Monday, September 1, 2008

Tackle it Tuesdays: teaching..

Since we're back to school in full force, I thought I'd use my Tuesday tackles to talk about one of my loves: teaching writing.  I am blessed to dust off that expired teaching certificate in secondary English education and teach the kids at Hallstrom.  I'm one of many English teachers at our co-op.    

I have 12 seventh and eighth graders in a class called, "Write with the Best".  I teach another class called, "Write your Own Book", but we'll talk about that later.  

So, here's what we are doing:  Wanda Phillip's Easy Grammar Plus.  I really like this approach.  It is so easy to teach, and the kids catch on very quickly.  You have to think outside the box a little bit, though.  We learn PREPOSITIONS first.  She calls it "the preposition approach".  Essentially, you identify all of the prepositional phrases and cross them out.  After that, you deal with the rest of the sentence grammatically.  

Here is another resource we are using: Write With the Best, by Jill Dixon.  Here again, I love this book.  It is SO easy to use.  If I could have designed a writing manual, I would have wanted to do it like this.  

What else are we doing?  I had EACH of my students set up their own blogs for journal work.  As far as I can tell, they are REALLY getting into this!  I check their journal work all week long, as I have time.  If I have writing corrections or suggestions, I throw those into the comment section.  I like the immediate feedback that I can give them, without sitting there for hours writing comments by hand and wondering if they'll ever read them! 

So, that's the basics of what I am doing in my class.  We only meet for class once a week, so I assign them an entire week's worth of work on Tuesdays.  

All of my own children are in classes while I am teaching.  I have my fourth, Than, in my Write your Own Book class.  He seems to be enjoying it.  My oldest three each have other English teachers--very good ones, I might add! I sat in and observed a little bit of Jo-with-it's English class, and I was really impressed! I've seen Robotdude's homework for British lit--makes me glad I don't have to teach that either!  Praise the Lord for co-ops!


Mrs. Parunak said...

The preposition approach sounds like a really great way to help kids get at the main clause of a sentence. I think it would be a good Bible study tool, actually, as some of Paul's sentences go on for several verses.

Organizing Mommy said...

I use it for Bible study all the time. It really helps figure out what the main idea is!