Monday, July 3, 2017

New Favorite Book

Isn't it funny (and a little sad) how teachers finally have time to READ over summer break? If you're a teacher-mom like me, even that time is limited! I recently received a copy of this book at a professional development session I attended, and it's one of those solid gold books that gives you more fresh ideas than there are places for bookmark tabs. 

Jennifer Serravallo (also the author of The Reading Strategies Book) has organized her genius mini-lessons and writing strategies into student goals. Each page throughout the meat of the book provides a new, easy-to-implement strategy such as "Revisiting the Language Gems in Your (Writing) Notebook" to "Finding the Heart" of your story to narrow your focus. Most strategies include an anchor chart or work sample photo, which clarifies a lot for busy teachers. If you are blessed with some real reading time this July, I highly recommend this "gem" of a resource! I already feel like a better writing teacher, and I'm not even back to school yet!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sentences vs. Fragments

It's time to dust off the old blog and freshen it up with some new resources! As I've probably mentioned in previous posts, one of the expectations I hold my students accountable for throughout the year is writing in complete sentences. As intermediate elementary teachers, this is something we are all capable of doing; regardless of our content areas. Through mini-lessons or modeled writing, I'm always showing my students that complete sentences must have a subject and predicate. I also try to find opportunities to show them,

"Don't let the LENGTH of a sentence fool you! A complete sentence can be just two words long!"

This can be tricky for them to retain, but it's vital knowledge. I created some task cards to help me reinforce complete sentence skills to my students.

In the fall, I'll use these after reviewing "subject + predicate = complete sentence," but before introducing compound sentences. Since I'll also be teaching science this school year, the content of the task cards is weather-related! Horay for cross-curricular resources!

Happy summer and WRITE ON!