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Schoeb 1
Mollie Schoeb
Dr. Ruday
ENGL 382
19 April 2016
Grammatical Concepts Paper
As a future teacher I feel it is my responsibility to ingrain the concepts of English
grammar into my future students minds. In the English language each sentence begins
with a capital letter. Capitalization is crucial to comprehend to be successful for a student
of any grade. The foundation of a sentence is associated with the subject matter, which
must always agree with the verb tense. Conjunctions have many components that are the
essence of the sentence making it complex and allow the context to emerge. It is
important to remember when teaching that each student learns in a different way and
pace. Implementing interactive activities allows a class to participate creatively instead of
statically. This gives the students a chance to gain more knowledge in a method more
prone to understanding.
There are two main reasons we use capitalization in our writing. First
capitalization provides lucidity to the reader and second it “enhances the reader’s
experience” (Ruday 102). A few main guidelines to keep in mind when integrating
capitalization into our writing: always capitalize the first word in a sentence, the pronoun
I, proper nouns; person, place and thing, titles, days of the week, months of the year,
holidays, countries, nationalities and specific languages. “Capitalization mistakes result
in readers spending more time deciphering the mistakes than enjoying the writing”
(Ruday 103). It is important to have a clear understanding of each of these guidelines
Schoeb 2
before teaching them to your class. While discussing this grammatical concept we must
focus on teaching, “Why writers use capitalization?”
Capitalization is often one of the first grammatical concepts that is taught to
students at a very young age. It can sometimes be very difficult to understand. As your
students get older they often forget about the importance of Capitalization, they forget
where it is needed and where it is not. “Writing with capitalization gets the authors
message across and doesn’t distract or confuse readers” (Ruday 109). When we
incorporate capitalization into our writing it helps our readers understand what is being
said and who is being talked about. Capitalization serves a large purpose in our writing
and in today’s world it seams it is becoming quickly forgotten. It indicates words we need
to focus on such as place and time. Teaching this grammatical concept can be very
difficult if you don’t have a decent understanding of it for yourself.
The more often student’s read and write will help them gain better knowledge of
the rules of capitalization and other grammatical concepts. I believe it is very important
to let your students read and write about topics they find interesting. Having them do so
will keep them attentive to the topic you are teaching and in turn they will gain a better
understanding of the concept. Since the importance of capitalization is taught at such a
young age, in my classroom I would have the class sit down together and make a chart. A
chart of all the guidelines they believe we will need to follow in our classroom when it
comes to capitalization. They will then give an example and tell the class why they
believe it is important. On the chart there will also be images for the students who are
more visual learns rather than auditory learners. For example as a picture of a girl named
Sally and a picture of a boy named Bob, with “Names of People” written above.
Schoeb 3
Knowing now that “Names of People,” must always be capitalized. This allows the
students to feel included in the creation of the guidelines that will be hanging in our
classroom. Doing so, the students are more likely to retain all the guidelines that he or she
and their classmates created. I would also write on the chart and inform my students on
any guidelines they may not have mentioned but are still important to good writing. After
we have created our classroom chart with all the guidelines we are going to follow, I
would make small groups of two or three and give each group a “die” made from square
tissue boxes. On each side of the box there would be a few sentences that would include
capitalization errors. Then the small groups would roll the die and rewrite the sentences
with the corrections they have made. Next, as a class we would go over why each group
capitalized what they did. This would reiterate the guidelines we created as a class while
also giving them examples to see how it is used in writing. Each student is going to learn
a different way and at a different pace. It is very important to make sure you teach this
grammatical concept in a way so that each of your students has a clear understanding of
capitalization before moving on to a different grammatical concept.
Subject- verb agreement is very logical but is often where students in grades 3-5
have some difficultly. There are so many components and rules that come into action
when learning about subject-verb agreement. Some of the major factors we must focus on
and where students struggle most often in their writing are the differences and when
appropriate usage is needed for; first-person narration, second-person narration and thirdperson narration, third-person in present and past tense. Each sentence will have subjectverb agreement but it is the verb in the sentences that we must decipher if it is written in
future or past tense. “The essence of subject-verb agreement is that singular subjects have
Schoeb 4
singular verbs, and plural subjects need plural verbs” (Ruday 13). This can be a very
complicated grammatical concept for children to fully grasp and may often need extra
practice.
This particular grammatical concept is important to good writing because its
responsibility is to, “create clear, and effective writing” (Ruday 16). It also helps us as the
reader appreciate what has been written without getting confused and off topic. When this
concept isn’t used correctly or used at all we often will find ourselves re-reading
sentences until they make sense. Although, its important to begin by focusing on the first
person and third person narration because these two are the most commonly used. When
discussing second person, we can’t forget the rule of “you.” The word “you,” is both a
singular and plural pronoun, sentences in second-person narration typically contain the
same verb form whether they refer to individuals or groups” (Ruday 14). While you are
not changing the narration in second person you can change the tense from past to
present. While this alone can seam very confusing we cant forgot about the importance of
irregular verbs. Most of our students will use this verb more often everyday without even
realizing it. Irregular verbs are, “most frequently used in daily communication” (Ruday
15). We must spend time teaching this grammatical concept properly, if our students
writing lacks proper subject-verb agreement then they will become frustrated with their
writing and it will be more difficult for us as teachers to comprehend.
I would teach this grammatical concept beginning with creating an anchor chart
for the lesson before class. Highlighting the main rules the students will need to
remember in their writings. Making it color-coded this way my students see specific
words that stand out. Displaying that singular subjects works with singular verbs and
Schoeb 5
plural subjects works with a plural verbs. Under each I would leave room for an example
we would create together as a class. Making the subject and the verb the same color as
above. Doing so will help my students decipher more noticeably when it comes time for
finding examples in literature. Next as a class we would do a small activity-creating
sentences. Then with paper chains we would remove the subject and the verb in each
sentence and make links. Again this would reiterate which words in the sentence we are
focusing on. Coming to the end of the lesson I would have all my students sit in a circle
and we would discuss why each student believes subject-verb agreement makes writing
effective. I would make it understood that it is necessary to use this grammatical concept
for clear effective writing.
As humans we often use conjunctions in our speech before we are taught what
exactly a conjunction is used for. The role of conjunctions is to connect phrases, words,
or clauses. You will often see conjunctions in literature being used for transition from one
sentence to another related sentence. Interjections on the other hand play a slightly
different role. They are used to show the emotion in literature, “Interjections usually are
found at the beginning of sentences” (Ruday 135). For example, “Ah, now I understand.”
Expresses to the reader realization that lets us feel that emotion. When referring to the
three main conjunctions: starting with coordinating conjunctions I was always taught the
mnemonic, FANBOYS; for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Without these conjunctions reading
literature would be much more difficult. These coordinating conjunctions allow our
sentences to be less rough when we are reading and writing. Second, correlative
conjunctions role is to link two ideas together using common conjunctions such as, bothand, not only-but also, either-or, and neither-nor. Lastly, subordinating conjunctions join
Schoeb 6
a clause to the main clause to the sentences using, after, because, before, since, though,
until, when, and while. Each of these is important for good writing, “Both consist of
single words or short phrases that can dramatically impact a piece of writing.”(Ruday
135).
Conjunctions and Interjections are very important in order to have well written
grammar. Conjunctions allow the combination of sentences so there is a flow in the
writing we read. Conjunctions steer away from having to many short sentences, which at
younger ages they are more prone to using. Since there are a variety of conjunctions these
types are usually taught to students at a higher-grade levels. Each of the three types of
conjunctions plays an important role in grammar. Coordinating Conjunctions, “Combine
two-part statements of equal importance” (Ruday 133) they always connect phrases,
words, and clauses. The role of this conjunction is to make sure each clause is given
equal importance.
Subordinating Conjunctions, “Link two statements when one is
dependent on the other”(Ruday 134). Specifically subordinating conjunctions are
necessary and important for complex sentences. They focus on the independent clause
and then provide that transition to the dependent clause, linking the two statements to
form one thought. Correlative Conjunctions “Are two-part structures that connect two
related statements” (Ruday 134). This type of conjunction works in pairs to join certain
sentences and phrases together that carry equal importance. Interjections have a similar
role but they do not link statements together as conjunctions do. Interjections role is to
“express emotion” (Ruday 135). This grammatical concept is necessary and very
important in every piece of writing. Conjunctions and interjections both influence our
writing immensely. It is important to understand before teaching this concept to our
Schoeb 7
future student that, “Conjunctions and interjections have some key similarities, as both
consist of very few words and can have significant impact on a piece of writing” (Ruday
133).
This grammatical concept is a popular focus that is discussed often in grade
school. Depending on the grade-level I will be teaching I plan to incorporate the
Schoolhouse Rock Conjunction junction YouTube video. Studies have shown that using
songs to learn helps with memorization, “Applying lyrical, rhythmic and movement cues
to factual information can help you memorize it more effectively, as well.” This would
give them an idea and get the class excited for the new grammatical concept we are about
to learn. As a class we would begin by learning the basic conjunctions and when it is
necessary to use them in your writing. We would start by looking for examples of
conjunctions and interjections from the literature we were currently reading in class
together. Then with a fun worksheet filled of sentences without neither conjunctions nor,
interjections I would have the students add them where they believe they were needed.
Going over these worksheets as a class, I would make sure there was no confusion before
moving on to my next activity. Next, I would have them in groups and give each group a
poster board and makers. On each poster board I will have already written, for example
correlative conjunctions in one color and the definition in another color. Then students
would use their work sheets we worked on together as a class and pick out only the
correlative conjunctions. As a group they would decorate the poster board with all of the
correlative conjunctions and present it to the class. Each group would be given would a
poster board with a different conjunction to create and present for the class. Allowing my
students to do this activity and have their own work displayed on the walls around the
Schoeb 8
classroom reminds them how much they already know. This will also give them
something to refer to when we are discussing or working on the particular grammatical
concept in class. I believe it is very important to remind your students of how much they
already know, when they think what is being taught is becoming to difficult. Having their
work displayed around the classroom will boast their confidence within their work. When
referring to conjunctions and interjection it can be rather difficult to decipher from the
three types of conjunctions as well as the understanding that interjections are mainly used
to describe the emotion of characters. It is important to review the three types of
conjunctions and the difference between interjections when working with literature in the
classroom. I will continue to incorporate these skills into our classroom with each lesson
I teach.
Each of the grammatical concepts that I have discussed previously plays a
prominent role in English grammar. After going in depth and learning more about the
importance of conjunctions, interjections, capitalization, and subject-verb agreement, I
thrive to gain more knowledge for the importance of every grammatical concept that
exist. In today’s classroom we as teachers must incorporate new interactive ways of
understanding grammar, for our students. I found this to be one of the most difficult
subjects growing up. It seemed that my teachers would discuss a topic for one day give us
a few worksheets and the next day would move on to a new topic. If a student ever had a
question they often would tell us we had already gone over that. Looking back it is clear
to me now that my previous teachers were never taught to teach grammar in a way for all
of their students to fully understand. In my generation so many people still struggle with
literature and writing. This is why I feel as a future teacher I must take the time to mold
Schoeb 9
student’s minds to have a strong understanding of all key components required for
grammar.
Schoeb 10
Work cited page
Ruday, Sean. The Common Core Grammar Toolkit: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the
Language Standards in Grades 3-5. Print.
Memory: Use or create rhymes and songs to remember formulas or detailed information.
(2012). Retrieved April 17, 2016, from https://studytipaday.com/2012/02/29/memoryuse-or-create-rhymes-and-songs-to-remember-formulas-or-detailed-information/

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