Writing - Ideas for teaching writing and standards of writing
Common Core ELA - I’m slowly adding Common Core pins in, because at this point, ELA isn’t being implemented until next year. And even then, there are going to be a few standards coming first, considered “focus standards.”
We made an eight-tab shutter foldable today to start out parts of speech. We glued the foldable into our ISNs, labeled the top of the page, and added it to the table of contents. I didn’t take a photo of the sides of the tabs, but I had them write the definition of a common noun on the side of the left tab and the definition of a proper noun on the right side, as well as examples, from a powerpoint.
Next, each student was given a page from a magazine. They had to cut out a picture of a common noun and a picture of a proper noun and label it correctly. Pretty basic, but a review was definitely needed.
For my inclusion students, who struggle with foldables, we just drew a line down the middle of the paper and did it this way.
Last, since my standard says identify the proper use of common and proper nouns, we practiced with whiteboards a worksheet from super teachers, which requires a $20/yr membership fee.
Great engagement from the students. They enjoyed the cutting and pasting and using whiteboards is always a huge kick. Don’t have whiteboards? Don’t forget you can laminate cardstock for a cheap alternative to personal whiteboards. This pack has turned out to be a perfect size for quick assessment.
And that’s all I’m doing with common and proper nouns. They had a good grasp of it and it’s a small, small percentage of TCAP. If at all.
Day 1: Interactive Notebooks (Language Arts journal, as it’s becoming known to my students).
I started out having my students write Table of Contents on the first page of their notebooks. Although I downloaded the amazing Interactive Student Notebook pack from A Teacher’s Treasure, I didn’t really feel like using up some of my precious white paper supply on printing off 170 copies of the table of contents in the pack. Paper is extremely limited in our school this year due to budget issues, so I’m having my students do as much as possible one their own paper. Even if I don’t end up printing off the templates for the students from the pack, it has tons of great ideas that I will definitely be using. That alone made the pack totally worth its $15 price tag. I’m all for giving back to teachers for great products, and this is worth every penny. I wish, sometimes, I was an elementary teacher so I’d have fewer students and I COULD print off each and every single page. Class notes and personal reflections go hand in hand to create in depth and engaging interactive notebooks.
Anyway, after we used the first page to write our table of contents, we did the questions in the Start Math Class Out on the Right Foot (but of course, adapted for L.A.). The students enjoyed these questions, and we had fun discussing them with their neighbors and the class as a whole. Passing out textbooks, completing the ToC, and answering the Introduction questions took up about 45 minutes, so plan a whole class period around this.
And now, a few shots of the process on Day 1.
This photo is all of my ISNs. I set up an ISN for each of my classes. One of the posts I read on ISNs recommended you do the notebook along with your students. This serves several purposes. First, it allows you to be a model for the students as to what they should be doing. Second, it keeps a permanent example of an ISN for the students to refer to later. Third, it is great when students are absent to grab your ISN and catch up on missed work.
This photo is how we set up our table of contents. Very simple. We just had some discussion about adding to it as we add things to our journal and to make sure you write page numbers on the bottom of each page.
The next few photos are from the questions that we answered together from the post I linked. The photos in orange ink are the ones I did with my inclusion students. Instead of writing down five things, we wrote down three. The blue ink is from my other classes’ books.
So there we go! Kicking off Language Arts journals right!
I suppose the first thing I should do is introduce myself.
My name is Megan, and I’m a 6th grade Language Arts teacher in Tennessee. This is my first year teaching, no kids, just barely married, so I spend countless hours each week coming up with killer lesson plans. Are they all killer? Nope. Do they flop sometimes? Yep.
The reason I wanted to start this site is because I find about 90% of my lesson activities online. There is very, very little workbook or textbook work done. I strive to make each lesson fun, memorable, and most importantly, educational. So I wanted to put everything I do in one easy to find location: this blog.
My goal is to help other teachers (specifically TN teachers, so the standards align) find great activities easily. I want to hear how they worked for you, what tweaks you made, or if it was totally horrible and you’ll never do it again. I’m not a lesson planner extraordinaire. Just like any teacher, I beg, borrow, and steal from amazing teachers with far more expertise than me. I just hope you can use what I have found, and make it work for you.
With all that said, let the games begin. We’ll see how it goes!
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