An Introduction to Readability Levels
I began homeschooling over thirty years ago when Ray and I taught my younger sister (who was in eighth grade at the time) in our home. During my first several years of homeschooling, I used early readers when my children were first learning to read, but I did not care for “readers” for older children. I always felt that abridged or excerpted stories were inferior—and that children should read whole books.
The class: Senior High Composition. The place: Union City Community High School. The teacher: Mr. Leahey. The year: 1981. The student: Me….formerly straight A student for the last two years of high school…on the brink of breaking that perfect streak.
Yep, it snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed.
And this girl, who had let herself get behind on creating two hundred index cards of information for her senior paper on Robert Kennedy, had a chance for redemption.
I recently had the misfortune of seeing a sign outside a chicken franchise that read hot, juicy, chicken. You can imagine my outrage!!!
It, of course, took us here at Language Lady to Comma Clues #2: Use Commas to Separate Two or More Describers (But Not Between the Describer and the Word Being Described!).
Two benchmarks that I teach for inserting commas between describers:
1. They use my Directed Writing Approach!
In my Directed Writing Approach, every detail of every project is laid out for your student. None of my writing projects are “writing ideas” or “writing prompts.” Every writing assignment contains step-by-step instructions with much hand-holding along the way. The student is “directed” in how to write and what to write at all times—from brainstorming to research to outlining to rough draft and finally to revising.
“Conjunction Junction—what’s your function?”
Did you start to sing along? Can you picture the images?
How old are you????? lol
Most kids today are not raised on “School House Rock,” which is such a shame! Because you really can’t forget the songs, jingles, rhymes—and dare I say—rules learned from those little ditties. (You can still find them on Youtube!)
And those little ditties are really needed when it comes to commas! Commas are a mystery to many people–and rightly so! They are extremely subjective at times across the board. And then, different handbooks and authorities stress different rules for them, making them even more elusive.
I did a quick Facebook Live this week to discuss the use of word cards in reading instruction. I thought I would put that video with some tips in a blog post so that it is all in one place.
Tips for Using Word Cards in Reading Instruction
1) Don’t use word cards with words the student has never encountered. Word cards are for practicing words used in instruction, not for long lists of words never encountered before.