Have you used Giggles in the Middle?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by touchinglives, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. touchinglives

    touchinglives Companion

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    Jun 29, 2009

    I have just started Kiester's Giggles in the Middle,and it sounds fabulous. I would love to hear feedback from anyone who has used this.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. MiddleGradesLA

    MiddleGradesLA Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2009

    I used it last year for about half the year. It sure beats the generic DOL activities some teachers use. I was impressed with my students' ability to remember tough vocabulary words (their favorite word was pulchritudinous -- they used it all the time) and their growing knowledge of grammer rules.
    The reason I stopped using it, though, is that even though they were learning the grammar rules, they weren't applying it in their own writing. I began using mentor sentences (a la Jeff Anderson), and have seen better results in student writing.
     
  4. ADAW

    ADAW Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2009

    I am one of those teachers who uses DOL daily (LOL), but my kids look forward to it because I put their names in it each day. I like it because it really helps with SAT tests, etc. However, you are right about them not applying it in their own writing. I just purchased the Giggles book and liked it, but I am more curious about the mentor sentences. Is there a text? Thanks!
     
  5. MiddleGradesLA

    MiddleGradesLA Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Check out Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson.
    Using mentor sentences is basically taking well-written sentences and asking kids what they notice about the sentence that makes it good. Then they are asked to imitate that sentence on their own, incorporating what it was they liked about the mentor sentence. My students probably couldn't tell you some of the names of the grammar rules they are using, but they can use it in their own writing, and I think that's what's most important. This works really well in conjunction with a daily Writing Workshop.
    Anderson has a website that you can go to for sample mentor sentences (http://www.greatsentences.blogspot.com/), but I like to pull out sentences from the texts we are reading in class.
    Using mentor sentences is not a new concept, so there are a lot of resources out their for you. Google "mentor sentences to teach grammar," and you'll find a lot of good stuff.
     
  6. MiddleGradesLA

    MiddleGradesLA Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2009

    I can send you a few weeks of mentor sentence activies if you want to see what it looks like in my classroom. PM me your email address if you're interested.
     
  7. ADAW

    ADAW Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Oh definitely! Thank you so much. Right now I'm still a little confused because if I showed my students a beautifully constructed sentence and just asked them what they thought about it or liked about it, they would look at me like I was crazy. They would say, "It's a sentence...period." I guess that's why I like DOL so much because they are correcting a sentence and I'm teaching a mini grammar lesson at the same time....
     
  8. MiddleGradesLA

    MiddleGradesLA Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Sent :)
     
  9. shelceygirl

    shelceygirl Rookie

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    Jul 1, 2009

    As long at grammar is taught out of the context of students' own writing, MOST will not apply it to their own work.

    I really encourage you to look into the research about DOL.
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would love to see this.
     
  11. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 1, 2009

    This sounds fascinating, and after flipping through the book on Amazon I am really intrigued. I wish they made something like this for 5th grade!!
     
  12. touchinglives

    touchinglives Companion

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    Jul 3, 2009

    shelceygirl,

    Do you do any type of DOL? I realize what you are saying, but I have the hardest time getting my students to analyze their own writing. How do you approach grammar?
     
  13. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    What is DOL?
     
  14. Traveller698

    Traveller698 Rookie

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    Jul 4, 2009

    Daily Oral Language

    Time is scheduled each day for the teacher to discuss material that is either written on the board or projected with an overhead projector or LCD projector. This selection contains several sentences that have errors that will be corrected orally.

    The teacher asks students for suggestions in finding all the corrections. The teacher can also ask the students to write the corrected sentences, or to fill in a bubble sheet similar to that used in a high-stakes test.

    Description provided by classroomtoolkit
     
  15. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 4, 2009

    Yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble, hoping to peek at a copy of Giggles. Unfortunately, they didn't have it. Amazon has a preview, but I really wanted to look through the entire book.
     
  16. GreenApple

    GreenApple Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2009

    I love Giggles - I use it every day. The students like it and I have seen quite a bit of improvement in grammar and vocab. It is important to apply what they learn as others have stated so that they can see the language and "rules" in action.
     
  17. touchinglives

    touchinglives Companion

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    Jul 17, 2009

    GreenApple,

    How long do you spend daily? My concern is the time it may take for the students to copy the daily info. With the program I currently use, the sentences are preprinted and we correct/proof right on the sheet.
     
  18. GreenApple

    GreenApple Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2009

    About 10-15 minutes daily right at the beginning but our classes are 50 min. The book comes with a CD though so you can print them instead of having kids copy which will save time.
     
  19. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    Jul 19, 2009

    I've used Giggles the past few years. I have it on my Smart Board when my students come into the classroom and they are to be working on it when the tardy bell rings. They work on it while I do the 'housekeeping.' Then we spend about 5 mins correcting the sentences.

    However, I have been looking at the Mechanically Inclined book and am thinking of incorporating it this year as well.
     
  20. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    What grades do you teach?
     
  21. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    Jul 19, 2009

    7th & 8th grade.
     
  22. iteach7th

    iteach7th New Member

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    Jul 21, 2009

    I have been using it for three years, and my students love it. We spend about 10 to fifteen mins a day. I let the students drive the discussion. Sometimes they lead me places I wouldn't have thought of.

    I did notice the first year that they could not transfer the rules that they knew front and back into their own writing. I had to start writing more for it to help them. I also use this when we are reading too. We write about whatever we are reading. I also had to ask the other content teachers to get involved. Thankfully, I work with other content teachers that know their grammar!

    I keep all the warm-ups on my website, and I give them five at a time on a worksheet (they re-write in their paper). I give them the choice of working on them at home or they have a few minutes at the begininng of class. When I give the sheet out, I read it out loud and they mark it as I am reading it. Then I also read it right before I go over it incase they want to change something.
     
  23. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Sep 11, 2011

    I know this is an old thread but I just bought the book try with my 7/8 classes. I am ok with catching them up with the 6th grade section (And I would just print the character names with definitions rather than copy them) but it just seems like a TON of vocab a day!! How do you keep up with it?

    My classes are quite rough and I can't imagine them handling 14 new vocab words a week in just 10-12 mins at the beginning of class.

    Does anyone modify this or can you break it down on how it works in your class on a daily basis?
     
  24. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Sep 13, 2011

    You can always use a younger grade level, Elocin. There is Grammar with a Giggle from 1st grade- HS. i also don't think there is a weekly test on vocabulary- it's exposure, at least in the younger grades. I have really low functioning special ed. students and I use DOL, because some of them can't even write a sentence or tell me what is right with one, but they can fix them! You might want to look into plain old DOL. Evan Moor has some.

    (I know some people aren't going to like this! Sorry)
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 13, 2011

    I was tutoring in a MS that used this. One thing I noticed, it took the kids a long time to get through it (20 minutes). I don't know if that's just the way the teacher was using it, or the way it is designed.
     
  26. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Sep 13, 2011

    I use Giggles in the Middle every day... but I give them a print out with five sentences for the week. This lets them work at their own pace but doesn't take up half the period while they copy. They correct using proofreader's symbols. I do modify it for them - so right now, I haven't taught quotation marks, so I add those in. Once I teach that, they'll be responsible for adding them when appropriate.

    I also have them pull out the vocabulary words and put them on a separate sheet. I pick five and assign the for homework (those are usually the last names & they have to tell what it has to do with the character and then go back and find the context clue). Then we choose five in class that look interesting, look up the definition, and weave them into whatever journal entry we're currently working on.
     
  27. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Thanks! I didn't realize it started at 1st grade. I looked at DOL too but I thought this would really hook them. It wasn't until I got the book from Amazon and read through that I realized it is way beyond what 80% of my class is currently capable of. I'll give DOL another peek.

    Chebrutta-do you start with a 6th grade class or did you catch them up? I like the idea of going back to the context clue and I would love to mix some of these adjectives into our writing. :)
     
  28. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Sep 18, 2011

    We started with the 7th grade part of the story. And that's why I modify for them in the beginning - they didn't do it in 6th grade, so I start them off slow. This week I'm adding in the character analysis sheets... so as we get new information about the main characters, we'll add that in, as well.
     

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