Archive for the ‘grammar’ Category


February 13, 2008

I don’t know how I would teach writing and grammar without free writes and dictée. Want to teach grammar? Use these two things. They are the most effective tools I know for teaching grammar quickly and efficiently, because they are interesting and meaningful to the kids.



February 8, 2008

When Dale and I presented to our district on TPRS a few weeks ago, neither of us thought to bring up the point that, when we do TPRS, we are doing grammar and lots of it. We’re just not doing it straight out of book. Call it embedded grammar or whatever, but TPRS kids get tons of grammar every day. All we talked about was CI (Dale showed a Krashen video).

The mistake was to not make it clear to these teachers, many of whom were new to the profession, that TPRS does in fact include grammar. I am suggesting that TPRS presenters should try to make it clear, when they present to teachers whose primary professional experience has been based largely on the concept of teaching grammar, that grammar is structure and when we speak the language properly to our students, we are teaching grammar. Grammar and TPRS are one and the same. 


February 8, 2008

For French teachers: a good way to get kids to remember the difference between the accent aigu and the accent grave:

Boxers, normally righthanded, lead with the left hand. I ask the right handed kids to stand up and lunge forward with their left forearm leading, as if to punch, while they yell “aigu!” – the left forearm, with the hand upper right and the elbow lower left is in the form of the accent aigu and all that the kids have to do to remember that is to yell aigu when the left hand goes out. Next, they follow with the right forearm while yelling “grave!”

That other way with the falling into the grave always confused me, and always ran the risk of upsetting kids who may have recently suffered a loss.

I haven’t yet figured out yet how to work with the left handers on this, however.