New Semester. New Topics.

This semester, I am teaching Professional Writing for eMedia, as I do year-round, and also Advanced Grammar. The majority of students in both of these classes are future teachers, but only English teachers for grades 4-12 are required to take Grammar (this is why Professional Writing now includes weekly grammar explanations and activities, for all the future EC-6 instructors!).

I am flipping my classroom this fall. Using a massive folder of PowerPoints from Fall 2010, I am in the (laborious) process of enhancing all of these presentations with further contextual examples and then converting them all into videos for my third YouTube channel. With lectures positioned as homework, we will spend class time analyzing the grammatical features of excerpts from stories, novels, poems, news articles, and legal decisions. We will do hands-on activities with index cards, post-it notes, and sentence strips — the kinds of lessons that, hopefully, students can take into their own classrooms someday.

I have gotten so many ideas about teaching from Web 2.0. Blogs and wikis provide lesson plans, downloadable assignment prompts, samples, videos, etc. I find interesting new approaches via Twitter and Pinterest.

So for Fall 2013, I will devote many of my weekly blogs to the exercises we’re doing in Advanced Grammar. I don’t claim to have invented any of them, and in cases where I have been inspired by others, I will duly cite my sources. I want to add my lessons to the social media conversation.

Our first in-class activities are August 28. I’ll post my approach and the class reaction later this week.

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