Thursday, March 21, 2013

Whole Group Reading: Language & Grammar

I'm working on doing a "miniseries" on here about what my whole group reading block looks like.  (You can go back and read my introductory post here.)

This week I wanted to share a few things I that use on a regular basis for our language and grammar portion of our reading block.  This accounts for about 10 of the 60 minutes each day.  It's sometimes tough to cram in everything into such a short amount of time, but once we get the routines down things run a lot faster!

Each week (unless it's a short week), we work on a skill from this Grammar & Punctuation book from Evan Moor.  (Click here for shopping info.)  It goes through all of the parts of speech, grammar rules, and proper punctuation use.  Depending on the skill, we do 2 or 3 pages throughout the week and I try to pull at least one other activity to go along with that skill.  I try not to bombard the kids with worksheets, but I do feel as though when it comes to these skills there is a lot of value in having the kids work on writing.

Back in the day (pre-blog and Pinterest) I was really active on the teacher message board site Pro-Teacher. I found TONS of task cards on there for a wide range of skills.  Task cards are great for whole group or small group activities.

I found this Grammar Ad Libs (and a math version as well) on clearance at my local teacher store a few years ago.  These are a super fun way for the kids to practice skills.  I like to tie this in with fluency and have the kids go around and read their final paragraphs with their classmates.  They LOVE these!

I think I picked up these "I Have...  Who Has..." cards at Mardel last summer, but they've definitely been a hit with my kids  this year.  This box includes synonyms, antonyms, homographs, and homophones.  These are great to introduce the week we learn a skill and then go back to throughout the year as review.  (There are several books of "I Have... Who Has..." games 

Another favorite for my students is Boggle.  If you search "Boggle" on Pinterest (click here for the results) you will find tons of stuff for the classroom!  I try to do Boggle on Fridays and sometime tie it in with our skill for the week.  I'll tell the students to try to make as many nouns as possible or something like that.  Other times, just make as many words as possible.  This can be really challenging for some kids, but once they get the hang of it, most kids really love it!

Do you have any activities you like for teaching language and grammar to your students?  I'd love to get some new ideas and suggestions!

Come back next week for some ideas on vocabulary instruction!

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