Fix It! Grammar
It only makes sense that a writing program like IEW would have a different take on grammar acquisition. A good look at the Fix It! Program (in its new, improved, more user-friendly form) will convince you that its approach is both comprehensive and designed to maximize retention. The important elements of the previous program have been retained - editing excellent literature models (well-loved books) plus targeted instruction. Working on one passage per day (four per week), students look for and correct embedded grammar errors and learn a new vocabulary word. Because there is a continuing story line, the daily grammar edits become fun and entertaining as well as challenging. The new six-volume series allows for mastery at each level plus spiraling (grade ranges for books correspond to IEW grade ranges), which has the added benefit of providing a book (with both review and new material) as a yearly companion to the multiple years of theme-based writing lessons. Grammar lessons should take only 15 minutes per day, require teacher-student interaction one day per week, and allow the student to work somewhat independently the remaining days. This path to mastery also provides review cards for key grammar concepts as well as a grammar glossary for reference. In other words, the student is being equipped and trained to incorporate excellent grammar into their writing as well as being prepared to edit their own work.
Each course provides 33 weeks (one year) of grammar instruction and is comprised of a teacher's manual plus a student book. The general methodology is straight-forward. Read/discuss instructional material, edit one sentence daily, and then rewrite the passage (all four sentences) correctly. An added bonus is defining the vocabulary words that are identified in each sentence. The student is "encouraged" (i.e. required) to build a notebook for each course that will include the Fix Its, a Grammar Glossary (these first two are included in the spiral-bound student book) the Rewrite passages, and the written definitions of the vocabulary words.
Spiral-bound, consumable student books are available to purchase (from us) or as free PDF downloads from the publisher's website (for the purchasers of a teacher's manual). The Student Book provides the weekly lessons that include Learn It sections (systematic instruction), the Fix-It sections (assignments), and four daily sentences to edit. Weekly lessons devoted to review (no new material) are peppered throughout the course but predominate in the last half. The spiral-bound student book also provides a set of cardstock grammar review cards (these will need to be cut out) and the 45 pg. Fix It! Grammar Glossary that serves as a reference tool.
The Teacher's Manual starts with some general how-to-and-why information on the course before proceeding to weekly lesson plans. These lesson plans include the same grammar instruction found in the student book plus complete corrective support (i.e. answer keys) for each of the daily sentence edits. "Fixes" are explained and grammatical "talking points" are provided. Helpful sidebar teacher's notes tell you that such and such concept will be taught in week such and such as well as interesting historical tidbits such as the name (pilcrow) for the paragraph mark and it origin (Middle Ages) and purpose (to separate content). A scope and sequence for the course as well as a copy of the Grammar Glossary complete the TM contents.
In case it's not clear, the goal of these courses is FUN - along with learning and remembering good grammar, of course. They provide a light touch that is embedded in practicality. Obviously designed to complement the IEW writing courses, they are integrated with IEW terms such as dress-ups, acronyms (FANBOYS), and clause starters (www.asia.b). It's assumed that the student and teacher will be familiar with either the Teaching Writing Structure & Style or the Student Writing Intensive seminars from IEW. However, the Fix It! Edits can be done as a stand-alone program. I've been a lukewarm fan in general of editing approaches to grammar, but this one is quieting my concerns for systematic, structural coverage of grammar. I'm willing to admit that this combination of instruction and practical application will be highly effective. TMs - 225 - 250 pgs. spiral-bound; SBs - 120 pgs spiral-bound ~ Janice