There are a lot of things that I really love about teaching. There are also a lot of things that I find really frustrating about teaching. One of those things that I find frustrating about teaching is grammar. How do you teach it? How do you make it interesting? I was one of those really crazy students and I loved grammar worksheets, but that doesn’t mean that my kids today will love that. How do I take something that is so internalized and make it relevant to them?
One of the teachers in our district recently recommended the book Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher. She recommended it so highly that she sent me a copy of the chapter that she felt was most useful and it was like a lightbulb went off.
I’m in the second chapter, but this guy has definitely figured out the art of teaching grammar and writing in a relevant way. What I’ve found from the first couple of weeks of school is that the learners know grammar. They can identify the parts of speech and they can tell me what should be there. Where they struggle is in the application to their writing. What is the point of knowing what a compound sentence is if you can’t use one in your writing to help increase the variety of your sentences and make the reading flow more fluidly?
I don’t know if it is all going to work out, but I can tell you that I have identified some areas of growth for my learners and I’m pretty sure teaching grammar this way might make all the difference for the young writers in my world.