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  1. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #1

    Highlights from "The Games"

    I am referencing some other threads in which I called the teaching of morphology and syntax (together with Reed-Kellogg) diagramming "the games". This teaching took half my class time for about two and a half months and was done to "grammatical innocents". They basically knew nothing of grammar.

    A highlight to start with occurred when, upon announcing that I had saved the best for last since relative pronouns and adjective clauses are so amazing, a girl in the front row, for whom this was all clicking, was bouncing up and down in her desk with anticipation. She was even waving her hands in small circles -- not to draw attention to herself, but to deal with her excitement. I thought to myself, "Can this be real?"

    What lead up to another highlight was my that, though I had given no homework and very few quizzes along the way, I needed my students to take their "final" seriously. I tried to scare them into reviewing their class notes and doing a little studying. One girl in the "learning support" class, which includes two other adults to help, said, "Bring it on, Mr. Antonson"
    At the conclusion of the final, I asked her how she felt that she did. She said, "You really brung it on, Mr. Antonson, but that's okay." (I hope all who read this realize that usage and grammar are different subjects.)

  2. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Highlights from "The Games"

    Here is another highlight -- not exactly a good one.

    One student who had not really been paying much attention and had actually done some disrupting, looked at the chart that I gave them all in order to prepare for the test. He said to me, "I don't get it. This just looks like a lot of random words." I replied, "I'm not surprised" At which, one of the girls who sits in the front, has been paying close attention, and gets it, laughed.

    It made me think, though, that I suppose it is obvious that most people would think of "if", "it", "is", and "in", as just words. In fact, how different they are!

  3. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Highlights from "The Games"

    Still another highlight (or two).

    The best highlight has to be when I found out that some of my students were creating a website to put it all online -- which they have done.

    But here's another: While most of the student body was involved in a "social" (sort of like a teen dance), some of the kids stayed with me to compete at sentence diagramming. Well, we had a sentence on the blackboard and two teams ready to go at the whistle when Santa appeared at the door. Of course he caused quite a stir, but then, since he was standing in field of play (he had moved in front of the blackboard) I felt that I had to warn him that he should move because he might get injured when I blew the whistle. Well, I blew the whistle after he had moved, and the kids charged the board. He watched a little and then retreated.

    I suppose that it was sacreligious to deal with Santa so, but it made for a highlight (!)

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