5 Pinterest Collaborative Boards: Teaching & Education

I must confess that I am now an official Pinterest addict and I have spent more than an hour of my waking day to devote to building content of my awesome Pinterest teacher boards since its inception in November. The great news is that I'm now opening them up for collaboration!
What are Pinterest Collaborative Boards? They are actually boards on Pinterest that allow other pinners to pin content on the board. Yes, it's that plain and simple! I believe that I have great colleagues who are also Pinterest users (like YOU!) who would want to share pins centered around teaching and special education. Collaborative boards on Pinterest are a great way to share your information to other teachers and networkers, while also generating great back links to your blog or website.
My Pinterest boards are now open, please leave a comment on the latest post and I will certainly add you. Let's start sharing!
#1. Books and Reading Resources. This is all about the written word. Please leave me a comment on the most recent pin if you are interested in sharing your books and everything about books on this board.
#2 Great Ideas From Teachers. Need ideas for the kiddos? Get authentic teacher-made classroom resources, fun kid-friendly games, craftivities and more from our amazing teachers. If you want to share your awesome classroom pins, please leave me a comment on the most recent pin! We currently have 75 teachers collaborating on this board, join us!

#3 Social Media and Technology in Education. For social media savvy teachers, this board is for you! Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google + tips and tricks to make all of them grow and glow...follow this board! Let me know if you want to be a pinner to this board by leaving a comment on the most recent pin.

#4 100+ Education Quotes. Get your education quotes from the most political edreform sayings to the most inspirational wisdom laden and famous proverbs from this board! Same process, share your pins by leaving a comment on the most recent pin and I will add you as a collaborator.
#5 National Board Certification and Teacherpreneurship. When the going gets tough, what do you do? Here are some resources that you might need if you are going through the process of National Board Certification or are just looking for teaching standards and best practices for effective teacher leaders. If you have something to share about NBC or Teacherpreneurship, please leave a comment on the most recent post.


Realistic Fiction: "Climb or Die"

LESSON PLAN for English Language Arts
For the week of Sept 29- Oct 3, 2008
DCPS STANDARDS COVERED: 6.LD-V.1 / 6.LD-V.7 / 6.LD-V.8 / 6.LD-V.10
Maria Angala, ELA/ Math Resource Teacher

Improve Comprehension Using a Word Card Game With Root Words and Affixes

WARM UP: Different writing prompts will be given daily.

Middle school students love friendly competition, and word games can be an ideal context to help them study the meaning, structure, and spelling of words. In this lesson, students practice analyzing word meanings by learning root words and affixes. They work in a variety of ways with a list of about 20 common but challenging words to learn the definition and spelling of each. Then they get in small groups to design and play the Make-a-Word card game, during which they must form complete words with three cards: a prefix, a root word, and a suffix.

Student Objectives
Students will
- Learn how affixes and root words affect word meaning
- Develop an awareness of how to decipher word meaning by analyzing the affixes and root words and looking at context
- Synthesize what they have learned by constructing game cards that contain root words and affixes
- Work cooperatively in small groups to make and play a word card game
- Understand how this knowledge will help them to improve reading comprehension and spelling

Instructional Plan

1. Review the following websites to get an idea of how the concept of word parts is presented in different ways. Bookmark these websites on the computers students will be using.
- Root Words, Prefixes, Suffixes – A chart with root words, prefixes, and suffixes
- Spelling it Right: Prefixes and Spelling it Right: Suffixes – Links on these pages take you to multiple examples; in addition, click on the Exercise List link for printable worksheets, spelling activities, and games
- Decoding Print: Phonics With Intermediate Readers – Two charts with 25 prefixes and suffixes and their meanings

2.Print and make copies of the following handouts for every student in your class:
Prefix, Root Word, and Suffix Study Sheet
Make-a-Word Game Chart
Definition Study
Make-a-Word Game Instructions
Make-a-Word Self-Evaluation

3.Print and review the Affixes and Root Words: Teacher's Guide to use as a reference when reviewing students' work.

4.If students in your class have not worked with word parts before, prepare working definitions of prefix, root word, and suffix to share with them. You can use the definitions that appear at the top of the Prefix, Root Word, and Suffix Study Sheet.

Instruction and Activities


Session 1

Revise the simile poem from last week and write it in final draft for publishing.

Immediately before this session, write the following word parts on the board in a haphazard way: trans, port, able, un, beat, able, re, consider, ation, de, grad, ation. They should be out of order, at different angles, and, if possible, in different colors. On another part of the board, make a chart with the following column titles: Complete Word, Prefix, Root Word, Suffix, and Meaning.
1.Begin by asking students to look closely at the word parts on the board and to try to form complete words with them. After a few responses, explain the chart headings briefly if students are not familiar with the terms. Start filling in the chart on the board with student feedback, asking volunteers to say what they think the words mean.

2.Take students to the computer lab, if necessary, and have dictionaries available for them. Hand out the Make-a-Word Game Chart. Tell them that they will be making and playing a card game, but to do this they need to determine the meaning of each prefix, root word, and suffix and copy it onto the chart. The websites listed provide most meanings, with the exception of the root words that can act as words on their own. Ask students to identify these words (consider, complete, believe, activate, lax, act), and explain that they will need to look them up in the dictionary.

3.As students finish, give each of them a copy of the Prefix, Root Word, and Suffix Study Sheet and have them read the introduction and paragraph, underlining any words they think have prefixes or suffixes. Have them write the meaning of the words, without using the dictionary, below the paragraph. They should try using information from the Make-a-Word Game Chart to guess if they do not know the meanings of the words.

4.Pass out the Definition Study handout and tell students to match the words with their definitions, putting the corresponding letter next to the words. If class time is limited, this can be assigned as homework.

Play the figurative Language Jeopardy Game compete by teams. http://www.elko.k12.nv.us/ecsdtc/ppp/fig.ppt

READING BLOCK: “Climb or Die” Houghton Mifflin pages 74-81. Introduce the author: http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hmr06/gr6/gr6_th1_sel3.html

Comprehension Questions for the Anthology Selection:

- Compare the illustrations on Anthology pages 81 and 83. What is different about the children’s feelings in these pictures? Why have their feelings changed?
- How do Danielle and Jack’s emotions change from the beginning to the end of the story?
- Retell the story to a partner: Use the pictures to help you. Tell what happens at the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Does the story remind you of an experience you have had? If so, what?


Session 2


Greek & Latin Affixes. Show this PPT, ask the students to respond to the exercises: http://www.spartanburg2.k12.sc.us/CMS/Study%20Guides/Greek%20and%20Latin%20Roots%20and%20Affixes/

1.Go over the Make-a-Word Game Chart and Definition Study handouts and read the correct answers while students make changes as necessary. Ask students to look at their charts and talk about how the definitions of the entire words relate to the definitions of the word parts.

2.Read “The Garbage Problem” paragraph (from the Prefix, Root Word, and Suffix Study Sheet) aloud to the class and ask if it makes more sense now that they have analyzed the difficult words. Have students discuss words that were hard for them. Tell them to pick the three hardest words, look them up in the dictionary, and write the definition next to their guess to see how close they were.

3.Ask students to talk about why knowing the meanings of parts of words might help them to improve reading comprehension and spelling. Encourage them to use examples from the chart to reflect on the fact that word parts can have the same spelling and meaning when used in different words. You want to make sure students understand that these affixes can be put together with root words like a puzzle to form new words. This means we can use logic and our knowledge of what the affixes and root words mean to decipher the meaning and spelling of new words.

4.PAIR & SHARE: Have students get into heterogeneous groups of three or four students, possibly mixing outgoing students with introverted students. Give each group the Make-a-Word Game Instructions and the 60 blank index cards. Have them keep their Make-a-Word Game Charts out as they will need them to make the game. Tell students to closely follow the instructions to make and play the game, and that they will earn a grade for this activity based on how well they work together as a group to carry out the instructions.


1.Students should start or continue playing the card game. Groups may play more than one game if time permits.

2.Pass out the Make-a-Word Self-Evaluation and give students time to answer the questions. Then discuss their answers as a class. Encourage students to reflect on what they learned and its value in the larger context of their school work and how they might use this information in the future to improve their reading comprehension and spelling. Consider also how they learned together through a group activity.

In the days that follow the card game, offer students extra points if they find one of the 20 words from the game in their reading or if they point it out when you use the word during class.
Have students use the Stapleless Book to make a book depicting eight of the 20 words they created game cards for. Each page can include the complete word and its definition, the meaning of each word part, a sentence using the word, and a drawing to illustrate the sentence.
Use the websites listed in the Web Resources to make additional sets of cards with root words and affixes. You might even sponsor a tournament in your class to see who can make the most words.

Student Assessment/Reflections

Circulate around the classroom as students make and play the card game, taking notes on how groups are working together and making comments as needed. You may want to work individually with students who are struggling to form words.
READING BLOCK: continue reading “The Little Prince”

Dancing Minds and Shouting Smiles: Teaching Personification Through Poetry


Experiencing the language of great poets provides a rich learning context for students, giving them access to the best examples of how words can be arranged in unique ways. By studying the works of renowned poets across cultures and histories, students extract knowledge about figurative language and poetic devices from masters of the craft. In this lesson, students learn about personification by reading and discussing poems by Emily Dickinson, William Blake, and Langston Hughes. Then they use the poems as a guide to brainstorm lists of nouns and verbs that they randomly arrange to create personification in their own poems.

Student Objectives

Students will
- Define personification and learn how it is applied by reading and responding to classic poetry
- Demonstrate comprehension and practice analysis by discussing personification and how it affects the mood of specific poems
- Practice working collaboratively to develop word lists and write a poem together
- Apply their knowledge of figurative language by using a graphic organizer to create personification using random phrases and by writing original poems

Instructional Plan


1.Transcribe the poems "The Sky is Low" by Emily Dickinson, "Two Sunflowers Move in the Yellow Room" by William Blake, and "April Rain Song" by Langston Hughes onto chart paper.

2.Make copies of the Brainstorming Graphic Organizer, the Peer Editing Checklist, and the Teaching Personification Through Poetry Rubric for each student in the class.

Instruction and Activities


Session 1


* Main Idea & Supporting Details. Show this PPT on Main Idea & Supporting Details. Ask a volunteer to answer each question. http://classroom.jc-schools.net/coleytech/dynamic_curriculum/Language/Mainidea%20.ppt#1

Explain to students that they will be reading poems that contain examples of personification, one type of figurative language used in writing. Use the following questions to discuss personification and arrive at a definition:
- What word do you notice inside the word personification?
- How does the word "person" give you a clue as to the meaning of personification?
- Why do you think a writer would want to use personification in a poem?
- After a brief discussion, establish with students that personification is the attribution of human qualities (such as emotion) and actions to nonhuman objects or ideas.

Introduce the poem "The Sky is Low" by Emily Dickinson to students. Conduct a choral reading, assigning different students to each read one line of the poem. Ask students to try and define any unfamiliar vocabulary (for example, diadem) using the context of the poem, providing definitions when they are unable to determine what a word means.

3.Ask students to identify examples of personification in the poem. Discuss why Dickinson has chosen to personify the weather. Questions for discussion include:
- What kind of words does she use to set the mood of the poem? Can you think of other words that might do the same thing?
- How does she intensify the image of an unpleasant day by using personification?
- What does she compare nature to? Why do you think she does this?
- You may choose to write student responses on chart paper here and after discussing the two other poems. This will be useful during Sessions 2 and 3.

Follow the same procedure for "Two Sunflowers Move in the Yellow Room" by William Blake. Possible discussion questions include:
What is different about how Blake uses personification in his poem?
Why do you think he chooses to have the sunflowers talk?
What kinds of descriptive words does Blake use? Why do you think he uses these words?

Read and discuss "April Rain Song" by Langston Hughes. Possible questions for discussion include:
- What are Langston Hughes' feelings toward rain?
- What does he want his audience to do?
- How does personification help him make his point?
- How is his use of personification different from that of Dickinson or Blake?
- What do you notice about the language he uses to describe the rain? How does he use repetition to make his point?

6. Ask students to compare and contrast the three poems. Some suggested questions are as follows:
- What are the different moods of each poem?
- How does the use of personification by each poet contribute to the mood of his or her poem?
- What are the different types of words and patterns that each poet uses?
- Which poem do you like the best? Why?

READING BLOCK: continue reading “The Little Prince”


Session 2


* Using Dictionaries.
The students will understand the types of information that can be found in a dictionary entry, and can identify the parts of a dictionary entry. Show this PPT on Dictionary Organization, ask a student to answer each question http://www.floyd.k12.va.us/itrt/pwrpnts/library%20science/DictionaryDefinitions.ppt

Write "Verbs" on the top of one piece of chart paper and "Nouns" at the top of another. Have these on display next to the copies of the poems you read in Session 1. If you have recorded student responses to the discussion questions, have these posted as well. Have students read each of the three poems aloud and ask for volunteers to remind the class what personification is and how these poems make use of it.

2.Ask students to look at the types of things that these three poems are about. What nouns do they notice? What do the poets choose to personify? What kinds of words do they use to do this?

3.Keeping the poems in front of the students, ask them to suggest nouns and verbs they think might work well in writing a poem that uses personification. Write their responses on the chart papers labeled "Nouns" and "Verbs." Try to generate at least 20 nouns and 20 verbs; the more words students list, the more options they will have in writing their own poems.

READING BLOCK: continue reading “The Little Prince”


Session 3

Congratulate students on the work they did on their personification poems. Explain that they will work with a partner to review and edit each other's poems prior to turning their rough drafts into final copies.

2. Introduce the Peer Editing Checklist. Explain that each partner will trade his or her poem with the other and then, review it and make suggestions using the questions on the checklist.

3. Go over the questions on the checklist with the students as a group. Clarify any questions students have. Emphasize the constructive nature of the process and that students are offering helpful advice.

Divide students into pairs. Instruct them to trade poems. Give each student a checklist to use as a guide as they review their partner's poem. Have them write comments and suggestions in the spaces provided on the checklist. As students complete their reviews, they should return the checklist and poem to the writer. Circulate while students are working, answering questions and observing.

5. Give students time to read the checklists and rewrite their poems.

6. Bring students back together to share their favorite personification images from their partners' poems. Ask them to explain why they especially liked the particular images. If students are willing, ask them to read their poems to the class.

continue reading “The Little Prince”

QUIZ: Figurative Language in Poetry, Affixes, Spelling List, story structure

- Allow students to share their poems in a poetry reading. You might also have students illustrate their poems for a class literary magazine.
- Have students use the Acrostic Poems or Diamante Poems online tools to write poems in these forms that use personification.
- Provide access to the ThinkQuest Personification Practice website where students can practice identifying examples of personification.
- Direct students to create their own lists of 10 nouns and 10 verbs to be used in a second poetry writing exercise focused on personification. Have students put the words they chose in envelopes to trade with a friend. Discuss how the second exercise turned out differently than the first because of the wider selection of words.

Student Assessment/Reflections
- Informally assess student comprehension of personification during the discussion in Session 1 and at the end of Session 4. You want to make sure that students understand not only what personification is, but also how poets use it to create mood and imagery.
- Informally assess students' ability to work collaboratively to generate the noun and verb lists, write the class poem, review each other's work, and discuss each other's use of personification. You may also choose to collect and review the Peer Editing Checklists to check how much feedback students share and how well they understand the concept of personification.
- Collect and review the completed Brainstorming Graphic Organizers and the student poems to assess student comprehension of and ability to apply figurative language and personification. You can assess these using the Teaching Personification Through Poetry Rubric.

DAILY HOMEWORK: Homework will be checked with parent’s signature daily. The same spelling list will be used for this week but each day, students will choose two from the list of activities (each day should be different):
· Use the word in an original sentence.
· Find and learn the definition of the word.
· Know how to pronounce the word.
· Which parts of speech is the word used as (e.g. noun, verb)?
· What are other forms of the word such as plurals or tenses.
· What are synonyms of the word?
· What are antonyms of the word?
· What is the origin or etymology of the word?
· What words rhyme with this word?

“CLIMB OR DIE” WORD LIST: more vowel spellings

EASY (Bachelor's)


AVERAGE (Master's)


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WELCOME SY 2014-2015!

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There are tons of lesson plans, printables, activity sheets and other resources that special education teachers can find in this blog! It's all for you to get the lil ones engaged in their seats and lovin' what they're doin'!

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