Slide Show: 5 Tips for Coordinating Conjunctions

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5 Tips for Coordinating Conjunctions

#1

 

Teach the Seven Coordinating Conjunctions (cc)

With a Mnemonic    

The beginning of using any writing strategy or technique is to memorize words that fall in that category. (Of course, don’t stop with memorizing them! The best programs teach the parts of speech then practice them then apply them in students’ writing–Teach, Practice, Apply!). 

I use a simple mnemonic created by a wise grammar teacher to help students memorize cc’s: FANBOYS. For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.

#2

 

Coordinating Conjunctions Can Be Used to Combine

Two Sentences Into One

One of the first conciseness techniques that students can learn easily to expand their sentence writing is that of the compound sentence joined together with ,For/,And/,Nor/,But/,Or/,Yet/,So. The first step in this skill is for the writer to have a thorough understanding of what a sentence contains. That is, they must be able to discern easily that the group of words in question is a complete sentence (CAVES–Capital, All Makes Sense, Verb, End Mark, Subject). (When I edit papers to show complete sentences joined with coordinating conjunctions, I use CS for complete sentence and cc for coordinating conjunctions: CS, cc CS.)

To test for this, cover up each “half” of the sentence and ask yourself if each half could stand alone as a sentence. If they both can, then you can create a compound sentence with a comma-coordinating conjunction:

         I like writing with coordinating conjunctions, for they make my writing more interesting. (YES–,FANBOYS because each half is a complete sentence)

       I like writing with coordinating conjunctions and creating compound sentences. (NO– no comma needed because each half is not a complete sentence)

#3

 

Coordinating Conjunctions Can Also Be Used

for a List of Two or More

The most common coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS) used in lists of two or more are the cc’s OR and AND:

                  We are writing sentences or paragraphs today. 

                We are writing essays, stories, and reports this semester. 

Two important comma rules emerge from the “cc’s for lists” practices: (1) The Oxford Comma Rule–Place a comma between each item in the list with the final comma right before the cc. This is an “optional” or stylistic rule that many grammarians follow for clarity.  (2) Do not place a comma AFTER the cc. Young students seem to do this a lot. Emphasize to them that you’re not dividing the AND or OR, so no comma is needed after the coordinating conjunction. 

#4

 

Other “Coordinating” or “Conjunctive” Types of Words Are Not True Coordinating Conjunctions 

While other words do have conjunctive properties, they are not true coordinating conjunctions that work with a comma before them to combine two sentences into one. This is important to note for correct sentence combining–as they usually join PARTS of sentences but not complete sentences. (This is another reason to learn the true seven FANBOYS!)

For example, WELL is an interjection. THOUGH is a subordinator. THEREFORE is a conjunctive adverb. These all have places in creating interesting sentences but cannot be used with a comma before them to combine two sentences into one.

#5

 

Unfortunately, Some Coordinating Conjunctions

Act As Other Parts of Speech

Seven simple cc’s. A little trick to learn them. Combine two sentences into one sentence with a comma before a FANBOYS. Easy, huh? Well, true to English form, three cc’s CAN be other parts of speech. (So sorry, students!)

First of all, FOR is a cc AND a preposition (for Mom, for the trip, for my brother). AND….. SO and YET are sometimes adverbs (She is SO kind; Have we arrived YET). Exceptions like these make it even more important that we teach students how to TEST the word and rule they are using. When I am teaching compound sentences with cc’s, I have students cover up each half of the sentence and read it aloud. When they practice these for homework, I have them highlight each half of the sentence in a different color highlighter to check for each side’s “completeness.” 

Resources for This Slideshow

1) Teach the Seven Coordinating Conjunctions (cc) With a Mnemonic: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/character.ink-rdreish/Blog_Post_Downloads/TrickyTrick_Compound_Sentences_Coordinating_Conjunctions.pdf

2) Coordinating Conjunctions Can Be Used to Combine Two Sentences Into One: http://characterinkblog.com/comma-clues-1-creating-a-compound-sentence-with-a-comma-coordinating-conjunction-cc/

3) Coordinating Conjunctions Can Also Be Used for a List of Two or More: http://characterinkblog.com/the-oxford-comma-cute/

4) Other “Coordinating” or “Conjunctive” Types of Words Are Not True Coordinating Conjunctions: http://characterinkblog.com/punctuation-puzzle-led-lead-pique-peek-peak-compound-sentences/

5) Unfortunately, Some Coordinating Conjunctions Act As Other Parts of Speech: http://characterinkstore.com/product/think-fast-grammar-quizzes/

Thanks for Joining Donna to Learn About Grammar and Writing!

Check Out Other “5 Tips From Language Lady” slideshows!

5 Places to Find Language Lady/Donna Reish Teaching Grammar and Writing

Slideshow: Five Tips for To, Two, and Too From Language Lady

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Five Tips for To, Two, and Too From Language Lady

#1

 

Start By Teaching the Numeral Two. 

This seems simple enough, but I am amazed at the programs that teach homophones in large groups or even with all of a word’s “confusing counterparts” to first grade students. 

The beauty of starting with TWO is that children as young as kindergarten are writing their first five or ten numbers in word form in their math books, penmanship programs, and spelling curriculum. (Yikes! Spelling programs for young students with spelling words based on common meanings {i.e. number words, beach words, food words, etc.} are not optimal.) However, young students who are non-readers have seen the word TWO quite often by kindergarten or first grade. 

#2

 When You Teach TO, Start With It as a Preposition. 

Have students learn that the word TO often shows position and comes before a THING. (Don’t worry about the technical terms of prepositions and nouns yet unless student is familiar with them.) This way, they can practice TO with phrases and short sentences–to the store, to town, to Mom, etc.

When you put TWO and TO together, do not use phrases for students to practice. It is rarely a good idea to teach parts of speech with phrases or words only. Parts of speech show FUNCTIONS of words within sentences. Thus, having students circle all of the verbs in a list of words is a VERY bad idea (ring, text, bike, watch, play—nouns AND verbs!). So…with the TWO and TO practice, have students fill in the blank or circle TWO or TO in sentences for practice. 

#3

 

Teach Tricks for Too for Older Students.

The word TOO can mean in excess (too much, too many, etc.) or in addition to (also). You can tell students that TOO means in excess when it has TOO many O’s!

Older students may be helped with the trick that AlsO has two vowels–and tOO has two vowels. (Whenever using tricks or mnemonics, if that trick is more confusing or not helpful to the student, drop the trick rather than causing further confusion.)

#4

 

Teach TO as the Beginning of an Infinitive (Verb) as Soon as Possible. 

When I start to teach second and third grade students simple preposition lists, rhymes, mnemonics, jingles, songs, and check sentences, I teach TO as the beginning of an infinitive right away. The purpose of learning those lists of prepositions is to spot prepositional phrases. The purpose of spotting prepositional phrases is to determine what a sentence’s subject and verb are. (The main subject and main verb are seldom found in a prepositional phrase.) 

Students are tripped up immediately in spotting prepositional phrases because of infinitives (to+verb). If we teach that TO is a preposition when it has a thing following it but is a special verb called an infinitive when it has a verb following it (to run, to jump, to be, etc.), they will be less confused when they encounter these (even if it takes a while at first to get used to looking beyond the TO for a thing or a verb). 

#5

 

Divide Practice for These Into Two Steps. 

First of all, have students practice writing V for Verb or P for Preposition beside infinitives and prepositional phrases that are bold fonted in sentence. You want to do the chunking of these for them. (Don’t ask students to do too many skills all at the same time–start with just telling whether each one is a V or a P in sentences such as The girl went to the store and The boy wanted to jump longer. 

Once the numeral TWO, the adverb (usually) TOO, and both TO’s are mastered, bring them together for final practice within sentences. (When they are all three together, I just have students fill in the blanks with the correct TWO, TOO, or TO—not tell each one’s function or type).  However, I continue to practice TO as a preposition and TO as an infinitive on into junior high in my books. It can be very confusing and elaborate in lengthy sentences. 

Thanks for Joining Donna to Learn About Grammar and Writing!

Check Out Other “5 Tips From Language Lady” slideshows!

5 Places to Find Language Lady/Donna Reish Teaching Grammar and Writing

Resources for this Slide

1. Start By Teaching the Numeral Twohttp://characterinkblog.com/the-spelling-notebook/

2. When You Teach TO, Start With It as a Preposition: http://characterinkblog.com/teaching-prepositions-with-facebook-live-teaching-video/

3. Teach Tricks for Too for Older Students: Learn how to use all kinds of Tricky Tricks to teach—http://characterinkblog.com/tricky-tricks/

4. Teach TO as the Beginning of an Infinitive (Verb) as Soon as Possible: http://characterinkblog.com/3-verb-types-tricks-to-teach-them/

5. Divide Practice for These Into Two Steps: http://characterinkblog.com/video-use-preposition-practice-packet/

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Two Coloring Book Readers: Mowgli and/or Beauty and the Beast

 

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Above are some links to books I use and love. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

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My Eight Week Grocery “Fast” – Weeks 1 and 2

Eight Week Grocery Fast: Weeks 1 & 2

 

We are two weeks into my grocery fast (see the intro post here), and I already have unique situations and “special” circumstances to navigate. But like I always told my kids as I was raising them to do what they had to do every single day: “Every day is special, but every day can’t be a special day!” In other words, when we look at everything that comes up as an occasion to skip our school plan, not do our cleaning, or eat sweet treats, we will not be successful.

 

The same is true with my grocery fast. I could easily say a week or so in that I can’t keep it because we’re having movie night with the kids; I need to spend more because some of the kids are coming for Sunday dinner; I need to take some food to my step-mom; I need to make something for our ballroom dance; and on and on….

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