Wednesday, August 2, 2017

English on A Roll Review English Grammar Teaching Method

Nouns. Pronouns. Verbs. Adverbs. Adjectives. We all love them, and we all need to learn them. Some people despise grammar, some love it! I happen to be one of those who LOVE grammar! My kids all seems to like it too! So teaching grammar for me is a joyous experience.

Ahavah (6), Alecia (6), and Hayven (5) got to take a roll (pun SO intended) at English Grammar Teaching Method produced by English on a Roll. English Grammar Teaching Method uses Multi sensory Structured Learning (MSL) as it's teaching method which basically means it teaches using auditory, visual, and tactile learning styles. It also repeats and reviews past lessons often reassuring that the student has a good grasp on previous concepts. There is a systematic and cumulative approach seen since the curriculum starts at the basics and progressively moves to more complex topics. 

You can view a video demo HERE.

The curriculum also includes a set of 40 cubes in a heavy-due plastic container. 38 of them are engraved with color-coded groups of words each the color of their part in speech (verbs are red, adjectives purple and so on). There are two blank, customizable cubes that come with little white stickers. You are able to use the cube set with up to 6 students at a time.

Each lesson begins with a large gray box at the top of the page in the teacher's manual that includes what cubes are needed for that lesson, a note to the teachers, and some vocabulary words that are included in the lessons. There are then instructions to the teacher pertaining to how to teach the lesson encompassing a script for the teacher to say, conversations and games, and written exercise instructions. Each lesson has a sheet that is meant for "overhead transparencies", but we just printed it and used it as instruction or wrote on the white board. All the student worksheets are included in the book and able to be photocopied (which is covered by the copyright - YAY!).

We took on at least one lesson 2-3 times a week. All the kids (including the two that weren't working through this curriculum) loved when the dice came out! Our favorite part was to simply make silly sentences using the different color-coded blocks placing the red verbs, orange adverbs, and blue pronouns in just the right spot creating a humorous story. 

I would say that my kids learned more from just playing with the dice and constructing sentences with prepositions then they did when I was teaching them about prepositions! The manipulative approach to this curriculum was a great idea and we LOVED this aspect of it! I have never seen a study of grammar using manipulatives in this way before. 

However, we did have a little bit of a stumbling block using English Grammar Teaching Method. I felt like the way grammar was taught was more along the lines of how one would teach someone learning English as a second language. We began with pronouns moving onto "be verbs" and how to form questions. There never seemed to be clear instruction for the students to learn "what is a pronoun?" or "what is a preposition". Instead we just used them in sentences with the appropriate forms of the surrounding words (singular, plural, verb tense ect). I would have loved English Grammar Teaching Method if it had more formal instruction of the parts of the sentence. 

Maybe this is just the grammar lover in me, maybe not. I do have a friend who LOVES teaching with manipulatives and doesn't like grammar as much as I do that is excited to give this curriculum a try! Knowing her and her family, I think this program will bring them great success.

Other Pros:

  • The cube set can be used with up to six students at a time - great for "group schooling" for large families
  • The copywriter allows for photocopies 
Would I recommend English Grammar Teaching Method
I would say, yes. I think it's a solid curriculum that is beneficial in ways most grammar programs are not especially if your child struggles with grammar and english. However, I have to warn that it may not work for every family since it was a bit of a struggle for mine. 

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