Friday, September 4, 2015

My Confession + Text Connection Resources

I have a confession to make.  I am a perfectionist. (Big surprise for anyone who's ever been around me, right?-Lol.)  This character trait may be a dream for my employers, but at times, it's made me a difficult person to live and work with.  (Colleagues, family and friends, you know this is the truth!)  I demand perfection of myself and expect it, in the form of behavior and effort, from my 7th grade students.  

This week, we took a group of 7th graders on a field trip for some team building activities, but things didn't go perfectly.  The students' behavior didn't meet our expectations.  Many of us were left extremely frustrated.  The following day, during our team meeting, a few of the teachers commented that it was good that things didn't go perfectly, as it was an opportunity for growth. 

Students figuring out how to undo the human knot during our recent team building day

What insight! I honestly never looked at it this way! I will keep this in mind the next time things don't go the way that I'd like them to go. 

My free resource for this week is a Text Connections poster.  The chart is sized at 24 x 36, making it the perfect anchor chart to display in your classroom as students work on the important comprehension strategy of making text to text, text to self, and text to world connections. 
Size: 24 x 36-Display this anchor chart to help your students make text connections

This anchor chart perfectly corresponds with my Making Text Connections Interactive PowerPoint. The PowerPoint features the following:
-Narrated slides that explain the reading voice and thinking voice
-An explanation of the three types of text connections
-Examples of the connections
-Questions students can ask in order to make the connections
-A passage with optional read-aloud and think aloud
-A graphic organizer for student use
-Grading Rubric and scoring scale
-Text connection book marks 

Download your free preview HERE..  The Interactive PowerPoint is available for purchase HERE.

Teacher Spotlight

Amanda Nix, 8th grade math teacher
Congratulations to Amanda Nix, my teacher spotlight winner for the week!  Amanda has been teaching math for five years, and understands the importance of building relationships with students and having some fun!  

Why did you become a teacher? 
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I had some incredible teachers throughout my own educational experience, and I wanted the opportunity to have that same impact in the lives of others. I have always loved math and I wanted to share that passion with others in a meaningful way.
What, as a teacher, is one thing you're proud of and would like to share with others?
I am proud of the style I've developed with classroom management and relationship-building. It can be difficult at times, especially for new teachers, to find a balance between having fun and maintaining rules and routines. With mutual respect as the foundation, my class has become an enjoyable combination of structured activities and moments of silliness.

What is something you do with your students that helps build relationships? 
I work with an amazing team of eighth grade teachers. They love to find fun, interactive ways to connect with students and to develop a strong sense of community.  Annually in October, Advisory groups compete in a mummy competition.  Students select an individual in their group to "mummify," then spend time working collaboratively and problem solving as they plan their strategy and theme.  On the day of the competition, students execute their plan by assembling the costume.  All groups gather to cheer for one other and engage in some friendly competition. I am looking forward to the competition, which will be here before we know it!  Maybe this year, my group will even take home the trophy. :)

Amanda is on social media, and she also has her own TpT store entitled Free to Discover.   Click the links below to find (and follow!) her. 

YOU can enter to be featured on my blog as well!  If selected, you will win a $5 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Simply fill out this form. That's it! No gimmicks or tricks.  I believe very strongly in highlighting and honoring the achievements of others.  Winners will be notified via e-mail a few days before the weekly post.  

And in case you missed it, here are last week's freebies from several teacher-authors.  Have a great weekend!