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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Bone Head…

Everything was going hunky dory with this 6th grade until we got to the English grammar lesson.

Now I have to explain at this point that the technical nomenclature of English grammar was never my strong suite.

To qualify for graduation, I had to take “bone head” English grammar in college……..twice!

Diagramming and labeling the parts of a sentence beyond noun, verb and object still makes my eyes cloud over and the brain go numb.

Today’s detailed lesson plan instructed me to teach a section of English grammar to these 6th graders. The “teachers” cheat sheet on this subject indicated exactly how I should instruct the kids, what examples I should write on the board and even what sentence parts to underline and label.

Piece of cake……I can DO this!

So, I launch into the lesson explaining (reading verbatim) the difference and nuances of transitive and intransitive verbs, being and linking verbs, predicate nouns and adjectives to these eager young minds.

I write the suggested example sentences on the board and carefully underline and label the pesky verbs with their proper labels as indicated.

I then hand out individual work sheets to the class so they can dive right in locating and labeling verbs in sixty odd sentences on their own.

Then I wait.

For next three minutes I’m thinking, “I just might get away clean here”.

Then I see two, and then three and then even more heads turn to one another. Whispered questions start to circulate the class. “I don’t get it, do you?”, “uh, uh, nope”, “I’m lost!”

After about ten minutes, most of the heads and hands are up making the same plaintive cry. “Uh, Mr Perry? We need some help with this.”

Now I’M stuck. I DID review the lesson/work sheets during my 40min lunch trying desperately to see if I could understand this stuff before I gave it to the kids. I didn’t succeed.

So… at this point, I did the only thing I could think of.


I told the students that, truthfully, I didn’t understand this stuff when I was in school either and obviously I still didn’t. I told them that they didn’t have to do the assigned homework and that I’d leave a note for their teacher to re-do the lesson when she came back tomorrow.

We ALL breathed a collective sigh of relief with this solution.

I haven’t heard back from the teacher yet…….

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

touch - although that would be kinda hard!