A List Maker's Life: Picnic Table Talk: Writing

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Picnic Table Talk: Writing

This summer the kids have been practicing their writing skills using Cut-Up Sentences to record our daily activities. Many days after rest time we work together to add a page to our summer journal. Combining this activity with our time spent playing Er-u-di-tion (a fantastic sight word building board game) has certainly increased Gavin's recognition of the Kindergarten core words.
This practice is effective for:
~Helping children put words to their stories
~Learning Sight Words
~Early Reading
~Learning Letter and Word Spacing
~Printing Practice
and more!

There are many different ways that parents and teachers choose to use the Cut-Up Sentence strategy for developing writing, printing, and spelling skills.

PALS has an instruction sheet explaining their process for Cut-Up Sentences

Mrs. S's Kindergarten Blog has another method for your consideration.

The Many Lives of the Cut-Up Sentence

How To Help Your Child Put Together a Cut-Up Sentence

The way the kids and I use it is just one way you might like to try.

1. The kids dictate a complete sentence to tell me about a highlight from their day.

2. I write the sentence for them, modeling appropriate word spacing, punctuation, and uppercase letters. Then read the sentence back to them, pointing at each word as I read.

3. I cut the entire sentence off the bottom 1/4 of the paper

4. They use their scissors to cut the sentence strip into individual words

5. The words are mixed up for the kids to sort and put back into order

6. We add glue to the bottom of the paper and they place the words back on the paper in order to create their sentence

7. At this point Anne Hope begins her illustration while Gavin copies the sentence in his own printing

8. They are encouraged to add an illustration that appropriately represents their story and helps them remember what the sentence says

9. The kids "read" back their sentence to me in review. Each day we go through and read the sentences from the previous days as well

They both seem to enjoy this activity and hopefully it is helping them to develop quality writing skills for the future.
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  1. I am going to bookmark this post so I will have your ideas and these links later. Of course, I am not at this point yet with my 4 year old and my 9 year old is past it. But this sounds great in another year or so for me!

    Thank you for sharing this!! BTW, how old are your kids--I cannot remember?

  2. Another great idea! Say, does the sentence at the bottom of the post say "I love playing with Lilly" cuz we love playing with you guys too! :) I will put this in my home preschool arsenol for the start of a new school year. You are such a good momma!

  3. Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  4. I really like this idea. Anna enjoys playing "puzzles" on Starfall - they have short sentences there that you need to put together. Of course, she puts them together based on shapes, but maybe we can try cut up sentences at some point in time too.

  5. Awesome post. I need to look into that game. We have sight words bingo.

    I really like the cut-up sentences too.

  6. What a fantastic idea! Thanks Katie for sharing! You're always so inspiring. So sorry I haven't been around much this summer. The kids start back to school this week and I think getting back to a routine is going to be really nice!

  7. I really like this idea! I love that you have them narrate the sentence to you and then you give them the sentence strip to combine - really neat! I will use this idea for sure! *Ü*


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