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Sentence Essentials and WTE at Wairakei Primary School

ASLs visited Wairakei Primary School On Monday 18th November to work with their wonderful Year 1 & 2 students. Our main aim was to model pedagogy that supports our younger students to master the fundamentals of a sentence. A sentence must have a subject, a verb, and it must make sense / be a complete idea.

Year 2 classrooms were busy thinking about the fundamentals of a sentence during our visit. All classes learned about the importance of a sentence containing a subject (who/what), a verb (a doing word) and that it must make sense. Essentially, this is a skill that must be mastered early on in school for students to later be able to begin to vary their syntax and cast sentences in different ways.

In Room 12, learners read Farmer John's Tractor and subsequently completed an oral Skills Flow activity. This activity's purpose is to build auditory memory skills and encourages students to talk in full, simple sentences. Often, children talk in fragmetnts and this task encourages them to speak in full sentences. By matching the pictures to half-framed sentences, the students were successful in recalling the complete phrasing. 

Room 13 also used the Sentence Train to master identifying subjects and verbs in simple sentences. Furthermore, they read A Kiwi Night Before Christmas and used the context to complete a Disappearing Defintion. This tool gives learners the opportunity to practice speaking in simple and adverb start sentences. When used repeatedly in various contexts, this gives students multiple opportunities to master new language and sentence structures in both speaking and writing. In addition, it builds auditory memory skills. The children were very successful at remembering the vocabulary and sentences. By the end of the lesson, they could recall all four sentences without a single word on the board! It was also a prime opportunity for some competition between students to see who could precisely remember the sentences and vocabulary.

Lastly, both Amy and Mandy worked with Year 1 students to master the definitions of a subject and a verb. By reading - what turned out to be a class favourite - The Gruffalo, the students sequenced their ideas with pictures effectively enabling them to retell the story in simple sentences without writing. 

We'd like to thank the Wairakei staff and students for inviting us in to work with you this year; it really is a privilege to work alongside you all and we'd love to come back again in 2020.

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