Writing Sentences Using Dolch Nouns

I have created a new unit on writing sentences that is on my teacher store (price $4.50).

I love this unit because it covers more than one skill. Dr. Dolch compiled the most commonly used nouns in children’s literature, and that is what I have based my unit on. Students read and write using a new noun with each worksheet. As there are 95 nouns, I have created 95 worksheets–enough for an entire school year!

Writing is a skill, and it needs to be practiced regularly. There is a big difference between dictating a good sentence, and actually writing one. These sheets focus on writing sentences, and then editing them. It is a simple concept, but if students practice writing on a regular basis, they will really start to improve and be more conscientious of the process. This should also help students when it comes to the short constructed response portion on state testing–an area where students often fall short.

Hop on over to my store if you are interested!

Sentence Unit on Teachers Notebook

Sentence Unit on Teachers Pay Teachers

Sentence 1 The Grass-1


Free Thanksgiving Concept Map!

I love the month of November, Thanksgiving, and all the fun activities and crafts you can do surrounding the holiday.

Here is a fun, free concept map I created to help with writing about the meaning of Thanksgiving. Students then use these maps to help write a paragraph about the topic. I recommend reading a story about Thanksgiving and brainstorming as a class first.

Concept maps are an especially good tool for visual learners. I hope this helps!

Download here: Thanksgiving concept map freebie

Thanksgiving concept map freebie-1



Teaching Writing and a Freebie!

One of my favorite subjects to teach is writing. If you show an enthusiasm for writing, and pick interesting topics, students really begin to enjoy writing as well.

Each morning, all year, I started my class with a writing prompt. I taught a range of abilities that included non-readers to readers, ages 6-9.

Here are the steps and how I did it:

  • I used my overhead (then my smartboard projector once I got one) and wrote the beginning prompt at the top of the screen. For example: My favorite summer activity is
  • I put a line under the prompt, and then one by one, I called on students and wrote their answers under the line. The students copied the prompt and their answer. I would alternate colored markers so the students would copy the correct answer. I would also use the actual whiteboard if I needed more space.
  • Eventually, the students began to write more on their own. I would always do the first sentence for them on the overhead, and then depending on their grade and ability, they had to add one to three more sentences themselves.

It was a slow process, but the students really got the hang of it. I also realized an added bonus–the kids got really good at copying from the whiteboard to their paper! This helped with other subjects as well.

I would always have fun lined paper with a border on it on the desks for the kids when they entered the class in the morning, as well as the overhead turned on.

This was more of a teaching process than free journaling–I love that too, but I wanted to actually teach how to write sentences–it was a guided process.

More and more, state testing is about the short constructed response, and students often do poorly on this; writing daily makes kids comfortable with the process (starting with a capital, ending with an end mark, a complete thought, practicing printing and spacing, etc.).

If your class is too big to work with each student daily, then alternate groups, or have a volunteer work with a small group.

Here is how I started each Monday: This weekend I

Try this on Mondays, and please let me know how it works!

Download: Weekend News

Weekend News-1


Spelling Practice Sheets

My spelling practice worksheets were getting a little shabby (having been photocopied repeatedly), so I decided to make some new ones.

These are designed for 15 words or less. The packet includes one page for: writing each word three times, putting words in ABC order, using the words to write sentences, a pre-test, and a test page.

While these practice sheets can be helpful, what really matters is that you review the spelling patterns. Also, if there are new vocabulary words, the best way to help your child/students learn those is by using the words in context.

Free download: Spelling Practice Worksheets