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Archive for October, 2015

postheadericon Barebone Sentence Center: Roll, Write, and Read



We have been teaching Barebone Sentences using our Project Read: Written Expression Curriculum. I wanted to create a center where students could create barebone sentences and practice writing them independently. 


I wanted the students to be able to practice:

1. Beginng their sentence with a capital letter. 

2. Putting spaces between their words

3. Ending their sentence with a period. 


I bought these large foam dice at the Dollar Tree. These are great to use in the classroom. I often use them for centers and teacher table time. 




Then, I came home and created the labels for the dice. 

I printed these labels, laminated, and cut them out. Then, I put all the subject nouns on one die and then put all the verbs on the other die. I used a hot glue craft gun to adhere the labels onto the foam. 

barebone sentence roll


When the sets were finished, they were ready for the students to use.



Before I put anything into an independant center, I always model how to use the materials at my teacher table. Once I feel the students are able to do this independantly, I then put it out into an independent center. 




This student rolled the dice and got the words "Birds hop." 

As you can see, she has started her sentences with an uppercase letter. She has spaces between her words, and has a period at the end of her sentence. She is off to a great start! A writer in the making! 




Same thing with this student. He wrote three silly barebone sentences. He has started his sentences with an uppercase letter. He has spaces between his words, and has a period at the end of his sentences. He is also off to a great start! Another great writer in the making! 



I have now used this as a center a few times and the students really seem to love it. They have fun with the dice and at the same time are practicing their writing, sentence structure, and mastering their barebone sentences. 


For other posts on Barebone sentences, see:

Teaching “Barebones Sentences” with Literature Tie-ins

Barebone Class Book: What Do We See in the Fall?




postheadericon Barebone Class Book: What Do We See in the Fall?


Fall is here and I thought it was time to get writing! We have taught nouns and verbs as part of our Reading Street Review Unit and now it was time to put them into barebone sentences. As part of our Written Expression Curriculum, we begin our year teaching the students the symbols for nouns and verbs. The straight bold line stands for our subject noun and the four mountains stand for our action verb. Once I taught those symbols, we were able to begin writing barebone sentences. 



I introduced the word "brainstorming" to my students and told them we were going to use all our thoughts and ideas to come up with a list of things we see in the Fall. 

I started with a big piece of chart paper and drew the noun symbol and verb symbol. As always, I begin with my objective stated in a student friendly way. Today we are going to write barebone sentences about the Fall. What things to we see the in the Fall? The kids had lots and lots of ideas, so I wrote each of their nouns on the paper. Once we had a good amount of nouns, I asked them what each one does. What do leaves do in the Fall? What do scarecrows do in the Fall? What does rain do in the Fall?

When we were done brainstorming, this is what we had:






Now, I wanted the kids to choose a barebone sentence from the chart and write it on their own paper. This was their graphic organizer. Each student wrote their noun and verb in the graphic organizer, then wrote their barebone sentence below. 

(To download the PDF, click on the image below)

Fall babrebone class book (gr org)

This student wrote: Wind blowing.


Before they wrote their sentence, we reviewed "What Makes a Great Sentence" pocket chart. 

We had been reviewing this for a few days, so the kids knew a lot about sentences. 


Then, each student wrote their sentence on the line. As each sentence was completed, I checked their sentences for a capital letter, space between words, and a period at the end of the sentence. 



When they each had a rough draft of their sentence. I had them write their sentence on the paper that would be going into the class book. This would be their final draft. 

Again, their barebone sentence was checked for a capital letter, space between the words, and a period at the end of the sentence. Once their sentence was checked, the students then illustrated their picture and colored the border. 

Here are a few examples of their work:


Wind blowing. 


Kids trick or treating.


(To download the PDF, click on the image below)

fall babre bone sentence

When we were done, my student teacher made the front cover, colored it, and laminated it. I used binder rings to put the book together and read the book to our students. Our first class book is done and ready for the classroom library!


To read more about barebone sentences using children's literature, click on the link below:

Teaching “Barebones Sentences” with Literature Tie-ins


postheadericon Teaching Character Traits- Trustworthiness

Last month I posted about my monthly character education units that I am starting this year with my  students.  Here's a look at how I set up each month.

September- Responsibility


November- Kindness

December- Respect


February- Fairness

March- Courage

April- Determination

May – Cooperation

June- Sportsmanship

This month I will give you an overview of October- Trustworthiness.  I've compiled a list of books to use throughout the month.  I will also give you some ideas for activities that can be done to reinforce the trait. 


Books that teach trustworthiness

The Gold Coin by Alma Flor Ada

A Day's Work by Eve Bunting

Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Burton

The Principal's New Clothes by Stephanie Calmenson

My Big Lie by Bill Cosby

The Empty Pot by Demi

Jamaica's Find by Juanita Havill

A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban

Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook by Barbara Park

The Honest to GoodnessTruth by Patricia McKissack

Brave Irene by William Steig

Sam Tells Stories by Thierry Robberecht


Anchor Chart

What a trustworthy person looks like:

honest, tells the truth, keeping promises and being loyal so people can trust you.

Trustworthy people don't lie, cheat or steal.

They have integrity and the moral courage to do the right thing and stand up for their beliefs even when it is hard to do so.

Writing Journal:

  • What makes a trustworthy friend?
  • What are some ways you can be a friend who is trusted?
  • Why is it important to keep your word?
  • Make a list of book or TV characters that are not trustworthy.  Talk about why they are not trustworthy.
  •  How do you feel when you plan a game with someone who cheats?
  • Who are some people that you can trust?
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