As you can tell I got a blog makeover... I had the pleasure of working with Megan from A Bird in Hand Blog Designs.  She was very patient with me and tweeked everything to my liking.  It didn't hurt that she was a fellow Texas teacher.  You should go and check her out!

P.S. We are winding things down on poetry and introducing drama this week... stay tuned!

Today my local Houston Texans will be battling it out in the play-offs.  We had "Go Texan" day at school on Friday, so I wanted to share some Texan love with you! 

Go Texans!!

On a educational note - while we were studying inferencing before break one of my students made an awesome connection and I wrote it in my reading spiral.

Can you read it??  He compared inferencing to Storage Wars... GENIUS!!
This Thursday and Friday my classes were working on copying, labeling, making questions,  and illustrating all of the poems out of the book Scarum Fair by Jessica Swaim.  This is a collection of poems about a spooky fair that is filled with creepy rides and icky attractions.

SIDE NOTE... Scarum Fair is on the Texas Bluebonnet list in the state of Texas for this school year.  (The Bluebonnet list is a list of recently (within 3 years) published book that are selected to be highlighted.)  At our campus the students read the books and take AR tests as part of a incentive program.  If the students pass a certain number of tests they will get their specific rewards.  Well... two of the books this year were not AR tests.  One of the non-AR books was Scarum Fair.  If the students read the book, then they get credit for it.

To help solve the problems of having to read a book that contained 29 poems to each of my 3 classes, I decided to make a poem gallery that would be available for the whole school.  Students would be able to walk through read the poems, look at the illustrations, and even see if they could answer the student made questions. 

Each poem was given to a group of students.  The first thing that they had to do was copy the poem down onto an anchor, which actually took the longest.  Then they were to go through and labels the different aspects of their poem (stanzas, rhyme scheme, tone, figurative language).  They were to also come up with 2 questions for their piece.  The last thing they got to do was illustrate and they definitely didn't let me down on the creative front! 

I took all of the poem anchor charts and put them in a hallway gallery style, which is now open to the public. (lol!) The other 5th and 6th grade teachers & librarians were so excited that all of the students would be able to tour the gallery and get credit for the book.

I am absolutely thrilled by all my kiddos.... once again, they have done me proud!!
I have really enjoyed my students this first week back.  Even though they are 5th graders, some of them broke my heart when we left for Christmas break.  All is well though and everyone survived! :)

This first week back we have been immersing ourselves in poetry.  The students have really taken to it and seem to be enjoying themselves. 

Of course we started off the week by completing a foldable in our reading spirals.  The students whizzed right through the cutting and gluing... they are such pros now!  I bought a poetry unit from Lightbulb Minds, which I believe is Amanda from Teaching Maddeness' webpage.  I used the examples and definitions they had to come up with my foldable. (I will upload the foldable to both of my stores along with my figurative language foldable.)

We have also been completing a poem a day in our spiral and labeling several things.

After they got a hang of that I gave groups of students a poem on an anchor chart.  They had to find and label the different parts of a poem.  They also had to come up with 2 questions.  One could be a "right" there question and the other had to be a "thinking" question.  They really surprised me with some of the thinking questions that they came up with.  I put their anchor charts up in the hallway and theywere super proud as was I!

We are finishing up another poetry activity that I can't wait to share with you especially my fellow Texas teachers that participate in the Texas Bluebonnet program...

Until then... Go Texans!!  We had a go Texans day today and I'll be sharing those pictures on Sunday!

If you have any other ideas for poetry, please send them my way!

I participated in a goal writing linky last week and started to think about my students.  Why shouldn't they be making attainable goal to strive for in 2013?  I really believe that this will help my kiddos especially my homeroom class stay motivated and focused.  I decided to create a freebie that is avaiable in both of my stores. (Yes, I opened a Teachers Pay Teachers store also.)  If you go and download, please comment or rate it for me. 
 I hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday!
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