Our teachers hate it, our parents hate it, and the kids dont understand it. It teaches formulas that don't necessarily apply elsewhere. The children can usually do well on the exams in the lower grades, but if you give them a test on the same subject matter in a different format they are lost. That happens even if I supplement the teaching apart from the scripted lessons that Shurley comes with. It's awful! We are adopting something new this year as well. Thank goodness!
I use the Shurley Method and my students absolutely love it. They know all the parts of speech and do very well on tests. It has also impoved their writing as well. I have kids that tell me this is their favorite subject! You just have to know how to use it. It takes a little practice as a teacher before you will feel totally comfortable with it. Just give it some time.
I have used this program for 8 years and have seen quite a difference in their ability to identify parts of speech. If teachers only use this program, and nothing else, students will have trouble with transfer. However, if you are constantly refering to the jingles and the question/answer flows throughout your other reading and language lessons, the students learn to transfer and really make great gains.
As we learn each new part of speech, I require the students to memorize and recite aloud to me the jingle. They recite them individually and I take a grade on it.
Also, the Groups are done in A's and B's. The Group A's always introduce new concepts, so I help them through the coding of those sentences. The Group B's are review, so those are student led, I don't say a thing on those weeks.
Additionally, instead of just writing the codes on the board as we do the sentences, I put all the codes on different colored paper, laminated, and put magnets on them. Everything in the subject are on blue squares (SN, SP, A, Adj, CSN, PPA, PNA, etc). Everything that belongs in the predicate are on red squares ( V, CV, ADV, etc.). Prepostional pharases are in yellow (p, OP, ADJ, ect.) Sentence codes, conjunctions, and interjections are green (E, INT, IMP, D, C, I, etc...)
Then, all the codes are on the board and the students are able to visualize all the parts of the sentence. Really good for them to see all the yellow can "P OP" out of the sentence. Good to let them see why there might be a red helping verb at the beginning of the sentence when there is a question. Good to see that there is no blue at all in an imperative sentence, because the subject is "understood". Very good for all learners, especially your lower ones.
Anyway, I believe any program can be used and be good, if some tweaking is done and it that is not the only thing you use. Kids need a variety. Shurley is just a tool, but I feel a good one.
mgrantau - thanks for the color coding idea! I can see where that would work. I love Shurley as it seems to put it all together instead of just doing nouns for several weeks, then verbs, etc. The class does get very good at reciting the flows and jingles, but as you said, one needs to be careful that the students understand what it is they are saying. Using these ideas during reading and other subjects helps do that.
Like another poster stated, Shurley Grammar is just a tool. You need to make sure the students understand how to apply the information in the jingles. I also refer back to the grammar concepts while teaching history or science. It makes the kids think it through when they have to apply it and explain why. It works best at the beginning if you are consistently doing it each day. Adapt it to suit your needs.
I actually used the Shurley Method when I was in elementary school (I just finished my first year of teaching, so it was not THAT long ago!). I am 23 years old and can still remember the jingles from the Shurley Method. I teach second grade and I looked everywhere for Shurley materials. When I did find it, I started using a few of the jingles with my kids. I plan on using it much more with my kids this year so they know what to expect. I am not at all dramatic, but I know if I remember the jingles 15 years later, it is worth it! It won't be our primary focus, but I believe it is a WONDERFUL support tool!!
in First Grade. I loved it. It taught the parts of speech very well. It also taught what a sentence should have (the 5 parts of a sentence). Saying that, our school has now adopted harcourt, however, I always teach my kiddos the 5 parts of the sentence jingle. I taught 3rd the last few years, and I could see where the kids no longer knew the parts of speech using the harcourt. Now, I do believe you must only use it as a tool.
Everyones writing looks the same if you use Shurley for writing (wasn't a fan of that). So there are good points and some bad, but it is definitely a superb tool.
I love the program, the kids love the program, and it is just all around fun! The students retained as much, if not more, as they will with the regular curriculum. Shurley was supplemental but it was all I used because you can't use it inconsistently and be successful with it. There's no one-size-fits-all curriculum but this program appeals to more than the mastery style learner. It gives the students something to fall back on if they forget what an adjective is or how to make diverse sentences. I don't think of Shurley Method as a "tool" where you take what you want and leave the rest. It's a way to teach versus Kagan and Thinking Maps for example, which are tools. That's why it's probably called a "Method" because it requires fidelity. Rarely have I ever seen kids internalize from the regular curriculum without being shown how and where to make the connection. That's why I don't see that as a drawback for the Shurley Method. It really builds students confidence too. It appears that it won't transfer to other sentences but it does. The deeper you get into the program the more you'll see how it applies to the more complex sentences. The one thing that I don't like about it is that if a kid comes in later in the school year, they are lost. It's possible to catch up, WITH HELP, but who has time. The model that is given to you for writing, it's a model. It's to get you started, a means to an end, if you will. Write From the Beginning, does the same thing, if you're familiar with that tool. Some kids may need to rely on that structure longer than others but at least they can START writing. It teaches them how and why of writing not the ultimate written paper. That's what comes from developing your voice and teaching kids other traits of skilled writing. Change is hard (as the phone company says on the commercial) but if you'll give it a chance, that curriculum will become your best friend in English.