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.


Historical Fiction: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

LESSON PLAN for English Language Arts
Maria Angala, ELA/ Math Resource Teacher

For the week of Oct 6-10, 2008
DCPS STANDARDS COVERED: 6.LD-V.7 / 6.LD-V.8 / 6.LD-S.9 / 6.LD-V.10 / 6.LD-V.9
TEXTBOOK ALIGNMENT: Houghton Mifflin, “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”
GENRE: Historical Fiction
STRATEGY/ SKILL: Monitor Clarify/ Predicting Outcomes
GRAMMAR SKILLS FOCUS: Common & Proper Nouns, Singular & Plural Nouns

Dynamite Diamante Poetry

WARM UP: Different writing prompts will be given daily.

Grammar study is important for developing reading, writing, and speaking skills, but many teachers are unsure how best to include it in their curriculum. Providing grammar instruction through engaging literacy activities teaches basic concepts while developing students' vocabularies and spelling proficiency. In this lesson, students review nouns (Common, proper, singular, plural), adjectives, and verbs. They then practice using them as new vocabulary words by composing structured diamante poems as a class and independently using an online interactive tool. The poems can be printed off and displayed or published as a class book or magazine.

Student Objectives
Students will
- Access prior knowledge about nouns (Common & Proper Nouns, Singular & Plural Nouns), adjectives, and verbs
- Demonstrate comprehension of parts of speech through a word-sort activity and by composing a poem that uses them
- Define a diamante poem by looking at examples
- Practice developing vocabulary words as part of a brainstorming activity
- Illustrate their understanding of the diamante format by writing poems both individually and as a class
- Practice spelling by revising their poems
- Share their poems by reading them aloud and publishing them in a class magazine or book

Instructional Plan

1. Make sure that students have permission to use the Internet, following your school policy. If you need to, reserve two 45-minute sessions in your school's computer lab. These do not need to be on consecutive days. Bookmark the Diamante Poems interactive writing tool on the computers students will be using. These computers should be connected to a printer so that students can print off their poems.
2. Review the Diamante Poems interactive writing tool to familiarize yourself with it. (If you experience difficulty, make sure that computers have the most recent version of the Flash plug-in, which can be downloaded for free from the ReadWriteThink Site Tools page.)
3. Obtain copies of A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What Is a Noun?, To Root, To Toot, To Parachute: What Is A Verb?, and Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What Is An Adjective? by Brian Cleary and Kites Sail High: A Book About Verbs, Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives, and Merry-Go-Round: A Book About Nouns by Ruth Heller. Review each of them and find examples of nouns, adjectives, verbs, and gerunds to share with students during Session 1.
4. Make a transparency of the Diamante Brainstorm or create a similar page on chart paper or a white board. Make copies of this handout for each student in the class.
5. Copy the Word Sort Chart onto chart paper or a board in your classroom.
6. Make one copy of the Sample Diamante Poems handout for each student in the class. This handout includes three examples. You might also visit the Diamantes by Koday's Kids website, which includes a number of examples of student diamante poems or the Animal Inn Poetry website, which has another example. You may want to copy one or two of these poems onto chart paper to use with the class as well.
7. Make one copy of the Diamante Format handout for each student in the class.

Instruction and Activities


Session 1

Review the parts of speech noun and adjective, asking students for definitions and examples of both that you list on a piece of chart paper. Read students the noun and adjective examples you have selected from Houghton Mifflin, “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”. Ask students to tell you words that were new to them or pages they particularly enjoyed hearing. Include the new words on the chart paper.
2. Ask students to define the word verb and collect examples that you write on a new piece of chart paper.
3. Read students the verb examples you have selected from Houghton Mifflin, “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle” and ask them to tell you words that were new to them or pages they particularly enjoyed hearing. Include the new words on the chart paper. Brainstorm other examples of verbs with the students and record them on the chart paper.Point out the base words, which change their function when –ing is added.
Show students the Word Sort Chart you have created on the board or chart paper and review the different spelling patterns for each column (you may choose to provide one example for each). Tell them they will work in groups of two or three to do a word sort activity using this chart. Distribute six or seven index cards to each group. Students should record a verb form on each card. They may use the examples you have discussed as a class or come up with their own but they must have at least two examples for each spelling pattern.Use of dictionaries, glossaries, or your classroom word wall should be encouraged at this step.
5. When each group of students has at least six examples (two from each spelling pattern), ask them to tape their cards in the correct column on the Word Sort Chart.
6. As a class, decide if there are any words that should be moved into a different column, then discuss the reasons for the move.
Note: You should make the books you used in this session available for students to read during independent reading time and when they are writing their poems in Session 3.

LITERATURE FOCUS: Houghton Mifflin, “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”
Segment 1 (pages 97-102)
Meet the author: http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hmr06/gr6/gr6_th1_sel4.html

Lead students on a picture walk, using these prompts:
Page 97: Who is this girl? Where is she? What can you guess about her personality from looking at her face?
Page 98: Who is talking to Charlotte in this picture? Where are they sitting? Where is the light coming from?
Pages 100-101: What is Charlotte looking at? What do you think she may be thinking? What are the men in the picture thinking? Why are they wearing those clothes?

READING BLOCK: continue reading “The Little Prince”


Session 2


Distribute the Sample Diamante Poems handout and any additional samples you have chosen to use. Ask students to discover the pattern of these poems using the following questions:
What do you notice about the shape of the poems?
What are these poems about? How do they start? How do they end?
What do you notice about the number of words in each line?
Do the poems use nouns? Adjectives? Verbs?
Among the things you want to discuss are the following:
The poem is shaped like a diamond, giving it the name diamante poetry.
Diamante poems can be about one thing or they can compare and contrast two opposite things.
The number of words varies by line.
Different parts of speech make up the different lines. Lines 1 and 7 are nouns. Lines 2 and 6 are adjectives. Lines 3 and 5 are gerunds.
Line 4 is a transitional line that moves from the first part of the poem to the second. It can either be four nouns or a thought that has at least five words.
The words in the poem all relate to the first and last lines of the poem, which serve as a title and conclusion. Sometimes the same word is used, sometimes two words that are synonyms, and sometimes two words that are opposites.
2. Ask students what they notice about the words used in the diamante poems you have chosen. Questions for discussion include:
How do they think the writers selected their topics?
What words do they think are especially effective and why?
How do they think that the writers came up with these words?
If they were writing a poem, where could they look to find words that relate to their topic?
3. Distribute the Diamante Format handout and review.
Tell the class you will now compose a poem together. Ask students what they think the topic should be (Halloween, Fall/ Autumn topics). You might choose something seasonal, an upcoming event, or something you have read about or studied recently. Make sure that the topic is meaningful to students.
5. Working as a class, use the Diamante Brainstorm overhead or chart you have created to come up with appropriate words that are related to the topic you have chosen. List more words than the poem will require.
6. Model the choice of the most descriptive and appropriate words from the list by encouraging a class discussion about which words should be used and why. Discuss the order in which they should be placed to create a class diamante poem. Ask students what they think the transition should be from the beginning of the poem to the conclusion. Encourage students to experiment with different word choice and order and make note of the change in mood, tempo, and rhythm.
7. Review spelling patterns necessary for correct spelling of gerunds.

LITERATURE FOCUS: Houghton Mifflin, “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”
Segment 2, pages 102-109
Play the E-Word Game: http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hmr06/ewordgame/index.html?grade=6&theme=1&selection=4

Lead the students on a picture walk, using these prompts:
Page 103: What is Charlotte doing? Why are her feet bare? What parts of the ship can we see in the picture?
Page 105: Where would we have to be in order to see the ship from this angle? Why do people on the ship look so small?
Page 106: How would you describe the expression on Charlotte’s face?
Page 108-109: How do the sailor’s feel about Charlotte now? Who is the man in dark clothing on page 108?

READING BLOCK: continue reading “The Little Prince”

DAY 3 & 4

Session 3 & 4

Students will compose their own diamante poems on a subject of their choosing.
2. First, have students select topics. Tell them that getting started is always they hardest part. Help students brainstorm possible poem ideas such as a favorite holiday, a hobby they enjoy, a science unit you are studying, a family member, or a trip they have taken.
3. Discuss potential sources for interesting words. Possibilities include the books you shared and the charts you created during Session 1, reference books in your classroom, and vocabulary lists.
4. Pass out the Diamante Brainstorm handout and ask students to create word lists for their poem. Remind them of the process you used during Session 2 to search for words for the class diamante poem. Tell them that having more words than they need for their final poem will allow them to choose the words that will best describe their topic.
5. Have students use their word list and the Diamante Poems interactive writing tool to write a diamante poem. Students should print their poems when they are complete. If your students' skills vary widely, having them work in pairs may insure success.
6. Remind students of the three possible spelling patterns used in correctly spelled gerunds. Ask them to check the gerunds they used in their poems to make sure they are spelled correctly. You might have them use print or online dictionaries such as WordCentral.com. If they need to, they can reenter their poems and print final versions.

LITERATURE FOCUS: Houghton Mifflin, “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”
Word Find: http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hmr06/gr6/activities/gr6_th1_sel4_wf.html

Comprehension questions:
- Compare the pictures of the sailors on Anthology pages 101 and 109. How have their feelings changed? Why?
- What do you think will happen to Charlotte now? Why?
- Have you ever had to prove your courage to someone else? Tell about the experience. How did you feel afterward?

READING BLOCK: continue reading “The Little Prince”


Session 5

Ask student volunteers to share their poems with the class. If they are comfortable asking for comments, allow time for class responses.
2. Collect student poems and hang them up in the classroom. Or you may choose to make them into a book or magazine for which you solicit student illustrations. This book can become part of the classroom library so students can take it home to share with families.

LITERATURE FOCUS: Houghton Mifflin, “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”
Review the definitions in the spelling list from: http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hmr06/gr6/gr6_th1_sel4.html

READING BLOCK: continue reading “The Little Prince”

QUIZ: Spelling List, Predicting Outcomes, Common & Proper Nouns, Singular & Plural Nouns

- Have students submit their poems for online publication. Writers' Window and The Poetry Zone are two websites that accept and publish poetry submissions by young writers.
- Have students experiment with other forms of poetry using the Acrostic Poem tool or the Shape Poem tool. Additional ReadWriteThink poetry lessons include Shape Poems: Writing Extraordinary Poems About Ordinary Objects, Building Classroom Community Through the Exploration of Acrostic Poetry, and Composing Cinquain Poems with Basic Parts of Speech.
Student Assessment/Reflections
- During class discussions (especially the creation of the class poem), anecdotal notes and observation can be used to monitor understanding of spelling patterns, parts of speech, and vocabulary.
- Use the word-sort activity to assess student comprehension of gerunds.
- Check final versions of the students' poems for application of new learning of parts of speech, diamante structure, and spelling patterns.

- technology
- social studies
- science

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?

HISTORICAL FICTION: “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”
WORD LIST: Get the definition from: http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hmr06/gr6/gr6_th1_sel4.html
the /ou/, /oo/, /o/, and /oi/ sounds

Bachelors (EASY)

Masters (AVERAGE)


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WELCOME SY 2014-2015!

Teachers & parents tell me that this blog is like a "One-Stop-Shop", here's why ---

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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