Let’s be honest, there are only so many hours in the day! With certain states in the U.S. emphasizing subjects, especially in testing grades, we as teachers may feel pressure to focus on the more heavily tested subjects (cue reading and math). With read-aloud books, mini-lessons, reading stations or centers, writer’s workshop, etc., I’m left with only a short window of time to teach grammar concepts. This could range from 5-15 minutes a day.
I’m the type of teacher who likes to spice things up, yet appreciates the predictability of a schedule and routine. Consequently, I find myself getting bored of a resource that, while vital and important, is missing a little kick of change. I end up dreading when we have to go over the questions because I feel like a broken record, and I resort to finding a completely different resource to supplement for warmup.
Despite the repetition, students still have trouble remembering certain grammar rules, such as the differences between a coordinating and a subordinating conjunction. While explicit instruction has fallen on the wayside, I like to go over the rules in short mini-lesson and discuss other examples or answers with the class. Yet each week, I still find myself having to answer questions from students who don’t seem to retain what I have taught.
This one is for my fellow Texan teachers! We are an island in a sea of Common Core resources. While the resources are amazing, sometimes the grammar skills we teach for a certain grade level in Texas may be for a different grade level in a Common Core-oriented state. For example, a 3rd grade CC standard focuses on simple, compound, and complex sentences (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1.I), but the 3rd grade TEKS standard for types of sentences only focus on simple and compound sentences (ELA.3.11.D.i).
What if I told you there MIGHT just be a solution? One of my big projects this summer was to create a resource that solves these major pitfalls I have come across in my teaching!
The Daily Language Grammar and Vocabulary activity bundles have 40 weeks worth of activities with 4 questions a day. It is designed for most students to complete in a very short amount of time (5-10 minutes). You can easily have students work independently, check and review answers, and even elaborate on the grammar skills of the day within 15 minutes. It’s also flexible to use for any part of your block. You could have students complete for independent practice, as a station, homework, or as part of asynchronous learning time for distance learning.
Each day has a specific set of objectives that are reviewed throughout each quarter. The sequence and order of questions are predictable for students to be able to understand what to do with minimal assistance. As students progress through each quarter, the skills become more enhanced at a deeper level or cover a different subset of the same objective.
Each day, students will see a brief definition or description of most of the grammar skills taught. Students can take ownership of their learning and have it to reference as they read and answer the question. Instead of re-teaching what a conjunctive adverb is during the whole-group review time, you can use the time to elaborate and apply the skill to other contexts.