Saturday, September 19, 2009


I've bitten the bullet and started to give ungraded homework. I started out with the study guides for Beowulf and Canterbury Tales - I just looked at that and thought, "it stinks that we have to rush through things so quickly," but then I realized that we're a third of the way through the ENTIRE TERM as of yesterday.


So anyway. Next Imonna start doing grammar quizzes. I plan to give grammar instruction on Monday, assign homework throughout the week that allows the students to practice, and on Friday give a quiz in the same format as the homework. This is sort of what we did with Canterbury Tales: study guide questions for the Prologue, and then an open-book quiz on one of the Tales that we hadn't studied. I'm not the least bit interested in memorization; I want to see that they can read a complex, unfamiliar text and understand it.

They'll turn the homework in at the beginning of the period. Any parts of the assignment that were unclear should be noted or marked in some way. If a significant number of the students who actually WORK on it and turn it in are struggling (whether they know it or not!), I can reteach on Wednesday and/or Thursday. Otherwise, students who are having trouble can see me outside of class time.

I don't plan to go over the homework beyond the reteaching. I do not care about the students having the right answers on paper. What matters is whether or not they can do it on their own.

Ideally, the homework is practice for those who need the practice; I want to emphasize that everyone should try Monday night's assignment. If you breeze through it, you've got no homework for the rest of the week. If you're struggling, don't give up. How well you do on the homework will give you an idea of how well you will do on the quiz.

I'd also like to give them some online review tools. Anyone want to suggest sites in addition to Grammar Ninja?


Joan said...

Grammar Ninja's looks fun! I bookmarked it and will play it with my student on Monday.

I like

Clix said...

Oo, that's right! I forgot that freerice has a grammar quiz too now.

I really like the art quiz - since I don't know many of the paintings, it helps me see patterns so that I can actually begin to recognize the different artists' styles.

Rachel said...

Oh, I'd never seen Grammar Ninjas before! That's fun. I personally LOVE GrammarBytes ( When I first discovered it (4 years ago) she just had grammar exercises - interactive & handouts. She's added a LOT since then, including PPTs. And her sentences are so crazy, it really grabs their attention!

Clix said...

Awesome! I'm working on a DIY / online practice list post, and I am DEFINITELY going to include Grammar Bytes.

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