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Archive for September, 2013

postheadericon Simple Sentence Rubric for First Graders


 I created this rubric last year, during the first year of Reading Street, and it worked really well for my students. Each of my students  have a writing folder. I save the very first writing sample, and then choose one sample a month to save in their writing folders.  

During the year, I conference with each of my students during each writing lesson to decide what they did great in their writing and what the student should work on in the next writing sample.  I set a "goal" for each student to work toward. By the end of first grade, I had my students being able to put sentences together to make a paragraph. They were writers! 
Here is the rubric below:

Sentence rubric

Here's how I use this during writing time: 
Students are introduced to the objective of the lesson. In this lesson, students were introduced to writing simple sentences.
On a pocket chart, I have simple sentences written on sentence strips. We read and discuss what makes a good sentence. Students respond,"A sentence starts with a capital letter, there's spaces between the words, there's a period at the end of the sentence, the words are spelled correctly, and the words are written neatly on the line."
While they are studying the sentences, I have a large sheet of chart paper with the words "What makes a good simple sentence?" I write all their reponses on this sheet of paper around that question (Which is the objective of the lesson). Then, I review the answers on the large chart paper.
After, I hand out this writing rubric and explain how we are going to use it. I have the children write a simple sentence on lined paper. Once they are done, I model how to go through the rubric. As they read through each of the criteria on the rubric, if their sentence has this, they can color the happy face. If it doesn't, then they go back and correct their sentence. 
Once they feel their sentence has 5 smiley faces, then they come to me and I conference with them. As the year goes on, I challenge them to create a better sentence by asking them to use a describing word. So, as they grow as writers, the rubric, which I add to throughout the year, grows with them.


postheadericon Verbs! Verbs! Verbs! Differentiated Teacher Table Ideas for First Grade Reading Street!


After teaching nouns, verbs are introduced in the Reading Street Review Unit. I began introducing verbs by having the students brainstorm action words. I did this with the all my reading groups (green, red, yellow, and blue). We think about what we do at home, on the playground, during the summer, out in the yard etc. I had the students write their verb on a Post-It note and put it on a VERB anchor chart. 



After the first day, I differentiate the lessons for my different reading groups. 



The next day at my teacher table, we review verbs and nouns. I used picture cards that I found at  I printed these and laminated them. 


Picture cards Verbs1

I used these cards, so that the students can sort them into a NOUN category and a VERB category. I held up a card and had my students tell me whether it was a verb or noun. They had to explain their answer for each card. I used two pocket charts at my teacher table to sort them as we went through the cards. To see the complete list of picture cards click HERE

photo copy

After the students achived 80% accuracy at sorting them, they were ready to play the verb/noun game. 

I made this template to make these sticks. This is a two page document. Verbs are on the first page and nouns are on the second page.


noun:verb sticks PNG

I photocopied the nouns onto yellow tagboard and the verbs onto blue tagboard. I attached popsicle sticks onto them and we were ready to go! 

I used the noun and verb picture cards from above and held up the card and read the word on the card. The students had to choose either their verb stick or noun stick and hold it up in front of them. They loved playing this game and it was fun for all!





We read "The Gingerbread Man" by By: Karen Schmidt

As I read this story, I asked the students to think about all the action words the Gingerbread Man does in this story. When we are done reading, we make a list of the words on this cute graphic organizer. GingerbreadManLabelNounsVerbsorAdjectives


I found this really cute activity at Teachers Pay Teachers for the students to work on. 

You can download this graphic organizer HERE.




Then, I give each student a booklet titled, "The Gingerbread Man Can." I read through this booklet with my students and have them choose the best verb for each page. The kids loved doing this activity and they are able to read the words on the pages! It also has a cute song about verbs to sing with the students. You can download this for FREE at Teachers Pay Teachers. 



postheadericon Making Words

We have been working with the short a sound.  In my word work station I like to have my students make words using letter cards.  I introduce the process at the teacher table and then release it into a workstation.  Once they get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.

SONY DSCI start off very basic with a set of letters for the students to cut and build with.  We do this a few times until I know that they are able to handle it on their own with the assistance of only a table captain.  In the picture you can see a set of making words sheet that I created to go along with our Reading Street review unit.  To preview a free sample click here.


I always take my learners into consideration when creating the weekly workstation.  My intervention group needs a set amount of letters and clear instructions (CVC).  While my advanced group may do very well with a bunch of letters and a simple instruction of BUILD.  However, I don't like to to that, I do like a more direct approach this time of year (CVCe or blends).

I found this post a few years back and love this system for making words.  You can download the free template here to make your own folders.  I love that these folder hold all the letters and ending blends that my students need for this word work station.  It is so much easier to prepare than sorting through letter tiles.  It is a great tool to use with your intervention group(s) as well.

postheadericon Happy first day of Fall


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