The last two years, I adopted a fellow teacher's idea of teaching nouns and verbs THEN sentences because she loved that way. (complete sentences have to have a noun and a verb...)
I've given it the college try but I just don't like it. It takes us forever to get to sentences that way and I feel that since it is a second grade standard to write in complete sentences, it's not like this should be new information. How can I justify assessing them writing in complete sentences in the first grading period when we are BARELY getting into it by the END of the second?
I've spent my first couple of days of Christmas break (pathetic, I know) thinking through some things like the above so I can sketch something while it's fresh in my mind rather than getting to next year and trying to remember. I'm toying with this order but not positive yet and need some insight... 1.simple sentences (subject/predicate, complete/fragment, uppercase letter beginning, endmarks, run-ons) 2.nouns 3.verbs 4.adjectives 5.adverbs 6.complex/compound, more on run-ons 6.punctuation (those that haven't been taught within the others, or those that need revisited)
That being said, I will have to touch on bits and pieces of all of these during writing mini-lessons as the need arises but as far as my strong focus during grammar time, any suggestions or input?
We use Written Expression which is part of Project Read. One thing that I like that we do is teach prepositions at the begining. That way, students can get rid of prepositional phrases when trying to identify parts of a sentence. It shortens the sentences and makes it easier to identify subjects and predicates. Just a thought....
Finding the pacing/order of grammar has been difficult for me too. I've tried starting with complete sentences, but it was a problem because a lot of my students had no idea what a noun and verb were which made if difficult to get the concept across. I did the same thing you did, but ran into the same problem. It took me almost 9 weeks just to teach nouns. I think next year I may just teach the very, very basics of nouns and verbs then teach complete sentences. Once they get that I'll go back to nouns and do everything that goes with nouns and move on from there.
I laid in bed last night, mulling it over and over. I came to the same conclusion...I think I need to "hit" nouns and verbs before sentences BUT not go in depth into the full units like I've done this year and last year. Always tweaking, changing, improving, building on...huh? My husband always asks why I still need to stay so much after school when I'm teaching the exact same thing I've taught for the last few years. HA! I laugh...if he only knew. How nice if it were only that easy. (but boring ;-)
Thank you all SO very much for your input. It was also nice to know that I'm not the only one struggling with this very thing. It often seems like everyone else is so put together and has all of the answers and I feel like I'm treading water and constantly fine-tuning.
subject and predicate parts of a sentence before nouns and verbs... this supports sentence writing... who or what the sentence is about/ what the subject did or wants. We check to make sure our sentence has both parts. Then we teach common nouns, proper nouns and possessive nouns. Then verbs, present, past and future tense... all with appropriate rules (i.e. change y to i, singular nouns ending with vowel - y just add s to make plural...). We do adjective and adverbs (mostly with -ly endings) as well.
I think you bring up a really good point with this thread. If it is this hard for us to know what order to teach it in, just imagine how difficult it is for the kids. Grammar comes pretty easily for me, but for my students, it is one of the worst things.
I teach subjects/predicates and simple sentences first. A noun and a verb really is not the same thing as a subject and a predicate. (A predicate could easily contain a noun, and a subject could contain a word that looks a lot like a verb) I think it's easier for third graders to break a simple sentence into a subject (who does it) and a predicate (what it did). There are some cute songs I use to teach this. Then they can create simple sentences as well as correcting/eliminating fragments and run-ons. Later when I teacher nouns and verbs, they have some great background knowledge for it.