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The Literacy Dive Podcast

Jan 25, 2021

There is an art to implementing sentence stems intentionally in the classroom. Without proper explanation, modeling, and practice, sentence stems lost their effectiveness. I have found increased student achievement when using sentence stems, more specifically for reading responses. This episode unpacks my process for using the stems and explains how they are tools to boost, versus hinder, student ability.

Episode highlights:

  • Sentence stems are a learning scaffold that helps students respond orally and through writing using complete sentences
  • Sentence stems reduce pressure on students
  • Sentence stems support students who need more time to formulate thoughts and responses
  • Sentence stems improve student writing and sentence structure
  • Teachers can use sentence stems to structure meaningful conversations, activate prior knowledge, respond to a question, reinforce key details, clarify information, use new vocabulary, summarize information, respond to peer discussion, and to work through a problem - modeling and using sentence stems help students greatly
  • There is a process for incorporating sentence stems in the classroom: C.M.P.R. (Create, Model, Practice, Review)
  • Sentence stems support student learning by using them as a resource, using them as a practice, and using intentional questioning to prompt the need for sentence stems in the response
  • Sentence stems improve student language proficiency which results in improved writing and overall communication
  • Sentence stems promote higher order thinking skills

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