Come Take a Hike with Us!

Are you up for an adventure this week?  A number of fellow intermediate teacher-bloggers have joined to provide you with blog-hopping fun this last week of January.  Perhaps snow covers the ground outside where you are reading this from, making a real outdoor hike out of the question…so we thought we would offer you a trail to “hike along” from the comfort of your couch!

Back in December, I was partnered with Nicole Shelby from Teaching with Blonde Ambition. Nicole and I spent some time snooping in each other’s stores and each picked a resource we would like to try out with our own students.  Although Nicole has TONS of amazing products, I picked Flippin’ Through the CCSS: Flip Flaps for Reading Notebooks-Grades 3-5 to use because I knew I could use it in a couple of different ways!

For me, having a resource that is FLEXIBLE is key.  I never teach anything the same way twice, so I appreciate a resource that lets me be creative!  This flip flap resource does exactly that.  I know I will be able to use pieces of it all year long–and in different ways.  I thought I’d show you two different things we have done with it recently.

First of all, we are digging into our latest read aloud, and I really want students to be pushing their understanding of characters.  The main character in our new book, Eight Keys, is a VERY deep and complex character.  Many of my students still haven’t developed a “maturity” with their responses in reading, so I thought I’d give one of the organizers a chance to work its magic!  We talked about how a character’s words, actions, and thoughts can really help us get to know him/her and we got our organizer glued into our response notebooks.

Sorry this is so small…I encouraged the students to write in bullet points.  We will add on to the lists later and eventually turn it into a short literary essay.  What a great place to begin collecting ideas!
After students worked for a while on their own, they got together in their new discussion groups to discuss what they had recorded and to work cooperatively to add on new ideas as they came up!
I know we will use more of these organizers as the story unfolds…she has a TON of them for fiction AND nonfiction!
Another activity we did relates to our writing unit…poetry.  Figurative language is very new for my fourth graders, so I thought I’d start with similes because our reading mentor text, Sarah, Plain and Tall, is FILLED with them.  Nicole has all sorts of great figurative language activities in this resource so I grabbed the similes page and–instead of using them in our writing notebooks–made learning posters to take home to “teach” families about similes!
Each flap asks them to record a simile…the true meaning of it…and an illustration.  Kids worked in teams to come up with some of their own.  For those students who struggled coming up with ideas, I put some starters up on the board like…
He was as strong as…
She ran as fast as…
The rain was like…
Then they went to town!

By the time they finished, they had a set of three similes to take home to use to “teach” someone at home!  The next step?  Try to incorporate a simile into a poem.
What’s coming next for us in this resource?  More figurative language and elements of poetry!
Aren’t these SO practical?  I am so excited to have this resource now–I plan on plugging these interactive tools into MANY of my units!  Make sure you check it out as well…you won’t be disappointed!
Here is a quick link if you want to see it for yourself!

Now, to help with your exercise for the day, here’s what you need to know about our hike and giveaway!

Hiking Tips 
-Start anywhere along the trail!

-Along the way, stop by each blog and read about the resources swapped between bloggers.

-Enter to win the resource that is featured at each blog in the raffle below (the same raffle is at each blog, so you can just add to your entries as you go!). While you are at each blog, if you’re not a blog follower already, sign on to follow! (You can earn bonus entries for following all blogs once you unlock the additional entries.)

The raffle is open until midnight on January 31, so feel free to take a break from your hike, rest up, and finish it later! 

One winner will receive the entire set of resources being featured by all 14 collaborating bloggers AND a $25 TpT gift certificate! 
Here’s the list of blogs to “hike” to: 
Swap Stop A

Swap Stop B 

Swap Stop C 

Swap Stop D 

Swap Stop E 

Swap Stop F 

Swap Stop G 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Isn’t that a fun way to see some new resources–and land yourself a chance to win them all?  Make sure to read the directions above so you know how to “take a hike” with us!