- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers; Revised edition (January 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1571104127
- ISBN-13: 978-1571104120
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer's Workshop Revised Edition
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"…in reading Jeff's book, I learned something invaluable: how to actually create that 'context' we have all heard so much about, how to make editorial instruction meaningful, engaging, and understandable, even for students who struggle."
—Vicki Spandel (from the foreword)
Some teachers love grammar and some hate it, but nearly all struggle to find ways of making the mechanics of English meaningful to kids. As a middle school teacher, Jeff Anderson also discovered that his students were not grasping the basics, and that it was preventing them from reaching their potential as writers. Jeff readily admits, “I am not a grammarian, nor am I punctilious about anything,” so he began researching and testing the ideas of scores of grammar experts in his classroom, gradually finding successful ways of integrating grammar instruction into writer's workshop.
Mechanically Inclined is the culmination of years of experimentation that merges the best of writer's workshop elements with relevant theory about how and why skills should be taught. It connects theory about using grammar in context with practical instructional strategies, explains why kids often don't understand or apply grammar and mechanics correctly, focuses on attending to the “high payoff,” or most common errors in student writing, and shows how to carefully construct a workshop environment that can best support grammar and mechanics concepts. Jeff emphasizes four key elements in his teaching:short daily instruction in grammar and mechanics within writer's workshop; using high-quality mentor texts to teach grammar and mechanics in context; visual scaffolds, including wall charts, and visual cues that can be pasted into writer's notebooks; regular, short routines, like “express-lane edits,” that help students spot and correct errors automatically.
Comprising an overview of the research-based context for grammar instruction, a series of over thirty detailed lessons, and an appendix of helpful forms and instructional tools, Mechanically Inclined is a boon to teachers regardless of their level of grammar-phobia. It shifts the negative, rule-plagued emphasis of much grammar instruction into one which celebrates the power and beauty these tools have in shaping all forms of writing.
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Top Customer Reviews
For weeks, I was thinking to myself,"You can't just memorize grammar terms and expect them to learn. And the textbook examples do not help for squat" I actually said to myself, "This is never going to make them a better writer. And isn't that the whole point??? " Well, I was correct. Look at the statistics; do the research yourself if you like.
Can I tell you that in TWO class periods my students have smiles on their faces? They are writing, they are editing, and they are having fun sharing their ideas. Traditional grammar, as the book calls it, is gone forever as far as I am concerned (I don't really like textbooks anyway). With these new techniques, I am already seeing major improvement. The whole environment has changed. The kids are excited, and better than that they are actually USING the concepts NOT memorizing!!!
Anderson's lessons are wonderful and he really spells out the conventions for you.