Reflection: Standards Alignment Assessment Day - Section 2: Daily Grams


There are days when I love the Daily Gram system and days when I hate it. 


It is grammar out of context, which is a huge problem. 


It's daily revision of basic grammar concepts.  WHY IN THE WORLD DO THEY STILL NEED TO BE REMINDED TO CAPITALIZE THE BEGINNING OF THE SENTENCE?  WHY IS THERE NOT A PERIOD AT THE END OF THAT SENTENCE? OMG!  It's basic, but students really don't understand the difference between a common and proper noun.  They just don't.  At least my students don't.


It takes ten minutes a day.  That's ten minutes a day that cuts into authentic reading and writing lessons.




It's continual repetition of the concepts.  My students, especially my students with disabilities, need that continual repetition. 


It's flexible.  You could spend two minutes just showing students the answers and having them check for accuracy.  You could also spend an entire class period discussing the various ways to combine the sentences.  You could use the basic verb lesson as a jumping off point to looking through whatever story you're currently working on for examples of say, infinitives.


It's repetition.  And that's really what I want to talk about in this reflection.  Today I had a moment with one of the students in one of my co-taught classes.  His writing skills are abysmal.  He didn't come close to meeting standards on our state standardized test.  His IEP includes goals about writing complete sentences. 


I helped him with his journal,which, incidentally, was not the imagination class journal, it was a different one. I read his topic sentence aloud and cringed.  I asked him to read his topic sentence aloud.  He did. He stopped and said, "Oh." 


I said, "What did you notice?" 


"I repeated too much.  I used 'and' too much."


"How can you fix it?" At this point, he was too busy erasing to fix it to bother answering my question.  He fixed the sentence, and we went on to the next sentence.  Same thing.


He understood this because of the sentence fluency component of Daily Grams.  My co-teacher, who leads these lessons, has repeated that idea   at least twice as week since the beginning of school.  "It's repetitious.  It repeats."  And the kids are getting it.


I was so proud I had to pretend to cry in front of everyone.  And I had to punch his punch card! And cry a bit more.


At some point, I'd love to be able to teach grammar in context, rigorously.  But for my students, at this point, it is needed.  And it's working.


  It's Working!
  Standards Alignment: It's Working!
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Assessment Day

Unit 4: Analyzing Literature in Socratic Circles with Chaim Potuk’s “Zebra”
Lesson 11 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to analyze poems for figurative language and a short story for characterization and motives by taking a test.

Big Idea: Students take a test to prove they know what they say they know.

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imagination from sarah thespider
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