What I learned:
That my personal grammar education was severely lacking, and I want the opportunity to provide students with a better one. I also learned that there are actually interactive ways to teach grammar.
What we missed:
Not sure. How to work grammar into a fuller unit about literature maybe? I struggled a bit coming up with an overall concept for my lessons.
The textbook, definitely. And getting to choose our own podcasts was good too, because everybody could find something they personally wanted to learn about.
What didn’t work:
Sometimes I wanted to practice my own knowledge a little more than just reading or hearing concepts.
I really enjoyed the “Schoolhouse Prepositions” video. It was too cute—and incredibly catchy! I think songs are always a great way to engage with learning and make memorization and recitation a little less arduously monotonous. Partnering learning with music has a particularly powerful effect…
The one thing that really stuck out to me in your post was what you said about blurting out the answer to Jeopardy without hesitation. I am a complete advocate for music as an education tool because I know it can make difficult concepts simpler and easy to remember. What I didn’t think about before is the confidence that comes with educational music. If the music/song is effective it will be ingrained in your head for years, so when you are presented with a situation related to the material later on your mind automatically plays the answer. It happens to me all the time with the capital song. So cool!
Hopefully Apple will start auto-correcting grammar soon.
Week 7 = Freaking out that so much needs to be done before next Friday and being so happy that summer actually begins next Friday.
I think an important aspect to reflect on this week is how students will perceive information based on date of production and original publication. Other than Grammar Girl, everything else for this week was extremely dated. I vaguely remember Schoolhouse Rock from middle school and even then thought it was cheesy. While all the videos are helpful and are informative, it is easy to be caught up in how it is not current. If the video is not current, does it apply to us now? While obviously we know that it does but will all students be able to understand that? Even though these learning tools are not necessarily broken, I think we should consider fixing them.
The presentation about modifiers also sported pictures of a young female in attire that is not of the present fashion. Her image I think can be then considered a seductive detail that takes away from the content in a negative way. It would be simple to update the presentation with a modern educator figure and that would only enhance the material because it would be clear this is a concept that is imperative to linguistics today.
I have to say, I have never really thought about the date of a resource outside of it’s accuracy. You’re completely right in mentioning how students are going to perceive an obviously dated piece of material, whether it is useful or not. My sister, by her own principle, refuses to watch any movie that is older than she is (meaning made before 1990). It doesn’t matter what credentials the movie has, or how many people love it, she simply hates watching movies that are blatantly old. You mention that we should consider fixing them, and I wonder how effective it would be to leave that to the students themselves. I wonder how they would respond if you presented them with the “dated” video and asked them to revamp it into a modern resource.
I still have all of my Schoolhouse Rock videos even though I no longer have a VHS player because I refused to let my parents get rid of them. So I would definitely say I was excited to see the videos as the majority of our readings for the week. These are great examples of a way to get students engaged in grammar, by putting it in a format that they can relate to and see as something fun, rather than a list of rules printed in black and white. Music is an educational tool that has been proven time and time again to help students remember material, so I’m all for these videos and developing lessons involving them.
My Grammar Girl podcast this week was “Sentence Fragments”. She quotes the line “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” This makes complete sense to me, because varying sentence lengths in writing is difficult, and I know a lot of people struggle with run-on sentences and/or fragments. The basic rule is you can’t make a sentence without a subject and a verb, but many make the mistake of trying to use a dependent clause as a sentence, usually because there is a subordinate conjunction at the beginning causing it to become a fragment.
Poetry isn’t my most comfortable area of writing, but here’s my preposition poem anyway.
Into the sky flew the red balloon.
Watching with awe, the boy stared at the heavens.
What a magnificent journey it must take, he thought,
Flying over the birds, and floating between the clouds.
According to Papa a balloon’s journey never ends,
The eye is just too weak to see beyond the sun.
On days just like this they’d release a single balloon,
And watch it drift past the trees and up toward space.
But this day was different from the others.
Papa was among the balloons this time.
I thought this was a really creative lesson, and I could definitely see myself incorporating in my classroom. I started by picking a directional preposition, and just went from there. It would also be cool to see what could become of a poem like this with time and revision.
First off, I’m glad we got to see a video that really explained the comma splice. It’s something that has driven me crazy for a long time because so many teachers look at it differently. I thought by my freshman year in college I had the comma down pat, but then I took History of Asia, and my TA kept circling comma splices in my paper. They were the only points I got taken off. Then the next year, in one of my Lit courses, I was a little more hesitant with my use of commas, but my teacher ending up adding them into my papers. I was pretty frustrated at this point, but I decided to trust the English teacher over a history TA, so I reverted back to my old practices of using the comma (which over the last year I have found out is actually correct).
The sentence diagramming was also pretty interesting; I had never heard of it before. It seemed confusing at first, but after watching it again I realized if it’s something you learn early and are able to practice, it would make identifying parts of speech a lot simpler.
My Grammar Girl topic was “Can You Starts A Sentence With ‘Because’?” I’ve heard this plenty of times before that you can’t, but that is completely false. It actually fits in perfectly with this week’s material since “Because” is part of a subordinate clause, and can be used as long as there is also a main clause. It doesn’t matter the order, as long as you’re following the other rules of sentence combining.
Finally for the “African American English in Springville.” It’s weird to me that the dialect has been preserved for so long, and has not been influenced by the changing society as both white and black dialects have. I didn’t quite believe it until they showed the difference between the man from Springville and a modern speaker. The idea that whites and blacks also spoke very similarly back in those times was interesting too because I had never thought about it before.
The first time I can remember when I noticed that people in the same country as me speak differently was when I was in middle school. My dad was in the ARMY and at the time he was stationed in Washington DC. My younger brother and I were on our six week visit with him and we met friends in the…
Being born and raised in Florida, I’m kinda surprised I don’t use “y’all” (at least not more often). But in light of this week’s material I decided to mess around at work today; my store is less than 5 minutes from the airport, so we get people from all over. It’s amazing the difference in reactions when I would say something like “y’all”. People from the area, or from somewhere else in the South had no reaction whatsoever, but I swear some of the Northerners cringed. I like what you said in your post, that it’s not how something is said, but what is said that is important. It just amazes me how distracted people get by something like a southern dialect.
This week I didn’t feel very moved by the YouTube videos. As far as the Mechanically Inclined, obviously a pleasure but I’ll get to that in a minute. I really enjoyed getting I explore Grammar Girl and choosing my own podcast to reflect on with you all. I chose “I couldn’t care less vs I could…
I’m so glad you picked that podcast! It is definitely toward the top of my list on grammar pet peeves. Saying “I could…” implies that you do in fact care to some extent, and it’s the one flop I will actually point out to people (particularly in an argument, because it really lessens the impact of what you’re trying to say. At least in my mind). I also really liked Anderson’s idea for incorporating lines from the book you’re working on. It’s such a simple idea, but so effective for connecting all aspects of your class, and providing students with context.
So even after my research on the different types of verbs, I still ended up with a 19/25 for this week’s practice. I think it’s still easy for me to underestimate how difficult grammar can be because I don’t find problems in my everyday usage with it. I forget how much I still don’t know, and how intimidating it is for students when they hear terms like “transitive,” “auxiliary,” etc. This is why I’m so glad we have Mechanically Inclined. So many of Anderson’s techniques are so simple, it makes me wonder how teachers ever taught grammar through monotonous worksheets. He makes it so easy to incorporate what you are teaching in other areas of the class, and give students context where they can see an obvious connection. This is, as our lovely Professor has pointed out to us time and again, exactly what we need to do in our classrooms; give students a reason for why we teach what we are teaching them.
As for the videos, I think most us are aware of language discrimination to some extent, but probably haven’t given it too much thought. It’s sad to think that people are discriminated against on any basis, but particularly something like the sound of their voice. It goes to show how ingrained society is with the idea of a proper form of linguistics. I obviously don’t believe that anybody should be judged on something as trivial as the inflection, or tone of their voice, and it’s something we as teachers need to make sure not to promote in any way, or let stand in the way of a student’s education.
My podcast of choice was “Lay vs Lie.” I never paid attention to the difference between the two until recently, and now I feel silly for all the times I referred to myself as an object. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “I’m going to lay down.” Had no idea that was an incomplete sentence. What was I going to lay down?