Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
My "ah-ha---I could do this with book" moment came when I realized what an authentic opportunity fractured fairy tales present for comparison and contrast. It is also appealing that the actual read isn't challenging in and of itself for a third or fourth-grade student, yet the sentence structure work which could be practiced within the context of the story IS relevant and challenging for those grades. Many schools do book buddies with younger grades, so these stories can be "recycled" (practiced in a book buddy setting with first or second graders) and then practiced at grade level in a more applicable "common core" context.
One of my new ideas for designing student practice is to present compound sentences using the coordinating conjunction but, which students then revise using the subordinating conjunction although. This is an idea in progress so stay tuned.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Yesterday I read this book to the boys. It was quite long for Matthew, but he listened to most of it before being lured away by handball on our back porch :)
This story is about a boy named George Allen who was born on February 22nd, George Washignton's birthday. He is obsessed with all things "George." He likes to count things, just like George Washington. He goes to great lengths to find out the answer to his question: "What does George Washington eat for breakfast?" He reads several books from his school library to find the answer to his question. My favorite part of last night's Read Aloud was when my eight year old ask, "Mommy, what's a card catalog?" He's not satisfied by what people ate around the time of George Washington. He goes to the Smithsonian and sees an actual uniform worn by George Washington and counts all the buttons. He's secretly pleased that he and George are probably the only two people who ever counted all those brass buttons. He travels to Mount Vernon and talks to a docent who can only tell him what the rest of the household ate. Read the book to find out if he finds the answer to his question.
Not only did I enjoy the story, the boy's persistence, the flashback to the card catalog at Lincoln School's library from when I was in elementary school, but this is the line that struck me.
"Don't look at me," his grandmother said. "I said I'd cook but I wouldn't look."
Matthew's words this week are look, book, cook, etc. What is that . . . short "o" vowel sounds, right? Remember, I'm not an elementary school teacher, but how perfect is this that his class is comparing Abraham Lincoln and George Washington and this line comes up again and again in the book. George's grandmother isn't a big help with all this research George is doing. She's busy doing the spring cleaning. She tells George that she'll make George Washington's favorite breakfast for him once he finds out what it is. And a few times throughout the book she says to George, "Don't look at me," his grandmother said. "I said I'd cook but I wouldn't look."
Yes, I know. Interrupted dialogue. That got my creative juices flowing too!
Monday, January 6, 2014
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
This Andrew Clements' favorite is featured in this month's Scholastic flyer! Nothing like a discounted good read, a great author, and the upcoming holidays to inspire me to create a worksheet. I devised a 10-item freebie. This particular worksheet focuses on AND, BUT and SO, instructs students to identify subjects and verbs in both independent clauses, and reminds students to use a comma. The worksheet begins by bringing students back to the text and providing four examples from Clements' writing which show how he uses coordinating conjunctions. If you are wondering why other conjunctions such as FOR, OR, and YET are not included, it's because this is more of an introductory worksheet. FOR and YET are a bit more advanced (for has a formality to it) and OR wasn't a conjunction that worked in context.
And a shout out to PoppyDreamZArt for the border clip art and help creating thumbnails!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Were the directions clear?
Was the example provided helpful?
Were any items too confusing?
Do you think it helped your students clarify run-ons?
Thank you! You can comment below or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Henry went to the Lucky Dog Pet Shop each Friday, and he bought horse meat for Ribsy.
Guppies have lots of babies, but catfish rarely have babies if they’re kept in warm water.
(if they’re kept in warm water is a dependent, adverbial clause with its own subject (they) and verb (are kept))
Henry doesn’t want to play the part of Timmy in the Christmas operetta, but he can’t think of a way out of it.
Henry thinks Ribsy is smart enough to climb down the ladder on his own, but Scooter doesn’t think so.
Ribsy was covered in mud, so Henry ran home to get a brush and some talcum powder.
Henry thought he grabbed a bottle of white talcum powder, but it was really pink.
(that he grabbed a bottle of white talcum powder is a dependent, noun clause that functions as a direct object of Henry thought. It has its own subject and verb)
Ribsy chased his own tail, so his first owner named him Dizzy.
Ribsy could run in one direction toward Henry, or he could run the other way toward the boy calling him Dizzy.
(calling him Dizzy is a reduced adjective clause—who was calling him Dizzy)