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Archive for August 24th, 2014

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Once again it is DigiLit Sunday. I hope you will link up your digital literacy wisdom post and read and comment on others. This is how we build an active online community.

Over the last few years, much has been said about teaching grammar in isolation. Basically, it doesn’t work. Skill and drill is out. These days grammar lessons are embedded into writing instruction. Having such small groups of students, I have the luxury of conferencing individually with a student about grammar using his/her own writing. I also give mini-lessons when a question comes up that everyone can benefit from.

This year I plan to add a new web-based grammar practice. My supervisor in gifted shared this site with us at our recent inservice. She said her high school students told her that many of the skills they practiced were on the ACT. The site is https://www.noredink.com/ It is free to an extent, but there is a premium version we are considering purchasing if my supervisor gets enough interest. I signed my students up and created 3 weeks of assignments in about 15 minutes. The site uses students’ pop culture interests to generate practice sentences. If a student misses a question, an instructional page pops up. My hope is this site will be motivating and individualized and take little effort on my part. I am looking forward to giving it a try.

The other plan I have for grammar is to design mini-lessons from the students’ posts on kidblogs. This gives me easy access to their writing. This week when they wrote their Slice of Life entries, I noticed problems with punctuation of compound sentences. I also noticed that one of my fourth graders used capitalization correctly. I will highlight the correct grammar (celebrate this) and ask for input on the comma problems.

I believe that grammar is important, but I do not want to focus so much on it that our creative writing suffers. By incorporating web-based practice and mini-lessons from student writing, I will encourage good grammar skills and celebrate writing.

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