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Help with Language Standards

Elementary teachers are faced with the challenge of teaching a wide range of subject matter during the school day.  We plan , prep and teach lessons for reading, writing, math, science, social studies, spelling, and grammar.  It's a lot!!

I don't know about you....but I sometimes struggle to find ways to teach all of that in a meaningful way.  When the common core was introduced and I had a gander at the language standards that were required....I about flipped my lid.  I always did my best to teach language and grammar, but never in a really formal way.  It was clear that I needed to figure it!

Language and grammar concepts need to be DIRECTLY taught.  This instruction can be integrated into your reading and/or writing block or as a separate part of your day.  If you have a spelling block, you could include language instruction at that time, or you might have to choose which subject is more critical to your group of students.

I try to address language and grammar in THREE ways....


An interactive Language Notebook can be a great learning resource for your students, as well as a great tool for future reference.  The Language Notebook that I have put together is an all-in-one reference tool for teaching CCSS language standards.

Each page includes a brief, kid-friendly lesson on the concept, shows examples and then gives guided practice exercises.  The partner page is a journal prompt that requires students to apply the language concept in a short writing exercise.

There is a similar page for each CCSS standard.  Each lesson usually only takes 15-30 minutes, depending upon your students and their prior experience with language/grammar.  We can usually fit in 2-3 lessons per week.  As a bonus...assessments are included to check for student understanding!


Of course, students will need review and practice of each concept, multiple times throughout the school year in order to solidify their learning.  Students LOVE games, especially interactive games on the Smart Board.  I have created a collection of language games for the Smart Board that are perfect for reviewing the common core language standards.  We usually do the notebook page first and then play a related interactive game several times throughout the week.  The games only take a few minutes and can be played during transition periods in your day.


In addition to these review games, I like to include daily language exercises as part of our morning work.  The Language Morning Work pack that I have created covers all common core language standards and is a perfect review of these concepts.  One page to copy....and it lasts all week!  I copy the language exercise on the front and math practice on the back.  Students can usually finish this in 10 minutes.  Day 5 is always paragraph practice OR an editing exercise.

So there you have it.....THREE ways you can easily cover those pesky language standards in a way that is engaging and effective for your students.

Thanks for visiting today.  I'd love to hear how you tackle language and grammar in your classroom!  Have a great week!


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I am sitting here in my PJs on New Year's Day and was thinking about what's important for me this year.   I was thinking that I really need and want to put ME first this year.  I have so many things that I have put on the back burner for the past year or so, and I want to start to move forward on some things that make me happy.  I thought I'd share these with you so that I get them down in writing....kind of makes it more official!


I have been a slug lately and it doesn't feel good.  It feels BAD.  I'm not talking about training for a marathon, or joining a crazy boot camp.  I just want to incorporate exercise and movement into my daily life.  I haven't always been a slug.  In fact, there was a time in my life when I was in GREAT shape and it felt so good.  I want to get back to that.  I know it is good for me, both physically and mentally!


I know these first two things are so cliche for new year's day, but I also know that they are the key to my true happiness.  I have given up "poisonous" foods before, such as sugar, sugar substitutes, white flour, grains, and processed foods.  It is the "secret" to my well-being.  Those poisonous foods make me feel sad, anxious, fat, slow, and mentally clogged.  Not to mention bloated...ugh.  So, why do I keep going back to them?  I think I am done with that...not just for a few weeks but forever (???!!! did I just make a commitment?).  You heard it it's in writing!


I am a bit of an introvert.  Okay...more than just a bit.  I am SHY and socially awkward.  I am sure most people feel that way, but it holds me back in a lot of ways.  I say no to things when I really want to say yes.  I really love people, but they scare me in a lot of ways.  I want to be liked and respected and fun and I put way too much pressure on myself to be those things.  So, I am going to be "Yes Woman".  Or at least I am going to try.....


I started this thing and I want to take it more seriously.  I enjoy it so I want to do it more.  Nuff said.


I enjoy creating things...especially things that other beautiful teacher people appreciate and find useful.  TPT has been a special part of my life that's just for me.  It gives me a connection to colleagues around the world, some extra spending money, and it is something that makes me feel good about myself.  I haven't put as much time into my store as I'd like.  I have decided that I want to give it the attention and focus that it deserves....not just as a hobby.


I love fashion.  I am definitely NOT a fashionista....but I'd like to be!!  I want to improve my wardrobe and fill my closet with less frumpy things and more sexy/edgy things.  I don't plan to spend too much money on this (if that's possible), but much more time than I have in the past.  I will not be wearing heels and dresses to work any time soon....I'm talking about taking a few baby some darn cute boots!


My husband and my son deserve a better me.  I want to spend more quality time with them both this year.  My son is growing up and changing so fast.  Soon, he will be a man and I will have to nag him to call me once in a while.  My husband has a lot of health issues and life can be difficult for him.  I want to make some happy memories together this year.  I think maybe a family vacation is in order......

My daughter passed away in 2014, under some pretty traumatic circumstances.  I'd like to spend time with her too this year....working it all out....healing, forgiving and being forgiven too.  That's a journey that will go well beyond 2016.


There is something about the ocean that touches my soul.  Seeing it, standing in it, hearing it.....centers me and helps me to re-prioritize my life.  I plan to visit the ocean this year....even if I have to drive.....from Michigan.......across the country!  As a matter of fact, I'd like to set a goal of visiting the ocean once every year!

I am sure there is more that I'd like to do this year....but those are the things that I've been pondering.  I know most of you come here to my blog for teaching ideas and I hope you don't mind that I've just talked about ME!  I'd love to hear about your hopes and dreams for 2016.  Don't be shy....get it down in writing!

I know this doesn't exactly follow the CURRENTLY formula....but I am linking up anyways (I'm already taking new risks in 2016...LOL!)!