Friday, October 28, 2011

HELP with writing!

Ok, I need your help!  My students are not understanding what makes a complete sentence.  They are either not using any punctuation at all, putting a period after every word, or putting a period at the end of every line.  WHAT?!  (It might help you to know that 16 of my 24 firsties are ESL students.)

Everyone always has such wonderful ideas in the teacher blogging world so I'd love to hear any lesson/activity ideas or tricks that you can offer!  Thank you!!

--Mrs. Pollard


  1. We teach our kindergartners 5 Star Writing...
    1. Does your sentence begin with a capital letter?
    2. Did you use fingerspaces?
    3. Does your sentence have a punctuation mark at the end?
    4. Is it neatly written?
    5. Does your sentence make sense?
    We give our kiddos a star for everyone part they get! This has really helped my kids! I also made an anchor chart with them... using a hand for the graphic... =)

  2. When I taught first, I used Project Read: Framing your thoughts. You start by teaching the kids that a sentence frames a thought, much like a picture frame frames a picture. (I showed an empty frame, then put a picture in it, and we discussed how it made the picture "complete"). Then you teach them a sentence frame. /\_________________. /Capital letter\_____thought_____.(period or other punctuation). From there you teach A sentence has two parts, naming and telling. The naming part names WHO or WHAT (subject). The telling part tells the action (predicate). For more info, check out Project Read. It's an excellent program!!!

  3. I have a punctuation post that you may find useful! I have used this lesson with many grades, check it out

  4. Thank you for the great ideas-- keep them coming! :)

    Ms. McNulty- I like associating a sound with punctuation. One of my team members does snaps for periods.

  5. Check out

    Go all the way to the bottom.
    There you will find the pencil that I have in this photo:


  6. Sing this song...

    A sentence, sentence, sentence
    Is complete, complete, complete
    With five simple rules it meets, meets, meets,
    It has a subject, subject, subject,
    And a verb, verb, verb
    And it makes sense, sense, sense,
    With every word, word, word
    Add a capital letter and an end mark too!
    But remember...
    Subject and verb and complete sense with a
    capital letter and an end mark too
    Our sentence is complete and now we're through

    It's the Sentence Jingle from Shurley English... Cute and EASY!

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  8. There is no specific jingle that it is sung to.

  9. I know it's a bit delayed, but I just came across your blog/post. I've been teaching for 11 years and just started incorporating sounds for . ? and ! while we read the morning message and when we do any kind of shared/interactive writing. Let me tell you--it's made a WORLD of difference. It helps the kids tune in to the sound of a complete sentence because they clearly hear where one begins and ends. I'm the only one in my grade level doing it and my kids blew the other classes out of the water on that standard when we did our end of tri testing. It's also clearly reflected in their writing and reading fluency. I've tried every trick in the book and that's the one that's made all the difference--simple, kid friendly, engaging, effective--winner!