Friday, April 13, 2012

Poetry Month Madness!

I absolutely love teaching poetry!  It's fun and scaffolds upon everything you've already taught in language. If you teach poetry correctly, students will recall the language concepts you've already taught them such as imagery, parts of speech, compare and contrast, etc.  I love having my writing center focussed on poetry for the entire month of March, with each week focussing on a different type of poem.  After writing their poems, my students get to type them up, and they always get excited about displaying their work.

Poetry is intended to be fun and creative.  Although students may sit and think for a while, searching their brain for inspiration, they shouldn't feel stressed.  To make the process easier, I developed my own poetry center resource which is an absolute hit.  You can find it at TPT for $3 by clicking here: Poetry Center.  But, just for being my blog reader, I'm going to let you have a free download of a sample page. It is for Diamante poems, which are the poems shown in the picture above.  It is also great for teaching compare/contrast as well as parts of speech.
Enjoy and please follow me.  ..Oh, and I LOVE comments!  I always respond.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Classroom Design & Layout - My Library

Within every teacher is an interior designer. My favorite room in my class has to be my reading center/library. My students also love it and I often receive compliments about it.  I am a major organization freak so it definitely took some time arranging all of my books into these clear plastic bins, but it was well worth all of the time and effort. My library is very genre-focussed so the books are mainly organized by genre. This is a major fourth grade theme, so I love how it helps my students remember the different genres there are.
At the beginning of the year, I had my students pair up and write all of the different reading strategies on large writing sheets.  Then, I hang them up all year-round in the reading center so that we can easily reference them during whole-group, small-group, or individual reading time.

I also found this excellent bulletin board/poster set on which students can track all of the books they've read throughout the year.  When they've completed a book report, they write the title and author of the book on a leaf and attach it to the branch with the correct genre.  It is also an amazing tool for teaching genres.
I actually got a pretty amazing deal on it at Lakeshore for $5.49, but if you can't find one at your local store, it's also available online at Scholastic (click here).  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers!? That's incredible.

I came across TPT while searching Google for teacher worksheets.  When I saw TPT's site I immediately thought, "I could so do that!"  Creating worksheets is something all teachers do anyway.  Just make your templates cute and attractive by finding clip art from sites like Scrappin Doodles.  I love all of their cute school related graphics such as these:

Froggy Fun Back To School Clip Art   Under the Sea 3 Clip Art

They are perfect for creating reading center materials, worksheets, and other cute things.  The best part is that they are both on sale for $2!  Just visit:

Also, if you're looking for cute font for your teacher website or materials, here's a great FREE site that I like to use:

So, if you're interested in joining the TPT community and making some serious sales, sign up here:

And most importantly, please visit my TPT page DoodleTeacher

Cheap software for your class... dirt cheap

I am absolutely a seeker of slick deals when it comes to classroom-related spending. Recently, my students requested that I get more educational software for the computer center. I did my research and this site is absolutely amazing for finding CHEAP software:

10% off coupon on already low prices

You can seriously purchase software for less than $5.00 each! And the best part is that they're based here in San Diego=)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Things

I love implementing the seasons and holidays into my curriculum and lessons. Students need to appreciate the seasons, especially since they spend so much of their day cooped up indoors. Specifically referring to my own students - I can tell when they're just dried up from being inside all day. Free worksheets that are actually cute are so hard to come by these days, so I created a few fun favorites:
I created this worksheet so that my students could have more practice using order words in writing "How-to" expository paragraphs. They found it very fun and easy.  Click on the picture to download it for FREE.

Now, if you are like me and enjoy getting your students out of their seats, then this is a great way to introduce GRAPHING! It makes students go outside to find things that are of a certain spring color. They use tally marks to keep track of their findings, and when they return to class, they create easy pie, line, and bar graphs. I then had them color the graphs so that I could put them on display. They came out great! Click on the picture to download it for only $1.00!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

First time blogger!

I'm excited to finally have a blog dedicated to sharing my teaching doodles (ideas and resources for other teachers to hopefully find helpful). If you are out there and reading my blog, please subscribe to me and I will return the favor!

Also, you can follow me on Tachers Pay Teachers at: