Friday, April 5, 2019

Fix It! Grammar REVIEW

Grammar has always been a struggle for my son.  We have used many programs over the years and some have been better than others.  We have made progress, but then he seems to lose it.  I was so excited to give Fix It! Grammar from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) a try.  It isn't your typical grammar curriculum.  Yes, you will learn grammar rules, but not in the traditional way.  I received spiral bound softcover physical copies of the Student Manual and the Teacher's Manual for Book 1: The Nose Tree.

Student workbook

The problem that is described that I agree with is that when our kids learn their grammar rules, they have a hard time translating those rules and what they learn to their actual writing. Yes, they seem to be able to complete the worksheets, but when they are writing their compositions and what not, they tend to lose or misapply what they have "learned."  Fix It! Grammar helps to connect the dots and has them correcting sentences each day and then compiling those sentences into a completed work.

The Teacher's manual is really all you need because it comes with a link to download the needed Student Manual and their copyright allows you to print as many copies as you need for your students.  It is a lot of printing (over 100 pages) so you may choose to just purchase the Student Manual. Inside the Teacher's Manual are also e-resources for additional material that helps to explain the program.  I was able to watch a webinar explaining what the program was and how to use it. I found it VERY informative and I appreciated how she explained the purpose of the teaching method.  There is also an introductory video from Andrew Pudewa (director of IEW).

e-resources available as part of the Teacher's Manual

To summarize, the e-resources available with the purchase of the Teacher's Manual are as follows:
  • Fix-It! Student Book 1 e-book (132 pages)
  • Mastery Learning e-audio
  • But, but, but . . . What about Grammar? e-audio
You will need to create a FREE account on the IEW website where you can download your files and have access to them for future use.

The program is simple and concise.  There are a total of 6 books in the Fix It! Grammar series.  Each book has it's own Teacher's Manual (that includes a free download of the Student Manual).  The books are color coded for the grade levels they are appropriate for.  Each book has a total of 33 weeks of lessons to be completed in 4 Fifteen minute sessions per week.  If you have an older student starting at a younger level you can double up and complete 2 books within one year.  Each book consists of a story that your student will edit one sentence at a time and then rewrite correctly.  Grammar cards are included at the back of the Student manual and can be cut out and mounted on a page or put in a pouch for easy access. Your student will need a lined notebook in which to rewrite the story as they complete their edits each day.

Sample lesson plan

The Teacher's Manual walks you through each lesson step by step with corrections included.  You will start with "Learn It" to teach the concept(s) for the day.  For example in Week 1 day 1, you learn about indent, nouns, homophones, and end marks.  Your student will then look at a sentence and properly edit it.  Once you approve the edits your student will rewrite the corrected sentence into their notebook.  There are also bolded words each day that are used as vocabulary words for your student to define, look up if necessary, and write in the back of their notebook.

Week 4 student workbook page completed

Notebook page work in progress rewriting the story

The 6-book Fix It! Grammar series includes the following books with their levels listed (you can purchase books independently or as a 6-book package):

  • The Nose Tree (Book 1) - Grades 3-5 (can be used for grades 3-12)
    • parts of speech, phrases, very basic editing
  • Robin Hood (Book 2) - Grades 3-5 (can be used for grades 3-12)
    • review parts of speech, phrases, clauses, basic comma rules, basic editing
  • Frog Prince, or Just Deserts (Book 3) - Grades 6-8 (can be used for grades 6-12)
    • subject-verb, phrases, clauses, more punctuation rules, usage, introduce essential/nonessential, deeper editing
  • Little Mermaid (Book 4) - Grades 6-8 (can be used for grades 6-12)
    • subject-verb, phrases, clauses, more punctuation rules, more usage, essential/nonessential mastery, deeper editing
  • Chanticleer (Book 5) - Grades 9-12
    • review subject-verb, phrases, clauses, editing most grammar and punctuation
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Book 6) - Grades 9-12
    • brief review of clauses and phrases, advanced editing
You will also notice that the books are color coded.  IEW color codes their books for grade levels.  Green is for Elementary, Blue is for Middle School, and Lavender is for High School. Of course, the books can be used at multiple levels as I listed above.  IEW provides a FREE placement test for you to determine which book is best for your student(s) to begin with.  If your students are weak in grammar or need review it might be best to begin with Book 1.  Older students can easily double up on assignments and complete the books in a much shorter time to "catch up" to grade level.

Free Placement Test and other resources

In the webinar, it is explained that the last two books are quite challenging and not everyone will get a chance to get through them depending on when you started the program in school.  It is suggested that if you at least get through the first 4 books that you will have a pretty good sound mastery of proper grammar necessary for everyday writing and communicating.

It has certainly been a challenge for my struggling learner, but I think we are making some progress.  We have started at the beginning so that he doesn't have any gaps.  We are taking it very slowly.  I want him to "get it" this time and KEEP it!!  I want him to be able to express himself and communicate with others through writing.  I don't ever expect him to write a book, but he does need to learn and know how to effectively communicate with others in writing.  I believe it is a necessary life skill.  You can't always talk to someone or have access to a phone or computer.  You may, at some time in your life, find it necessary to at least write someone a note.  This may seem logical or simple to most, but it is quite a challenge for my dyslexic/dysgraphic son.

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)

I really like Fix It! Grammar and highly recommend it for grammar study.  After listening to the webinar again I might get the suggested program for us to use first before we finish up with Fix It! Grammar.  Once we get through the other program I will DEFINITELY continue with this program.  I am so happy we were able to try it out.  IEW has a WONDERFUL return policy so if you try something out and it doesn't work, they will refund your money no questions asked.

You can connect with Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) through FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, YOUTUBE, and INSTAGRAM.  Please be sure to also see what other Crew members have to say about this book and the other 5 in the series.  Just click on the link below!

Fix It! Grammar {Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Reviews}
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