Teacher Feature: Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher!

Good morning!  My name is Tammy.  I am a fourth grade teacher at a Title 1 school in Texas.  I am so excited at the opportunity to guest blog today for Teaching Blog Addict!

Summer is here!  It's a time of fun, relaxation, traveling, family, reading, and, yes...reflecting on the past school year.  (Believe it or not...it's better than sitting in the sweltering south Texas heat!)  One of the items I have reflected on is character analysis.  Our new STAAR assessment test has changed our thinking, as teachers, and taken our students to a higher level.  This includes character analysis.  This year was the "Year of the Foldable" in my classroom.  Our character traits activity was one of the best I have used, so far.
In this activity, students used the FAST method--Feelings, Actions, Sayings, and Thoughts.  Students folded the a sheet of paper, chose a character in the text they were reading, and wrote down what they noticed about the character.  This activity helps students take notes on their reading and helps them focus on the character.

Later in the year, (after THE test), I had an "on the fly" moment.  As a class, I read aloud The Hunger Games. (My reasoning for this can be found on my blog!)  My students were so into the characters, that I chose to take FAST a step further.  Students were grouped together and assigned character posters.  They used their FAST map to write character trait words for their character.  They then had to present their poster, as a group, to the class and explain what they learned about him/her.  Below is an example.

I love how this group separated their thoughts!  This type of character analysis indeed takes students to a "higher level"!  And, quite frankly, it's fun and engaging!  I just love teaching this way!

Here's hoping you have a wonderful, calm, and reflective summer break!  Please be sure to visit my blog!  There, please "like" my Facebook page to get updates on new posts! (Click the link below the button...summer has rendered me mindless and I can't seem to get my button to work!!)

I usually end all of my posts with a quote.  I will not disappoint!!

"The art of being a good guest is to know when to leave."--Prince Phillip

Consider me a "good guest"!


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