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How to Use Sentence Stems in Special Ed

A sentence stem is the beginning of a sentence. It’s sometimes called a sentence starter.

Sentence stems help students get started with thinking, writing, researching, or speaking about a topic.

Providing students with sentence stems helps students in multiple ways, not just with speaking or writing in complete sentences.


Here are a couple of examples of sentence stems:

Examples of Sentence Stems

  • ______ surprised me because….
  • I think that…
  • Do you think…
  • I agree with _____ because…
  • First… then… next…
  • First… second… third…
  • I like to…
  • In my opinion, I think…
  • This/That reminds of me… because…
  • I have a connection to…
  • Based on ____, I think…
  • Based on the passage, I can infer that… for example…
  • The main idea of the passage is…
  • If I had a _____, I would…
  • I wonder why…
  • I don’t understand why….
  • I already know that…
  • Today I learned…

How to use sentence stems in special ed?

Sentence stems help us model sentence structure and vocabulary, while also working on helping students to activate prior knowledge, clarify knowledge, summarize information, have meaningful conversations, share wants and needs, or respond to questions.

You can use sentence stems throughout the entire school day! And my guess is, you’re probably already using them and you didn’t even know it.

How do you use sentence stems in your classroom? Share in the comments below!


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I'm a special education teacher, presenter, curriculum writer, and educational blogger behind Mrs. D's Corner.
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