January 2015 - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom
Hi friends! I hope you've had a fabulous week this week!

We have been working hard in my classroom on our Snow Globe Stories. I don't know about your kids, but I imagine they are a lot like mine... when it comes time to edit and revise, they read it and SAY they've edited and revised, but I don't ever see any real proof that they have done it.

I decided to create an activity for the students to follow that would guide them in editing and revising their writing.
Freebie Rainbow Editing and Revising Activity with Ideas by Jivey.
And you're in luck!! You can grab this activity for free!

This has been the best way that I've found to make the kids actually PAY ATTENTION to what they are reading. I talk to them about paying attention to how much writing they have between those red and orange circles (in other words, do you have a giant run-on sentence?), and if all of the yellow and green words are the same they need to change it up,  and of course if they only have one or two blue lines, they should consider adding some more.
Freebie Rainbow Editing and Revising with Ideas by Jivey.
This has been an absolute game changer in my classroom, and I hope that it will help you in yours, too!
Freebie Rainbow Editing and Revising with Ideas by Jivey.
As you can see above, the students see when they need "more color" and they work to correct it. :o)

What do you do in your classroom to make sure the students are actually making changes to their stories? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Hello friends! I am blogging today to tell you some very important information about changes that have been made to TPT. They aren't bad changes at all, but it's something that us sellers want you to know about...
As you know, providing feedback on purchases AND freebies is equally important to sellers. Not only is it polite to show that you are grateful, but it helps us know we've done something you like and we should continue! Or, of course, use it if you need to provide constructive criticism...

However, when you download freebies now, instead of getting the option to immediately leave feedback, TPT shows you some other items you might like, too- which makes sense because you can't really leave feedback until you use it, right?
BUT it's important to remember to go back and leave feedback once you have used it! How do you do that? How will you ever remember? Well, TPT made it easy! First, go to your purchases:
Then, click on the Free Downloads tab!
Last, click on the "provide feedback" link under the product name. Remember, the more you show sellers you love our freebies, the more motivated we are to keep making freebies for you!

And hey- check out this great tip from Diane at Fifth in the Middle! If you want to make sure you've left feedback on everything, you can sort your downloads!
Now, what if you downloaded a freebie and realized it wasn't really what you thought and you aren't going to use it? No harm, no foul! You didn't pay for it, so no loss for you, right? There is no need to tell the seller this- remember, feedback is given after you've used it. But please try to remember to leave some love when you DO use it. Here is an example of why I say this:
Almost 7,000 people downloaded this freebie, and 34 people rated it. Now, did 6,857 people download and actually use it? Probably not. But odds are, more than 34 people did. It's okay if you don't remember to go in right away and leave feedback- but when you go leave feedback on paid products (gotta get those credits!!) go ahead in to your freebies and leave some love on those, too!

And hey, if you don't want something in your free downloads list anymore, just click that little green X on the right of the item in the list that says "remove."
And last but not least, here is a tip about your purchased products and freebies- sometimes, sellers make mistakes. And SOMETIMES, they add to the product you've already gotten. When either of these things happens, they mark the file as revised. But if you are like me and have a bunch of things in your lists, you might not see those revisions right away... so you also want to sort by "Recently Revised" every now and then and check to see what you might be missing!


Please spread the word to all of those you know who download from TPT! :o)

I'm excited to say I took enough pictures this week to link up for Five For Friday... and it was only a 4 day week!!
Imitation Sentences with Ideas by Jivey
I shared with you on Wednesday what we were doing with our mentor sentence and classifying/ordering adjectives (go grab the freebies if you didn't already!) - our imitation sentences on Thursday had to include three adjectives in the correct order, of course. :o)
We have been having super cold weather, so what better time to pull out the Winter and Snow Paired Texts, right? We did close reading and annotating with Frost and King Frost this week, then today they answered the questions that went with the texts.
Winter and Snow Paired Texts with Ideas by Jivey
I had to include this constructed response answer because he is one of my students that has really struggled this year to follow the "RACE" strategy and write full responses, and he ROCKED it today! I think Santa brought him a RACE Brain for Christmas! :-P
Winter and Snow Paired Texts with Ideas by Jivey
We've been learning about the Causes of the American Revolution, so we completed some Interactive Notebook Activities...
Interactive Notebook Activities American Revolution with Ideas by Jivey
Interactive Notebook Activities American Revolution with Ideas by Jivey
 ...and some Road to Revolution DBQs!
Road to Revolution DBQs with Ideas by Jivey
Finally, thanks to that cold weather, we have been enjoying some Go Noodle Brain Breaks! Do you Go Noodle?
Go Noodle Brain Breaks with Ideas by Jivey

In fourth grade, Common Core Language Standard 4.1.D says students should correctly order adjectives within sentences... before they can order them, though, they have to understand how to classify different adjectives. I created these cards with various adjectives-
Adjective Card Freebie with Ideas by Jivey
which you can download for free!
I put three of each kind into four Ziploc bags and split my kids into four groups. I quickly made a sorting mat for them on 12x18 paper, folded into eighths, then had them work as a group to figure out where the words fit on their mat.
Adjectives  with Ideas by Jivey
Some of the words are a bit tricky because they aren't words they hear on a daily basis. Also, opinion and condition words can get hard to determine! I told them to remember a condition can be proven, while an opinion is only what someone thinks and someone else might not think the same... the students rotated to all four sets of adjective cards to practice sorting them.


We are doing this activity with my Mentor Sentence Freebie for The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg. The sentence has three different types of adjectives, so we talk about the classification of them. The accordion interactive notebook activity can be found in my Volume 2 Language Arts Notebook Companion for THIRD Mentor Sentence Unit. My students had to write one adjective from each group on their accordion once I told the group that their words were all in the correct places. (By the end of all four rotations, they had four words in each category.)
Adjectives  with Ideas by Jivey
They did a great job talking about why they thought the words went in each category, and at the end of the day, several of them said it was their favorite thing they did today! (I always ask them on their way out the door to tell me their favorite thing we did that day.)

Tomorrow, I will have them use their words from their accordion to describe a few nouns of their choice- and I want them to try to list at least four types of adjectives (in order of course)! I hope these activities are things you can use, too. Enjoy!

I'm keeping my word to blog more, and I'm linking up with two sweet friends of mine- Inspired Owl's Corner and PAWSitively Teaching!
I am going to share three things I've pinned that I hope to use this month in the classroom!
With Ideas by Jivey
How fabulous are these? It will be great for summarizing a book about MLK!
With Ideas by Jivey
Even though we TYPICALLY don't get much snow (if you don't count a couple freak years) in Georgia, I love doing snowy activities! This one is a fun one from 4th Grade Frolics- she actually does a bunch of activities over the course of the day! I love her Q-tip snowflakes!
This pin reminded me to show this adorable Pixar short before we begin our "Trapped in a Snowglobe" Narrative writing pieces!

Make sure to go check out what others have pinned to do this month, and also, make sure to follow me over on Pinterest if you don't already! :o)

With Ideas by Jivey
Several people have asked me about mentor sentences for the lower grades- the ones I originally created were for grades 3-5. Typically, third, fourth, and fifth graders have more of an understanding of parts of speech as well as more experience with reading and writing. Because of this, mentor sentences in the lower grades are going to look a bit different than the upper grades. The idea and purpose will still be the same though: exposing students to well-written sentences from quality texts will help them become better writers and have a greater understanding of how the parts of speech work together. You can read more about the theory and ideas behind mentor sentences in Jeff Anderson's books! I have adapted his ideas to create a routine that worked for elementary classrooms. :)

If you have not watched the video of me in my fourth grade class showing mentor sentences in action, I would watch that first before continuing on with this post- even though you won't be going as "deep" with lower grade students, the procedures and purposes will still be the same. Here is a video of me with a borrowed first grade class! This is the first time they have ever done mentor sentences, and you'll see how engaged they are even on the first try!
First and second graders can absolutely benefit from mentor sentences, just as upper grade students do! It might take a little longer for students to understand the routine than upper grade students, but just like with anything else, consistency is key! Here is a sentence from my first unit of mentor sentences for second graders:
Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey
Depending on your students, you might do all of this together just on chart paper, or you might have the students copy/write in a notebook, too. The things we hope for students to notice during Day 1 (Time to Notice) in the lower grades are going to be different than upper grades- they are going to be more basic. This sentence includes proper nouns, which will be the focus of the week's lessons, so it will be important to talk about why there are capital letters at the start of names.

Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey

On Day 2, working with parts of speech will definitely look very different from the upper grades, especially in the beginning of the year. I have still included the list of all the parts of speech on the lesson suggestions page for your own information and in case you have some higher level kids that are ready to go more in depth...
Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey

But, I would focus more on the part of speech skill for that week- maybe labeling just those in the sentence, or making a t-chart, like this:

Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey

Having a discussion about just the proper and common nouns in the sentence would be a great lead to a lesson where they find their own proper and common nouns in their books! You could even have them write those nouns on sticky notes and put them onto your t-chart you've created!

On Day 3, it would be a good idea to help guide the students in how to revise a sentence. One of the skills required by common core is to expand simple and compound sentences. One way to do this is to add adjectives before nouns. Giving them the sentence with blanks in front of the nouns so that students can brainstorm and help you revise the sentence first is a great way to get them thinking before they try to revise the sentence on their own.

Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey

**You can also get a modification pack for the second grade mentor sentences to provide students the sentences with blanks for revision AND imitation!**

On day 4, imitating will be the hardest part for most of the lower grades students to grasp at first, but it will be the most important for students' writing progress! Don't give up- it will come! I would suggest giving them a sentence frame, almost like a MadLib:

Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey

You can have students brainstorm with you, or you can have them try on their own after you walk them through a think-aloud of your own sentence. You should use your own judgment based on what your students are ready to do.

Mentor Sentences with Ideas by Jivey

I like to keep all of my daily lessons up on the chart each day so the students can be reminded of the focus and see our progress. Also, because the week's focus is proper nouns, I would point them out when I see them in reading, as well as do some short lessons on proper nouns throughout the week during writing/grammar time.

On Friday, I would remove the chart and sentence from the students' view so they can't just copy on the quiz. In the lower grades quizzes I've made, I have included handwriting lines to encourage proper letter formation when the students re-write the sentence properly. The quiz will assess the skill that you've focused on all week. To give you an idea, here is the answer key to the weekly quiz that goes with the lesson I've shown you:
Mentor sentence lesson key with Ideas by Jivey
I hope this helps you understand how to use mentor sentences in second grade, and even first grade in the second half of the year! If you want to try them in your classroom, you can get a freebie here!
You can also get the first set here:

You can see other mentor sentences that can be used for first grade by clicking here and second grade by clicking here. Please let me know if you have any other questions! I love to hear how they are working in your classroom, too! :o)


If you want even more IN-DEPTH step-by-step help with implementing mentor sentences, check out my courses!


For more mentor sentence ideas, follow my Pinterest board!

Ideas by Jivey walks you through the steps of how to do mentor sentences in the lower grades to improve writing and grammar.

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