Physically manipulating our words to form cohesive sentences. Our sentences have to make sense. I started the lesson by holding up a word for the students to read. They enjoy a little friendly competition so whoever said the correct word first got that word. After all the words were read and distributed, we began arranging them in different ways and then rearranginging them until all the words fit just right. If they were able to make one sentence, then they needed to see if they could make another. The words on the tiles were limited so the sentences got a little creative and sometimes vague.
This activity took several tries before any correct sentences were made. It was great to actually hear the kids sounding out the words for once. They always look to me for help with stretching out words, but for this I too was making sentences from the leftover words, so they knew we were each working independently. When each student completed a sentences, they were to read it out loud to themselves to listen if their sentences makes sense. This has been our biggest challenge due to the students not willingly reading their work aloud. This isn’t normally an issue, but whenever I ask them to read a sentence like this they become unsure. I always emphasize how important it is to read and re-read our own work for fluency and correct language. Often times it’s a little word or an “s” that needs to be added in; other times it’s a whole sentence of grammatical errors. When we read out loud, we are more prone to hearing and figuring out these wiring mistakes on our own; its part of self-correcting and being aware of our writing.
This activity also brought up a good time to refer back to those parts of speech. These particular tiles we used are color coded for each part of speech. (Of course the kids didn’t pick up on that). We talked about how we can enhance our writing by adding adjectives, words that describe, into our sentences. So “my cat” was transformed into “my old brown cat.” We often refer to this as first grade writing versus third grade writing because third graders write more and use more details in their writing rather than how we were as beginning writers. These students being apart of my third grade group.