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Writing Lesson: Reducing Sentences

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Reducing Sentences Personal Anchor Chart (FREE!)- The author outlines four techniques writers can use to reduce wordy sentences. This blog post features two FREE writing reference charts.

Teaching upper elementary students to expand sentences and combine sentences has always been on my radar.... but reduce? Well, that's another story. Yes, I've helped students revise run-ons and shorten sentences that are longer than necessary, but I began to question whether this was enough... especially after I discovered that, according to the Common Core standards, fifth grade students are expected to expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.3.A). Ultimately, I decided to research this topic, and I discovered a handful of practical reduction tips that can be shared with students.

Lailah's Lunchbox: A Mentor Text Activity that Focuses on Asking Higher-Level Questions

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story- This book is featured as a mentor text activity for teaching students how to ask higher-level questions. Includes a FREE follow-up worksheet!

Welcome to our Celebrating Diversity mentor text link-up! The book I'm choosing to feature is Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi. This is a powerful read-aloud that will touch everyone in your classroom. Your Muslim students will be excited to find a proud, strong Muslim main character that may be facing difficult situations similar to the ones they face on a daily basis. Furthermore, your non-Muslim students will connect with a character much like themselves, as well, who worries about her classmates' and teacher's opinion of her. The author of this book explains the tradition of fasting during Ramadan in a sensitive, positive manner that is perfect for the upper elementary classroom. (Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)

Recognizing and Correcting Sentence Fragments and Run-ons

Thursday, September 13, 2018
Teaching students to recognize fragments and run-ons in their writing can be difficult.  This blog post features a few tips and a FREE writing minilesson for upper elementary classrooms!

Being able to write a complete sentence is the foundation upon which all writing skills are built. It sounds simple enough, right? As we teachers know, however, some students struggle with forming a complete sentence, even in the upper elementary grades. If they make it too short and omit the all-important subject, they're left with a fragment. If they string too many ideas together and make it too long, they're left with a run-on sentence. To quote Goldilocks, it needs to be "just right". Today I'm going to share a couple tips with you that you can use as you teach your students how to recognize and revise fragments and run-on sentences.

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