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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Easy Grammar Plus

The first thing I have to say about this curriculum is, I really wish I had found this a couple years ago. We have tried many different grammar curriculums and I love this approach. When I went online to find out more about it at Rainbow Resource. I saw a video. It discussed the idea of teaching kids prepositions first. Then they learn to mark out prepositions. This allows them to simply the sentence and then they can figure out the subject and verb.
For example if we take the following sentence:
Over the river, and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go.
Now if we ask the student what is the subject of the sentence, you will likely get many answers.
( river, woods, grandmother, house, we). Now a student proficient in grammar will know the answer.
So by learning that over, through and to are prepositions, we can know that the subject is not contained in a prepositional phrase. Students are taught to identify the preposition, then strike through them. 
Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house, we go.
So when we strike through the prepositional phrases, we are simply left with "We go."
Now, finding our subject and verb are easy. "We" is the subject and "go" is the verb.
What I want to know is:  Why wasn't I taught like this. I remember years of being frustrated in school having to diagram sentences, trying to determine parts of speech. How easy is this system.  The only thing I really remember about prepositions was it was supposed to be a place a mouse could go. (But that system doesn't always work." 
When I was in my 20's someone corrected me over the phone. I said "Where are you at?"  My client laughed and said "Don't you know you cannot end a sentence with a preposition?"  I said, "What was a preposition?" He said "At, is a preposition."
So anyway, back to the topic here-the first lessons are spent on learning prepositions. The book uses many ways to help the children learn and memorize the 50 most common prepositions. (Really, they just need to know one when they see it.)
The first day we played Preposition Bingo.

The kids chose words from the list of prepositions and wrote them randomly on their bingo board.
As I called them out, they covered them up. (This helps in familiarizing the kids with some of the words.)
Ok, yes I see it is upside down. I haven't figured out a good way to get my phone pics into my blog.
And don't want to upload them to my computer and then have to upload them again here. So I email them to my blog. (And since they are small on my phone I did not notice they were upside down. ) There is no app in blogger to let me straighten it out, so use your imagination. LOL
Here is the list of prepositions we went over this week.
This is a word scramble activity that is just getting the kids familiar with the words again.
The Teacher's Manual really is essential to this program. It guides you through how to demonstrate things to the kids. The lessons are fairly short -and would only take 15-20 minutes a day. Which is great because we also have a full writing curriculum this year. In the TM it shows the worksheet the kids will do and has a worksheet with the answers as well. It also has a pre/post test.
We spent our first 3 days doing the Pre-Test. This is a fairly long test, so I split it up so I would not overwhelm the kids.
Anyway, I know I am going to love this curriculum. I can really see the difference in the style already. I know at the end of the year when I do the post test I will see much improvement.