Zaner-Bloser GUM: Grade 8 Home School Bundle - Student Edition/Teacher Edition
It's said that good things come to those who wait. Well, we've waited a long time to be able to carry this series (and others from Zaner-Bloser), and I think you'll agree it's a "good thing" that's come. These books provide practice, application, and reinforcement for ALL (they claim 100%) of the conventions of Standard English. What's a convention? Conventions are "a way of doing things that is widely accepted and followed." This series delivers a cumulative progression of skills from grade to grade by teaching and then reinforcing those skills. Providing targeted, systematic, self-guided instruction and practice, the daily lessons will take only 15 minutes or so. Units are the same for each 2-6 grade level: sentence structure, parts of speech, usage (troublesome words), grammar, and mechanics (punctuation). Grades 7 & 8 have seven units: two on sentence structure, two on parts of speech, one on usage, and two on grammar (with punctuation incorporated in).
The daily format and the methodology for lessons is simple:
- - provide an example of the skill
- - give clear explanations
- - complete a practice exercise - in the context of high-interest nonfiction topics
- - provide opportunities to apply skill knowledge
- - conclude with writing, puzzles and other activities for reinforcement
There are twelve of these two-page lessons in each unit plus a review lesson, a spelling practice lesson, a proofreading practice lesson (with checklist) and an end-of-unit, take-home summary. There is also a pretest and a posttest for each unit.
The Student Editions are consumable and supply the daily lesson worksheets (with space to write), the pretests for each unit, a half-page of extra practice for each lesson, the unit posttests, and a Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Handbook (GUM Handbook) that is referenced in the lessons.
The Teacher Edition provides short teaching sequences for each lesson (plus the answers). There is some additional information: program overview, scope and sequence, list of nonfiction topics by unit and the correlation to the conventions of Standard English. The teaching sequences include objectives, information for English Language Learners, and suggestions for speaking and listening activities. Answers for both pre and post tests are also in the TE as well as a copy of the GUM Handbook.
The Home School Bundle includes both the student and the teacher editions. Student books are about 265 - 397 pgs, pb. Teacher books are about 330 - 460 pgs, pb. ~ Janice
These materials offer a complete and comprehensive coverage of all three elements - grammar (i.e. parts of speech, complete sentences), usage (i.e. homophones, figures of speech, proper word choice to convey meaning), and mechanics (i.e. punctuation, capitalization).
1. They are poorly formatted. Their idea of teaching a concept is to write a short paragraph and then highlight and italicize a few words. The definitions and sample sentences are not set apart in any other way. There are no charts or tables or anything. And its all in black and white with one single color (pink) throughout the whole book.
2. They don't even explain the entire concept being taught. For instance, in the lesson on prepositions, they list 12 prepositions. There are a few more in the back of the book in the Handbook, but there isn't a chart or list anywhere that gives all the prepositions. And then they expect the student to be able to find them in the sentences without even telling them what they are! There are more prepositions in the sentences then what was listed in the short paragraph at the top of the page. The same is true for helping verbs (which they call auxiliary verbs) and linking verbs.
3. The teacher's edition does not give any extra teaching at all It's basically just an answer key. It lists the objectives for each less and tips for teaching English Language Learners. Then it has a really worthless section on Speaking and Listening. For instance, the lesson on "Auxiliary Verbs" aka helping verbs says, "Invite the students to talk about some of their plans for the next holiday or school vacation. Ask them to use auxiliary verbs as they speak." Well that would be great if they could actually give them a nice table or chart or list of what they auxiliary verbs are!
This was a horrible book. It's a good thing my children had a good foundation in another curriculum. I only switched because I had been BJU Press which combines writing and grammar. (Their grammar is fantastic.) Then I switched to IEW writing and wanted a separate grammar book, something more thorough than the Fix-It books. Well this was a big mistake.