Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Love a Good (Purposeful) Bulletin Board

Seriously. I love new, fresh and USEFUL bulletin boards. My 5th grade team and I just got done creating a reading bulletin board in our hallway. The purpose to is to remind students that when we read, in order to analyze a text, we must read like a writer. 

Isn't it a beauty? :) I totally plan on bringing my classes out here and using it to review elements of fiction, nonfiction and how to analyze poetry. (Another bonus: Almost EVERYONE on my team helped put it up, even those teachers who don't teach reading! I'm so lucky to teach at a school where teamwork makes the dream work!)
Here is a closer look: 

 We included a "burst" with tips on how to summarize nonfiction and the purpose of the most common text features (all standards we address in 5th grade). We also broke down how to analyze character traits, character changes and character relationships. All of the text seen on this bulletin board is also in each students "Reading Review Folder" (more info on that coming in another post), so all of this information is truly a review. 

 At our school, our Reading Vertical Teams noticed that summarizing was a weakness for students across several grade levels. I used the (giant) foldable to help students visualize how using BME (Beginning, Middle, End) & Somebody Wanted But So Then (another summarizing strategy) related back to the plot mountain. It seems to help kids realize that we can't just pick details from the first paragraph, a paragraph in the middle and a random detail at the end. A summary includes the most important parts of the plot! (This is still a work in progress for my kids but we are getting better at it!)

The last piece of the board, is focused on analyzing poetry and looking at figurative language/sensory details. Our kids are usually pretty good at analyzing a poem but the figurative language (well, really the PURPOSE of the figurative language) can totally trip them up. 

Up next: the Science Bulletin Board and a peak at our 50 State Parade. Have a fabulous Wednesday!
Mrs. A

PS. Look for the originals of the different items on this bulletin board, coming soon to my Teachers Pay Teachers account!

Monday, January 6, 2014

First Post! :)

I have been wanting to blog for a while now but was never quite sure what I should blog about--should I write a personal blog, have a classroom blog, etc. But I realized that the thing I love to talk about most, is teaching. I love curriculum and lesson planning, I enjoy analyzing my student's data and of course, I love to organize, arrange (and rearrange), and decorate my classroom. So (hopefully), that's the kind of stuff you'll find in this blog. More to come soon! Thanks for stopping by!