I hope you had a good weekend. Over here, I almost got all of my garlic in the ground on Saturday, but then this cold weather drove me back inside. Maybe next weekend--the cold has definitely set in for now!
Here is the Essentials forecast for the next week:
Memory Work-We are working with verbs this week again. Remember that verbs are the "engine" of our cars---the most complex of the 8 parts of speech. The EEL guide suggests that you drill the Verb Anatomy Chart (K). I would suggest at least an exposure to the chart. Point out that the top of the chart is the 5 principal parts of the verb "to be" and that the different quadrants below are the tenses. Show them how the tenses of "to be" are formed from the 5 principal parts. The formula for the tenses is rather mathematical and easy to follow once they understand how to "create" each tense). If they are older, confident, or you are feeling particularly zealous, go ahead and have them do the chart as copywork, but it is a LOT of verbiage. However, I do think it's good exposure. Personally, I don't recall EVER being taught ANYTHING about verbs as a child in my English class (do you?), but I DO remember being terribly intimidated by them when it came time to study foreign languages! Exposure at this level will build their confidence for later on...
Do be sure to drill the various verbs sections on the English Grammar Trivium Table, especially the four verb types (transitive, intransitive, linking, helping). Play the songs that drill the linking and helping verbs lists.Have them work hard to master the linking verb list. As Mrs. Crisp helpfully pointed out, be sure they understand that in the linking verb song, the last one--"be"-- includes all the conjugations of that verb (am, are, is, was, were, being, been) even though she doesn't sing each one. Knowing their linking verbs list will help them tremendously when identifying the next two sentence patterns (S-VL-PN & S-VL-PA), not to mention that it dovetails into the Foundations English Grammar work for 2nd Semester. The entire 1st Cycle of Foundations English Grammar is prepositions, followed by helping, then linking verbs.
You could also play the songs for the irregular verbs (there are two of them--feel free to pick your favorite). I typically play the song and have David point to the appropriate box on the chart while it plays. Also, take a regular verb and review how to conjugate it into its 5 principal parts (ex. to dance, dance(s), danced, dancing, danced).
Take time to task the sentences in Lesson 9 that are appropriate for your child(1st year---sentences 1-3, Veterans--sentences 1-5) The first four sentences are fairly tame and doable; the 5th one is most appropriate for the veterans. Be sure you train them to walk through the sentence confirmation process so that they get used to going to that "Direct Object Check" box and realize that Predicate Nouns/Pronouns can seem an awful lot like Direct Objects, so they NEED to follow the process, ask the questions in order ,and internalize the sequence. To review, a predicate noun:
1. It will replace/rename the noun-- Kishaun is a teacher. Can "teacher" rename/replace "Kishaun"?
2. Equal sign can be substituted Kishaun = teacher
3. Nouns can be interchanged The teacher is Kishaun.
We are solidly into our Basic Report Unit IV, working on our Ancient Egypt reports. Last week we worked on the 1st paragraph on pyramids. This week, the guide calls for us to write the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs on the Great Sphinx and mummies (Lesson 7). The following week (Lesson 8) the guide has us combine the three paragraphs, polish up the essay, and add an introductory statement and final clincher for the entire essay. Depending upon your family's schedule, you may wish to do more writing this week and less next or even out the load, but our goal is to have the entire report finished up on Friday, November 9th. As you complete each paragraph, consult the appropriate rough draft checklists on pp. 41, 42.
Our stylistic technique of the week is Sentence Opener #2, the introductory prepositional phrase. See p. 39 in Ancient History or p. 19 in the TWSS for more details, but this is a rather straightforward opener. They should have a bunch of prepositions stuffed in their brain from the memory work, and introductory prepositional phrases are an easy way to add variety to their writing style so that they don't always start each sentence S-V over and over again.
VOCAB--They should cut out the vocab for 7b and have it on their rings. Just fyi, but there is no vocabulary for lesson 8 (next week), and you may wish to encourage them to use one of the new words from 7a and 7b in their sphinx and mummy paragraphs.I don't know about you, but David has gotten fixated on favorite vocabulary words from prior lessons (he's ruthlessly beaten the word "ruthless" to death!), so I think I am going to require the new vocabulary for his paragraphs. I'm finding it helpful if we pull out his vocabulary ring and read through the words (and synonyms on the back which are just as good) when we are editing his rough draft. This way they are fresh in his brain.
For Fun/Totally Optional
We will have a "Stealth Linking Verbs Challenge"! If they can quickly and effortlessly recite their entire list of linking verbs and the definition when I first see them next Friday (it could be lunch, or it could be in the morning, or it could be when they walk through the door to Essentials--you never know ; )) they will earn 1-2 tickets. Two if they are fast. One if they are slower or stall but recover. Tell them they need to know the definition and list "cold" though...no stalling or peaking. Make sure they include all the forms of "to be" at the end of the list. This is optional---just for fun--not required! I don't want to induce troubled dreams where their Essentials tutor is chasing them down to ask them about linking verbs. ; )
Teachers---I promise to remember my dark chocolate for Friday (although you will probably be sick from Halloween candy fallout by then ; )). Here are two new optional challenges: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser." or "I am the resurrection and the life." Same drill as last week--identify structure, purpose, pattern, then diagram. Can you identify the book and verse? (Don't forget the power of Google Search)
Memory Work-The new memory work for this week is to drill the prepositions (blue section on Trivium Tables or Master Chart J). I would drill the definition, the list, and also make sure that they understand that a preposition always has an object of the preposition (OP) and is part of a larger unit of words called a prepositional phrase. Also, I would reference back to the Noun section of the Trivium Tables and show them how the object of the preposition is one of the usages or "jobs" of a noun. You may wish to create some prepositional phrases as we did in class with the tin whistle sentence. Prepositional phrases can be adjectival or adverbial in nature (act as an adjective or adverb). The questions on the chart will help you identify the type of phrase. If it answers an adverb question (how, when, where, why, how often, how much, to what extent, under what condition) it's probably adverbial and modifying the verb. If it answers an adjective question (what kind, how many, which, whose), it's probably adjectival and modifying a noun. Also, there are two songs on the CD that cover prepositions.One is the classic CC chant that they are working on in Foundations, and the other is also catchy and includes the definition.
Take time to task the sentences in Lesson 8 that are appropriate for your child (1st year---sentences 1-3, Veterans--sentences 1-5) The sentences look fairly straightforward this week with sentences 4 and 5 throwing in some prepositional phrases. You might wish to take one of the sentences and see if they can transform it into a question a different way. Be sure to make use of the Question Confirmation Chart when applicable. Point out the DO box and go through the steps of seeing if the DO can replace or rename the Subject Noun. Next week when we begin our 3rd sentence pattern, you'll see why this is so important. When diagramming, prepositional phrases are placed on an "elbow" line below the noun or verb they are modifying. See p. 135.
For visual learners, here are two video segments that solidly review prepositions. The first segment is a general lesson about prepositions. In the second segment, he shows how to diagram a preposition and illustrates both an adjectival and adverbial prepositional phrase:
This week we begin Unit IV, Summarizing References. For background information on this unit, you may wish to consult pp. 37-39 in TWSS, p. 10 in the SRN under "Models of Structure," and pp. 32-33 in Ancient History. Take time to read p. 32 in Ancient History in because it provides an overview for the next three weeks. The key point in this unit is that each paragraph should be a cohesive unit of thought introduced by the topic sentence and reflected/repeated by the clincher sentence. Start by reading "Pyramids" together on p. 35. You may wish to make a copy of it so that they can highlight/underline important or interesting facts as you read. Together you should narrow the list down to 3-7 facts/details and create a keyword outline from them with 3-4 words per fact. I prefer to start with the details and then create the topic sentence and clincher last, but feel free to do the topic sentence first if you prefer. Try to make sure that their clincher statement keywords reflect the topic sentence keywords without repeating all verbatim. You may need to pull out a thesaurus to help. I find the clincher is almost always more difficult than the topic sentence. They require a finesse that comes with work and practice.
Consult the rough draft checklist on p. 37 to make sure your student has all of the required elements. We will not turn this paper in until after Lesson 8 (due date November 9th) when we'll tie all three paragraphs together. Don't forget to teach them to highlight the 2-3 key words of the topic sentence and their reflection in the clincher.As we don't have a large volume of writing this week, it's a good week to slow down, look carefully at their writing, and emphasize quality within the paragraph. Also, you could work on reoccurring punctuation or capitalization issues. SRN's comma rules 1a--1f (under the Grammar Rules section) are a great place to start.
VOCAB--They should have the vocabulary for lesson 6 on their rings for this week and should cut out the vocab for 7a so that it's ready to go for next week.
Students will share one of their narrative stories next week, so they should decide which one they'd like to share.
For Fun/Totally Optional
Students, earn 1 ticket! Play some Grammar Ninja on the computer. See if you can work up to the "Skilled Ninja" level.
P.S. Scary but true--I woke up this morning, and the first thought I had was that the word "Assassins" should have been capitalized in the sentence we diagrammed in class. After all, itis the name of a specific game; therefore, it's a proper noun--such are the obscure thoughts of an Essentials tutor on Saturday mornings! ; )
Memory Work-The new memory work for this week is to drill the different kinds of adverbs (blue section on Trivium Tables or Master Chart I. There are two songs on the CD that cover adverbs. The EEL guide also recommends reviewing the nouns chart. This wouldn't be a bad idea, especially as we are discussing several noun usages this week (DO, NDA & AP--also you could have them label their sentence subjects SN if you'd like). Another neat connection is that the 1st five noun usages (SN, PNA, IO, DO, and OP) correspond to the Latin Noun Cases we are memorizing in Foundations (Nominative--Subject, Genative-Possessive, Dative--Indirect Object, Accusative--Direct Object, Ablative--Object of the Preposition) I love it when things tie together!
Take time to task the sentences in Lesson 7 that are appropriate for your child (1st year---sentences 1-3, Veterans--sentences 1-5)
Some of the sentences this week are fairly advanced, so newer families should not feel that they must tackle tasks #3 & 4 if it's too much for them. Be sure to make use of the Question Confirmation Chart when applicable. Point out the DO box and go through the steps of seeing if the DO can replace or rename the Subject Noun. Note, I've also attached a document from the Essentials C3 that includes extra sentences with blank sentence diagrams for practice. This is totally optional, just passing it along as a additional resource and way to practice the material.
I forgot to mention that nouns of direct addresses are diagrammed like interjections; they go above the subject on a separate line. Consult p. 120 when diagramming appositives. The appositive noun goes in parenthesis next to the main subject noun with any additional adjectives below it as usual. If you have Our Mother Tongue, chapter 15 addresses appositives.
This week we're writing the optional narrative story described on p. 93 of the Ancient History Guide. They should choose one of these stories and "borrow the conflict." Their three paragraph composition should follow the Story Sequence Chart. On p. 94 there's a great outline that should help them flesh out their stories. They should feel free to be creative with their characters, setting and other details. Also, feel free to modify the assignment if three paragraphs in one week is too much for your family. In class we mentioned dictating, using techniques in only one paragraph, or just doing a rough draft as optional ways to reduce the workload.
Our new technique this week is "Conversation" and is discussed on p. 61 of Ancient History or p. 67 in the Student Resource Notebook. They are only required to use conversation ONE time in the entire composition. The same is true with alliteration which I added back in this week.
VOCAB--No new vocabulary this week. To review, students should have weeks 1-5, 9, 11, & 12. Also, I'm attaching a document from the C3 that has all the vocab listed with definitions. I've found it a helpful reference.
For Fun/Totally Optional
Earn 1 Ticket: Draw an illustration of your story. Bring it to class to include with your finished paper.
Always feel free to touch base with me if you have questions or need help. I'm happy to help! I hope the students have fun with their original stories this week. : )
I hope you have a 10 out of 10 kind of week! ; ) Here is the rundown for Week 6 of Essentials along with the promised checklist for our narrative paper:
Memory WorkAh, It's been a lovely two weeks of "review," but sadly, all good things must come to an end. This week we launch into the brave new world of conjugations. I highly recommend taking time to drill the 3 types of conjunctions. In particular, they should be able to master the coordinating (FANBOYS), subordinating (www.asia.wub), and correlative by next Friday.Remember the definitions too. Also, don't forget the power of cheesy songs--there are several related to conjunctions on the CD.
As Mary Jo mentioned in class (thanks again!), the IEW Resource Notebook has a section on the use of a comma between compound sentences, p.56, item 1b.
A quick aside--I did not mention the list of relative pronouns and conjunctive adverbs at the bottom of the conjunction page on the English Grammar Trivium Table as I did not wish to overwhelm folks. They list these as they are useful when determining the function of different types of clauses. We won't need them until we come back from Christmas break and begin complex sentences though, so they are not high priority.
Here is a link to the Essentials page I mentioned in class. On this page, you'll see the link for the parts of speech hand motions. You never know when you may be called upon again to publicly demonstrate your prowess in this area. Personally, I prefer the Trent & Crisp version for nouns. ; )
Take time to task the sentences in Lesson 5 that are appropriate for your child(1st year---sentences 1-3, Veterans--sentences 1-5) Use the laminated "Analytical Task Sheet" to walk them through the tasks. Pull out the Sentence Confirmation section on your "Quid et Quo" and ask them questions about the sentence. This is particularly important as we now have direct objects. You should be able to get to #2 in the Question Confirmation process and get to the first step of the "D.O. Check" box. The noun/pronoun will not replace or rename the S, so you can end there and label DO and Vt.
However, DO (not D.O. but "do" ; )) bother to walk through the Sentence Confirmation Process. The sentences will soon grow in complexity, and the Sentence Confirmation Process will save your skin many a time from a wrong diagnosis. Elisa McKenzie came to me with a sentence just last Thursday, and after I had explained it, she realized that she wouldn't have missed it if she had stuck to the Sentence Confirmation Process. It may seem wooden and dry, but teach them to mimic you and repeat you as you ask the questions.
Also, if you are doing task #4, I forgot to mention that "FANBOYS" sit on their own special little chair when they are separating two independent clauses. You'll see what I mean when you look at the diagrams. You may wish to create a sentence with a compound subject, so that they can see that coordinating conjunctions can also connect single words. (Example: Susan and Kishaun demonstrated the game.) I will cover this more next week, but they can create a compound subject or compound predicate.
This week, we continue work on our Narrative story, Unit 3. These should be ready to turn in next Friday. I'm attaching a checklist, and if your child enjoys "points," feel free to add these. Also, we added the "because" dress up this week. As I mentioned in class, feel free to adjust the stylistic technique list to the needs of your family, adding or subtracting as you see need. Have them cut out the vocab for lesson 12 and add it to their ring for next week.
For Fun/Totally Optional
We talked about the history of the word "serendipity" this week. Can you find another word that has an interesting story or history? Define the word and come prepared to share the story of its origin with the rest of the class. They will get 1 ticket for sharing their word and its history.
No CC next week--enjoy your break! Take a long autumn walk. Read a frivolous book. Follow the Martins to Disney World. Catch up on laundry. ; )
When you are ready to resume your schedule, here's the forecast for Essentials for week 5:
Memory Work---No new charts! We have another review week of charts A-G (112 Sentences overview, Verbs, Nouns, Pronouns, Interjections). Take time to make sure they are retaining the work they memorize. Don't forget about our CD of Essentials Greatest Hits---there are many information packed songs on there that will help make life easier. Even if they don't like to sing, don't underestimate the power of audio brainwashing. ; )
Take time to task the sentences in Lesson 5 that are appropriate for your child (1st year---sentences 1-3, Veterans--sentences 1-5) Use the laminated "Analytical Task Sheet" to walk them through the tasks. Pull out the Sentence Confirmation section on your "Quid et Quo" and ask them questions about the sentence. Again, it's very basic at this point and unless you are using the more advanced sentences, you won't get beyond the beginning of step 2 because we haven't introduced direct objects. But, it's important to begin modeling the process.
Dialectically speaking, I would recommend that you take a basic S-Vi and have them practice transforming the sentence into the 4 purposes (including the three possible constructions, using "CIA," for the interrogative) Manipulating the sentences, demonstrates a higher level of mastery of the concepts and pushes them to really understand the grammar. As this is our last week with the "simple sentence" structure, you may also wish to pull out Chart B (I gave you an extra copy of this chart for your student's class notebook) and review the different quadrants of purpose. Next class, I will be handing out a copy of a similar chart, but for COMPOUND sentences, so it will be good for you to reinforce this first chart beforehand.
We've moved on to Unit 3 of the TWSS program: "Summarizing Narrative Stories." If you own the "Teaching Structure and Style Syllabus" (which I strongly recommend) review pages 27-36. There is a copy of the Story Sequence Chart on p. 27 and the "Teaching Procedure" section has 9 useful tips. On p. 29 there are some suggestions about adjusting for grade level that you may find useful. You may also wish to review p. 51 in the Ancient History Student Guide.
As I mentioned in class, I'd like to extend liberty to your family in choosing a story to summarize. This program can feel very structured, so I think it's helpful to offer choice when possible.Feel free to choose any of the four stories in Lessons 9-12 or if you would rather choose a simple fable outside the Ancient History text, that's fine too. The important thing is to practice the skill of identifying and summarizing the components we discussed in class and to teach them that each paragraph has a specific purpose. If all that choice feels overwhelming, I would work with Lesson 9, the Exodus story.
We will work on this three paragraph narrative for two weeks---Week 5 & 6. Adapt the process to your family's schedule--making use of the break week, you could do one paragraph a week, or you could do two paragraphs one week and one the next. We will plan to finish the narrative and turn it in on Week 7: Friday, October 12th. I will provide you with a composition checklist after next class, Week 6.
To recap the process---read the entire story together first, making sure they understand it. Pudewa recommends that they tell it back to you several times. You may need to clarify vocabulary or key points along the way. You may wish to pull out our plot diagram from class and talk about the components before you begin writing anything down. It could be a good opportunity for dialogue and discussion about the key points of the story. When they get into Challenge A & B, they will be writing about literature, so this is a nice opportunity to lightly introduce basic literary concepts.
Next, you will sit down and use the outlining process we discussed in class, aiming for 3 words per line. The number of lines they use for each paragraph will vary with the story, but make sure that they cover the basic questions for each paragraph. You are teaching them to think through a story and summarize it systematically. Each paragraph has a purpose.
Then, just as we did in the KWO process of Units 1 & 2, they should tell you the story from their notes in complete sentences, then rewrite the story from those notes. Remember that there is more flexibility with the outline in this unit, so they may rearrange the order of information within the paragraph. They also have some liberty in fleshing out details, but if it is a historical narrative, I would encourage them NOT to change any key historical facts. (Just FYI, but the next narrative assignment after this one will give them an opportunity to be more creative, so you can encourage them with that perspective if they are longing to be very creative).
Also, we added "Sentence Opener #6" to our IEW "Elements of Style" this week, the VSS or "very short sentence." Consult p. 21 in the Ancient History book or p. 19 in TWSS Syllabus for specifics.
I apologize for postponing our vocabulary "quiz" but there is never enough time in a class! We will reschedule the vocab quiz for next class. It will cover vocab for lessons 1-5, adding lesson 9. They should cut out and add lesson 11 vocab to be introduced next week (NOT on quiz). A good way for them to prepare is for them to review the information on the back of the cards and think of synonyms for the word. The quiz will be a game, oral in format.
Thank you for the various feedback on your IEW experiences--your experiences are encouraging! I'm glad that your students are enjoying the writing process. It's encouraging to know that you are seeing improvement in their writing and that you are beginning to catch the larger vision of the program.
I hope to see some of you in two days, Monday the 24th, at the Mission House for our Popcorn with Pudewa beginning at 6:30. I realize your time is precious, but consider our time together a long term investment in your family's writing education. No guilt from my end if you can't make it--just encouragement if you can!
Feel free to bring something to share Monday or not. I'm making a soup for our church Lifegroup Sunday and may just make a double batch, though "Soup and Pudewa" is not very alliterative!