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Friday, July 8, 2011

If it has a dependent clause, it needs a comma!

I have noticed that many of my students have a difficult time with putting commas in their complex sentences. They just don't seem to know when a sentence needs a comma. It doesn't do them much good to read the sentence out loud. If English is your second language, or you talk non-standard English at home, reading and listening for the pause just doesn't work.

Here is my solution from the book Everyday Editing, and a short video you can use with your students. As I've said before, I don't use the video to teach the concept the first time. The videos are used as a review for those students who need to hear me an extra time, but in a different way.

What do students say about the videos?
  • I love that you can pause Ms. L and have her repeat herself.
  • I don't feel embarrassed if I have to listen to a video 2 or 3 times.
  • The video doesn't mind if I forgot something that Ms. L taught a few days ago.
  • When I'm sick I don't fall behind in school.
  • I can listen to Ms. L when I am doing my homework and out of school.

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