Saturday, January 21, 2012

The CUPS Checklist

For a few years now, I have been using the CUPS acronym to help my students proofread their sentences. As a resource teacher, my students struggle with the very basic writing mechanics. This handy little tool reinforces the basic things that all sentences should have.

Capital- Does you sentence begin with a capital letter?
Understanding- Read your sentences. Does it make sense? Did you write what you think you wrote? Many times kiddos will leave out words on accident. This step is very helpful in catching those little mistakes.
Period (or punctuation)- Does your sentence have an end mark?
Spaces (or spelling)-  This is something that a few of my little guys really struggle with. For older or more advanced students, you can change this to spelling. Are word wall words spelled correctly?

This tool should be taught as a mini lesson and reinforce during writers workshop. An anchor chart in the classroom is very helpful.  I will try to post a picture of mine soon.

Each week, I have my students write a few sentences  with their spelling words. I created these pages (one horizontal, one vertical) for independent writing practice. Each sentence includes a CUPS checklist. Students should go back through each sentence and put a check mark by the letter after they have checked or made the appropriate corrections. If students turn in writing that lacking these essential elements, I simply tell them to "check for cups." They know what to do.

Tell me what you guys think? Do you use something similar to this in your classrooms?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Going the Distance

If you guys haven't noticed, I haven't been that into school lately. Don't get me wrong. I am still going in each and every day and giving my kids my all, but my spare time has been dedicated to training for a mini marathon that I am running in Disney World next month.

I've never been a runner. I started in July with a Couch to 5k program  (which I highly recommend)and was running 3.1 miles by September. Although difficult in the beginning, I noticed some definite physical and mental benefits from running. But I knew I needed something BIG to motivate me to get up at 5am to continue my training. So my WONDERFUL husband informed me that if I trained for the Disney Princess Mini Marathon he would take me to Orlando to run it. 13.1 miles? Could I really do that? I was willing to give it a shot. After all,  I had 5 months to train for it. So now the lazy Saturdays that were once dedicated to perusing blogs while sitting in my living room by the blazing fire are now taken up by my weekly long run (today it was 8 miles) followed by a recovery nap.

But I won't give up on you guys if you don't give up on me. Today I have a singular/plural sort freebie for ya. My kiddos were having difficulty with this concept, so I added pictures. 

Tell me what you think! Have a great rest of your Saturday, guys.