Why YOU should be teaching the Parts of Speech (Flash Freebie!)

I've really gotten into the power of parts of speech this year. One reason is due to having an EL cluster. I have 8 ELs in my room who bring 5 different home languages. Writing has been a struggle this year and I struggled with knowing how to help not only my ELs but all of my students. Solving unknown words and their meanings also presented some troubles. Talking with my teammate Kate, who also had an EL cluster, she mentioned how she was going to start doing Mentor Sentences (there's more on this below). The work I saw her doing seemed important in helping my students, so I found ways to make it happen in my room as well. Let's just say, I don't regret it one bit!

This is a doozy of a post that will hopefully bring some insight into the power of teaching parts of speech as well as ways and resources for your classroom!

What are the parts of speech?
All words in the English language can be classified into one of the 8 (or as I like to say 9) parts of speech. Words are linked together to form clear thoughts. The parts of speech include:

1. Nouns- person, place, thing, idea
2. Adjectives- describes nouns
3. Verbs- action words of states of being
4. Adverbs- describes verbs or adjectives
5. Conjunctions- link other words together
6. Interjections- sound words that hold emotions
7. Pronoun- replaces nouns
8. Preposition- shows relationship between nouns/pronouns and other words in the sentence
9. Articles (this one is sometimes left out)- signal a noun will follow (ex. a, an, the)

I created this resource with posters for each part of speech to be used with one of my center activities! To be honest, it's more for me to help me use student friendly language and have examples ready to go, but SHHHHH. No one needs to know.

How does knowing the parts of speech help students?
I noticed that it was really hard for me to help my students write clear sentences. I would always go back to the awful phrase, "Does that makes sense?" Of course it makes sense to them- otherwise, they wouldn't have written it that way! This phrase is also useless when working with ELs, as they might not know what a 'correct' sentence should sound like/look like. I was stuck. How do I help them? They didn't have the experience of identifying subject and predicate in previous grades. Parts of speech lets us start with basic sentences and build them by adding other parts of speech. Before long, students were more aware of their word choice and word order and sentences slowly started to make "more sense." Also, it made it much easier to discuss errors in their writing by naming what part of speech they are missing or how to change their part of speech so it is correct (verb tense, for example).
I've found learning about the parts of speech to be incredibly helpful with figuring out unknown words. If students know what part of speech a word is, it is easier for them to use the context around it to determine it's meaning or use a possible synonym. For example, read the following sentence:

Tamera was lumbering in the hallway with her pencil box, folder, and notebook.

Once we learned that sentences must have certain parts of speech, students can start to diagram the sentence. They will find the nouns: Tamera, hallway, pencil box, folder, notebook. They'll notice prepositions such as "in" and "with"; the pronoun "her", and the conjunction "and." All that is left is "was lumbering." Those are verbs. They now know they are looking for an action word or state of being of some type. They can then use other context clues in other sentences or prior knowledge to determine the meaning.
Using this strategy for adjectives is awesome as well!

I created this FREE resource to practice this skill. Not only are they identifying parts of speech, but they are using context clues and synonyms as well!

How can you incorporate parts of speech work into your day?
Do you do a morning message? We learned all of our parts of speech by using our morning message! I would highlight words that were examples of the same part of speech. We would then discuss how they are connected/linked/similar to one another. We then named it, defined it, and put some examples on a large post-it. It's nothing fancy, but after daily practice, my students started getting the hang of it. Not to mention, it added a little academic focus to our morning messages to make them multifaceted.

I purchased the resource below from Ladybug's Teacher Files late this year that I'll use next year to have up in the room to help reinforce them as well! Can't wait!

Do you do word study, such as spelling or Words Their Way? Every now and then, we would take a little break from these and do Mentor Sentence guided by Jivey from Ideas by Jivey. I like mentor sentences because instead of focusing on errors and fixing them, it gives students proper examples for them to notice. You know how you are supposed to tell students what they should be doing, instead of what they shouldn't be doing? ("Walk in the hallway," as opposed to "No running.") Same thing with mentor sentences: show them what a great example of writing looks like so they can imitate it. They loved being able to try to give a name to every word in the sentence. They started to notice patterns (like using commas with certain conjunctions like "but") and I saw my students then try some of the techniques in their own writing. Check out more about Mentor Sentences here!

Do you do centers or stations? There are a ton of great resources on TpT both for free and for a little bit of money that allow students to use parts of speech as a part of other focuses as well. This is a great opportunity for students to explore parts of speech and practice and they are often tied to other skills as well so you get more bang for your buck! I just searched TpT and found these fun ways to integrate PoS into your centers.

Integrate art and writing with this free activity! Not to mention, I always love color-coded things!
This activity also incorporates the writing process and can be used with different seasons.
I haven't personally purchased these next two sets, but you really can't go wrong with anything Rachel creates! These would be great for test prep!
Make your own Mad Libs (which require students to learn the parts of speech) or use this resource created by Rachel for a fun way to practice. 

How do you make the parts of speech "stick?"
I got a great compliment from the EL teacher that I co-teach with that she was pleasantly surprised with how my students were able to more often than not, correctly identify the part of speech of a word. We both accredited to the following simple processes:

  1. Make them say the words over, and over, and over again out loud. When we identify a conjunction, we all say the word together, or I'll say, "What part of speech is this word?" and they'll all respond, "Conjunction." We may repeat this 2-3 times. The repetition helps them become confident with knowing how to say the words.
  2. Add actions and movements to the words. For example, with conjunctions again, we also would make a link with our fingers to remind them that conjunctions connect or link words. More importantly, I let the students develop the movement so they own it.
  3. Create resources together. I didn't have a fancy "anchor" chart made with all the examples posted and on display. Why? Because this goes against what an "anchor" chart is. Anchor charts should be created with the students so the learning truly is 'anchored' within them. We built our resource wall over the course of many days. It took a couple extra minutes of instruction time, but students knew where to look and how to use our jottings to reference. 

Well, if you made it through this, it's your lucky day! I just posted 3 new centers with a PoS focus that also focuses on prefixes, suffixes, and roots!

These first two are the same format but one focuses on prefixes and the other focuses on suffixes. They have the same activities and layout!


I've built in some "help" cards so students can be more independent if the skill is relatively new. You can also decide how much help to give them by adding which help cards you want!

There are 2 separate activities that cover the same thing- just different ways for them to showcase their learning.

There are 12 prefixes and suffixes in the packs to help give a variety!

I also had a focus on roots! These have the same format but the type of practice is a little different.

 Help cards and activities are included, just like in the other sets.
12 roots are included also!

Even better for you, I've made them into a flash freebie for the next hour or so! Snag them now by clicking the cover pictures above. Grab 1, 2 or all 3 in my store for free for the next hour or after on sale for a week! 
I hope you've found some easy ways to integrate PoS into your day. The benefits can really be useful! :)



You gotta SCOOT fast! Flash Freebie!

Earlier in the week, I said that I might do a giveaway/freebie. Let's just say, this week was tough. We had our Reading MCA state test that just drained my kiddos (not to mention myself), my husband's grandmother passed away and we now are traveling to South Dakota early tomorrow for the wake and funeral on Friday and Saturday, and I just turned into a crab with all the stress of the week.

I need something to pep me up and try to once and for all get me out of this funk.

For that, I offer you a flash freebie. Not just one, not just two, but three!

That's right. I'm putting all my new/revised Scoot games as freebies for a lil' while tonight only!

Each Scoot game comes with 30 cards of mixed skill difficulty for a particular learning focus. I've also included the same problems, but numbered them differently so that you can use them as differentiated task cards. They are color coded so that you can have students work on skills in the same learning focus at their level. 

What's included exactly?

  • 30 Scoot Cards: problems ranging in difficulty and mixed up for constant variety during the game
  • Same 30 cards: problems grouped by difficulty to allow for easy differentiation
  • Task Card Recording sheet for all levels, plus a mixed version sheet
  • Scoot Game Recording Page
  • Scoot Game Answer Key

The learning focuses I have so far are: 

Telling Time



Click on the pack you want to snag (or do all 3) to be taken to my TpT store.

I hope sharing a lil' something, something, will help bring some smiles across my grumpy face. Enjoy! Snag them and spread the word quickly... these won't be free for long (really until dinner and dishes are done)! I appreciate any feedback love!



Lean, Mean, Creating Machine

I was in a slump for a while. A slump I like to call... "too busy with school to do anything else with my life." Now that testing week is upon us, I am starting to have more time to create things for my classroom (I'm especially excited about things I'm creating for next year!). I'm excited to share later this week how I'm revamping the Scoot Games I've already created and my plan to add one for each of the mini-units that Math Expressions has in their curriculum. I love using them for subs and for independent work and I think this new layout is going to better suit both of those needs! Check back later this week on a possible freebie/giveaway!

Anywho. Another reason for getting out of this slump is the amazing artist Krista over at the Creative Chalkboard! She is ah-mazing!! Not only is her clip art amazing, she truly is an amazing person! She is so generous and her work inspires me to get creative. She's honoring all of her followers with an amazing 10 days of amazingness (are you sensing a pattern with my adjective there?) and in turn, many are honoring her by sharing freebies they've created with her amazing clips.

The gals over at A Tale of 2 First Grades are hosting this linky:

I've added my newest freebie inspired by the "bugginess" Krista created. 

It's all about how parts of speech can help students in narrowing down possible synonyms for words. By identifying the part of speech, students can determine the type of word they are needing to figure out.

There's 12 cards in this set, a recording page, a direction page, and an answer key! 

Feedback is always appreciated. Just like Krista, it motivates me to keep on, keeping on!

Hop on over to the link up to score many other freebies as well!!



Five for Fri... I mean... Saturday

I'm glad that the rules of this linky aren't too harsh. Otherwise, I'd constantly be breaking them and be in the 'take a break' chair far too often. I tip my hat to all of you who accomplish what I think is a huge task by posting your 5 for Friday on a Friday. I've only achieved this goal maybe 2 or 3 times (if that).

Anywhos, here's my Five-for-Friday-on-a-Saturday-as-usual!

(1) Mini-Update on Wall Pops and Another New Use for Them!

I blogged about a purchase that I was super stoked about. And I'm happy to say, the feeling has maintained and flourished over the last couple weeks! These wall-pops turned small-group-table-pops keep on giving me inspiration. We've been in the middle of test prep season and we've been doing a lot of practice passages. Sometimes, I feel like it's too exhausting for my kids day after day to complete so I decided one day not to do one. However, I still wanted some insight into if they 'got' our lesson for the day or not. I posted a multiple choice question about the mood of a poem they had to read on the Smartboard. I had them on a post it write their answer. Then, I had them write down the words in the text that helped them choose that answer. They put their classroom number on it and placed it on the bubble that matched their answer. So if they chose "A", they put their post-it on "A," for example.  This took less than 5 minutes, and students got a break from the mundane practice passages.

 I instantly could see which answer was most popular as they came in, which was a great way for me to start analyzing their answer choices.

 Once I got everyones, I quickly peeled them off and jotted down the words that students wrote down on their post its and tallied how often that word came up on the post-its. I also noted who chose that answer. I could still pull strategy groups, but my students got a welcomed break.

(2-3) Test Prep Happenings

I decided Friday of last week to have parents write little notes for our testing coming up. It was a random, "It's 7:00 am and I don't have the day ready, but I really want to do this," idea. I looked quick on TpT and found this resource (for free none-the-less) and began to prep it. Our amazingly, awesome, one of a kind, Education Assistant copy lady helped print these and stuff them into envelopes so they could go home. The kids were so curious what was inside the "Top Secret" envelopes! I knew I wasn't going to get them all back. I had 14 send them back with notes done. Some families went all out and it brought so much happiness to my heart. One is a teacher herself and had her 5th grade class all sign one; others attached pictures; others even attached a little candy here and there. I had another 6 send them back, but the notes were blank still (maybe a miscommunication?). And another 7 didn't return any. I then organized my staff. I needed 4 notes per student and had sent out an email to the 2nd grade teachers last year, our EL teachers, custodians, librarian, office staff, nurse, intervention teachers...you name it, I contacted them. I have most kids covered all 4 days now! The staff really helped me out and I know the kiddos will be just as excited to receive a note from their teacher last year, their STEM teacher, or the principal! This one was decorated by one of our EL teachers for one of my EL students she works with. She wrote a very nice note on the back.

I had a parent volunteer help assemble my little "end of testing" treats. The toppers were supposed to be in color, but our printer had a major meltdown and I had to print at school. Oh well, they are still cute!

(4) Getting Summer Ready?
Have you seen the pin that says if you mix Listerine, vinegar, and water and let your feet soak you will have beautiful, smooth, feet?
Well, in my at-home test... it didn't work. I followed the directions, but doubled it. A few pins said not to use blue Listerine, because it would stain your feet blue. Others said it was what they prefer. I just went with the blue. Risk-taker.


They did turn blue.

And not a pretty blue like in the bottle.

But a moldy blue that made my feet look like all blood had been cut off from them.

Let's just say, I won't try it again for a little while (and sorry you had to see my long, frog toes... I've always been self conscious of them).

However, I also completed my 2nd week of AQUA ZUMBA to help get 'summer ready' (to be honest, it's more for fun). I'm loving it!

(5) Super Teacher Moment

Friday was a whirl-wind of a morning. Here was my first two hours of school (and neither of those 2 hours was spent teaching my students):

  • 8:00-9:00 am- Lead my first EVER staff meeting on our bully prevention program Olweus. 

I am one of two Site Leaders now and we had to do a booster before the year ended. I was so nervous as ALL staff were invited (even like secretaries, custodians, paras, recess monitors, etc.) My co-leader and I got fabulous feedback from the staff afterward though, which was fabulous to hear!
  • 9:00-9:30 am- (and yes, there wasn't any transition time) Parent meeting to discuss going further in the evaluation process for special education for one of my students. It was the first time I had to do a meeting like this, so again, I was trying to be very prepared.

School starts at 9:10 and my instructional coach had to cover my class for the first 20 minutes so I could stay in the meeting.
  • 9:30-10:00 am- All School Morning Meeting- I then had to leave the meeting right at 9:30 as I had to act in a staff skit in front of the whole school. On top of that... I was the "lead" in it!  

I didn't even really get to talk to my students until 11:20, as the Phy Ed teacher kept my class later so that they could have their full gym time that they lost due to the All School Morning Meeting and so that I could try to prepare for the rest of the day (which was VERY appreciated!). It was such a busy morning, but it felt good to take on some leadership roles in my 2nd year of teaching and balance it all! Even better, I had so much support from others in the building that helped make the day go smooth... I'm truly grateful for everyone who helped me out!

It was a very busy week, as it was our last week before we take our state test. I can't wait for it to be done and we can get back to a more relaxed atmosphere. I've tried to ease any stress and worries, but at the same time, it has been very rigorous and with 3rd grade being the first year they take 'the test' we have a lot of pressure to make sure they are prepared to know what to expect.

Whatever the outcomes, I am so proud of how hard they have worked and believe that the work they've done to become stronger readers is more important than this score they'll receive during the summer. Good luck to all those who are testing!! :)



Wordless Wednesday

Love this idea for a linky!

How do you do anything to wrap up testing or get kids pumped up for the state tests?


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