I student taught seventh and eighth grade Language Arts and then taught fifth grade for two years before teaching third grade (which is what I am doing right now). One thing that is good about that is that I know where the curriculum is building to and I know what things kids have trouble mastering in the earlier grades. One strand of the curriculum that weaves through it all is recognizing subjects and predicates. Honestly, it's been my experience that most eighth graders still do not grasp this topic.
I am supposed to teach subject/predicate in third grade over the next two weeks. The great thing for me is that this year I get to work with empty slates. The fifth graders and Middle Schoolers I have worked with in the past had already had many unsuccessful encounters with this material. The kids I am teaching now don't think that it is hard and confusing yet.
So, I have developed a smartboard lesson, several activities, a buddy project, and am using a video to teach this over the next two weeks. I am going to start out with very very simple sentences. I am going to have the kids diagramming from day one and I am going to make sure each and every kid masters identifying simple, complete, and compound subjects and predicates.
I think I am the only third grade teacher devoting so much time and energy to this standard, but I know that learning this thoroughly now will make the next five years so much easier.