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Week 8 Discussion

This semester was packed with information. I learned a lot about how fast language changes and that we must follow language trends as much as we must know traditional, proper English. This was probably the most interesting and most important thing I learned this year. Through the grammar girl podcasts, we were able to learn more that supported the idea that English is constantly changing, and while something might not be acceptable in traditional proper English, it has become acceptable in today’s society and language use. I think this is something very important for us, future teachers, to know and understand. Dialects are important to keep in mind when teaching students, especially since the dialect of the region is something they cannot escape and may influence their formal writing.

While dialects are a part of who each individual student is, we need to also remember the importance of correct grammar and pronunciation. Another thing that I learned this semester is the importance of teaching students the importance of grammar. The best method I heard was from Professor Spradlin herself; that using correct grammar is a reflection of an individual’s attention to correctness which is important to show future employers whether the student plans to attend college or not.

I loved the text book that we used this semester. It was full of examples and interesting teaching strategies. I was able to learn a lot about the common errors in grammar and mechanics. I also enjoyed how we tried to approach teaching grammar as an opportunity to allow students to be creative. I feel as if this is a very important teaching strategy.

While I learned a lot in the class, I definitely would have liked to have the opportunity to approach more difficult concepts in grammar and mechanics. While we will only be teaching middle through high schoolers, I want to improve my own knowledge and understanding as much as possible so that I will be knowledgeable enough to help teach my students no matter what level they are on.

Erika, get over yourself.: Week Seven Post

ebreitkreuz:

It was so nice to have a throwback on this seventh week of classes! I loved school house rock in middle school and while my favorites are still “Conjunction Junction” and “I’m only a Bill” I found all of the songs to be fun and informative. I think music is a great way to get through to our…

I liked the idea of the preposition lesson as well. I think it’s a great way to help students identify and remember prepositional words as well as their function in the sentence.

Your discussion about the videos gave me a great idea. These grammar videos are very popular and well know. My idea was to allow our students to create their own video (or at least song) for a part of grammar/mechanics. This would be a creative way for students to learn about and present information on the parts of speech. It would also have the potential to create the novelty effect with the use of technology. I love this idea. It has everything: technology, creativity, and endless possibillities! Thanks for leading me to it!

Vicki's Class Blog: Week 7 Post

vwilkinson:

How I have missed school house rock! I loved those videos. I thought the best one was the adverb video, I felt it explained its content the best. The preposition video I felt just kind of rattled off some words and said they are prepositions, but the song was very catchy. I love the idea of…

I liked the idea of the preposition lesson. I thought it was creative and gave students the opportunity to be creative with language and grammar all in a fun way. I also liked how the lesson could be put into a poetry unit to make the grammar lesson more in context.

Hopefully, I didn’t offend anyone by using hopefully at the beginning of sentences all this time. I never knew it was a no-no, and I’m happy to know it is acceptable now.

I also liked the schoolhouse rock videos. They could be an excellent tool to help students remember parts of speech. While some of the videos went in more depth than the others, I thought the preposition video was adequate. I thought the video showed how prepositions connect information in the sentence.

Week 7 Discussion

"Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here" was a cute video. I think videos like this can be a great tool in the classroom to help students remember parts of speech, their function, and still be engaged. "Unpack your Adjectives" could have the same function. These two videos together could help students make the distinction between Adverbs and Adjectives. The preposition video could be used in the same way: to help students understand and remember the part of speech as well as its function in the sentence.

I think the preposition poetry lesson is a creative way to get students to really think about the grammar they use in a way that can be fun. Grammar is often taught in a dry way, so anyway that is creative is worth a try in my book. I especially like this activity because it allows students to create (higher level thinking than just asking them to recite or comprehend) and it can be used in context with a lesson on poetry. This lesson on prepositions could also be a segue into a lesson on dangling modifiers. I also enjoyed the modifier presentation. I believe that dangling modifiers often create funny sentences, and by pointing that out to students (perhaps by allowing them to create their own), students will be more likely to remember and catch dangling modifiers during the writing process.

For the GG of choice I selected decimate. Initially, I wasn’t sure what I would find. I recognized the word, but not why I would find it on GG. I’d never known that the use of decimate (despite having the deci- prefix) referred to a reduction by 10%. I had only heard it in terms of reduction but never to specific amount of reduction. I found this GG quite interesting.  

BLOG TIME: Week 6

jlgriggs:

I really liked the sentence combining prezi because one of the things it really showed about sentences is that they can be creatively combined. Writing and using English can be creative and can have many different ways of expressing thoughts and actions. There are so many different varieties when…

I love that you mentioned writing and combining sentences as a creative process. When I write my stories, I’ve found myself using more creative sentence combinations and structures. Honestly, I love to do it. This creativity is something we definitely need to encourage to our students. While students need to use a variety of sentence structures, nothing is wrong in encouraging exploration with sentence structure and creativity just for the sake of it. 

I posted the GG all right vs alright a couple weeks ago. I like how you said that ‘alright’ isn’t necessarily wrong, despite the fact that the podcast basically says it is. Essentially, you’re right though. Alright is perfectly acceptable and understood in today’s society. The important aspect of the word is to remember that it is technically slang and should be avoided in professional and educational writing. I was relieved to come upon this revelation, because alright is much easier to text than all right. Note: I’ve also noticed that according to Tumblr alright is a word they consider correctly spelled, while Tumblr has the red line underneath. :D

On a final note, I agree that the learning by numbers method is easier than the lesson provided this week. Although I must point out, we’ve been taught to teach grammar in context, where research shows it is more effective. The learning by numbers contains more of memorization by students rather than learning in context. Perhaps we need both to properly teach students the grammar they need to know. The lesson allows them to learn in context while they can use the numbers method to learn rules that they often break during writing assignments.

Untitled: week 6

bma11:

For week 6 the Coordinating Conjunctions video was interesting and was a nice little refresher. I always love mnemonic devices and I think they are a great learning tool for students. My mom (a former teacher) started me on them when I was very little and some of them still pop into my head from…

I agree that podcasts are a great way to teach or learn information. They are especially helpful because students have access to them from home and can use them as reference when writing or completing homework. Some teachers use podcasts to record and present their lectures online in this same manner to give students something to reference, study from, and access at a later time. As far as the classroom goes, we can use podcasts before (as homework), during (as part of a lecture or review), and after class (homework or reference). The only problem with podcasts is the fact that it appeals to the audible learner, which can be very few students in a class since many students, as an effect of the technological age, have become more visual and interactive learners.

Week 6 Discussion

This week I selected the Semicolon Grammar Girl Podcast. I selected this one because I’ve noticed myself using it more than usual and wanted to confirm what I knew and see if I could learn something new. I often find myself trying to use colons incorrectly, and while I didn’t learn anything new about the semicolon, I did get some clarification about the colon. 

I then did the reading and then realized how well it went with our Mechanically Inclined reading. My favorite section in the book is the Power of Punctuation. I personally love punctuation - probably a little too much. In 6.1 The Misuse of Quotation Marks, I realized how important quotation marks are in writing and not just for understanding dialogue. We also use quotation marks for quoting, which can get a student in a lot of trouble if they aren’t quoting and citing correctly. The great thing about teaching quotation marks though is the availability of model texts and learning grammar through content. I also used this chapter to learn more about the colon as well as the dash.

While the prezi was informative, the video “Development of AfricanAmerican English in “Springville”” was intriguing. We always talk about how language is changing, but according to the video, language is changing into different directions based on race. According to the video, language is changing, but the development of African American English isn’t being affected by ‘White’ English and vice versa. My question is why and how? Can this still be true today? In my own life, I can firmly say I use popular slang words that I would not normally use. How does culture affect one’s dialect and language development or change? 

The video about Coordinating Conjunctions reunited me with FANBOYS! I learned FANBOYS in high school by my favorite English teacher. FANBOYS can work miracles for improving grammar.

Erika, get over yourself.: Week Five Post

ebreitkreuz:

20/25

I grew up with a mom from southern California, a dad from New Jersey, spending every summer in the Deep South, and all school year in south Florida. I know a little something about local dialects and with all the experience I have racked up there are some truths I have come to realize….

Interesting Perspective! To me, it seems as if when it comes to grading students formality of the assignment has a big part to play. How though can you grade a student on proper English if they are only exposed to it for a small portion of the day? I believe the only way we can do this is by teaching it to them before expecting it from them to use it. I do agree though that the importance of proper grammar matters little in answering a verbal question in class, especially if it is in the accepted dialect of the area. Perhaps instead of grading solely on correctness of grammar, we, as teachers, should consider the dialect of the area and grammatical and mechanical tendencies that are accepted in that region before taking off points.

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