Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fun with Figurative Language in 5th Grade

Figurative Language is one of my favorite units to teach!
Over the years, I've gathered and created many resources to help make this unit fun for my students. I wanted to share these with you, so you can easily find any of the resources that you think would be good for your students.

These concert tickets and VIP passes were a free resource from Adventures of Ms. Smith!

Click here for the VIP passes and tickets!

 To start our unit we held a special concert event featuring music with all types of Figurative Language! I passed out the tickets for the concert the Friday before in order to build the excitement. I also encouraged the students to dress in their favorite concert gear!

These notes from Lovin Lit gave us the definition of each type of Figurative Language!

Click here for the notebooking resource from Lovin Lit

For each type of Figurative Language we "performed" along with a different song. I let the students use our gold microphone and set up a stage in my classroom with strobe lights to help set the mood. We added notes for each new type of Figurative Language into our notebooks. 

I display these simple posters in my classroom for my students to refer back to when they need to!

Click here to find these posters!
Also in printer friendly black and white (print on colorful paper)

After the concert (and preview of all the types of Figurative Language) we complete activities to take a closer look at each type of Figurative Language.
This craftivity is one of several awesome resources I have from the AMAZING Deb Hanson!

Click here to the link for this craftivity!
For some of the types of Figurative Language we complete craftivities from Deb Hanson, like the one shown above. This is a fun way for the students to review what they have learned. If you haven't tried any of Deb Hanson's units yet, be sure to check her out! Everything she makes is wonderful!

This is a project we completed for practice with idioms!

To practice idioms, the student used idioms that contained food references to create plates and napkins. On the plates the students drew pictures to represent each idiom, and on the napkins the students wrote sentences using the idioms.
Onomatopoeia projects!

We made some simple art projects for practice with Onomatopoeia. I had each student choose a sound word and gave them construction paper to use. I told them to be creative in their representation of the word. They had a lot of fun with these projects!

These practice and assess sheets also come from Lovin Lit.

Click here for the link to the 5th grade practice and assess worksheets.

For some of the different types of Figurative Language I use these practice and assess worksheets from Lovin Lit. I have both the 5th grade and 6th grade versions of these to use for differentiation in the classroom! These are great for really getting to see what the students understand about Figurative Language.

At the end of our unit, we completed Figurative Language projects to demonstrate all that we had learned. 

Finished Figurative Language Project!

Click here for the resource for this project!

I also differentiate this project based on the needs of my students. The students can be asked to match each type of Figurative Language or create their own examples. I love how these projects turn out every year!

Practice and Review!

Click here for the Halloween Figurative Language Review!

After we finish our Figurative Language unit, it is important to review this topic all throughout the school year. I like to use fun holiday reviews to make sure we don't forget all that we have learned!

 I also like to use to reviews from Margaret Whisnant throughout the year to keep our Figurative Language skills fresh all year long. She has amazing practice packets for different months of the school year.

I also create the above anchor chart as a review later in the school. The students really do so well with remembering all the different types of Figurative Language when we review many times throughout the school year. 

I hope you were able to find a resource or two here to help improve your Figurative Language units!

Thanks, Melissa

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Teacher Tidbit Tuesday: What Makes You Happy?

My happy list, of course, starts with my family! I am incredibly blessed with three adorable children and a wonderful husband. 

I love having a job that allows me to be mom all summer long, but also do something that I love! 

Some of the other things that I love are:

Setting up my classroom each year for a fresh start. One of the best parts of being a teacher is that every school year is different. We get to know new kids and try new things. 

I love creating cozy, inviting spaces in my classroom.

The Fall! Fall is my favorite season of all. I love when the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to change color. I love sweater weather, pumpkins, and apple picking!

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Reading. I love reading a book and escaping into a new world. Reading is one of my favorite ways to relax.

Enjoying a perfect summer day!

What are the things that make you most happy?
Share with me!

Thanks again for joining me in this week's edition of #teachertidbittuesday!


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Teacher Tidbit Tuesday: Top 10 Movies of All Time

We all know there are some movies that you can watch over and over again, and others you'll only watch once or twice. Here are my top 10 favorite movies of all time!

1. "I Am Sam" 

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Sean Penn's acting in this movie is amazing! When his daughter is taken away from him by child protective services because of his disability, Michelle Pfeiffer becomes his lawyer in order to help him fight to get her back. The message that "Love is All You Need" is incredibly powerful in this sweet movie.

2. "Beauty and the Beast" 

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Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney movie. When this version of the movie came out, I was so worried that it wouldn't live up to my expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised. 

3. "Harry Potter" Series

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All of the Harry Potter movies were so fantastic to watch. I loved watching these characters (and actors) grow as the series continued. I can watch these movies over and over again. So magical!

4. "Sweet Home Alabama"

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I love a happy ending. This movie is one of those stories where you know exactly what is going to happen, but it's still so much fun to watch. And, who doesn't love a Reese Witherspoon movie? (If you haven't seen the alternate ending that could have ruined this movie, well, maybe just skip it! It would have been an awful way to end the movie!)

5. "Back to the Future" series

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The Back to the Future series was one of my favorites as a kid. I will always love this series. It is so much fun to go back and watch the movies now and see how much has changed since they were made. (And, how much is not exactly as predicted for the future!)

6. "Hope Floats"

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Sandra Bullock is another one of my favorite actresses of all time. I love so many of her movies, but Hope Floats is one of my top favorites. This another sappy, sweet movie that just makes you feel happy. The soundtrack to this movie is also one of my favorites!

7. "Mystic Pizza"

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This movie from Julia Roberts's early days of acting is another classic in my opinion. I love watching these girls and their romantic problems in this fun romatic comedy!

8. "10 Things I Hate About You"

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A young Heath Ledger is only one of the reasons I love this version of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew." Julia Stiles character in this movie is so fun as an angst-filled teenager! 

9.  "Practical Magic" 

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Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as witches! I loved this movie so much! This movie also has another soundtrack that is excellent as well.

10.  "13 Going On 30"

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The last movie in my top 10 list is another feel-good, happy ending movie. I love Jennifer Garner and her movies. This movie is such a fun one to watch, and a good reminder that we all need to add a little fun into our lives!

Were any of my top 10 movies your favorites too? What movies are your favorites? Share with me in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you!


Thanks so much for joining me for another #teachertidbittuesday this week! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Teacher Tidbit Tuesday: How to Plan Out Your Classroom Design

I start my classroom design plan for the next school year at the end of each school year. We have to leave a floor plan layout for our custodial staff in the window of classrooms before leaving for summer break. I am so appreciative of our custodial staff for setting up all of the furniture in my classroom each year because this is a huge task! (I realize this is not how it works in every school! I'm a lucky girl!) 

I leave a basic drawing of where I want all of my big furniture items. This way all of my layout is set up when I return from summer break. (I sometimes decide to make a few changes after returning, but this is such a huge time-saver having it all set up!) 

Another thing that I do at the end of each school year is pack (and label) an open me first box for when I return. 

I pack all of the items that I know I'm going to need right away when I come in to set up my classroom into my "open me first" box. Glue gun, glue sticks, stapler, etc. This way I'm not spending an hour to try and find these items when I come in to set up! 

Another huge time-saver that helps me when I go in to set up my classroom is that I plan out each of my walls/bulletin boards before going to school. I used to waste all kinds of time at school trying to figure out what I wanted on each wall, which borders to use with which background. I found that if I planned it all ahead of time, it really helped me get more done while I was at school. 

I have 3 kids at home with me all summer, so I really only get to go into school for a couple of days to set up. Having a plan has really helped me to get everything done in a short amount of time! I also always enlist help to get my classroom set up. My husband takes off a day from work to come in and help with any big items (like putting together book shelves, etc.) I also have had help from just about every one of my family members (mom, dad, sister, cousins, grandma, aunt, niece, etc... if they're willing to help, I take it!) I've tried bringing my own children, but I've found they create more work than help...maybe in a few years! Former students also love to come in to help set up! 

I am also very careful when I pack my room at the end of the year. I pack my library in reverse alphabetical order and label each of the boxes with the order in which to open them. This way I don't have to spend hours re-organizing my library as I unpack it! 

Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect on that first day of school. You have all school year to make changes! Allowing your students to be a part of that design gives them some ownership of the classroom. So, I often leave blank bulletin boards (with just a background and border) so we can add to them together. 

Making our classroom into a cozy, inviting space for my students is one of my favorite things to do as a teacher. It can be very hard to get so much done in only a couple of days. I hope some of these tips can help you make your learning space into a space you love to share with your students. 


Join us again next week for #teachertidbittuesday as we share our top 10 favorite movies of all time!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Teacher Tidbit Tuesday: Favorite Instagrammers

Instagram has been an amazing source for teacher inspiration for me in the last few years. I love seeing what other teachers are doing in their classrooms, and then tweaking it to make it work for me. I think it is important to remember that teaching is all about collaboration and sharing, it is NOT a competition! We are all after the same goal: What is best for children. I hope that when teachers look at my IG page they find a source they can use to get some new ideas for their own classroom. I love the Teacher Instagram community, and I hope all teachers use it as a positive source for inspiration!

There are so many amazing teachers on Instagram, but here are a few (other than my blog co-hosts) that I love to follow!

Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching was one of the first teachers that I started following on Instagram. Joanne has more creative ideas than any teacher I have ever met! She loves to have fun in her classroom, and she is constantly sharing great ways to motivate students.   

One of my favorite ideas from Joanne is her theme board. After she shares a book with her class, she has her students discuss the book's theme. After they decide on a theme, she posts the cover of the book underneath the theme topic. This way they can refer back to the books they've shared together all year long. I started doing this with my students, and I love it! It makes an incredible difference in the students understanding of theme, and it gives us so many common texts to refer to during classroom discussions. 

Michelle from Apples and ABC's is another one of my favorite teachers to follow on IG. She co-teaches 4th grade with her teacher-friend, Layla. (What an amazing opportunity for any teacher-mom! I'd love it if my school district allowed that!) Her IG stories always make me smile, and I love following along with her on Instagram!

Michelle has an awesome eye for design. She makes some of the most adorable bulletin boards and classroom decor items that I've ever seen! I've used some of her bulletin boards in my classroom, and I always receive so many compliments on them! 

Josie from Maniacs in the Middle is just so much fun to follow on Instagram! She is always laughing and having fun while doing her job! Her young, fresh energy in the classroom is so contagious. You can tell she truly loves her job! 

Josie's playlists on Spotify have been my go-to for classroom use this year. I know she will have classroom appropriate songs that I can play for my students while they are working. I love that she has taken the time to make several different playlists that I can use for a variety of purposes. 

Courtney from Ramona Recommends is a fifth grade teacher that loves using picture books in her classroom. She has an incredible collection of picture books that would make any reading teacher jealous! I think picture books are such amazing resources for upper grade teachers. Picture books allow us to share an entire story in a single lesson. They can be used in so many ways for instruction. 

Courtney is always sharing new book recommendations, and ways to use the books in your classroom. Whenever I need an idea for a picture book to use in my classroom, I turn to Courtney's Instagram page for inspiration! 

Jill from Hello Fifth is another fifth grade teacher that I love following along with on Instagram. She has so many great ideas for classroom instruction. I love when she shares something she's been doing in her classroom that I can turn around and implement in my own classroom. She's adorable, fun, and full of great teaching ideas!

I love this board that Jill created in her classroom for interactive sentence studies! This is sitting in my TpT cart right now just waiting for the BTS sale. Students love getting out of their seats and being an active part of their learning! I think this board will be such an incredible resource to have in my classroom. 

I thank these girls and all the other Teacher Instagrammers out there for always sharing your ideas with us. I'm so happy to have this community as a resource for my classroom. 


Don't forget to join us for #teachertidbittuesday again next week as we discuss how to plan out your classroom design!