Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fix-It Grammar from Institute for Excellence in Writing: A TOS Crew Review

Fix It! Grammar Review
Fix It! Grammar Review
Fix It! Grammar Review  
For grades 3-12 - use this handy placement test  to see where to start.  Watch the Webinar to see how this is a fresh new approach to grammar instruction.
The Fix It! Grammar series is a 6 books series:
  • The Nose Tree
  • Robin Hood
  • Frog Prince (or Just Deserts)
  • Little Mermaid
  • Chanticleer
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. 
Each  book provides a full year of grammar instruction and practice with editing skills. Each book has 33 weeks of daily passages broken into bite sized pieces. By spending only 15 minutes a day searching for the errors, and correcting them, your student will be practicing their grammar skills in a very painless way...just one sentence a day.  One book can be completed in a year, or double up the pace to finish in a semester.
This is not your average grammar program that teaches a rule and then "drills and kills" that one rule over and over on a page.  This is a more real-life learning approach that will help your child take the grammar they have been taught and integrate it into their writing, the ultimate goal, right?  The Fix-It  series makes your student slow down and really think about what they are reading, and then writing.  Editing skills are very valuable, and this program will help them fine tune those skills,  you will get better at it as well as you help them correct their work :-)
The Bentz Test Laboratory tester was my 6th grade daughter.  Let me tell you, grammar is not her strong suit.  Maybe since she's #4 in the lineup, she hasn't gotten enough focused grammar teaching (my fault).  Whatever the reason, grammar is not a subject that she looks forward to...usually it produces tears and gnashing of teeth (mine again).
When I saw that Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1] from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)  was coming as a review,  I hesitated.    We had tried an older version of this program last year - but, this is a brand NEW, revised version.  But, I decided she should take another run at it.  I AM SO GLAD WE DID! 
First off, if you have seen Fix-It! Grammar in the past, this revision makes it so much easier to use and understand. I love how IEW is committed to making our teaching job easier and more effective, I have never been disappointed with their products.
The Teacher's Guide is a must have component.  In fact, you get a download for the Student Guide with every Teacher's Guide (making it nice for multiple child families).  We were blessed to get both the Teacher's Guide and Student Guide in the spiral bound editions.  Save yourself the hassle and preparation time,  I strongly recommend starting off with it printed and ready to go.  Plus, the printed version offers the grammar cards printed on cardstock and ready to use. The grammar cards are a great way to reinforce and review the concepts being taught.
Each lesson starts with the "Learn It" section where the grammar concept it taught.  The Teacher Guide makes it easy to teach this and gives you a step-by-step instructions.  
The "Fix-It" section explains the steps to the week's lessons.  Starting with vocabulary (over 100 new vocabulary words are introduced), and moving into 3 days of editing ONE SENTENCE per day, and ending with rewriting their corrected sentences, this is designed to be completed in just 15 min. per day, 4 days per week.  
This is where I began to see a change for my tester...  grammar wasn't a dreaded subject anymore!  No more full pages of endless sentences to work through - she only had a single sentence to focus on. Just a few grammar points to learn.  No more tears (hers or mine!) 
If you are using IEW Writing courses (and if you are not, you should be...), Fix-It! Grammar will reinforce the style techniques they are learning as well.  The Teacher's Guide & Student Guide also contain a handy Glossary of grammar and writing terms that you can refer to. 
The final step of each lesson is to rewrite the corrected sentences.  Once finished, your child will have their own handwritten copy of the story.  This step can be used for copywork and handwriting practice, as well as reinforcing the proper grammar in their writing.  It's fully integrated with a finished product they can be proud of!
My tester is a believer -  this is her direct quote:  "Grammar's not that bad anymore Mom, I actually like doing Fix-It! Grammar..."
Never thought I'd hear that one...  Better check this one out and see for yourself!
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1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to hear that the new Fix-It is better; I had used the older version with my oldest a few years ago. I LOVED the concept, but it didn't really work to well. I think the teacher guide and Learn It sections sound great!