Theme or THE MEssage

This year, I found an awesome idea from Rachel Lynette's TpT Store.  I taught theme using a Message in a Bottle.  What a great idea!  I think the kiddos really understood what a Theme was.

Originally I wanted to have students put their answers in a 2-liter bottle.  But then, I thought...wait how will I get the answers out?  Well if I cut them out, I couldn't use the bottle for the next class...so that didn't work out.  I'm not sure you can see the pic, but I drew a bottle on the page and students put their sticky notes in the bottle.  Of  course, they didn't all fit inside.  My 2nd class used small sticky's and it worked better.  We read a story together for 2 days and discussed character traits, summarized the story and then today I put up 6 different possible themes for the story.  This is the product.

I also stole borrowed an idea from Misty at Think, Wonder, Teach.  She calls it Vocabulary Boogie Scoot.  I called it Vocabulary Stand-Up Stations.  
Each group got a different colored marker and the group moved from word to word, but the paper stayed.  Each rotation all groups did the same activity with a different word.  For example:
Round 1: Divide your word into syllables.  
This let me know that my homeroom needs lots of practice in syllables.
Round 2: Write a sentence using your word.
Round 3: Write a Synonym
Round 4: Illustrate a person doing or using your word.
Talk about higher level thinking, this was the hard one.
Round 5: Write the definition in 3 words or less.

And I leave you today letting you know I've become "that parent" whose child misbehaves at school!  Yup, my Lila has come home on yellow more times than green over the last 3 weeks. 
The things we (her dad and I) love about her are the same things she struggles with at school.  She doesn't need to do what others are doing, she is okay doing her own thing.  Well, this causes a problem when the teacher WANTS her to do what everyone else is doing. 

This Little Piggy wants to see GREEN!

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