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Adjectives Anchor Chart Idea AND an easy way to make your anchor charts look good!

I don't know about you, but I wish I could draw and write as beautifully as some of the other teacher-bloggers do!

Anyway, for the purpose of teaching, there's nothing wrong with the way I (used to) draw in the classroom, but, you know, I'm here to share my ideas with you and I certainly don't want to hurt your eyes with my stick figures (nothing against stick figures!).

That is all to say that I've just "hacked" an anchor chart! How have I "hacked" an anchor chart?!
By using clipart and fonts! That way, the "bulk" of the anchor chart looks pretty!

I used the heading and the school clipart displayed in the picture above as the base for the adjectives anchor chart I will share with you today.

This one would be great for back-to-school (and for any other time of the year!) because it will let you assess your new group of students.

You'll be focusing on the knowledge of nouns and adjectives your students have (or should have). You might even throw in some alliteration as well.

Here are the steps:

1. Start with an anchor chart with just the heading and picture on it.

2. Have students come up to the anchor chart and write NOUNS that are related to the image (school). You'll be able to assess how much vocabulary they already have and how well they can spell. You should also be able to notice whether they really know what nouns are. Keep going until all students have added at least one word.

3. Next, have students come up with ADJECTIVES that can qualify/describe the nouns already on the chart. If you want to challenge them more (only if they can "take" it), you might want to work on alliteration as well. Thus, they would have to find adjectives beginning with the same letters as the nouns they're describing, e.g. big bus, colorful crayons, etc.

Here's what it should look like (your version will probably end up looking a lot "fuller"):

4. You might even turn this into a quick writing task by having them write sentences using the pairs on the chart.


- notice that I wrote the adjectives in red and the nouns in green to match the colors used in the heading. The idea is for students to quickly see what words are nouns or adjectives.

- you can create similar anchor charts throughout the year! All you need is to use different pictures at the center of the chart and you can expand it to include adverbs, articles, prepositions, etc.

- you can also assign this as homework and have kids create poster-like charts revolving around a given topic.

This idea could certainly be used in other languages. Here's the French version of the anchor chart:

READ at For French Immersion7 Pinterest boards for French teachers

As I mentioned, I used clipart and a cute font to prepare the "base" for the anchor chart. This can be done before class, but the rest has to be done in the classroom because it will depend on the active participation of your students.

The school image is included in My Community Buildings by Poppydreamz Digital Art and the free font is by This Little Piggy Reads.

Check out their awesome Teachers Pay Teachers stores and blog:

Poppydreamz Digital Art TpT store

This Little Piggy Reads TpT store

This Little Piggy Reads Blog

READ: Plural Nouns Anchor Chart Ideas Part 1

READ: Adverbs Anchor Chart Ideas Part 1

Thank you for reading and don't forget to let me know what you think of today's post!

FREE: Singular-plural nouns matching activity - Worksheet Wednesday #4

This is the first time I have two posts on the same day!

If you haven't read the first one for the day, check out my Teacher-authors around the world: meet Lisa from Scotland!

I'm linking up with The Teaching Tribune for Worksheet Wednesday.

The idea is to share a FREE summer-themed one-page worksheet and here's mine:

Click on the image above to grab your FREE copy

This is a singular/plural noun matching activity.

"Where's the summer theme?", you might ask. Well, it's in the choice of words and the ice cream clipart by the amazing Graphics from the pond!

For more summer-themed freebies, click on the image below:

READ: Plural Nouns Anchor Chart Ideas Part 1

READ: Plural Nouns Anchor Chart Ideas Part 2

Thank you for stopping by! It's always wonderful to have you here!

Teacher-authors around the world: meet Lisa from Scotland!

Hey everyone! I'm back again with another interview in my ongoing series Teacher-authors around the world.

This time I'd like you all to meet Lisa! Her blog is called Okinawan Girl, but make no mistake as she's not from Japan - she's from Scotland!

Click on the image to check out Lisa's blog 
1. Where were you born?
I was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and was once shipbuilder to the world. Famous Glaswegians include Robert Carlyle, Billy Connelly, John Hannah, Travis and Gordon Ramsay.

Graduation ceremony at University of  Glasgow
2. I believe you have just spent two years living in Okinawa. How did that opportunity come about? 
One afternoon, during the last semester of my undergraduate degree, an advert in The Herald caught my eye. One application form and an interview in London later I found myself on a JAL flight bound for Osaka.

Lisa in Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain
One year in Osaka turned into 5. Missing Europe I decided to try out Madrid for 2 years before moving to Okinawa, Japan for 2 years. I’m now back in bonny Scotland. Not sure how long I’ll last as I’m somewhat accustomed to a nomadic lifestyle.

3. Were you teaching Japanese kids or native speakers of English (e.g. Americans, Australians, etc) who were living in Japan?
When teaching in Japan and Spain I was working in international schools. I’ve taught children from all over the world including: Korea, Egypt, China, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Japan, America and England. All of the schools I’ve worked in had a mix of local children as well as international students.

4. What was the best thing and the hardest aspect about living in Okinawa (and/or Japan)?
The best thing about living in Japan is definitely the culture which I find fascinating. I am particularly interested in anything created by Hayao Miyazaki (the creator of Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle) as well as in ninjas, samurai and the language itself.

Lisa in Kyoto, Japan
The hardest aspect to begin with was culture shock and language barrier. When I arrived in Japan my vocabulary consisted of “sayonnara”(goodbye) and “konnichwa”(good afternoon) neither of which got me very far. It is a common misconception that many Japanese people speak English. However, once you get over that and learn the basics life becomes a whole lot easier!

5. Do you enjoy creating educational resources? Why?
My undergraduate degree involved elements of graphic design (using Illustrator and Photoshop) which I really enjoyed as I’ve always been artistic. Creating educational resources allows me to be combine my love of creativity and education.


6. Any tips for Scottish teachers looking to join Teachers Pay Teachers (or similar websites)?
I’m not sure there are any other Scottish teachers on TpT. I’d advise them to familiarise themselves with the Common Core Curriculum as well as grammar and spelling differences in American English.

7. I know that Japanese people love to incorporate English words into the Japanese language so they'll say "miruku" for "milk". Were you surprised with that? Do you have any funny stories about language clashes?
It took me a long time to get used to the fact that Japanese people do not understand English words that are part of Japanese language UNLESS you say them using Japanese sounds. However, it works both ways as I realised that I’ve been pronouncing “karaoke” and “sumo” incorrectly for years.
Japanese is not a language that can be easily translated. However, not everyone appreciates this and thus Japan is awash with bad translations. There is a website full of examples:
I took this photo in the Wakayama Tourist Information. It should read “Help yourself to a pamphlet”.

Translation can be a tricky thing!
Thank you so much, Lisa, for sharing a bit about your "nomadic lifestyle"! Don't forget to let us know what your next destination is going to be!

Now go check out Lisa's Okinawan Girl blog, her Pinterest boards or like her page on Facebook!

READ: Teacher-authors around the world: meet Lindy from South Africa

READ: Teacher-authors around the world: meet Rosie from New Zealand

Follow this blog if you don't want to miss the next interview in this series!

Thank you all for reading!

Teacher-authors around the world: meet Lindy from South Africa!

Two weeks ago, I got a new series of posts started. I promised I would be back today to introduce you to another teacher-author.

This time around, I want you to meet another good friend of mine. Her name is Lindy and she's from South Africa.

 Lindy's TpT store
Click on the image to check out Lindy's TpT store

1. I know you're from South Africa, but could you tell us a bit about your city?
I’m from a coastal city called Port Elizabeth, it is also affectionately called the Friendly city and sometimes even the Windy city. It has an estimated population of 3 million people. We have incredible beaches and amazing wildlife minutes away from our house.

Rhinos, njalas, zebras, warthogs, oh my!
The famous surf spot, Super Tubes in Jeffreys Bay, is less than an hour’s drive away. Port Elizabeth falls within the Eastern Cape region which includes the birthplace and final resting place of President Nelson Mandela.

Hobie beach in Port Elizabeth

2.How different are schools now compared to the time you were a child? How diverse are the classrooms?
I actually teach in the primary school I attended as a child!

Lindy and her two daughters, Lilly (7) and Alexi (4)
Our schools have changed immensely since 1996. I grew up during Apartheid and only white children were allowed to attend my school since it was in a white area. As a child you don’t question your life, you accept it as it is. As an adult I shudder when I imagine what it must have been like for non-whites.

I now teach a wonderfully diverse group of students. I don’t see skin color, I see 10-year-olds with incredible potential!

3. By checking out your products, one would say you're a very "techy" kind of teacher. Would it be fair to describe you as such?
Yes, I am an absolute nerd. I love technology and would be totally lost teaching without it. It’s such a blessing to work in a school that has internet access and interactive whiteboards (this is not common at all in South Africa).

The year we introduced technology our test marks soared. Children need to use all their senses when they learn. I use integrated technology to promote active learning in all my lessons. 

4. In addition to classroom resources, you've also been creating beautiful clip art sets. How did that get started?
I absolutely love drawing. As a little girl I used to keep a drawing journal, creating all sorts of characters.

Drawings for an upcoming clip art set

My husband works in the IT field and suggested I try digitizing my drawings (I am always drawing pictures for my two daughters, our house looks like an art shop) and making them available on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook

I love creating clip art for the educational market. All my clip art sets are available in full color and black line (filled with white) as teachers ideally need both options. It gives me so much pleasure to see my drawings come to life in products other teachers create. There are so many talented teacher-authors!

5. Are there any specific tips you'd give to teachers from South Africa looking to sell and share their resources on TpT (or similar websites)? By the way, is TpT known there?
TPT is not as well known as in the States, but it is definitely growing in popularity. South African sellers need to be aware of American spelling and grammar. Curriculums differ between the two countries and it is important to check US Common Core Standards when developing products. Another technical difference to consider is paper size. South Africa uses A4 whereas the US uses Letter size.

6. The 2010 Soccer World Cup was in South Africa and the 2014 one starts tomorrow here in Brazil. Would you care to share any World Cup-related stories?
It was during the 2010 World Cup that my youngest daughter, Alexi, was born.

Lindy and Alexi

Our city was fortunate to be chosen as a host city and a state of the art stadium was constructed and named after President Nelson Mandela. There was a huge fan park across the road from the hospital and you could hear the vuvuzelas and the crowd go mad. It was such a festive time in our country!

Thank you, Lindy, for being my guest! It's always fun "talking" to you!

Now go check out Lindy's neatly organized Pinterest boards, or chat with her on Facebook or G+!

Don't forget to follow my blog to be the first to read my next interview with a teacher-author around the  world!

READ: Teacher-authors around the world: meet Rosie from New Zealand!

READ: Teacher-authors around the world: meet Lisa from Scotland!

READ: Teacher-authors around the world: meet Catia from Portugal!

Thanks for stopping by!

10 words that English borrowed from Portuguese

I've been doing this series of posts about words that English borrowed from other languages and today I'm going to focus on my native language: Portuguese.

Read: 10 words that English borrowed from Spanish

Read: 10 words that English borrowed from French

Read: 10 words that English borrowed from Japanese

I have to confess that it was hard coming up with a list of ten words because the ones I rememberd came from Latin via Portuguese so I didn't want to include those.

Anyway, here we go:

I guess you know what it means: it's a small flesh-eating fish. The word comes from Tupi, which is the language originally spoken in Brazil before it was colonized by the Portuguese.

What you probably didn't know is that "piranha" is also a Brazilian Portuguese curse word.

Another word that comes from Tupi via Portuguese. So, whether you're talking about the animal, the car or the OS, you're speaking a bit of Portuguese!

Don't worry, my list doesn't only have animal names, but I couldn't leave out "zebra".
In Brazilian Portuguese, "zebra" might also refer to "the underdog" in a competition/game.

"Samba" refers to both the dance and the music that is so popular in Brazil. It's the music/dance of Carnaval. I have to tell you, though, that I can neither sing nor dance samba. I'd much rather listen to jazz.

It's a kind of music originated in Brazil in the 50s. The literal meaning is "new trend", but we rarely use the word for "trend" (bossa) nowadays.
If you've never heard of it, check out this YouTube "video". It's just the song and not a video of the singer, but it's got subtitles in English:

The singer is João Gilberto and this is one of the most famous bossa nova songs.

If you like tapioca pudding, you should know that "tapioca" is a Brazilian word and dessert. Would you believe that I've never eaten it? If you've got any recipes, let me know!

The next three words are borrowed from Portuguese, but their spelling has changed on their travel through languages.
In Portuguese "cashew" is "caju" and it's my favorite nut.

I love how languages work. "Toucan" comes from Tupi via Portuguese via French! Hence, the French spelling instead of the Portuguese one: tucano.
The toucan is also the symbol for one of the most important political parties in Brazil.

"Tank", as in fish tank or fuel tank, comes the Portuguese word "tanque". I have to say that this one surprised me as I was researching for this post as I had never realized where the word had come from!

If you've never heard of "caipirinha" and you have never drunk it, stop everything and go check out how to prepare it. It will change your concept of summer drink. This is one of the most popular drinks in Brazil. It's a cocktail made with lime, sugar and "cachaça", a Brazilian liquor distilled from sugarcane. Just be careful, it's super strong, but you won't feel it until you stand up.

READ: Teacher-authors around the world: meet Catia from Portugal!

Well, there you have it! If you know of any other words borrowed from Portuguese or if you liked reading this post, leave me a comment below (I love comments!).

I'm in a sharing mood! FREE B&W Alphabet Charts - English and French versions

Hey there! This is a quick post. My birthday is coming up and I'm in a sharing mood.

Today, I just want to share with you some alphabet charts I've just put together.

They are B&W so kids can color them and keep them in their notebooks. There's a version with letters and images and another version with letters, images and words.

Click on the images below to download either the FREE B&W English Alphabet Chart or the FREE B&W French Alphabet Chart.

ENGLISH alphabet chart - just letters & images
ENGLISH alphabet chart - letters, images & words

FRENCH alphabet chart - letters & images
FRENCH alphabet chart - letters, images and words

READ at For French Immersion7 Pinterest boards for French teachers

The beautiful alphabet clipart is by a good friend of mine, Lindy du Plessis. Check out Lindy's TpT store.

 Lindy's TpT store

READ: 10 words that English borrowed from French

READ: 10 words that English borrowed from Spanish

READ: Teacher-authors around the world: meet Rosie from New Zealand

Follow my blog to always be the first to read and pin my posts!

Don't forget to leave me a comment if you like the freebies!