Teaching Your Students The MLA Format

If you happened to have clicked on over here after browsing in my store, my goal was to provide you with some more insight on what this product is about. Let me go a little more in detail as to what's inside page by page! 

Page 1 In-Text Citations 

The first page is a checklist that covers citation rules. Four specific guidelines are mentioned about details such as where to place the name of the author, where to include the page number, and what to do when the author's name is not provided. After each guideline there's a green box, and in the green boxes I've included examples. What's perfect about these boxes of examples is that it serves as a reference guide for students for future use! 

Page 2 Direct Quotes

The second page is another checklist that covers how to make a direct quote. All the questions are "yes or no" questions and students should be able to answer yes to them all if there work is correct. This would be a great checklist to use when students are self-editing. After the checklist, again I included two examples in green boxes. One example shows how a short quote is formatted and the other shows how a long quote should be formatted.

Pages 3-5 Works Cited

The next 3 pages are geared towards explaining how to create citations for the Works Cited page. There are examples and guidelines for the following types of sources: online articles or online scholarly journals. Also I included instructions to citing from You Tube videos or Twitter as these are also becoming common sources these days. I also provided  instructions on how to cite books with one author and books with more than one author, and lastly citing from magazines or newspapers. All the format examples are color-coded to make it easier for students to go back and look at. It's always accessible for them anytime. This is something I would use  if I were a student pretty frequently especially because it can be used traditionally as a printed handout or digitally on a phone or electronic device. I personally would prefer the latter because you could always save it to your iPhone home screen and access it anytime you need it. I thought this feature would come in handy especially with our current high-tech students.

Pages 6-7 Citation Builders

My favorite part of this resource! Even though students may understand how a citation is formatted it can still get tricky for them once it's their turn to make a Works Cited page. The Citation builders work as a template for students to fill in their source information. The plus side is that it shows the correct MLA order already with the correct punctuation as well! These pages specifically work as a way for students to have all their information in one spot to access later when they're ready to create their Works Cited page.

Hope this post gave you better insight on what it all entails! You can get the first page for free right now at my store! And for those who want to stick to the traditional version, you could also purchase that separately. Go take a look! 

Introducing The Writing Process to your Students

When it comes time for research papers, I never forget the look of anxiety in my students! If only they would understand that it's really fine as long as they take it one step at a time. It's almost like math or science...I'm not a math person so I may be totally off on this analogy, but like a long equation or formula you need to be familiarized with the steps that lead to the solution. Three strategies I always remember to use with my students are first visualizing the steps with them, then breaking it down even further, and encouraging them to find extra support as they work through the whole process. 

1. Visualizing the Step-by-Step Process
Believe it or not, older students need visualization exercises too! As a mom to a preschooler, I always think to provide a visual to everything I'm telling him. For example, I point to an object..."This is the tool we use to fix this toy. You have to push this button to turn it on."

Funny thing is you can use the same concept when working with your students no matter what age they are. Even in adult education (which is where most of my teaching background comes from) it's amazing how much progress I see when I give them something to visualize. With the writing process being so lengthy, I find it beneficial to show them that there are simple steps to it they can follow...yes, maybe quite a few but they are all feasible steps that can be taken one at a time. 

2. Break it Down! 
Each step has MORE steps that it can be broken down to. What I find helpful is giving them a timeline and making deadlines together with them. Based on the type of students you have, if you feel they need more guidance, don't hesitate to break it down EVEN MORE. Make even smaller steps. Micromanage. It's okay, they need it, and so do you in order to avoid the last minute procrastination, confusion, and chaos in your class! ;)

3. Finding a Support System.
My favorite step in the writing process is the editing and revising. Spend some time providing options for them to get more feedback and extra critique on their writing. What I love about this strategy is that it provides a support system for them as they work through the process that could seem pretty extensive at first. And again, micromanage! One thing you could do is provide a list of available options for help - tutoring, writing centers, academic coaches, peers etc. Perhaps spend a day or part of your lesson devoted to introducing these options. Maybe make it an interactive lesson where they can look up what options they have, and make sure that they know who, where, and how to get connected with these people. 

With that said, I find writing to be such a rewarding subject because of all it's mini projects and steps a long the way to create the grand, final piece! Help your students out this year - no more overwhelmed looks of anxiety coming from them...nor you! Ha. 

Digital Paperless Vocabulary Organizer

Ice Cream, Ice Cream, We all scream for ICE CREAM!
I just uploaded my newest product - an ice cream themed vocabulary graphic organizer. It's all digital, paperless and interactive.

I always try to get my students to identify the part of speech of a new word and also to understand how the word looks in different forms.  So how this organizer works is the first space is for the student to identify the part of speech, then the second part is for the definition. On the Google Slide, there will be a link they can click to access an online dictionary, and after looking up the word, they have a chance to practice using the word in a sentence. The final step is for the student to find a picture that relates to the word. This is based on the their imagination, so if it's an adjective like "sweaty" students can insert an image of a sweaty runner or anything else that helps the them remember the word.

I love the idea of having a vocabulary organizer that's digital and paperless for these reasons:

- Easy access. It's like carrying around index cards in your pocket (Yes...index cards, cause back in the day that's what we used to study.) ready for you to take out anytime you want to study them. You see, this organizer can be duplicated as many times as necessary - so the more words the better. Student can keep building new words on it and make an extensive list. Then, it saves automatically for them on Google Slides. Anytime they need to access it, they just go to Slides, and they can find it there.

-Infuse Technology. I'm always a BIG advocate for technology. This is a simple, short but sweet way of integrating technology into learning!

-Optional Traditional Version. It's still possible to print it out and use it as a worksheet too, which works perfect for those who want to have something that's a little more tangible.

-Practice during the summer. My plan is to use it this summer, since what better time is there than the summer months to spend building your vocabulary?! I chose the ice cream theme cause I'm sure at some point I will be talking about ice cream cause it's summer...and it's hot...and I love ice cream. ;)

Get your copy today, you can find it in my store!

This is part of the Ice Cream Around the World Reading lesson I have included in my Summer Reading pack - digital version that I'll be uploading pretty soon here. Stay tuned!

Summer Reading Resource!!! (Informational Texts for 3rd-5th)

During homeschool, I've been working on "seasons" with my toddler...soon-to-be preschooler *insert sad, emotional, hot mess mama face here*. I explained to him that summer is when the pool is open again. We were getting ready to go to the pool the other morning and he exclaimed pretty enthusiastically, "Mommy, is it summer time today?!" 

Yes! It is, indeed!

Not only do we love summer here in this household, but as a teacher I love how summer is a time my ELL students can get ahead a bit and prepare for the upcoming school year. Reading is something that is needed in so many areas in school. I wanted to make a product for them that can help them with comprehension and fluency. My newest Summer Informational Reading Pack has 8 summer-themed passages that range from 100-300 words. Following the reading, the comprehension questions are various tasks that cover CCSS skills for 3rd-5th grade such as inferring, making connections, and following different set of directions to explain and identify key details from the passage. I wanted to make the tasks for each passage a little different from each other so that students can get some good practice in on reading and following instructions.

The subjects I chose are all things I love about summer! It's always fun to watch my students intrigued about what they learn as they read since a lot of them aren't originally from the States!

And for a bonus in this pack - I included three graphic organizers that correspond to the passages. With these organizers, you can integrate a vocabulary building task to each lesson. Vocabulary is always a must-practice, must-build, must-review kind of skill during summer break. At least, in my book! No pun intended. :) 

The one in the photo below is my latest freebie! Come by my store and grab it while I have it up! I'm excited to use this on days where I want to focus in on JUST vocabulary. 

Come check this out at my store today, and I hope you can find this product as useful as I have. Happy teaching, and happy learning y'all! 
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