Yesterday we began by reading Ellie's Bad Day. We read it two times to talk about what was happening. Talked about the story a bit to make sure when we hunted for contractions my kiddos already understood the story and vocabulary. Each student needed a highlighter - which is pretty much their favorite tool! I would read one sentence and stop. They would tell me if there was a contraction or if we needed to continue. When we found a contraction we would highlight it, and then go to the next sentence. This took us one lesson.
Today we started our study of the contractions themselves. We found the first contraction wrote it at the bottom of the page and tried to figure out what the two words could be that make that word...my kids were rock stars!!!
We also looked for clues to help us discover the base words...we put a * by all the "n't" and by the "'s". We boxed the main word which they figured out was always the first word in making the contraction. Students were called up to fill the page out on the board. We did about half before I wrote the contractions that were left on the board for them to do by themselves - they really impressed me.
I think I'm kind of mean because I had to "she'd" and they were different, one was "she had" and the other "she would"...I had to give them clues for the last one. As students completed their Ellie page, they were given this amazing contraction sort from The First Grade Sweet Life...it was PERFECT for what my kids needed to reinforce the concept.
My students are pretty good at doing sorts since we use Words Their Way for spelling. So, they know my refrain..."kindergarten coloring, smart second grade cutting". So students don't mix up their words they first color the back of whatever they'll be cutting and sorting - but some want to spend a lifetime doing this, hence Kindergarten Coloring.
So there you have it, our first round with Max and Ellie doing contractions. It was fun and I think my students are developing a very strong understanding of contractions. Tomorrow we will be enjoying A Moment with Max before my students begin to do more independent work on contractions.