Pages

Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to Transform Student Writing with Mentor Text Transformations




Happy Spring Everyone!  This is Jessica Zannini from Notes from the Portable and today I want to talk about using mentor texts to transform student writing.  Transformations are one of my favorite ways to introduce a new writing genre.  The rhythm and word choice of mentor texts are fantastic to get students motivated to write.

What is a Transformation?
When teaching transformations you take a great book with a specific pattern that writers can follow. Students write using a similar structure.  Transformations allow students to make reading and writing connections.  

To finish reading this post and get FREE lesson plans and suggested books for transformation hop over to the Primary Peach.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Getting the Most Out of Author's Share


Author's Share is  my favorite part of the writing lesson.  It is the part where students show bravery, where they show kindness, and where I see the most growth.  Author's share is the perfect wrap-up and my chance to have whole group conversations about topics or mistakes I see in my one-on-one conferences with students.

Each grade has speaking an listening standards that need to be assessed. Author's share is a great way to assess growth and mastery in these standards.

Tips for a Great Author's Share
1. I choose who shares.  This eliminates students getting upset over sharing or not sharing.  I will usually post the list right before my last conference so that the students sharing have a few minutes to prepare. 

2. Have the students read aloud first.  Then ask the audience if they have any "LIKES."  As these are shared I note them on a piece of paper for the student to read at a later time.  Then I ask if anyone has any "QUESTIONS."  These questions can be anything that might have been confusing or that the future readers may want to know more about.  I will write these on post-it notes so the student can see these and place them where they may need revisions at a later date.  (If you have time, take a quick picture of these likes and questions before giving them to the student, just in case they get lost). 

3. Make this time important.  Even if your day runs short, or you have a fire drill, assembly, or any of the many things that get you off schedule, make time for this.  If your lesson gets cut short or you lose track of time, pack up 5 minutes early that day and have the student share before dismissal.

FREEBIE  Get this free download with sample likes and questions to get kids talking about writing.


Cover Photo:  Sergey Nivens/Dollar Photo Club

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

April A Poem Each Week


The Free April A Poem Each Week has moved. Click HERE to get your FREE Download.


Want to save this post for later? Pin the image below.


Happy Teaching!
Jessica

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Zen of Teaching Poetry


Poetry Month is quickly approaching.  In the midst of cramming for testing you think, 'I hate poetry! Why am I stressing over teaching it?'

Let me solve that problem for you!  I have 3 units designed to specific grade level Common Core standards.  In addition, I have created monthly poetry literacy centers to keep your students enjoying poetry all year.  Each unit has over 170 pages of detailed lesson plans, assessments, student pages, exemplars, and wall display materials.  The lessons provide an essential question, objective, common core standard, procedures, and assessments.  (Keep reading for FREEBIES and to ENTER the GIVEAWAY for a free unit and April Literacy Center!)

I know many of us fear poetry and symbolism, but poetry is so much FUN and it is the perfect outlet for creativity after spending the morning taking a standardized test.  Your students will be engaged, you will have lesson plans taken care of, and ALL of you will be able to have fun, relax, and enjoy finding a new found love of poetry!

Each unit contains: 
- Over 5 WEEKS of  Lesson Plans aligned with reading, grammar, and writing standards.
- A 40 + page Student Handbook that gives visuals for all lessons, handouts, and poetry templates. 
- Rubrics for Research Poem, Unit Portfolio, and Poetry Choice Board.
- Poetry Choice Board Activity
- Poems written by Jessica Zannini 
- Letter and evaluation for sharing poetry portfolios with parents. 
- Quizzes and Unit Test 
- Essential Question Posters
- I Can Statement Posters
- Vocabulary Word Wall Display 
- Suggested Book/Author/Website List 

- Additional Review Lesson on previously taught standards


What people are saying about these units!

                         

                         

                         

Want to learn more about the specific types of poetry taught and standards covered in each unit? Click the images below to go to each product description.

2nd Grade Poetry Unit


3rd Grade Poetry Unit


4th/5th Grade Poetry Unit

March Poetry Literacy Center 


April Poetry Literacy Center 

So now it is time for prizes and freebies!  Want to win a unit?! Pick the grade-level of your choice to enter and win!  Winners will be announced on March 15th on my Facebook page.  And if you want some free poetry resources now, scroll to the bottom of this post to find links.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to learn more about teaching poetry?  Check out these blog posts for FREE downloads and more tips on teaching poetry. (Just click the image to learn more.)


5 Poetry Styles That Spark Creativity in Struggling Writers 

How to Teach Poetry (Even if You Hate It!)

If you are looking for even more ideas follow my Poetry Pinterest Board. 


Cover Photo: puckillustrations/Dollar Photo Club 
*(Other photos credited in those specific products or blog posts.)  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

11 Innovative and Inspiring Teachers You Need to Follow



It's the middle of the year and you know you need to change up your wall displays, but there is so little time with the grading, planning, meetings, and prepping for testing.

You need a great lesson to teach division.  Your kids still aren't getting the steps and your colleagues are stumped too.

You want some new and current books to use for guided reading.

You are new to teaching or just finishing your student teaching and want to get fresh ideas.

If you have questions you want answered...  If you have lessons you need to tweak....  Or if you are just looking for some inspiration about this wonderful career you have chosen, then you HAVE to follow these teachers. Their ideas and inspiration will keep you sailing throughout the entire school year.

1. Teaching With a Mountain View
Mary from Teaching With a Mountain View is such a calm soul. She would have been a perfect teacher for me.  I went to her presentation in Vegas and learned so much from her journey.  Her soft voice is calming and inspiring.  The way she presents herself in presentations and through her products and social media, you feel like she is already a friend.  Your students will love her products and they will definitely make your teaching life easier.  The blog posts she shares give a variety of ways to teach.
Bloghttp://www.teachingwithamountainview.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/teachingwithamountainview
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/teachingwithamountainview/
TPT Storehttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Teaching-With-A-Mountain-View

2. An Apple For The Teacher
Kelly from An Apple for the Teacher is a mom of 6 boys.  Yes, you heard me right.  She has 6 boys. She has to be a super woman.  She has taught 3rd -7th grade.  Her blog is full of great ideas to use in the classroom.  Follow her on Facebook to see how she uses her ideas in the classroom, as well as, find great tools she shares.  She has a wealth of knowledge and knows great ideas.  You won't have to search far to find great ideas for your lesson plans.
Blog: http://applefortheteach.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnAppleForTheTeacher
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/applefortheteach/
TPT Store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kelly-Malloy

3. Blair Turner
Blair Turner's style is amazing.  She has mastered the art of knowing her talents and exploring ways to engage students.  Her blog provides multiple ideas on teaching lessons and tips for teachers on better instruction practices.  Her creative eye will help you organize and design your classroom and find ways to improve that class newsletter.
Blog: http://www.blairturner.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlairTurnerTPT
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/onelessonatatime/
TPT Store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Blair-Turner

4. Kelli Alaina Wise
Wise is such a great last name for Kelli.  Her patience and guidance in sharing with others is amazing.  If you want ways to set goals for your classroom or to learn how to use Instagram to share what is happening with parents, then you need to check out her tips and tools.  You can also find great freebies and writing graphic organizers in her TPT store.  If you follow her on Instagram you will find many inspiring quotes that speak the heart of what teachers do. One of the things I want to do beyond teaching is to become a writer.  Her Goal Diggers Fun Book helped me map out a plan to write and send manuscripts to agents.  I'm hoping with her guidance 2016 will be the year!
Bloghttp://www.kellialaina.com/
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/kelli.alaina/
TPT Storehttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Wise-Words-By-Kelli-Alaina

5. More Than a Worksheet
Sarah from More Than a Worksheet is a STEM expert.  Her lessons tailored to STEM activities are so exciting and engaging.  Your students can learn how to make Snowball Slingers and Candy Heart Chutes.  You will love her blog posts and lessons.  You can sign up for her Daily Creative Thinking Newsletter when you visit her blog.
Bloghttp://www.morethanaworksheet.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/morethanaworksheet
TPT Storehttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/More-Than-A-Worksheet

6. Angela Watson
Angela Watson is a master of many things.  Her tips on working smarter, saving time, and classroom management are a MUST for both new and veteran teachers.  Her podcast let you be inspired on the go.  It's perfect for the mornings you want to get inspired and in the afternoons on the those days that you just want to scream.  She has a plethora of free items on her blog to get your started.  If you want a go-to place to get answers on teaching issues,  The Cornerstone for Teachers is the perfect place.
Blog: http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCornerstoneForTeachers?bookmark_t=page
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angela.watson/
TPT Store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Angela-Watson

7. Chris Kesler
Are you looking for upper elementary and middle school science? Well look no further!  Chris Kesler has lab bundles, unit studies, and board games to help your students have fun while learning important standards.  From learning about science day demos to interactive science notebooks, he has you covered.
Blog: http://www.keslerscience.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keslerscience
TPT Store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kesler-Science

8. Keeping Up With Mrs. Harris
Talk about organization!  Meghan from Keeping Up with Mrs. Harris is so organized.  I have learned so much from her Plan With Me Sunday series on getting organized for the week.  The amazing products in her store range from lap books to math games.  Her new products for the Google Classroom are fantastic.  Check out her blog for tons of tips for RTI and managing your time in the classroom.
Blog: http://keepingupwithmrsharris.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/keepingupwithmrsharris/
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/keepingupwithmrsharris/
TPT Store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Keeping-Up-With-Mrs-Harris

9. Erin Stephen - Snazzy in Second
If you are looking for great wall displays, fun games, or a great craftivity, then Erin from Snazzy in Second has you covered.  Your students will have fun learning and your walls will provide the answers for many student questions.
Bloghttp://snazzyinsecond.blogspot.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Snazzy-in-Second-496327193779636/
TPT Storehttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Erin-Stephan-Snazzy-In-Second

10. Hello Literacy
I love the style of Jen from Hello Literacy.  She has a variety of resources to enhance your literacy lessons and centers.  She's great at professional development and I love following her through her travels.  She is definitely bringing change to education.  From fun fonts to close reading passage, your class will be prepared for fun.  Her venture into periscope has brought professional development to your sofa.
Bloghttp://www.helloliteracy.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/helloliteracy
Instagramhttp://www.helloliteracy.com/www.instagram.com/hellojenjones
TPT Storehttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Hello-Literacy

11. Mandy's Tips 4 Teachers
Mandy from Mandy's Tips 4 Teachers has a wealth of knowledge.  Her blog is a go to place for ideas on teaching math and finding differentiated strategies.  Her math and differentiated ELA posts and resources will have your students engaged and you enjoying teaching. Her writing style makes you feel as though she is talking with you while you plan.
Bloghttp://mandys-tips-4-teachers.blogspot.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MandysTipsforTeachers/
TPT Store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mandy-Gregory

And if you want to keep up with me, Jessica Zannini from Notes from the Portable, as I share more about my journey through blogging, teaching, parenting, creating, and writing follow the links below.
Bloghttp://notesfromtheportable.blogspot.com
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/jessicazanninisteacherpayteacherstore
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/notesfromtheportable/
TPT Storehttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Jessica-Zannini

Cover Photo: michaeljung/Dollar Photo Club