More Poetry

As I mentioned in an earlier post, poetry has become even more important for Texas teachers. Our new STAAR test requires students in elementary grades to read, analyze, and comprehend poetry.

I am always looking for ways to integrate reading and writing. It just makes sense that kids write about the same things that they are reading. So I was incredibly excited when I came across this recent release.

This book has poems about famous people like Harriett Tubman and Neil Armstrong, written by many authors, including Nikki Grimes and Jane Yolen. Each poem is accompanied by a beautiful portrait.

I plan to share the poems -- except for the ones about people my students have selected to study. Then I'll ask the kids to use the information they have gathered to write their own biographical poems.

I think they'll have a lot of fun with this!

Who Are You? (Not CSI Related)

We are studying biographies here in Krazy Town. Last week the kiddos spent time reading a wide variety of books about the lives of inspirational people. By Friday, each kid had settled on one person to research.

I ordered these cool Scholastic posters to use as a final project.

One section of the poster has a space for kids to write their own book about the person. Well, here in Texas, students have to do 2 different types of writing for the STAAR test. One is personal narrative and the other is expository-explanatory. So I decided to make a STAAR style prompt for the kids to use to write an essay about the subject of their biographies. They will attach their final draft to the space on the poster.

Click the link to get the prompt, if you'd like to use it. STAAR Expository Prompt

In other news, Blurt Boy had an almost perfect day Friday. Whoop!


This and That

I know, long time, no blog.

I have been swamped - as are many of you, I am sure. What with report cards, parent conferences, and RtI, I've been mucho busy. So here is a bulleted update followed by a little lesson sharing.
  • Other Kid moved. Mom got tired of being called in when he was removed from the classroom for being disruptive and sent him back to his dad. I am glad in one way that he is gone - makes teaching that class sooo much easier. And yet, I don't think he is going to get the help he needs. Poor kid.
  • Blurt Boy is still blurting. He disrupted CBA testing and had to be removed from my room 3 out of 5 days this past week. His mom says she is tired of being called, too, but we aren't seeing any differences in his behavior. It's only a matter of time before he ends up at alternative school.
  • I am teaching the Enrichment group during our RtI time and love it. I have 26 of our top kids, including the TAG students. It makes me miss my TAG job.
Now for the lesson.

One of our TEKS calls for us to compare and contrast a biography/autobiography to a literary non-fiction piece about the same person and analyze why the authors chose to include the information they did.

I am using these 2 books for the comparison and contrast.


The first book tells only about Lindbergh's famous transatlantic flight. The second is a true biography, with all the facts and events of his life.

We'll be comparing the characters, setting, problem/solution, events, pictures, text features, and organization. It should be fun.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot - I ordered my costume for Book Character Day! Holy guacamole, I am muy in love with El Skippito!

Now if I can just manage to get home before 6:00 every day. Sigh.
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