder with lots of colors and themes with explanations written on them! This folder is where they kept their theme study guide, stories and materials for the books they created. In the pictures below you can see one completed book and several of the stories inside. We used familiar stories that we simply re-wrote, determined the theme of, wrote a brief constricted response explaining how we determined the theme, and illustrated. We began by completing a few together, but eventually my students were able to determine the themes on their own. It was interesting to see how many different themes they could come up with for one story and justify. They really loved having a finished product, too!

While learning about theme, I used a resource from Miss Britnee off of TpT. Everything was super organized and easy to follow. That $4 was money well spent! Her pack included a study guide of about 9 (I believe) commonly used themes, practice pages for determining the themes and an assessment. The best part? A week long lesson plan that is also detailed and such a life saver! I don't even know Miss Britnee, but I feel like I would like her. :) The stories you see above were not included in the pack, but could easily be created by copying the stories online! Click on the picture below to score a copy of this awesome resource!

Theme Unit for Upper Grades - Common Core Aligned

Tres: SS... or lack thereof!

As teachers, we know when state testing is near, we have the tendency to push off a few select subjects--such as dearly beloved social studies. For this reason, and the reason of benchmark testing erry-day-of-ma-life, my students completed branches of government in-class projects. I thought they turned out great! For the leaves, students had to tell about the roles and responsibilities of each branch (executive, judicial and legislative). Then on the tree trunks, they had to explain how the three branches worked together.

Quatro: Potty-Training.

It seems to be about that time for Lilly... yay me! So a quick story that I don't think I'll ever forget. Last night I was working on math homework (did I forget to mention I'm taking 3 college classes?) while Lilly was watching Gabba in her bedroom. I walked upstairs every once in a while to check on her, and one particular time I noticed she has her diaper off. As soon as I walked in she announces proudly, "Look mama! Diaper off!" Mmmhmm. Wanna guess what was waiting on the floor for me? Poop. A lovely baby turd just chillin' in the middle of the floor while she is sitting in her chair naked... still watching Gabba like there ISN'T poop on her bedroom floor. Sweet Jesus I'm glad it's almost summer! Ha! 

Cinco: A preview.

I am determined to finish these dang Author's Purpose task cards this weekend! I've been working on them on and off for over a month now and NEED them done so we can practice with them next week! Here's a little glimpse of what they look like--I'm sure I'll be giving a few away, so stay tuned. :)

Be sure to link up for Five for Friday and spread the love! :)


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  1. That pool looks so inviting! Good luck with your move! Hope the potty training goes well!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  2. Hi~Just found your blog via the linky. :) I'm Brandee, your newest follower. I love finding other upper grade teacher bloggers to follow. :) Happy Saturday!
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners