Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sentence Fluency

Sentence Fluency!!!!

OH NO !!!

They can't even write!!!

How to identify the traits in your classroom activities Does this activity encourage …

• Thinking about what a sentence is?
• Listening to literature that has rhythm?
• Reading Aloud? Choral reading?
• Comparing two kinds of sentences? Choppy vs Fluent?
• Comparing sentences to fragments?
• Combining sentences?

What you’re going for:
• A ear for language

• A love of rhythm
• Sentence sense

Activities that work:
• Share rhythmic language – poetry is a good choice
• Share two versions – edit together

• Play the sentence building game: select a topic and come up with a beginning – students
finish the sentence

• Sentence fragment game – similar to a spelling bee, but students must answer fragment or

Tips for writers:
• Listen for rhythm in sentences.
• Look for different size and structure of sentence.
• Find sentences that build on each other and make reading them aloud fun.
• Notice how the sentences add to the overall enjoyment of the text.

Level 5- Sentence Fluency
• Sentences flow with a beat – they have rhythm and grace.

• Lots of variety in sentences from beginning to end.
• Each sentence builds on the next.
• Smooth as a ski run in December.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Word Choice, taken from R.Culham

Does teaching word choice feel like you bit off more than you can chew?

Read the following and relax:)


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Word Choice for Beginning Writers adapted from Ruth Culham

How to identify word choice in your classroom activities:

Does this activity encourage:
  • Listening for or learning new words?
  • Saying something more than one way?
  • Thinking about the meaning of words?
  • Identifying favorite words?
  • Listening o language used well?
  • Learning about resources (dictionary, thesaurus, etc.)?
  • Playing with words?
What you're going for:
  • Awareness of Languag
  • Variety and Spice
  • Action

Classroom Activities that work:
  1. Collect Favorite Words
  2. Retire Tired Words
  3. Brainstorm Alternatives on Word Wheels
  4. Listen for Just Right Words
  5. Brainstorm Alternatives for Words in Text
  6. Guessing is Thinking - Using Context to Figure Out Meaning
  7. Get-A-Word-A-Day-Calendar
  8. Put Good Resources to Use - Model for Students Often
  9. Is This Appropriate? - Two Versions of the same Note and Students Match to the Right Audience
Tips for Writers:
  1. Find descriptive words that paint pictures in your mind.
  2. Hunt for striking yet natural words that fit the piece perfectly.
  3. Change passive verbs for action verbs wherever possible.
  4. Choose specific words rather than the first thing that pops into mind.
Level 5 - Word Choice

  • Every Word Seems Exactly Right!
  • Colorful, Fresh, ad Snappy - YET NOTHING OVERDONE.
  • Accurate and Precise!
  • The words help the reader SEE what you're talking about.
See you on Tuesday:) Darlene