Common Core Connection
This lesson is about all about using verb tense correctly in simple sentences. Like most of the standards I decided to break this one down into a chunk that I know my students can master in an hour lesson and that will help build to mastery of the larger skill.
When I think of verbs, I think of my first graders playing. I always ask my students to act out the verbs as I name a few when I am introducing verbs. I think getting them to do the action will help them remember the vocabulary that is attached. Then I explain that verbs have different forms and endings that tell what time period they are telling about, and only certain verbs/endings can be used to convey certain times, past, present, or future. We will spend a great deal of time on this because so many students struggle with verb tense.
First, I play a quick verb video, because kids love this stuff and they get very excited about learning. Then I share the plan for the lesson and ask the class to chant the lesson goal three times: I can use a verb correctly to convey the right tense in a sentence.
I show them some verbs that are used to convey past, present, and future tenses. I create a chart for present, past, and future tense. I also label our math calendar as present, past, and future instead of yesterday, today, and tomarrow. The first column is present tense. I might write "I stop, drop, and roll." I explain that present tense is now or today. Then I write, "I stopped, dropped, and rolled." under the past tense. Under future tense, I write, "I will stop, drop, and roll." I add a few more examples using some irregular verbs, too, including: am, will, and was.
The students go to their desk with their partner. So, I distribute one past present future chart to each pair and ask them to write a sentence about something that happened in the past in the column labeled past, on about the present in the present column, and one sentence about the future in that column. After about eight minutes I allow the groups to share across the table. Then they can work for about eight more minutes.
In teaching to Common Core, I am really focusing on having students learn from each other and collaborating. I find students seem to learn more and be more engaged when their peers give them feedback. It seems to be more meaningful when it comes from their peers.
The class and I meet in the lounge area to discuss what they have created and for at least two groups to read their sentences. This allows them to work on their speaking and listening skills. I am very clear on the expectations for their behavior. I say, "Sit criss cross applesauce pockets on the floor, hands in your laps talking no more. Look at the speakers eyes. Listen to what they say."
After each presenter I model adding to the groups work. I sometimes disagree and explain why. This teaches them to do the same thing. Evaluating others work is a higher order thinking task that I try to incorporate in my student reflection. I do ask the student to evaluate and give their peers feedback after each presenter.
As the lesson winds down I try to do some type of formative assessment. So, I ask each person to tell their partner one sentence and name the verb. The partner must tell them if they agree or disagree. Then the partner must do the same. So, I am listening closely to assess the discussion. Next, I share what I have learned from the class and I share some of their discussions.
Now, this is hard for many ELL, most of my class, so I am sure to explain that Rome was not built in a day, and we will not master this skill today. We will spend the rest of the year in writing and language learning which verbs go with which nouns. Common Core has a lot of repetition in ELA and this is one skill that seems to take all year to master. We do chant three times: I can use a verb in a sentence. This helps my students remember the lesson goal.