In Between the Commas 6th grade teacher Jeny Randall is delighted to have found a new mentor in writing instruction who emphasizes a sentence construction framework. She looks forward to growing even more as a writing teacher thanks to Martin Brandt’s “irreverent wisdom.”
One of the most common concerns Sarah Tantillo hears from ELA teachers is “I want to teach grammar, but I’m not sure how to fit it in.” Her new MiddleWeb post explains a systematic approach that blends grammar into narrative reading and writing classes, day by day.
If your students have trouble switching back and forth from informal to formal writing – with all the inherent grammar, punctuation and capitalization problems – you’re not alone. Rather than just blame it on technology, Jeremy Hyler is using some tech to fight back.
When we plunge into interactive learning, we get curious, look closely, ask questions, hypothesize, jot, mimic, create, play, discover, and draw conclusions. Grammar study with a makerspace mindset can build all these things in, says literacy consultant Patty McGee.
Sarah Tantillo uses an inferential approach, in which students analyze how the grammar works. She follows the Common Core standards to structure the book. ELA teacher Amanda Berry appreciates Tantillo’s insights and humor but concludes the self-published book needed an editor.
Grammar doesn’t need to be numbing. As you consider curriculum additions and tweaks over summer, author and literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo suggests ways you can incorporate grammar into those refreshed lessons to help students understand structure and write more clearly.
How can teachers convince students that learning grammar is worth the effort and can improve their writing? Jeremy Hyler and Troy Hicks suggest ways to implement a range of online tools to bring grammar alive for classes. Lots of ideas, writes Erin Corrigan-Smith.
For many students, grammar is mostly about memorizing rules and having teachers correct their mistakes. Author Sean Ruday’s Bachelor Grammar activity helps them see how authors use grammatical concepts purposefully to make a piece of writing as strong as possible.
Teacher read alouds work with middle graders, too. Literacy specialist and ELL coach Valentina Gonzalez describes why and how reading fiction, nonfiction, even picture books, aloud to young adolescents can advance learning. Included: specific strategies and resources.
Traditional conferencing isn’t a good fit for Amber Chandler’s project-based classroom. She uses a version of “unconferencing” that provides flexible student support, with help available from both teacher and classmates. A detailed example explains the process.