March 29, 2016

Love Me Some To-Do Lists!

Well hello friends! Just in time for 'Spring Cleaning' and all the beautiful flowers popping up everywhere, I've created some fun, fresh, To-Do lists for you :)

I used some beautiful watercolor flowers clip art and created 3 different versions of the To-Do Lists for y'all. I like the diversity of the options, and I think there is something for everyone! Two versions have an inspirational Mark Twain quotation on them as well [ I had to throw some "English teacher" in there ;) ] The download provides both Word & PDF options.

And now for some closer up shots :)
Version #1:

 Version #2:

Version #3:

A fun and fresh way to stay organized this Spring and all year round :) So pop on over to my TPT Store and pick up these Watercolor Flower To Do Lists! Enjoy staying organized!

March 18, 2016

The Thing About Jellyfish Unit is here!

I finished!!! And just in time for my sale too!

So here's what The Thing About Jellyfish unit contains:

What I am most excited about is the Final Project. It contains 4 options that students can choose from, and lends itself to different types of students. Since the options have to be "equal" amount of work, so require more content than others. For instance, someone can choose to write a 3-4 pages [typed, double spaced] epilogue, or choose to do the Facebook assignment in which they create a profile [on paper] for the main character and have to fill out 30 posts, multiple comments, 10 likes, a few picture posts, etc. 

The project options took the longest to create because I have handouts for each, and templates/examples. There is also a Rubric to accompany the project, thus ensuring the "fair" grading of the projects. 

I've also gotten into TED Talks lately, and included one from Diana Nyad, the swimmer who swam from Cuba to Florida on her 5th try, and is mentioned in the novel. This is a great way to incorporate informational pieces into the novel study. There is a graphic organizer and a few questions to go with the talk as well.

I'm quite excited about this unit because I believe this book needs to be shared with Middle Schoolers, and this is a great way to start that. 

*I also think this book would work well with my Novel Study SmashBook, or the Literature Circle option. Either way, fit it into your class schedule :)

Thanks for stopping by!

March 17, 2016

600 Followers, Oh My!

600 followers of my TPT Store!!! 

Thank you so much to everyone who follows my store and believes in my teaching products. I work to make sure the products/units/lessons not only teach the standards, but make students think and push themselves to be the best they can be.

As a thank you, I'm having a 15% off sale over at my store, now through Saturday...ENJOY!!

March 15, 2016

Your Students Should Read This Book! Book Review: The Thing About Jellyfish

The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin

We read this book for my book club, and immediately I knew that this needed to be read in the classroom. I read it in two has large print ;)

This is a wonderful book for middle schoolers, because the protagonist is a 12/13 year old girl. Any young girl will be able to relate to this story, and the boys may gain some insight and a different perspective of middle school life.

The story focuses on our protagonist, Suzy, as she navigates the waters of middle school, and all that life throws at her. She loses her best friend, in more ways than one, and begin a road to self-discovery while trying to find out how her friend died. It's not a murder mystery, it's not gory or scary; she uses her odd talents and brains [what the kids make fun of her for] to research the powers of jellyfish and their deadly stings [how she thinks her friend died]. She is also struggling with her parents' divorce and her desire to fit in at school. Through all this, she learns the importance of being herself [but I love that it's not "cheesy".] All of these challenges hit home in one way or another for 95% of our students.

What I love about this tale is that it's not an after school special where everything turns out ok...some stuff does, but not everything. I like that because that's real life; it doesn't give false hope to the pre-teen readers, but does show them various ways to deal with life's issues.

How I Would Teach This Novel:

I would approach this book as a Lit Circle choice, or an outside reading project that would work well with the SmashBook Novel Study assignment. While you could definitely teach this novel to your class, I do think it appeals more toward girls. [I will be creating a unit for this novel in the near future]
  • There are several literary elements to focus on: Flashbacks, Foreshadowing, Irony, Structure, Similes, Metaphors, etc. 
  • Great character development
  • Not a whole lot of vocab to learn, which allows students to focus on what the writing is saying
  • Several themes to follow 

I believe this novel should be read, by whatever means necessary, by all middle schoolers.  Read it, and you will see why :)

March 2, 2016

Currently March

I was kind of hoping this month's theme for Currently would be leprechaun and clover-filled; but voting is fine too ;) Thanks for linking up again Farley!

Enjoy March everyone!!!

And because I needed some "March" in here...