Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Think, Therefore I Is.

I'm trying something new this quarter - I'm withholding explicit grammar instruction until I've collected a couple assignments, including a formal essay. First of all, I think the instruction might end up being unnecessary. If students already have a strong foundation, knowing the difference between the past tense and past perfect tense is not going to make them better writers. Second, I realize how abstract these lessons are when separate from students' own writing. Once I've assessed their writing, then I can determine a baseline and target more specific skills to build. I think this will make for a happier teacher and happier students.

1 comment:

mkcillip said...

I think it's a great idea. Last semester I went all gung-ho with sentences: this is a subject, this is a predicate, this is a subordinating conjunction, this is an independent clause, this is a subordinate clause, this is a simple, a compound, a complex, a compound-complex sentence. Students seemed to follow until they weren't then applying it to their writing.

I think they're (rightfully) frightened by the jargon and the rules. And besides all that, I have to think that I learned to write "proper" sentences before I even knew what made them so.