Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tried It Tuesday Figurative Language, Go Noodle, Geography, & Math Errors

Test time means high stress, trying to review everything in time for the big exams, and crossing your fingers that they retain it all! 
I am linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper to share some things I have tried in my classroom to help with the review and keeping the kids using their noodles!

As we reviewed, I realized the kids were still struggling with the differences between metaphors, similes, and personification. This meant it was time to review, again. Thank goodness for Teachers Pay Teachers and the awesome resources available from amazing teachers.
First up, the Close Reading Figurative Language Stories packet by Lovin' Lit'

During small reading we discussed and analyzed the passages while identifying the different examples of figurative language. Some were a little more difficult to identify which meant they had to closely reread the text We had wonderful discussions as they hunted for their answers and defended their answers. They became enthusiastic figurative language detectives!

The passages were great for reinforcement of the need to reread passages 3 times closely! They were useful during small groups, as homework, and as an assessment. 

I learned a little extra about my students' prior knowledge, several did not know who Dorothy from Wizard the Oz was, and we had a discussion about Tom Cruise.
Here is a funny snippet of a group conversation for you. While reading Princess Penelope, a student said, "Who is this Penelope person? Is she the one who's nose grows?" Several students turned in awe, saying in unison, "That's Pinocchio!" 
This child is my constant reminder about the importance of giving kids a chance to ask questions about content. You cannot assume they know the connections mentioned and will at times get hung up on small details, missing the overall meaning of the text.
To help reinforce figurative language further, we also read Owl Moon and worked on the awesome Figurative Language page (freebie) created by jivey. This activity was a wonderful opportunity for us to review poetry in addition to reviewing similes, metaphors, and personification. 

Owl Moon is a great book to read aloud. It is full of figurative language, a nice example of a non-rhyming poem, and full of beautiful images. 
Image from: Cricket Magazine
This time of year is hectic and stressful. In order to maintain my sanity and the kids' ability to focus, I have been incorporating a lot of brain breaks. 
In the past I would pull up youtube videos that I previewed, but sometimes still had to deal with pop-ups that were not so kid-friendly. I was more than relieved to discover Go Noodle, designed for kids and teachers. I kept reading about it on many of my friends' blogs, today we tried it and are Go Noodle followers! 

You need to sign up for a free account but it was easy and the kids LOVED the videos! This will be our daily reward, our midday breaks, and the motivator to get us through our final 22 days! If you have not checked it out, you definitely need to! 
During indoor recess today, we danced, sang, and then calmed down with some belly breathing so we could use our Noodles to cram geography in to our minds. 
Speaking of geography, I need to brag about another awesome product I am a proud to own and use. 

Monster Wrangler Mike designed it for Georgia Performance Standards, and it is perfect! At one point I considered creating a product for these exact standards, but time slipped away from me. 
Needless to say, I was thrilled to discover this product, it answered my testing prayers! It supplements our book, and prepares the kids for the geography section of our state exam!
Monster Wrangler Mike also has some great Goofus products to help kids analyze common errors. 

The kids have to find the error, explain it, and solve it correctly. We used this in math the other day, and the kids loved it. 

I absolutely love the answer that this student provided for the error...
I had to add a little "LOL!" to match her humor. The best part is that she typically HATES math, yet this assignment helped her express her wit decreasing the dislike she typically expresses in class. 
It was a great twist to the typical problems and encouraged them to look for those traps that test writers set for the {impulsive} kids to fall in to. While discussing Goofus, they really started to understand why I keep saying, SLOW DOWN! 
What have you tried lately? If you are looking for something new to try out, check out the links on Fourth Grade Flipper's blog


  1. We have had so much fun with Go Noodle in my class. We invite our 3rd grade friends over to join in the fun with us. Unfortunately, I think we end up bothering the other classes in the pod though. Lol!
    Only one more day of testing......so happy to be over. Still keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you and your babies to do amazing!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. So happy you are done with testing! Keep sending those positive vibes - in one week I will be able to say 1 down, 4 to go!
      I am hooked on Go Noodle, even got my son's teacher noodling along. She said the class next to her clapped for her class after they sang "Let it Go" today. Love that they have joined us in our fun brain breaks!

  2. Your post is full of fantastic tips and resources! I love that fraction pack and your student's response about adding denominators. Haha! I am finally going to check out GoNoodle this week. I don't know why I've waited so long! I will be thinking of you and your testing coming up. :(
    Fourth Grade Flipper


I love to hear from my readers. Please leave your thoughts about the wonderful journey through teaching and life!