Daily Archives: October 19, 2020

October Teacher Talk 2020

Posted by Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern

It’s October Teacher Talk Time…..Well, the first month of school is over and it’s BOO-tober, time for Halloween fun, Columbus Day, Stop Bullying Month and beautiful fall weather. We have so many great tips and ideas for you from awesome educators. Be sure to take a look at what everyone has to say.
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Searching for Our Future Selves

By Retta London of Rainbow City Learning

Adding futuristic thinking to your reading and writing practice.


A Peek Into Learning

By Kathie Yonemura of Tried and True Teaching Tools

For all the grumbling about distance learning (and there is a lot of grumbling!), there are also some perks! I have a love-hate relationship with classroom bulletin boards. They are such a pain to put up, then you have to change them frequently and other than during Open House, no one actually looks at them! Anyone else?


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern

For my teacher friends who are torn about going back to school physically, or teaching using a hybrid model, these times are challenging.  If you are someone who HAS to go into your classroom, you are literally risking your life and possibly those around you. You probably stay up many nights tossing and turning over what you should do.  While those of you who teach through distance learning have to acquire new skills, and let’s face it, not all of us are tech savvy. It’s hard enough doing what you all love to do but Covid19 is making it difficult if not impossible for you. So how do you function when feeling emotionally drained and stressed out. In some of my other posts, I’ve mentioned Qigong as a way to relieve stress, there are also homeopathic remedies that may help. 


Using Glyphs to Gather Information, Interpret Data and Follow Directions By Vicky Rauch of Scipi

A glyph is a non-standard way of graphing information to tell a story. It is a flexible data representation tool that uses symbols to represent different data. Glyphs are an innovative instrument that shows several pieces of data at once and necessitates a legend or a key to understand the glyph. They require problem solving, communication, and data organization.


Boo! Meow! Eek!Woo! Ha-Ha- Haaaa!


Reading poetry helps students improve fluency because the natural rhythm of most poems enhances ease of expression. Adding sound effects to group or individual Halloween readings incorporates pleasure into reading aloud, often a difficult task for beginning and struggling readers. Read this post to find out how to throw in even more levity.


Tips for Knowing When to Use Who, That, and Which

By Charlene Tess of Charlene Tess

Choosing between the the relative pronouns who, that, and which is an important decision. Using the correct word will help you say what you mean and get your point across successfully.


3-Easy Tips for Making Grammar Fun

By Marcy How of It’s a Teacher Thing

Learn 3 easy tips for adding fun to your grammar instruction and increase student learning and engagement.


Teacher Self Care During Distance Learning

By Michelle Webb of Teaching Ideas for Those Who Love Teaching

Tips to take care of yourself during distance learning.

Coding with the Littles

By Lisa Robles of LisaTeachR’s Classroom

Have you done coding with your littles? I’m currently doing Scratch Jr. with my Kindergartners and they are loving it. What is Scratch Jr.? It’s a programming language that lets kids ages 5-7 create stories and games. Kids use blocks to create the code.


Be sure to check out the block posts from all of our members.

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Thematic Poetry Unit – EDITABLE (Digital copy included)



**** A non-editable version of this resource is available at a lower cost. Click here to preview the unit. Thematic Poetry Unit

***A digital copy of the student activities in Google Slides is included as well for distance learning.***

The comprehensive poetry unit that teachers, as well as students, can enjoy. I want to demystify poetry, and I make it my goal for students to enjoy the reading and studying of poetry.

At the beginning of every poetry unit, I ask my students this question, “How do you feel about poetry?” My heart always sinks when most admit to disliking it. I make students this promise, and now I am making you this promise, with this unit, I might not convert you into a poetry lover, but I promise that you won’t hate it. (We need realistic expectations.) This unit includes a variety of poetry genres and activities to help students understand that poetry is not about finding the correct answer but appreciating someone else’s point of view on a subject (even if students don’t quite understand or like it). In short, this unit teaches students how to approach, think, and write about poetry. Each lesson focuses on an element of poetry that will further students’ ability to analyze, to read between the lines, and to become independent learners.

The unit includes:

❒Student worksheets and poems

❒15 complete lessons (with an introduction, transitions and activities, and conclusion). The lessons also include the learning goals for students.

❒A comprehensive answer key for all worksheets, annotations to all poems, examples of paragraphs for students.

❒A final unit test (PPT – editable) with the answer key. Includes student success criteria and an evaluation grid. The poem on the test is Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Masks.” For copyright purposes, the poem cannot be published on the test. However, I have left room on the editable test for the teacher to insert a copy of the poem.

A comment sheet for easy and meaningful retroaction on students’ test is also included. This will facilitate the marking process. (editable)

❒A Jeopardy game to review figurative language (PPT)

***All pages are editable in a PowerPoint document. The background has been secured to ensure proper formatting.

Summary of lessons included:

❒ Lesson 1: Introduction to poetry – Includes a journal prompt, notes on how to approach poetry, an activity to familiarize students with poetry further, and a review on figurative language (with notes.)

❒ Lesson 2: Figurative Language Review – The lesson includes a journal prompt (a creative poetry activity), students will play Figurative Language Jeopardy (PPT) to review figurative language.

❒ Lesson 3: Introduction to analysis – The lesson includes a journal prompt, students will learn to analyze poetry using Walt Whitman’s “When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer” and “The Quiet Patient Spider.”

❒ Lesson 4: Fun with metaphors – This lesson includes a journal prompt, a “Fun with Metaphors” worksheet to help students further understand metaphors, students will analyze William Blake’s “A Poison Tree,” and will complete the worksheet on the poem.

❒ Lesson 5: Fun with allusions – This lesson begins with a journal prompt, a “Fun with Allusions” worksheet, students analyze Simon and Garfunkel’s song “The Sound of Silence.” (poem not included) However, a blank (editable) page is included in the document to paste the lyrics from the internet. This will help you create a more cohesive looking unit.

❒ Lesson 6: Tone and Attitude – Students will do a video (or song version) comparison analysis by completing the “Video Comparison” worksheet.

❒ Lesson 7: Symbolism – Students will complete the “Fun with Idioms” worksheet, will analyze Robert Frost’s poems “The Road not Taken” and “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” they will complete the worksheets for both poems, and learn how to write a PEEL paragraph using the notes provided.

❒ Lesson 8: Writing about poetry – This is a writing clinic of sorts where students will learn to identify strong topic sentences and well-developed paragraphs. An example of a well-developed paragraph is included.

❒ Lesson 9: Historical allusions: This lesson begins with a journal prompt, students will analyze Cara Dillon’s song “There were Roses” and complete the accompanying worksheet. (Please note that this poem is not included.)

❒ Lesson 10: Thematic connections – Students will work in collaborative groups on the “Thematic Connections” worksheet, which compares two of the poems studied in the unit. *An optional activity is included: Students will write a comparative paragraph comparing one similar theme in both poems. An example of a paragraph is included.

❒ Lesson 11: Allusions and analysis – this lesson begins with a journal prompt, The study of Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” by watching a Ted Talk, analyzing Mumford and Son’s song “The Cave,” and completing the worksheet. (Please note that the song lyrics are not included.)

❒ Lesson 12: Connections – students will learn to make important connections in poetry by completing the worksheets of the “Battle of the Pronouns” and “Cave vs. Cave” to further develop the themes in Mumford and Son’s song “The Cave.”

❒ Lesson 13: Theme review – Students will refine and review how to develop a theme in a poem (which applies to any work of literature) by completing the worksheet “The Cave – Themes and Meanings,” students will then write a theme in paragraph form.

❒ Lesson 14: Evaluation (test) – editable with answer key and comment sheet to facilitate marking

Check out the free sample lesson: Free Poetry Lesson on Metaphors

You may also be interested in the following products:

Free Thesis Writing Activity

Poetry Lesson: Analyzing Poetry

Poetry Unit for Senior Students

Teaching the Essay Package

The Yellow Wallpaper No Prep Mini-Unit

Much Ado About Nothing No Prep Unit

❒Brave New World Student Notebook

Essay Writing Flip Book

Frankenstein Bundle

Hamlet Bundle

It’s teaching made easy!

Total Pages
78 pages and 28 slides
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks

FREE LANGUAGE ARTS LESSON – “Thanksgiving Letter Discrimination for tricky b, d, p, & q”

by Karen Pritchett

Kindergarten – 3rd Grade

Freebie! Turkey themed letter discrimination page to help with frequently reversed letters. Students can color the page according the key or use clear bingo chips to save paper. Works great with small groups and independent centers.

I also tucked in a little math at the bottom of the page. (We have the visual color representation of turkeys…..why not?!)

I purchased little plastic containers at The Dollar Tree to hold the bingo chips. I think there were 8 containers in a pack. I packed each one with only the colors of bingo chips they needed for the activity. (I stole the bingo chips from several other games in my room.) Crayons also work if you don’t have a strict copy limit at your school!

Happy Thanksgiving!



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