Below is a curated Twitter chat that shares ideas from other teachers on how they teach these concepts in their classrooms.
Q1: Do you teach grammar separately or incorporate it into other aspects of your ELA curriculum? Explain
- I teach grammar along with a writing; for instance, when I teach personal narrative I teach verbs, adjectives, etc.
- Sometimes I do separate grammar lessons but I like to work lessons into major writing pieces
- I teach grammar with my writing units. This year I did a “Grammar Bootcamp” with my NaNo unit
- I always incorporate language instruction into what we are reading or writing. Love using mentor texts and have students emulate
- I do MUG Shot sentences at the beginning of the lesson two times a week + in response to writing errors
- I teach grammar as part of whatever we are working on. It’s never stand alone. I like mentor sentences
- Sometimes separate grammar, mostly just hitting on what they struggle with
- I do both. I find it helpful to work on skills while writing but also feel the conversation of grammar helpful to practice in chunks
Q2: How do you avoid boring grammar lessons?
- Make it relevant to kids by finding examples in texts and focusing on authentic application vs. skill and drill worksheets
- I incorporate grammar, using both silly examples AND mentor sentences. Students remember silly, but relate to the mentor sentences. – I do these (plus thy/thine) with sentences about candy. Kids can relate to candy
- It’s hard, but I try to use videos and games. I have used something called “Grammar Tales” by Scholastic in the past
- I blend my grammar instruction and give students control over pace, process, and place. Also, lots of 1:1 instruction
- I gamified my grammar this year! The cadet rankings in boot camp really motivated my students
- There are lots of fun videos and games out there!
- Try to use real life sentences or pop culture references
- Been working hard lately to use tech to personalize language learning. Ex: Choose your own adventure: run-ons or fragments
- Use interesting mentor texts to help students see grammar in context
- Jokes. When I do adjectives I always use spicy adjectives. We make some interesting sentences. We draw in our notes too
Q3: Do you teach vocabulary in isolation or incorporate it into other aspects of your ELA curriculum? Explain.
- Can I say both? Students need explicit instruction but also need vocab development skills modeled
- Vocab is generally incorporated but have had to sometimes go into more technical words for test prep
- Quizlet Live for review – students beg for grammar practice! Bur really everything in context
- My department is doing 2 words a day 3x a week. Mixed results
- I use a mixed approach of teaching grammar in the context of what kids are reading or as stand-alone items!
- Vocab goes with units or read-alouds in my classroom… in isolation words are hard to retain
- Vocab is a tough one for me! Other than reading a lot, I have never found an organic way to teach it without a ton of time
- Students must guide vocab instruction. Who am I to say what words they know or do not know before reading a text?
- Academic vocab (drama terms, figurative language) before the unit, but novel study vocab integrated/in context. Goal is 10 words per week.
- For new unit vocabulary, I also use these notes I made that use pictures and text – a synergy of traditional notes & interactive notebooks
- Vocab gets taught when it pops up in new readings or in social studies classes as I teach both subjects
- Who am I to say what words will be important to the way they make meaning of a text? Just because the word affects me?
- Discussions, talking, writing…using discussion frames like “the author uses –to–This suggests/emphasizes —-”
- Vocabulary can be taught in different context of what they are reading or you can have stand-alone vocabulary sessions. Equally good!
- Here are some of my Skills Lab (grammar) playlists, if anyone is interested. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OvQlIrPacyTFPQegnLAv_kB9ioR9zaJwLY8jOMbCffA/edit?usp=sharing
Q4: What are your favourite activities for practising vocabulary?
- For big kids, it’s all about the #vocabsnaps! They can create them in Snapchat OR in @Seesaw! http://tinyurl.com/jjvocabsnaps
- @Catlin_Tucker has some great vocab ideas
- Games for practice – lots of great downloads from Sadlier
- Four corners! It’s a kinesthetic, interactive way to practice vocabulary and can test knowledge of synonyms and examples as well
- With such a variety of levels in one class how can we expect vocabulary instruction to be needed for the same words
- I also play a very low-tech game of team tic-tac-toe using just the whiteboard
- I like the idea of teaching the students to find meaning, not just what the meaning is.
- Relay writing is my all-time favourite. (I love the giggles it brings when kids finally read them!)
Q5: Share your favourite grammar and vocabulary resources.
- Love it! I like to have students group words by their tone, too – positive, negative, etc. as they deduce
- Yes! I like to have them preview the text first then THEY tell ME what words they may need to learn
- @goformative for formative assessment, @EDpuzzle for minilessons, playlists for instruction 🙂
- I’m looking for digital vocab options for next year – leaning towards http://vocabulary.com
- Absolutely. When we construct the list for them, we do all the thinking, and inaccurate thinking at that!
- Jeff Anderson is also my favorite book resource for grammar and mechanics. He rocks! Image grammar is great too!
- Books should be in every teacher’s library
- 7 Tips For Implementing Journal Writing In Your English Language Arts Classroom
- Ideas for Teaching Vocabulary
- Using Mentor Texts and Sentences To Help Students Improve Their Writing
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