Let’s find out some of the main principles of the Loving Grammar program:
Loving Grammar: Mr. Lund’s Guide to Professional Clamdigging™
Principle 1: You’ve heard of a ‘feel good’ movie, right? Well, let’s just say that Loving Grammar is a ‘feel good’ grammar textbook. That’s what I mean when I subtitled this book: “A Quirky Workbook.”
Can we talk about this for just a second? Why worry about something as subjective as happiness? Excuse me—have you studied any grammar lately? Believe me, it’s not easy—(anyone who tells you it is is not playing with the full grammar deck).
So, what do we do to change the mood of a grammar book? How about this: putting it all in a classroom and inserting into the grammar mix some funny and clever exchanges between teacher (Mr. Lund) and students (Felix, Giovanni, Kristy)? After many years of teaching, I have found that if the students are having a good time—and the teacher is too!—then it is very, very likely that some serious and lasting learning is going on.
In his book, The Happiness Advantage (2010), Shawn Achor says this of the role of happiness and education: “Students primed to feel happy before taking math achievement tests far outperform their neutral peers. It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive” (15).
I couldn’t agree more! Like I said—I want everyone to have a good time in this Loving Grammar classroom! One parent wrote this when I asked her how her daughter was doing with the program: “I will tell you already that she did not want to stop your book to go back to her math lesson. We went through Lesson 1, Lesson 2 and now are working on 3…. She loves it!”
So, for example on page 40 of Loving Grammar, we see Mr. Lund messing around with Giovanni, “What’s the matter, did you lose your puppy?” Or when Felix playfully hits back at the teacher, “What’s up, Mr. Lund? Cat got your tongue?”—the maestro counters with this: “Well that’s a fine metaphor to come from a guy named Felix.”
If I know anything about learning, I know that good-hearted humor and fun can do two things: first, it can create of joy and confidence in the learners, and second, it can inoculate students against the mess-ups and the knock-downs that we all face when we are learning something as tricky as grammar and punctuation. This gives our students a significant cognitive advantage—a willingness to take risks! And that, my friends, is essential to learning. And that’s one of the best secrets of Loving Grammar.
Principle 2: And, by the way—no, we don’t do diagramming sentences in Loving Grammar. To me diagramming sentences (and yes, I do know how to do it—I have an advanced degree in applied linguistics) is the equivalent of cutting your lawn with scissors—it is way too s l o w and l a b o r i o u s! My mission is to help students learn grammar and punctuation as quickly as possible, so they can confidently punctuate any sentence they write (or anyone else writes)—and so they can get on with the rest of their lives!
Principle 3: This is mastery for EVERYONE, folks! NO ONE gets left behind! I know what it’s like in a normal English classroom of 30 kids. Usually when questions of grammar come about—about 3-4 kids answer most of the questions and the rest of the kids just wait it out. Not here! Everyone in the class is going to get through this and MASTER the material!
That’s why I’m so happy that Felix (and do you know what that name means?), the kid who is most scared of grammar, is the one to do the honors of putting the commas in the formidable ‘Clamdigging sentence’* at the end of the book. If your student hates grammar or is afraid of grammar—then she should pay attention to Felix and the other ‘kids’ in this book. She will see something amazing. They all get it. Your student will too!
*Trapped on a sandbar by the incoming tide, the amateur clam diggers Pete and Don who could not swim had to be rescued.
Whether grammar is your delight or your dilemma—or your nightmare, this book is your guide to safe harbor. The Professional Clamdigging™ approach makes the solemn and practical pledge that you’ll never learn a single snippet of grammar without seeing how it solves a writing issue. Choosing between I feel ‘bad’ and I feel ‘badly’ is impossible if you don’t know how action verbs and linking verbs operate. Don’t know an adverb move from a bluegrass groove? Don’t know if you should say ‘me’ or ‘I’? Don’t know where to put commas (much less semi-colons) in a sentence. You’ve come to the right place: Loving Grammar.
Would you like to give Loving Grammar a try? Save $10 on already reduced prices by using promo code: LGHM at checkout. Offer valid through 9/10/16.
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- Loving Grammar book
- Answer key
- Mastery exam
- Quiz supplement
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