Thursday, June 21, 2018

Repairing Run-On Sentences

One of my goals for next year is to help my students really strengthen their sentence control. Many teachers feel daunted by this, so it's no wonder the confusion trickles down to the kids! Understandably, it's hard to keep it all straight: simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, fragments, comma splices, run-ons, etc. On top of that, our budding writers are expected to vary their sentences throughout a written piece! It's like the never-ending writing skill, but it's vital in fourth grade and in life. One thing I can do over the summer (that I actually enjoy) is beef up my collection of resources. I'm thrilled with these task cards I created today:

 CLICK HERE to download the set from TpT!

Rather than relying on multiple choice answers, this exercise enables students to:

1. Identify if the sentence is truly a run-on sentence.
2. Rewrite run-on sentences in a variety of ways.

It will take lots of front loading (reviewing parts of speech, reteaching subject and predicate, etc.) to give my students the foundation they need before tackling those tricky run-on sentences. Modeling sentence writing, explicitly teaching the compound sentence pattern, and showing them a variety of mentor sentences helped my most recent group of fourth graders. Other tips include encouraging students to read their sentences aloud and revising drafts as they go (rather than finishing an entire draft before rereading it.) 

How do you teach your students to develop sentence control? Please spread your knowledge and leave a comment!