Mme G.C. -Work in Progress

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10 Steps of PWIM step 8

Step 1    Step 2   Step 3   Step 4    Step 5  Step 6   Step 7    Step 9  Step 10

8. Class generates, reads, classifies and improves sentence

Each student has the opportunity to contribute a descriptive sentence to the class set. The teacher is encouraged to elicit proper grammar and a variety of sentence starters. Writing each sentence in a different or alternating colour models that sentences vary in length and can be more than one line long. Some teachers like to write each sentence on an individual sentence strip while others prefer to write them all out on chart paper.


Give students plenty of opportunity to read the sentences as a group and alone. Choral reading in a variety of voices develops fluency and engagement by reading grade appropriate material in context. Students will naturally classify by structure and mechanics (Starts with The, They, # of words in the sentence, capitals,) but it is very important that they begin to categorize the sentences by content because these categories are necessary for generating good paragraphs.

Have students substitute a word in the sentence several times.

E.g. The elephant is walking on the grass.

The elephant is walking on the beach.

The elephant is walking on the cement.

 Ask them to illustrate their favourite one of the 3.

Have them share their illustration and sentences with a partner. The partner must figure out which of the 3 sentences was illustrated.

change a word.jpg


Create sentence cubes (I use a math black-line master) for the students to roll out different sentences, allowing them to play with sentences starters content and descriptions. The first block is a variety of sentence starters. The second block is nouns from the photo.The third block is linking verbs-is-are-was…) The fourth block is verbs ending in ing and the final verb is a location in the photo.

cubes (2).jpg

 Assessing sentences is essential in this step of the model. What do students know about sentences? Do they know the difference between letters/words/ sentences? What high frequency words are they incorporating into their PWIM sentences? Are sentences starting and ending in a variety of ways? How long are the sentences?


Use your sentences for running records and repetitive reading to build fluency and check accuracy.

running record.JPG








10 Steps of PWIM step 6

Step 1    Step 2  Step 3   Step 4    Step 5  Step 7  Step 8  Step 9  Step 10


based on the work of Emily Calhoun

10 Steps of PWIM Step 2

By Lezlie Goudie-Cloutier

Step 1  Step 3 Step 4  Step 5  Step 6  Step 7  Step 8 Step 9  Step 10

step 2 AStep 2B

(based on the work of Emily Calhoun)

10 Steps of PWIM step 1

I’m finding that I prefer the 10 steps of PWIM to the 5 phases. I think the steps are easier to follow and make more sense. I am trying to write them up in a simple way with photographs. Here is step 1!!

Step 2  Step 3    Step 4  Step 5  Step 6  Step 7  Step 8 Step 9  Step 10

Step 1


We had a few exciting days in our division. We invited the kindergarten, grade one and two  teachers down to Central Office to spend grade alike half days  together, sharing ideas for teaching word work, sentence structures ,think alouds, talk alouds for writing ,writing continuums and choosing PWIM photos with curricular connections. Teachers chose 4 of the 6 stations to go to and add new ideas to their repertoire. Each station had a little “take away” such as book marks, and other useful handouts.There was even a French Immersion section where we discussed adaptations for teaching in a second language. The room was set up in a bright,easily accessible way. Many positive comments came from this day of sharing. Thanks to the Literacy team for all the hard work!!

Sentence Tips Phase 4 PWIM/MIMI

Sentence Tips

  •  Talk about the picture for several days before shaking out words.
  • Do many read alouds to add interest and information.
  • Model sentences with alternate sentences starters and punctuation(read aloud from mentor text and model your own)
  • Build an anchor chart before you shake out sentences-brainstorm what they see-get as many ideas as you can

Our Photo Study



  • What is in the photo
  • details
  •   Verbs in the photo
  • When is this happening

 Shake out

  • Print each sentence on chart paper as the students are watching.
  •   Print big enough so that everyone can see.
  • Number each sentence.
  •  Write the student name at the end of each sentence in a smaller font.

1. The little boy is wearing a plaid shirt.       Brian( I can’t make it smaller!)

  • Alternate the colour of each sentence with different coloured markers.
  •  Dig a little deeper for meatier sentences by asking  questions such as  where, how,… I.e. I see a man. Where is the man? What is he doing? What is he wearing?  Use the anchor chart you built together to help you.
  • Don’t accept grammatical errors-be kind “sometimes we say that but when we write we say…”
  •  Type up the sentences with names and numbers. Make sure the names are not the same size as the sentence. Each student should get a copy.
  • Identify each student set by having the student print their name or initials or number or colour on the back.
  •  Store the sentences in a location that is easy to access.
  •  Use your sorting mat when classifying
  • After several days of classifying brainstorm possible categories for paragraph writing

LGC 2012

SENTENCES (Phase four) Picture Word Inductive Model

Creating sentences is an essential component of the PWIM cycle. Each student should have their own sentence. We tell them we are “shaking out the sentences.” Students tell you about a particular component of the picture that inspires them. If they make a grammatical error do not write down the error. ” He gots a fin” can easily be corrected by gently saying something like-“when we write, we say he has rather than he gots. Are you ok if I change your sentence a little bit?”  We write the student’s name at the end of the sentence. (In a smaller font) In this way we begin to address authors and ownership of writing. When we use the sentences for future models we always thank the author. an introduction to plagiarism. Numbering the sentences makes manipulating them much easier  once they are typed up. You can see from the photograph that I used two colours of markers to write out the sentences. It is a visual aid for younger students especially. Students see where one sentence begins and another ends. They also see that sentences can continue on to the next line. It makes it easier to teach their eyes to sweep across the page. The sentences are typed up on cardstock and printed off-a set per student, in the same manner as the word cards. They are easily stored in large envelopes, baggies or a container like a shoe box.

Working with the sentences consistently is essential. Re-reading them frequently builds fluency and drills the high frequency words that are required for beginner readers. There are many ways to do this-students enjoy partner reading and choral reading  as well as reading them silently.

Classifying the  sentences  builds an initial understanding of paragraph structure.

Illustrating the sentences and paragraphs helps build the comprehension strategies of visualizing and summarizing.

Combining two sentences to make new ones is an essential writing skill. Start by using the word and ,then teach the students to remove repetitive words. The man is kneeling on the sand. The little girl is hugging herself. Can be easily combined to The man  is kneeling on the sand and the little girl is hugging herself.   Sharks have fins. Big sharks are scary: Can be combined to Big sharks with fins are scary. Learning to combine sentences is a gradual process and needs a lot of practice.

Another good way to work on sentences is to have students change one word in the sentence, read it again and illustrate it. For example-a class book could be made with one sentence, one word being changed by each student. Big sharks are scary.  Everybody has to change the word shark to something they think is scary. Big tigers are scary. Big spiders are scary. Big birds are scary.

The predictability of this booklet will really help those struggling readers in your class. Make a cover, title it and “publish” it for your classroom library.

Phase 5 Composing Think Aloud (paragraph writing)

 Phase 5 Paragraph Writing (Composing Think Aloud)

Once the students have had some time to generate sentences as a group, and practicing them for fluency, it is time to have them classify and compose paragraphs.

 Students will naturally classify by structure and mechanics (Starts with The, They, # of words in the sentence, capitals ,) but it is very  important that they begin to categorize the sentences by content because these categories are necessary for generating good paragraphs.

I like to have the students name an important component in the photograph-in this case let’s say sharks. Then the students look carefully for all the sentences that talk about the sharks. We take the sentences about sharks and write down the # of each sentence onto chart paper under the title sharks. I tell the students that this is a category and the title is sharks.I expain my thinking as to how I chose the sentences. This is the kind of metacognitive thinking I want my students to develop. Then I ask students to see if there are any other sentence categories. With young children ( k-1) I might keep this as a group activity initially. As the students are able to read more on their own, I like to lean more to letting them find the categories on their own. After a cycle or two, even kindergarten and grade one and two students will be able to do this inductively. Gradual release of responsibility!!!

Once many categories have been generated by the students and the teacher over a few days, and are shared with the class, the teacher composes a paragraph. Emily Calhoun calls this a Composing Think Aloud. This composing think aloud is based o the people in the water. Ll the student sentences about the people are used to build the paragraph. Sentence combining and varied sentence starters are introduced. With younger children I write each sentences in a different colour. This helps to visualize how sentences sweep back and forth across the page and that sentences do not end at the ned of the page.

The teacher shares their own paragraph with the students, showing the category they used and sharing their thinking as the writer. It provides a good model to help students move toward practice of their own. It also demonstrates the thinking that is involved as a writer writes for his reader. In early grades this may be forming categories together and titling them.  The students will choose sentences which they think will go together and add a title. The teacher must make sure to model several paragraphs every cycle. It is important to have students share their categories, their paragraphs, and their thinking as often as possible. We want students to practice reading these paragraphs orally to increase fluency as well as to gain a comfortable understanding of basic paragraph construction.

Word Study (phase two of PWIM)

what we noticed  chart                   

                                                             words added from read alouds

 Note: See Say Spell (attributes) at the picture word chart still continues daily and independent word study is then added on. Continue to build the rationale for this word work; that they are to learn the words and build their sight vocabulary for reading and writing.

Over the last few days, the teacher and students have worked together to study the picture, shake out the words and See Say Spell them. They have also had the opportunity to share what they are noticing about the words aloud in groups and with the entire class. Students have been tested for the first time.  Now, students are given their own set of word cards for reading practice and for classifying.

After a few days of reading practice the students should be given many opportunities for classifying the words. Physically manipulating the words and classifying them into groups is vital. The rationale for this is noting likenesses and differences to facilitate memory of the words as well as helping students to gain conceptual control of how words work.

 Dr. Bruce Joyce tells us: “We want them to paddle along, figuring things out, becoming little linguists” who study words and notice a large variety of attributes in words such as :

  • Phonetic: letters, consonant blends, double letters
  • Structural: root words and endings, plurals, and  Compound words
  • Phonemic/Sound: syllables, vowel sounds, rime
  • Content: based on meaning (nature)

Even kindergarten students are able to use the word attribute. Don’t dumb it down-they are proud to use such big words.

Word study in the PWIM is inductive because the students construct meaning for themselves. This is more powerful and lasting than when simply giving them the information. Sharing their categories reinforces the learning because many ideas are brought forth.

Teacher must model categories as well, to nudge the learning forward. These might be categories the students have made while the teacher was circulating or categories the teacher wants the students to start noticing to extend the learning.  (hand, sand-4 letters, rhyme, end in and…)The teacher acts as a coach, moving around the students and questioning, “Why did you put these words together?  This allows for immediate assessment of what they are noticing and what they are not noticing. The teacher leads them in testing the word categories. Students may be noticing how their words are like other words in the classroom as well.( The calendar, student names, the word wall, other PWIM cycles)  We do this because this encourages accurate thinking based on a set of criteria. To further deepen the learning have the students title their categories, compose sentences, stories, and poems.

The testing is based on instant recognition. I count to 5 and then give them the next word. I show the teacher word cards to the student. When they are done reading I check off all the words they know on my checklist. it is easy to detect patterns-which students know which words, which words are giving students problems-this enables me to decide where I want to go with my See Say Spell, more word study and phonics lessons.

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