I don't know how great or new of an idea this is... but last year I went to the travel center on I 65 and they gave me a ton of great reading materials for free!!! There was even a booklet with Kentucky symbols and important facts. There were travelers information also done by regions and by topic so I could organize things for Derby etc... and I was able to share this civil war items with 5th grade teachers... I used it a lot in class. with my 4th grade students. It was also great reading material!
Kathleen Wright - Hardin County Schools
I had some good fortune this year with a mini lesson I designed for poetry. I entitled it "The ordinary way vs. the Poet's way." As a way of introduction, we reviewed figurative language and poetic devices that were used to express normal ideas in a different way. I then modeled on my white board and T chart with one side being /The ordinary way/ and the other side being /The Poet's Way./
Under the ordinary way, I wrote 3-4 sentences regarding normal, everyday situations, places, events. On the other sidea, I then took each ordinary way and rewrote it in a poetic form highlighting the poetic devices I employed and the figurative langauge I had used to express the very same ordinary idea. One situation dealt with a basketball game; another dealt with a young person's pain over her parent's divorce; the last one dealt with a special, defining moment. After modeling, explaining the whys and whats of the change, I then passed out a teacher-made sheet with 3 different situations for the kids to work on. I allowed them to work in pairs and we placed butcher paper from each class on the walls and boards for other classes to see. From that day on, one of my revising techniques became changing the ordinary into the poet's way. I found it to have some refreshing changes in my poetry pieces during this past school year.
Marsha Kerr - 7th grade Literary/Reading teacher, Moss Middle School