Exploring Elementary Grammar Instruction in Madison Public Schools

“Somewhere, young writers wait to hear the musical patterns conventions can give their words.  Somewhere, teachers are curious and hungry for a better way to teach the conventions of language.”  ~Jeff Anderson

At Ryerson, Clare Pinski is using Jeff Anderson’s “Invitation to Notice” to explore the grammar concept of using apostrophes to show either ownership or contractions.  This is one of the many third grade grammar skills Mrs. Pinski’s third graders have learned this year.  Using Jeff Anderson’s model, students look at correct uses of grammar in the well-loved books they enjoy in class.  Watch the videos and look at the anchor chart created of all the “focus phrases” explored this year! 

At Jeffrey, Holly Cunningham teaches an adapted “Invitation to Notice” using a student’s work. Mrs. Cunningham follows Jeff Anderson’s methodology, but she is hoping to increase student investment and engagement by using the work of a student peer. This also helps to foster risk-taking and deepens the sense of community in the classroom. The children start off noticing a variety of writing elements, ultimately noticing the use of appropriate quotations - the lesson objective.   

MPS uses a variety of instructional methods and materials to support our students in the appropriate use of grammar. Click on the videos to see these teaching techniques in action. 

Ryerson School

Mrs. Pinski holding the book %22Little Elliott Big Family%22


Students work on the Focus Phrase

Jeffrey School

What do you notice? plot, punctuation, put said to bed, parenthesis, quotation marks, commas, capitalization, neat handwritin


What do you notice? Quotation marks is circled in red