Thursday, December 12, 2013

Picture Book Month!

I'm sure everyone knows that November is National Picture Book Month.  I actually did not know this until our media specialist asked each grade level to come up with an activity to celebrate National Picture Book Month.  Well, since this is my first year teaching 5th grade reading, I wanted to have an exciting activity to be able to present to our Media Committee.  So, we decided to do an author study.  This was an amazing activity because it incorporated so many reading and writing standards.  First, I went to the media center and collected as many books as I possibly could on renown children's book authors.  Wonderful upper grade picture book authors include:
  • Bill Peet
  • Chris Van Allsburg
  • Patricia Polacco
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Mark Teague
  • Alma Flor Ada
  • Cynthia Rylant
  • Robert McCloskey
There are many more, but these are a few that we used in our study a couple of weeks ago.  After collecting all of the books that I could find on these authors, I took the books back to the classroom.  During class, I told students about each author and showed some examples of each authors' books.  After that, we got into our reading partners and each group chose an author to research.  This was great, because it correlated with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade writing standards, which state that we must conduct short research reports.  After students researched the author and wrote a paper on their author, they began reading their author's books.  They read a few books and then compared and contrasted the characters, setting, and events of at least 2 books from the same author.  This aligns with the Common Core standard, 3.RL.3, 4.RL.3, and 5.RL.3.  We also shared about our author's through the choice of a power point presentation, a voki, or another multimedia presentation of their choice.  Graphic organizers used during our author study came from this pack:  
Feel free to use the same graphic organizers.  You can find it on TPT for $3, or you are welcome to download it here for free :).  Anyway, after we completed our author study, we ended our National Picture Book week with football players from our local college coming to our 5th graders and discussing the importance of education and reading with them.  They had a BLAST and waited in line to get their autographs when we were finished.  I live in LaGrange, Georgia, and LaGrange College is about 2-3 miles down the road from our school.  This was very special to our students!  
Well, my first picture book month as a 5th grade reading teacher was a success.  It was fun while it lasted, but it was a lot of work!!  
Keep it classy~

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Here goes nothing!

Hi!  I'm Katie--  I am a 5th grade teacher, a mom of 3 boys, and a high school football and baseball coaches wife.  On top of all of this, I am finishing up my Educational Leadership Specialist Degree.  Needless to say I am very busy, which is why I decided to add one more additional activity to my already hectic life--  Blogging!  It's my way to unwind and keep my thoughts together (after all of the kids go to bed of course)!  Read more about me on my All About Me post at the link at the top of my page.
Here is a picture of our sweet family:
I've decided to blog for numerous reasons.  Listed below are a few of these reasons:
  • to give tips on how to handle juggling a career, family, and more
  • to connect with an entire network of the most awesome teachers around
  • to write about encounters that I experience on a personal as well as professional level
  • to read about the experience of others and to learn and grow from them
So, I guess this is my first blog post.  I am excited about this new adventure.  If you have any tips or advice for a new blogger, I would love to hear some below!