Jasper Roberts - Blog

Grammar Invitation #2

I have been having trouble deciding what I'm going to blog about when lately, because I teach four different classes, and I want to make sure I'm sharing consistently about all of them! So...here is the schedule I'm hoping to follow from now on. This doesn't mean that I won't be blogging on the days not listed, it just won't necessarily be on a specified topic. :)

Mondays: Interactive Student Notebooks
Tuesdays: Technology Tuesdays and Genius Hour
Sundays: Writer's Workshop and Grammar

Today is Sunday, therefore I will be talking about Grammar! Yay!

When I last left off, students were finding their mentor sentences from their silent reading books. This ended up taking almost TWO class periods!

Students started off with their own books, and quickly escalated to grabbing piles of books off my shelf and flipping through them. I stopped them around ten minutes in and asked them what methods they were using to find AAAWWUBBIS words. They immediately gave feedback on scanning on the first lines down the page, and the beginnings of chapters. At the end of the first period, I allowed them to "steal" one from someone else, but only if they had cited it correctly! (last name #). This had them peer checking each other, and I heard a lot of, "That's not cited correctly, you have to do it like this!" Bonus! The second day, I allowed them to work in partners to finish up for about ten minutes.

Then, they had to identify what was in their sentences. I had them circle the AAAWWUBBIS word, underline the subject in each half once, and the verb in each half twice, and highlight the comma. They did this in partners.

Invitation to Imitate:

Once they finished, they had to write 5 sentences modeled after any of the mentor sentences we had used. These included the two from the second day, and the ones they identified on their own.

Invitation to Write:

Students had to write a short story (one page) about when they were little. Almost every single student started their story with, "When I was little, ..." I had a substitute this day since I was out at a department meeting, so the next day I gave them ten minutes to finish up their stories.

Invitation to Edit:

Time to introduce the express-lane edit!

I put up my story on the board, with some of the sentences purposely missing the comma. We wrote Express Lane Edit on the page opposite their story, and set up the Shopping List and Receipt. I asked students what we usually do when we go shopping. "We look for stuff to buy", "We get stuff we need", etc... I asked them what was on their receipt when they left the store. "A list of what we bought." I told them to copy down the following. "We are looking for sentences that start with AAAWWUBBIS words, and have a comma in the right place." I will amend this in the future to say sentences that contain an AAAWWUBBIS word, because many of them were writing complex sentences featuring AAAWWUBBIS words at the end.

We went through the story, and identified a sentence that had an AAAWWUBBIS word but not a comma in the right place, a sentence that had everything correct, and a sentence we could add an AAAWWUBBIS phrase to.

I modeled what we could write for each of these in the receipt.

For ADDING/FIXING: I added a comma in between little and liked because it started with "When".
For CORRECT: I wrote a sentence , closer in the 2nd line using "Because".
For ADDING: I added an opener , sentence with "While" to "I hate getting into trouble."

Students had to then go through their own stories and find FIVE things to put on their receipt. I also asked them to highlight the sentences they identified or fixed.

This week, we are starting FANBOYS, yay!

Here's the plan for the week:


Invitation to Notice: We are focusing on Simple and Compound Sentences and FANBOYS. I'm condensing the simple sentences in with compound because they already have a good grasp of this, so it's just a quick review.

I'm going to review Simple Sentences using Memoirs of a Goldfish, which is just hilarious, and I wanted a reason to use it :)

We are simply going to identify the subjects and verbs in a few of the sentences, and then move on.

Next, to do compound sentences, and continue on with the personal narrative theme, I chose the first page of Paper Towns by John Green, because it is one of my favorite books, it uses FANBOYS, and it talks about a person. It's a great model for writing, I think!

The second one I'll use is the "Cheese" section from Diary of a Wimpy Kid because it uses FANBOYS and it describes and event that happened at school.

We will "notice" as we did last week, and identify what we see in both examples to try and get to "FANBOYS". 

Then I will handout our anchor charts for the week and we will glue them in our notebooks.

Simple and Compound Sentences chart and Fanboys Chart

I will update later on in the week with progress!

I'm taking a page out of the boy/girl scouts book, and making stickers to give to students when they complete or master a skill. Tomorrow I'm printing these off,

 and I'll have a bundle of them available on TpT soon!

Have a great week, everyone!


  1. When you say the first page of Paper Towns did you use the first page of the prologue or the first page of part 1?

    1. The prologue where he talks about growing up next to Margo! :)

  2. Great! Thanks! I just love all your colorful stuff.


Thanks for stopping by! JW