We have been so pleased with our grammar program from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree (Book 1) takes Bear 15 minutes to complete per day and she can do it independently! The special thing about Fix It! Grammar is that it teaches grammar within the context of a story. Bear, my avid reader, loves this concept. The components of Fix It! Grammar are the teacher book and the student book.
What is It?
Fix It! Grammar is recommend for grades 3-12. There is a Placement Test to know with which book your student needs to start. There are 6 books total and each increases in difficulty. We chose the first book, even though Bear was ready for Book 2. It has been a good, confidence-boosting review. The free Webinar is really useful to watch. In fact, watching the webinar is what convinced me to want to review Fix It! Grammar.
The teacher book ($19) is a spiral bound, soft cover book. It comes with a special link where you can download and print the student pages. However, if you don’t want to deal with printing and binding your own student book, you can buy the physical copy of the student book for $15. It is also a spiral bound soft cover book. We received both physical books for the review.
The teacher book includes 33 weeks of daily passages, 132 vocabulary words, reproducible student pages, teacher’s notes, and a grammar glossary. It also comes with a free download of the Fix It! Student book, a Mastery Learning e-audio, and “But…But…But…What About Grammar?” e-audio.
The student book has the introduction to the week’s lesson (Bear reads it to herself). The lesson is followed by the four sentences for the week. There are grammar cards at the back of the student book, to cut out and use to review the grammar, but we haven’t needed them yet.
Other supplies you will need are a notebook for the student to write in, scissors to cut apart the grammar cards in the back of the Student Book, something in which to store the cards, and a dictionary. You may want a notebook with divided sections to keep the vocabulary and the story separate.
How it Works:
Each day, Bear reads one sentence. That’s right, a single sentence. This sentence is part of the story The Nose Tree, which is a tale from the Brothers Grimm.
So far the grammar has been review; consequently, Bear has been reading the introductory info for the week on her own. Then she simply follows the cues at the top of the student book and fixes and marks the sentence accordingly. Once I have checked the fixes, she rewrites the sentence correctly in her notebook. So far the fixes are to add punctuation and choose from homophones. She marks nouns and articles only so far. She’s ready to mark the entire sentence with each part of speech, but I decided to let her brain rest and do the program exactly as written.Then she must find the definition of a bolded word within the sentence and write it out in a second section of her notebook. I like that the teacher’s book has the definition right there for my easy reference so when I come check her work, I can quickly see whether she chose the correct definition.
What we like:
The grammar is taught in the context of a story, rather than as isolated sentences.
The daily lessons are short.
It incorporates copywork (and thus handwriting practice).
New grammar concepts are added incrementally and there is built-in review of grammar concepts already learned.
It includes vocabulary words and has the students using their dictionary skills.
It teaches grammar within context.
The format is predictable and consistent each week so the student can become independent fairly quickly because she knows the routine.
Bear really loves reading the next installment of the story each week. Of course, she reads all four sentences the first day of the week. I expected her to turn the page to the following week and keep reading, but she’s been really good about not doing that. Because it started off such easy review, we were tempted to go at a quicker pace, but we both agreed that grammar wasn’t a priority for us this year anyway so we opted for going back to the pace set by the program (of doing one sentence per day). This is the perfect thing for Bear right now, who is ahead in grammar and needs something simple, yet enticing, to keep her reviewing the grammar she already knows, without teaching too much new grammar. We look forward to doing Book 2 when we are done Book 1.