Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Institute for Excellence in Writing ~ Fix-It! Grammar {Schoolhouse Review}


Fix It! Grammar Review

Fix-It! Grammar by Institute for Excellence in Writing in the Holy Grail of grammar curriculums. Yes, I said it. Brynne has been using Fix-It Grammar, The Nose Tree (Book 1) for the past 6 weeks. It fits in perfectly with our way of doing things: Good quality curriculum, easy to use, short lessons, and good learning.

Fix It! Grammar Review

What is It?

What is Fix-It Grammar? It is an editing program that uses quality stories to teach grammar. Book 1 uses the story The Nose Tree. Each day the students are asked to read one sentence, identify certain parts of speech, punctuation, and clauses, learn a new vocabulary word, and then re-write the sentence in their notebook. Each week's lessons build on the previous lessons, adding new concepts to identify. It is intended for children in grades 3 and above. Brynne is in the 4th grade and has received some formal grammar each year of schooling.

What We Received

We chose to review The Nose Tree, Book 1. We received the Teacher Manual and a Student Book, both in a soft-bound spiral format. When purchasing a Teacher Manual, you receive a free pdf download of the Student Book. But if you would like a physical copy you can purchase the Student Book separately in spiral bound format.

How We Used It

Each morning I handed Brynne her notebook and daily Fix-It Grammar sentence. She would read the sentence out loud then start marking the sentences according to the lesson's instructions. First she identifies articles, then nouns, pronouns, who-which clauses, determines if there are any quotations needed, and places the sentence end mark. So far that is as far as we have gotten in assignments. We have completed Week 6. There is a full year of lessons in each book. Each sentence contains a highlighted vocabulary word. I have had Brynne read the context clues of the sentence and then try to take a guess as to what she believes the vocabulary word means. So far she been pretty good at doing this!

Once the words are identified and marked she writes that sentence in her story notebook, adding to what she has already written. She has to pay attention to the daily assignment to see if she needs to start a new paragraph as there is a paragraph editing mark at the beginning of the lesson's sentence if she is to start a new paragraph. This was a new concept for her. At the end of the week she reads the story she has written so far. At the conclusion of all of the lessons she will have a perfectly edited, grammatically correct story handwritten by her own pen. Something that I should have done, but didn't, was having her write the sentences in cursive. That would have given her some extra cursive handwriting practice.

In later lessons, her work will change from identifying to editing. She will read a sentence and then make all necessary changes based on what she has learned.

Our Opinion

Brynne actually asks to do her grammar assignments everyday. I think it is mostly because she is enjoying the story The Nose Tree and looks forward to adding to the story each day. The actual lessons themselves cause her to have to think, but doesn't stress her out by being too lengthy. Instead of just memorizing parts of speech and punctuation, she is actually applying it every day. For these reasons we give it an A+.

Product Details

The Teacher Manual for Fix-it! Grammar, The Nose Tree (Book 1) is $19 and the spiral bound Student Book is $15. (On the date of this post, the Teacher Manual for the Nose Tree is on clearance for $15). All books can be purchased at the IEW website. Institute for Excellence in Writing has a 100% Money Back Guarantee. But I am confident you will not want one! There are a total of 6 books in the series and they all work in a cumulative manner. If you would like your child to take a placement test to determine which book with which to start, you may go HERE. The books are intended for students in the 3rd grade and up.

You can go to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read reviews about some of the other books in the Fix-it! Grammar series.

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