Pocket chart sentences

Youpi, youpi!!

Last week, my brand new pocket chart arrived. It’s my fourth year teaching, and I have never splurged on a NICE pocket chart until now! I bought a couple of little cheap ones from Michael’s, but always balked at the prices at Scholar’s Choice and Scholastic, and was too nervous about ordering online. Nothing worse than a pocket chart whose pockets stretch out and don’t hold the cards! Anyways, I had some Scholastic Bonus Bank dollars left over from last year, and an activity that I really wanted to try out, so I took the plunge and ordered one from their Classroom Essentials catalogue. And let me tell you, I am SO glad I did!! I LOVE IT. It is huge – wider than my easel – but still hooks onto my easel nicely. We can fit so many words in there!
The picture above is the one I purchased. It may say 24.99, but with taxes and shipping, it came out to 35$. Ouch! I’m sorry, but I think that is too much for a piece of fabric with plastic pockets. But really I didn’t technically pay anything and used my bonus bank, so I will keep my mouth closed and not complain, haha. 
Here is how it looks in my classroom:
So nice and big!!
The activity that I really wanted to try out with my kinders was building predictable sentences. We are getting so great at reading our sight words, but I find that my group this year is slow to make the transfer that they can use the words they know to build sentences in their writing, too. My word wall is 100% interactive, but isn’t being used during Writer’s Workshop quite as much as I would like. I felt like I needed a quick little activity to help build the bridge between reading sight words and using them to write, too. I had seen predictable sentences being used often in English Kindergarten classrooms as a literacy centre, but have never come across one in French. So, of course, I just had to make one! 
I picked 6 target sentences to start with. I only put 2-3 up in the chart at a time (both masculine and feminine versions). The sentences I pick contain only the sight words I have taught whole group. The target sentences stay at the top of the pocket chart. On the bottom rows, I placed all of the words that we need to build the target sentences, plus 12 vocabulary words that my students can select to finish their sentences. For November, to go with our math journals, I went with a farm theme. Gotta sneak that vocab in whenever you can! Then, I model, model, model. I show my students how to choose a target sentence (I think out loud so they can hear what their thinking may sound like, too). I get someone to help me find the words to build the predictable part of our sentence. I get someone else to pick a word to finish my sentence, and to select some punctuation. Now – we all know that French is a little more tricky than English in that the genre of the word is really important and affects the word you can choose. All of the cards where genre is a factor are labelled with a little stick boy or girl, to show if the word is masculine or feminine. We talk about how all those little pictures need to be the same in our sentence in order for it to make sense. 
Then we take turns reading the sentence using a pointer. Sometimes I will switch out the last word to try and “trick” my students, but they always seem to pay attention and realize when the sentence changes ;)
This activity only takes us 5-7ish minutes as part of our morning meeting, but I have already noticed a difference in their one to one correspondence, so that is exciting!
This week, I have turned this activity into a literacy centre, as well. My students work in partners during centre time (à la Debbie Diller), and at this station, each partner builds a sentence. Then they write and illustrate their sentences for me so that I can see the beautiful sentences they made! I forgot to take a picture of what they came up with today, but they did pretty well! I will continue to model making our sentences make sense during our morning meeting. 
I also love how it provides us with a great opportunity to discuss and practice reading with expression and looking at the punctuation. This morning, we talked about how our voices are different at the end of a sentence with an exclamation mark vs a period. 
If you are interested in trying out predictable sentences with your students too, just click HERE or on any of the pictures above to  check it out in my TPT store. In the download, you get 6 different predictable sentences (Regarde le/la_____,  C’est un/une_______, Voici un/une_____, Je vois un/une____, C’est un(e) petit(e)_____, C’est un(e) grand(e)_____) to build, as well as 12 different Farm themed vocabulary cards. You can use this resource whole group, small group, or as a literacy centre – I have also included an “I Can” card to help foster student independence. There are even two emergent readers included that practice two of the above sentences and the vocabulary words, and two writing paper options for students to record their sentences.

If you want to try out a non-seasonal version,  you can grab Phrases fantastiques – Les animaux en couleur by clicking HERE! There is also a money-saving bundle available right HERE.

PS – Are you a member of my FREE French Resource Library yet?? If not, just enter your name & email below and hit the button. I’ll send you the exclusive password and instructions for getting your hands on every freebie I have ever made – and will ever make!

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