Rethinking Grammar and Mechanics Instruction

As an elementary school student of the early 1990s, I grew up accustomed to worksheets as a form of instruction and assessment. Years ago, when I began my first year of teaching, I fell into this trend, too. For grammar and mechanics skills in particular, I relied on a worksheet like a coffee addict craves an espresso shot. I’d ask myself: “What’s the objective I want to students to achieve? Identify proper nouns? I’ll dig up a worksheet on that!” However, an eye-opening experience changed my ritual. Although state standards were used for alignment at the time, keep these in mind as I share my experience.

CCSS.LA.3.1—demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking; and—

CCSS.LA.L.3.2, demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

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