Teaching the Language Strand (of the Common Core State Standards) is part of a comprehensive Grades 4-12 language program, designed to address each Standard in the Language Strand of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 60-90 weekly instructional minutes. This full-year program includes all the instructional resources in grammar, usage, mechanics, spelling, language application, and vocabulary to help students master these Standards. Teaching the Language Strand also has the resources to meet the needs of diverse learners. Diagnostic assessments provide the data to enable teachers to individualize instruction with targeted worksheets, each with a formative assessment. Progress monitoring matrices allow teachers to track student progress. Each instructional resource is carefully designed to minimize teacher preparation, correction, and paperwork. Following are the program components of Teaching the Language Strand.
Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics (CCSS L.1, 2)
Teaching the Language Strand provides 56 interactive lessons, designed for direct instruction in the grade-level grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling Standards. Each scripted lesson (perfect for the grammatically-challenged teacher) is formatted for SMARTBoard or LCD/overhead projection. Standards review, definitions, examples, practice, simple sentence diagrams, error analysis, mentor texts, writing applications with sentence combining and sentence manipulation, and formative assessments are woven into each lesson. The instructional sequence establishes scaffolded review and practice for each of the CCSS Language Progressive Skills. Students take margin notes, practice lesson components, and complete sentence dictations on 56 Language Convention Worksheets included in the accompanying student workbooks. Teachers individualize remedial instruction according to the results of the diagnostic assessment with 72 targeted Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics (GUM) Worksheets.
Spelling (CCSS L.2)
Each grade-level program provides a comprehensive spelling curriculum with weekly spelling lists and spelling sorts based upon developmental spelling patterns. The instructional sequence is designed to review previously introduced spelling patterns and add new grade-level spelling patterns. Students create personal spelling lists to supplement these spelling patterns. Each Spelling Patterns Test and Spelling Sort Answers page is formatted for SMARTBoard or LCD/overhead projection so students can self-correct. Students also complete spelling sorts on 56 Spelling Worksheets included in the accompanying student workbooks. Teachers individualize remedial instruction according to the results of the diagnostic assessment with 64 remedial Spelling Pattern Worksheets. Extensive word lists, games, and proofreading resources supplement the direct and individualized instruction.
Knowledge of Language (CCSS L.3)
Teaching the Language Strand has 56 Language Application openers to help students apply the L.1, 2 Standards in the reading, writing, speaking, and listening contexts. These fast-paced, interactive lessons help students practice grammatical constructions, vary sentence patterns, and maintain a consistent voice and tone with precise and concise word choices. Also provided are 64 Rhetorical Stance Quick Writes to help students adjust the voice, audience, purpose, and form of their writing. Students take margin notes and complete language application revisions on 56 Language Application Worksheets included in the accompanying student workbooks. Additional Language Worksheets help teachers remediate specific writing deficits.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use (CCSS L.4, 5, 6)
The accompanying student workbook includes two independent Vocabulary Worksheets per week to help students learn all of the grade-level vocabulary Standards: context clues, multiple meaning words, Greek and Latin word parts, figures of speech, word relationships, connotations, academic language, and denotations/dictionary skills. Vocabulary Worksheets emphasize the Language Progressive Skills Standards.
Appendices (CCSS L.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
The appendices in Teaching the Language Strand contain a wealth of practical resources for both students and teachers. Language convention appendices include grammar, usage, and mechanics resources, proofreading strategies and practice, supplemental spelling word lists, spelling review games, and Syllable Worksheets. The vocabulary appendix provides Greek and Latin practice, vocabulary games, context clues practice, and vocabulary teaching resources.
Also included is the 66-page Pennington Manual of Style, a writer’s reference guide with 438 concise definitions, explanations, and clear examples of Essay Organization and Development (Introduction, Body, and Conclusion), Coherence, Word Choice, Sentence Variety, Writing Style, Format and Citations, Parts of Speech, Grammatical Forms, Usage, Sentence Structure, Types of Sentences, Mechanics, and Conventional Spelling Rules. A download link inserts the entire 438 essay e-comments bank from the style manual into the Autocorrect function of Microsoft Word 2003, 2007, and 2010 (Windows XP, Vista, and Win 7 all work fine). Teachers simply select an essay e-comment, type in its short alphanumeric code, then click to insert it into a document for printing, into an e-mail, or into a Microsoft Word comment bubble for an online essay. Teachers can easily add and save their own comments to the essay e-comments bank or insert personal comments, even audio files or hyperlinks, to enhance the interactive writer-reader dialogue. Teachers will save time, yet do a more thorough job of essay response.
Teachers are provided PDF files of the Teacher Guide, formatted for SMARTBoard or LCD/overhead projection to facilitate interactive instruction. Teachers are granted license to upload all student worksheets, reference materials, and the Pennington Manual of Style on class websites for easy access at home. Teacher’s Guide consists of 919 pages in a three-ring binder. The accompanying Student Workbook has 252 pages in a quality soft cover binding.
The Teaching the Language Strand Student Workbook serves as an integral instructional component of the comprehensive Grades 4-12 Teaching the Language Strand program. The workbook includes 252 interactive worksheets to help students master the Common Core Language Standards. Students practice and apply what has been learned in each lesson.
Language Convention Worksheets (CCSS L.1, 2)
Two Language Convention Worksheets accompany each of the teacher’s 56 Language Conventions “openers.” The first worksheet provides definitions, examples, content, rules, or skills to master grade-level grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling Standards. Students annotate the text and take interactive Margin Notes based upon the teacher’s lesson. The second worksheet includes a sentence diagram, mentor text with writing application practice, and the mechanics, spelling, and grammar and usage dictations. The dictations serve as formative assessments for the lesson. Students complete the worksheets and then self-correct from the SMARTBoard or LCD/overhead projection.
Spelling Worksheets (CCSS L.2)
The Spelling Worksheets include the spelling rule or focus and a spelling pattern sort based upon the weekly spelling list. Students complete the spelling sort and then self-correct from the SMARTBoard or LCD/overhead projection.
Language Application Worksheets (CCSS L.3)
The Language Application Worksheets accompany each of the teacher’s 56 Language Application “openers” to help students apply the Knowledge of Language L.1, 2 Standards in the reading, writing, speaking, and listening contexts. Students annotate the text and take interactive Margin Notes based upon the teacher’s lesson. Then they read examples of the language application task and complete the language application revision. Students self-correct from the SMARTBoard or LCD/overhead projection.
Vocabulary Worksheets (CCSS L.4, 5, 6)
The Teaching the Language Strand Student Workbook includes 56 Vocabulary Worksheets (two per week) to help students mastery all the Vocabulary Acquisition and Use Standards: context clues, multiple meaning words, Greek and Latin word parts, figures of speech, word relationships, connotations, academic language, and denotations/dictionary skills. Teachers will need to correct these worksheets.
The Teaching the Language Strand Student Workbook has 252 pages in a quality soft cover binding and may be ordered in sets of ten workbooks.
Mark Pennington is the author and publisher of Teaching the Language Strand. Pricing and availability for this curriculum on the Pennington Publishing website.