Professional Practice

Scrabble Stand: Hold a Sentence Activity 

Alex Theuma

I developed this approach initially to help my lower ability students in year 1 to complete the hold a sentence activity during the lesson.

When laminating flashcards and other resources I was annoyed with the left-over space on the laminating sheets. So, I cut pieces of white paper into playing card size and laminated them filling in the left-over space.

I started using the laminated cards as mini word white boards, where students could write words and sounds on them individually and manipulate them into the correct order. This then developed into needing a “more group friendly” way to display and work with the words. Hence the scramble stand 😊. I simply made it from some large scrap coloured card I found. Folding it into a “M” formation, the first part being shorter than the second. (refer to picture) This allowed the laminated cards to stand supported, allowing students to be seated and still be able to see the words, as opposed to lying flat on a table and students standing to see them.

I first started using the cards asking my lower ability students to write the sounds of each word, c …. a….. t…. as they needed support segmenting and blending the word in the hold a sentence. My next group were able to sound out the words but would forget the words in the hold a sentence. For this group I say each word out of sequence which they then write on each card. Once all the words have been written, I then ask the other groups to say the hold the sentence and the lower ability groups then place the words in order on the scrabble stand. I then check to see if it is correct and ask them to cross check with S2S card… (Capitals, Finger Space, Full stop). The students then alter any word needing a capital and draw a full stop or question mark on another card, depending on what the hold a sentence is.

Then all students in the class are placed into groups of 3. They are given a scrabble stand and blank laminated cards and a whiteboard pen. This time the students are given the words and punctuation in the sentence, in random order which they write onto the cards but are not given the sentence. Students work in groups to place the words in correct order on the scrabble stand, the teacher then checks the sentence, if correct they write it into their writing books.

This gives students an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of sentence structure. (Capital at a start of a sentence, adjective before the noun, full stop, explanation or question mark at the end of a sentence). This can be tweaked to suit your classes ability.

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