The most important thing I had to teach my first graders was how to write a complete sentence. In kindergarten, students are still learning letter formation and letter sounds. No doubt the K teachers work hard to teach those little kinders to start putting those sounds together to make words. In first grade, I was expected to have my students produce several different types of writing but the number one thing I focused on was sentence writing. Writing a sentence can be tricky, but practice makes progress!
When those lovely report card/progress report times rolled around each year (and oh my gosh, they come around so often!), I would spend hours online filling in my student’s grades. Our progress reports were very “general.” The report cards were a little more detailed, but they were written to match common core standards and weren’t always very parent friendly. I did my best to make sure if a student was having difficult with anything to give specific comments and strategies/ideas so parents would know what was expected and how they could help at home. I began having my students do a quick “sentence assessment” before report card/progress report time so I could make sure I was fully aware of their current writing abilities. I saved these quick assessments so I could compare them through the year and share with parents at conferences.
Simply Sentences: Animals provides an easy, no prep way for students to practice their sentence writing skills (no prep meaning nothing is required to be prepared by the teacher except copying enough pages for the whole class). All students love animals, so writing activities that include animals were always high interest in my classroom. Each page includes pictures of four different animals (grouped in different animal categories) and space to write a sentence to go with each picture. The name of each animal is included so students don’t get hung up on the correct spelling. I recommend having the students spend a couple of minute coloring all of the pictures first. Next, students can write a sentence for each animal picture. If they get stuck on what to write, encourage them to look at the colors they used, the parts of the animal, etc. to come up with an idea they can write a sentence about. Beginning writers (or writers at the beginning of the school year) can write more simple sentences while more advanced writers (or by the end of the school year) they can create sentences with more details.
Simply Sentences: Alphabet combines letter formation practice with sentence writing practice. Students practice writing their uppercase and lowercase letters. There are three different pictures included that match the letter of the alphabet being practiced. Students then write a sentence for each picture.
There are several different ways Simply Sentences can be used-
- Writing center activity
- Sentence & letter writing homework
- Quick sentence assessment
- Tracking students’ writing progress through the year
- Writing practice while waiting to conference with teacher on a writing piece
- Easy writing activity a substitute can use
- Use during conferences to show parents their child’s progress
- Use to identify areas of student’s weakness/strength in writing
- Use as alternative to journal writing OR
- Print at reduced size to glue inside composition book/journal
I plan on creating more Simply Sentence packets focusing on other themes. Both of these packets can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers, Teachers Notebook, and Educents. Shop at your favorite one. Happy Monday, and happy Teacher Appreciation Week!