Sunday, January 25, 2015

By the Great Horn Spoon, The Ballad of Lucy Whipple and The California Gold Rush

The Daily Language Review Task cards review the history and the stories while helping students practice their proofreading skills.

Teachers will print the file on card stock and then laminate for use again and again. Students are grouped to identify the error on each card. One student records the error on a Student Worksheet using proofreading marks. This is a first step to peer editing. Here is the Student Worksheet. The character spacing has intentionally been increased to make it easier to use proofreading markers.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lunch Money

I have been reworking and revising my Grammar & Vocabulary Reviews, adding in the Common Core State Standards, and have begun including Task Cards to my products. Lunch Money is a school story written by one of my favorite authors, Andrew Clements.

You can read a synopsis elsewhere. Here I will show you what the Task Cards look like. I truly believe that students need to practice proofreading. Everyone makes simple mistakes, and learning that you must review your writing before "putting it out there" is a skill that must be taught in elementary schools. There is power in proofreading because you are putting your best foot forward. You are showing that you care about your work.

Perhaps the first step is learning to find mistakes in others' work. It may be difficult to do peer editing in third or fourth grade. You can start with these Task Cards. Students can reflect on these errors. You will see what they know and don't know, all while discussing a likable story.

1) There is no comma needed after chores. Commas separate items in a series (more than two) or precede and when it is a coordinating conjunction joining two independent clauses.
2) Yes, there is an apostrophe needed after neighbors. That is a plural possessive noun. He shoveled the front walks of more than one neighbor. And the predicates are items in a series. A comma must separate walks and raked but the comma after leaves, called a serial comma, is optional.
3) Some might call this a comma splice. Others call it a run-on. A comma is being used to separate two independent clauses. Yikes! There is more than one way to correct this sentence. A simple solution is to change the comma to a period. That, however, does not demonstrate the relationship between the two clauses. Another solution would be to join the two clauses using a coordinating conjunctions such as so. Greg's father explained how interest works and keeps money safe, so Greg decided opening a bank account was a good idea. A writer also could use a subordinating conjunction such as once to create a complex sentence. Once Greg's father explained how interest works and keeps money safe, Greg decided opened a bank account was a good idea.
4) I think it was studying Spanish that finally taught me about verb tense. And then my ESL studies made clear the difference between the past perfect and the past perfect progressive. WHAT?!?

Mr. Zenotopoulous had been teaching there for twelve years. Since he is still teaching there, had been teaching (past perfect progressive) is preferable to had taught (past perfect).