Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Common Core Gives Purpose to Grammar:)

All too often, many teachers spend a great deal of instructional time on the teaching of grammar in isolation.  Though the intention is good, it rarely leads to a deeper understanding of the written language.  This issue surfaces often in classes where there are English language learners.  Well-intentioned teachers provide a wide range of activities all around mastering a specific form of grammar--tense, word choice, subordinate clauses, etc.  However, this instruction occurs out of context so students rarely see the "big picture" on the need for specific forms of grammar.

With common core, the shift will be addressing grammar within the context of a novel, piece of informational text, a textbook, the internet, a writing assignment, a math word problem, student writing assignments, etc.  The ten tips for teaching grammar in this Eye on Education link are excellent guides for teachers in this area.  Using them, grammar will take on lasting meaning for students.

I was particularly impressed with #8.  The suggestion here is to avoid writing sentences on the board with mistakes for students to correct (popular in many English classes) because such sentences may stay with students more than the corrections.  This is especially true of those still learning English. 

Grammar will find its place within quality reading and writing activities:)



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