3 tips to strengthen grammar skills in a fun way | Mentoring in the Middle

3 tips to strengthen grammar skills in a fun way

 Are grammar skills important?
Do you want to sound as smart on paper as you are in person?  
Then, yes, yes they are.

As teachers, we know that grammar skills are not as strong as they once were and that we need to help students become as articulate on paper as they are in person.  Organized writing conveys an understanding of language and confidence with the written word.  And it also strengthens reading skills.  All good things!

Much like multiplication tables, repeated practice is important, even if kids groan about doing it.  Here are some ways to engage your students in reviews that will keep them motivated.

1. Turn it into a game

Have the students come up with sentences using the grammar rules they are reviewing and let their classmates rewrite or correct them according to what they've recently learned.  Having students in the teaching role brings their thinking to a much higher level.  Break the grammar review into several rounds. Students can split into groups and compete against each other. The groups can answer questions and the team with the most correct answers can win a prize.  Prizes can be as easy as bragging rights!

2. Limited use of apps
Incorporate technology. It's easy to turn to apps to teach grammar,  and while some have decent success, I don't like to use them to teach skills.  I prefer to do the teaching and then let students work on NoRedInk or IXL, which have proven to be effective for practice.  Throwing in a Kahoot, Quizziz, or a Gimkit game can help spice things up, too!  

3. Vary the routines
Sometimes we would explore a paragraph from our read aloud and break down the rules.  Other times, they would do the same thing for their independent reading book.  I created coloring by code pages that give kids solid practice in combination with something they don’t get to do as often in the upper grades. These have proven to be very popular!

  • Want to take a closer look at the Color by Code Skills reviews?  Click here!

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