Reinforcing Grammar Concepts in Students’ Writing

Sep 14, 2023 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

As a homeschooling mom, co-op teacher, and now a classroom teacher, I have found that Fix It!™ Grammar is the most practical and painless way to teach and learn grammar. In Andrew Pudewa’s talk Nurturing Competent Communicators, he emphasizes the importance of encoding “reliably correct and sophisticated English language patterns” in children’s minds. Fix It! Grammar does this. It also aids in developing writing fluency and stamina. Since “children like to do what they can do,” the short lessons with clear checklists build students’ confidence in their skills as editors.

Fix It! Grammar systematically teaches grammar concepts that students immediately apply in the natural setting of a story. This is one of the most effective ways to teach students to write with correct grammar. The best part of Fix It! Grammar is that each passage takes only fifteen minutes a day! In January of 2022, IEW released the fourth edition of Fix It! Grammar, which is by far the best yet. This edition has more streamlined, incremental instruction. There are even a few engaging new stories. The teaching content has been expanded and improved with lists for students to Learn It, Mark It, and Fix It, creating a game-like quality in the exercises. There is also better continuity and consistency between levels and not as great a leap in concepts between books with the new edition. The scope and sequence has been completely revamped as well. Fans of Fix It! Grammar will love the new edition.

With the new edition of Fix It! Grammar, IEW also updated the Portable Walls Grammar on the Go. It is a fantastic resource for reinforcing grammar in your homeschool or classroom. In my class each student receives one at the beginning of the school year to use as a reference. I even keep one at my desk to consult when I write! Here is one way I like to use this valuable resource in conjunction with Fix It! Grammar.

About once a quarter or so, I give my students an assignment I call the “PGCs” or Personal Grammar Corrections. As we work through Fix It! Grammar, I hold the students accountable for applying the rules that they have learned to their own writing. If I come across an error related to Fix It! while I am grading, I mark it FI in the margin next to the line with the error. On PGC day, the students take out their graded papers and locate the places I have marked FI. On a separate sheet of paper, they

  1. copy the sentence, underlining the grammar error.
  2. rewrite the sentence with the correction highlighted.
  3. cite the grammar rule from Portable Walls Grammar on the Go that explains the error.

Let’s take a look at an example.

I have found that students are able to complete eight to ten corrections in about an hour. Since I started incorporating PGCs, I have noticed several benefits for my students. First, it makes them aware of grammar mistakes that they make frequently. Consequently, they begin to look for them in future writing assignments. As a result, students more carefully edit their own writing. Because they know PGC day is coming, they want to make as few errors as possible since students who have few PGCs finish quickly and are rewarded. Finally, doing PGCs helps students to transfer what they are learning in Fix It! to their own writing, which is the ultimate goal of grammar study.

I hope this inspires you to try a PGC assignment or something similar with your students! It works well as an activity for emergency sub plans, early finishers, or a change of pace. No matter how you choose to use it, I trust that the updated Portable Walls Grammar on the Go will be a useful addition to your Fix It! Grammar studies.

If you like the Portable Walls Grammar on the Go, be sure to check out our other portable walls: Portable Walls for Structure and Style Students and Portable Walls for the Public Speaker.

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