mrs. yates class

A peek inside our classroom everyday!

Figurative Language

    Metaphor     Hyperbole     Personification      Onomatopoeia     Alliteration     Idiom

Click here for Figurative Language definitions! (More here!)

Figurative Language  Flashcards (Not enough? Here are some more!)

Figurative Language in Music? NO WAY!


Personification Basketball.  Click here to play!

Metaphors & Similes

“Grammar Girl” explains



Examples in Poetry: Click here for examples


50 examples of Hyperbole


Click here for 100 examples of onomatopoeia


Click here for alphabetical list of words that are commonly used in alliteration.

Examples of alliteration.


Figurative Language with Pop Music! Click here for Prezi.
You will need to select 4 out of the 7 choices for Figurative Language.  (simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, onomatopoeia, alliteration, idiom)

  • Use the examples below for inspiration
  • Will need to use Photo Story, Windows Movie Maker, or iMovie (or something equivalent) to complete the assignment.
  • Must show figurative language you’ve chosen
  • Then show us the lyrics that pertain to the figurative language (not the entire song-just the lines around)
  • We will also need to hear the song. (YouTube video or simply play the song in the background) (Again, not the entire thing–just the parts that apply.)
  • You don’t have to include the explanation, but be ready to share it with your classmates.


Figurative language in Rap? Sure! Click here for Flocabulary’s site dedicated to just that!

Examples of what you should accomplish using Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, etc*


*Tutorials for Windows Movie Maker and Photo Story

Windows Movie Maker

Photo Story


Cat-got-your-tongue3Take this Idiom Quiz: here

Play this game: here (Yes, you must choose the “hard” option! Don’t wimp out!)

Resources & References

Your assignment: Create an Idiom Poster!

  • Must have your idiom written out
  • The literal meaning
  • The figurative meaning
  • A picture/visual representation of the idiom
  • Must be NEAT & COLORFUL! NEAT!! They are going on walls!

Context Clues

contHere are some resources that you will need to complete the context clues skills.  Some are “bonus material” put here for extra resources that you can check and review during your own time.

Jabberwocky – jabberwocky

Schmoop can help!

(A fun translation–just in case you want to peek!)

Mystery Words – mystery words

6 Context Clues Lessons to Review – 6 Context Clues Lessons

Context Clues Practice Test – Context Clues-Practice Standardized Test

Context Clues – Synonym & Antonym Practice – Context Clues-Synonyms & Antonyms

Word Roots – Word Roots

Context Clues Stations – Context Clues-standardized

Context Clues Station Answer Sheet – Context Clues Station Answer Key

Word Usage Stations – Word Usage-standardized

Irony Short Stories


Here are 3 short stories that contain irony.

(We will be doing this in class today.)

What irony do you see? How do you know it is ironic? Justify your answers with textual evidence.

“Ironic” lyrics – Ironic Lyrics

Autism Walk Shirts

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 2.29.53 PM

Many of you have asked about the Walk for Autism shirts. I will have order forms in my room tomorrow.  In addition, I will attach one on here as well.  Remember, April 2 = Light It Up Blue for Autism! & April 27 = Walk for Autism @ Memorial High School (9am)!

Tshirt order form Tshirt order form

I will collect $$$ next Mon-Wed! THANKS!!


Here are the resources you will need for the IRONY Lesson today:

Blogging Points Explained

4 = 30+ posts
3 = 20-29 posts
2 = 10-19 posts
1 = less than 10 posts

CD Cover design

CDsTo bridge the gap in the ISTEP week and to offer some of you the “creative outlet” you have been begging for, you will have today and tomorrow to complete this assignment! (after we free read)
 Don’t rush through this! Take your time and think about each one! Be thoughtful in your approach!

CD Cover Design

Good luck and enjoy!

Letting off a little ISTEP Steam!

Here are a few students letting off a little ISTEP steam! Who knew acting silly could be so much fun?

Multiple Class Husky Shake (Screen is turned! Not sure how to fix–here is how to flip it on your netbook screen: Ctrl + Alt + (right arrow button)

Where do we go from here?

question-markI have sent you an email with a link to a survey.  I’d like to see what your thoughts are as we plan for the remainder of the year.  Please take a few moments to answer honestly and appropriately to the questions posed.  You will have to be logged in with your account for the form to work.  Any questions with an * are required and you cannot submit your answer unless you have filled in a response.  In case you didn’t get the email, here is the form.


Pump Up Your Writing

I have to say how impressed I have been today with the student geniuses in my classroom.  We worked on yet another ISTEP writing strategy.  Of course, these strategies can be applied outside the ISTEP framework–but we are focused on them now since ISTEP is next week.

Today we looked at how we can “pump up” our writing! We even used a little “old school” SNL inspiration:

We also focused on the balloon method.  With this method, students were able to take a 4 word sentence: She walked her dog, and turn it into an over 30 word sentence.  It was incredible to see the students rushing to come up with a better sentence and longer ones! I love when they love to learn!!

Pump Up WritingFor homework, they were given the sentence, “He went to the movies.”  They must turn that into a “pumped up” masterpiece and then blog about it! Can’t wait to read them!!

Another contest! thinglink!

Create an Interactive Image for a Chance to Win an iPad Mini

from Free Technology for Teachers by (Mr. Byrne)

ThingLink and Rosen Digital have teamed up to run an interactive image contest for K-12 students. The ThingLink Interactive Image Contest for K-12 is giving away ten iPad minis, one to each category winner. All K-12 students are eligible to enter in one or all ten of the categories. Entries are now being accepted through this form.

The contest categories are as follows:
My Favorite Books or Authors
Science — Think Like a Scientist!
Health & Well-being — You, Your Family, Your Friends
Environment — The World Around Us
Community — Volunteering & Making a Difference
Money Smarts — Earning, Saving, Spending
Art & Music — Express Yourself!
Sports — Game On!
History & Social Studies — From Yesterday to Today
Animals — Furry, Friendly, & Fierce

Voting: Friends and family can vote on their favorite images by using “touch” icon on a ThingLink image. The most “touches” counts for a portion of the score. A team of educational advisors will review entries and determine winners.

Prizes: One iPad mini will be awarded to the top winner in each category. The winning school in each category will also receive one Rosen Database subscription for a year (Teen Health and Wellness, Digital Literacy, Financial Literacy or the Power Knowledge Science Suite). Certificates will be awarded to second and third place winners in each category.

Applications for Education
Even if your students don’t or can’t enter the contest the list of categories is worth looking at for some ideas for using interactive images in your classroom. I like the idea of having students create interactive images about their favorite books. Students could create story maps then upload them to ThingLink to make the map interactive with pinmarks that contain additional images, video clips, audio clips, or links to additional reviews of their favorite books.

Tackk-Cool Presentation Idea!

Found this very cool site  via this blog and wanted to pass it along!

Communicate Differently With Tackk

Finding ways for kids to communicate information can be a bit of a challenge. Its easy to fall into the Power Point or Prezi track. Or even easier to not offer up any technology opportunities at all. There are loads of great creation/presentation tools out there. Voicethread, Google Sites, Animoto just to name a few are some of the creative ways in the past I’ve covered.

But I am always on the look out for something new and easy to use. And I think I might have found that.
Ok. So its similar to Glogster (which many people love) but in my opinion, much, much better. And I think it will continue to do so.
What is Tackk?
It is a really elegant way to display information.
When you land on the website you get a blank Tackk you can start working with share, no login required.
The instructions are pretty simple:
You have an editor on the right side that allows you to manipulate colors, fonts, backgrounds and tags. Again, we still haven’t logged in yet. And everything is happening in the web browser.
You click on a space you want to edit. In the header section you can title your Tackk and put in any other information needed. There are also options to add more sections, like pictures, text boxes and other media like embeds and videos.
The idea here is you can have multiple types of elements in a presentation of information. It’s still pretty linear but the options to customize how information is presented are really endless.
Once complete you have a URL at the top that you can share your Tackk with the world. First you have to preview and share (that locks it down so other can’t edit).
The downside is your Tackk expires after 7 days if you don’t create it under an account and you have to be 13 to create an account. But with the account you can customize your URLs, edit multiple Tackks and they never expire.
Again, its not designed for K12. But it could be adapted for use in the classroom. And hopefully the creators will make an EDU space similar to other services that allow for account management by teachers and the ability for students under 13 to have accounts.
So check out Tackk (and follow them on Twitter @tackk_it). At the very least it could be a great way to do some flipped faculty stuff or curate information for sharing.

Life Lesson #2

clipart_sickLife lesson #2 of the week–never tell your students that your family is doing better and that you will not be missing any more days in the near future.  Anyone want to guess where I am today? That’s right–the stomach bug continues! The grandparent that was going to watch my sick one today, has now fallen ill. Guess who that leaves? ME!  I HATE HATE HATE that I am missing again today, but I have to get my little guy feeling better and eating again!

So, here is the plan for today! (I hope after our little “talk” yesterday that all of you are checking the blog today for directions and will complete the items listed below! 😉

  • Silent read.  You should silent read for 20 minutes today. WITH YOUR OWN BOOK! 
  • Yesterday only Block 1 started the RUPR exercise.  I’d like to continue that with the rest of the classes today.  Go to back to this post  to get the writing prompts.  (Block 1–you can do the exercise again–it will NOT hurt!) 🙂
    • Pick any prompt you like
    • Read it
    • Underline key words and phrases (format, audience, key words)
    • Prewrite!
      • If you were going to write a 5 paragraph essay on this topic–what would you want to include? Don’t worry about it being right at this point.  Just write down everything that comes into your brain! Make sure you address ALL parts of the prompt! Before you think you are finished-go back and look at the prompt and be sure that you haven’t forgotten anything! You should prewrite for at least 5 minutes.  Watch the clock–if it has only been 3 or 4 minutes–KEEP THINKING! This is your foundation for your entire essay and you want to make sure you haven’t left anything off.  (Remember–grocery list!)
      • Once you have finished writing everything that popped into your brain–organize it.  What would go into paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5? This will make your writing flow and make it easier to write!
      • Then, think about the yo-yo writing we talked about yesterday. (Go back and look at yesterday’s prompt if you need to see the handout again.) I want you to write a matching beginning and ending based on the prompt that you have chosen. (Remember–the middle is not important in this step.)
  • Transitions
    • Another important component of getting a higher score on your ISTEP writing is to be sure you know how to use transition in your writing. Since I am not there to have the conversation with you–I will include some items below that you need to read thoroughly and be sure you understand.
    • Transitions in Writing handout (Open and read!)
    • Tools for Writing: Transitions (Open and read!)
    • Here is another transition reference.  I’d open this and save in your “ELA” folder that I’m confident all of you have!
    • I’d like you to practice a little with transitions.  Here is some practice.  Open this doc.  It should work in Open Office.  You should be able to type right on the page.  When you finish–save it and we will look at it tomorrow together. TRANSITION WORD PRACTICE
    • Here is one more.  This one is a PDF file. I’m pretty sure I was able to change it around this morning, so you can write on it. Transition Words-typable
  • Don’t forget to blog today! Talk about RUPR, Transitions, etc!

GOOD LUCK TODAY! Please stay quiet and focused for the sub!!! I will really try to make this my last day out for a while! 😉

Surprise, Surprise!

sickLesson learned.  Today I typed on Facebook that I was grateful my kiddos were all healing and that I was finally going to teach all 5 days this week.  Since you are reading this, you have figured out that I spoke too soon.  My little 2 guys are both fighting fevers and a VERY nasty stomach bug! So, once again, I am home with them! The good news is that the grandparents are on standby for the rest of the week–so this will be my only absence this week. (They were all busy today!) 😦

Luckily, I had already prepared 2 other blog posts for today before I left school yesterday.  You should see both of them posting below this one. Things will have to alter just a little since I won’t be there to guide you and have the discussions I was hoping for!

Here is the plan for today:

  • Read in your silent reading book for 15 minutes. (Yes, you were told yesterday that you should have one in class everyday–so NO ONE should have any excuses!! I don’t want to learn that many of you took them off my bookshelf either.)
  • Then, I want you to look that QAR post below. Find this link QAR-Gr3-8_ISTEP_examples and click on it.  I want you to take time to read through it.  It is an older ISTEP that shows the 4 types of QAR questions.  I want you to see what they look like and how to spot each type of question.
  • Next, read the “David Text” to yourself and see if you can label the questions that are provided.  When your table is complete–compare your answers and see how did.  (Do them ALONE first, BEFORE you compare answers!)
  • Then, download the QAR Question Practice link.  Number a sheet of paper 1-55. (Yes! I know! Paper and pencil again! The world must be coming to an end!) Obviously I didn’t create this one for looks–but for practice.  Go over the questions ALONE and label them. (RT [right there], TS [think & search], AM [author & me], OO [on my own]) When the class is finished, I’d like for you to go over each one and debate the correct answers.  (The substitute will need to referee this discussion since I know how much you love to talk over each other. Unless you want to appoint one of you to take the lead and keep the conversation focused and moving forward.)
  • Once that is complete, find your children’t book that I gave you yesterday.  No, you cannot switch.  As a group, I’d like for you to create 2 questions of each of the 4 QAR types.  (Mix them up.  They should not be multiple choice.  However, they must all be based on your book.) (If you get stuck, go back to yesterday’s blog where I gave you multiple resources on the various question stems that each question uses.) Be sure to include your names and the title of your book at the top of the questions.  Send me 1 email/group with your information on it.
  • I doubt that you will have time to move on to the circles of knowledge and Yo-Yo approach to writing.  However, if time allows–go ahead and read over that material so you are familiar with it for tomorrow’s discussion!

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