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Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer's Workshop

Customer Reviews:

Where "Grammar" and "Editing" Are NOT Dirty Words

By Ken C. - December 15, 2007

In MECHANICALLY INCLINED, Jeff Anderson tackles the issue of grammarphobia and edit-phobia head on. You know the diseases. They are endemic in English classrooms everywhere.

Anderson advocates using "mentor" sentences and paragraphs taken from books that interest students. He also details how to set up a writer's notebook where kids can write freely without fear of the Red Pen (which, to them, is like an invader from the Red Planet, as narrated by Orson Welles). The notebook includes sections for creativity, exploration, modeling, and copying well-written sentences and paragraphs.

I especially like Anderson's idea for the Editing Checkout, where students "scan" work looking for specific skills, then create a "receipt" of their findings. NATIONAL ENQUIRERS are not necessary for this activity. The kids will get a kick out of it and (not too loud, now) will learn something about editing (with one pen, two pens, red pens, or blue pens) while they're at it... read more

A MUST HAVE RESOURCE FOR TEACHING GRAMMAR AND WRITING

By A. Buckner "luvs to write" - June 20, 2006

I absolutely adore this book! It's incredibly user friendly, and I didn't feel stupid about grammar while reading it. The first half of the book sets up the lessons. The second half is the lessons. It's obvious Jeff uses a writer's notebook and writer's workshop. He truly makes 'grammar in context' a meaningful and attainable way to teach. I have used several of the lessons with my fourth graders and they love it. I think only a book like this, and Jeff himself, could get someone like me to yell AUWWBIS like a farmer's pig call. It's fun and effective - get this book!

Terrific resource

By Ima Teacher - August 4, 2006

Anderson explains how to show students the practicality of grammar and how to teach it in context rather than isolation in a way that middle school students will not only understand but also enjoy. He provides lists, lessons, examples, and everything needed to take this approach and immediately implement it in the classroom. This is one of the best-written and most helpful books I have read in years.

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