The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.
Michel de Montaigne
My nephew said to his mom, “Me and Brennan are going to play golf. We’ll see you later.”
“Brennan and I,” Amy said, without missing a beat.
I smiled. I could have predicted her response. Amy and I are known for grammar correction. All of our children are accustomed to it.Jack’s response to Amy was just as quick. “The two of us are going to play golf,” he said. “See you later.”Maybe one of my favorite aspects of grammar is its flexibility. While there are certain rules and conventions, we can also find ways around awkward structures or unclear statements.
Just recently, one of my friends was trying to figure out where the word only should go in her sentence. “I know there’s a rule for it,” she said.It turns out there are rules about only, and if you look it up, you can see many potential issues with the placement of this seemingly simple modifier.
That being said, just as Jack found a way to express his point without revealing his understanding of pronoun usage, we can almost always find a way around the use and misuse of a confusing modifier.The truth about grammar—and many aspects of life—is that there isn’t really one way to do anything. If there is traffic on our regular route, there is almost always an alternative route—made easier and easier to navigate because of the navigation tools we have.
This week we look at word learning. Plus more as always—enjoy!
Contributor, Choice Literacy
Melanie Meehan is the Elementary Writing and Social Studies Coordinator in Simsbury, Connecticut and the author of Every Child Can Write. In addition to learning with both students and teachers, Melanie loves to spend time with her family.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find that the key to middle school students attending to new vocabulary during read-alouds is to have students choose the words.
Gretchen Schroeder looks for new ways to help high school students learn words.
Kelsey Carter shares advice for making high-frequency words stick with young learners.
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Bitsy Parks shares some of her favorite strategies for quick and meaningful word work groups in her first-grade classroom.
In this week’s video, Dana Murphy meets with a group of fifth graders to work on strategies for understanding unknown words.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills work with a second-grade team to think through how best to teach transition words during a fairy-tale unit, especially to students who are English learners.
In an encore video, Bitsy Parks works with her first graders early in the year to teach them the basics of how words are constructed, by clapping through syllable counts.
Lead Literacy now has a new home as the Leaders Lounge at Choice Literacy. We’ll be posting the new content updates here in the Leaders Lounge section of the Big Fresh newsletter.
Cathy Mere shares strategies for coaching teachers with a common complaint—their students don’t know high-frequency words.
Gretchen Taylor finds teachers are particularly insecure about their ability to lead word study with children. So she begins a professional development session by helping them see how capable they are.
Richard Gentry and Gene Ouellette provide a summary of the research on how the brain makes sense of words as a child learns to read.
It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
That’s all for this week!