How and Why To Use Scrambled Sentences In Elementary

There are many factors that go into reading comprehension. There’s decoding, vocabulary, grammar, fluency, and sentence structure, to name a few (check out my post here to learn how teach reading to follow directions).

Sentence structure sounds simple, but for younger students, it can be a challenging topic. They have to understand the components of a sentence and how to put them together in a way that sounds fluent and natural. That’s no easy task! 

Sentence structure is important because the way sentences are put together can make a huge difference in meaning. This is also a huge part of developing writing skills. When students understand sentence structure, they become better writers! 

scrambled sentences

One of the best ways to work on sentence structure is by using scrambled sentences. 

This is a pretty popular method, for a good reason! It works! Students will get practice with capitalization, comprehension, fluency, content, sight words, and punctuation. To do this, give your students parts of a sentence for them to arrange into the right order. 

I love using these in my classroom because they are so easy to use and versatile. You can base them around themes and can be used for small group instruction, centers, or for individual practice at a desk. 

In my experience, students LOVE trying to figure out how to arrange the words into sentences. 

Another reason these are so versatile is that you can base them on common, grade-level appropriate sight words that can be practiced over and over in context. 

Interested in trying them out for yourself? Check out my free Cinderella Scrambled Sentences Resource. 

scrambled sentences

This FREE themed sentence scramble has a total of 33 cards for students to arrange in the correct order to build a sentence and then write them. 

scrambled sentences

If you love them, make sure to check out the full bundle! 

You’ll get 13 scrambled sentences products with different themes. Halloween, Fairy Tales, Thanksgiving, Sight Words, Presidents Day, Martin Luther King, and more! 

scrambled sentences

All of these activities are perfect for first, second, or third grade students. I love these because they are effective and easy for teachers to prepare and organize for centers.

Are you using scrambled sentences in your lessons? Let me know in the comments!

The Importance Of Reading To Follow Directions

In first and second grade, students are starting to get the hang of reading. We spend so much time focusing on reading-level books and reading comprehension. It is so important! 

reading to follow directions

However, another important part of learning to read is reading to follow directions! 

As first or second grade teachers, we may be surprised to find that students didn’t follow directions. They continue to ask questions about how to do things even though the instructions have been explained and listed. 

Reading to follow directions is a skill that students need to learn. They don’t just naturally understand it when they learn to read. Their whole lives so far, they have learned what to do by being told or shown. This is a new way of communicating so it is important to focus on this in the earlier grades so they are able to use this skill in day-to-day life.

reading to follow directions

Here are some ways you can teach your students how to read to follow directions.

 

  1. Always list directions on the board. This may seem obvious, but it’s important so it is worth mentioning. Use big letters and a numbered list to help them understand the format. 
  2. Go over commonly used words in directions that they may not know. Something that can trip them up big time with reading to follow directions is words they don’t know or are struggling to sound out. Looking at instructions full of words they don’t understand can be overwhelming and discouraging for them. Going over those words ahead of time will boost their confidence. 
  3. Use worksheets that have instructions listed on them. Tell students that the instructions are on the worksheets so they can read it to find out how to complete it. 
  4. Make it fun with games! Create centers that focus on reading directions. In each center, include the instructions for a simple game that students have to read in order to play. You can also pair students up, and have them race to read their instructions to complete a task first. There are so many possibilities! 

Reading to follow directions is a skill that students will need for their whole lives. College assignments, job applications, instruction manuals, the list goes on! Practicing and perfecting this skill early on is vital and will set them up for success later on. 

Another great way to practice this skill is with this Reading To Follow Directions resource! 

reading to follow directions

This bundle comes with activities for every month of the year that will have your students perfecting their reading to follow directions skills.

Students demonstrate reading comprehension by simply reading sentences and coloring a picture to follow the directions.

They can read the sheet using many sight words and then follow the directions to color pictures. It’s fun and creative!

Try out some free activities with my FREE 120 Day of School Read To Follow Directions resource. 

You can also try out my Veterans Day Read and Follow Directions resource here! 

 

 

reading to follow directions

Looking for more back to school resources and tips? Check out my post here! 

How To Use Mathematical Glyphs In The Classroom

Have you ever used glyphs in your classroom? Do you know what a “glyph” is?

glyph is “the specific shape, design, or representation of a character”. This representation is a collection of visual objects. These visual objects are collectively called a Glyph.

Glyphs are fun activities and worksheets that keep kids engaged, focused, and help students learn to decode data .

These skills are important in math, science, and social studies. Glyphs build skills, like counting, time, directionality, and practice reading comprehension. Students read and follow directions.

Teachers Love Glyphs Because:

  1. They are NO PREP.
  2.   They require students to use reading skills. It is especially helpful when the glyph legends used are written using sight words. That way students are practicing reading their sight words in context.
  3.  Graphing glyphs by different attributes each day means several days of lessons from just 1 glyph!

glyphs

Students Love Glyphs Because:

  1.  They get to color, cut, and assemble. (Some glyphs are just color.)
  2. They get to post their glyph where everyone can see and they can see how many others are alike or different.
  3. Glyphs are interactive and the students change their glyph daily to graph for a different attribute.

glyphs

How to Use Glyphs in the Classroom

So how have I used glyphs in the classroom? There are so many different ways that I could probably write a book! However, here are just a few ideas. Please note that these ideas are done over several lessons.

glyphs

 

First, in whole group instruction, I  discuss what glyphs are and why we use them. Next, I draw a picture as an example on chart paper. Then I use the students to make a graph. For example, I line all the boys up on one side of the room and all the girls up on the other side. After that, we discuss the differences in mathematical terms.

glyphs

“Which do we have more of, girls or boys? How many more ____ than ___? Can we make a math sentence to show this information?” 

Many times I use glyphs in my small group instruction. This of course depends on the level of students I am teaching. Other times I place the glyph in a center as a “Have-To” activity. Students can also complete their glyph as independent work and save them until math time when we begin to graph the results.

Depending on the month, I show students the glyph and explain how to follow the directions on the legend. Some months are “color only”, some are “color and cut out”, others are “color, cut out, assemble”, and then others are “color, cut out, assemble and complete a picture.”

glyphs

After all students have completed their glyph, I choose an attribute for graphing. For example, “Today we are going to graph by the color of your eyes.” Each day I choose a different attribute from the legend. For about the 1st five minutes of math, we discuss the graphing information. Sometimes there is a class graph that we also fill out daily.

Depending on the level of students, I have them write statements with their data. For example, “I am a girl. I like school.”

Preschool and Kindergarten Students LOVE Glyphs Too!

Glyphs can be used with any age group. If you teach Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten, use glyphs in your small group instruction as a “listening and following directions” lesson. Then use title cards with pictures so they can graph their glyphs independently. I use painter’s tape so the paper doesn’t tear when they remove their glyphs.

TIPS FOR TEACHERS

In conclusion, here are some things to keep in mind when using glyphs:

  • Teach students what glyphs are and how to graph results
  • Preview the legend to be sure it is appropriate for the level of students you teach
  • Decide how you want students to complete their glyph – small group, centers, or independently
  • Choose an attribute each day to graph by
  • Discuss graphing results in mathematical terms – greater than, less than, how many more, how many less, half of the class, fewer than, more than, etc.
  • Depending on the level of your students, have them write statements about their data

NOTE: Unless the glyph is used as a center activity, I ALWAYS staple the legend to the back of the glyph. This is so that parents will see the educational value and not think the child is just coloring at school.

If you have never tried glyphs, grab your FREE glyph HERE!

glyphs

If you and your students enjoy this, take a look to see glyphs for each month of the school year plus more! You can find individual months or you can find them all together in a money-saving bundle.

glyphs

For another fun activity, check out my Fairytale Glyphs Activities and Centers here! 

glyphs

For more fun in the classroom, check out my post here on how to make a game spinner!

 

For more fun in the classroom, check out my post here on how to make a game spinner!