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Unleashing Your Language Wizards: A Brain-Based Approach to Effective Editing and Writing

Unleashing Your Language Wizards: A Brain-Based Approach to Effective Editing and Writing

by John CrowJohn Crow
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Unleashing Your Language Wizards breaks new ground in presenting a research-based, active-learning approach to teaching lasting sentence management skills that taps into students’ natural learning abilities. To guide teachers in grades 3-12 to effectively teach editing and writing, this book introduces the basic principles, specific examples, and sample activities–all of which teach the most important brain-based language concepts from a variety of different angles and approaches–to help students conquer their written language issues. It focuses on three areas of knowledge–referred to as Wizards–that all students must possess to communicate effectively: Grammar Wizards, Sentence Wizards, and Rhetorical Wizards.

To learn more about Unleashing Your Language Wizards see the inside front cover.

"[The book] positively shines, as it helps to frame issues that are so important to address in the grammar/writing classroom but that are difficult to explain without clear pathways laid out...the more ways to get students physically engaged and mentally engaged in grammar learning, the better—the activities here seem designed well to engage students and provide them with good practice in the concepts...the author lays [everything] out in a methodical way that gets to the heart of [learning grammar]."
- Jennifer Powers, Green Mountain College

"The content and process to teaching grammar explicitly from a brain-based approach is without exception, timely, in light of the recent recognition of the type of students who make up the achievement gap in the Untied States...This is excellent information to consider pedagogically. [The book] will generate much discussion on how teachers can make...[grammar] strategies more interesting and engaging...for English learners."
- Catherine Elise Barrett, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

John T. Crow is a professional development consultant focused on applied linguistics and ESL. His thirty years classroom experience give him a unique perspective on teaching language and composition that he shares with educators across the country.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780137020034
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 08/07/2009
Series: Alternative eText Formats Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

John Crow ’s background in applied linguistics, ESL, and thirty years of classroom experience combine to give him a unique perspective on teaching language and composition. He lives with his wife in Winter Haven, Florida, where he works as a professional development consultant.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements and Dedication x
List of Tables xiii
List of Illustrations xv
Preface: Introduction & Overview xvii
Section 1: The Grammar Wizard
Chapter 1: Background
PC? 2
Processional Caterpillars 4
A Classroom Example 5
Student Reactions 7
What Is Grammar? 8
Traditional Grammar 11
The Grammar Wizard 11
What Students Already Know and Don’t Know 12
To Teach or Not to Teach 13
Discussion Questions 15
Chapter 2: Meet Your Grammar Wizard
Native vs. Non-Native 18
English Speaker Competencies 19
Meet Your Grammar Wizard 20
Word List Demonstration 21
Chunking 23
Phrase Building Demonstration 27
Colorless Green Ideas Demonstration 29
Movement Demonstration 30
Letter Scrambling Demonstration 31
Reversal Demonstration 32
Where Is My Grammar Wizard? 33
Discussion Questions 33
Chapter 3: Brain-Based Learning and TGP
Traditional Grammar and Traditional Grammar Pedagogy 38
TGP—Historically Speaking 38
Brain-Based Learning 40
Types of Memory 42
Your Grammar Wizard 44
Natural vs. Rote Learning 45
The Natural Learning Process 46
Depth of Processing 50
Methods of Presentation 51
Natural Learning and TGP 52
Brain-Based Learning Tenets and TGP 53
Moving On 54
Discussion Questions 54
Chapter 4: The Grammar Wizard Approach
Grammar Wizard Basics 68
Wrapping Up 77
Discussion Questions 78
Section 2: Using the Grammar Wizard
Chapter 5: Grammar Wizard Tests
What Are Grammar Wizard Tests? 86
How Do I Present Grammar Wizard Tests? 87
Parts of Speech 89
Nouns 90
Verbs 90
Adjectives 91
Adverbs 91
Pronouns 92
Prepositions 96
Possessives 98
Recursiveness and Elaboration 102
Discussion Questions 106
Chapter 6: Grammar Wizard Activities
Introduction 118
Brain-Based Checklist 119
Body Grammar 120
Tag Questions 124
Yes-No Questions 127
Manipulatives 130
Index Cards—Possessive 131
Noun Phrase Building 133
Reading Rods Sentence-Construction Kit® 136
Velcro Punctuation 137
Games Based on Existing Games 138
Grammar Charades 138
Mad Libs 139
Grammar Jeopardy 139
Hollywood Squares or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? 139
Discussion Questions 140
Chapter 7: Grammar Wizard Toolbox
Introduction 149
The Joshua Tree Syndrome 152
High Yield Strategies 153
Participle Phrases 154
Gerund Phrases 161
Appositive Phrases 164
Infinitive Phrases 168
Parallelism 169
Nominative Absolute 175
Adjectives Out of Order 178
Inclusive Activities 180
The I Am Poem 181
Mini-Revisions 182
Literary Goldmines 184
Discussion Questions 185
Chapter 8: Punctuation
Introduction 193
Traditional Comma Explanations 195
Voice Commas and Voice Periods 196
Voice Commas & Introductory Elements 198
Voice Periods: Recognizing Comma Splices and Run-Ons 201
Other Commas 203
Series Commas 203
Adjective Commas 204
Essential-Non-essential Commas 205
Contrary Commas 206
Commas between Clauses 207
Serial Semi-Colons 207
Colons 208
Hyphens 210
Apostrophes 211
Dashes and Parentheses 212
Discussion Questions 212
Section 3: The Sentence Wizard
Chapter 9: Bridges
Introduction 224
Recognizing Sentence Boundaries 226
Recognizing Incomplete Sentences 228
Joining Sentences “Legally”—Bridges 230
Step 1—Connectors 231
Step 2—Bridges and Non-Bridges 232
Step 3—Center Bridges (Coordinating Conjunctions) 234
Step 4—Center Bridges (Continued) 235
Step 5—Swinging Bridges (Subordinating Conjunctions) 236
Step 6—Floating Connectors (Conjunctive Adverbs) 239
Step 7: Floating Connectors (Conjunctive Adverbs) 240
Summary 242
Terminology 242
Recursiveness and Elaboration 244
Exercises 244
Graphic Representations 245
Literature 245
Student Writing 246
Bridge Commas 246
Discussion Questions 248
Chapter 10: Sentence Fluency
Sentence Fluency Definition 261
Sentence Wizards Revisited 262
The Christensen Perspective 266
Sentence Beginners 268
Recursiveness and Elaboration 272
Sentence Interrupters 275
Sentence Expanders 280
Sentence Length 288
Discussion Questions 290
Section 4: The Rhetorical Wizard
Chapter 11: Rhetorical Choices—Mechanics and Word Choice
Introduction 301
Registers 303
Rhetorical Choices 307
Punctuation 307
The Rhetorical Comma 307
Semi-Colons 309
Dashes and Parentheses 309
Word Choice 312
Confusing Word Pairs 314
Slang or Regionalisms 316
Misused Words 317
Overly Fancy Words 318
Discussion Questions 319
Chapter 12: Rhetorical Choices—Structure
Given vs. New Information 322
Movement 324
Participle Phrases 324
Appositives 325
Swinging Bridge Clauses (Subordinate Clauses) 326
Fronted Elements 327
Active vs. Passive Voice 329
Banning Passives? 330
Primary Uses 330
Sentence Length 333
Intentional Fragments 335
Voice 337
Reading and Writing 340
Discussion Questions 341
Glossary 345
Works Cited 349

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