Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crafting Sentences

Each quarter, my school has a different academic goal we focus on to improve student learning.  This cycle we are focusing on improving style in our students' writing.  To begin our style unit (in first grade), I wanted to make sure that my students knew how to write a complete sentence.  They are very good at using a capital letter at the beginning and ending punctuation at the end.  The middle part of the sentence was a little fuzzy for them.  The question I asked myself was, "How do I teach writing a complete thought to first graders?"

Instead of typing everything I did, I thought I would try my hand at a screen cast showing you the Smart Board Notebook I created to go with this lesson.  This is the first time I have ever done this before.

To get the sentence graphic organizer and lesson plan I used with the lesson, click the image below.

crafting sentences

UPDATE (4/28/2013):  I have recently put up my Notebook file on SMART Exchange after requests for the file.  Check out the file by clicking HERE or on the picture below.

I am honored that This Reading Mama wrote about how she adapted these materials for her own children.  I love her idea of using big dice as a different way to build sentences.  You need to check out her wonderful post:  Roll a Sentence.  She includes a freebie of the inserts she used for the dice and great pictures of it in action.

Stay tuned for future posts on where we go next - expanded sentences.  Now that we can write a complete sentence, I want my students to write better complete sentences.

Freebie Fridays


  1. Jana, that was an EXCELLENT screen cast!!! I watched the whole thing. Loved it!!! Thank you for the freebies!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Found your blog today! I am your newest follower! Stop by and visit me...

  3. Hi Jana! Just wanted to drop a line and say thank you for contributing to the exchange....I can't wait to get online and start shopping!

    Going Nutty!

  4. Great sreen cast. I have a few first graders still not getting the complete thought for a making a sentence. I am your newest follower from TBTS.
    Stop by and visit sometime.
    Classroom Companion

  5. Great way to break it down! Thanks for sharing!
    JDs Rockin' Readers

  6. did you share that smart board presentation on smart notebook also? If not are you able to?

  7. What a great idea to share your teaching! I love that you took your lesson from what you saw needed fixing up in their writing. Great example of excellent teaching.

  8. Jana, thanks for adding my link! I have been working today on my scope and sequence for next year. Maybe we can plan together for some expanded sentence work. I have a few ideas floating around in this little head of mine! ;)

  9. Thank you for a great lesson. As a children's author, teachers are always asking me for ideas on teaching children to write. I shall recommend your blog.

  10. I just came across your blog and I'm super excited! I love the way you explained a complete sentence and I appreciate the video instructions.


  11. Love this! So helpful and I'll put to use on Monday!

  12. This is great. I will definitely be trying it out with my class. Is there a link to the Smartboard activity that you used?

    1. I just recently put it up on SMART Exchange:

  13. Great, Thanks for doing that. I'll have a look.

  14. I love this! I tried to download the file but it tells me I need a password. Could you email me the file so that I can download the documents, please?

  15. I love this! I teach a very low group of second graders who just cannot grasp this concept. I would love to use this however, when I try to download it asks for a password. Could you possibly email me the file so that I can download the documents, please?

  16. I am looking forward to trying this lesson with my first graders! Thank you for making the resources so readily available!! Hilary


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