Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW): Fix It! Grammar {A Review}

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) sent us Fix It! Grammar: Robin Hood [Teacher's Manual Book 2] ($19.00) and Fix It! Grammar: Robin Hood [Student Book 2] ($15.00) for grades 3 and up to review. Ceesa has been using it for several weeks and is quite pleased with the set.

How it Works
The Fix It! Grammar program uses a real-live story to teach grammar, coding, correction, and vocabulary. Each level uses a different story. 

Book 1: The Nose Tree
Book 2: Robin Hood
Book 3: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts
Book 4: Little Mermaid
Book 5: Chanticleer
Book 6: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

To complete the program, we would recommend a spiral notebook, a pencil, dictionary, and a pouch or envelope for the grammar cards. Our Student Book and Teacher's Manual arrived spiral bound, which is just right for writing in the Student Book and saving your page.

Each book lends itself to being used for an entire school year. There are 33 weeks worth of passages (which is exactly perfect for us because we "do school" for 36 weeks with 3 exam weeks, where we do not have extras; such as, grammar). There is a certificate for completion provided.

It is set up in 4-5 day weekly cycles depending on how you'd like to approach it. There are 4 sentences to correct with each week's cycle ending in a rewrite of the passage. You could do the rewrite on day 5 or on day 4 (after the sentence provided is corrected) depending on your needs.

It is recommended on day 1 for the teacher to read over the Learn It section with the student. Then the student is to read the sentence provided, look up the bold faced vocabulary word in a dictionary and write its definition, and mark and fix the sentence with the teacher.

On days 2-4, the student is to read the sentence provided, look up the bold faced vocabulary word in a dictionary and write its definition, and mark and fix the sentence with the teacher helping as needed. It is recommended that students lay out the grammar cards for the week in front of them while marking and fixing the sentences.

Last students rewrite the entire passage. The student is to rewrite the entire passage from either their own editing or the corrected passage in the Teacher's Manual.

The Teacher's Manual has the definition to the vocabulary word, what should be marked and fixed for each day, grammar notations, style, teacher notes, Grammar Love notes, tips, and as mentioned above the corrected passage for the rewrite. 

At the back of the Teacher's Manual and Student Book there is a Glossary included explaining parts of speech, sentences, clauses, phrases, punctuation, rules and concepts, and stylistic techniques.

How We Used it
With Baby Wheel needing so much of my time right now, we need to make materials work for the girls to do a lot of their academics independently. Although Fix it! Grammar has a Teacher's Manual and the Learn It section is designed to be worked on together, we've found that Ceesa is learning as much and enjoying it without my assistance.

At the start of every week, she reads the introduction for the lesson. Then on the first day and every day for 4 days she corrects a new sentence using the coding and corrections required and looks up the bold faced word in each sentence. I have her write the word right in her notebook under the sentences. Then she uses the Teacher's Manual to correct her errors. 

On day 5, she rewrites the entire paragraph from her corrected sentences in her writing notebook (a separate notebook that we provided) and then compares hers to the completed one in the Teacher's Manual.

She reports that she loves doing grammar this way and we are pleased with how it fits her needs. We were able to decide where to place her from the placement tests available at IEW here.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I might worry that working with one story for so many weeks could lead to boredom with the story - if not the lessons. Other than that, it sounds very interesting. Finding a good fit with a grammar program can be difficult.

Bethany said...

Ceesa loves the story of Robin Hood and has read the entire book through twice, so for her to is just a new way to read through a beloved story.

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