Happy New Year! As we embark on the journey of 2024, I hope you’ve had a rejuvenating winter break and are geared up to make the most of the upcoming semester. Before we dive into the 3 grammar strategies, I have an exciting invitation for all 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade teachers!
Join us at the Read, Write, and Rejuvenate event happening this week in a special pop-up Facebook group. This free event is packed with giveaways, resources, and professional development sessions! This week-long Facebook pop-up aims to reset and recharge you for another semester of reading and writing. Whether you can participate live or catch the replays later, you won’t want to miss it. Find the link to join HERE!
I hope to connect with you there!
Now, let’s jump into the heart of today’s post – grammar strategies tailored for upper elementary classrooms.
In a recent survey, nearly 1,000 teachers shared their struggles and questions about literacy. The resounding theme was the challenge of teaching grammar effectively. It’s a tough nut to crack, and the abundance of rules coupled with time constraints make it even more daunting.
Grammar, essentially the system of language, encompasses rules governing language structure, syntax, parts of speech, sentence types, and punctuation. It’s the backbone of effective communication, aiding in reading comprehension, writing skills, and overall academic success.
Why grammar strategies are important for students?
- Effective Communication: Grammar provides the framework for constructing clear and coherent sentences, allowing students to express ideas precisely in both writing and speech.
- Reading Comprehension: A solid grasp of grammar aids in understanding complex texts, enhancing students’ ability to interpret and analyze written material.
- Writing Skills: Proficiency in grammar is crucial for clear, coherent, and persuasive writing across various genres.
Now, let’s explore three game-changing grammar strategies for the upcoming year:
Grammar Strategy #1: Swap Definitions for Functions
Often, the focus is on memorizing definitions of the eight parts of speech, leaving students disconnected from their role in reading and writing.
Instead, shift attention to understanding the function or job of each part of speech. Teach students that every word in a sentence serves a specific role, making it easier for them to comprehend and create meaningful sentences.
- Nouns answer who or what.
- Verbs answer what is happening, is doing, or was doing.
- Adjectives answer how many, what kind, or which one.
- Adverbs answer how, when, where, and why.
- Pronouns answer who, what, or whose.
- Prepositions answer when, where, and in what ways.
- Conjunctions connect words or ideas.
- Interjections emphasize thoughts or feelings.
Grammar Strategy #2: Swap Worksheets for Sentence Writing Practice
Traditional grammar worksheets often fall short in effective instruction. Research, as discussed in The Writing Revolution by Dr. Hochman and Natalie Wexler, suggests that teaching grammar within the context of student writing is most effective. If you are looking for a simple, yet effective way to do this, we suggest utilizing a sentence writing routine to provide students with ample practice.
And you are in luck! We have done the work for you. Our sentence writing routine offers opportunities to incorporate additional grammar rules seamlessly, such as subject-verb agreement, capitalization, punctuation, conjunctions, and the functions of words within a sentence.
If you’re not using the Sentence Writing Routine yet, CLICK HERE for a free sample!
Grammar Strategy #3: Swap “Rules First” for “Usage-First” Approach
Rather than adhering to a predefined scope and sequence, tailor your grammar instruction to what students need in their writing. Consider the context of their assignments and focus on rules applicable to their current projects. This usage-first approach ensures that grammar lessons are meaningful and purposeful, fostering a deeper understanding and application.
- If students are working on expository writing, emphasize rules applicable to that genre rather than unrelated rules like incorporating dialogue.
These three game-changing grammar strategies are designed to make your instruction more effective and engaging. Challenge yourself to implement at least one swap this week!
And don’t forget to join our FREE Read, Write, Rejuvenate event for a week of giveaways, freebies, training, collaboration, and motivation to kick off 2024! Let The Stellar Teacher Company help you put your best foot forward this semester.
Here’s to a Stellar New Year filled with impactful grammar instruction and successful learning experiences for both you and your students!
Sentence Writing Routine Free Sample
If your students struggle to write at the sentence level, this new literacy routine is going to be your new best friend. Each day of the week your students will engage in a quick (yet effective) sentence writing task that will help them become more confident and creative writers. Say goodbye to fragments and boring sentences, and say hello to complex sentences with lots of details!
Think about your next steps…
- Join us in our FREE week-long, Facebook book to help you jumpstart your first semester of 2024! Read, Write, Rejuvenate is a space for you to connect and find inspiration to accomplish your teaching goals this year.
- Want to hear more about how to create a literacy block that fits it all in? Then sign up for The Time-Crunch Cure a free webinar happening over the next week! Follow this LINK for dates and registration. We hope to connect with you there.
- Check out Episode #174 of the The Stellar Teacher Podcast for more on these three grammar strategies!
- Join us inside The Stellar Literacy Collective, where you will get access to a resource library filled with reading and writing resources that will help support you and your students get the most out of your literacy block.