Poetry Portfolios

During our Poetry Unit my students create portfolios. These portfolios include poems that they enjoyed, lyrics to songs and poems that they have written in and out of class.

I have been able to get some great work out my students through this project. It really helps them to apply the things that they have learned about poetry.

Here is a list of the items I require in their portfolio:

  • Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Glossary of Poetry Terms
  • Five Poems with Poetic Devices Highlighted and Explained
  • Five Original Poems that They Wrote
  • One Song with an Analysis of Poetic Devices Used

Here are some pictures from some of the portfolios I have received:

photo 5 photo 4 photo 3 photo 2 photo 2 (1) photo 1 (1) photo 1

To teach song analysis I used Tracee Ormans Freebie “Firework” by Katy Perry Song Lyrics Poetry Terms

I have the rubric/checklist for this project available in my TPT store: Poetry Portfolio Culminating Project

Top Ten Reasons I Love Winter Break in China!

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Okay so here are the Top Ten Reasons I cannot wait for Christmas Break here in China!

10. Spending time with my China Family!

9. Experiencing Christmas with some of my friends for the first time (Despite what our Christmas Around the World Units say China does not celebrate Christmas – Chinese New Year comes later :))

8. Sleeping in – When my neighbors who wake up at 4am will let me – The joy of a land with over a billion people ūüôā

7. Traveling to Hong Kong and going to Disney Land!

6. Traveling to Xian to see the Terracotta Army!

5. American, Mexican, and every other food that is not Chinese!

4. Receiving packages in the mail.

3. Skype

2. Comfy and cute casual clothing – totally not professional, but still cute!

1. Knowing that a month from the time we go back to school on January 8th we will get another two week vacation for Chun Jia!

What are you looking forward to? Add a comment below or click the top-ten icon at the top and find out what other teachers are looking forward to this Winter Break!!

Soaring Through Secondary Blog Hop

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I am participating in the Soaring Through Secondary Blog Hop!

Special thanks to Jennifer Lamb for setting up this blog hop and to Jennifer Smith-Sloane for creating this awesome logo for our hop! Each person on our blog hop today will be featuring either a freebie through their TPT store, or a giveaway on their blog Рso be sure to visit them all!

Here is a list of all of the blogs participating, so if you get lost somewhere along the way, return here to get back on track!
My featured freebie for this blog hop is my newest freebie – All About Lap-booking! I recently started creating foldables and lap-books for my science classes. They have worked really well, and give students an interesting way to take notes. If you want to know more about lap-booking download my freebie by clicking the picture below:
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Five Finger Summary Strategy

My students have a hard time with creating summaries. Thankfully I talked to one of my best-friends and she mentioned this strategy. It is called the Five Finger Summary. Basically, students use their five fingers as a reference to come up with a summary:

  • Thumb – Somebody…
  • Pointer Finger – Wanted…
  • Middle Finger – But…
  • Ring Finger – So…
  • Pinky – In the end…

It is so easy and you can use it with any story! Keep in mind if there are multiple main characters you would have to make a choice between which one you use.

GRAB MY LATEST FREEBIE!! Five Finger Summary Editable PPT

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Language Arts Games

One of my professors used to say “make everything into a game.” She absolutely loved using games in order to jazz up lessons, especially in Language Arts. I just created two new language arts games. Just in time for BACK-TO-SCHOOL and the sales in my TpT and Teachers Notebook Stores.

Game One: The Five Second Rule 

Students have five seconds to name three items in a given category. I use this with my ELL’s, because it helps them to think quickly and recall vocabulary that we have covered in class.

Game Two: Versus

I got the idea for this game after reading the book Shark vs. Train by: Chris Barton.This game is made up of flash cards with different characters, animals and people. You can use these cards in a variety of ways as a whole class or in groups.
For example, if you pull one card that says samurai and one card that says chicken you would then say, ‚Äúsamurai versus chicken.‚ÄĚ You will then be able to complete one of the following activities with the students using the cards as the focus.
1. A quick discussion with the class.
2. A writing prompt‚ÄĒ tell who would win and why
3. A class debate‚ÄĒ students choose sides and debate which would win in a fight.
There are endless possibilities. My students really enjoy these cards and they have lead to many heated discussions in my class.

You can click on the images above to find my versions of both games mentioned. Don’t forget about the incredible sales going on on both TpT and Teachers Notebook this weekend!

It’s August!!

Lots of things are happening at this time of year. Teachers and students are busy preparing for back-to-school (perhaps teachers more than students). I wanted to take this time to share with you several things happening online this month.

A few months ago I was asked to give feedback on a devotional for Christian Educators. The devotional book has recently been released. It is truly amazing and really changed the way act and think in not only the classroom, but daily life. I highly recommend this book for both experienced and first year teachers! (Click the image below to find out more)

The Awakened Devotional Study Guide for Christian Educators

I have a new post on Global Teacher Connect entitled Authentic Assessment in China. This post shares some simple steps for how to create an authentic assessment. GTC is also hosting a new series called Classrooms Around the World. Teachers from around the globe will be contributing pictures of thier classrooms. This is a great opportunity for students to see how alike and different schools are in different parts of the world (click the icon below for more info about this wonderful project)!

Last but not least TpT will be having their BACK TO SCHOOL Sale on August 12-13th! You can save an extra 10% on all your purchases by using the code in the icon below. My store will be having a 20% off sale which gives you spectacular saving for those last minute Back to School items!

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Wow – so much is going on! I am also in the midst of moving and starting a new school. I hopefully will have updates as that progresses! Happy Tuesday!!

Adventures in Time Travel

It has been a whirl-wind of a summer. I have been to the states and back again. I have also had the joys of having a 48 hour day and losing a day. It honestly feels like we have been time-travelers this summer.

I am normally a workaholic according to my husband, but I think it is because I love what I do. I really enjoy writing lesson plans, teaching and coming up with a new way to explain a concept. However, this summer I gave my brain a break. I think it was a much needed break after my first year teaching overseas.

As soon as I got back to China, my brain break was over. My husband and I both taught at an English Camp. It is a two week camp that Chinese and Korean students come to in order to practice and learn English. It lasts for 8 hours Monday-Friday. As an English Education major I had so much fun teaching the kids English. Since most of them were elementary school aged kids, I also got to incorporate some fun songs that would have been quite cheesy to older students.

We are currently in the process of moving. That has been crazy in and of itself. Our schools company (the company operates two schools in China) provides our housing. Since we are moving to the other school another couple needed our apartment. The big problem was that we are not supposed to go our new city until August 15th. So we prepared our stuff and our currently staying at a hotel in the area. In another turn of events, today was a whirlwind. We thought the couple was coming in on Sunday and it turns out they are getting here tomorrow. Which meant I had to get everything together and move in less than 5 hours today. STRESS!

I am very thankful to now be sitting at my computer and relaxing. Although my friend just called and said that a tropical storm was headed our way. Looks like we will be stuck inside this weekend. All in all it looks like we are in for another adventurous year in China. And I am so glad that our time traveling is over at least for another 9 months!

~ Jessi

Packing Up for the End of the Year

Do you have to pack up your classroom at the end of the year? I never realized this was something that teachers had to do. I have been looking online for tips about packing. I gleaned a lot from The Cornerstone for Teachers РAngela Watson has some really great insights on everything to do with classroom management.  I also took some tips from Michelle Duggar in her book 20 Kids and Counting.

Mrs. Duggar had an awesome home/packing organization system. She mentioned labeling boxes by color and number. She coordinated everything using index cards. I borrowed her idea and made a simple packing list. I will number my boxes and then list the items in each box – that way I can find things easily on the first day of school. I am also going to have one box labeled “open first” which will contain my essentials (scissors, tape, staples, etc).

If you think my packing list would be helpful click on the photo below to download it for free! Good luck with packing and please post any hints you might have in the comments section.

Visit 2nd Grade Pad and see some other teachers who have great tips for packing up at the end of the year.

Just click the picture below ūüôā

Teacher Appreciation Week

I am super excited about next week!¬† It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and we’ve got a huge jackpot for you.¬† Everyone’s a winner not just one person.¬† We’ve put together an amazing blog hop for you to find some of the best teacher resources that are normally a paid item, but for one day they are FREE just for you.¬† Isn’t that exciting?!¬† I’ll let you know the value of all the products that you are going to get for free on Saturday.¬† It all starts on Sunday, May 6th.

We wanted to show teachers how much we care for them and appreciate all the hard work you put in each day at school.¬† Each gift will be valued between $3.00 and $8.00 (which equals a jackpot of over $600) You can only download them from¬†Teachers Pay Teachers.¬† If you don’t have an account there, set one up so you can be ready to download like crazy!

Because there are so many bloggers participating in this event, we have it split up into three groups. I am in  the 7-12 Jackpot.  Even if you are not a 7-12 teacher you can still get in on the action by visiting the other hosts sites.

Make sure you watch for another amazing promotion just for teachers May 6-8.

You are one LUCKY person!

Click Here for My Free Product – Coke or Sprite Inference Lesson and Game

This product was created for an EFL class, and is only free today (normally $3.75). The lesson introduces students to critical thinking, strategy, predictions and/or making an inference. Students play a game and try to create a strategy, persuade other players and make predictions. It could be used as an intro to teaching students how to make an inference when reading.

What is included:
– Vocabulary and Questions
– PowerPoint (12 slides)
– Coke or Sprite Strategy Game