Monday, May 18, 2020

Distance Learning with Slideshows

Yes, the academic year is nearly over for many schools.  However, like the Pirate Queen, you are always on the lookout for treasure! And of course, you are always planning ahead for the next school year! Am I right, me hearty? If I am correct, ye best read on!

Slideshows can be a valuable resource for introducing a concept, teaching critical details, and reviewing.  Today I will share a few of my slideshow treasures which are designed for Intermediate grades.

Here is an ideal treasure  that can be used early on and throughout the school year.  First we begin with identifying sentences. This PowerPoint defines what a sentence is and explains its parts, subjects and predicates. Interactive slides require students to identify subjects and predicates in a variety of sentences. Also the slides are animated so that information is introduced and discussed in bits and pieces.

For example, on the slide below, the boxes are removed one at a time in order to focus on each element as it appears and is explained.

Fragments and run-ons which can be taught later are also defined, and the differences between them and complete sentences are explained. Interactive slides provide students practice in identifying and correcting fragments and run-ons. 

If you are looking for more treasure activities to strengthen students' knowledge of sentences, fragments, and run-ons, my store has a bundle that includes this slideshow, four practice activities, and an assessment.

This PowerPoint is designed to introduce the order of operations in three parts. You may choose to teach each part on a different day, especially if this a completely new concept for your students.

Each part has its own focus. Part 1 introduces the basic operations order: left to right; multiplication or division whichever comes first; addition or subtraction whichever comes first. Part 2 focuses on interpreting parentheses in an equation while Part 3 focuses on what to do when there are brackets.

Each section has interactive slides to guide students step by step through each procedure. Then students work in pairs or independently to create their own equations to solve together and exchange with other student pairs to solve additional equations.

Figurative language is introduced as a writer’s toolbox filled with a variety of tools, or techniques, to make writing colorful and sensory.

Six types of figurative language are explained: simile, metaphor, alliteration, onomatopoeia, idiom, and personification. Each type of figurative language is defined and explained, and examples are provided. Students are given the opportunity to practice identifying these writing tools. In addition, they will write their own examples of each figurative language technique and illustrate.


Also available is a Figurative Language board game that will provide more practice for your students.

Can you ever have enough teaching activities for the homophones: there, their, they’re? Of course not! This Common Core aligned product (Grade 4 and up) is designed to teach and review the frustrating homophones-- there, their, they’re. However, this resource can be beneficial for third graders as well.

The PowerPoint introduces each homophone with a sample sentence, a photo to illustrate, and a definition. Students are required to make note cards for each homophone to use as references for additional activities. The slideshow also includes an activity and additional partner practice. In addition, teaching tips are included as comments on the slides.

In addition to this slideshow, a sorting activity and an editing activity for this set of homophones are part of a bundle.  Also, I have created slideshows for the homophone sets: [its, it's] and [to, two, too].  All three sets of homophones are bundled together as well.

Thank you for docking at my blog today.  I hope you found some usable resources for your students.  Please visit again for more teaching gems!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

FREE Teaching Treasures

With school sites having closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am sharing  free teaching resources for teachers and parents.  

My most recent Freebie is a Distance Learning resource that contains a list of 20+ websites for PreK, Elementary, and Middle School students. These sources are listed according to subject matter, Math/Science and Language Arts/Social Studies. There is a third list for sites 
that are cross-curricular.  Most websites include games, puzzles, videos, and articles. 

These following products are mostly designed for intermediate grades and cover language arts and math.


Pirate Independent Reading Challenge 

This resource is an independent reading program I created for my classroom of 4th graders.  It can be adapted for any grade level and can be used for summer reading.  The book list is designed for grades 3-5. However, below are links to lists that include books for all ages as well as more recently published books:

Other features of this resource are reading logs for recording pages read and graphic organizers for journal assignments.


                                                                        Writing a Narrative - Like a Pirate Queen                          
Although this mini unit is about writing pirate stories, these lesson ideas can be used with most every type of narrative.  Included are:

  •  detailed teaching tips 
  • directions for creating pirate names 
  • graphic organizer for narrative elements along with  a completed sample                                     
  • the beginning of a pirate narrative
  • final copy sheets, narrative checklist & scoring sheet 


Plural Noun Land Board Game            

Games provide a fun and engaging way to practice grammar rules!  If you are sending packets to your students, you can print out the board parts as well as the noun cards, answer key, and Spelling Guideline Chart.  If instead you are teaching online and your families have access to printers, you can share this resource electronically. Both regular and irregular nouns are covered.   


                                                                     U.S. Customary Capacity Measurement
These 8 task cards are a sample of a 32 task card resource that provides practice of U.S. Capacity Measurement.  Each card contains a word problem about adorable Frog Chefs and their recipes for Cricket Stew, Fruit Fly Cupcakes, and other tasty frog treats!  Also included are U.S. Capacity Measurement Equivalents chart and the Big G chart, a visual diagram of equivalents, which students can color.  

Pumpkin Patch Place Value Riddles

This product is a sample of an engaging and challenging Place Value Task Card practice set designed for a range of students. Use these task cards to differentiate for advanced second graders, to provide practice for third grade students, or to review with fourth graders. There are 8 task cards. Each card contains a riddle involving two-digit and/or three-digit numbers. 

Thank you for visiting!  I hope you find these resources useful, and most importantly I hope your students find them to be engaging and fun!

Please sail back in another month or so for more teaching treasures!  In the meantime, stay safe.


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Word Parts: Searching for Morphology Clues

Yes, besides hunting for treasure, even pirates search for clues to determine the meaning of unknown words! For example, let's take a look at the title of my blog post, "Word Parts: Searching for Morphology Clues". Now, which word in the title will your wee pirates probably not know? I'm guessing it is "morphology"
The remaining words more than likely will be familiar to them and most can be used as context clues.

For example, the first two words in the title inform us that word parts must have something to do with morphology, but what?Intermediate students, particularly 4th and 5th graders, will have some degree of knowledge regarding prefixes, suffixes, and roots. The words, searching and clues, should be relatively easy for our students to define. They will know that searching means looking for something and clues are pieces of information that help us solve a mystery or in this case a word's definition. At this point, students will realize that the word, morphology, has something to do with words. In fact, some may conclude that morphology specifically is related to word parts, but they still do not have a specific definition. So what do they do now? 

Perhaps some students will recognize -ology or -logy. They may have seen this suffix in these words, geology or biology. Science units in Intermediate grades often cover types of rocks, fossils, and layers of earth as well as categories of animals and their habitats. During class discussions and related readings, the words, geology and biology, may have come up, and perhaps their teachers or parents may have informed them that -ology/-logy is a suffix that means the study of a type of science or branch of knowledge. If so, now they know that morphology is a science or specific area of knowledge. They're getting closer to the meaning!

But what about morph-? Well, perhaps during the animal study, there was a unit about insects and the word, metamorphosis, was discussed, or perhaps some of the students have read books from the series, Animorphs -science fantasy stories in which human characters change into animals. Now students may conclude that morph- means change.

So where do we go from here? Does morphology mean the study of change? If so the change of what? Here is where we use our context clues. We know we are searching for information regarding words and word parts. Might we conclude that morphology in this context is the study of word formation, how words are formed and how words are changed? 

If we look up morphology in the dictionary, we will find that morphology is a branch of both biology and geology. In addition, we will find that it means the study or structure of anything! However, we will also discover that morphology is the study of word formation and the word-forming parts that change words.  

Hurrah! We did it! We discovered the meaning of morphology!  

Now let's look for some morphology teaching treasure. Here is my most recent resource, an interactive slide show to introduce word parts. These 47 slides define roots, prefixes, and suffixes. It encourages students to create words with these parts and write sentences using their created words. Once students understand the roles of roots and affixes, they define underlined words from well-known children's books.


I have also created resources for prefixes. This product, Prefix Hunt, has a variety of engaging activities that will help students learn the meanings of these prefixes and assist them in determining the meaning of words formed by these prefixes.

In addition, there are challenging resources for what I call Root Families. These are roots that are related by meaning or content such as "Audi/Dict".

For each root, students focus on four target words that share that particular root. These words are introduced in a brief narrative, and students are required to use context clues and root meanings to determine definitions for these target words. Once meanings are verified, students engage with these words by writing definitions, drawing pictures, completing sentence stems, and listing related words and phrases. 

More practice is provided with games. Additional word lists are included with “Word Parts Boxes”, a strategy for determining word meaning by identifying word parts (new addition to this resource). Word Wall cards with illustrations are included for review of the target words, their roots, and definitions throughout the year. Also provided are suggestions and activities such as "Mystery Word" on how to utilize the Word Wall cards.


Thanks for taking the time to dock your ship at my blog and visit with me. I hope you find my morphology teaching ideas and resources useful and beneficial for you and your students.

Wishing you a safe journey! 


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Back-to-School Novel Resources

Welcome, teacher mateys!  Some of you have already returned to your classrooms.  Some of you are counting down the days to the end of your summer vacation.  Either way, you have docked your ships to visit me, and I have teaching treasures for you!

Today's treasures are novel study resources. They are thorough in detail, contain engaging and challenging activities, and best of all they save you time, a very precious treasure!

This first CCSS resource can be used with most any children's chapter books for grades 3-5.  Nine graphic organizers to help
students organize their ideas and thoughts for story elements, theme, vocabulary, and summaries are included. Forty discussion/written response questions are provided covering story elements and a variety of fiction genre: realistic fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, and science fiction. All of these resources can be cut out and glued in journals. When you click on the product cover, you will be connected to my TpT store where you can preview the product. Below are a few samples from this product.

Also visit this previous blog post for more organizers from the Novel Study unit.  

While there you will find a Freebie on the story element, Setting.

Before I created the Novel Study Resources product, I had designed extensive vocabulary resources for the books, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Shiloh, and Stone Fox. These products included interactive PowerPoints to introduce the selected Tier 2 words for each chapter and multiple games for reviewing definitions.  In addition, there were engaging practice worksheets and assessments that challenged students to apply their knowledge of the words. Once the Novel Study unit was completed, I decided to combine it with each of the vocabulary units. I recommend you click on the product covers to link to my store and take a look at the previews for these resources. What a time saving treasure these are!


If you are interested in free samples from these resources, try these:

Thanks for visiting! Please sail back for more Teaching Treasures!



Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Free Holiday Treasures

When I was teaching, I always seemed to wait to the last minute to create or search for an appropriate activity related to an upcoming holiday. If you have the same issue, let me help you out. During the past few years, I have created resources for various holidays, mostly free ones, and have written about them on my blog. Often I was even late posting them! Apparently, pirates have an issue with time! And that is why I am writing this holiday resources blog in July so that readers will have the opportunity to read and decide about these activities now while on vacation instead of at the last minute!

If interested in a resource, click on the product cover to link to my TpT store.  Happy Holidays!

Labor Day

In this fun activity, students interview their parents about their jobs and careers and then present what they have learned to their class. Children and parents spend quality time talking about the details of what Mom and Dad do for a living, the required training and education, and the specific skills and tools they use while working.

Included in this product:
• Teaching Tips
• Labor Day Student Friendly Websites
• Book List of Picture Books about Labor Day 

   and Careers
• Interview Questions and Worksheet
• Oral Presentation Checklist
• Labor Day Sign to display with students’ art work

Veterans Day

Veterans Wall of Honor resource is designed for teaching students about the history of Veterans Day and to honor friends and family members who have served or currently serve in our country’s armed forces.

Your students will celebrate family members or friends who are veterans by creating a Veterans Wall of Honor. For each family/friend veteran, students will complete a Veteran Information Form that identifies the veteran, the branch of service, the veteran’s rank, years of service, and type of service.

These forms along with veteran photos, if available, and blue or gold stars are displayed on a wall in your classroom or hallway.  

Included in this product:
• Teaching Tips
• Veteran Information Form
• Parent Letter
• Veterans Day Book and Website Lists
• Veterans Day Circle Map and KWL Chart
• Veterans Day Cloze Activity
• Blue and Gold Stars/White Stars
• Veterans Wall of Honor Banner


After reading the picture book, THANKFUL, by Eileen Spinelli, or any picture book with a theme of appreciation and gratitude, students write a paragraph identifying people, things, and opportunities in their lives for which they are thankful.  Another writing activity is to compose couplets similar to the ones in Spinelli's book. 

Included in the resource are graphic organizers, paragraph sample, revision checklist, editing checklist, final copy sheets, and teaching tips.


Presidents Day

If you're looking for a fun activity that will encourage students' interest in Presidential history, read to your students the book, What Presidents Are Made Of, by Hanoch Piven who is known for collage illustrations. 

In this particular picture book, the author writes about 18 of our Presidents and reveals interesting and lesser known tidbits which give us insight into the character of these former Commanders-in-Chief. But what makes this book stand out are the collage portraits of these American leaders. Take a close look at the book cover.

In Lincoln's portrait, one eye is a button from the Civil Rights movement that says, "LET FREEDOM RING."  The other eye is represented by a canon to remind us of the Civil War. The most powerful of symbols, however, are the black chains that are breaking apart, representing the broken chains of slavery.

After sharing this book with your students, allow each to select a president to research.  Once students know more about their President, have them brainstorm and search for items that could be used to represent his personality.  When students have collected their collage pieces, they will create a portrait of their selected President. After completing their works of art, they can have a "museum walk" to share the Presidential portraits and information.  

Included in this product:
• Teaching Tips
• Presidential Fact Sheet printable
• President Book List for children
• President Biography Websites for students 
• Vocabulary and Idiom List
• Photo Sample of previous student collages
• “What Presidents Are Made Of” Book Cover Photo
• Hail to the Chief Sign to display with students’ art work

Thanks for docking at my blog!  Please sail back for more teaching treasures!