Posted in Classroom Ideas, Teaching Techniques


To me, grammar is one of the more complicated parts of English. There are a lot of rules, a lot of very specific tiny things that are easily forgotten, and it’s something that always caused me problems as a student.

Grammar also wasn’t something that had a lot of focus put on it while I was in school. My grammar education came and went, and I think eventually my teachers thought that I had already learned what I needed to learn. (But I hadn’t.)

I took a couple of grammar courses in college, and I’ve tried to learn everything I can in grad school and in my tutoring job. I want to be able to provide my students with a well-rounded and understandable grammar education. I don’t want them to think that grammar is something elusive and incomprehensible.

I’m not saying that grammar is the coolest thing ever, because that might be pushing it just a little. But I am willing to say that grammar is incredibly important. Without a good grammatical foundation it can get progressively harder to communicate ideas.

And grammar isn’t all bad. I’d even venture to say that sometimes grammar can be fun. There are ways to make grammar something special, and I’m looking forward to exploring all those opportunities in my classroom.


Posted in Classroom Ideas, Teaching Techniques

Memory Vocab

I have a confession. I like vocabulary. It’s always been easy for me. I’ve always made vocab note cards. I love making note cards. I love making note cards probably more than is normal. So, unsurprisingly, my favorite study method is to make note cards.

But I’ve seen the memory vocab method in action before, and not only does in include note cards (!) it’s a really fun way to study vocab. Memory vocab can be played individually or with partners. To play, you need 2 note cards for every 1 word (so 10 vocab words equals 20 note cards, etc.) On one note card you write a vocab word. On another note card you write the definition of the word. And repeat for all vocab words. When all note cards are made, flip them over and play memory – match up the words and definitions.

There are a few reasons why I love this method. I like that the students are writing out the words and definitions. I like that this method is more “fun” because students are playing a game. I like that it incorporates note cards. I want to one day use this method in my classroom and see how it works with my students. I have high hopes for it.