Teaching grammar and getting it all in on a block schedule in the spring semester is a challenge because time is limited. That’s due in part to frequent snow days, several dates for standardized testing, and just regular interruptions. Actually, time is limited no matter what semester it is or what your schedule looks like, and grammar is always difficult to teach. Nonetheless, there are standards we must cover before the final end of course exams or standardized tests roll around. Plus, if you are a writing teacher like me, you really just want to see your students’ grammar, usage, and mechanics improve. Grammar is one standard that must be covered, but it’s a huge umbrella encompassing so many skills that it becomes overwhelming to plan for. I could teach from bell to bell everyday with nonstop grammar and still not get it covered. Here are five classroom-tested ways I’ve found to cover all that grammar — in just 10 minutes a day!
See a video of me doing these bell ringers “live” right from my classroom!
3) Worksheet Wednesday: Students need regular practice with specific, isolated skills. I like the idea of a skill-drill to give students specific practice. These worksheets are unlike the daily bell ringers, which have a random selection of mistakes. Each Wednesday when students come in the room, they have a grammar worksheet to pick up and do as a grammar drill for the day’s starter. It’s timed (10 minutes), but they can use their notes that we’ve take in class or from last night’s video. The worksheet usually has some notes at the top and examples for that skill. This way students can give their attention to that skill and work through examples of all the rules associated with that skill. The skills that I’ve included in my grammar curriculum were selected primarily from the skills covered on the ACT.
|Try my student data pack to track students’ weekly grammar quiz scores.|
5) Old-fashioned Homework: One way to get more grammar practice in is to assign homework, but it needs to be homework that requires application. Grammar homework (worksheets) typically has right or wrong concrete answers, thus making it very easy for students to cheat. Instead of assigning worksheets like this, have students write 10 sentences or a paragraph demonstrating their understanding of sentence structure, subject verb agreement, or parts of speech, etc. This way you can be certain their work is original as it will be easy to spot “shared work.”
Now available is my complete grammar program with daily grammar proofreading sentences, the video links I use, rules, worksheets, and daily quizzes.
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