10-second review: Base the teaching of grammar on problems that can be predictably expected in compositions. These problems involve sentence structure, punctuation and usage. Composition should be taught at the same time as grammar so that students can apply their knowledge of grammar to their compositions. The purpose for a knowledge of grammar in composition? To polish writing.
Title: “Grammar and Composition.” Teaching English, How To…. Raymond Stopper. Xlibris, 2004. pp. 164-206.
Teaching Problem-Centered Grammar in the First Ten Minutes of Class (1).
For new teachers: The first ten minutes in class are crucial. You need to put the students to work immediately. While the students are working, you can check roll. But put them immediately to work. I have used a spelling test for the first ten minutes. But I mainly used those first ten minutes for one of two exercises. The first is to give practice in grammar and style in a format similar to the SAT objective test.
I put on the board something like the following:
“Coming up the street, the flowers in the window looked colorful.”
The students label the problem and then correct the sentence: In this case, the sentence is a dangling modifier. Corrected sentence: “Coming up the street, I saw that the flowers in the window looked colorful.” Any other variation of the sentence that corrected the dangling modifier would be acceptable.
In this way, I can note how many students recognize the problem, how many could identify the problem and how many could correct the problem.
If the students complete all three parts of the problem—recognize, label and correct—I award them a point for extra credit. The accumulation of points is added to the student’s final grade points for the quarter.
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