Saturday, January 24, 2015

Why Teach Grammar?

UGH! Is it time to teach grammar AGAIN???  I've felt that way more than once…way more than once!! Why is teaching grammar so important anyway? Well, first of all, those who use bad grammar can be really annoying. What they have to say becomes less important than how they say, or write it!

Consider this:

1. Students don't acquire good grammar skills just through reading, writing and speaking. Grammar instruction needs to be constant, and ongoing.

2. Many college instructors are totally frustrated that their students don't know basic grammar rules. A National Curriculum Survey done by the ACT found that college professors consider grammar and usage skills as the most important skill for those entering college. Don't think teaching these skills can wait until high school, they can't. By high school habits are set, and it's very hard to change those bad grammar habits.

3. When students apply for grants, interviews and other opportunities, those with poor grammar make a poor impression. The writer/speaker can end up losing an outstanding opportunity that he/she is prepared for, just because their poor English usage makes them appear uneducated. Again, teachers must start early to teach these skills.

So what can teachers do?

a. Identify grammar standards for your grade level.
b. Find out what your students do and do not know. This lack of knowledge may not be just with what you teach at your grade level, it may be cumulative from former years.
c. Look at skills your class as a whole needs. Focus on three or four skills each week to really work on both in whole class, and individual activities. Computer games are great for this!
d. Don't forget homophones! There, their, and they're, it's and its, and other high frequency homophones stick out like a sore thumb when misused! Include one set each week with your spelling lesson, and don't let them go until the class is proficient.

So…how about some fun resources to help with those pesky grammar skills? Check out the freebie below, and don't miss the great games and activities on this post. They are perfect for centers or group work!  If kids are having fun, they just learn more!  Enjoy!

This game called "Word Invasion" allows students to choose any part of speech, including adjectives and adjectives to work with. Once the game is played, and time is up the game gives an accuracy rate and shows the words missed. An absolutely terrific game for centers!

OMG! I love this site! Students or teachers can print posters (really cute ones) for any part of speech, use teacher tools to find out fun activities to use in the classroom, students can make up wacky stories using parts of speech, test their knowledge and much more! VERY engaging with terrific pictures. Love this one!

This one is just great practice game! It comes in easy, medium and hard. Perfect (again) for centers!

How about two more freebies that includes adjectives nouns, and suffixes? They are designed for second, third  and fourth graders.  Click on the link below the picture:

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