Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simply Genius! The Genius Ladder Ebook

It feels like forever since the last time I blogged, because it HAS BEEN!  I made it one of my MANY resolutions to get back into it full throttle!  Blogging was a lot easier when I wasn’t living at my parent’s house with 8 people total, but I think I’ve finally fallen into a rhythm among all the madness!

Yesterday on Facebook, it was announced that the Ebook for The Genius Ladder was officially released! I immediately downloaded it and used it with my students today. If you have never used The Genius Ladder, you are truly missing out! It is one of my students’ FAVORITE classroom activities because we create crazy, zany Genius Paragraphs from basic BLAH sentences!  Come on, how much convincing do you need besides hearing that my 5th graders actually cheered when I said I downloaded Genius Ladder slides for WRITING!?  If you need an easy to follow break down of how to use The Genius Ladder, check out one of my older posts HERE.

If you don’t have a Smartboard, it is completely okay!  I don’t have one and it worked just fine on my good old classroom computer.  They seemed to enjoy the graphics, and well, they like anything that is more high- tech than my whiteboard! It has three levels: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. The first level is more of an introduction to how to orally practice verbs, adjectives, and prepositions, while giving more details about a topic.  Intermediate goes a step further and requires students to use BECAUSE in their Genius Paragraphs.  Advanced requires BECAUSE and an appositive, which is a phrase surrounded by commas, that gives more information about the noun it follows.

We jumped right into the first Advanced slide, after they convinced me they were up for the challenge.  Students switched out the nouns and verbs in the sentence for their own and added adjectives to describe the ballplayer, such as anxious and smelly. 

This was the fun part!  Students used the Extender Sentence to switch out their own appositives about Biff!  After they rambled them off to each other during Teach:Okay, I had them share out their examples to the class.  Here are a few they came up with:

the frightening, giant captain,
the clumsiest person on the team
the pitcher who throws as fast as a cheetah

After sharing out appositives, it was finally time to create Genius paragraphs!  NEVER, I mean NEVER, show students the example paragraph before doing their own, because as we all know they end up stealing the ideas as their own!  After choosing on a few students to create paragraphs orally using adders, I had them write for ten minutes while I did Red/ Green Marker Proofreading.  By this point they are more than eager to get to write their own creative stories, and they usually drop their shoulders  in sheer disappointment when I say time is up!  Say bye-bye to  the ever annoying, “I’m done writing.  Now what do I do?” 

Here is a student example:

If you want to download the FREE Genius Ladder Ebook, go to, register and click on "Free Ebooks"!  If you do not register, the book does not appear under Ebooks!


  1. Jasselle, I am so glad you are back to blogging again! You have been missed! Thanks for sharing your students' personal responses to the latest and greatest Genius Ladder!
    Mrs. Stoltenberg's Second Grade Class

  2. It seems to me that proofreading is the best step or the last line of checking a written works. There are lots of high quality editing and proofreading expert out there that can help you to proofread your works. :)


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