Transition to School Schedule, School Nightmare, and Griefless Grammar

Yesterday and today I began my transition back to the academic year of teaching. Yesterday I participated in the first day of a two day workshop sponsored by the College Board which supports our language arts teaching as we prepare students for Advanced Placement classes. Last night I had my first "teacher nightmare" as summer winds down. In the nightmare I didn't sleep in on the first day of school. I didn't forget to take off my pajamas or (heaven forbid) arrive in my birthday suit. I arrived at school and my room was overcrowded with students that were very unruly. As I tried all my seasoned "bag of tricks" they just got worse. Then more and more students kept coming in so that when the period ended my room was overrun with students and I didn't even know all their names. Things seemed to get worse... but then I woke up. Whew!

The part I enjoyed the most during my workshop today was the section called Griefless Grammar. I was struck by the title of the workshop. Can grammar instruction be embedded in our teaching of writing without grief? Perhaps. I learned some exciting strategies I am eager to take back and try that attempt to make grammar instruction a bit more exciting than what I experienced while diagramming sentences and doing boardwork on verb tenses in Mrs. Peterson's class in 8th grade. After "hands-on" activities with punctuation, I actually began to appreciate the semicolon. I think it is because I understood more how to use it. Look out students; let the Griefless Grammar instruction begin.


  1. I really like the multiplying students dream. Man. That is scary.

  2. sounds like a fun beginning - I miss it . Testing this year.

  3. you go girl! did you get some new blouses and sharpen your pencils all up? you know, like in Little Women? flowers on your desk? Little breeze blowing here today; sunny, too. Doesn't smell like fall yet but I wouldn't be surprised....

  4. I can't decide if I am jealous or not. It may hit in the next couple of weeks as the kids go back and I don't.


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