Spotlight On Strategies: Change It Up! Stem Completion

Welcome to a special SOS Top Ten series called Change It Up. 

For years you’ve told us the best part of the SOS is their adaptability for use across grade levels and content areas.

In this series, we take favorite Spotlight on Strategies (CDN Version) instructional ideas and share ways to adjust or adapt for your classroom.

We’d love to know what your favorite adaptations are; visit the DEN Online Community to share more ideas!

Change It Up:

Strategy: SOS Stem Completion (CDN Version)

Big idea: Provide a structure for students as they learn to make connections and build on prior knowledge. Students complete teacher-provided sentence stems based on a variety of content and media.

In Any Subject . . .

. . . keep a generic set of sentence stems readily available for quick review at the end of a lesson, or when there is extra time before class ends.

. . . create sentence stem dice with this Google template (create a copy to edit for your own use).

. . . conduct a fun review before the big test! Courtney Warlick tweeted about an adaptation she made. She put sentence stems on the feathers of a turkey and had students play a round of Toss the Turkey.

. . . have primary students use thinking stems as discussion prompts first, moving to writing prompts once they have mastered them verbally.

In Science…

. . . Lindsay Foster tweeted a suggestion for providing opportunities to practice using content vocabulary in context by giving students sentence stem prompts that include the required vocabulary. For example:

Earth Science stem: “A type of metamorphic rock is . . .”

Geometry stem: “A real life example of parallel lines is . . .”


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