My K-5 Elementary School Literature Products on Sale at TPT

I’m a teacher-author on TeachersPayTeachers.com (aka #TPT). I’m having a 20% off sale for cyber Monday and Tuesday on everything (#CYBER2016)! Here are the descriptions of a few of my seasonal elementary products aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Gingerbread Man with bow tie near stack of other cookies says, "Catch me if you can, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

K-2 Story Illustration: The Gingerbread Man

This is an 18-page document with text from  story retold by Sandra Rogers in which students are provided space to illustrate the story to match the meaning described in the text. 12 vocabulary words are boldface typed within the story with definitions provided on a glossary page. It includes a vocabulary pretest.  The end purpose is to have students read it to their parents or other students in the school.  Students will be eager to learn the new words such as plump, almonds, and hay, so that they could accurately illustrate their self-made booklet.  This activity correlates to the following #CCSS on Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
Kinder: #5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
Grade 1: #5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Grade 2: #5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings. (Note: The text and drawings can serve as the storyboard for recordings.)

Other similar products include the following:

Image of Santa on sleigh pulled by reindeer

K-3 Poetry Illustration: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas #CCSS SL.K.5, SL.1.5, SL.2.5, SL.3.5

K-3 Holiday Literacy Pack Bundled product includes those mentioned in this blog post plus 2 literacy center posters (Reading and Writing), a literacy activity checklist, and a generic strategy usage form for self-evaluation. #CCSS SL.K.5, SL.1.5, SL.2.5, SL.3.5


Pine Wreath with burlap flowers from Colonial Williamsburg

Wintertime in Colonial Williamsburg 5th Grade PowerPoint Presentation

The 15 images in the presentation are photos taken of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia in the winter. The purpose of the presentation is to give students a glimpse of colonial life. The photos include children’s toys, holiday wreaths, a bedroom, chamber pot, a kitchen, a dining room, a coal-burning furnace, a cellar, a garden maze, the Governor’s Palace (The Wythe House), the Royal Capitol, a home, wallpaper, a horse-drawn carriage, and a soldier’s drum. The PowerPoint slides include brief lecture notes.


*These literature activities are also available for sale individually. Other products include Spanish language editions.

**All my products are on sale for TPT’s #CYBER2016!

Thank you for shopping Teacherrogers store!

Happy holidays,

Sandra Rogers,
Instructional Designer

My Middle School Literature Products for Sale on TPT

I’m a seller on TeachersPayTeachers (aka #TPT). I’m having a 15% off sale right now on everything! Here’s a description of my bundled middle school literature pack: (aligned with #CCSS)

3 Poetry Studies
Edgar Allan Poe: 1) Annabel Lee, 2) Leonore, and 3) The Sleeper. This product includes 11 questions and answers to be used after the students read all three poems. Links are provided to website with all three poems. The discussion questions address the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for reading literature for craft and structure RL 6.4-12.4 and RL 6.5-12.5.
Sample question:
In the poem Annabel Lee, what do you think the poet is referring to when he says that she was taken to the kingdom on the other side of the ocean?

2 Novelette Studies
1. Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:
Novel study activities include 17 questions and an answer key. One website resource is listed. Chapter activities are divided into two parts: Chapters 1-5 and 6-10. Story not included. This product is aligned with CCSS for RL 6.1-12.1, RL 6.2-12.2, and RL 6.3-12.3.
Sample question:
Do you think we all have a bit of good and evil inside of us?

  1. Richard Bach’s book, There’s No Such Place as Far Away: 8 questions and answers provided for this literature study. Story not included. This product is aligned with CCSS for RL 6.1-12.1, RL 6.2-12.2, and RL 6.3-13.3.
    Sample question:
    This book synthesizes the philosophy of Richard Bach—nothing is impossible for those who pursue what they want. This is called objective reality. Do you believe in objective reality? First, discuss it in pairs, and then share your opinions with the group.

1 Novel Study
Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight: This product includes 20 questions, seven website resources, and an answer key. Four of the website resources include vocabulary flashcard decks based on the Twilight Saga created by Teacherrogers. Students will be able to access 25 vocabulary words from the Twilight novel, as well as 20 words from each of the other books in the series. The novel study is divided into three parts: 1) Chapters 1-4, 2) Chapters 5-13, and 3) Chapters 14-24. This product is aligned with CCSSS for RL 6.1-12.1, RL 6.2-12.2, and RL 6.3-13.3.
Sample question:
How do the Cullens differ from all the other students? Describe their appearance, mannerisms, and language. (Chapter 2)

1 Short Story Study
Henry James’ A Problem: 10 questions and answers are provided in this literature study. Questions focus on the key ideas and details in reading the literature. This products is aligned with CCSS for RL 6.1-12.1, RL 6.2-12.2, and RL 6.3-13.3. A link is provided to access a free electronic copy of the story.
Sample question:
The story includes fortunetellers. Do you believe some people can foretell the future of others? Why or why not?

***These literature activities are also available for sale individually. Other products include Spanish language editions. Thank you for shopping Teacherrogers store!

Sandra Rogers,
Instructional Designer

CALL Criteria for Use of EverQuestII Video Game

Ocelot in full armor with sword on a snowy tundra with orcs running in the background
Meet my virtual identity, Kerrannie

As a computer-assisted language learning (CALL) budding researcher, I selected EverQuestII(EQ2) for my second language acquisition (SLA) research study based on a previous study and similar gaming literature. Little did I know how much reading and advanced vocabulary was involved in this game—vocabulary that you need to know in order to advance to the next level.  Reading fiction is a good way to improve your vocabulary.  Reading while immersed in the context is even better for the language learner!

EQ2 is in the game genre of massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs).   Scholars like Millard (2002) believe that modern technologies can improve literacy.  I’m using EQ2 combined with SLA strategies as an after school intervention with English language learners’ to see if it will improve their grammar, reading, and vocabulary.

Chapelle (2001) developed criteria for CALL media selection that included language learning potential, learner fit, meaning focus, authenticity, positive feedback, and practicality. Other SLA researchers have used it to vet video game selection for their research (Miller and Hegelheimer, 2006). This criteria is a great way for me to share how impressed I am as an ESL educator with EQ2 as a medium for informal learning. Here are my initial understandings of the fit with the CALL criteria proposed by Chapelle: (albeit brief…)

  • Language Learning Potential: Text-based and/or live chats with native English speakers; written support of all communication in chat logs and speech bubbles; scaffolded introduction to each player’s role; and environment, animation and audible alerts enhance understanding
  • Learner Fit: Current literature indicates promise for gaming for educational purposes; EQ2 is rated T for Teen (ESRB, 2016) for a more approachable theme; and participants are university students who are familiar with online gaming
  • Meaning Focus: Role-play takes on meaning of several narratives on various kingdoms; and encounters provide salutations, skirmishes, and humor,
  • Authenticity: 5000 creatures to encounter on 8000 quests for situated learning encounters with non-playing characters and gamers; capability to build your own virtual identity; and possibility of failure
  • Positive Feedback:  Level-up announcements; tokens for continuance in gameplay; game currency for quest completion; and rewards for being courageous, etc.
  • Practicality: Free up to 91 levels of play; online for ease of access anytime; and tutorials available in-game and on YouTube; and user-friendly tips and error messages.

Drawbacks include the need to have sufficient computer graphic card, hard drive storage space, and the support of a “gaming coach” for those first-time gamers.  I realize that EQ2 is no longer the most sophisticated or popular game since its heyday was around 2011. Actually, this is why I selected this video game for my research study—so that participants will likely not be familiar with it.

References

Millard, E. (2002). Boys and the Blackstuff. National Association of for the Teaching of English (NATE) Newsletter, 16, January.

Chapelle, C. A. (2001). Computer applications in second language acquisition: Foundations for teaching, testing, and research. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Entertainment Software Rating Board. (2016). ESRB Ratings. New York, NY: Entertainment Software Association.  Retrieved from https://www.everquest2.com/news/february-2016-producers-letter-holly

Miller, M., & Hegelheimer, V. (2006). The Sims meet ESL: Incorporating authentic computer simulation games into the language classroom. International Journal of Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 3(4), 311–328.

Goals of Research Study on MMORPGs + SLA Strategies

This summer, I started my research study for my dissertation on massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) combined with second language acquisition (SLA) optimizing activities.  I want to find out if free, commercial video games, MMORPGs in particular, are useful in helping English language learners (ELLs) acquire English skills.  Could MMORPGs be used to supplement language programs or personal learning agendas?  I’ll be using EverQuest II emphasizing language interactions and social identity (use of chat log, joining guilds, and character development), as an after school add-on in a mixed-methods-collective-case-study with nonequivalent comparison group design.

In my literature review and my previous case study on gaming and language learning,  ELLs self-reported that they learn English from playing video games.   Also, researchers on this topic are reporting positive gains for ELLs in vocabulary and language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). My dissertation study focuses on these same skills, as well as student attitude toward gaming as a language learning tool and impact of prior gaming experience.

The goal of my study is to foster ELLs’ communicative competence—no matter their locale or socioeconomic situation.  Free role-play gaming (EQII provides 91 levels of free play) can provide opportunities to access authentic language learning environments for experiential learning.  MMORPGs challenge ELLs linguistically and provide accessible themes and embedded support systems.  Literature on gaming indicates gamers practice information literacy skills (seeking & disseminating information), collaboration, problem-solving, and decision-making through meaningful and relevant tasks.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress and findings on this blog.

The Gingerbread Man Doesn’t Escape Common Core

Gingerbread Man with bow tie near stack of other cookies says, "Catch me if you can, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"
Students illustrate text.

In preparation for the Cyber Monday sale, I wanted to share some of my holiday-related educational products available for sale on TeachersPayTeachers.

This is an 18-page document with text from The Gingerbread Man story retold by Sandra Rogers in which students are provided space to illustrate the story to match the meaning described in the text. Twelve vocabulary words are boldface typed within the story with definitions provided on a glossary page. A vocabulary pretest is included, as well.

The end purpose is to have students read it to their parents or other students in the school. This was a popular activity I used in my first grade class during English language arts. Students were eager to learn the new words such as plump, almonds, and hay, so that they could accurately illustrate their self-made booklet. This would make an excellent literacy center independent project that they could work on for days.

Common Core State Standards: This activity correlates to the following CCSS on Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
Kindergarten: #5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
Grade 1: #5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Grade 2: #5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings. (Note: The text and drawings can serve as the storyboard for recordings.)

Directions:  You can use this material in two different ways in the English language arts or English as a second language class activities. For example, you can distribute the pages among your class and have the students illustrate the part of the story on their page. Then the teacher can compile them into a book for the class library for the students to read. On the other hand, you can use this activity as an individual assignment and have the students illustrate their very own booklet.

Thank you for shopping Teacherrogers store!  The Cyber Smile Sitewide Sale (#TPTCyberSmile) is Nov 30th & Dec 1st.

Sandra Rogers,
Instructional Designer

Check out my other K-3 illustration activity for the holiday: Santa Meets the Common Core.

Practical Second Language Acquisition Strategies

People dining outside of a restaurant in Norway on a sunny day.

One of my friends journeyed across the Atlantic for a new job where he’ll need to learn a new language.  As a farewell gift, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my practical experience in successfully learning two foreign languages while working abroad.  In the past, my masters in teaching English as a second language provided me with some excellent practical strategies.  These are the ones that worked for me.  I hope they help you, too!

1. Eaves-dropping: I learned this from my professor in graduate school, world-famous second language researcher, Rebecca Oxford.  This learner strategy was mentioned as useful by surveyed students in a book she edited, Language Learning Strategies Around the World: Cross-cultural Perspectives (1996).  This would fall under Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory.

2. Silent rehearsal (a.k.a private speech or subvocal rehearsal): I also learned this from Dr. Oxford back in the 90s.

3. Read your favorite children’s book in that new language. For, example, I’ve read The Little Prince in three languages—it never loses its beauty. The simplified language of a children’s book will assist you in becoming a successful reader in the second language. Your familiarity with the storyline will aid your comprehension.

4. Find a tutor to exchange language journals.  Meet with them regularly and informally. Write about what interests you.  For example, I wrote a short form of poetry in free verse in Portuguese. I still have it to this day. Your language journals will become your memorabilia.

5. Immerse yourself in the everyday language communicated on their radio stations, TV channels, local newspaper. and yes, the local pub!

6. Learn the shared words that have crept into their language through pop culture, history, or religion. These are called friendly cognates.  Also, learn the false cognates; they don’t mean the same thing

7. Study, test, test, test yourself on the grammar to develop long-term memory of it. Roediger & Karpicke (2006) found that students in the treatment group of study-test-test-test (STTT), outperformed other students in other treatment groups (SSST and SSSS). This is referred to as the testing effect.

8. Become the extrovert that pushes the envelop to encounter opportunities to practice the language by yourself.  If you hangout with other English language speakers, they will keep you from learning the language.  Try to find locations where no one speaks English.

9. Watch classic children’s movies in the target language. The strategy is similar to #3 but with media, you will hear the language. I remember watching Pinocchio in Spanish when I was in the Peace Corps in Honduras at a movie theater. Nowadays, you can simply select the language settings on your movie streaming devices.

10. Change the language settings on all of your devices. Force yourself to learn the language within a situated task. This is called situational learning.

References

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Roediger, H. L. III, & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). The power of testing memory: Basic research and implications for educational practice. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 181-210.

(Note: This is a work-in-progress. I’ll keep adding the research basis when I have more time to devote to this.)

WebQuest for Creating Critical Thinking Job Aids

Silhouette of head with different objects floating overhead

I created my first academic Webquest to search for the critical thinking processes particular to a student’s field of study.  For example, I give them key words to use like “thinking frames” + “critical thinking” + “reading” + “medicine”.  Once they find 10 different resources, they are to place at least 6 key elements into a job aid to help them read critically.  I provided them with information on the various job aid formats from the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD).

The WebQuest was one of my assignments this past week for my doctoral course in Web-based course design. Actually, I could do it on any topic, but I choose one for a hybrid course I’m creating titled Critical Reading 101.  I already submitted the assignment but find myself going back to tweak it.  Webquests are great, but they have so many little loose pieces of information that you need to tie up in a nice bow in order for it to work.  Plus, there’s the fine line of providing too much help and not enough.  My assignment stated less than 10 hyperlinks; mine only has 6.  

I used Zunal, which allows you to make one freebie Webquest.  There’s something wrong with their PDF maker, as it publishes the document with errors and without the hyperlinks.  Nevertheless, it’s a great site to host your Webquest or find an existing one.  Zunal serves a a job aid for creating a Webquest as it takes you through the introduction, task, process, evaluation, and conclusion.

Here’s my Webquest: http://zunal.com/webquest.php?w=250042

P.S. You can evaluate my WebQuest on the Evaluate WebQuest page.  It even offers a self-evaluation tool that was very helpful.  I still need to add the references to the Teacher Page and Common Core Standards for Grades 11-12.

Santa Meets the Common Core Standards

Image of Santa on sleigh pulled by reindeer

In search of standard-based instruction, teachers have been producing and purchasing products aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Certainly, they’d like to provide high interest topics for children. This is where Santa enters the picture. If you search for Common Core + Santa on TeachersPayTeachers.com (TPT), you’ll find 222 results! The product shown above is currently my best seller on TPT. I used Clement Clarke Moore’s Christmas poem, and the standards on speaking and listening, to create a literacy activity.

In my product, students are provided space to illustrate the story on each page to match the meaning of the text. Twelve vocabulary words are boldface typed within the poem with definitions provided in the glossary. The purpose is to let students take ownership of the poem by illustrating it and then practice reading it to their parents or other students in the school. This was a popular activity I used in my 3rd Grade class during language arts. Students were eager to learn the new words such as sugarplums, kerchief, and sash, so that they could accurately illustrate their self-made booklet.

Here are the correlating CCSS for Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

  • Kindergartners: #5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
  • Grade 1 Students: #5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Grade 2 Students: #5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories 
    or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Grade 3 Students: #5. Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.

The poetry product featured above can be purchased online in my TPT Teacherrogers’ store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Students-Illustrate-Twas-The-Night-Before-Christmas #TPTCyberSmile

You can find PDFs of all the CCSS and their applications to students with disabilities and English Language Learners at this site: http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

Sandra Rogers,

Instructional Designer

Note: This post was previously published on this 12/19/13.

Test Your Reading Rate

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

My Latest Adventure into Entrepreneurship Includes Old Books

Are you interested in rare books or already have a large collection?  Do you like spending your time hunting for treasures at the local thrift store?  Perhaps you might like to sell your used textbooks online or start your own online bookstore.  AbeBooks.com can provide you with both choices.  You could sell your unwanted books to the site or you pay a monthly hosting fee to start your own online bookstore on their site.  I chose AbeBooks to sell my book collection because of the literary value of dealing my rare and signed editions online through a reputable rare bookseller.

Since I returned to school for a doctorate degree, I started looking at various websites to purchase used textbooks.  AbeBooks offers loads of used textbooks at reduced prices.  While I was on their site, I started to wander and found literature I liked.  Then when I saw the prices of first editions, I was astounded.  It got me thinking about the books I already owned and their current value.   For example, I realized that the first edition of the book shown below is currently worth about $70, and it isn’t even signed.  I think the value comes from the well-loved author, Sid Fleischman, and also due to the fact that he has already passed away.  Fleischman was a Newberry-medal winning author.  Great illustrations add to the value, too! I was fortunate to hear him give a presentation once at the Children’s Book Writers & Illustrator’s conference.

Chancy and the Grand Rascal by Sid Fleischman

Since some publishing houses are closing or reducing their reprint of publications, old books are increasing in value because new editions may never be created for mass publication again.  Anyhow, I thought I’d share my latest venture in entrepreneurship because I’ve already sold 50 books and made a profit.  Needless to say, my hobby of collecting books has become more interesting and I’m more active now.  Here’s a link to my online shop, Teacherrogers Bookstore: http://www.abebooks.com/teacherrogers-bookstore-bay-minette-al-u.s.a/58055834/sf .  Visit my WordPress page to learn more about the reasons I became a bookseller.