kitchen table math, the sequel: water rope

Monday, April 14, 2008

water rope

Yesterday Andrew wrote “I want water” on his Dynamo.

Ed got him a bottle of water.

That wasn't what he meant, so he wrote “I want water rope.”

He wanted Ed to squirt him with the hose.


Andrew's speech therapist tells me he desperately needs to learn grammar, which she is working on.

Here at home, assuming the demo lessons pan out, I'm probably going to use a program I stumbled across just two weeks ago: GrammarTrainer.

If you spend some time on the web site you might spot something interesting.

smarter than your average bear


Anonymous said...


My middle child has a lang disorder and I had him try out the level two lesson. Maybe I'm missing something here, but there was never any instruction to the child on how to figure out the correct answer.

So, for example, in the lesson where the child is supposed to choose a sentence in which a past tense verb is used in a phrase with some corresponding adverb indicated an action occuring the past, he would choose, "The boys are pointing to the girls a year ago." and the feedback was something like, "the ending is incorrect"

Do the lessons every explain WHY or is the kid supposed to figure this out on his own?

Katharine Beals said...

The teaching component of GrammarTrainer is in the multiple choice component of each lesson. Tense is introduced in a much earlier lesson of Level II than the one you cite: one with intransitive verbs like "walk" and "swim" where there is nothing more than a subject, verb, and (some times) a time phrase that is explicitly connected to the absolute time read off your computer. First there's a present tense lesson, then a past tense lesson, then future, then habitual (simple present).

After this there's a lesson that mixes tenses. Here you might have a choice between:

Yesterday the boy is swimming.
Yesterday the boy swims.
Yesterday the boy swam.
Yesterday the boy will swim.

If you pick the wrong choice, you are told that you have the wrong ending, and then you keep picking until you get the right one. This is how you learn the correspondence between tense and time frame.

Later you advance to lessons with no choices, and, later, exercises you haven't encountered before in multiple choice format.

Each new lesson focuses on one basic concept, and the multiple choice phase of the lesson is generally all most kids need to learn that concept.

The "pointing to" lesson is about half-way through Level II, which is certainly not a good starting point for many children. Generally it's best to begin at the beginning of a given level, and most children start with level I.

Catherine Johnson said...

I STILL have not tried a Demo Lesson but I almost don't have to... I'm having an experience of Bayesian Recognition with Grammar Trainer!