Grammar Curriculum Grammar English Mastery Studies (GEMS)
GEMS is a grammar and composition curriculum with videos teaching every lesson and reviewing every homework assignment in Volumes I, II, III, and Editing Exercises.
GEMS consists of 7 books. Parents can purchase all or one of the books depending on the need.
1. Volume I: Parts of Speech
2. Volume II: Parts of a Sentence and Sentence Structure
3. Volume III: The Expository Essay
4. Quizzes and Tests
5. GEMS Supplement - contains Parts of Speech Wedding (where the noun and verb get married creating a sentence.), recommended reading list, and journal topics
6. Editing Exercises
7. Vocabulary for All Ages
GEMS Volumes I, II, and III are the core of the teaching. Each book builds upon the previous book to take students from identifying parts of speech to writing a well-developed five-paragraph expository essay.
Each lesson in these three books has a video that explains the objectives. For each assignment, a video goes over the answers. This gives the students immediate feedback and repetitious teaching.
The GEMS Quizzes and Tests provide a formal assessment for every objective.
Reading and WritingGEMS Supplement
GEMS Supplement provides a recommended reading list for grades 7-12. GEMS is designed for students to read a minimum of 20 minutes a day.
GEMS Supplement also has a list of over 100 journal topics and story starters for students to write. Students are encouraged to write a minimum of ten minutes daily.
Mechanics and PunctuationGEMS Editing Exercises
GEMS Editing Exercises has 60 lessons teaching mechanics in short 3-5 minute videos. The students make corrections to given sentences while learning and reviewing these rules.
Studies have shown students learn vocabulary in context, not from word lists. Vocabulary for All Ages, used in conjunction with the student's reading, provides an opportunity for students to increase their vocabulary. As students read and encounter new words, they jot those words down. Then, during the vocabulary time in the lesson, they fill out one page from Vocabulary for All Ages. This exercise reinforces students comprehension and recall of newly learned vocabulary.
How to Use GEMS
Grammar and Composition
GEMS is a complete grammar and composition course focusing daily on writing, grammar study, and reading. Students do vocabulary and editing on alternate days.
Frees up Teacher's Time
The lessons in GEMS are taught through the textbook and videos. Parents do not need to take courses to be able to use this curriculum. The students work through each lesson at their own pace without needing assistance. All the parent/teacher needs to do is monitor the students to make sure they are engaging with the lessons.
Learning to write is a two-track process involving thinking and editing. Students must have the freedom to learn the discipline of transferring their thoughts to the paper in a stress-free environment. This means they do not worry about spelling, punctuation, or mechanics. They allow their thoughts to flow freely onto the paper. This is a discipline to be fostered and developed through free writing (journaling). Students of all ages should be encouraged to write their thoughts, dreams, ideas, hopes, memories, goals, and stories. No one should ever edit during the thinking part of writing. To do so would be to stifle creativity and the thought process.
Students are to write for ten minutes daily - called journaling - to develop the discipline of transferring their thoughts to their papers.
Writing and editing are two different activities. Students edit their writing to make their ideas fit into genre specific formats. Editing is the application of the grammatical foundations.
Students do not become great writers in one year or even in four years. They become great writers by writing. They enhance their writing by applying standardized edits to their writing. They must work to learn grammar to apply the rules to make their writing readable and socially acceptable. Grammar study is imperative to making great writers.
Instills Love of Reading
Students must read daily. This is vitally important to all areas of development. Students should read books that are interesting, and they should enjoy reading. If your student does not enjoy reading, then keep searching. Find reading material that the student loves.
Provides Strong Vocabulary Study
Vocabulary should never be taught by giving the students a list of words and having them define them. The students have very little recall of these lessons because these lessons lack application. Students should learn vocabulary words through context , either hearing them or reading them.
When the students encounter an unfamiliar word, they should mark the page or write down the word in context. Provide the students with post-it flags, and have them place the flag next to the unfamiliar words. On the days they do vocabulary, the students use the flagged words to fill out their vocabulary pages.
Mechanics and Punctuation
Learning punctuation and capitalization rules need not be exhausting. The students make corrections to a sentence with errors. Then, they write the rules addressing the errors.
GEMS focuses on one-to-three rules per lesson. This should take the student about five minutes on alternating days. These exercises provide the students the opportunity to acquaint themselves with mechanical rules without sitting through boring lectures.
Repeats Concept Instruction
Learning takes place through repetition. GEMS repeats and builds upon previous lessons. This gives students the ability to continually improve and solidify the concepts.
Focuses on Mastery Learning
Mastery Learning is the freedom to learn at one's own pace. Once the students score 80% -90% on both the exercises and quiz, then they move to the next unit of study. (Parents choose the standard a student should score to be considered mastery.)
Pre-Assessment - Students do one of the exercises in the textbook.
Corrective Instruction - See the Learning Styles Book for additional learning activities other than pencil and paper.
Parallel Formative Assessments: The first assessment is when the student gets an 80% on the daily exercises. The second is when the student gets an 80% on the quiz. (See Quiz and Test Book)
Provides Students Ownership of their Education
Student Paced, Graded, Mastered
When students own the responsibility of their learning, they are more successful. GEMS places the responsibility of learning on the student. When they spend 15-20 minutes a day reading the textbook, watching the explanation videos, doing the exercises, and watching the homework videos, the students retain the concepts taught. The students have immediate feedback and can make adjustments to their learning accordingly.
Days 1 and 3
Students do the following:
1. Free write for 10 minutes (See Journal book)
2. Editing exercises (See Editing Exercises book)
3. Grammar (Begin with Volume I)
4. Read for 20 minutes (Mark unfamiliar words with a sticky note while reading.)
Days 2 and 4
Students do the following:
1. Free write for 10 minutes (See Journal book)
2. Grammar (Begin with Volume I)
3. Read for 20 minutes (Mark unfamiliar words with a sticky note while reading.)
2. Editing Exercise (alternate days)
3. Grammar Lesson
5. Vocabulary (alternate days)
Time per Activity