Thursday, May 12, 2016
Classification of Nouns: Additional Symbols
Kal-El has started work on the ETC 9-12 grammar cards. He started with a review of common, concrete, abstract, spiritual, proper and collective nouns. As a point of interest for this work we introduced the "advanced" grammar symbols. "Advanced" is a word that is often used for these because many people introduce them to the child in upper elementary. However, there is nothing "advanced" about the symbols themselves. The child learns these concepts in year one and you could certainly show the child the symbols at that time if the child were interested. For that reason the KotU terminology of "additional" symbols is perhaps better. However, I have to say that the new symbols served as a nice, sparkly, new point of interest at this stage for a topic that needed review but is being revisited for the fourth time. All of these symbols can also be made with the stencil, so having practiced them I will likely leave it up to the child to decide how specific he wants to be as he marks the parts of speech in his sentences in the future.
I anticipate getting some questions about the small gold triangle we used for the proper nouns. KotU, Grandma's Grammar, ETC, and MRD all show the small gold triangle for the proper noun. However, oddly, no one sells it anymore. I couldn't even find it through Nienhuis. When there is no small gold triangle it is recommend to use the small gold circle instead. However, our materials were already using that for spiritual nouns (a category of abstract nouns). I made my own. I cut them out of thin balsa from the craft store with a ruler and a utility knife. Then, I spray-painted them gold. It took me all of five minutes. It helps that I'm the kind of person who has balsa and gold spray paint around the house. Even though the suppliers don't actually sell the small gold triangle, the box the sell does have one extra compartment as if they intend for it to be there. This is because the basic grammar symbol sets (both solid and flat) have two sizes of light blue triangles in addition to the larger dark blue, the black and purple. I have no idea why. My set didn't have that. I would think it would have something to do with numerical adjectives but is the article color and the adjective size. Numerical adjectives are, I thought, the adjective color but the article size. Nienhuis does the same thing. I guess I'm out of date and at this point don't care to figure out what happened. I imagine it has something to do with arguing that a numerical adjective functions much like an article. Anyway, this also explains the empty spot in my grammar solids tray that has bothered me for years.
Here are some notes on shopping for grammar symbols. When the boys were in primary I bought a set of basic grammar symbols in a box (10 compartment). Then, when we reached this point I had to buy a new box that would hold the "basic" and "additional" symbols. It would have been cheaper in the long run to make (or buy, but making would be better) the 15 compartment box, a set of "basic" wood symbols, and a set of "basic additional" wood symbols. I would put the basic set in the box for primary leaving compartments empty and add the "additional" as appropriate. Montessori Outlet seems to be the only discount place that has the needed options for upper-elementary. Now, there are also paper sets (also at Montessori Outlet). This is like the paper movable alphabet meant for writing sentences. If you are labeling multiple sentences at a time you won't have enough wooden symbols in the box. However, we haven't needed to do that and the 10 symbols that come in each set has been plenty to label up to two sentences at a time. We'll see what happens as our sentences get longer. Now, the 15 compartment box that they sell is not deep enough to fit all ten of the larger symbols (noun, verb, verbals). It will only stack them 6-8 deep depending on thickness (my basic symbols are thicker than my additional symbols). So, for that reason I recommend making your own box so that they actually all fit.
The work pictured above was in response to a card that asked Kal-El to write three nouns to fit each of the categories. I erased one from his proper nouns for the sake of privacy. And, yes, it irks me that he didn't bother to capitalize one of his proper nouns. Sigh.