Teaching Grammar, Teaching CompositionIn your teaching experience, have your students been prepared to write essays at the high school level, or do they still struggle with sentence-level issues?...

Teaching Grammar, Teaching Composition

In your teaching experience, have your students been prepared to write essays at the high school level, or do they still struggle with sentence-level issues? Would a grammar study guide from eNotes be helpful?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For some reason, we teach the same grammar and writing every year and students don't learn it.  Something is wrong here!  I know that my students studied the parts of speech and the five paragraph essay in the last five years or so.  Yet them come to me with a sold grasp of neither one.  I have often wondered what we are doing wrong.  I think we simply do not spend enough time on writing and grammar.  We teach it once or twice a year, in isolation, not every day.  It needs to be a constant, developmental thing.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There is a definite need to consolidate basic grammar and issues such as sentence structure and paragraphing right through High School, unfortunately. I have been amazed at how even some of the more able of my Grade 12 students have shown themselves unable to write a more complicated sentence or to organise paragraphs. Any help would be gratefully received!

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Here's an interesting article from this month's NCTE newsletter:

. . TEKS Controversy

"Texas Educators Split over Teaching English Basics":  NCTE members Joyce Armstrong Carroll, Kylene Beers, and Alana Morris are quoted.  The Houston Chronicle, April 20, 2008
"Educators, Experts Seek Last Word on Grammar":  NCTE members Joyce Armstrong Carroll, Kylene Beers, Cindy Tyroff, and Virginia Guerrero are quoted.  San Antonio Express-News, April 19, 2008

malibrarian's profile pic

malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I've had good luck with the Voyages in English textbook series (Loyola Press) that we use for 7th and 8th grades.  They cover the grammar very well, as well as writing, and the grammar guide in the back of the book is very helpful.

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that all kids are going to learn and remember grammar.  Again, seems like the key is getting them to understand that they're not just learning something to pass the next quiz, test, or writing assignment - they need to learn it in order to be able to express themselves as adults, too.

robin-lowe's profile pic

robin-lowe | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Teaching Grammar, Teaching Composition

In your teaching experience, have your students been prepared to write essays at the high school level, or do they still struggle with sentence-level issues? Would a grammar study guide from eNotes be helpful?

I teach freshman comp. in college and a great majority of these students need quite a bit of help with sentence-level issues.  I end up spending more time than I should have to reviewing grammar, which is very, very frustrating for me.  Students should already know this stuff by the time they're freshmen in college. 

I think a grammar study guide would be very helpful here.

 P.S.  The best book I've ever used for grammar is the Harbrace Handbook.  We require all comp. course students, along with early lit. course students, to purchase it.  It's fantastic!

I am also a college teacher. In my experience, the freshmen are oblivious to grammar. I want to ask, "What did you do in high school?" Some can not even tell you what a verb is!

 I do not like our text. It is the Trimmer Writing with a Purpose. I will try and get a copy of your successful text. We also have a problem with Comp II texts. Actually, all the community colleges in our state have contributed to a textbook for MS students. It will be piloted this fall.

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

Teaching Grammar, Teaching Composition

In your teaching experience, have your students been prepared to write essays at the high school level, or do they still struggle with sentence-level issues? Would a grammar study guide from eNotes be helpful?

I teach freshman comp. in college and a great majority of these students need quite a bit of help with sentence-level issues.  I end up spending more time than I should have to reviewing grammar, which is very, very frustrating for me.  Students should already know this stuff by the time they're freshmen in college. 

I think a grammar study guide would be very helpful here.

 P.S.  The best book I've ever used for grammar is the Harbrace Handbook.  We require all comp. course students, along with early lit. course students, to purchase it.  It's fantastic!

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

The best books I have ever seen for teaching the parts of speech are Ruth Heller's World of Language series. They are beautifully illustrated and wonderfully easy to grasp.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I tell you that an accessible grammar and usage guide would be wonderful.  I have taught English as a Second Language students as well as native speakers of English.  Grammar books are vague and sometimes difficult for students to follow.  The series of grammar books written by Betty Azar for ESOL students is wonderful!  I truly wish we had something written in that way for native speakers so they would "get it" more quickly and readily especially since the ACT, SAT, and exit exams are now beginning to include so much grammar and usage on them.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

I don't like the textbooks and workbooks we use. They're either too difficult for my students, or they have enough practice exercises. I'm constantly searching for supplemental materials.

I've had the most success with a series called Daily Grammar Practice (http://www.dgppublishing.com/NewSite/). With it, you use one sentence per week and each day identify a different grammar concept. For instance, on Monday you label the parts of speech, on Tuesday you label the subject and the predicate, etc. On Friday, you even diagram. I used it with my advanced 8th graders last year and made diagramming extra credit. However, when I tried to use it in my 10th grade class last fall, I gave up because the students had enough trouble labeling nouns and pronouns, let alone telling whether the sentence was simple or complex.

What I'd really love to learn how to do is to get the students to retain what they've learned. My 9th graders were all in my 7th grade language arts class two years ago. I spent the entire year covering parts of speech and punctuation, and they still have trouble identifying nouns. They can label the subject, but they can't see any other nouns in the sentence.

How do you teach retention of knowledge??

sunriseacd's profile pic

sunriseacd | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Grammar rules are not changing each year and so we have to teach the same grammar year after year, but to different batch of students.  After teaching formal grammar, we should reinforce it continuously by pointing out their application in the lesssons we teach.  By doing so, our literature classes will be less monotonous.

Thomas

sevenyrteachereng's profile pic

sevenyrteachereng | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I am a new teacher in a high school teaching 9th graders. I have learned one thing...They have forgottened what they were taught in 8th grade.  Grammar excercises in the Glencoe series gives them practice but they soon forget to apply it in their writing. The tests need to be geared to testing their assimilation and application as well. I would be interested in leads for good tests or quizzes.

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