Sunday, August 9, 2015

Thinking about Back-to-School

Hi!  Lesley from Practice Makes Perfect here.  One thing I think about when planning back-to-school activities is quickly getting children into the routines of the day.  One of my morning activities is to have the children do a little proofreading practice.  In this post, I will outline how I move my firsties from me guiding them through the completion of the activity to them doing it independently in the morning.

First, I want to share with you the story behind my resource, the why I made it and how I use it story.  In our reading series, there is a section called "Daily Proofreading Practice," where you put a few sentences on the board and the children fix the mistakes in them.  I was using the ones suggested in the teacher's manual, but they didn't make sense.  There would be two totally unrelated sentences, like these,

  Dad sate on the mat.  We like tew nap.

Well, that's nice, but what does dad sitting on the mat have to do with us napping?  So I started making up my own to put on the board.  Then I thought, hey, I can squeeze in some grammar practice as well with these.  So I started writing sentences with no capitals and no end marks.  Now, I had something that looks like this,
        the fat cat sat  the fat cat sat on the mat

With the advent of flippable and interactive notebooks, I designed a way to use these daily proofreading practices as part of my morning work time that would last for one week.  

After the first few weeks of doing them with the whole group of first graders, the children were easily able to transition into assembling the flippables on Monday, and then completing the work themselves in the morning. We check them together Monday - Thursday, and the kids make their own corrections to their work. I believe they learn more correcting their own work than if I correct them.  On Friday, I collect the booklets and check to see if they are applying the skills we practice.

I loosely follow the scope and sequence of skills laid out in our reading series.  These are designed as a progressive series, so each month, I put more errors in the proofreading for the children to find and correct.

Here's a sample of what the kids were correcting in March.

And this is a sample of the last page we did in early June.

By the last few months of school, the kids are able to correct mistakes in verb tenses, subject and verb agreement mistakes, i.e. June is instead of June are, as well as spelling errors. 

The design of the flippable allows them to easily refer back to the original sentence.  This is much better for some of my students who really have a hard time copying off the board.

So there you have it, the story behind my Daily Grammar and Spelling Practice:  Grammar Goofs and Spelling Spoofs.

My August Grammar Goofs and Spelling Spoofs is now free for you to try out this great resource.  The subsequent months are available for only $2.00!
click the picture above to download your free August Grammar Goofs and Spelling Spoofs.

Have a great back-to-school experience and get those kiddos into their daily routines quickly

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