Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Answer Me This {Speaking in Complete Sentences}

Since the beginning of the school year, my second graders have been working on writing and speaking in complete sentences.  While both can be tricky, it's especially easy for students to speak in fragments or to communicate incomplete thoughts. 

Every once in a while, I like to have my students focus on the skill of speaking in complete sentences.  That is, I give them time to practice this skill exclusively.

I like to keep things simple when I can, and this activity is perfectly simple.  I typed up a set of questions and printed them on colored paper. 


I told the students that they would review/practice their speaking skills by working with a partner. I further explained that they were required to answer each question in the form of a complete sentence.  I teach my second graders to restate the question, so I reminded them that they needed to do this as they practiced.

Next, I modeled acceptable and unacceptable responses. To do this, I read one of the questions and provided a sample answer.  The students showed thumbs up if the answer was a complete sentence and thumbs down if it was an incomplete sentence.

I then gave the students time to practice their skills.  Each pair of students sat facing one another, and I walked around and provided feedback as they practiced.

At the end of the activity, each student answered 3 questions in front of the class (we sat on the carpet) and I took a speaking grade.  Sneaky, right?  Hehe.  In all seriousness, the skill is aligned with the standards and I could tell they were ready for me to assess their ability.  They rocked it! 

 
When I assessed them, I used the same questions that they practiced with, and since speaking in front of the class wasn't entirely new to them, they were familiar with the voice level required when addressing a larger group of people. After each student answered his/her questions, the class gave them a Dr. Jean "wow" cheer.  


You can grab these free question cards here

And, in case you were wondering, I did use a rubric to score the students (see below).  You can grab a copy of the free rubric here.


I love the simplicity of this idea.  Our learning strategist suggested it to me last year when I was looking for some new ideas, and it's made an appearance in my classroom several times since then.  I hope you can use the idea too! 

Toodles!


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1 comment:

  1. I love your sneaky sneaky ways of assessing your students' speaking skills! I'm sure they love the chance to get to talk, and you have a brilliant way of making it educational. Thanks for sharing!

    -Amanda
    Kindergarten Teacher at the Wheel

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