I was teaching, but they were not getting grammar. While we worked on grammar each day for the bulk of a ninety-minute class period, grammar continued to be a confusing subject for most students. Many still could not tell the difference between one grammar term and the next, nor could they apply the knowledge to answer questions related to content. Sentence structure was weak. Additionally, my students did not have enough understanding of subject area vocabulary in English to enter the conversation that would enhance their ability to become better writers. I was frustrated and so were they.
For the past three school years, the following changes in course content made a significant difference for many students. These changes allowed my sixth grade students to assimilate grammar concepts thereby gaining a higher QDI on the state test. These activities allowed my students to analyze sentence patterns thereby providing a means of producing advanced sentences in all four patterns: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Further, activities helping students use the power words or testing words helped my students achieve some of the highest growth scores in the district. Receipt of multiple congratulatory comments from central office staff for consistently having one of the highest growth rates in the district at specific testing intervals was icing on “my” cake. Olive Zenon, Successful English Grammar Teacher
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