Whether you’re a teacher or parent, I’m sure you suffer the same angst I do over the writing of today’s teens. It’s no exaggeration to say that the primary reason they insert a comma is because “that’s where you take a breath”. Wow… what went wrong?
Over a decade ago, on a slow work day in May, I was thumbing through my latest Teaching for Success journal when I saw the “Idea of the Year” contest. All it asked for was a unique/clever teaching suggestion….maybe I could be their featured winner–not just published, but $300 richer!!
I began by thinking about the problems my students–college freshmen with learning disabilities–needed the most help with….and that’s when I had my *AHA* moment.
My “clever” idea would HAVE to address a radically different way to teach commas–a way that would make my students finally GET IT. After all, many of them were starting college in remedial English. If they hadn’t mastered comma usage in the 12 years of school prior, how could they possibly learn this in one semester and pass their English class?
This idea had better be a good one; I certainly had my work cut out for me. But one thought led to another, until finally, it all came together. COMMAS: “DESPISE” Them to Learn Them”, was typed, sealed, stamped, and mailed to contest headquarters.
Imagine my surprise, upon returning to work in September, to find a congratulatory letter in my mailbox along with a $300 check–I was the GRAND PRIZE winner! What a way to start the new year!
If YOU are as frustrated as I was about comma usage by today’s teens, go to COMMAS: “DESPISE” Them to Learn Them, scroll down, and try this method!
Summer is a perfect time for parents and tutors to catch students up on this vital skill. Let me know how it goes!