Don’t Throw Away Your Shot: Rise Up at the Grammar Reimagined Workshop - National Council of Teachers of English
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Don’t Throw Away Your Shot: Rise Up at the Grammar Reimagined Workshop

This post is written by member Sean Ruday.

seanrudayOne reason I absolutely love the hit musical Hamilton is the show’s optimistic message and continued focus on realizing one’s potential; statements like “rise up,” “I’m not throwing away my shot,” and “I’m passionately surpassing every expectation” convey powerful ideas about setting and achieving goals.

This message of potential and achievement is also at the heart of what I believe about effective grammar instruction: I feel grammar instruction should provide students with an awareness of the ways grammatical concepts can reshape and enhance a piece of writing. In other words, teaching grammar effectively can help students see grammatical concepts as a way for their writing to “rise up” past where it previously was. To achieve this goal, we teachers can help students develop deep and metacognitive understandings of how published authors use specific grammatical concepts in their works, why those concepts are important to the published pieces in which they appear, and how students themselves can apply these grammatical strategies to the works they create.

I’ve traveled around the country sharing ideas about effective grammar instruction, presenting at conferences and delivering keynote speeches and workshops for school districts. During these experiences, I’ve been struck by teachers’ desires for innovative and effective strategies that help students develop deep understandings of key grammatical concepts and apply those concepts to their own works. In response to these interests, I’m holding a day-long workshop on grammar instruction on July 21, 2017, in Charlottesville, VA, on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This workshop, called Grammar Reimagined, is designed to provide teachers with practical and innovative ideas they can use to reimagine the grammar instruction in their classrooms. The workshop registration fee of $150 includes a signed copy of one of my books on grammar instruction (The Common Core Grammar Toolkit for Grades 3–5 or The Common Core Grammar Toolkit for Grades 6–8), a catered lunch, and admission to a full day of workshop sessions. Here is the agenda for the workshop:

  • 9:30–10:00 a.m. Check-in and welcome
  • 10:00–11:30 a.m. Opening Session: “The Grammar Toolkit—Metacognition and Grammar Instruction”
  • 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Lunch
  • 12:15–1:45 p.m. Session Two: “Grammar Remixed—Mentor Texts and Activities for Lasting Understanding of Grammatical Concepts”
  • 1:45–2:00 p.m. Break
  • 2:00–3:30 p.m. Session Three: “Focus on Assessment—How Can Teachers Best Assess Students’ Knowledge of the Grammar Toolkit?”

The graphic below illustrates some ways that this workshop can help teachers enhance their grammar instruction:



To register for the Grammar Reimagined workshop, please visit this link:

Sean Ruday, assistant professor of English education at Longwood University, began his teaching career at a public school in Brooklyn, NY, and has taught English and language arts at public and private schools in New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Sean has written six books on English language arts instruction, all published by Routledge Eye on Education. His Twitter handle is @SeanRuday.