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English Language Arts Blog

The home of Vocab Gal and other educational experts K–12 resources

October 25, 2016 ELA K-5, ELA 6-8, ELA Resources - Tip Sheets, ELA 9-12, ELA PD - Grammar Writing, ELA Focus - Grammar, Core Grammar

How to Teach Grammar Effectively; 8 "Do's" and "Don'ts" To Keep In Mind

There is a strong relationship between grammar, writing instruction, and student achievement. Effective grammar instruction across grade levels and content areas is key to increasing student achievement and learning.

I'm often asked how to teach grammar effectively in the classroom. The following “Do’s” and “Don'ts” are a great reference when implementing grammar instruction in your classroom setting.

how-to-teach-grammar-effectively-students.jpgHow to Teach Grammar Effectively

8 Do's for Effective Grammar Instruction

  1. Use authentic writing situations every day.

  2. Make learning visible with anchor charts and student work around grammar concepts.

  3. Provide students with multiple exposures to a variety of grammatical situations. 

  4. Have students create nonlinguistic representations of grammatical situations (for example, images, gestures, picture stories).

  5. Use engaging and relevant writing situations to engage students in grammatical exercises.

  6. Encourage students to read a variety of nonfiction, informational, and fiction texts in order to expose them to multiple texts and a variety of writing situations.

  7. Harness the power of digital tools for practice and review.

  8. Directly teach and model each grammar concept; use your own writing and think-alouds to model grammar instruction.

8 Don'ts for Effective Grammar Instruction

  1. Let time constraints be a reason to avoid grammar instruction; instead, find short periods of time during the day to ask grammar questions or oral “grammar quizzes” while waiting in line.

  2. Assess every single grammatical choice a student makes; instead, use a variety of assessment measures to support student learning.

  3. Have students complete only grammar worksheets without purpose for practice.

  4. Teach too many skills at one time; instead, go deep with a few skills and concepts.

  5. Learn skills and abandon them; instead, continue to reinforce skills and concepts throughout the year.

  6. Arbitrarily assign sets of grammatical skills to learn; instead, attach each concept to a purpose for writing.

  7. Forget the power of a print-rich environment. Instead, remember that classroom libraries, books, read-alouds, and discussion allow students a variety of contexts in which to hear different sentence constructions.

  8. Become overwhelmed by the number of grammar skills students need to know; instead, use the Common Core State Standards to guide what students need to know at each grade level.

Download the 8 Do's and Don'ts for Effective Grammar Instruction Tip Sheet for your teaching toolbox. This chart is a great reference to pull out when planning upcoming lessons for your classroom.