Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Another update from the Harrisons. Enjoy!

I am  proud to say that I don't teach grammar in any way that would be considered traditional, and my February lesson of the Month (which is almost complete!) will show some of the creative techniques I use in my approach to reviewing and teaching grammar and all that grammar terminology found in Common Core.  For the February Writing  Lesson of the Month, I will be focusing on learning more about VERBS, and my lesson--I am pleased to say--will come with no grammar worksheets at all!
Quick side note: I like it when my students make "quizzes" for each other in their writer's notebooks during their ten minutes of Sacred Writing Time.  A truly thoughtful interactive writing notebook should beg to be passed around and shared, and creating a quiz on one of your pages is a great way to encourage such sharing.  Now, back to grammar...
To teach my students grammar, I find tricky ways to sneak grammatical knowledge into what feels like creative writing challenges to my students.  My two- and three-word sentence challenges secretly help my students understand the difference between transitive and intransitive action verbs.
This afternoon, I had a wonderful time creating a "grammar quiz" about transitive and intransitive verbs to house in my own writer's notebook.  The lesson that I've been building for February will make use of this teacher model, and the lesson will explain in great detail exactly how I'm going to have students create similar quizzes for their own classmates as we review transitive and intransitive verbs.  I doubt my students' quizzes will be as fancy as mine, but we'll see...they surprise me sometimes when they see a carefully-built teacher model ahead of time.
In the meantime, I thought I'd throw you this challenge: CAN YOU PASS MY 10-SENTENCE QUIZ ON TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS?  Here's a link to my blog post that I just created, and if you click on the picture of the new page from my writer's notebook, you should be able to see the page with enough details to make out all of my three-word sentences:  
Let me know if you pass or not!  :-)  Just don't have to!  I'll bet most of you pass, but I know my 8th graders won't even though we learned these terms last year as 7th graders. 
--Corbett Harrrison (
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