The HappyEdugator

The HappyEdugator
People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Read the Most from Coast to Coast this Friday...and BIG TPT Sale coming, too!

We have been busy finishing our research on African Endangered animals, and I can't wait to see this year's brochures! However, that is not the only thing we have been doing, and it really amazes me how much my students are getting accomplished. At the pace we are going, it looks like we will finish reading The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John this Friday, just in time for the big Accelerated Reader Read the Most from Coast to Coast event, a nationwide challenge set for Friday, February 28th, in which students across the country unite to take the most AR tests in one day. (The goal is 5 million!) Hopefully, we can get finished in time for all my students to take the test on Friday! :) If you wish to learn more, you can check out the Renaissance Learning website here:
Read the Most from Coast to Coast

TPT is having a big sale this coming Thursday and Friday to celebrate over three million teachers who have discovered the benefits of teacher created resources on the site. If you stop by the site on February 27th and 28th, you can get 10% off at checkout by entering the code TPT3. I will be having a 20% off sale in my store to coincide with this sale, so stop by and make your wishlist today! :)

Today, we focused a little on our poetry, which we integrate in with the units now under common core. I have struggled with teaching poetry this way, because I have always taught it as a separate unit in the past. I have to constantly remind myself to review poetry terms and introduce different concepts. We read the Cremation of Sam Magee and used my Smartboard activities with it. I also found a great documentary called Klondike Fever on United Streaming that really built background for the poem.  We then watched a video of the poem on You Tube, and had some discussion about the setting in the video as opposed to what they imagined from the pictures in the book. Afterwards, we searched for examples of figurative language in the poem. It was a great day!


The Cremation of Sam McGee SMARTBOARD Activities

If you are looking for some St. Patrick's Day fun, I made a Jokes and Riddles PowerPoint for a quick activity to use and a St. Patrick's Day fill-in PowerPoint that highlights some of the history of the day. check them out:


St. Patrick's Day Riddles and Jokes PowerPoint


St Patrick's Day Holiday Fill-In PowerPoint Activity

And, here is another FREEBIE for you!! Click on the link below:


Have a great week and enjoy the sale!
Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator

Monday, February 10, 2014

Writing Haiku and Tanka...and a Valentine FREEBIE

Most of my students knew what a haiku poem was when I asked them this morning, but not a single one knew what a tanka poem was. Even my collaborating teacher had not heard of it. A tanka is a poem that is similar to a haiku. The first three lines, in fact, are just like a haiku, with a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. However, a tanka adds two additional lines of 7 syllables each. Therefore, the pattern of a tanka poem is 5-7-5-7-7.

In order to get my students to write interesting haikus and tankas, I guide them with a few simple rules.
1. The must follow the pattern exactly, with no deviations.
2. The poem does not have to rhyme. but it must be about nature.
3. No words may be repeated. (in order to get quality poems, this rule helps eliminate overuse of words like the, is, I, etc.)
4. There should be an element of poetry included, such as figurative language, imagery or sensory details, or sound devices.

I was pleased with the poems I got from my kiddos today. I will share a few here:

Haiku from today -

In the snowy air
We can go about and wear
some soft white snowflakes.

The deer are running.
Birds sing, chirping very softly;
Flowers smile brightly.

The beautiful tree
on a misty mountain peak...
Majestic it is.

A sparkling blue pond
Koi are flowing through water
with no doubt; blissful.

Tanka from today:

It's a rainy day
Spring is on its way real soon
Sunflowers will bloom
Rainbows come out in the sky
Sweet wind blowing through the trees.

The wind is singing
Birds are chirping all day long
as I stand there stunned.
Nature tells us to wake up
And smell the roses for once.

The bird is purple
Those trees are brown and yellow
Gold sun is shining
Blue waves were hitting the rocks
Green ocean spray in the sky.

Beautiful creatures
Roam about the dark forest
Gracefully about
With their striking, amazing
moves...spectacular they are.

What a fun and creative time the kids had writing these short poems. We only spent about 30 minutes on these, and yet I was tickled with their effort.

After we wrote our poems, we continued reading The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John, as we did last year, and then went to the computer lab and worked on our research project on endangered African animals. It was a very productive day.

Now, I am ready for Valentine's Day...I plan to read the myth of Demeter and Persephone, and then I will read a myth that is full of candy names and the students will have to see if they recognize them. It's always a lot of fun.

Valentine Mythology - Cupid Candy Search

And here is a fun Valentine writing FREEBIE for you:


Valentine's Day Writing Fun!

Have a great week everyone!
Deborah Hayes'
aka HappyEdugator