Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Feet

As a way to stimulate creative writing this year, I am showing my students the cartoon Happy Feet and will have them write an alternative ending to the movie. So far we are just now in the viewing stage, and I cannot wait to see the different endings the students come up with. They are really getting into the music and story (this is the most involved I have seen them all year), I hope this means that the writing will reflect the enthusiastic involvement I am witnessing.

Picture Books for Figurative Language

Thanks to SURN, I've been able to order at least five picture books for each of my Language Arts teachers. Each grade level will have a different set of books to illustrate hyperbole, idioms, similes, metaphors, and onomatopoeia, plus double duty for personification. Now we can avoid the complaint of "We did that one last year!" Each grade level will be able to teach and review figurative language with original material. Students' horizons will be broadened!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Planning For Next Year

Last year the Math Specialist and I created a Handbook for all the teachers scheduled for Seminar classes. A Seminar might be enrichment or it might be remediation. For the first 4 1/2 weeks, the students went back to their homerooms for Seminar. We used that time for testing and placement. The Handbooks we created helped the teachers run through the school handbook, fire drills, daily procedures, study skills, etc. We included several Get-to-Know You activities including the Bio-Poem from Power Tools. The Handbook was well received.
As I edited the Handbook for 2011-12, I pulled out the iTune to Literacy notebook from last August. If you attended that session, a whole section was devoted to Getting to Know You activities. I've selected Getting to Know One Another - THE IMPORTANT BOOK, A Penny For Your Thoughts, Web of Knowledge, and Exit Tickets to include in our Handbook for this year.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Power Tools Help with Reviews

The ABC Graffiti works wonders for reviews. After the alphabet has been filled in, the student writes in depth details about each word. The template can be projected onto a screen and the entire class can work together.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Let Katy Perry Help With Figurative Language

One of my English teachers downloaded the words to Katy Perry's hit song FIREWORK. She then made copies for all her students. Every adolescent in the world is familiar with the song!
Giving them highlighters, they were challenged to find as many examples of figurative language as they could.
The song is brimming with metaphors, has some good similes and examples of onomatopoeia. It also has poetry elements like rhyming and repetition. Not to mention, what is the main idea and author's purpose?
The students have really enjoyed this activity, which, of course, can be done with other songs and hip artists. FIREWORK is clean as far as inappropriate language. Some of the other things I hear on the radio, not so much. Be selective.
B. Spencer