February 21, 2015

Have you seen Grammarly?

I believe getting our MS/HS students to proofread and edit their own work is a big challenge?  Do you agree?
Even if they try ,many times, your eyes miss errors because your brain knows what you meant to say and skips right over the mistakes.
So, how can we help students to see their mistakes so they can correct them? Take a look at  Grammarly (www.grammarly.com/grammar-check), a free Chrome extension, to help students catch their errors as they compose anything from emails and write assignments online.
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Grammarly checks contextualized spelling, grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and style. The number of mistakes will appear in the lower right-hand corner in red. Each individual mistake will be underlined in green. When you hover over the underlined section, a small window pops up to help you identify the type of error you’ve made and Grammarly suggests an improvement. You simply click on the suggested improvement and it automatically changes!
Grammarly catches errors as students compose messages almost anywhere online! (They need to be on Google Chrome.)  Students can (should) also create a FREE Grammarly account and begin writing directly on that document to catch errors as they write. 
Because our students (should) use Google documents for all of their written assignments, I recommend that they copy and paste their work into a Grammarly document to check it before submitting a final draft. Students are amazed by what Grammarly catches! Most don’t even realize their writing has errors until they use Grammarly.

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From the Common Core  Common Core Standards, this simple tool offers an easy way to support students in developing a “command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing.”  
If students begin to recognize the types of mistakes they typically make, it will be easier for them to look for and identify those mistakes in their own writing in the future. This also makes it easier for them to “develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, [and] editing.
I would imagine some teachers feel programs like this give students the answers, but I disagree. Often students cannot identify their own errors and need support to develop as writers.  This is a 21st century tool that is available to all, so I believe it is our responsibility to teach our students to use it. 
Here is my challenge to you: Install Grammarly on your own computer. (Make sure you are using chrome.) Use it for a couple of days and see how good your grammar is without using this plugin. 

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