Every week we have a new word in second grade. We think about the word, discuss the word, use the word in sentences, and do our best to use it in our conversations.
On Monday I put the word in a “cloud” on the whiteboard. The kids write the word in their word journals (spirals) and write what they “think” the word means (some of these are quite fun).
On Tuesday we revisit the word, I use it in a sentence. We look up the “real” definition and find out what part of speech it is.
On Wednesday I use the word in another sentence on the whiteboard. This is the fun day. My sentences are never short. My sentences are never correct, and my sentences are always fun to fix! We not only use our word we get some great editing experience.
The other day we were correcting our sentence and I was going through my usual slapstick of “why do I have to have a capital T for the “The” at the beginning of the sentence?” “I like the little t better!” “It’s cuter!” When I said, “OK I see one more mistake, who else sees it?” Blank. Crickets. No one could find the mistake.
I try again. “Ok look closely, I’ll give you a hint, it is punctuation.” Again, blank. Crickets. One clever girl piped up “we have a period.”
“Ok what other punctuation could we need?” “Listen to how I read it.” Hands high in the air. Bottoms scooting from their seats to be the first to answer.
“J- what do we need?” “A comma!” YAY brilliant children! “Good, where does it go?” “After that but” ,he beams. Others snicker.
“Close J, but the comma goes before my but.” Giggles ensue. I act as if I can’t hear them.
“Do you see J?” “My comma goes before my but, not after my but.” Dorky face from the teacher, and fits of giggles from all.
“Ok everyone repeat after me, the comma goes before the but not after, and before the and not after.” Peals of laughter and reciting.
That night I ask my parents to ask their kids where a comma belongs in a sentence. Many said they’d already been told, and the others cracked up when they heard it went before my but!
A few days later another teacher walks in while we are editing our sentence. She was just in time for the kids to tell her exactly where the comma belongs!