I always suggest that teachers leave their red pens behind and shift responsibility to the student by teaching them editing skills. After all, when we do all the correcting, we also get all the practice.
For more on this approach see my latest article on The Writing Teacher: Tired of Being a Red Ink Slave to Corrections? This article is based on a lecture from my course, Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits.
However, the road to great conventions is paved with more than editing lessons... as Jeff Anderson will help us see.
Notable Sentences Blog
Loren Wolter maintains this remarkable resource. "This blog is a resource for teachers who wish to view grammar as something to be explored and not just corrected. Sometimes even teachers who want to set aside tired, old daily language practices have trouble doing so due to the seeming abundance of those deplorable, error-filled sentences and the apparent lack of stimulating, "explore-able" model sentences. As you read adult, young adult, and children's books, please share the noteworthy sentences you find, so that we may build a useful resource together."
Jeff Anderson Resources:
The Write Guy
This is Jeff's personal website and it has resources you need. Well worth exploring. From his site: "Jeff Anderson has taught writing and reading for over 18 years. Over his career, Jeff has worked with writers in grades K-12, focusing in grades 4-8. Jeff’s passion is motivating and developing struggling writers with instructional strategies such as writer’s workshop and process writing, with a particular interest in making editing and grammar in context a meaning-making experience for students and teachers. Sharing strategies to create positive attitudes and confidence in young writers are central goals of his staff development and writing. "
Stenhouse Publishing: Author's Page
Jeff's books are published by Stenhouse. They have a lot of Jeff's work available online. (For Free!)
Everyday Editing: Inviting Students to Develop Skill and Craft in Writer's Workshop
Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer's Workshop
Zooming In and Out: Putting Grammar In Context Into Context (PDF)
Copyright 2006 by the National Council of Teachers of English. Reprinted with permission.
"Jeff Anderson’s lessons involve shifting focus between writing or reading and speciﬁc grammar problems inner-city middle school students encounter. Lessons or discussions on a topic are then applied to a larger context so that students see “the story of grammar’s power to communicate meaning and beauty.”
Author's in Action: Jeff Anderson demonstrates an alternative to daily oral language.
A podcast of Jeff working with teachers using an editing activity based on a mentor sentence of writer Maya Angelou
The Craft of Grammar (DVD): Integrated Instruction in Writer's Workshop
(DVD, some online video clips!)
- Grammar Instruction Integrated Into Writer's Workshop: (Quicktime Video)
- The Hair Lesson: (Quicktime Video)
If you've been looking for a new way to improve writing conventions, you've found it! ~ Dennis