- Phonemic Awareness
- Decoding & Blending
- Structural Analysis
While programs focus primarily on the development of writing skills, oral language must also be considered. The number of students in U.S. classrooms having English as a second language has more than doubled in the past decade and remains the fastest-growing student population group. Native English speakers also benefit from structured oral language development. Many common grammatical errors are present in both oral and written communication.
Research findings document that literacy learning is most efficient when reading and writing are taught in tandem. These skills are so closely interrelated that combining them in instruction is efficient and speeds the attainment of proficiency in both areas. Studies show that the weak link is writing instruction. When programs do not have adequate instructional emphasis on writing, both writing and reading are negatively impacted.
Writing should be taught in meaningful contexts.
All too often, students associate writing with occasional classroom story-writing
sessions. In actuality, most writing is for utilitarian purposes. Educators
should provide opportunities to write for varied purposes. Not only will
this develop writing proficiency in many arenas, it provides ongoing,
meaningful writing tasks. These are some of the types of writing:
Parts of Speech
Parts of speech explain how a word is used in a sentence, which means
that words often function as multiple parts of speech. This can be quite
confusing, as is shown with more.
To make matters more perplexing, there is not universal agreement on every grammatical matter. When there are several parts of speech for a word, it can be challenging to ascertain what the part of speech is based on its usage in the sentence. Conflicts among dictionaries and other reference sources can be found. Confusing usages should be avoided, and teachers should focus on information that benefits students at their instructional levels.
Reading Manipulatives had color-coded Parts of Speech Sentences (not available as PDFs). Students build usage concepts as they put the
scrambled sentences together. Each piece has an alphanumeric code that
denotes set and sentence number. Students must first sort the words into
five sentences. Next students put the sequential scrambled sentences together.
Then, as they analyze the sentences, students see how nouns, verbs, adjectives,
adverbs, conjunctions, and pronouns are used in sentences. This concrete
method shows students the function of words and phrases, or their parts
English Verb Construction
The verb tense denotes the time of the action or being of a verb. Tense is always marked by the first verb in a verb phrase. If the verb is not a simple present or past verb (she sleeps, she slept), the first auxiliary, which precedes the main verb, indicates the tense (she has been sleeping, she was sleeping).
Verb forms used with helping verbs are referred to as participles. The
past and past participle of many frequently used English verbs have irregular
formations. The Reading Manipulatives Irregular
Verbs task cards clarify usage of 50 troublesome verbs. Students are given
the present, past, present participle, and past participle verb forms
at the top of the card. They must select the correct verb tense to complete
each cloze sentence.
If students are taught to avoid a limited number of common communication errors and writing pitfalls, they can improve their writing substantially. These grammatical and syntactical errors detract from credibility. On the other hand, command over written and spoken language enhances an individual’s ability to communicate with and convince others.
Inaccurate usage of certain words or grammatical constructions is often
habitual. As a matter of fact, misuse is so common that many do not recognize
the errors. If teachers offer lessons on these topics and extend application
into assignments, writing skills of students are advanced. The following
are some particularly confusing usages.
The Reading Manipulatives Troublesome
Words & Usages task cards demonstrate correct usages for these
grammar and writing nemeses. Application exercises then help students
to improve their communication by recognizing errors and learning correct
Reading Manipulatives offers two levels of Capitalization & Punctuation cards. These sets assure that students review and apply all capitalization and punctuation rules. Each card begins with a lesson on a category of words that are capitalized or a specific punctuation usage. Exercises on the cards then provide drill to assure that students understand the rules and apply them accurately. All capitalization cards are to be done first because punctuation cards drill punctuation rules and also require students to add capital letters as needed.
Capitalization & Punctuation Tips
for Teachers issue
A sentence contains two essential parts, a subject and a predicate. In some sentences, the subject is understood. Generally, these sentences are commands (Get the dog out of the street.). The subject is who (person, animal) or what (thing, place, idea) the sentence is about.
The subject is doing or being something. The first part of the sentence
contains the subject. A simple subject is the subject of the sentence
stripped of all modifiers. The predicate is the second part of the sentence.
It tells what the subject does, has, or is. Predicates always begin with
a verb. Think of a predicate as the "completer" of a sentence. Likewise,
the simple predicate is the verb alone. These sentences are divided into
subject and predicates. The simple subjects and predicates are underlined.
Understanding subjects and predicates helps students to write complete
sentences. Reading Manipulatives build this concept with Subject/Predicate
Match. Students must first identify the subjects (the part of
the sentence about which something is told) and the predicates (the part
that tells something about the subject). Initial capitalization and final
punctuation would be signals, so these should be omitted. Students then
match the subjects to the predicates, forming sentences that communicate
a complete thought.
Paragraphs & Compositions
While the best way to improve one’s writing is to write, manipulatives are effective for building some skills that are necessary for writers. Students need instruction in order to learn to effectively use transitions to build coherence in their writing. Most inexperienced writers have a difficult time getting their compositions to flow. A composition as a chain of events, thoughts, or ideas, and to be effective, the links need to lock into one another without the reader noticing. It is well chosen transitions that make this happen. Transitions & Conjunctions manipulatives teach students the functions of these words and expose them to a wide variety of transition word options.
Outlining is a powerful tool for writers, and it is particularly suited to factual essays or reports. Prior to learning to outline, students should be able to identify the topic sentence or main idea of each paragraph they read. The Paragraph Sequencing manipulatives improve this literal comprehension skill. Once students know that each paragraph develops the story topic and is about a main idea, or subtopic, they are ready to reverse the process and learn outlining. At this point, teach outlining in leveled stages.
The Reading Manipulatives Outlining
Stories and Steps manipulatives teach outlining in these steps: