Teaching grammar is no joke. It is super important, yet so difficult to find the time in our day to do so. I’ll admit, there were days in my teaching career where I didn’t teach grammar at all. I just couldn’t find the time. I’m guessing I’m not the only one. Well, I’m hoping by sharing a few ideas from trying to solve my own problem, I can help you solve yours. Here are 5 simple ways to squeeze in grammar or word study time each day.
1. Inspect Your Schedule
This sounds silly, but I need to address it. Each year I would get a new schedule from my administration. Sometimes I loved it. Sometimes I hated it. The worst part was when I would have a weird little 10-15 minute block of time right in the middle of the day (maybe between lunch and recess). Well, if you have something like this in your schedule, and you don’t know what to do with it, you may want to consider using this time for a daily language lesson. You may be surprised at how much you can get done in such a small amount of time.
2. Teach Grammar with Writing
While this sounds like the perfect solution, it isn’t always possible. However, whenever I can, I try to address a language standard (types of sentences, comma usage, verb tense shifts, etc.) during my writing lesson. Teaching grammar happens more organically this way, as opposed to teaching grammar in isolation.
3. Daily Review is Key!
I cannot say enough about how much daily grammar reviews have helped my students! Not only did a daily language review help my students master and retain skills, but they took up no time at all! My favorite daily language review includes about 6-8 questions per day and only requires one sheet of paper per student each week. The bottom row reviews the newest skill I taught while all of the above rows review everything else from previous lessons. Whether I had time that day to teach grammar or not, I knew my students were getting the opportunity the practice and sharpen their skills. You can save even more time by using this as nightly homework. Parents love it because it is short and predictable, and it won’t eat up your valuable class time.
After seeing the positive impact daily reviews had on my students, I created these spiral language homework sheets and now sell them on Teachers Pay Teachers. They are currently available for grades K-7, with more grade levels in the works. **Also available for other subjects Best part, these sheets are totally editable. You can add, delete, or change anything that doesn’t fit your teaching.
4. Teach with Mentor Sentences
When I was in the classroom, I loved teaching grammar using mentor sentences! Not only are the lessons short and sweet, but they are also highly effective. If you have never read the book “Mechanically Inclined” by Jeff Anderson, I would suggest you do so. (affiliate link below)
Okay, back to the lesson. I would place a mentor sentence (based on the skill I’m trying to teach) on the board. The first day I would invite my students to “notice”, jotting down anything they noticed about the sentence. The next day we would discuss the focus skill and I would invite my students to imitate the mentor sentence. Over the next day or so, we would share with partners and practice writing our own sentences based on the mentor sentence. Overall, this way of teaching grammar only took me about 10 minutes each day. A total time saver and my students really grasped the skills being taught.
Rebecca Rojas from CreatTeachShare has a fantastic resource that follows this same format, and then some! If you are interested in learning more about using mentor sentences to teach grammar, you can check it out HERE.
5. Sneak in Grammar Everywhere!
Sneaking in some extra grammar practice isn’t as hard as you would think. You could use grammar exit tickets, morning work, homework, centers, etc. At times, I would even ask my students questions in the hall while walking to lunch. Who said you can’t keep your kids learning and thinking while walking in line? 🙂
I hope I’ve given you some ideas for getting more grammar instruction and practice into your daily classroom routine. Come follow my Grammar board on Pinterest for even more ideas. Happy Teaching!!
Follow One Stop Teacher Shop’s board Grammar on Pinterest.