Erika, get over yourself.
Week Eight Post

I really enjoyed this class. Yes, it was online. Yes, it was during the summer. And yes, it was squished into 8 weeks. But even with all of that going against it, I had a really great time with it and I feel like I’m taking away a lot. In this class I learned, through hands on experience, some right (and wrong) ways to teach grammar. I was introduced to a wonderful tool, Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson, which I intend to employ throughout my career. I learned that language had numerous aspects that we should consider as teachers. Language has origins and evolutions, intonations and monotones, connotations and denotations, mechanical parts and fluidity, both written words and sounds.

Like Ms. Spradlin said in her final lecture, “Language is an art.” We should never stop trying to be artistic with it and never stop encouraging such artistry in our students as well. I would say that language is a craft. Some people down play its worth (especially, it seems, those who hear that I am an English major) but our language is everywhere. It is a powerful tool that when honed properly can be the ultimate problem solver, a supreme expression of ourselves, or even just something we have come to rely on every day.

The world of language is so vast, I am not sure any class could have sated my curiosity and covered all that I would have wanted to know. That my curiosity is yet slaked is probably a good thing. It will keep me interested and engaged in a lifelong affair with the English language.

cev09:

emily0412:

Being a child of the 90’s I grew up learning from School House Rock and I say learn and not watch because School House Rock was the original teaching video. It is not just entertainment for children it is also a teaching tool. The School House Rock video helped me to learn my multiplication…

I think many of us really got a kick out of the “throwback” of the Schoolhouse Rock videos. I know that I enjoyed these tunes as a student too, and I think it’s cool that so many of us had positive learning experiences connected with these “teaching tools,” as you called them (which I think is totally accurate).

Based on what we’ve also been learning in Teaching with Technology, however, do you think these videos are “up to date” enough to capture students of the digital age? I still think they’re catchy and cute, but do we need to look for something “cooler” or more computerized to reach our students? Or does it all just depend on how we present these resources?

I was wondering something similar. These videos all mean something to us because we had them in our childhood but our kids might look at them and ask “What are we supposed to get from this grimy video?” I think they are good and I think they are relevant but I would use them as a sideshow, not the main event.

jld09d:

Almost there!

I still have all of my Schoolhouse Rock videos even though I no longer have a VHS player because I refused to let my parents get rid of them. So I would definitely say I was excited to see the videos as the majority of our readings for the week. These are great examples of a way to…

I agree with you that music can be a powerful tool. I think it can make poems come alive and ( if catchy) drill ideas into our brains until we just can’t get them out! I am always on the look out for ideas involving music and language arts so if you come up with some ideas be sure to let me know!!

Week Seven Post

It was so nice to have a throwback on this seventh week of classes! I loved school house rock in middle school and while my favorites are still “Conjunction Junction” and “I’m only a Bill” I found all of the songs to be fun and informative. I think music is a great way to get through to our kids, and since we all can’t be musical geniuses, it is nice to know programs like school house rock exist.

I love the idea of using poems to have them practice prepositions. Prepositions can be tricky so giving them a genre that allows them to bend the rules a little bit, like poetry does, is a great strategy. Also, we want these grammar lessons to be meaningful, and what type of writing could be closer to the heart than poetry?

For my Grammar Girl post I chose one about editing others’ work. She gave great tips not just to keep things polite between you and the author, but also self-checks to make sure you don’t over step your bounds as an editor. It made me wonder how editing and revising might differ and I thought that would be an awesome journal entry for your students on a day when they would be participating in peer review. I think it would get them thinking about what they expect when they approach their own papers as well as their peers.

The presentation on modifiers was definitely informative though a bit dry. I thought the practice at the end was great and the examples during really made you consider what you wanted to say and what modifiers would get you there.

jld09d:

First off, I’m glad we got to see a video that really explained the comma splice. It’s something that has driven me crazy for a long time because so many teachers look at it differently. I thought by my freshman year in college I had the comma down pat, but then I took History of Asia, and my TA…

I was interested in the sentence diagram too. I have never seen that before, in school or otherwise so it was pretty cool to see him go through it. I think if it is something you use consistently so your kids get used to it, it will be easier to explain more complex sentences later on. All in all, it is a cool tool.

vwilkinson:

ebreitkreuz:

This week’s topic of sentence combinations reminded me that I’m not just a loser when it comes to grammar. This week I knew all the jargon and understood all the concepts. Week after week up to this point I felt a bit overwhelmed because it was demonstrated to me over and over just how much I…


I agree that the eay a person speaks does not always show their mental capacities. But I have to question whether students should be learning ebonics in their classes. I understand that it is a different way to speak, but should students be learning words they need to talk to their friends. I think that should be an outside school endevor. I know I speak different with my friends than I do in a professional space, shouldn’t it be the same for everyone?

I absolutely agree. I actually think that teaching kids slang in school will confuse the idea that there is a genre of speech for you to use with your friends and then there is an academically sanctioned speech with you should use in school. We should address that both are valid… in different settings.

Just. Too. Adorable.

Week Six Post

This week’s topic of sentence combinations reminded me that I’m not just a loser when it comes to grammar. This week I knew all the jargon and understood all the concepts. Week after week up to this point I felt a bit overwhelmed because it was demonstrated to me over and over just how much I didn’t know. I considered myself a language nerd and was just disenfranchised by the idea that if I didn’t know all of this, what gobs of knowledge are people who could not care less missing. But this week thoroughly reintroduced me to an old friend- the malleable structure of a sentence. I love this topic so the demo lesson and Anderson have just got me teeming with ideas!

When it came to the video of the African American English in Springville video, it reminded me of a video that Jessica (I think) posted on facebook where a woman was talking about how they are teaching Ebonics to elementary schoolers in Oakland, CA. I feel that the way someone talks can have no bearing on their mental capabilities and their mental capabilities (for the most part) should be what we are concerned with.

For my Grammar Girl podcast this week I chose “Versus”. I chose it because I was curious how one little word could warrant a whole podcast. Believe me, it does. There are variations from British to American and, even from there, there are variations from legal to non-legal usage. It was a pretty fascinating podcast because as you know she likes to go into the history of words as well which I always find interesting.

This site is for the use of just about all ages because it bases the games on concept, not age. It is a lot of fun and to hear more just click the link!

katester58:

vwilkinson:

This week my Grammar Girl choice was “Alright vs. all right.” I thought this was very interesting because it shows how technology is influencing language. It said that all right is the correct usage, but alright was created to be used as shorthand when it was used through telegrams and now is…

It is very interesting to know that alright originated from shorthand for telegrams. It is definitely interesting to see how technology is changing our language. Considering how mediums such as IMs and texting have caused dramatic shortening of words or phrases, it is easy to believe that changes will only continue to come as technology continues to grow. My only question is that are these technological changes creating a new dialect? Perhaps an online dialect?

I like where you are going with this and I definitely believe that they are. I have heard people say out loud “NBD” or “BTW” or any number of other text speak in their regular conversations. I generally catches me off guard but it is becoming more and more popular all the time.