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  1. #1
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Let the games resume

    Well, after a break, I will resume the teaching of morphology, syntax, and ultimately Reed-Kellogg. I am actually a little nervous. The students were SO excited before I took the break, and now the problem will be to restore that excitement without disappointing them.
    The prize for them is diagramming, but I have to teach them grammar as well. I guess it will be transitional adverbs and then possibly subject complements -- all within half of a class period. Probably can't be done.

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    Nick Rummel is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Let the games resume

    YAY!!! Time for more Syntax! Also, I have been writing some more of my book tonight and I think it is coming along pretty good! I have revealed more of what could happen if something goes wrong and other things related to the plot! Can't wait to learn more tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Let the games resume

    Well, I taught all that I hoped to teach within that half hour. We'll see if the students got it. Nick Rummel's website <EMAIL REMOVED - Send PM to This User Instead> will soon have it all on, I am sure.

    I am going almost impossibly fast. The only thing that saves it is that the students regard it as a game. With each part of a sentence that I teach them to diagram, it is like learning how a new chess piece moves. As long as their interest stays keen, the results could be amazing. Already, though, there is a certain degree of "fall out" where students who were not quite with me at the beginning, now have a poor foundation to build on.

    A mercy will be that syntax really IS finite. There is only so much of it. Just as it gets more complicated, it is approaching its end.

    It has all been an interesting experiment -- but, I will admit, one that has made my teaching year more demanding.

  4. #4
    Nick Rummel is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Let the games resume

    Mr. Antonson,
    You posted the link like an email address by accident I think. Here is the link: Home - Notes for Humanities/Language
    By the way, what are you going to teach us the next couple days?

  5. #5
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Let the games resume

    Thanks, Nick,

    "When the age is in, the wit is out" Much Ado...

    I am in a hurry next to teach you prepositional phrases because they are so easy and so frequent. While I am on phrases, however, I want to see how quickly I can get you students to understand infinitive phrases and participial phrases.

    I guess my hurry is partly because of the coming holidays and partly because I am afraid that the bubble of enthusiasm could burst.

    (Glad to have you on this forum. I hope you stay for a VERY long time -- even after I am gone.)

  6. #6
    Nick Rummel is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Let the games resume

    Ha Ha, Thanks Mr. A!
    I enjoy your class a lot.

  7. #7
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let the games resume

    Here is an update on "the games".

    It has surprised me that I can't get through syntax faster. Although I have taught prepositional phrases, I still have infinitive, participial, and gerund phrases to go -- also indirect objects and objective complements.

    When I finally turn to the subordinate clauses, it should go fast to the finish -- which will be a mercy for some of my students, although most of them are staying with me.

    Another surprise has been how exciting the students find sentence diagramming. I have had to work hard on finding a way of controlling the excitement. We are creating a whole list of "officials" to help keep order -- a clerk, a bailiff, a referee, a "buzzkill/talent scout", timer, eraser, commentator, judge, record keeper?, statistician?, etc. Then, of course, there are the contestants and their coaches.

    A help with this process has been that one of my students has created a webpage devoted strictly to CSD. It can be found at
    Home - Syntax 84: Guide to Diagramming Sentences

  8. #8
    Nick Rummel is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Let the games resume

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    Here is an update on "the games".

    It has surprised me that I can't get through syntax faster. Although I have taught prepositional phrases, I still have infinitive, participial, and gerund phrases to go -- also indirect objects and objective complements.

    When I finally turn to the subordinate clauses, it should go fast to the finish -- which will be a mercy for some of my students, although most of them are staying with me.

    Another surprise has been how exciting the students find sentence diagramming. I have had to work hard on finding a way of controlling the excitement. We are creating a whole list of "officials" to help keep order -- a clerk, a bailiff, a referee, a "buzzkill/talent scout", timer, eraser, commentator, judge, record keeper?, statistician?, etc. Then, of course, there are the contestants and their coaches.

    A help with this process has been that one of my students has created a webpage devoted strictly to CSD. It can be found at
    Home - Syntax 84: Guide to Diagramming Sentences
    I also have a link to the Syntax 84 site on the Websites page of our Humanities/Language Notes Website.

  9. #9
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let the games resume

    Here is a twist to the "games", that I found interesting.

    As part of a test, I asked for the students' opinions about "Jingle bells all the way." I gave them three choices: "Bells" as a noun of direct address; "bells" as a direct object; or "bells" as the subject in inverted order.

    One of my students said, "No, the whole sentence is "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way." From which it became clear that "jingle bells" is a phrasal noun and that the second occurrence is an appositive of the subject.

    Obvioiusly I complimented him heartily.

  10. #10
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let the games resume

    An update on "the games".

    I find myself thinking of the following sentence: "You can lead a kid to syntax, but you can't him think."

    We'll find out tomorrow. Today it's relative pronouns and adjective clauses, and tomorrow it's the "final". Objective complements are the only parts of sentences that I have not covered.

    Wish me (and my students) luck!

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