Sunday, May 20, 2012

Genius Ladder

Part 2

If you are reading this blog make sure you read the previous blog to get some background information.

When my students returned from Art and PE, the camera was set up and our Literacy Coach was there ready to watch the lesson!

I called the students one row at a time to the carpet in front of the Genius Ladder board. When I called them to the carpet, they replied "Carpet, Carpet, Carpet". (I love the three-peat procedures!) They were ALL smiles as we got started! They wanted to know what the Genius ladder was all about.

I rubbed my hands together and said, "It is finally time to learn about the Genius Ladder. Tell your neighbor how excited you are to learn about the Genius Ladder." They went wild! I could tell they were really excited. CLASS CLASS! YES YES!  Wow, did I have their attention.

I asked the question, "What is the Genius Ladder?" I had them ask each other and called them back. "The Genius Ladder is a fun game that we are going to use to become better writers!"
The Genius Ladder (pretend to climb a ladder)
is a fun game (pretend to move a game piece on an imaginary board)
That we are going to use (we used a gesture that we had created for the vocab word community)
to become better writers. (write on imaginary board/paper)

I had them mirror this statement, and used mirror words.

"The first step of the Genius Ladder is the BLAH Sentence. (make a face and make the sentence gesture)
Teach - Okay
Class - Yes
"Our blah sentence is: The students sing"
"Is this a sentence?"  (They replied no to this... which was perfect because we reviewed what a sentence is)

I won't go into too much detail here because I hope to post the video very soon!

After reviewing sentence, noun and verb. I introduced the second step of the genius ladder.

"The second step of the Genius Ladder is the SPICY SENTENCE"
"What is a Spicy Sentence?" Teach-Okay  Class - Yes
"What is a Spicy Sentence? A spicy sentence is a BLAH sentence PLUS an adjective!"
A spicy sentence (wave hand near mouth like you have eaten something spicy then make sentence gesture)
is a blah sentence (gesture above)
Plus (make a plus sign with pointer fingers)
an adjective ( I made the gesture for adjective... but my kids didn't know it yet!)

"Oh NO! We haven't learned the gesture for adjective yet. Tell your partner I REALLY want to know the gesture for an adjective"

We learned the gesture for adjective and continued learning about spicy sentences. We practiced adding different adjectives to our Blah Sentence. When we were finished I sent them to their seats to write as many different spicy sentence with our sentence frame "The ______________ students sing." I told them they only had four minutes. They did an amazing job. In four minutes I had a paper that assessed not only understanding of adjectives but sentences as well!

I was in Teacher Heaven and my Literacy Coach LOVED it. She really liked the pace of the lesson and felt that the kids were engaged and really learned! WAHOO!

Thanks for Reading... and STAY "PAWSitive"


  1. I am so glad that your Literacy Coach loved your lesson! Your students are lucky to have you as their teacher!


  2. Sacha,

    Thank you so much! I really hope that I have impacted my kids as much as they have impacted me!

    1. Great Job!!!! The Genius Ladder takes students to "Beyond Infinity!" The level of writing that can be achieved with students at ALL levels is amazing!! Ten Finger Woooo with a Sizzle!!!!!