My name is Caitlin, and I am TheRoomMom. I currently teach 4th grade language arts but have experience with nursery school aged children all of the way up through seniors in high school. My sweet spot is definitely 4th through sixth grade. I love the reading level at this age and all of the great projects and writing activities I can complete with the students.
I attended Emory University and received a BA in Art History and French and had no idea what to do with that degree. The one thing I did love at the time was my job as a summer camp counselor in northern Minnesota. That experience drove me to a teaching program at Vanderbilt University where I earned an MEd.
I moved to Charleston, SC with my husband and our two children about 5 years ago but have also lived in New Orleans, Atlanta, San Francisco, Connecticut and a few other places (even abroad). All of the experiences with different schools and school systems has helped shape my teaching style. I am always tweaking lessons in my designated textbooks with supplemental materials and ideas.
My favorite part of teaching is connecting students with great book choices and designing unique novel units. I am a self-proclaimed children's literature expert and read juvenile literature constantly.
Once I find a great book that I want to incorporate into the classroom, I love designing fresh activities to enhance the novel for the students. I always included standard reading activities like chapter vocabulary, story plot maps, and character charts, but then I add a special "anchor activity" that activates many skills.
My students just completed a comic book page of their favorite scene from the book, Lunch Money. The comic book page had to follow standard comic book format, which we learned about in the story (and confirmed through research). That was the fun part... for the students. Then, they had to prepare a paragraph that told me why that scene was important to the story. I was so pleased with how many layers of thinking went into the whole project, The students had no idea how many skills I was sneaking in to the activity.
We will soon be starting our cross curricular business project. Not only do students read novels like Lunch Money, The Lemonade War, and The Bread Winner, which contain characters who start their own businesses, we also complete a research essay about an American business founder. I have the students use a pocket system in a manila folder to create sub-topics and organize their notes for the research essay.
As our final big project, the students launch a class business. Our Mason jar cookie mix business was so successful last year, we will be open for business again this December.
You can find many language arts products at my TeachersPayTeachers store or visit my blog, The-Room-Mom.com, for fun teacher mom ideas. Happy November and thanks so much for visiting!