Summer Intensive Courses
This class has finished and may be offered again next summer. If you are interested in an intensive course for three or more students at another time of year, please contact me.
GRAMMAR MATTERS I:
This is a 3-week course open to students in grades 6 and up. This is a beginner's course designed for students who need an introduction to grammar but already have a full course load. The course will move quickly and will require significant study time outside of class. I will take students as far as we can, so our scope-and-sequence will partly depend on them. The course will attempt to cover all of the following concepts:
* sentence vs. fragment
* comma splices and run-ons
* the eight parts of speech
* subject and predicate (complete and simple; single simple subjects/predicates only)
* noun, verb, and preposition phrases
* two types of complements -- predicate nominative and predicate adjectives
* the four types of sentences
* independent clause
* two sentence structures -- simple and compound sentences
We will not have time for a study of mechanics in this course, but students may work through these chapters and receive grading and feedback for an extra fee. The details of this option will be determined later if the class shows interest.
See more information in "More About Grammar Matters" below.
Textbook: Warriner's English Grammar and Composition: First Course
The original Warriner's textbook series is one of the most highly-respected grammar programs ever published. I have not found another contemporary grammar textbook to match its thoroughness and coherence. Because this textbook is out of print, however, our use of it requires me to rent copies to students only. Parents who would like to own a copy will need to contact me for the exact edition and vendor options. (Please do not purchase the book without obtaining this information first, as there are several editions.)
Technical requirements: Google apps: Gmail, Hangout, Drive, and Classroom; webcam and microphone
Minimum class size: 3
Maximum class size: 6
Registration fee (non-refundable): $15
Book rental: $15 ($5 shipping/handling + $10 deposit) -- Note: The deposit will be refunded once the book is returned.
Dates: Orientation: TBD / Classes: TBD
- The intensive will consist of 12 classes that meet four times each week for one hour.
- If a class session needs to be cancelled for any reason, the makeup date will be determined by student availability.
- Important: Classes cannot be recorded. Students who miss a class will need to catch up through self-study.
Days/times: 4 days/week; time TBD
HOW TO REGISTER : Go to the registration page. A tuition invoice will be emailed to you once your registration is confirmed.
- All students and/or parents must agree to sign up for and use a Gmail account, and all students must have a working webcam and microphone. Classes will be conducted via Google Hangout with both audio and video.
- While large online programs have access to state-of-the-art virtual classroom software, The Denim Beret does not. It is a very small business and must necessarily operate as simply as possible. Please understand that I cannot be held responsible for technical difficulties with Google services. I have had very few problems with Hangout video chat in the past; however, if a student cannot participate in a video call due to technical difficulties, I will try to modify the lesson for the student. After two instances of a student not being able to participate due to technical difficulties, families will have the option of doing an independent study instead or receiving a pro-rated refund.
MORE ABOUT GRAMMAR MATTERS:
Grammar is the "math" of language, a logical system of words and concepts that make communication possible. Once upon a time, formal grammar study was an important component of English courses in the United States. Today, however, many educators have left formal grammar behind, integrating instruction into their courses as needed or teaching concepts through application only. They widely believe that formal grammar is too abstract to be of much practical use and that it doesn't help produce better writers.
Having seen the disappointing fruit of this philosophy, I disagree with the prevailing viewpoint. On the contrary, I believe that formal grammar instruction is an important part of a comprehensive writing program. Although it is true that grammar study does not produce better writing as far as content and structure go, it becomes very important in the editing and proofreading stages of a project. The more that writers understand their language and its conventions, the more power and control they have over their writing. They are able to spot even subtle grammar mistakes and know how to fix them; they understand how to use correct punctuation to convey the exact meaning they intend; they have a better understanding of how to craft sentences that flow smoothly and fit necessary parameters; and they develop a sense of style that will serve them well in everything they write.
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