mrs. yates class

A peek inside our classroom everyday!

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

Rap postponed!

I am getting lots of emails with students having issues turning in their raps.  No worries.  If you can’t get it to work–no worries.  You can perform it live in class tomorrow.  Just be sure you practice! Thanks!


Summative Assessment

Today we took the Summative Assessment on text structure and media. I gave the students all the time they needed to complete the assessment and did not impose any time restraints.  Hopefully students will really improve their scores and we will see lots of growth since we took the formative assessment many weeks ago.

When students finished, they had a few items to complete while they waited for their classmates.  Blocks 1 & 2 needed to turn in their Google Vacation Planning Sheet.  (Block 2–since the bell rang and I missed you-either email it to me over the weekend or hand it to me when you walk in on Monday.)

They also needed to be sure their couplets were complete.  Students were then asked to complete a “rhythm” using  Students have the option to record their favorite rhythm so they can use it as the background for reading their couplets.  Students can use any form of screencapture to record their Incredibox rhythm in the background as their read their couplets aloud.  Students need to UPLOAD their completed Couplet Rap by Sunday evening TO GOOGLE DOCS/DRIVE IN THE BLOCK __ FOLDER. (title = Rap + their name)   We will be watching/listening to them in class starting on Monday.

Here is an example of a rhythm created by one of my students.  He even taught his class some of his tricks!

Redo and Review

We started today with students being given the chance to redo some of their scores from the Parts of Speech exit ticket.  The highest grade will be kept as their proficiency score. I emailed an interactive Text Structure practice to all the students.  This will help them review text structure again before tomorrow’s summative assessment.

Students found their couplets after the break. They had to be sure that 4 more couplets were added to their original.  Then–they had to check to be sure that the couplets that were added were correct-having the same rhyme scheme and meter.  If any didn’t make sense–they needed to edit their paper.  Students were then asked to play around with .  Tomorrow students will take their couplets and read them to a beat they have created on Incredibox.  It should be a really fun activity.

Google vacation searches will be due tomorrow as well.

Monday, we start Unit 2! Can you believe we all survived Unit 1! Great job!


Discussion Time!

Today we practiced with text structures once again.  With the Summative Assessment looming around the corner, we are trying to practice and review a few more times before the actual test arrives.  Students were able to check the blog for a link to a Google Form.  Once they entered their grades, I can run a script that allows me to grade it instantly and then send all the students their graded responses in addition to the answer key.  They are able to review at their own speed and look back at the questions again.

We then moved on to evaluating their ability to follow the rules of discussion.   Here was the prompt:


The students had some interesting ideas about what would drive a successful school.  They also demonstrated, for the most part, great small group discussion skills. 😉

Finally, any student who did not achieve a 3 or 3+ on last week’s exit ticket will have the chance to retake the test tomorrow over the sections they wish to improve in.  We will do that at the beginning of class.

It will be in the best interest to have headphones tomorrow!


Text Structure Links

Block 1 Text Structure

Block 2 Text Structure

Block 3 Text Structure

Acuity Time

It is time for this month’s Scholastic book order.  If you’d like to purchase some books, you may look on this website, or I will be sending home a small leaflet tomorrow with some highlights.  If you order online–parents get a $5 off coupon for their next purchase and our class gets a $3 off coupon for books for our room.  Plus, we earn bonus points that can be spent to keep our classroom library growing.  Thank you to all the parents who ordered last time! We even had a parent buy books through Scholastic and donate them to our library!! There is a “wish list” on the website that you can donate books as well.  The theme for October will be The Strange & Mysterious.  Might be a good time to find a book with this theme for silent reading time.

ONLINE CODE: L7L3T (Must have this for our class to get the credit.)

Students took their first Acuity today.  These scores will help us level the students in our classes and be able to offer some interventions within our classrooms, as well.  We will also be looking carefully at the growth of each student from test to test.

While Acuity was finishing, students took turns adding lines to others’ couplets.  They were able to brainstorm from the given “starter” couplets.  We are hoping to turn some into a “couplet rap” by the end of the week.


Finally, we began our culminating activity for our search terms and skills.  Students are planning a vacation of their dreams and citing various steps along the way. (using search-vacation) This is not homework tonight.  Students started on it today and will build on it throughout the week.

Reminder: Students will take their Summative Assessment (Post-test) for this unit on Friday.  This will replace the RI score in the grade book.   (That was the pretest/Formative Assessment.) The assessment will check their media and text structure knowledge.

Secret Mission: Find a pencil today and add it to our in-class supply! Our pencil supply is dwindling.  People are borrowing and then not returning them.  

Resources for today

Here are some items will you need to help you with today’s work in class.  Please add the resources to your binder as well.

Google Search terms appendix

Google Search scavenger hunt

AMAZING Infographics!!

After our parts of Speech exit ticket today, we took time to practice creating Infographics.  The students used Wordle and Tagxedo to create some AMAZING infographics.  I was SOOOOOOOOOOO proud of them.  They loved doing it! They have been sending them to me all day! Some are incredible.  I wish I had the ability to send the explanation of what some of the text inside means to the picture! I was blown away and even found Mrs. Gmutza and had the students show her their amazing work!! Please enjoy the awesome work the students accomplished today.  Ask them how this will work for class projects and even to edit their work!


Parts of Speech practice

Here is the LiveBinder site from today! Use it to practice for tomorrow’s Exit Ticket!

Infographics cont’d


Today started with another DLR assignment.  We then quickly transitioned to Infographics. What is an infographic? Funny.  I asked my students the same thing.  I gave them two options–first, I could give them 7 pages of definitions for them to read and decipher–OR–I could show them this:

The picture above was created from Wordle .  I took the 7 pages of definitions and pasted them into the Wordle site.  Then, simply pushed the create button.  The site analyzes the words and then creates this picture a.k.a. INFOGRAPHIC.  The words that are used the most are the biggest and then the amount of frequency determines the size thereafter. Quickly, the students were able to pick out key words and come up with the definition of Infographics–without doing any research, reading a textbook, or using much time.   Lightbulbs started going off and then we were off to the races!

We continued discussing infographics from the PowerPoint listed in the previous post. Then I turned them loose.  In Blocks 1 & 2, I gave them some time to go find some infographics on their own.  Then–instead of conversing about them as a class out loud–they had to comment on the blog post and attach their infographics to their comment.  Then, go back and look at others’ pictures as well.  Since they are such visual learners, they instantly got the importance and concept right away.  We will be creating our own type of infographic later this week!!

We then took a moment to review conjunctions one more time. And because the students acted like I was doing them such a HUGE diservice by now showing it yesterday–today we watched:

Finally, we ended with students creating some couplets of their own–to describe themselves.  Some of them were SOOOO good! Some were hilarious!

Some examples:

cheer, and dance is the life of Guadalupe
My favorite food is cheddar potato soupe
Sarcasm is a specialty of mine, 
and I can skate across the ice just fine.
A student and a son of a wonderful mother.
I have two pets, and one big brother.
A runner, a triplet, a sister of 2
Sometimes my house feels like a zoo!
A big sister and great babysitter to three little trolls
I clean and enjoy making dinner and yummy rolls

HOMEWORK REMINDER: Blocks 1 & 2-copy/paste all your blogs/journals into one document.  If you don’t have many–copy what you have.

ALL: Exit ticket on parts of speech on FRIDAY! Never too early to study!


Information is beautiful: Click here and scroll until you see this:

Flowing Data: Click here

VizWorld: Click here

How to make your own:



10 Fun Tools to Make Infographics

Mrs. Yates powerpoint used in class today

Conjunction Junction. . . .

Today we finally hit the last part of speech during our language part of class.  Conjunctions.  Who knew that Conjunction Junction from Schoolhouse Rock was such a hit?  The students begged to watch it.  Since time didn’t allow today–we will start the class period off with it tomorrow!

We spent a little more time reviewing prepositions and other parts of speech today as well.  The final Exit Ticket on parts of speech is THIS FRIDAY!

Next, we looked at the six pieces of criteria for evaluating credible websites: authorship, accuracy, currency, content, purpose, and design. Then, students were given a handout (download from yesterday’s detective post) with almost 30 websites.  They had to use the rubric to figure out if the websites were credible or not.

There was some great discussion on the websites and students had fun looking at some “kooky” websites!


Row, Row, Row the Boat

We started with a favorite–the interjections song from School House Rock!

Then we did a little preposition practice.  (Students–see me for the practice sheet.)

We began a quick lesson on couplets and then students started to write them. The resources for the rest of the lessons are on the previous post.




Credible Websites & Word Detective Resources

Finding Credible Websites rubric-this will give you the information you need to reference when looking at a website to help determine if it is credible or not.

EVALUATING CREDIBLE WEBSITES RUBRIC–here is a sampling of websites plus a checklist to determine if they match the criteria

couplet row row boat-Row, Row, Row the boat Couplet activity

Word Detective Rhyming Machine will help with creating your couplets


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