I've had a few e-mails about how I am able to make time for grammar every day. One sneaky way that I sneak in extra time for grammar lessons is during our "News of the Day". Whoever brings the snack each day is the leader. They get to lead us in calendar and give the "News of the Day" during our PM Meeting.
"News of the Day" is an interactive writing time where I don't share the pen a whole lot, but my students are helping spell and "grammarize" the entire time.
The "News of the Day" goes something like this:
We gather on the rug, the kid of the day stands by the easel, and I begin...
Me: Today is
students: Capital T-o-d-a-y i-s
Me: Monday, - if you don't know how to spell that word, check the calendar behind you. Give me a thumbs up when you are ready to help spell.
students: Capital M-o-n-d-a-y comma
Me: October 10capital O-c-t-0-b-e-r 10 comma 2011 period
As they spell, I am writing this down. If they chorally spell a word wrong or forget a capital or punctuation, I continue anyway.
Then the leader spells and writes their name on the chart paper...
students: s-a-i-d comma quotes
The kid says their news and we follow a similar format for writing their news. This is where I am able to model, teach, and have us practice strategies for spelling unknown words. We do a lot of counting sounds and thinking about resources we have around our classroom that could help us.
At the end of their news, we make sure everything is correct and the leader reads it to us. Then we read it aloud together. The leader takes it back to their seat to draw an illustration.
At the end of the month, I staple them into a big book, hang them on a hanger, and it becomes a favorite reading activity for my students.
As the year goes on, we study all sorts of things through our news... we make contractions, search for "hunks and chunks", swap out common words for better synonyms... we even find words that talk about common misspellings. I always have kids who spell saw "SALL" because they tend to say it that way. Last week, someone's news said they saw four deer before school that morning so we had a great chat about how to correctly say the word so we could correctly spell the word.
I love doing "News of the Day". I think it's a fun way for us to write and learn together... and we love re-reading old news too! :) Here's a picture of some of my sweeties reading the news together this afternoon.
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