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Dictation and Round Robin Proofreading!

Writing sentences from dictation is a very valuable skill!  

Dictation and Round Robin Proofreading: Writing sentences from dictation is a very valuable skill! Here are a few reasons why, and some suggestions on how!

It helps children practice writing sentences and helps them become more fluent writers. It models good grammar for them. It's a great way to catch common errors, and give immediate feedback. (Kids need that, according to brain research!)  It makes a great review for spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and even handwriting! It helps develop short term memory. Plus, kids love the challenge!

Dictation and Round Robin Proofreading: Writing sentences from dictation is a very valuable skill! Here are a few reasons why, and some suggestions on how!

I often give dictation sentences when practicing the spelling patterns each week. At the beginning of the year, the children can barely remember a simple sentence, but by the end of the year, they are writing complex sentences from dictation. I usually use white boards, that are much more forgiving than paper, although on occasion I use paper.
Dictation and Round Robin Proofreading: Writing sentences from dictation is a very valuable skill! Here are a few reasons why, and some suggestions on how!

Last week, I noticed the kids were getting a little lazy about checking their work for simple things like capitals and punctuation, and weren't even catching if they left out a word. I decided it was time to increase the challenge.  

Dictation and Round Robin Proofreading: Writing sentences from dictation is a very valuable skill! Here are a few reasons why, and some suggestions on how!

I made sure each child at each table had a different color white board marker. After dictating the sentence, and having them repeat it back to me twice (that's our routine), I gave them a couple of minutes to write their sentences.  Then I had them pass their whiteboards around the table and see if they could find anything to correct on the new board. I let them check each board around the table until their boards came back to them with all the corrections.

The next sentence I dictated was amazingly more accurate for every child. As they passed their boards, they were finding fewer and fewer of those silly mistakes.

Of course, if there were children struggling, I'd never do this activity. I'd go to those students privately and give them a hand. But knowing that their classmates were going to see their work made them a whole lot more focused to do it right to begin with! It gave them some accountability. After our final round, instead of correcting mistakes, the children were enhancing the sentences by adding quotations or phrases to make it more interesting.

I'm not big on "peer pressure", but sometimes that's just what they need!


Dictation and Round Robin Proofreading: Writing sentences from dictation is a very valuable skill! Here are a few reasons why, and some suggestions on how!

Seashore Week!

Kids love themes, and what is a better theme for the classroom than going to the beach?
Seashore Week! Kids love a fun theme. It's motivating for them and holds their interest. Here are some ideas for spending a week at the "beach!"

No, we're not going to the seashore, I'm just trying to think of fun ways to get them working and learning these last few weeks.  

Here's what we're going to do during Seashore Week:


1. Literature! First of all, there will be plenty of literature!  Here are some books I've found with a seashore or beach theme: (Click the image for a link to Amazon to find more about the book!
                        

I have a feeling I'll find more great books as I go through my classroom library as well as my school library.  I like to read several examples of fiction as well as nonfiction to give the children a real feel for what we're studying. 

2. Music and Sounds! Next, to set the mood:





Here is a Youtube video of ocean waves and sounds: very peaceful! Great background sounds!

Or try this one! I'll be playing this one when they're painting or creating!

2. Writing! After all this seashore learning, We're going to have to do some writing!  I made up some paper with a seashore theme (see image at top of page!)  For this freebie, click HERE.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seashore-Writing-Paper-4549340?utm_source=101b&utm_campaign=seashore%20writing%20paper


4. Beach Towels! Of course, I really have to get the kids into the feel of the ocean. I'll be inviting them to bring beach towels next week. My plan is to let them take out their towels during Independent Reading time.  I'll play my ocean sound CD, and they can pretend to do my very favorite summer activity... reading at the beach!

5. Beach Themed Centers!  Here's my Seashore Theme Unit Literacy and Math Centers: click the image for the link!


 Want a little more ocean fun? Here's some Science and Social Studies activities, many of which focus on water! Science and Social Studies Activities for Summer

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Science-Experiments-and-Hands-On-Social-Studies-Activities-for-Summer-3798698?utm_source=101b&utm_campaign=s%20and%20ss%20summer



What ideas do you have for Seashore Week?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

Seashore Week! Kids love a fun theme. It's motivating for them and holds their interest. Here are some ideas for spending a week at the "beach!"

 

We're in the Money!

We started working on money this week in second grade! 

We're in the money! Counting money is all about skip counting. Here's a little trick to help them remember counting quarters!

 Money is all about skip counting, so if the kids don't know how to skip count, it's going to be tough. Counting by 5s and by 10s is pretty easy for the kids, but I use a little trick from my past to count by 25s.



Brain research tells us that adding movement, as well as repetition helps the memory.



Did I mention that I was once a cheerleader?



This one dates back to the early 70s, but I think I remember my mother saying this one, so I'm guessing it dates back to about the 40s. Some of my girls volunteered to pose for the photographs. I usually call it a chant, not a cheer, so it doesn't scare away my little guys! These movements can be done in quite a manly manner, despite the daintiness you see in these lovely ladies.


A Chant for Quarters!


We're in the money! Counting money is all about skip counting. Here's a little trick to help them remember counting quarters!
Twenty five! (punch arms up and left.)

We're in the money! Counting money is all about skip counting. Here's a little trick to help them remember counting quarters!Fifty! (punch arms down and left.)

We're in the money! Counting money is all about skip counting. Here's a little trick to help them remember counting quarters!Seventy-five! (punch arms up and right.)
We're in the money! Counting money is all about skip counting. Here's a little trick to help them remember counting quarters!A dollar! (Punch arms down and right.)
We're in the money! Counting money is all about skip counting. Here's a little trick to help them remember counting quarters!Everyone for money, (Arms out to sides.)
We're in the money! Counting money is all about skip counting. Here's a little trick to help them remember counting quarters!Stand up, (bend forward, roll arms)

We're in the money! Counting money is all about skip counting. Here's a little trick to help them remember counting quarters!
and holler!  (Put arms up high.)














The kids absolutely love it! (Yes, even the boys!) It makes a nice brain break, or just a warm up for math class. The kids get to move around and practice their skip counting by 25s as well.



Instead of saying "Everyone for money", we usually insert the name of our school.



With my musical theatre background, every time we get ready for math when we're working with money, I break out into the song We're in the Money from the musical 42nd Street. I have a couple of kids in my class that are musically inclined, so last Friday at snack time, I showed them this video:



Every single kid was absolutely mesmerized! They even asked to see it again. (A couple of kids watched it a third time, while waiting for buses!) Then, when it was time to get ready for science, they all started tap dancing. Of course I let them tap dance their way to get their science materials. You can't discourage a desire for musical theatre!

Once they understand counting money, here's a fun game to practice the skill: Coin Trading Game
We're in the money! Counting money is all about skip counting. Here's a little trick to help them remember counting quarters!

Music for the Classroom

Brain research teaches us that music helps make connections in the brain.




Music for the Classroom: Here are some suggestions for music to play in the elementary classroom, and some reasons to play different kinds of music.



I play music in my classroom all the time.  Sometimes I play slow, classical music to help the children focus.  Other times, I play upbeat music to get the children involved.  I also play seasonal music to help the children "feel the season".  Here are some of my favorites:


 
Music for Concentration is one of my staples.  It's magical background music for when the children are a little too chatty and a little less focused.  I turn on this CD and they settle in and get going on their work!  This series has several titles, and my goal is to own them all.  I haven't tried one that didn't keep up with its promises!  Here are a few others in the series:

    

    
     
I have these except the Music for Thinking, which is on my wishlist.

Other great background music:

   
   
I also play a good deal of upbeat music, particularly when the children arrive in the morning. It gives them the feel that the classroom is a happy place. This is some of the music I play:
        

Of course, kids aren't limited to music designed for kids.  They get a kick out of some of this timeless music: 

    
Then of course, here are a couple of my personal favorites:  



     
And to think I haven't even mentioned showtunes! (My very favorite music!)

Here are some previous posts with suggestions for certain holidays:


St. Patrick's Day

Cinco de Mayo
Any Patriotic Holiday

I'm always looking for new resources. What music do you listen to in your classroom?

Music for the Classroom: Here are some suggestions for music to play in the elementary classroom, and some reasons to play different kinds of music.



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