Snippets from Jeff Anderson

Here are some of the gems I gleaned from my day with Jeff Anderson (6th grade teacher, author of Mechanically Inclined and Everyday Editing). If you do not understand the previous sentence, see yesterday’s slice:

  • What are we doing to make students think they can’t do it? (grammar and editing)
  • Does the error hawks swoop in with red pen talons? (with caw, caw sound effects) Loved this image, I can see some  teachers I had in this role.
  •  Student’s errors reveal what they are ready to learn next. (example: run-on sentences indicate they are ready to learn about complex sentences)
  • Focus on patterns of language, considering what grammar and mechanics can do to create meaning, instead of rules of grammar and mechanics. (there are too many exceptions to the rules)
  • Grammar taught in isolation has a negative effect (which means the student actually loses knowledge!) This is a scary thought!
  • Find the smallest chunk possible to teach the concept (don’t teach from a paragraph to develop sentence structure)
  • Students need confidence to develop competence.  Isn’t this true for everything we do? So why would  grammar and mechanics be an exception?
  • After a read aloud (book or passage) ask the students “If this was written from a prompt, what could the prompt have been to create this piece?” Think about this, this is not asking for author’s purpose. This could open kids eyes to how you can develop a piece from a prompt.

Technical blogging question not related to slice, but if you know, I’d take some help. How do you change the font or color of the font? I wanted my personal thoughts in another color but I can’t find any way to do that. Does someone know the trick? So I had to make my thoughts italics. Total novice on how to do things on the blog. I did find something about a font toolkit, but nothing happens when I click it.