Friday, August 23, 2013

Indian in the Cupboard: Error Anaylsis

Error analysis is the term we use in ESL to refer to identifying which part of the sentence is incorrect. It is very challenging because all parts of the sentence need to be analyzed. There are so many different types of errors which you can "create" in a sentence. See below.

(X) As soon as the horse's feat touched the ground in Omri's backyard, he began to gallop.

Here the homophones "feat" and "feet" have been mixed up.

(X) As soon as the horse's feet touched the ground in Omri's backyard he began to gallop.

Here there is a comma missing at the end of the adverbial clause.

(X) As soon as the horse's feet touched the ground in Omri's backyard, he begins to gallop.

Here the verb tenses are not parallel.

(X) As soon as the horses' feet touched the ground in Omri's backyard, he began to gallop.

Here there is a possessive noun error.

Not only do students have to identify the error, but they must also know how to correct it. Unlike with multiple choice types of assessment, this is how you know if a student really understands a grammatical concept.

I've included a great deal of practice in my Contextualized Common Core Grammar Review.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Number the Stars

I've just finished reading Lois Lowry's 1990 Newbery Medal winner, Number the Stars. This award-winning book tells the story of Annemarie, a young Danish girl, during the German occupation of Denmark. I've created a worksheet which reviews 31 homophones using the context of the novel. It is up on TpT for free until I've completed the packet which will offer a more in-depth review of other grammar. View a modified version below and click the link to the right at the top of the blog to take you to TeacherspayTeachers to download this for-now freebie.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Indian in the Cupboard: Phrasal Verbs & Vocabulary

Phrasal verbs are ordinary verbs followed by particles or prepositions. They are not idiomatic expressions but real verbs. Anyone who hopes to speak English fluently can't avoid memorizing them. There are entire books written about phrasal verbs and dictionaries for ESL learners (I like Longman's) which help ESL students learn how to use them. Are they separable or inseparable? It's hard to know the difference between pick out (choose), pick over (look through carefully), pick on (bully or tease) and pick up (lift or give someone a ride). So I've incorporated three separate worksheets in my new packet and this list of phrasal verbs (below) to choose from. Here is a sample from Chapters 1-5.

The new packet will contain three pages of vocabulary, all of which has been categorized by parts of speech. Pages numbers are listed and if a word is underlined, that means it is used elsewhere in the book as well as in that particular section.

Monday, August 12, 2013

La Gran Aventura de Alejandro

Today I dug up my McColl Grant work from Oldfields School and began publishing it on TpT. I spent a summer putting together the Spanish 2 curriculum. I used a book by Abby Kanter called La Gran Aventura de Alejandro and a video series called La Catrina. The girls at the boarding school loved it. I wrote three original chapters to La Gran Aventura de Alejandro and about fifteen years ago had them published on a website along with contextualized grammar exercises. I was known then as Profesora Debby. I had also written exercises to a video series called La Catrina. I wrote those original chapters to bring my students further into the past tenses in Spanish and back then, as I still do, I felt that grammar was best taught in context. I'm going to be brushing up on my Spanish and publishing this work at no charge on TpT.

The first chapter I put up today takes Alejandro to El Escorial. He meets Santa Teresa de Avila in the year 1532 when his ring shines on this adventure. There are references back to his other adventures with El Cid earlier in the book. It flows perfectly from Capitulo 16. Now, if only I could figure out how to put accent marks into this blog :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Howliday Inn

Howliday Inn is the first of 6 sequels to the wonderful book by Deborah and James Howe. I am in the process of creating a Contextualized Grammar Review for this story. Unlike my review for Bunnicula, this will be a chapter by chapter collection of worksheets and will not include answer keys. It is a work-in-progress and will be up TpT for free for the time being. The first chapter is complete, and I aim to complete the additional chapters by the end of September.

Get it on TpT while it's free :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Indian in the Cupboard

(April 2013) I am reading The Return of the Indian to my oldest son this week while he's on break. I thought he'd be so interested that I'd find him reading it on his own, but when Matthew broke out the wooden Thomas trains, it sparked his interest and between those and Lego, he's had a full week of playing. At least he's not obsessed with his Nintendo. The Return of the Indian is just as interesting as the first book in the series; I am so eager to create materials for it. Gregory finished Indian in the Cupboard on his own and read through to series.

Indian in the Cupboard is the story of Omri, named after one of the author's three boys, who is given a plastic Indian figurine on his birthday by a friend as well as a metal medicine-type chest cupboard. The key his mother gives him actually locks the cupboard. Omri awakes one morning to meet Little Bear, alive, breathing and demanding Omri bring him some meat! It is such an imaginative story with heart. The author makes clear Omri's ambivalent and changing feelings as he embarks on this adventure; the book is a window into the thoughts of a little boy who has a secret he is sure he must keep---or maybe not. I love when Omri says:

The trouble was that, although grown-ups usually knew what to do, what they did was very seldom what children wanted to be done. What if they took the Indian to--say, some scientist, or whoever knew about strange things like that, who would question him and examine him and probably keep him in a laboratory or something of that sort?

I read that and thought of E.T., which the boys recently watched.

I created a 16 item {freebie} on adverbial clauses to accompany this delightful story. 

plastic whenever toy locked a the Omri cupboard in, it became real.

Students have to identify the adverbial and unscramble the clause. Adverbials begin a dependent clause and are followed by a subject and verb. An adverbial clause is dependent; it is not a complete sentence. When combined with an independent clause, an adverbial clause creates a complex sentence. An adverbial clause can precede or follow a dependent clause as you will see in this {freebie} on TpT.

I am hard at work on a Contextualized Grammar Review which will include vocabulary, parts of speech, homophones, possessive noun forms, . Check back soon!

Writing Folder Essentials: Punctuation, Transitions and Adverbials

Up now on TpT as an "always and forever" freebie are three different charts in one download: Writing Folder Essentials: Punctuation, Transitions and Adverbials.

The first is a list of 12 important punctuation rules. It is not a complete list, though, as there are more subtle, difficult to understand rules, that have been omitted.  The second is a list of transitions. Although the CCSS group although with transitions such as moreover and however, beware that although is an adverbial and follows a different punctuation rule. The list of transitions is divided into six categories: additional information, restatement, restatement to intensify, exemplification, choice or alternative, cause and result, comparison or similarity, time and sequence, contrast, and summation. The third handout is a list of adverbials. They are divided into 6 categories: time and contrast, condition, cause and result, contrast, manner, and purpose.