"ORGANIC" Task Cards!!!

HI EVERYONE!!!!!!!!  I cannot believe it has been a complete YEAR since I blogged!!  I will make sure to fill you all in on what's been going on soon :), but I HAVE to share about this OMG moment I had to today!!

I always say my best ideas come to me in the shower; however, they also come randomly in the middle of lessons! :) So let me explain!
I always try to incorporate grammar within writing mini-lessons, but I need to do a better job of it. SOOO...we started reviewing how to combine sentences with conjunctions.  Oh man, I had no idea that they had no recollection of what conjunctions were or how to combine them.  As a former 2nd grade teacher for 10 years, I KNOW they were taught how to do this! hah

Well, one thing I have learned from teaching 5th is to never ASSUME they know something simply because they are 5th graders.  Everyone needs a refresher all the time now and then.

On to the lesson...

Today, half of my class was taking the IOWA test inside the school (we're in the portable) so I was left with about 16 kids.  I wanted to do an INB with them, but with half the class gone, I decided to save that for another day!

As a way to assess which students understood what a compound sentence was and how to create one, I had the kids take one of their books they are reading.  I did not care if it was one they were reading for pleasure, lit circles, or whatever.  They took that book, and they had to reread to find a compound sentence.  Once they found one, they wrote it on their desks with a wipe-off marker.  They had to circle the comma and conjunction and underline the 2 sentences.  Last, they wrote their numbers on their desks.
Once they were done, they took out a notebook and numbered it 1 to 29.  From here, they started their journey around the room reading the sentences the other students wrote on their desks.  Their job was to write YES if it was a compound sentence and NO if it wasn't.  My student teacher and I went around the room asking students to explain their answers.  

Not only was I able to see if my students could justify their answers, I could look on their own desks to see if they found a correct compound sentence.  Many of them did write a compound sentence, but some wrote sentences that had "and" but was used to separate 3 things.
This ORGANIC way of making task cards hit the spot!!!  You could do this with ANY SUBJECT!!  I can't believe I never thought of this before!  The kids loved it, and they were engaged the whole time!  I was also super excited for the responses we were receiving when asking the kids to justify.

This activity just seemed to make it all way more RELEVANT to my students!!!!!!!  Hope that you can use this in your classroom too!!!

Till next time! :)