Most of us could benefit from a grammar check every once in a while, even we teachers, and that’s alright (or is it all right?). But our students desperately need something much more systematic—and they need it right away.
No matter what state you teach in, you can be certain that grammar is being tested . . . frequently and across the grades! Meanwhile our students entering middle and high school are still making the same errors they made back in third grade. Luckily, Gretchen Bernabei, author of Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning, comes to the rescue with Grammar Keepers: a kid-friendly cache of 101 lessons and practice pages to help your students internalize the conventions of correctness once and for all.
Gretchen’s secret? Embed the lessons in ten minutes of daily journal writing, then use students’ own writing as models for discussion and practice. Students are much more interested in learning from one another than from stodgy sentences in a dusty primer, and these ultra-relevant examples more easily transfer into students’ talking, thinking, reading, and writing.
Here are the three ingredients of Gretchen’s approach:
- Daily journal writing, which increases writing practice and allows students to implement and master the lessons on punctuation, usage, and sentence structure in an authentic context
- Minilessons and Interactive Dialogues that model for students how to make grammatical choices
- A “Keepers 101” tracking sheet for teachers to monitor teaching and a “Parts of Speech Sheet” for students to use as a reference tool
We have known for years that traditional grammar instruction falls short for a great many students, but until now we didn’t know how to replace it. With Grammar Keepers, we have the right tool for today’s students. Think of it as the Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition for the spell- and grammar-check generation.
Trail of Breadcrumbs Website: http://www.trailofbreadcrumbs.net/
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