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Teaching Grammar and Mechanics in Writing Workshop

Teaching Grammar and Mechanics in Writing Workshop

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Teaching Grammar and Mechanics in Writing Workshop

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  1. Teaching Grammar and Mechanics in Writing Workshop

  2. Grammar vs. Mechanics • Grammar includes principles that guide the structure of sentences and paragraphs. He likes to eat pizza, but I like spaghetti.

  3. Grammar vs. Mechanics • Mechanics is how we punctuate to achieve meaning (punctuation, capitalization, paragraphing, formatting). “Let’s eat Grandma.” “Let’s eat, Grandma.”

  4. Why Teach Grammar and Mechanics? • Grammar and mechanics shape meaning • Allow writer’s words to be understood by the reader

  5. “I say we spray!”, shouted Dad taking aim with a squirt. “Yes! Spray! Spray!” cried out Mom and Emily. “So spray already!” sputtered Oliver. So they spritzed him and sprayed him. And they gooped, glopped, and moussed him. They even hair-pinned him flat in five places for good measure. “Aaah,” they said, sighing a confident, job-well-done sigh. Oliver’s bedhead was now one slick gelhead. And then… Margie Palatini, Bedhead

  6. How do we teach it? • Studies show that teaching grammar in isolation is not the most effective teaching strategy. • Teach grammar in context. • Apply grammar/mechanics to students’ writing.

  7. Teach Grammar and Mechanics • As principles to be studied, explored, examined, and practiced rather than rules • Tools to serve a writer in creating text reader will understand

  8. Focus on Craft instead of Correctness • Students need grammar and mechanics tools so they have choices and can make decisions about crafting their writing • Make editing and revising activities as regular as breathing.

  9. They can’t even… • What are they using correctly? • What are they attempting to do? • Make a list of grammar and mechanics errors you notice over and over in students’ writing

  10. Boys • - Is the writer able to arrange words, sentences, and paragraphs • to convey meaning? • - Does the writer understand the sentence as a unit, even if the • punctuation isn’t correct? • Does the writer understand verb tense? • -What grammatical understandings is this student • approximating? • - Does the writer understand simple conventions such as contractions, indenting, use of punctuation, subject-verb agreement?

  11. Spending hours correcting grammar and punctuation? • Hours of work…tons of hope… little result • “Marking every error does as much good as yelling down a hole.” Nancie Atwell

  12. What do I teach? • Base your teaching on the errors they make. Use Treasures/Trophies as a resource and guide. • Base your teaching on the strategies they need. • 20 Most Frequent Errors

  13. 20 Most Frequent Errors -sentence fragments -tense shift -run-on sentence -its vs. it’s error -subject-verb agreement -vague pronoun reference -no comma in a compound sentence -possessive apostrophe error -pronoun agreement error -wrong/missing prepositions -no comma after introductory element -wrong word -lack of commas in a series -unnecessary shift in person -wrong/missing inflected endings -comma splice -no comma in nonrestrictive element -dangling or misplaced modifier -unnecessary comma with restrictive element -wrong tense or verb form (Connors and Lumsford)

  14. Argument: Correct-Alls vs. Mentor Texts • DOL helps with editing…sometimes. • More than one concept • Visually absorbing incorrect writing

  15. What is a mentor text? • Any text or piece of text that can teach a writer about an aspect of writer’s craft, from sentence structure to quotation marks to “show don’t tell”. • Sentence Stalking

  16. His room smelled of cooked grease, Lysol, and age. -Maya Angelou, Why the Caged Bird Sings • Matilda’s wonderfully subtle mind was already at work devising yet another suitable punishment for a poisonous parent. – Roald Dahl, Matilda

  17. We Know We Need to Teach Grammar in Context… • Context is about meaning. • The key is meaning, not length. • Use mentor sentences to teach grammar and mechanics principles.

  18. Teaching Grammar • Teach one thing at a time • Apply it to daily writing • Use the shortest mentor text possible • Give students time to work with the principle • Scaffold for maximum success • Display visuals for constant reinforcement

  19. At first they may… • Copy directly • Overuse concept • Attach meaning to the wrong things

  20. And you… • Keep teaching, re-teaching, repeating, mentioning, thinking aloud, noticing, encouraging • Writing is recursive • Students may need WEEKS to master one principle

  21. If struggling readers need to see a word forty times to learn it (Beers 2002), then I’ll make a leap and say students need to see grammar and mechanics rules highlighted in different contexts at least as many times to own them. - Jeff Anderson

  22. Mini Lessons on Grammar and Mechanics • Short! 5 - 10 Minutes! • Best taught at the beginning of Writing Workshop • Display and read mentor text • Make observations • Play around with punctuation, etc. • Make more observations • Discuss rule or principle

  23. Moving Past a 4

  24. Various Sentence Structures are Used • Simple sentences • Complex sentences • Compound sentences • Sentence variety ., !, ?

  25. AssumptionA sentence has a subject and verb. It must make sense and stand on its own.His mother yelled, “Be careful crossing the street.”The boy raced across the street.+ What makes a sentence? Sentsentence Subject (who or what did something) Verb (what did they do?) stands on its own

  26. Cows moo. Cows moo? Cows moo!Sentence Fluency begins in theear.

  27. A fragment is missing a subject or verb and/or doesn’t make sense.A car came zoomingbig and boldwhen I was littleKids need to be able to identify and fix fragments. In order to do this, they must understand the simple sentence. Everything builds on this understanding – from compound to complex.

  28. The ability to pare down a sentence to its essential core is the first tool students need in order to uncover the craft of all sentences.Jeff Anderson, Mechanically Inclined Sentence Smack Down

  29. When I was five. I had a Chuckie doll. I would scare everybody with Chuckie. Chuckie was about two feet, had orange hair, little red and white shoes, overalls, and plastic knife. To make Chuckie look more like the real thing. From the kitchen drawer. Like a mini-butcher knife. I super glued it into Chuckie’s hand.

  30. Sound familiar? • I went to Disney it was awesome and we took my friend Sam and then we went to the Frontier for lunch and we had bar be que and then we went swimming at the pool it was so much fun! The classic run-on!

  31. Compound Subject My mother looked at the map. My sister looked at the map. My mother and my sister looked at the map. Compound Predicate The leaves fall on the ground. The leaves cover the ground. The leaves fall and cover the ground. This is easy!

  32. Compound Sentences • Essential tool in a writers toolbox. • I like teaching reading but I don’t like teaching PE.

  33. What do you notice? Every day was a happy day, and every night was peaceful. -E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web Nick Allen had plenty of ideas, and he knew what to do with them. -Andrew Clements, Frindle I want to buy a new car, so I have to save some money. I want to take a cruise to Hawaii, but I don’t have enough time.

  34. What do you notice? Every day was a happy day, and every night was peaceful. Every night was peaceful, and every day was a happy day. Every day was a happy day and every night was peaceful Every day was a happy day every night was peaceful.

  35. Probing Questions -What do you notice? -What else? -What’s the punctuation doing? -How does it sound as we read it? -What would change if we removed this or that? -Which do you prefer? Why?

  36. Building the Compound Sentence Pattern for and * nor but * or * yet so Sentence sentence . , I want to go, but I have to clean my room. I want to go, but I have to clean my room.

  37. Compound Sentences A compound sentence contains two subjects and two predicates. A conjunction is used to combine the two sentences. F - for A - and N - nor B - but O - or Y - yet S - so

  38. Notice, Notice, Notice I hit a double, and then everything changed. He forgot his lunch money, so he had to eat a peanut butter sandwich. I thought I lost my homework, but it was under my bed.

  39. Grammar Notebooks

  40. Download Mentor SentencesELR Cab Conference

  41. Build Grammar Section of Writer’s Folder • Explain principle • Students cut and paste principle and mentor sentence in writer’s folder Subsequent days… • Students imitate sentence and/or pattern • Leave room below -- encourage students to find more sentences from their reading to add

  42. Let’s Give it a Try • Invitation to imitate I sat near the back with Stephen, and he kept pestering me. Stephen is my best friend, but I’m not sure he would admit it. There was only about a block to go before our bus stop, but I couldn’t stand Stephen’s whining. -Andrew Clements, The Report Card

  43. Let’s Give it a Try • Invitation to imitate I sat near the back with Stephen, and he kept pestering me. I sat on the floor with Harry, and he kept licking me. -Andrew Clements, The Report Card

  44. Collecting Sentences

  45. Next Steps • Add compound sentence(s) to daily writing • Collect sentences • Practice combining I tried calling her as soon as I got home from school. Her line was busy.

  46. Celebrating Grammar • For homework have children, “Shop the World” looking for sentences that follow the pattern (or have them write one) • Share the sentences aloud • Celebrate, reread, compare, contrast, enjoy, and review the craft of grammar • Display sentences all over the room • Empower kids -- “I can do that, too!”

  47. If struggling readers need to see a word forty times to learn it (Beers 2002), then I’ll make a leap and say students need to see grammar and mechanics rules highlighted in different contexts at least as many times to own them. - Jeff Anderson

  48. Principles We’ve Learned • Construction of a Simple Sentence Subject + Verb + stands on its own • Construction of a Compound Sentence Sentence, + Conjunction + sentence. Moving on… Complex Sentences

  49. Dependent Vs. IndependentIf independence means to stand on your own, what does dependence mean?

  50. Independent clause(Simple sentence) The duck flew. Subject Verb