Cracking the Code

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
no secrets here- Suzanne

As English teachers, we swim in a sea of gray.  You know subjectivity, interpretation, and the like.  Raise your hand if you've ever said to yourself, "Well...what I think they're trying to say is..." while grading an essay.  Now give me a high too!  That's what makes grading them so exhausting.

What if I told you of a land of black and white, right and wrong?  No, we're not trekking down the hall to become math teachers.  Our cut and dry comes in the form of grammar.  Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, but it's the closest thing we have.  Work with me!  Students should have some confidence in knowing that they can prove their answer is correct on sentence combining questions.  There is one correct answer.  So how can you prove it?

Duh duh duh duhhhhhh...SENTENCE CODING!

Your kids have to bring some knowledge of sentence types to the table (the Grammar Foldable accomplishes this nicely), but it's pretty easy to use.
I stress that the order is important.  If I find a ,ABOS (formerly FANBOYS but we got down to business and focus on the most usable ones), then I know I must have a subject and verb before the ,ABOS and a subject and verb after.  I know that my AAAWWWUUBBIS phrase is a "Say What?" (or dependent clause for those who are new to my lingo).  It must be connected to an "I got you!" (independent clause).  As a basic rule, we also know that two complete sentences can NEVER, EVER, EVER (bonus points for enthusiastic stomping and shouting) be combined with only a comma or thin air.  

So what does this look like in action?

With these simple rules on your back pocket, you are ready to crack any sentence code and pump up that multiple choice score.  This news is too good to keep is a secret!

Oh, and I wish you the best of luck today!

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