Today is the final post in my 2021 reflections series. Thus far I’ve shared the Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021, the Underdog Blog Posts of 2021, and the Top Free Teachers Pay Teachers Downloads of 2021. While I put most of my downloadable materials on Teachers Pay Teachers, I do occasionally prefer to simply add something to a blog post, and that is what we’re going to review today: the most popular downloads from my blog. So as to not take up too much space in this particular post, I’ll give a brief description of each download and link to the original post. You can follow the links to get all of the details, and the download(s) that most interest you. So, without further delay, let’s get to the list!
One of the first activities we do when practicing making inferences is orally make them about pictures. There are actually two sets of pictures in this blog post, and both are great for helping students understand the difference between an observation and an inference.
9. Song Lyrics for You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
I use this song as part of my lesson on similes and metaphors. Though I have done it at Christmas time, it more often comes up in the spring and the students always love hearing the song again. It provides good practice in identifying, and distinguishing between, similes and metaphors.
There are three things that are fairly standard in my classroom decorations: a word wall, a genre wall, and an author’s purpose poster. After we discuss and determine the genre of a text we write the title on a small shape and attach it to the correct poster on our genre wall. By the end of the year we have a visual record of all the different genres of text we’ve read and students are experts at identifying the genre of any given text.
7. National Geographic’s Inside, Fundamentals, Lesson Plans
This post has been getting a lot of attention this month. It was #4 on my list of most popular blog posts and #2 on my list of free TPT downloads. The reason my plans for Fundamentals aren’t on TPT (as my plans for level A and B are) is because they are kind of a mess. I never taught the entire book, and still haven’t had time to clean up the plans I do have for units 1-6, but you’re welcome to what is there–just scroll to the bottom to find them.
This is a simple and quick activity to practice the most basic body parts–simply print, laminate, and use (attaching magnets or another form of adhesive is helpful but not required). Other activities we do to practice basic, and not so basic, body parts are also included in the post.
5. Count or Non-Count Noun Handout
This is simple question-based handout I give students to help them determine if a noun is count or non-count. The students ask themselves the five questions and, based on the answers, are able to classify nouns as count or non-count. Other practice activities are suggested in the post.
4. Singular-Plural-Collective Noun Reference List
My students tend to do fairly well with recognizing and knowing the plural form of most nouns but struggle with the collective form. This list is a great reference for them and gets a lot of use when we play Spoons–a highly competitive game I explain in the blog post.
3. & 2. Vocabulary Word Wall Cards
I already mentioned how a word wall is standard in my classroom. We keep it up all year and add to it with every unit/text. Besides describing how we use it on an almost daily basis, this post has downloads of the vocabulary cards I made to accompany the texts in National Geographic’s Inside curriculum (levels A & B). Level A’s set was downloaded slightly more times than level B’s set, but it was close!
1. K-8 ELA CCSS and (old) WIDA I Can Statements Alignment
By far the most popular download from my blog, this alignment is also the largest (it’s 200+ pages). The post was #5 on the list of most viewed blog posts from 2021, and I’m only surprised it wasn’t higher. This alignment is very helpful for general education teachers to better understand how students of different proficiency levels can show mastery of various standards.
And that brings me to the end of my review of 2021. It’s been a great exercise and given me a lot to think about for 2022. In fact, it’s been so valuable that I think I’ll make it an annual series! I wonder what posts will make the lists next year… Happy teaching, everyone!