Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Classroom Tour pt 2- Grammar Goodness

In case you've forgotten, I'm a bit of a grammar nut.  My favorite text to inspire fun and purposeful grammar instruction is Mechanically Inclined  (read my review here). 

There are several ways this text and method of instruction manifests itself in my classroom.  Namely, the walls are covered in our imitated sentences.

The rule of thumb is students are allowed to display their sentences on any wall and they can stay up until they fall down.  This seems to really get students excited about grammar and showing off their uniquely constructed work off of whatever concept we're practicing.  Admittedly, the room looks a bit crazy at times, but I remind myself that it shows the serious work we're doing.

The sentences above are based on our beginning of the year work discovering the basic parts of a sentence.  (And a few on serial commas and appositives.) For some reason students seem to have nouns down, but struggle a bit more with the concept of a verb.  To help reinforce this, a few years ago my students helped me create our verb rocking chair. 

I took a formerly unfinished wood rocking chair and spray painted it black.  Each student chose one favorite verb and used acrylic paint to write it onto the chair.  (tip: I had them write 3 verb choices on an index card to prevent multiples and any that were too crude.  I didn't need a whole chair covered in "burp.")  Then I sewed the cushion for a pop of color from Eric Carle patterned-fabric.  Now it's my favorite special chair for read- alouds.
In another part of the room we have a "Grammar Brushstrokes" wall to remind us of all the work we've done, including mentor sentences, wall charts, and our imitated sentences.

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