Teaching Tips: Seeing Literacy Lessons in a New Way!

Today’s “teaching tips” post is just to plant a seed in your mind…you know all those things you have told your students over and over?  The things they STILL aren’t always remembering to do?  Try making a little mini chart about it and tuck it in an interesting place.  When the students notice it, TALK about it…and then talk about it all day.  Take the sign with you as you walk down the hall.  Take the sign with you to lunch.  Make a HUGE deal about it…then hang it in a prominent place in your room for a while.

Let’s look at a few of these teaching tips!

These visual displays get students talking, thinking, and noticing–and you just might see some changes.  Want to see what I mean?  Check out a few grammar and spelling tips hanging in my room right now!
Here are a few pics to show you what I did!
One of my pet peeves is writing “a lot” as one word.  I made this mini poster and tucked it behind an anchor chart.  It only took a few minutes before the first student said, “Hey–what’s that?”
‘Why, I am so glad you asked!  Let me show you a little something I’ve been seeing in your writing!”
Or this teaching tip…after fourteen million mistakes in their assignment books, I posted this one right above our calendar a few weeks ago.  “Hey–it’s not May!  Why is that there?”  Funny they should ask, right?  It became a perfect little mini lesson about where the commas go when writing a date.   It still “lives” there as a reminder.
Not sure if you can tell, but this sign is hanging in our doorway.   I left it there at eye level for the first few hours (not ours or ares–HA) and refused to answer questions about it.  It piqued their interest…then I took it down and taught the lesson–and then we carried that sign EVERYWHERE and every time I used the word “are” or “our” I pointed to the correct word.  I have actually seen improvement in this one …and I had MANY students misusing the two words.

Last but not least!

OK…one more.  We have a HUGE fragment problem in my classroom, so I have banned starting sentences with these connecting words.  I am quick to point out to students that you CAN have a good sentence that starts with them…but it’s tricky and more times than not, these should be connecting words in the MIDDLE of a sentence.  Where is this sign?  Hanging right above the sink in my room.  I point to it often.  Really.  Really. Often.
So…if you want to make a point, consider shaking up the message!  Put it on a bright color.  Wear it around your next.  Dangle it from your ceiling.  Tape it on students’ desks.  They will remember it–and, I can’t lie, it’s pretty fun too!
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