English grammar is a skill with which parents and students alike often struggle. However, a lack of understanding can affect one’s writing ability in English and other classes. By focusing specifically on English grammar for a short time, students will see how understanding sentence structure can improve their writing, and that there are actually reasons for where commas belong, rather than randomly guessing, “I think I need a comma here.” English grammar gets a bad rap because of the exceptions, and yet it really is quite logical when presented in incremental lessons.
The English Grammar mini-courses consist of a series of three levels of courses, covering all of the grammar expected by early high school.
English Grammar Level 3
In Level 3, geared for 8th-9h graders, students will focus on
- Review all parts of speech; delayed or understood subjects/predicates; words that change their part of speech depending on how they are used in a sentence (such as preposition, adverb, or conjunction). More advanced understanding of nouns (case of a noun/pronoun), classes of pronouns, verbs (mood of a verb), conjunctive adverbs, and correlative conjunctions.
- Review of subjects, predicates, verb complements (direct and indirect objects), subject complements (predicate nouns or adjectives), and review of phrases (prepositional, appositive); diagramming simple sentences with compound subjects and predicates.
- Review of compound & complex sentences; recognizing dependent clauses as an adjective or adverb; compound-complex sentences; diagramming compound and complex sentences.
- Infinitive and infinitive phrases including identifying the object of the infinitive; identifying the function of an infinitive phrase in a sentence; and improving writing by using infinitive sentence starters with proper comma usage.
- Participles and participle phrases; recognizing participles as adjectives and finding what they modify; fixing dangling participles; improving writing by using participles to modify nouns and participle phrases as sentence starters with proper comma usage.
- Gerunds and gerund phrases; identifying their function in a sentence; diagramming sentences with verbals.
- Review of all punctuation marks including less common marks such as the ellipsis and brackets; fixing errors; using single quotes (quotes within quotes); and citation, parenthetical notation, in-text notation, a Works Cited page, and understanding styles such as MLA or APA.
Students will watch a 15-25 minute pre-recorded grammar lecture, taught by the instructor, each day Monday-Thursday, as well as complete one or two practice exercises on that skill. On Friday, there is a review exercise as well as a quiz. On Thursday at 3:30 EST, there will be an optional “live” class to review the material covered that week. Students are not required to attend, but in doing so they will have time to ask questions about anything they didn’t understand; students can also arrange a time to “meet” with Mrs. G at other times during the week for extra help, if needed. The live class time may not take the full hour, depending on how many questions are asked and will often include playing a review game if enough students attend.
Parents are also free to contact Mrs. G through Canvas or through her email. If parents contact me before enrolling their student, I can email them a grammar exercise that shows all of the skills we cover in the class; this might be helpful in deciding if this class is too difficult for the student. Students can also switch to an earlier level, if needed, once the class starts.
Who Should Apply?
Any eighth grader or beginning high school student that hasn’t had intentional, focused English grammar lessons, especially if his or her writing suffers from it, and wants to do better. Grade levels are just suggested; older students can take earlier levels, if needed.
Contact Mrs. Graybill with questions: Mrs.BevGraybill@gmail.com