Teaching Demonstration

My Teaching Demonstration:

GuiltFreeGrammar

 

Teaching Demonstration Reflection:

Reflection

Comments on my teaching demo can be found on my JULY 3 post on my main page.

 

Comments on Teaching Demonstrations:

This link will bring you to a document containing all of my comments on fellow ISI members’ teaching demonstrations:

Demo Responses

  1. I LOVED this demonstration, Becky! Great job! As you probably already know from our reading group discussions, I, too, have somehow been labeled the building “grammar queen” (I prefer “queen” to “Nazi,” though I don’t doubt that’s a term that’s been applied to me, too) ! I am definitely going to begin some of my classes with the “Green Glass Doors” game this fall; I think even the “insider / outsider” feelings that game generated are a great topic for discussion. Anderson’s idea that “grammar is power” is certainly a concept illustrated by playing that game, and I buy the idea that “outsider” students need to be given the “codes” that are commonly used by “insiders,”and that they need to be given in ways that make “outsiders” feel honored, too.
    Like you, I often begin the year by having students write an essay that serves as a diagnostic exercise for me, allowing me to create a “Top Ten” list (with apologies to David Letterman) of the urgent grammar issues we might need to address repeatedly throughout the coming year. The lists generally have much in common from year to year: the usual commonly-confused words, subject / verb disagreement, noun / pronoun disagreement, lack of parallel structure, and more. One of my first reactions to seeing that stair-stepped grammar chart contained in the C.C.S.S. documents was to note that it reduces “grammar” to just a few key concepts but that those concepts “just happened” (???) to be pretty much the items that make my “Top Ten” lists year after year! I love the idea of the grammar games and the student-writing-centered lessons you shared, all activities that seemed to encourage students to create their own deeper knowledge / understanding of language conventions. When we’re able to structure classroom activities that way (rather than simply lecture, then drill), I trust that students are far more motivated than they would be otherwise. I still find find it pretty tricky business to teach grammar without mystifying or discouraging students, without making them feel their at-home language or their personal writing is “no good.” THANKS for a wonderful taste of the kinds of approaches and activities that can lead us (and our students) further down the path to success!

  2. Becky, this looks great — I think you should give this demo at the Fire Up conference this fall. It’s a lot of fun and you have a lot to offer!

    More info: http://www.itecwm.org/conferencehandouts.htm
    Email Patricia Siemens if you’re interested; her email is on the website.

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