Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Common Core Figurative Language

Do you remember walking out of workshops, your bag overflowing with papers and handouts, feeling a bit overwhelmed, wondering what you're going to have for dinner and trying to align your schedule with your kids' soccer schedule? Oh and the following day are parent conferences and you wish the workshop hadn't been held the day before conferences? 

When it was announced that the Common Core had been adopted in a majority of the states, teachers sat up and took notice. On top of all their other responsibilities, which could be possible grade level changes or moving to another school, this was just more mashed potatoes heaped on their already full plate. 

Some teachers in my district were concerned because our state and district curricula had been worked over with a fine tooth comb for years and we had it just where we thought it should be. The age old question came to mind. "If something's not broken, why fix it?" Our test scores were high. Sure, there are areas that needed attention, but overall, they were tops in national rankings. 

Teachers buzzed among themselves. Would the Common Core be watered down? Would it fit our students' needs? Would we be supplied with the who, what, why, where, when and how's of the Core so that we could easily implement it?  Or would the Common Core workshops be overviews and hand outs filled with charts, graphs and other "file in the round basket" paperwork that really wouldn't help teachers implement it? I wonder how many other teachers, like me, file all the paperwork, six months later, in the recycle bin.  ????

Don't get me wrong. Yes, teachers need to know details about the Common Core, but they also require practical and ready to print student worksheets to save time.

When I ran teacher workshops at the NELMS (New England League of Middle Schools) convention in Providence, RI, for four years, I was a hands on workshop leader who gave teachers student worksheets and other things that would make life easier for them. The conventions were huge. Middle and high school teachers from New England, Canada and some from other countries attended. The average number of teachers, in attendance, was 6,000 each year.

One of my presentations was to introduce educators to my Geobear project I created when I was the Connecticut representative for the Weekly Reader National Teachers Advisory Board. The purpose was to demonstrate how teachers could integrate all subjects into geography.

My students sent their teddy bears around the world. Over a ten year period their 900 teddy bears traveled with human companions, television stars, companies, grandmothers, relatives, ESPN of Asia and to places we never dreamed they'd visit. I loved it because I integrated all the subjects... reading, writing, social studies, science and math.

I was amazed that high school teachers attended my workshops. Never did I think high school kids would be interested in traveling teddy bears! Even more surprising is that I received fantastic feedback  from them, explaining in detail, their experiences with the bears.

Each workshop session I ran, I handed the attendees all the ready to print sheets they'd need to do this exciting project. No lengthy paperwork with theories about how GeoBears would affect my students in later years LOL or how it aligned with our curriculum. Teachers, who have spent years, learning how to become teachers, don't need all the theory thrown at them when they attend a workshop for something they have to implement. They need student worksheets!

Let me get to the point. (I bet you were waiting for that! :) 

I know how long it can take to develop lessons and activities for changes in curriculum, so I created worksheets, that align with the Common Core. These sheets can be used with any book or story.

This packet includes worksheets for similes, metaphors, personification and three posters to display in your classroom. 

Students are asked to find examples in books they're reading or in other text. Also included is a student friendly rubric. Yes, student friendly! How many of you have piles of rubrics that kids wouldn't be able to understand or relate to? I probably have hundreds!

Check out my Common Core ready to print student worksheets that will save you time! If you look under my custom categories under Common Core in my TeacherspayTeachers store you'll see many more of my Common Core products to help save you time! 

photo of Common Core Figurative Language PDF, ELA, student worksheets

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