Wednesday, August 2, 2017

English Grammar Teaching Method REVIEW

English on a Roll
We have been enjoying English Grammar Teaching Method by English on a Roll.  Enjoying?  How do you "enjoy" grammar?  Seriously, this is a fun way to learn/review your grammar rules and sentence structure.  We received physical products that consisted of the English on a Roll (now called the English Grammar Teaching Method) Book One instructor's manual and a set of grammar cubes.  Take a minute to view the Demonstration of English on a Roll video to get a sense of how it works.

English on a Roll

The cubes (40 including the two blank ones) are really nice, high quality, and color coded. Pronouns are blue, question words are green, nouns are dark blue, articles and prepositions are dark blue, verbs are red, adverbs are orange, adjectives are purple, and punctuation and conjunctions are black.  There are also two blank cubes that you can use as you like.  They come in a very nice, sturdy, clear plastic case. The kit accommodates up to 6 students. If you are teaching more students then you can purchase extra sets. She does recommend that if you have multiple sets in use that you color code each set by putting a colored dot on each cube in the different sets.  If the cubes were to get mixed up it will make it easier to get the sets put back together with the color-coding.

Working on worksheets and using cubes to clarify
The book that is included with this set has everything you need for the program.  It contains 36 lessons with a review at the end.  The copyright allows for photocopies of the worksheets to be distributed to your student(s).  It walks you through each lesson step by step and even tells you what to say and which cubes to pull out for the lesson.  A typical lesson covers prep work (picking out the cubes for the lesson), vocabulary, teaching notes and concepts, conversation/games, and written exercises.  The lessons are short and keep your student engaged.  Word of caution, in my opinion you may want to review lessons ahead of time as I personally found some of the dialogue too simplified.  I think this is because it is more geared to ESL (English as a Second Language).  It is also geared for age 5 to adult so of course more would need to be spelled out for the younger crowd.  When needed we simply skipped over the simplified parts for my 7th and 8th grader.  The early lessons were a great review and helped to solidify some grammar concepts for my struggling learner 8th grader.

When stumped, use the cubes to help

This program is a perfect fit for my 8th grader.  I recently learned that he is a Visual-Spacial Learner.  I knew we had difficulty with dyslexia and some other issues and that he was a more hands-on learner, but learning more about visual-spatial issues has helped me to help him out a lot more.  The hands-on nature of this program is so perfect for him.  The color coding and just being able to manipulate the cubes and SEE the sentences is great for making connections to what he is learning and how his brain is processing it all.

Example of sentence structure using cubes

Using the same cubes to manipulate a different sentence
As early as the 5th lesson the game concept is introduced.  Students roll a cube and then base a sentence (using the cubes listed for the lesson) around the word on the rolled cube.  It was a lot of fun and challenging for my crew.  It kept them engaged and they also learned to work together.

I think the most challenging part sometimes was finding the cubes to be used for the day, at least until I got all the colors memorized.  But even then at times it posed a challenge.  This was another plus for me when my 8th grader found it a fun challenge to get the cubes for the day ready to go.

The multi-sensory approach to this program just can't be beat.  The kids are not only learning basic grammar and sentence structure but are also gaining increased confidence as they move through the lessons. We will definitely continue on with our lessons until we complete the book.  It is with great pleasure that I recommend this program, especially if you have some struggling learners or just need a good, basic review of grammar.  I really like that it fits all age groups and will be something I can even start my Kindergartner on next year.

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