Category Archive: grammar

Using Inquiry to Lift Language Conventions

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As middle school teachers, we know grammar and language conventions have likely been taught to our writers in previous years. But why don’t they stick? Here are a few ideas around teaching grammar and language conventions using an inquiry approach…

Patterns of Power: Review + Giveaway

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At a time when  thoughts turn to sandy beaches and alarm clock-less days, it takes a very special professional book to make me wish (at least a little) that it was September and I could start implementing all these fabulous, fun and important lessons now! Patterns of Power: Inviting Young Writers into the Conventions of Language is a book that will make you happy to have the opportunity to be a teacher, working with young writers to help them explore, wonder, and apply the conventions they learn. It’s a book that I believe will transform how teachers and students look at conventions

Rethinking the “I-Rule”

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Many of us were taught that first person pronouns had no place in academic writing. But is that rule still being followed by professional writers?

Warming up with grammar games

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Before my daughter plays a soccer game or scrimmages, her team goes through several warm-up exercises. Watching the go through the motions, I’m impressed that they all seem to enjoy the warm-ups, and they also can explain the purpose of them.

It has helped me to think of these grammar games as the girls think of their soccer warm-ups. They’re quick, they’re fun, and they’re relevant to writing.

Conventions & Presentation: Solving Predictable Problems

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Proper use of conventions and the aesthetics of writing pose unique challenges in an elementary writing workshop. Here are solutions to eight predictable problems you may be facing with your students.

Five Grammar Lessons With Sneaky Double-Duty Goals 

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Check out these quick, easy grammar lessons that will clean up and power up your students’ writing.

Micro-Workshop: Making Time for Conventions and Grammar

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How do you find time to put a focus on the littlest pieces of our writing to create big pieces of work?

A Love of Grammar

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Here is a round-up of some of my favorite grammar-related websites and resources. You will notice that there are no worksheets here.

Do you need a copy editor?

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I don’t have a professional proofreader at my disposal (though I wish I did!). I know spell check isn’t a fool-proof method for getting my writing ready to go out into the world. But now I have Grammarly, a proofreading web application that finds and explains in-depth grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes online.

Grammar Lessons: A Time and A Place

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Encouraging kids to make decisions about their writing, rather than blindly following grammar rules helps lifts the level of their thinking, and the level of their writing.

Grammar Matters + a Book Giveaway

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Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty’s new book, Grammar Matters, is for teachers of Kindergarten through 6th grade. It provides lessons as well as grammar references so you can enhance your instruction and get your students excited about learning grammar.

Five on Friday + Book Giveaways

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Want to obtain some high quality professional development at no cost to you? Need some books to sink your teeth into this summer? Feel like kicking back and just enjoying some time off? If you answered “yes,” to one of these questions, then read on!

Editing Wonderings

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I’ve been thinking a lot about editing and conventions and writing workshop. My ideas keep twirling around and I’m trying to grab hold, but they don’t seem to want to be pinned down… Continue reading

Siri

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Last month I finally got of my cell phone that didn’t have a qwerty keyboard and upgraded to an iPhone 4S.  It took me awhile to convert to an iPhone since I first… Continue reading

I’ve been studying sentence structure…

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I was watching or listening or reading something this week — I don’t remember what — but the message was: You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. True. (And probably… Continue reading

Misused Apostrophes

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The day I went into labor with my daughter I was transferred from a labor and delivery room to a postpartum patient room back to a labor and delivery room.  By the time… Continue reading

Punctuation Police

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Today was my first day back to the classroom after being under the weather and out for two-and-a-half-days. I hesitated jumping back in, realizing I had a lot to catch-up on in my… Continue reading

The “No Worksheet” Zone

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I started teaching a unit of study on Conventions yesterday.  (I really think I need a more dazzling name for this, but for now, it’s going to be known as the “Conventions Unit… Continue reading

Verbs in Revision

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Georgia Heard’s Book The Revision Toolbox: Teaching Techniques That Work is one of the best books on the teaching of writing that I own.  If it’s not in your bookshelf, then click here… Continue reading

Teaching Students to Master Conventions in a Modern Way

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I read through the comments on Ruth’s latest post this morning.  It seems like many folks are feeling a little angst when it comes to grammar instruction.  You’re pulled between teaching kids grammar… Continue reading