Common Core Practice, Anyone?

My entry this week is an explanation of my newest product: the CIM for Common Core CCSS.ELA.6.4 – the figurative language standard. This CIM (Continuous Improvement Model) takes students through an “I Do,” “We Do,” “You Do” model. It focuses on standard 4, which is “Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.” It is also appropriate for the LAFS.6.RL.2.4 (Language Arts Florida Standards).

There is a little bit of (controversy isn’t the right word) variation in how to interpret this standard. In my work with teachers, as well as curriculum specialists and other administrators, I have found that some interpret this standard as including (at the secondary level – grades 6-12) questions that ask students to identify figurative language devices. For example, “Which figurative device is used in stanza 1?” The student then answers “simile,” or whatever the appropriate device is. Others, however, do not feel that basic device identification meets the standard at the secondary level unless it is accompanied by a “Part B” question asking about what the device means. For example: “Part A: Which figurative device is used in the first stanza?” and then “Part B: What does the author mean by this figurative device?” Still others, though, contend that the identification of the figurative device does not belong with standard 4 at all, and is, instead, a “content or domain-specific” language question belonging in the Language standards (CCSS.L.6). I’m not (nor is anyone else I know of) sure exactly how the various testing companies (PARCC, Smarter Balanced, FSA, etc.) are going to interpret this standard. Therefore, I have included these styles of questions in this product. Each day students get a couple of questions, one of which asks them to identify various figurative devices. These questions are followed up with the meaning of those devices or the impact they have on the poem (in terms of tone, mood, etc.).

There are 3 lessons designed to take 5 days. Lessons one and two take roughly 15-20 minutes total, so spread over two days, each lesson lasts 7-10 minutes. All together, you get 5 days of a 7-10 minute lesson each day. This makes it perfect for a daily opener or bell work. The idea behind it is that the teacher demonstrates, guides, and assesses, and then uses the results to inform instruction and the need (or not) to reteach. It is ideal for additional practice or remediation to see how well the initial lessons or instruction has gone.

Sound intriguing? Check it out!

6th grade FCIM RL4


We Are The Champions, My Friends…

I know it’s been a long time, and you probably thought I had forgotten – or perhaps was recovering from all the celebrating – but here is the freebie for the most important victory of the year! For a whole year, The Ohio State Buckeyes are the NCAA football National Champions! It is a good time to be a Buckeye! Thanks to the Oregon Ducks for a great game!

My five free fonts for the Sugar Bowl victory were well received, so I made five more. These are a little more fun, and could be cute for classroom posters. There’s even one that could be a fun game for students – all the letters are backwards! I hope you enjoy them.

5 Free Fonts!

5 Free Fonts!

Sadly, though, football season is over, but before you despair, I’ll have you know I am an avid college basketball fan, too! Of course I’m a big supporter for Ohio State, but I was raised on Kentucky basketball, so I’m a Wildcat at heart! Therefore, if Ohio State and/or Kentucky win their conference championship, I will make victory freebies for that. Additionally, if either team wins the National Championship (Kentucky is definitely a favorite for this!), I will post a freebie for that as well, so check back later in the season!

Finally, I am continuing my work on the CCSS CIM lessons and should have the 6th grade RL.4 standard CIM ready for next week, so if you’ve been waiting for it, it will be here soon! Have a great week!

Go Buckeyes!

Football freebie – Buckeye Sugar Bowl Victory!

Ohhhhh, my! O-H-I-O!!! I am still in a bit of a daze (and shock), but despite the odds being stacked against them, my beloved Buckeyes have beaten the Crimson Tide of Alabama in the 2015 Sugar Bowl! Go Buckeyes! And of course, you get to be happy for a second reason: football freebie! That’s right, I’ve created my football freebie for you to celebrate the victory. I’ve done something brand-spankin’ new: fonts. Yes, I found an online font creator and spent the day having (probably way too much) fun turning my own handwriting into a font you can use on your word processing software! There are 5 fonts: 2 that reflect my normal handwriting and 3 that are more “fun.” I’ve often gotten compliments on what nice handwriting I have, so I figure some of you might enjoy being able to use it as a font. Anyway, I hope it’s useful for you! And of course, there’s still one opportunity left for a football freebie this season, so cheer like you’ve never cheered before for Ohio State to beat Oregon in the national championship game on January 12th.

Free fonts 1-5

Get 5 Fun, Free Fonts!