Workshop Wednesday - Writing Tips - Better Sentences

Soooo happy to finally be linking up with my friend Jivey for Workshop Wednesday.

This week people are sharing writing tips for teachers and students. I want to share a lesson I did with my class today. I used the Build a Better Sentence resource from Erin at I'm Lovin Lit.

I made an anchor chart and worked with the students as they put the cards into their writing notebooks. We worked on one card at a time and brainstormed and recorded our own better sentence ideas. While we were recording our sentences I actually recorded them on wooden blocks I have in my class (IKEA ones from when my girls were little). I would build the sentence on the blocks. Then when we got to the last card, where you have to move a part from the end to the beginning, we were able to actually move the blocks around and come up with different variations. Here are some pics (ignore the messy writing - I have the worst writing when writing while teaching!!)

Then we started working through the steps again with the sentence Jill walked - but we ran out of time. I will definitely continue with this lesson and writing on the blocks :) . My tip is to pick up this freebie ASAP and use it. It is really well laid out with great examples and my students experienced real success building better sentences.

As for student tips there are two things I insist on every year - sometimes I only need to drill it in to one or two students either years it is an epidemic. I never accept a story that starts with "One day". Nothing every happens "One day". You would not start a story with Two day or Three day therefore no One day. I also do not accept the word so at the beginning of a sentence. I have had some students that every sentence starts with so or so then. Using better transition words is one of the first skills we learn in September. One way to really get the point across to students of how this makes their writing sound is to take a picture book that your class loves and read it with so or so then at the beginning of every sentence. That helps them to see what so and so then does to good writing.

Okay, one last teacher tip. If you are looking for great writing resources be sure to check out the huge sale at TPT this Thursday and Friday!! There are so many great products. Be sure to use the code TPT3 when checking out to get your 28% discount at the following stores.


  1. I love this idea! I'm always getting on my students' cases about writing 4th grade sentences. I'm gonna do this lesson too. Also like that idea of reading a book by inserting "So then" in front of every sentence. Clever!'

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  2. Loves those writing blocks!!! And, I have the NO "One day" rule too, so my students will say how about, "One sizzling, summer day"? Still NO! I'm not sure how they get hooked on that beginning, but every year I have students who want to start a story with "One day".
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. That "so" idea is awesome! I do not let students start sentences with"so," and I also outlaw "and" as a starter word. My other pet peeve is a story that starts with, "I am about to tell you..." or ends with, "I hope you enjoyed my story about..."

  4. Brilliant...I haven't thought about doing this before. I used to write on blocks when I taught Kinder garten and the kids were learning sight words. This is perfect even for my fifth graders that give me super lazy sentences. I know they didn't learn this from me....
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  5. Great, will definitely use this one with my Grade 4. Thanks, Alex

  6. Thanks so much for linking up! I love Erin's product too- I need to work it in more. My pet peeve is when a story ends with "and then I woke up. It was all a dream!" AKA- I'm too lazy to really figure out a good solution or conclusion to my story....... :-P


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