Sentence Puzzles Routines

Do you do use decodable sentences in your primary classroom?  This is one of my favorite ways to reinforce fluency and language skills for all primary kiddos, especially ELLS, in productive group work, literacy stations or centers, and in reading groups.   Plus, it’s aligned with the science of reading! 

Here is the routine for how I used these decodable sentence puzzles in my first grade classroom.

How Do We Do Decodable Sentence Puzzles?

The goal of decodable sentence puzzles is simple: Read to put words in order to make a complete sentence.

The first thing I always have kids do is read each of the words to practice fluency.  We do this together if we are using it in a small group or whole group.  Or they read them on their own if they are doing in in literacy stations or group work.

Next, kids simply order the words to make a sentence.

Last, I ask kids to reread the sentence to self-check.  This forces them to read for comprehension and gives ELL kids an opportunity to hear our language structure.

Once they have checked their sentence, they record it on our recording sheet for group work or literacy stations.

In productive groups, I love doing a carousel activity with these.  Where we choose “on grade level puzzles” and put a different puzzle at each station.  Then groups of 2-4 kids rotate through each station for 2 minutes each and order the puzzles and record them on their recording sheet.  Anything where we are up moving around and practicing literacy skills is a win! 🙂

Why Do We Do Decodable Sentence Puzzles?

With this one activity I can reach all of my kiddos:
-My good readers who need to practice fluency with high frequency and decodable words.
-My readers who struggle comprehending as they read
-My ELL sweethearts who struggle with our language structure and need practice with grammar and syntax.

On top of sentence puzzles challenging all of my kids academically, it’s also engaging for kids.

Whether it is a reinforcement or review activity or a language sequencing exercise, my kiddos LOVE these puzzles!  They are engaging, they are fun and they are easy to self-check!

But what about those emerging and non-readers?  Level A and B sentence puzzles are the same patterned sentence for each level.  So that kids can just practice concepts of print (think: What is a word? What is a sentence? Where is the beginning and end?), one-to-one correspondence, and language and oral comprehension skills.

You can do your own sentence puzzles using index cards or Magnetiles, which you can read about in an upcoming blog post…or you can snag this pre-made differentiated packet of decodable sentence puzzles that are leveled, color-coded and ready to go here!

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