Saturday, October 27, 2012


A retired- teacher from my school district inspired me to use her train analogy to teach contractions! 
 I loved the idea and have used it for 15+ years! 
Thank you Vicki Swavel :)


 If two trains were headed in the same direction on a train track, a terrible accident would occur. For many years, I drew pictures or used play trains to model this concept, but this year I finally decided to make my own SMART Board Notebook file & posters.
Don't know what took me so long! This sure makes teaching contractions so much easier. 
1st Day -Posters were used on magnetic dry erase board to model and to explain:
 Students had fun making sound effects as we crashed the trains into each other. Students wrote the 2 words before the accident and then the new word (contraction) after the accident on a recording sheet. 

Day 2: We used SMART Board to practice contractions hands-on!

Day 3: We used SMART Notebook File to practice and to apply what we learned the 1st few days.

The damaged "not" train was put on top of the regular "not" train after the accident. This helped students visualize the new word. The apostrophe filled the space of the "smoke". 
Students wrote contraction. Side note: (I love that "order" feature of the SMART Notebook file. It  allows you to put items on different layers!) 

Day 4: Students used SMART Board to think about contractions a but differently- which 2 words made the contraction before the accident?

Day 5: Students applied what they knew about contractions. Student were given a contraction. They created an accident scene and told which 2 words were in the accident. We used "techie" band aids to "patch" up the trains. 
Best part about being a teacher was hearing one of my student say to his neighbor, "Hey, it's like the band aid is the apostrophe! It fills the space." 
I love witnessing AHA Moments!

Technology Band Aids

Click HERE for Posters.
Click HERE for SMART Board Notebook File.
Click HERE for Trains.

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