TEACHERS.TXT: Notes for teachers on using the Slade Grammar System in a class setting.

The Slade Grammar System is designed to fulfill your grammar teaching obligation while minimizing the class time and teacher time required. Students love two things, "games" and computers. There are eight grammar lessons in The Slade Short Course textbook. They are all two pages or less. Try the following "homework" schedule using little or no class-time instruction:

* Each week as homework: "Read the assigned lesson and play the two computer games recommended at the end of the lesson. You may use your textbook as you play if you need to. Play the games until you can score 90% or better on each. Now you are ready for the next lesson." You will complete the whole system in nine weeks (counting the Reviews), mostly as homework.

* For testing: Have students play any of the last nine games with the <ESCape> feature "DISABLED." Their final score is their final grammar grade. As your goal is to have them learn as much as they can, they should be allowed to retest several times. Play these final games yourself and you will agree that 90% demonstrates a good grasp of basic English grammar.

* Reviews I, II, and III, which review simple sentence patterns and the English verb are essential before starting the eight Lessons of the text. If teachers are going to spend class time on grammar, it should be on these introductory Reviews, especially Review III, the English verb. When these are mastered, try the above schedule of homework assignments.

* DRAGGING LETTERS: When the instructions say to drag sentence pattern letters (s-v, s-v-o, etc.), drag them directly on top of the correct word or element. The word (correct or incorrect) will turn red. Only then can you drop (unclick) the letter for a "correct" response. Dropping (unclicking) in any other position will get an "incorrect" buzzer. When a whole box is the correct answer, it too will turn red when the dragged letter is on top of it. The red element is the signal to "unclick" when you think it is the correct answer. All words turn red when the dragged letter is on top of them, of course; it is not a signal for the "correct" answer. It may be "incorrect."

* PAST PARTICIPLES. In sentences such as, "HIS ESSAYS WERE PLAGIARIZED," there is always a debate as to whether the sentence is an S-LV-C pattern with "plagiarized" as an adjective complement after a linking verb or an S-V pattern in which "plagiarized" is the intransitive verb, "were" being a helping verb. This grammar favors the latter S-V option. I have generally told students to call them "PAST PARTICIPLES" only when they appear without helping verbs preceding them. This helps students identify them clearly as PAST PARTICIPLES. In cases where the word is clearly used as an adjective, however, it must be ruled as an S-LV-C pattern despite the rule, as in: HIS ESSAYS WERE PLAGIARIZED THOUGHTS (S-LV-C).

* If your school has a media room with a computer-compatible ACTIVBOARD, you and your class can play the games together. If your school does not have this technology, complain.

* I would appreciate feedback on how Version III of the computer game might be improved and how this system is working for you generally.

Slade Schuster
Phone: 651-636-5703
E-mail: sladesch@comcast.net