With Standards-Based Grading, students may be at completely different levels of learning. There might be a student completely finished writing her narrative, while another boy is just finishing up his paragraph–polar opposites–so how do you accommodate? The answer: Extension Activities.
What is an Extension Activity? Something that goes above and beyond the student learning, yet still relates to what is being studied/focused on. It’s an opportunity for students who have completed required assignments to still participate in something educational, while those still working are given the extra help and support they need.
Typically these are independent, so that a single teacher can easily assess and monitor her students’ learning in the classroom. However, since I am in a co-teaching environment for my 6th grade English classes, I wanted to do something that would involve me being engaged with a group of learners who had finished their Personal Narrative Projects.
One of the first Extension Activities I did was called Fix That No-No Sentence. This, simply was a game where I split the students into groups and showed a crappy sentence on the board. Each group was given a whiteboard, marker, and eraser. Their task was to write the sentence on their whiteboard and fix any errors. The errors ranged from capitalization, punctuation, and run-on sentences, to organization of ideas (sequencing) and adding sensory detail. And each sentence had more than one error.
Though I only played this game for about 10 minutes with the students (we definitely need more time and will have time tomorrow, too!) I think they were really enjoying it. I noticed that middle schoolers can get a little crazy when the word ‘game’ comes up, but when they focused, I think they were able to apply their learning (and standards of Conventions/Writing Clearly and Coherently) to the game and have fun with it. Plus, because it was a competition, the students really wanted to get the correct answers and beat out their peers.
Here is the list of my No-No Sentences:
How Can We Fix These No-No Sentences?
- i like to eat cheerios for breakfast on monday on tuesdays i eat grandma sally’s oatmeal.
- Yesterday I went to the store. Before I went to the store I went shopping. At night I played video games. In the morning I brushed my teeth.
- yesterday I chased my dog max around the park and upstairs and around the field by my house until he was tired we both were so tired we fell asleep on the couch
- my favorite sport is softball it is my favorite sport because I can pitch the ball fast. It is cool.
- On saturday I go to thorpe park and play games.
- My name is frank and I have seven pet hamsters bill larry moe raven oreo pebbles and cookie.
- My sister was born on january 5th. It was a nice day. The sky was nice. The weather was nice.
- yesterday I went to the mall of america. tomorrow I will go to las vegas, Nevada. Last Friday I went to Des Moines and two years ago I went to Mexico on vacation.
- Today I’m going to tell you about my brother. He is really cool. He is really tall, too.
- miss donnelly is my favorite teacher. Because she teaches me things. And teaches me a lot of stuff.