Saturday, September 15, 2012

Writing Materials

Writing has begun!  As most of you who know me, know that I love grammar.  I was super excited when our principal decided to departmentalize fourth grade.  That plan has slightly changed, but I will get into that later.  I started teaching expository writing, and we finished our first draft this week.  I am using the 4 square brainstorming technique.  This is the first time I have used this, and I will keep you updated on how effective it is.
This is similar to the book I am using.
It is always interesting to read and decipher my students' writing.  One student was adding vivid language to his paper.  Referring to when he eats nachos, "My taste buds aren't just buds, they're bros." I chuckled.  

Another book I found really helpful is Daily Oral Language.  Each student has a copy of this book.  It is their bell work.  There are two sentences with grammar mistakes, and they have to find the mistakes and correct them. I try to make it sound as exciting as possible.  I mean, I love grammar, but I know that it is not everyone's cup of tea.  I encourage them to "beat" the sentence by finding more mistakes than the sentence is able to hide.  I also bust out my best stamps and stickers.  I loved getting stickers, even in high school.  (Thanks Mrs. McCord!) Sometimes, I let the students correct the work under the document camera.  They love that!  Like I have heard before, teaching is one-fourth teaching, and three-fourths theatrics.  

What strategies do you employ to help motivate students in a potentially boring activity?

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