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   One of my favorite things to discuss with my guided reading groups is figurative language.  Why???  you might ask.  Well, because it can add so much to our reading and writing instruction time.  My students love hearing and pointing out examples of simile, onomatopoeia (love saying this word), alliteration, personification, hyperbole, and idioms.  I love that we can enrich our reading time with more strategies to help our little readers and writers blossom .  

Here is how my lessons go:  

Guided Reading Groups:
    During our guided reading times we begin by introducing each skill individually with many examples to help my readers understand how to detect and find them in their reading.  First, we start off by taking simple notes and adding them to our interactive notebooks we keep for reading and grammar.  Here below we glue in the definition and then I have my students write examples of the skill around the gumball machine.    I have found that I like to use standard spiral notebooks for my interactive notebooks because we can add full pages and notes.  

     During our next meetings we will have one book on hand that we will read and share that illustrates the example of the figurative language we are working on (hyperbole, idiom, alliteration,etc).  As you will find in the pic above I have a piece of literature I use with each skill and we record our findings on the note cards which we add to our notebooks. 
Very guided at this point to assure that my students are learning and understanding the concept.  
Independent Practice
   After we have covered two of the figurative language styles or more whichever you group is comfortable I use these interactive activities to informally assess my students while I am working in our reading groups.  These pages are designed for my students to independently cut apart and glue down their answers on the page.  They are instructed which set to cut out and then they complete the activity independently.   Work is placed in their interactive notebooks and then I can check when we meet for their reading group.  
Here is a sample of our finished product in our notebooks.  :)  

Task Cards
    After informally assessing where my students were I also added these task cards to my reading centers or as tasks for my students to complete while I was working with my reading groups.  Students were told which bags to get out either A,B,C, D,... depending on which ones we had covered at that point and then given a recording sheet to work as partners to identify the correct example of figurative language.  Each task card is labeled with the alphabet and you know as the teacher which letter corresponds with which figurative language.  :) 

Culminating Activity
      Now I don't know about you but I like to have a little fun in my classroom and sometimes a game is what you need to get those kiddos motivated to learn.  As we wrap up all of our learning and we have grasped all the concepts of figurative language I like to play "Pop, I know that!"  A little game I created to challenge my students.  Divide the class into two teams and have the cards placed face up in a row along a set of desks.  Each team sends up a player and then either the teacher or another student reads "Pop, I know that" card and the first player who correctly grabs the Pop I know that card with the correct figurative language word on it gets a point for their team.  It is so much fun and the kids love playing.  

This was such a fun little unit and my students loved the gumball theme with the bright colors and learning all about figurative language.  If you like what you see you can get it here:  

Here is also a list of the books we used during our unit which were great examples for our guided reading meetings.  

Book Sources

By Dr. Seuss

By Peggy Parish
By Dr. Seuss

By Virginia Lee Burton

I hope your students enjoy it as much as mine did. 

Grab those coins and get ready to count some money.  This unit is great for math centers at the beginning of the year or at the end to use as review.  Printed on cardstock and laminated for use over and over again from year to year. 
Money Recognition can be a tough skill for a lot of students.  My hope is that with a little more hands on practice they can easily understand how it works.   

Here is what you will find:
  • 20 Ipads that have students circle the correct coins to make the change listed

  • 20 Ipads that have a toy with a price tag and then students decide how much change they should get back after giving the cashier the money. 

  • Recording sheets that allow my students to record what they have done and see which groups of children I might need to pull to the back table for extra practice.  

Each card is numbered so that students can easily record their answers without any confusion.  A completely independent activity and also a great one to leave for a substitute.  

We love using these in our classroom and small group Daily 3 math time.  I hope you find them useful in your classroom.  You can get them here.  

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