Read Alouds

I had so much fun yesterday linking up about lesson planners and seeing all of the great ideas at The Teacher's Chair so I'm back for more! Today I'm sharing my favorite back to school read aloud. I absolutely LOVE Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts.

For those who haven't read it, it's a story about a boy named Jeremy who wants the new, cool shoes that everyone is wearing at school. His family can't afford the new shoes so he ends up getting a pair at the thrift shop that are too small. It ends with a message about friendship and a great reminder at the beginning of the year about what is really important. It's also a great read aloud for teaching connections!

Read alouds are a huge part of my instruction in reader's and writer's workshop. I actually have a list of all of my favorite read alouds available in my TPT store and I update it as I have new favorites!  I've listed my favorites for reader's workshop, narrative writing, how-to books, and persuasive writing. I keep each on a separate page so I can slip it into that unit's file. If you are just starting your read aloud collection, there are some great ones on the list!

I have a special bin for my read alouds that the students need to check out from me if they want to read. I keep them filled with post-its that include my own thinking and examples to point out as I read the book to students. 

I can't wait to see everyone else's favorite read alouds!

Lesson Planners

Planning is something I've always been a little overly detailed with, so of course I have several methods to it! Last year I bought my very first Erin Condren Life Planner and fell in love with it as many other teachers have.

Because of my love for the life planner, this year I decided to go with the Erin Condren Teacher Planner and I'm patiently waiting for that pretty box to arrive any day now! I will use that teacher planner for my weekly lesson plans, etc.

I also like to plan out my specific units and lessons another way for Writer's Workshop. I actually have a binder for each writing unit I teach. On the inside of each binder, I have my unit of study monthly plan where I map out each month's unit along with samples, rubrics, and more!  I love having my lesson plans in these unit folders in addition to my other teacher's planner because I can find them easier from year to year, rather than having to try and remember my plans for introducing each unit. 

I'm going to post those templates and a detailed look at these binders in another post soon. Until then, you can grab the planning binder covers for free for each of the writing units! Just click below and be sure to check out all of the other lesson planner ideas over at The Teacher's Chair!

What I'm Loving

I'm linking up with Covered in Glitter and Glue for What I'm Loving Wednesday!

They are not teaching related since my brain is in wedding mode this week! 17 more days! Woohoo! The first thing I'm loving and using nonstop this week is of course Pinterest. I'm wondering how weddings were planned before Pinterest??!! Just when I can't make a decision on colors, flowers, you name it, Pinterest has all the answers! Often too many though! 

I'm also loving my awesome town. This was my view from lunch today! Beautiful day in 
sunny So Cal!

This gift arrived at my door two days ago and I'm so excited to use it! If anyone has any juicing tips or good recipes, I'd love it if you'd send them this way! 

And finally, my super cute mason jar water bottle that has made me finally feel like I'm drinking enough! The ice stays frozen for so long in these! 

Well that's what I'm loving this week! I hope everyone is having a great week! 

July Currently

I'm back to blogging so of course I couldn't pass up linking up for the July Currently from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade!

Listening: Go Dodgers! As soon as the fiance gets home, I have no choice but to listen to/watch/live sports. It's my life and I've finally accepted it.

Loving: It feels so good to blog again! I took about two months off from blogging (and reading blogs) to focus on planning my wedding! It was a much needed break so I could focus but it feels so good to be back!

Thinking: I have accomplished everything on my to do lists since the start of my summer break and it feels sooooo good! I still have quite a bit to do but I'm feeling good!

Wanting: This is a must! I can't go on my honeymoon looking like a slob so I must start shopping ASAP! One more month to work out and find some cute clothes!

Needing: Why is it that every time we host events, it is my fiance's idea, yet I'm the one who does all the cleaning? Hmmm. I guess I can't complain about that this time since I'm on break. I do have a TON of organizing I've been putting off too that I need to do!

Tips, Tricks, or Hints: As I said above, I took a few months off of blogging and even reading blogs. It was so hard not to blog stalk, blog, or even create new products, but I think it's okay to take some time off! I feel much better being prepared and all planned for the wedding. It's easy to tell when bloggers are rushed or not really into their post so I'm so glad I didn't attempt that. It will just make catching up much more fun now! I can't wait to read all of the fabulous teacher blogs I've missed reading for the last few months!

Figurative Language

This year I can say that my students mastered figurative language more than any other year! I added a couple new activities and lessons that I think really helped them be successful so I'll share what I added. I purchased the Figurative Language worksheet packet by Rachel Lynette found here and I absolutely loved it! It gives enough worksheets/activities for classwork, homework, and I had a bunch left over that I didn't even get to! They are simple, fun activities to get students to practice.

I also had my students complete a figurative language flip book. I spent one week on each type of figurative language. They would complete the pages from the pack above as well as the corresponding section on their figurative language book. There are many examples of these flip books online but I basically gave them a sheet with the title of each type along with the meaning. They glued these definitions and titles to the outside of each flap and then came up with an example, sentence, and illustration for the inside. It's such a simple project but of course anything using art, they would beg to move on to the next example every week! They also turned out beautiful so I displayed them at Open House. See below...

I also had my figurative language posters up for the majority of the year for my students to reference.

My favorite are the polka dot posters but the chevron ones also seem to be a big hit! 
You can find them both in my store: Polka Dots and Chevron.

My posters, the packet from Rachel Lynette, and the flip books were a huge success! I'd love to hear if anyone else has any tips or tricks that helped make learning figurative language a success!