Sticky Grammar

Make the learning stick!

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

How can we make the learning stick? What does the research say? Grammar instruction is no longer defined by fill in the blank worksheets and simple identification. This session will introduce ideas to engage students to apply techniques of grammar in their own writing.
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Poor grammar is everywhere...

...while it is funny....'s no wonder our kids are confused!

English Problems

Writer, Eric Jensen says that we discard 98% of everything that comes into our brains.

What do you need to make a piece of velcro stick?

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Telling is not teaching! One side of the velcro cannot stick!

Find someone to stick with & have a conversation.


A learner must be able to connect to what is being taught!

If the information is not meaningful, in other words relevant, to the learner, learning will not occur.

It makes no difference if it’s interesting, meaningful, or relevant to the teacher. It must be relevant to the student.

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What was I supposed to remember again???

For students to remember and internalize information, they must move it from their short-term, or working, memory to their permanent memory.

Connect to Prior Knowledge!

Growing pains are ok!

Easy learning isn't long-lasting. It's the effort required to learn that results in true retention. Professor Robert Coe says that, “learning happens when people have to think hard.”
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Chunk & Check!

Chunk the instruction and practice into small portions. Give the students immediate feedback while they practice.

How important is practice? It takes 24 times to acquire a skill!

Mix it up & spiral the practice!

The research in the book, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel, tells us that repeating one skill to perfection is not the best path toward long-term learning. Our learning is actually more durable if we mix it up with other skills or information before we master it. That “mastery” feeling we get from massed practice is really just our short-term memory hanging on to stuff. Sometimes we think students have mastered a skill only to find that it was only short term. To entrench learning in long-term memory, we have to space out our practice and mix it up with other things. In the classroom, that means we’re better off giving students shorter, spaced out practice on a regular basis, rather than clumping it all together (so 5 math problems every day is better than 20 all at once).

It takes 20 hours of deliberate practice to show mastery!

Frequent retrieval is necessary!

Quizzing that requires recall should occur frequently. This should not be multiple choice type of quizzing since that type does not require retrieval of information.
Lap 5 and Practice

Practice on the fly - Exit ticket

The Proper Noun Taboo Game

No matter what question you are asked you may NOT answer with a proper noun.

Watch your verbs! Align the work to the TEKS!

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How are the students using the part of speech in context?

Highlight the grammar TEKS on the TVD for the grade you want to look at today.

Turn & Talk - Did you notice anything?

Let them discover!

When introducing new skills allow students to "discover" the author's craft instead of telling them about it. They need to see why learning & using grammar are important!
THE SHALLOWS - The Beginning (Starring Blake Lively)

What will you remember about that scary clip?

How is the suspenseful atmosphere created? What keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wonder what’s coming next? Will the experience be etched in your mind? If someone told you the ending would the experience be the same?

When we tell students what they need to know all or most of the time: It takes the excitement of discovery out of learning.

Discover Adjectives through mentor texts!

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Ask students what they notice.

They can then quick write a description of their favorite place. Ask why they used the words they used. Name them adjectives.

Write your own description leaving out the adjectives & let them see the contrast.


Because learning doesn’t usually stick the first time, students need multiple opportunities and a variety of experiences that provide both the time and the context for the ideas to be internalized. All the studies show that we remember very little of what we read and a whole lot of what we do. In light of this research, which is more effective? Reading and lecturing or creating a real-world simulation?


Students need to do, to participate, and to create!

Engagement means being involved or engaged in the process, and students need to be allowed to participate in and not be passive recipients of their education.
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Grammar Proofs & Star Points

Grammar Keepers lesson examples:

Give them an audience and you give them reason to produce quality work!

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Allow them to contribute and/or manage the class blog.

Seesaw is ideal for this purpose!

Check out this student friendly blogging site!

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The Grammar Olympics

Creator and college English professor, Amy Baskin, says, "... I am a learning environment designer."
Amy Baskin - Grammar Olympics: Low-Tech Engagement Secrets (GSummit SF 2013)
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Have the students create the games!

Gamify the Grammar!

Berry's Great Grammar Escape

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It's not about what we are putting down, but about what they're picking up! (Berryism)

When students learn the material for themselves, it becomes their learning, not our teaching, and because it is their learning, they own it. They will remember it, they will be able to apply it, and they will be able to use it as the foundation for new learning and creating.

Muscle Memory!

Get the students moving and engage the body and brain connection. Check out this article that shares some current research.
Parts of Speech Song
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Have the students track their own progress!

Data notebooks can be an effective way for students to reflect on their own mastery of skills.