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Monday, August 17, 2015

Tools for Language

I'm excited to be linking up once again for the Building Back to School Blog Hop. This week is all about language tools.

This has always been my least favorite subject to teach. Let's face's not very exciting. So here are 4 tips I always try to keep in mind.

1: Make it Daily

Whether you use a DOL program, journals, or (my favorite) choose an editing focus during your writing block, make language instruction a part of your daily ELA time.
September Daily Language for 1st Grade

2: Make it Authentic

Even though DOL is a great tool, studies show the most effective language instruction comes from authentic experiences. Here are some of my favorite activities:

  • Use mentor texts to model conventions such as compound or complex sentence structures.
  • Choose an author with incredible word choice (Jan Brett is always good) to model parts of speech.
  • Model editing in my own writing or in previous students' writing (I never use a current students' work for whole class editing practice).
  • Copy a passage from a current book you are reading and do a Notice It/Name It activity (Have students look through passage for anything at all, i.e. slanting letters. Give it a name: italics). Follow up with an explanation and a chance to use it in their own writing.
3: Make it Cumulative

Just because you've officially covered nouns for the year doesn't mean you are finished working with them. Language skills can't be taught in complete isolation never to be repeated. Language needs to be built upon and reviewed all year long. 

4: Build Vocabulary

Whether you are studying parts of speech or Latin roots, use language instruction as a chance to build vocabulary. Word of the Week programs are great for building vocabulary, but make sure you are consistently using and reusing all the words introduced this way. I have a great Greek and Latin root product in my TPT store that does just this: introduces a root with examples, offers activities such as journals and word hunts, games such as I Have, Who Has, and quizzes. The whole program is cumulative so it constantly spirals back on itself throughout the whole year.
Greek and Latin Roots Super Pack

Enter here to get a copy of my Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe and check out more great language tools!

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1 comment:

  1. I totally agree that Grammar needs to be taught continuously throughout the year 'informally'. I would often display a short story, comic strip or article on the white board and ask students to identify various concepts after reading it through. They loved coming to the board to circle or underline.

    Learning with Sunflower Smiles