Grammar Talk Tuesdays: Nouns and Grammar Bootcamp!

29 January 2013
That's IT!  It was time for some drastic measures in my class ... and so, Grammar Bootcamp was born!  In a recent conversation with my class, I expressed my frustration about their frequent forgetfulness regarding ending punctuation and capital letters.  It's not like they don't KNOW they need them, they are sometimes just ... well, lazy.  We talked about what we could do about it, and at their suggestion, we decided upon rewriting the "offending" sentence 10 times (before you think I'm too mean, or super old school, I want to again stress that this was their suggestion, and I would never "catch" one of my struggling writers without giving him or her a lot of assistance first).  I couldn't believe how pumped they were over this - they even asked if they could create posters to help them remember.  Well ... OKAY!  I decided to turn the poster-making into a contest - I told them we'd do a secret ballot vote when they were finished, and I'd turn the poster with the most votes into a real poster (LOVE me some Vistaprint!).

We finished our posters today and I put them up so we could vote.  I used my magnetic numbers to keep the anonymous aspect to it (I have my magnetic numbers available as a free download on google docs HERE.  Just print them out on magnetic paper and cut out).  We voted today as a class, but we're going to ask the rest of the students in the lunch room to help us out and vote tomorrow (the posters are up in the lunchroom right now). 

Some of the front-runners so far:

I can't wait to share our completed bulletin board with you!

We also added a second entry to our grammar journals over the week.  We looked at the different types of nouns, so we made a 6-flap shutterfold for them.  We had the names on the outside of the flaps, and the definitions and examples on the inside.  Quick and easy.

The left-side of the page has the definition of the concept, the learning goal in student-friendly language, the proof (just a quick worksheet about nouns) and the reflection (sorry I forgot to get pictures of the completed journals this week - for the reflection I asked them to write about what new information they learned, or what surprised them.

That's about it - we're moving on to pronouns next - should be an easy one as we've discussed it a lot in writing - especially when writing from 1st or 3rd person point of view.

Happy Tuesday!



  1. My students sound like your students! I can remind them when they are working on final drafts and I still have offenders! I agree itch you, I think it's laziness.

    I love the posters.

    My Journey to 5th Grade


  2. LOL! #6 using "prosecuters" made me smile. Great idea to get them pumped about undoing the laziness! I hope (for your sanity) it works!
    ideas by jivey

  3. You must have my class! Gosh, darn! They constantly forget to do this and I'm pulling out my hair! We will definitely do these this week! Thank you for sharing this idea with us!!!

  4. I love the magnetic numbers...I had no idea there was paper like that! (You learn something new every day!) :O)

    Super cute posters! I love the one that you signed saying you approved the message! You're students are awesome! (I'm sure you know that!)

    We just finished pronouns...Have fun!

    Collaboration Cuties

  5. Clever! What a superb idea to accomplish two tasks/objectives-student motivation and accountability! SMILES!

  6. I love your ideas, Jen. I just started interactive notebooks with a small group of students who were feeling frustrated about reading strategies - they like the notebooks and seem to take more ownership of what they're learning.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  7. Oh, I've got so many lazies these past couple of weeks! It is like the Christmas break zapped all the spark and attention out of a few of them!! I think your Wanted Posters are a FANTASTIC idea for highlighting the problem... I may just try that myself!

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. The wanted posters are so cute! I bet the kids had a blast creating them. And, of course, I love the foldable!

    Teaching in Room 6

  9. My favorite is definitely #14. For what it's worth! I thought it was just my third and fourth graders who forgot caps and punctuation. Now I know it just never goes away!! Thanks for sharing--I needed some smiles this evening.

  10. Thank-you so much, everyone! I was so scared that when I posted this, you would all think, "Oh my goodness - she makes her students write lines???" and then click "unfollow". And it's comforting to know my students aren't the only one with the lazies ... but we're trying HARD to change that!!!

  11. What a great idea! I think it would be worth using for spelling as well. My kids think that capital letters can go anywhere in any word. They get frustrated when I say a word is wrong if it has a capital letter in it and it isn't a proper noun. Thank you for the idea.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom

  12. This is great-I think my class might be excellent candidates for Grammar Bootcamp, too. It's driving me crazy!

  13. Super cute idea! I thought I was the only one struggling with my 4th graders and grammar... Thanks for sharing!

  14. This is fab! My kids LOVE making WANTED signs (we do them in Science for different types of germs and diseases). Seems like they had a blast!