...sharing strategies for teaching second graders...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sentence Recognition

I don't have a picture to go with this one, but it's fairly simple. I have a morning message board upon which I write a daily welcome. I write basically the same message for the first part of the year to familiarize students with some sight words, the date written out, etc. Here's how it looks:

Good morning!
     Today is Monday, November 14, 2011. Layla is our leader. Our exploratory class is at 9:50 a.m. Group 1 goes to Computer Lab, Group 2 goes to P.E., and Group 3 goes to Compass Lab. Remember to be responsible for your day. We are Mighty Titans!
                                 <3, Mrs. S.

This is the perfect place to put Happy Birthday to someone. I always draw music notes around Happy Birthday as if I'm singing (which I do as soon as the birthday child arrives). The reason I am sharing this is... forever and a day I wrote the sentences in two colors of dry erase marker. I didn't last year (can't figure out why I stopped), but started it back today. I am going to point out to the children that I change colors when I begin a new sentence. I also begin having students (who feel comfortable and ask to do this) write the morning message. They know it has to be approved by me before they go home or I will correct it myself.

I have found that sometimes they ignore my message if I don't draw attention to it. About three years ago (teaching third grade and putting more into the message than above), I realized my students weren't reading the message. I added in that the first student who came and told me I look beautiful today without mentioning the message board would receive a regular sized (no snack size for this!) Snickers bar. About 10:30 that morning, a fourth grade teacher walked by and read the message through our door. She came into class and told me I looked beautiful today! I cheered and told her to "Hold ON!! You win the prize!" The students acted like we were both crazy! I gave her the Snickers bar in front of the students. Needless to say, they never failed to read the board again. I didn't even have to spring for another Snickers bar, either! Shazam! :D

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